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2018-05-04
Blanck Mass: Odd Scene / Shit Luck

The first Blanck Mass non-album single since the 2016 release of the majestic 'D7-D5' will be a surprise to some. The crunching sonic twin punch of both cuts are actually in keeping with the Blanck Mass aesthetic, at the harder edge of his previous work, and then some. As the man himself explains: "I grew up playing in punk and hardcore bands so this is no new venture for me, but perhaps as far as Blanck Mass released material goes "ODD SCENE / SHIT LUCK" might be the snottiest. Here we have a couple of Anti-macho pop songs about a pair of walking hard-ons I surreptitiously observed at a truck stop whilst I was out touring last year."

This serves as a quickfire follow up to the recent remix EP, and couldn't be further from that experimental foray into the collaborative experience. Here he goes it alone, and the observational sub-text informs the two most powerful tracks of Blanck Mass' career.

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2018-05-04
Cut Worms: Hollow Ground

Max Clarke has a knack for conjuring up warmth in his music, like endless summer or ageless youth. The 27-year-old's debut LP, Hollow Ground, crackles with the heat of a love-struck nostalgia, woven together with a palpable Everly Brothers' influence and retro sound. It reaches back into decades of plainspoken, unfussy, and squarely American storytelling and pulls it forth into 2018.

Some of Hollow Ground bloomed from that same period of driven creativity that yielded EP Alien Sunset; both "Like Going Down Sideways" and "Don’t Want To Say Good-Bye" find new life on the LP.

The rest is new. There's "Till Tomorrow Goes Away," a sheepish love song, thrumming with twangy guitar and a two-step rhythm. "Cash For Gold" channels buoyancy; a doo-wop effect on the sleepy backing vocals build out the dreaminess of Clarke's own affecting croon.

Hollow Ground strikes the balance between cerebral and simplicity in his storytelling. His lyrics explore the raw realm of youth, its weightlessness and possibilities, but channeled through a lens of restraint. Someone who's old enough to know better but still gets drawn back in to the romanticism of teenage feelings - and knows how to take the listener along, too.

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2018-05-04
Damien Jurado: The Horizon Just Laughed

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2018-05-04
Jessica Risker: I See You Among The Stars

Comprised of eight aural vignettes, I See You Among the Stars is a wood-grained, amber-hued world respectfully orbiting influences like Nick Drake, Sibylle Baier, and the softest moments of Broadcast. Paisley fabrics fade beneath an uncovered window, while dust and smoke billow gently through the sunbeams that never fully reach the dark half of the room. I See You Among the Stars achieves what the best music in the genre does: pictures with tangible depth, color, and detail painted with only a few well-chosen pigments.

I See You Among the Stars is an exemplar of spaced out psych-folk that seeks to convey the intimacy and introspection of a woman going about her simple matters at home, while creating an atmosphere to provide melancholy accompaniment to these very tasks. But the final result is something much more: a polyhedral, exploratory, and mystifying peer into a detailed pop-up storybook that reflects the mind and heart of its luminous creator.

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2018-05-04
Lucrecia Dalt: Anticlines

Lucrecia Dalt's Anticlines is a volume of poetic theory and sound contemplating the bodies of self and earth's surface. On Anticlines, Dalt conjures a sonic space of speculative synthesis and spoken word where South American rhythms rattle contemporary composition recalling Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, and Annea Lockwood. CD version comes with lyric booklet documenting Dalt's collaborative work with Regina de Miguel and Henry Andersen.

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2018-05-04
Sugar Candy Mountain: Do Right

Part travelogue, part response to the current, turbulent climate, "Do Right" gives voice to the deeply nested anxiety of modern times attempting to offer a balm. Nature, it seems, is where the band often goes to calibrate it's moral compass so frequently upended by the daily news-cycle. Sugar Candy Mountain invites you to join them on this journey singing "There's a quiet place I go when I need to find my way/ There's a quiet place inside/ Come on in just knock and a door will open". Musically, the band remains rooted in 60's and 70's rock, with their signature honey sweet vocals. "Do Right" leans more heavily on synthesizer than the band's previous records, lending the album a more modern feel. The album pairs the ephemeral orchestral arrangements of The Beach Boys with the pop sensibility of George Harrison on "All Things Must Pass". Oscillating between the hazy psychedelic pop of Mild High Club, the driving energy of Dungen and the danceable familiarity of The Supremes, "Do Right" is a perfect cocktail of old and new, imploring the listener to take a ride into the sunset with Sugar Candy Mountain.

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2018-05-04
Vive la Void: Vive la Void

Vive la Void is the new solo project of Sanae Yamada, co-founder and keyboard player of Moon Duo. Yamada wrote and recorded the self-titled debut album over roughly a two-year period, during windows of downtime in Moon Duo's substantial touring and recording schedule. The dense, shape-shifting atmospheres of the seven songs grew out of late-night basement experiments in the layering of synthesizer tracks, a process that also led to meditations on the changeable nature of memory and perception. The result is an undulating blend of ethereal swirl, low end thrumming, and electric crackle, buoyed by Yamada's understated but captivating vocal melodies and her striking lyrics.

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2018-05-04
Yonatan Gat: Universalists

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2018-04-20
Exitmusic: The Recognitions

While many couples can trace the real time rise and fall of their relationship back to social media feeds and harried phone calls, Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church have channeled the highs and lows of their storybook courtship into something else entirely: the explosive, discomforting confessionals of Exitmusic. The mercurial project started the year they got married (2004) and allbutimploded during their recent divorce, but not before the duo wrapped its most fully realized collection of beautifully damaged music yet titled The Recognitions. It wasn't easy, though, for the band has always had to balance its writing and recording sessions with Palladino's career as an actress in such acclaimed television shows as Halt and Catch Fire, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, arthouse films like Storytelling and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. "'Recognitions' has always meant the realization of painful truths for me," adds Palladino. "I thought releasing the record was the only way to let it all go - the final act, the last thing we made together. This album captures that change, the lapse of time in leaving one life to the next, which is what Exitmusic always represented." Aleksa is presently filming a role alongside Robert De Niro on Martin Scorsese's The Irishman while Devon Church is working on a solo record.

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2018-04-20
Hearts Hearts: Goods / Gods

Hearts Hearts explore emotional and moral ambiguities on Goods / Gods, taking aim at the ineffectiveness of the dichotomies and borderlines that define modern society in the process, preferring to "think in options" as Hämmerle puts it. The group sees the diagonal line of the slash symbol as representing an openness and flexibility in meaning; in similarity as much as difference. Produced by mastermind Peter Paul Aufreiter, the new album conjures a mix of anguish and ecstasy, whether it’s the funky falsetto of 'Sugar / Money', or digital monster ballad 'Do you often think about /'. Taking inspiration from the leftfield pop productions of Bon Iver, Jamie XX, and Son Lux, they skew addictive hooks into drippy song chambers, littering them with lucid samples and cybernetic production licks, conjoining contrasting elements with prisms of electronics and lush acoustic instrumentation. Lead single 'Phantom / Island' and instant motorik pop classic 'Goods / Gods' are most addictive and high-energy tracks yet from the quartet, blending groovier verses with increasingly majestic choruses. This is ultra-intelligent pop from a band that have found their true voice. Somewhere between happiness and sadness, energy and lethargy, electronica and rock - that's where you’ll find Hearts Hearts.

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2018-04-20
Maria Monti: Il Bestiario

Maria Monti's 1974 LP Il Bestario is a rare item even in its native country. Monti is an Italian singer and actress with a noteworthy career, performing as a cabaret singer in the 60s, an ambitious avant-garde folk artist in the 70s, and starring in films by directors such Sergio Leone and Bernardo Bertolucci all the while. In addition to lyrics by the infamous poet Aldo Braibanti, Il Bestiario features arrangements and synthesizer from legendary avant-garde composer Alvin Curran, as well as the soprano saxophone of jazz-great Steve Lacy. The music of Il Bestiario is a prime example of "the new art-song" of the 1970s, as Alvin Curran calls it - lush, dynamic and full of intelligence and beauty. Sourced from the original master tapes and remastered by Taylor Deupree.

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2018-04-20
Perel: Hermetica

German DJ and producer Perel's debut album is a striking amalgamation of house, new wave, and kraut frameworks that shape a distinct new sound and add a strikingly direct vocal delivery to the mix. Her arrangements recall the starkness of Cluster, Grauzone, and Conny Plank's work with Liaisons Dangereuses ‐ all distinct German voices from the 1980s. Born in Saxony, Annegret Fiedler ventured into the realm of songwriting at the age of eight, composing her first songs on her grandmother's piano while listening to Eurythmics and 2 Unlimited cassettes in her spare time. She went on to develop her craft as a formally trained singer, co-producer, and multi-instrumentalist in several bands, covering a broad palette of styles ranging from punk rock to electro pop and honing her performance skills. A move to Berlin (and the city's club landscape) inspired her to start recording solo productions under the moniker Perel. These days, she can be found playing DJ sets at internationally acclaimed venues like Berghain / Panorama Bar, De School, ://about blank, and Wilden Renate, while also forging connections with Paris' Rex Club, Oslo's Jæger, and Bossa Nova Civic Club in New York. She's shared bills with Jennifer Cardini, John Talabot, and DJ Harvey, among others, and the record's lead single "Die Dimension" was one of Dixon's most played tracks on last year's festival circuit. Hermetica is a focused, sonically adventurous work, where an artist previously known for her DJ sets plays every instrument, writes every song and explores this new dimension of her own creative process.

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2018-04-20
Sufjan Stevens: Tonya Harding

This 7 inch split features two variations of "Tonya Harding," a song by Sufjan Stevens celebrating the career and person of Tonya Harding, the Olympic figure skater from Portland Oregon.

The 7 inch is pressed on marbled blue vinyl, and is limited to 2,000 worldwide.

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2018-04-20
The Coke Dares: Fake Lake

"The Coke Dares are the core trio of Jason Molina's Magnolia Electric Co. and Fake Lake is the band's 35-song, 44-minute magnum opus. Equal parts Sparks and Minutemen, Fake Lake is densely packed with smart near-prog arrangements and quirky new wave humor performed at breakneck hardcore punk speed."

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2018-04-20
The Creation: We Are Paintermen

The Creation's only LP, cut from the original mono masters for the first time since 1967. Producer Shel Talmy masterfully captured every bow scrape, tom rattle, and mod growl before the UK quartet imploded after two brilliant, but short years. Originally issued only in Germany, We Are Paintermen collects the Creation's first three singles and adds a handful of period covers culled from the band’'s raucous stage show. Pressed on heavy-weight pink vinyl to make even the most seasoned collector nerd sweat.

Tim Heidecker: Too Dumb For Suicide: Tim Heidecker’s Trump Songs

Well here it is. About one year in the making, all my Trump songs in one place. Most of these songs were written and recorded quickly, with the blood still boiling from whatever indignity or absurdity had popped up on my newsfeed that day. Certainly, "Trump Tower" was written in the the rotten dawn, days after Trump's win. Let's hope I don't write any more of these, but I probably will. Thanks to Davin Wood for playing piano on "Trump Tower," and thanks to Jonathan Rado, who produced and played on a good number of these (the ones you hear some of that beautiful tape hiss on mostly) - his tribute to Steve Nieve on "Imperial Bedroom" is particularly inspired. Thanks to Kane Ritchotte and Max Whipple for providing the best rhythm section a boy could ask for, and to Jordan Katz, Taylor Plenn and David Ralicke for laying down some sweet horns on "Wilbur Ross." Thanks to Vic Berger for adding some backups to "Sentencing Day" and for usually being the first audience for these tunes. Thanks to Josh Tillman for surprising me with a tear-inducing cover of "Trump’s Private Pilot" and for allowing us to include it here. Same goes to Andrew Bird for having me over, letting me use our live session and adding beautiful violin and harmony to "Trump Talkin’ Nukes."

Finally, NO thanks to Paul Simon who didn’t let us include "I Am A Cuck" - you fucker.

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2018-04-20
Various Artists: W2NG

In the wake of 2017's Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht, the Numero Group is proud to present another addition to the soft rock cannon: W2NG. Set your FM dial to smooth and sail away with 42 minutes of uninterrupted easy glide, pontoon rock, and whispery disco. Featuring unreleased burners from Gary Hyde, Love Transfusion, Marshall Titus, and Phillips, alongside scarce cuts from Nannette, Greenflow, Jim Spencer & Son Rize, Larry Sanders, Kettner & Shawe, Orphans of Love, and Lion, W2NG is sure to surprise even the most devout boat shoe enthusiast.

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2018-04-13
A Place To Bury Strangers: Pinned

A couple of years ago, A Place to Bury Strangers were in search of a new drummer. Lia Simone Braswell, an L.A. native, had recently moved to New York, and was playing drums in shows around Brooklyn "just to keep her chops up." As it turned out, APTBS bassist Dion Lunadon caught one of those shows and, after seeing her play, was moved to ask her if she'd want to come to a band practice sometime.

For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers-Lunadon, founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann, and, officially, Lia Braswell-have become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume.

This April marks the release of Pinned, their fifth full-length and an album that finds them converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It's their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where Ackermann lived, worked, and created with complete freedom.

There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies ("Execution"), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate ("There's Only One of Us"). It all opens with "Never Coming Back," a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Lunadon's unrelenting bass. It's a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for this band as a whole.

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2018-04-13
A Place To Bury Strangers: Pinned (Deluxe)

A couple of years ago, A Place to Bury Strangers were in search of a new drummer. Lia Simone Braswell, an L.A. native, had recently moved to New York, and was playing drums in shows around Brooklyn "just to keep her chops up." As it turned out, APTBS bassist Dion Lunadon caught one of those shows and, after seeing her play, was moved to ask her if she'd want to come to a band practice sometime.

For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers-Lunadon, founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann, and, officially, Lia Braswell-have become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume.

This April marks the release of Pinned, their fifth full-length and an album that finds them converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It's their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where Ackermann lived, worked, and created with complete freedom.

There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies ("Execution"), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate ("There's Only One of Us"). It all opens with "Never Coming Back," a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Lunadon's unrelenting bass. It's a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for this band as a whole.

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2018-04-13
Christopher Larkin: Hollow Knight

Beneath the fading town of Dirtmouth sleeps an ancient, forgotten kingdom. Many are drawn beneath the surface, searching for riches, or glory, or answers to old secrets. Descend into Hallownest, traverse the depths, unravel its mysteries and conquer its evils. The score for Hollow Knight captures the vast underground world of the game. The story begins with soft piano notes echoing the Hollow Knight theme, and as the player explores further, orchestral forces swell to an operatic scale as the fate of the knight unfolds. Destructoid says "[Hollow Knight's] soundtrack is one of the most memorable and whimsical scores I've heard in a long time. There are tracks here that I'd rank beside the music of Zelda and Star Wars. It is that damned good." Hollow Knight is an essential listen for all soundtrack fans, and this gorgeous deluxe double LP is the perfect way to experience Christopher Larkin's masterful score.

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2018-04-13
Goldmund: Occasus

Pennsylvania native Keith Kenniff's output as Goldmund has established him as one of the preeminent composers of minimal piano-based ambient music alongside peers like Hauschka, Dustin O'Halloran, and even Ryuichi Sakamoto, who himself once described Kenniff's work as "so, so, so beautiful". Hyperbolic as it may sound, Goldmund's newest collection Occasus may be his most exquisite yet. Where his previous recordings trod faithfully and sincerely on paths of dimly lit, polaroid-esque nostalgia, Occasus deepens the undeniable aesthetic that was hard-won over eight previous Goldmund albums, while expanding the palette to include desultory clouds of synthesizer and a tastefully distressed analog sheen.

The word Occasus means downfall, end, or the rising and falling of heavenly bodies. The title is apt in more ways than one: while the emotional tone of the album denotes bittersweet feelings of conclusiveness, it also perfectly soundtracks the quiet moments when we look up to the sky, and humbly relearn the smallness of our lives as cosmic objects churn slowly overhead with bewitching indifference. Occasus feels deeply personal, private, and hushed yet simultaneously grand, colossal, and profound. Remarkably Kenniff is able to capture micro and macro with equal fidelity.