Bush Lady is the only recording ever made by Alanis Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki First Nations and best known as one of Canada's most accomplished and decorated documentary filmmakers. Less well known is that Obomsawin began her artistic career as a singer-songwriter in the 1960s, part of a broad movement of Indigenous artists from across North America rallying in new assertions of cultural consciousness, political rights, and reckonings with oppressive colonial history. She was invited by Folkways to perform at Town Hall in New York City in the early 1960s and spent that decade primarily identifying as a singer, channeling traditional songs hand-in-hand with modern composition. Twenty years later, amidst her burgeoning film career, Bush Lady was born of sessions sponsored by CBC Radio in 1984. Unsatisfied with these recordings, Obomsawin reclaimed the master tapes, remade the album, and issued it on her own private press in 1988. This unique, profound, magical record has been out of print and gaining cult status ever since. Constellation is honoured to be working with this legendary Canadian cultural icon to issue a newly remastered version of Bush Lady on audiophile 180gram vinyl - and for the first time on CD.
BACK IN STOCK & REMASTERED
Big Black was started by Steve Albini in 1982 while he was attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Lungs, the first Big Black release was recorded by Steve on a borrowed 4-track. He played everything on the EP himself - except the sax bleating courtesy of pal John Bohnen and the drums courtesy of Roland. Soon after, Steve recruited Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun) on bass, and Santiago Durango (also Naked Raygun) joined them on guitar. In 1983, together with live drummer Pat Byrne, they recorded the Bulldozer EP. By 1984, the band had done some touring and recorded the Racer X EP and the start of the Il Duce 7". After that, Jeff returned to Naked Raygun and was replaced by Dave Riley. In 1985, Big Black recorded their first full-length, Atomizer, as well as finishing the Il Duce 7". Atomizer was released in 1986 along with the release of the Hammer Party compilation CD. In 1987, the Headache EP and Heartbeat 7" were released. That same year, the band recorded and released the 7" of The Model/He's A Whore as well as their second full-length album, Songs About Fucking. They toured extensively (for Big Black). And they broke up.
"Useful Solitude" is the phrase Kevin Krauter uses to describe Toss Up, his upcoming full-length debut on Bayonet Records - both the conditions in which it was created and the prevailing theme of these nine iridescent indie-pop songs. In between tours the Indiana musician spent long hours in his basement, guitars and vintage keyboards his only company, and tested out ideas, explored new sonic avenues, savored new sounds, and taught himself how to play a few instruments.
'Toss Up' builds on the sonic worlds of Krauter's first releases, conveying a similar mood with a greater array of instruments and influences. An insightful songwri'er with a lyrical style that is both economical and evocative, Krauter crafts unique soundscapes that scramble a range of influences - '60s flower pop, ‘70s easy listening, '80s New Wave, '90s alt-radio, '00s indie rock. The secret tension on Toss Up, the engine that drives these songs: melody propelled by rhythm, melancholy fended off by the exuberance of simply creating art.
Facing the sort of obstacles that might, understandably, derail a fledgling band's career, MOURN instead forged ahead, and in typical fashion managed to harness their swirling anger, frustration, and passion from the past 2 years into new music. Now, only just recently freed from their legal binds, MOURN is back in full force to share their 3rd full-length album, Sorpresa Familia.Ironically, the obstacles and injustice MOURN have faced in recent years has provided a fertile foundation for new songs that display a palpable maturity and evolution, while retaining every bit of the fiery angst and attitude that has shaped their sound from the start. Chock full of tension and pent up frustration, Sorpresa Familia feels tonally right at home within MOURN's catalog. But it also feels distinctly separate - more refined, more intentional. Railing against greedy businesses, exploitation, fake friends, dishonest figures of authority, and ever complicated global politics, it's an album of decidedly higher stakes than their past outputs, delivered with the newfound poetic grace of a band rising up out of the ashes of those who stood in their way.
Across two decades, Tadd Mullinix has amassed himself a veritable arsenal of aliases, exploring nearly as many styles and sounds from the willfully weird EBM he makes as Charles Manier, to the acid-inclined house and techno of JTC, or the freeform electronics released under his given name, Mullinix carves a distinctive niche with his music. But inspiration comes in waves, and the creative surge resurrected Mullinix's acclaimed hip-hop project, Dabrye, and, as might be expected from such a multifaceted producer, it also gave life to the latest alias in his arsenal: X-Altera.
The name itself reflects as much. "X-Altera references two things. It comes from Latin - ex altera - which means 'from or of the other side.' Which could be a metaphysical thing, or you could say it's jungle ethics brought into the techno world. And I spelled it this way as a reference to X-101 and X-102, the Underground Resistance project of Jeff Mills, Mike Banks, and Robert Hood." Detroit meets London, deep techno meets drum & bass, old meets new - X-Altera unites these threads in order to take them in unknown directions.