22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. The album's 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love's torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place.
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"This music is first and foremost about what can be done together, live in a room, to both transcend and reclaim ourselves from the noise of public living. I'm waging a sort of secular, one-man liturgy here; a public act grounded in ritual. These songs offer wordless hymns and pulsing harmonic frameworks one might use to focus their own contemporary values. Instrumental music particularly offers the opportunity for personal interpretation and reflection. In this ever-fucked world, that seems perpetually in short supply.
"I've been creating instrumental music a long time now, under my own name and via bands (Slow Six, Wires Under Tension). I've also built software a long time - yes, I do this for Google. I did my time in Princeton's PhD program for music composition, NYU's Masters of computer science program, and at Bard studying creative writing. I worked live sound for years at NYC clubs now gone (CBGB's, Brownies) while immersing myself in minimalism, assisting LaMonte Young. As a string arranger I get to work with lots of great artists including John Congleton, This Will Destroy You, and Meshell Ndegeocello to name a few."
He may be ill at ease with the darkroom throb of 21st century clubs, but the house music Crooked Man produces is as weighty, alien, raw and left of-centre as anything you'd get from many a hyped young producer. His instincts, honed through years of DJing, production and dancing in sweaty cellars, remain as sharp as ever.
Richard Barrat aka Parrot aka Crooked Man is the Sheffield based producer who is most famous for being one half of the duo Sweet Exorcist, alongside Cabaret Voltaire founder Richard H Kirk.
Sweet Exorcist were known as the first architects of the bleep techno sound, closely associated with Warp Records, and responsible for releasing the first CD on Warp, in 1991.
The 5 singles and full length self-titled album marks a celebratory musical return for Richard, still making club music - sounding vibrant electric and relevant.
Pretty Years, the wildly ambitious fourth LP for Cymbals Eat Guitars, is easily the band's most sonically enigmatic and most rewarding album yet. Their trademark cacophonic guitar rock and innate propulsion are still abundant, but they're buttressed by raucous synth and keyboard lines, and an extemporaneous saxophone performance, which enrich when they could easily clutter these songs. The band also worked more quickly and efficiently than they had in the past, facilitated by years on the road in which they've played close to a thousand shows, which rendered them a tight, fully-oiled machine in the studio.
Opener "Finally" shimmers with complex beauty, leading into the sweet rush of "Have a Heart," which finds lead singer and guitarist Joseph D'Agostino singing, "I'm so out of sync / And you're out of sync with me," which could well be a mantra for the visceral appeal of this superb record. The entire album is rife with electrified, flashbulb moments - "4th of July, Philadelphia (SANDY)" conveys the madness of life on the road, exhibiting D'Agostino's uncanny ability to transform minutiae into profundity. This skill is evident in spades on the record's centerpiece and opus, the disarmingly vulnerable "Dancing Days." The song also exhibits the contributions of Whipple, and slyly invokes the album's title in its magisterial chorus, as D'Agostino contritely croons, "Goodbye to my pretty years."
And indeed, Pretty Years is a roller coaster ride, both lyrically and sonically, that encompasses what it's like to be alive and in the moment. But ultimately, this is an album that keenly captures the magic and loss attendant to living life wide-eyed, and hints that these "pretty years" may portend even prettier ones to come.
For just more than two years starting in 1979, Dow Jones and the Industrials created roaring art-punk that collided with the confusion and celebration of technology. Their left field approach turned gnarled guitar riffs into unshakable melodies battered by synths and propelled with sharp lyrics. The songs railed against the boredom and cultural blandness of the Midwest and mirrored the paranoia of the era.
As maverick studio producers and ace songwriters, the Industrials realized a vision and sound not only on par with contemporaries Devo and Pere Ubu, but still relevant and cutting today.
Outside of bootleg compilation appearances and the overpriced collectors' market, the music of DJI has been unavailable for 35 years until now. "Can't Stand The Midwest 1979-1981" includes 29 songs remastered from the original tapes: The Industrials' side from "Hoosier Hysteria," the rare 1980 split LP with the Gizmos; 1981 7-inch EP; 9 unreleased studio tracks; live versions of unrecorded songs and more. A 12-page booklet features liner notes by the Gizmos' Dale Lawrence and Keith Smith's never before seen Indiana punk scene photos. The 2xLP also comes with a 70-minute DVD of a September 1980 club performance and download coupon. CD version has one less song.
Sunergy brings together synthesists Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Suzanne Ciani for the thirteenth installment of FRKWYS, RVNG Intl.'s intergenerational collaboration series. For this edition, a panorama of the Pacific Coast provides the place and head space for exploratory Buchla synthesizer passages that meditate on a life-giving form vast and volatile with change. LP version includes printed inner sleeve and high-quality digital download of album with bonus track "Retrograde."
"Sonderlust" is an album forged through heartbreak. After his two previous studio albums ("151a" & "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 Kishibashi. "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 werestruggling 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. Iquestioned everything about what it means to love and desire. The difference between loving someone and being in love."
Mr. Science was a linchpin of the Indiana punk scene in the late 1970s and early '80s. As a member of Dow Jones and the Industrials, Science added a mass of bleeping, lurching technology to the roaring punk anthems. He was also the DIY engineer at Zounds Studios in West Lafayette -- where he recorded some of the state's classic punk/art records.
In 1978, Science -- also known as Brad Garton -- began writing twisted new/no wave songs on keyboards, Moog, Orchestron, organ, synthesizer and other newfangled instruments of the day. This 1978-79 EP compiles five songs that survived from that era -- four unreleased until now and available for the first time since their recording nearly 40 years ago.
When the four members of Preoccupations wrote and recorded their new record, they were in a state of near total instability. Years-long relationships ended; they left homes behind. Frontman Matt Flegel, guitarist Danny Christiansen, multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro and drummer Mike Wallace all moved to different cities and they resolved to change their band name, but hadn't settled on a new one.
And so where their previous album 'Viet Cong' was built in some ways on the abstract cycles of creation and destruction, 'Preoccupations' explores how that sometimes-suffocating, sometimes-revelatory trap affects our lives.
Opener "Anxiety" articulates that tension: clattering sounds drift into focus, "Monotony" moves at a narcoleptic pace by Preoccupations' standards, "Degraded" surprises, with something like a traditional structure and an almost pop-leaning melody to its chorus, and the 11-minute-long "Memory" is the album's keystone, with an intimate narrative and a truly timeless post-punk center.
All this adds up to Preoccupations: a singular, bracing collection that proves what's punishing can also be soothing, everything can change without disrupting your compass. Your best year can be your worst year at the same time. Whatever sends you flying can also help you land.
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The debut album by Selector Dub Narcotic is an exercise in ecstatic genre-smashing, blending and up-ending. Calvin Johnson of the K label and such Olympia combos as Dub Narcotic Sound System, Beat Happening, Halo Benders and most recently The Hive Dwellers has been working under the nom de plume Selector Dub Narcotic since founding the Dub Narcotic Studio in 1993. This Party Is just Getting Started is a collaboration with NW hip hop producer Smoke M2D6, who first began working with K producing the All Your Friend's Friends [KLP255] compilation. As a member of the Oldominion crew Smoke M2D6 has produced almost every major hip hop artist in Washington and Oregon. This Party Is just Getting Started began with the song "All for the Sake of Rhymin'" (which samples K artist Mahjongg) and snowballed into an entire album of dance pop garage soul with Calvin's trademark melodica wafting overall.
Out of Print for over five years! Originally released in 2000, Lifestyle is Silkworm's seventh album (and third for Touch and Go). These songs show Silkworm presenting their clearest and most polished visions. To the beat of Michael Dalquist's drums, Andy Cohen's razor-wire guitar and Tim Midgett's baritone guitar snake around one another like twin brothers with a common soul. And, when the last strains of Lifestyle fall away, there is hope - hope that reasonably well-adjusted adult guys can turn the boredom and disappointment of the everyday into glorious art-rock.
Lee Harvey Oswald Band. The facts. A trio from Texas compromised of Zowie Fenderblast, Dredge, and James Meat who released their third and last album Blastronaut on Touch and Go Records in 1996. Comprised of 11-songs, the Lee Harvey Oswald Band's 36-minute magnum opus is now available on vinyl for the first time ever - 20 years later.
Limited Edition of 500. Two unreleased songs from the Blastronaut era, available exclusively on this 7".
Titus Andronicus and their patient patrons at Merge Records are pleased to announce the new live LP, S+@DIUM ROCK: Five Nights at the Opera, a record which will allow fans everywhere their chance to relive the auspicious occasion from the comforts of their own home. +@'s position as the most thrilling live act in rock and roll has long been etched in stone, but never before has that riveting energy been captured on wax as it is here.
The A-side to S+@DIUM ROCK revisits some of TMLT's most celebrated hits in a newly concise context, stripping away all studio wizardry until only the primal passion remains. The B-side offers fresh electric arrangements of the largely acoustic fifth act of TMLT's rock opera narrative, presenting a new perspective on the material Tiny Mix Tapes praised for "emotional intensity... unrivaled anywhere in rock music," as well as debuting the previously unreleased TMLT outtake, "69 Stones." Taken as a whole, S+@DIUM ROCK is a whirlwind journey through a moment in time never to be repeated, preserved for future generations starving for "the real deal."
The live LP will also be accompanied by a full-length concert film, available to stream online, which will serve to further immerse the consumer.
The formula was simple: marry bubblegum and soul to the absolute sincerity of an enthusiastic child, cross your fingers and pray for airplay. But while the youthful sums of that formula may have grown up and walked away from their illusions of stardom, their permanent records remain.
A decade removed from our acclaimed Home Schooled compilation comes a fresh batch of talent show titans. With enterprising parents, neighbors, and teachers turning play dates into recording dates, groups like Magical Connection, Little Man and the Inquires, and Five Ounces of Soul emulated the Jacksons, who'd made grade-school stardom appear easy as ABC. Afterschool Special: The 123s Of Kid Soul contains 19 tiny tunes ranging from bilingual D.A.R.E. anthem, to James Brown bio, to young love and life beyond the playground.
Friday Night is a live album of performances from Will Butler's tour supporting Policy, his first album. It was recorded mostly at Lincoln Hall in Chicago on June 4, 2015. Five of the songs are from Policy, two are songs Will wrote for the Guardian newspaper last year, and five are new.
Anyone reckless enough to have typecast Angel Olsen according to 2013's Burn Your Fire For No Witness is in for a rethink with her third album, MY WOMAN. The crunchier, blown-out production of the former is gone, but that fire is now burning wilder. Her disarming, timeless voice is even more front-and-center. Yet, the strange, raw power and slowly unspooling incantations of her previous efforts remain.
Over two previous albums, she gave us reverb-shrouded poetic swoons, shadowy folk, grunge-pop band workouts and haunting, finger-picked epics. MY WOMAN is an exhilarating complement to her past work, and one for which Olsen recalibrated her writing/recording approach and methods to enter a new music-making phase.
As the record evolves, one gets the sense that the "MY WOMAN" of the title is Olsen herself, absolutely in command but also willing to bend with the influence of collaborators and circumstances. An intuitively smart, warmly communicative and fearlessly generous record, MY WOMAN speaks to everyone. That it might confound expectation is just another of its strengths.
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Melbourne, Australia band Chook Race formed in 2010, starting out as a scrappy, garage/surf band, but soon developed a greater pop sensibility, born of their love of the Flying Nun bands and other bedroom favorites. After a string of of tapes and 7"s Chook Race return with new album 'Around The House', due for release on September 2nd through Chicago's Trouble in Mind Records. The ten songs on "Around The House" are oddly withdrawn yet highly personal tunes, but performed by the band with a desperate urgency. Songs like the immediate & catchy "Hard To Clean" & "Sometimes" clang & clatter like chrome-plated pop earworms, while others like the somber "Pink & Grey" and album-closer "Start Anew" hum pensively, quietly insinuating themselves into your subconscious. Captured in a single day by Tom Hardisty (NUN, Woollen Kits) and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring) the album has a compelling sound defined by jangly guitars, boy-girl harmonies and lyrical observations of the everyday. "Around The House" is released digitally, on compact disc, and pressed on black vinyl w/download.
False Readings On is the new album from renowned experimental composer, Eluvium. Its creation was originally inspired by themes of cognitive dissonance in modern society. By its conclusion it had become a mirror rather than a magnifying glass, evolving into an hour-long meditation on self-doubt, anxiety, and separation from one's self. There is an emotional lucidity and melodic ingenuity to Eluvium's music that has made him increasingly stand out from the sea of ambient artists that his earlier albums no doubt helped inspire. Sounding like an orchestra ceaselessly performing even as it sinks beneath an ocean of distortions and tape noise - with the occasional operatic voice piercing the surface - False Readings On is assuredly the most daring, dynamic, and distinct album of his luminous career.
New Zealand's Ghost Wave return with their sophomore album Radio Norfolk.
Following on from 2013's Ages the groups' latest sees the duo explore deeper into their psychedelic sound, while adding a more electronic focus to their sunny warped songs that mix the sound of Flying Nun bands of the '80s, the British explosion of the '60s and the wayfaring dubs of Lee "Scratch" Perry. On top of this, they aptly brought on the talents of Spaceman 3's Sonic Boom to master the record.
From the lead single, Blues Signal '79 on, Radio Norfolk is a series of trippy, psych hooks filled with clashes of keys, organs, and percussion.
Ghost Wave started life in 2012 as the brainchild of Matthew L. Paul (Vocals, Guitar). What was a initially a project relegated to a small room in Auckland, New Zealand over time the sonic chemistry he was cooking up caught the attention of fellow music maker and soon-to-be collaborator Eammon Logan (Drums). Together they self-recorded what came to be their self-titled EP and followed this up with 2013's debut album Ages.
Inspired by skate vids, persian rugs and the music of Little Richard, you could simply characterize Ghost Wave by jangly guitars underpinned by motor-style rhythms and a unique melodic sensibility. Yet, with Radio Norfolk they have gone further than that, creating something even more captivating and intriguing. In their own words it's "...the countdown to the meltdown."
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". Expect an unprecedented double whammy in the form of their upcoming LP, the protest album "Necronomidonkeykongimicon", and the future historic masterwork "Lord Phallus and His Goblin Cock Present: Dragonfucker - A Cock Opera (Original Cast Recording)", both available soon from Joyful Noise Recordings.