Anne, the second album By Toronto saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason, is a tonal essay on degenerative illness. Delicately and compassionately woven with interviews of Shabason’s mother from whom the album takes its name, Anne finds its creator navigating a labyrinth of subtle and tragic emotions arising from his mother's struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Across the nine vivid postcards of jazz-laden ambience that comprise the album, Shabason unwraps these difficult themes with great care and focus revealing the unseen aspects of degenerative diseases that force us to re-examine common notions of self, identity, and mortality.
Shabason's uncanny ability to manoeuvre through such microscopic feelings is mirrored by his capacity to execute a similar tightrope-walk through musical genres. His music occupies a specific space that is as palpable as it is difficult to pin labels to. On Anne's second track "Deep Dark Divide" rays of effected saxophone shine behind clouds of digital synthesizer that echoes the sound of jazz in the late 80s, but with a Jon Hassell-esque depth of sensibility that consciously subverts the stylistic inoffensiveness of that era. There is detail and idiosyncrasy beneath Shabason’s dawn-of-the-CD-era sheen that elevates the album far beyond a mere aesthetic exercise.
Following on from his debut release 'Dear God' on Tri Angle Records earlier this year, Serenade is the second EP from Seoul-born, Boston-based producer mmph (aka 24 year-old Sae Heum Han). Classically trained since childhood, Sae Han first came to Boston to study Cello performance at Berklee College of Music before turning his concentration towards Electronic Production & Design and starting his project as MMPH. Serenade is evidence of this young producer's rapid evolution, a merging of his classical training, sophisticated composition, and unique sound design. Han's ability to conjure a seemingly contradictory series of influences into bespoken universes places him alongside sonic puzzle makers like Oneohtrix Point Never, Nicolas Jaar, Arca and Caribou.
Serenade comes off the back of a series of acclaimed production contributions to recent records by serpentwithfeet, David Byrne, and Lauren Auder, as well as highly impressive remix made for Perfume Genius.
On The Lillywhite Sessions, Ryley Walker and the similarly indebted trio of drummer Ryan Jewell and bassist Andrew Scott Young cover Dave Matthews' infamously abandoned 2001 art-rock masterpiece of the same name, a record where he and his band indulged a new adult pathos and a budding musical wanderlust.
With a delicate rhythmic latticework and vocals that ask you to lean in, "Busted Stuff" recalls Jim O' Rourke's golden Drag City days. Emerging from a wall of distortion, "Diggin' a Ditch" becomes a power trio wallop Ã la Dinosaur Jr, shaking off existential malaise like twenty-something pals writing rock songs in the garage. Walker's "Grace is Gone," the most faithful take here, is a testament to his unflagging love for the music that helped make him a musician. This end-to-end interpretation of youthful fascination is a collective reminder that we are all just kids from somewhere, reckoning with our upbringing the best we can. Walker has stepped through the door long ago opened by the Dave Matthews Band to find a world teeming with musical possibilities. On The Lillywhite Sessions, he has, in turn, created his own.
Synth chutes, synth ladders, popcorn 808 beats, dirge-y chants and busted sub-woofer hums from inner-galactic soul pioneers Nathaniel Woolridge and Anthony Freeman intertwine to create this hypnotic, mythical 1984 LP from Newark, New Jersey. The most damaged party record ever set to black, or the most partied cry of the heart ever howled into personal space. Probably both.
The Greatest Gift is a mixtape of outtakes, remixes and demos from Sufjan's 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. Already on vinyl and digital, the mixtape arrives on CD format on November 16.
This collection serves as a companion piece to the Carrie & Lowell Live album released earlier this year (and as an expansion to the original album). In the same way the live show featured re-interpretations of the songs from Carrie & Lowell, the mixtape unveils new remixes by several longstanding collaborators including Roberto C. Lange (aka Helado Negro), Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), and James McAlister (aka 900X). The album also features Sufjan's own remix of "Drawn to the Blood." The mixtape includes a few alternate and/or demo versions of songs from the original album. The digital release also contains an iPhone demo of the song "Carrie & Lowell." The mixtape features four previously unreleased new songs, "official" outtakes from Carrie & Lowell (they were recorded at the same time as the album). These include "Wallowa Lake Monster," "The Hidden River of My Life," "City of Roses," and "The Greatest Gift." This new material, in its investigation of love, life, death, God, and the beautiful state of Oregon, serves as a contemplative companion to the original album. We hope you enjoy.
Emerging from the dissolution of Jean Paul Sartre Experience in 1993, Dave Mulcahy and Greta Anderson found themselves in New York with a handful of song skeletons. Recruiting childhood friend Ben Howe back in Auckland, Superette was born. The band combined Mulcahy's signature sound-bending guitar and melodic ear for a pop hook with Anderson's muscular drumming, triangulated by Howe's energising, sinewy bass and guitar lines.One of Flying Nun's mid-90s gems, this deluxe re-issue of Tiger features the album along with the band's debut EP, Rosepig, b-sides from the Touch Me and Killer Clown singles plus unreleased demos from the bands' never released, uncompleted second album - a rare delight for fans of the band's impeccably slender back catalogue.From the grunge riffs of I Got It Clean to the soft melodic hooks of Bye Bye; from the slow, melancholic verses of Felo De Se to the overdriven anthemic rock drive of Saskatchewan, Tiger is unique in its deployment of binary functions; aesthetic and thematic. Quiet/loud; soft/hard; smooth/jagged. As Big Ross notes of the band's name itself, it's big/small. Super-ette.
Joseph Washington Jr.'s 1983 holiday LP putsa soulful, funky, suave ribbon on nine frostyChristmas cuts. In that season of music'straditional descent into threadbare schmaltz,Merry Christmas to You restores joy andwonder to a blizzard of bland. Under thistree, find undiscovered classics for our cynicalage: the buoyant "Jesus’ Birthday," the hotand bothered soul of "Merry Christmas," theridiculously catchy wallet-opener "Shopping."The world of records produces just a preciousfew yuletide keepers: Spector's A ChristmasGift for You; Fahey's The New Possibility;Guaraldi's indelible Charlie Brown Christmas.Down another nog and file Joseph WashingtonJr. comfortably next to those.All copies on Metallic Gold colored vinyl.