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2019-01-25
Angelo De Augustine: Tomb

'Tomb', the third full length album from Thousand Oak, CA's Angelo de Augustine, addresses lost love, the cost of honesty, and the ramifications of regret. It's a deeply inward album, but like the best albums about heartbreak, 'Tomb' transforms pain into beauty. "This album is at its core a prayer for hope and clarity, and a prayer for love," says De Augustine.

The record is a significant shift from his previous home recordings, such as previous album 'Swim Inside The Moon'. It was recorded at NYC's Reservoir Studios with his friend and renowned musician Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman), whose credits include work on albums for Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, and Rhye. 'Tomb' is a musical breakthrough for De Augustine, with Bartlett's artful production spotlighting his increasingly impressive songwriting.

The songs of 'Tomb' achieve grandeur with sweeping minimalism: a voice, a guitar, and the occasional flourishes of Bartlett's signature piano and instrumental arrangements. But the simple strength of songs like "Time," "You Needed Love, I Needed You," and "Kaitlin" will remind listeners that De Augustine is among the best of the rising crop of young, emotionally compelling singer-songwriters.

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2019-01-25
Bruno Bavota: RE_CORDIS

Bruno Bavota is a young Italian composer and multi-instrumentalist with seemingly boundless potential, and an extraordinary gift for marrying the intellectual and emotional into earnest and profoundly effective songs. Though favorably compared in his early career to another Italian composer, the legendary Ludovico Einaudi, Bavota has found himself increasingly pursuing ways to distort and disturb traditional arrangements and melodies in pursuit of a more distinct resonance. Armed with a plethora of outboard effects pedals and processors, Bavota manually manipulates his songs in real time as he performs - often with his bare hands engaged in a seesaw battle of construction against obstruction. It infuses a genuine sense of tension and forward momentum that makes his work extraordinarily poignant. Recorded live in one afternoon at a friend's studio in Bavota's hometown of Naples, Italy, RE_CORDIS documents many of Bavota's most recognizable and accomplished works as they stand at this moment in time - ever-evolving musical life-forms that change shape while maintaining their distinctive skeletons. It also introduces his newest work, "The night of," a tense, escalating race of loops punctuated by a series of dramatic chord strikes. The recording is charmingly informal, leaving the sounds of Bavota's physical movements - the shuffling of feet, the triggering of effects pedals, the creaking of stools - present in the mix to mingle with the music. As an exhibition of Bavota's skills as a composer and performer, it's impressive; as a glimpse of what's to come, it's an epiphany.

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2019-01-18
Antena: Camino Del Sol

1982, Brussels: Living on busking wages and next door to Tuxedomoon, Antena manage to make a contemporary bossa nova record that provides the missing link between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Kraftwerk. The original Camino Del Sol has been given back its spacious mini-LP quarters, recasting this short-lived combo's forward-thinking mile marker as a modern-day masterstroke.

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2019-01-18
Hama: Houmeissa

Nigerién composer Hama presents a groundbreaking album of traditional electronic desert folk songs, hovering somewhere between early 90s techno and synthwave. Nomadic herding ballads, ancient caravan songs, and ceremonial wedding chants are all re-imagined into pieces seemingly lifted from a Saharan 1980s sci-fi soundtrack or score to a Tuareg video game. With a deep love and respect, Hama effortlessly takes back and re-appropriates fourth-world ethnoambient music.

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2019-01-18
Julian Lynch: Rat’s Spit

Wisconsin-based artist and producer Julian Lynch began releasing solo music in 2009, and has since recorded five LPs along with an array of EPs, cassettes, and film scores. Julian balances his output of solo material with his pursuit of a joint PhD in anthropology and ethnomusicology, and more recently his role as guitarist in the band Real Estate since 2016. Rat's Spit, Julian's latest full length, arrives on January 18th, 2019.

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2019-01-18
Laurie Spiegel: The Expanding Universe

The Expanding Universe is the 1980 debut album by composer and computer music pioneer Laurie Spiegel. The original album is reissued here as a massively expanded 3LP or 2CD set, containing all four original album tracks plus an additional 15 tracks from the same period, nearly all previously unreleased and many making their first appearance on vinyl in this brand new 2018 edition. Since this album's first reissue in 2012, it has gone on to be widely established as a classic of electronic, ambient, and 20th century classical music. Some of the well-loved works included in this set are "Patchwork", the "Appalachian Grove" series, "East River Dawn" and "Kepler's Harmony of the Worlds", which was included on the Golden Record launched on board the Voyager spacecraft. The pieces comprising The Expanding Universe combine slowly evolving textures with the emotional richness of intricate counterpoint, harmony, and complex rhythms (John Fahey and J. S. Bach are both cited as major influences in the original cover's notes), all built of electronic sounds using the GROOVE system at Bell Laboratories during the 1970s. The 3LP vinyl edition was cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin.

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2019-01-18
Laurie Spiegel: Unseen Worlds

Laurie Spiegel’s second full-length album, Unseen Worlds, arrived just over ten years after her debut album. Having realized the pieces found on The Expanding Universe (1980) on an instrument no longer available to her, the GROOVE System at Bell Laboratories, Spiegel moved on to composing and developing for the Alles Machine, alphaSyntauri, McLeyvier and various other instruments before creating an instrument entirely her own. Spiegel created “Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument” on a Macintosh 512k so that she could have an instrument that was not general purpose but a small, specialized, and well defined musical instrument for and by her that she did not have to compromise on or risk losing access to it. While it was a very personal instrument for Spiegel, demand among friends and colleagues nevertheless grew until “Music Mouse - An Intelligent Instrument” became a commercial product for the Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari personal computers with a devoted popular following that continues to this day, despite the obsoletion of those platforms. At the time of her Unseen Worlds album’s original release in 1991, the issuing record label turned out to be going out of business, dissolved and disappeared, sending the album immediately into obscurity. Outside of a private CD edition issued by Spiegel on her own Aesthetic Engineering label in 1994, this new edition represents the first proper commercial release of Unseen Worlds.

“Unseen Worlds is not so much based on melody and rhythm as it is on textures, pulses, and sonic environments. Sometimes dark, sometimes light, its drama pulls in the adventurous listener who wants to take a musical journey. Using computer software she wrote in order to implement a unique musical vision, Unseen Worlds blends the artistic and the technical, the cerebral and the sensual, and revives the virtually abandoned tradition of electronic music. Unseen Worlds is the work of a sonic explorer whose music can both challenge and caress. Those looking for other worlds of sound can put on headphones and find them here.” - Craig Anderton

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2019-01-18
M. Ward: What a Wonderful Industry

What A Wonderful Industry is the follow up to M.Ward's 2016 acclaimed album More Rain. Via Ward: "This is a record inspired by people in the industry I have known - heroes and villains in equal measure. There's some beautiful moments when you travel for a living, and I'm grateful for being part of an industry that's taken me around the world so many times - but you quickly learn there's a perfectly imperfect balance of cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals in the zoo. This record visits the most memorable characters. There's a lot of very inspirational people I've had the pleasure to work with but there are also a few I wish I’d never met. It all tragically ends with an imaginary Griffin Mill-inspired murder ballad. This album is a reminder to keep your friends close, your enemies closer and don't let the ones that just need an extra couple hours of therapy bring you down. Anyway I hope you like it. All names have been changed to protect the innocent."

Recorded in Portland, OR, the album was produced by M. Ward, engineered by Mike Coykendall and Adam Selzer, mixed by Rob Schnapf, and features guest vocals from Jim James.

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2019-01-18
Machinefabriek: With Voices

With Voices is the newest recording by Dutch composer Rutger Zuydervelt under the moniker Machinefabriek. True to its title, the album's eight pieces exhibit Zuydervelt's use of tone generators, radios, synths, and other hi-fi curio to construct bewildering aural architecture around vocal contributions from Marissa Nadler, Peter Broderick, Richard Youngs, and others.

The track "III" (the tracks are simply titled with Roman numerals) slowly winds like ivy through staccato phrases spoken by Peter Broderick, whose micro-incantations skip along mechanically only to telescope into monastic grandeur at the track’s midpoint. On "VIII" Marissa Nadler leads the suite to its lullabic endpoint with overlapping wisps of harmony devoid of accompaniment concluding the album on an angelic note.

Throughout much of With Voices, warm-blooded arteries seem to have grown around bits of well-designed artifice to form something warmly alien, soberly futuristic, and inherently satisfying. More than simply an album of collaborative features, With Voices is a mutating collage of modern minimalism that challenges as often as it comforts. There is an alchemical, metallurgical quality that arises from Zuydervelt's unique way of merging humanness with abstraction, harshness with beauty, and unintelligibility with familiarity on what may be the most affecting Machinefabriek release to date.

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2019-01-18
Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow

Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time. In the four years since Are We There, Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, performed in David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival, and wrote her first film score and song for TV - for Kathering Dieckmann's Strange Weather Tig Notaro's show Tig, respectively. Van Etten also had a child, and began studying psychology. In the scraps of hours between these endeavors, Remind Me Tomorrow was born.

Working with producer John Congleton, Remind Me Tomorrow reveals piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. Originally a piano ballad, "Comeback Kid" evolved into a dark, menacing anthem. "Seventeen" began as a Lucinda Williams-esque dirge, but winds up a star-spangled nod to Springsteen, exploring gentrification and generational patience.

The breadth of Van Etten's new passions have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise, warped-time perspective. She explains, "I want to be a mom, a singer, an actress, go to school, but yeah, I have a stain on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair. I feel like a mess, but I'm here. Doing it. This record is about pursuing your passions." This is Remind Me Tomorrow, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new loves.

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2019-01-18
Sourakata Koite: En Hollande

Senegalese kora master Sourakata Koité began music from pretty much day one. "All the Koité are musicians!," he says. Indeed he is a member of a family of djéli (or griot in french), the hereditary caste of musician-storyteller-historians in West Africa. After moving to Paris in the late 70s he began to play in different bands and for musicians like Manu Dibango, Touré Kounda, Mangala, Mah Damba and more. During a festival in Holland, a music producer form Plexus Records heard him and asked to make a recording. In 1984 in an old chicken coop near Delft, Koité recorded the entire album in one take, including overdubs. The rich sonics and deep sound beautifully presents Koité's virtuosic and entrancing renditions of traditional and original tunes. With the reissue of en Hollande, Awesome Tapes From Africa continues its mission of bringing tapes posted on the ATFA website over the years, including this one, to music fans all over the world.