Secretly Distributon

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2016-10-14
Loren Connors: The Departing of a Dream, Vol. VI

Just months after reviving The Departing of a Dream series from a ten-year hiatus -- Loren Connors issues another movement of saturated guitar tones, dissonance and impermanence.

Volume Six begins with the percussive sound of struck, muted strings -- an unusually rhythmic effect for one of Connors solo recordings, writes Kurt Gottschalk in The Wire. But from there, Connors' guitar notes morph into gentle wisps of guitar sounds -- or as Connors himself describes: "just like the wind scattering the notes around."

The mini-album is presented as a 10-inch record with artwork by Connors -- a faint, subtle outline of a woman's face. One-time edition of 500 copies, includes download coupon.

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2016-10-14
Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon: Both Will Escape

Both Will Escape is the debut full-length between electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and percussionist Tyler Damon. In the long tradition of string/drum duets -- from Bailey & Bennink to Haino & Yoshida -- these two cleave out their own unmapped continent of sound. Across four pieces they connect lashes of ecstatic intensity and outer reaches of texture and timbre. At times Dorji's brutal electric torrents meld into Damon's metal and tonal abstractions.

These two developed in parallel for years before forging an ongoing duo in 2015. Dorji has released a string of startling acoustic albums that've rescrambled six-string notions of jazz/improv/Flamenco. Damon's rethink of overtone and rhythm is enraptured as it's stupefying in solo exhibitions or with Mars Williams, Darin Gray and Thee Open Sex. Edition of 500 LPs with download coupon.

Dow Jones & The Industrials: Can't Stand The Midwest 1979-1981

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.

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2016-09-16
Mr. Science: 1978-1979

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.

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2016-08-05
Tom Carter & Loren Connors: untitled

Tom Carter and Loren Connors are a pairing so obvious, it's a mystery how it took this long to happen. Each has traversed the American underground on their own unique path. Carter co-founded acid-folk improvisers Charalambides in 1991 and Connors has been redefining his singular vision of the blues since the late 1970s.

On this debut untitled LP, these guitar masters conjure a stunning, and at times labyrinthine, six-string tableau. Carter's high-contrast spiral melodies sear through Connors' expanding canvas of blacks and molten reds. Like an end-of-the-world flood filmed in slow motion, their echoes and howls cast a foreboding: all will be swallowed.

It's a startling and new language of psychedelic and avant blues that is a next step in Carter and Connor's ongoing exploration of the guitar. Bradley Buehring's gorgeous black and white photos of Carter/Connors in action adorn the glossy LP jacket and inner sleeve. Audio mastering by Taylor Deupree at 12k and vinyl mastering by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering. One-time edition of 500 copies with download coupon.

Akira Sakata & Jim O'Rourke with Chikamorachi & Merzbow: Flying Basket

Flying Basket is a zonked and fantastic double album of avant jazz, discord and deconstructed rock by five master practitioners. It also marks the debut collaboration by a pair of Japan's legendary transgressors -- saxophonist Akira Sakata and noise pioneer Masami Akita, aka Merzbow. For the past ten years Sakata has rededicated himself to fiery free jazz alongside guitarist Jim O'Rourke and monstrous rhythm section Chikamorachi -- Chris Corsano (drums) and Darin Gray (double bass, percussion). Sakata's playing remains beautiful and exploratory as it did 40 years ago.

But with this quartet, plus special guest Merzbow, the wheels snap off: Sakata ejects the sax and howls; O'Rourke bleeds the guitar of melody, leaving only pulsating electricity. The drum/bass truly swing it and nail it down like Ali/Garrison. Merzbow's analogue sound mass cut textured furrows headlong into these four, leaving behind harmonic shifts and caterwauling in the wake. There's minimalist motifs and repeating horn/bass/six-string phrases woven in but Flying Basket remains a massive free flowing, hallucinatory zone of propulsion. No clichés. They just kick out the jams.

Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin December 2014 by Rashad Becker. 150 gram LPs housed in popping gatefold jacket hand sculpted by Jeremy Kannapell; CD in a Stoughton tip-on mini-LP sleeve.

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2015-09-18
Loren Connors: Live In New York

Live in New York is an album seemingly simple as its title. Yet Loren Connors -- captured here in cinema verite quality at two performances six days apart in November 2014 -- is anything but straightforward. During the past 40 years the guitarist has not only developed an iconic sound but continues to reshape it and challenge himself, and the listener, in accepting radical permutations of the blues.

Across these three pieces, Connors builds upon the vision captured on his last studio album, 2011's Red Mars, where transparent, ghostly notes slowly unravel against a canvas of black drones and funeral tolls. In addition -- maximist, distorted six-string solos, that were once a hallmark of Loren's early-90s performances, make a mighty return here.

The CD is presented in a Stoughton miniaturized "LP" sleeve with metallic ink and an insert. As with past releases, features cover art of Connors' cut/paste remodeling of a photo of himself. Mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12k.

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2015-08-07
Little Howlin' Wolf: The Guardian (Reissue)

Little Howlin' Wolf is a street musician, bluesman, actor, storyteller and truth seeker. He is also a true outsider, whose wrenching soulfulness and fire-brained intensity have been captured in a breadcrumb trail of confounding and intentionally obscure self-released records.

In the late 1960s Wolf -- born James Pobiega in 1950 -- was already a saxophone wailing fixture at the legendary Chicago hangout, Maxwell Street Market. By the mid-1980s he released nearly three dozen 45s. Those singles are sprawling journeys into Wolf's world vision, as told through his gravelly voice and an array of instruments in styles and influences not limited to: American Indian, Polish and gypsy folk musics, Voodoo, vocal chants, blues, calypso and avant jazz. Often, it's all filtered through overdubbed abstraction.

Wolf issued two LPs collecting some of those singles -- "The Guardian" (1982) and "Cool Truth" (1985) -- both now reissued by Family Vineyard. "The Guardian" is a baffling, hyper-creative statement recorded between 1976 and 1982. It's also vastly sincere and some of Wolf's most accessible and deeply emotional songs, yet it orbits a universe known only by the likes of Captain Beefheart or Albert Ayler.

This reissue features replicated LP jackets, with Wolf's original transcendent liner notes, and labels bearing the Solidarity Solidarnosc Records name; never before seen photos; new essay by ethnomusicologist Ian Nagoski; and download coupon.

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2015-08-07
Little Howlin' Wolf: Cool Truth (Reissue)

Little Howlin' Wolf is a street musician, bluesman, actor, storyteller and truth seeker. He is also a true outsider, whose wrenching soulfulness and fire-brained intensity have been captured in a breadcrumb trail of confounding and intentionally obscure self-released records.

In the late 1960s Wolf -- born James Pobiega in 1950 -- was already a saxophone wailing fixture at the legendary Chicago hangout, Maxwell Street Market. By the mid-1980s he released nearly three dozen 45s. Those singles are sprawling journeys into Wolf's world vision, as told through his gravelly voice and an array of instruments in styles and influences not limited to: American Indian, Polish and gypsy folk musics, Voodoo, vocal chants, blues, calypso and avant jazz. Often, it's all filtered through overdubbed abstraction.

Wolf issued two LPs collecting some of those singles -- "The Guardian" (1982) and "Cool Truth" (1985) -- both now reissued by Family Vineyard. "Cool Truth" is a damaged, hallucinatory journey that radiates from a Chicago blues core. Performing most, if not all, the instruments himself -- sax, guitar, harmonica, marimba, etc. -- Wolf speaks in tongues, hollers and serenades. The 12 songs recorded between 1979 and 1983 alternate between Sun Ra-style orchestration and primitive forms to more traditional blues takes.

This reissue features replicated LP jackets, with Wolf's original transcendent liner notes, and labels bearing the Solidarity Solidarnosc Records name; never before seen photos; new essay by ethnomusicologist Ian Nagoski; and download coupon.

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2014-12-02
Kid Millions & Jim Sauter: Fountain

Drummer Kid Millions and saxophonist Jim Sauter vaporize the annals of rock 'n' roll n' jazz into pulsating feedback/propulsion on Fountain - their second album. Across six pieces they explore massively hypnotic tonal harmonics and torrential rhythms. This is hardcore abstraction from two New York sherpas yanking us headlong into a third-eye odyssey, surpassing altitudes merely attempted by others. Kid is founding member of Oneida and the ace behind the percussion-focused Man Forever. Sauter is synonymous with the 35-year juggernaut Borbetomagus - pioneers of sound/jazz vivisection and inexorable vision. While both are known for feats of extreme artistic endurance, as a duo they opt for ferocious concentration - a savage pop-style of density and texture. As an omnipotent duo, neither Kid or Sauter anchors the other, instead they smash the fulcrum and spin perpetually in free-fall. LP in edition of 800, includes download.

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2013-08-06
Hoi' Polloi: Hoi' Polloi

Family Vineyard and Folk Evaluation proudly present the first authorized LP reissue of Richmond, Indiana's fabled Hoi' Polloi. The band’s lone 1972 self-titled album, recorded over spring break at Earlham College by means of "bouncing" between two stereo tape decks, is a fantastic collection of country twangers, breathtaking singer-songwriter material, and bizarre tape cut-ups. With five songwriters in the band, what could have felt like another grab-bag student compilation instead feels like lost tapes of Emitt Rhodes hanging with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young while Faust producer Uwe Nettlebeck makes a guest appearance in the control room. Remastered from the original ¼” tapes, this deluxe vinyl edition comes jam-packed with extras: Extensive liner notes featuring Patrick ‘The Lama’ Lundborg’s 2003 conversation with the band (expanded with newly conducted interviews), a digital download of the album featuring the original stereo mix of “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and a wealth of bonus material from the band members' vaults, including rare cuts from Earlham’s annual student-produced “Crucible” LPs and a collection of never-before-heard live recordings. Edition of 500 copies with reproduction of the original xerox insert

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2013-04-30
Loren Connors: The Departing of a Dream

Vinyl reissue of master guitarist Loren Connors' modern classic The Departing of a Dream — the first of what would become a three volume series based loosely as tribute to Miles Davis' "He Loved Him Madly." This album finds Connors exploring slowly churned darkened hues — each collapsing onto themselves like echoes of Miles' muted trumpet and Connors' signature ghost melodies.

Since the late 1970s, Connors' use of haunted Delta Blues, minimalism and compositional underpinnings have become an avant-garde style synonymous to him. When The Departing of a Dream was released as a CD in 2002 it signaled a dramatic growth in Connors' sound by combining electric, acoustic and bass guitar with the unsettling menage of subtle percussion and ambient hiss. Remastered from the master tape this 180 gram LP extends the closing two part suite "For NY 9/11/01" with a bonus track. Comes with download code.

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2013-02-05
Apache Dropout: Magnetic Heads

This is not a “new” Apache Dropout platter, but an archival sidestep into the Fugs n’ fried view of their early beginnings. Before the Indiana trio cemented their unique red-level, distorto proto-punk they focused on a more obliterated bent on traditional forms. Fiddle, distortion and echo drive most of these songs, as sung by Sonny Blood, that tout distrust of banks, ballot uncertainties and magnetic heads. It's a bleaker vision than the recent Bubblegum Graveyard LP on Trouble in MInd, even with the blownout take on Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" and hints of Holy Modal Rounders to Kim Fowley doused throughout these sides.

Culled from the group’s first two self-released cassettes -- Cha Cha in 2008 and Lysergic Choogle: Not for Pigs issued a year later -- the 10 songs are equally formed by their recording in a grain silo and the group's Magnetic South studio as much as the songwriting. Edition of 700 copies, comes with download code ­ and if you can name all the heads on the cover, will give you prize.

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2012-10-16
Mad Monk & Apache Dropout: My Wild Life

Mad Monk is John Terrill, original member of the late '70s new/no wave Dancing Cigarettes and veteran of many stripped down Hoosier groups since. As an ace singer/songwriter and eternal student of rock ‘n’ roll’s high/gulcher culture, he’s kept a criminally low profile snug in the Midwest despite drawing attention from songwriter Bill Fay and other major/minor music heads.

This platter lines up the Monk’s two newest biographical orchestrations -- and a Velvet Underground bootleg favorite -- with the freakbeat backup of Apache Dropout -- fresh off their Trouble In Mind album. In blasted proto-style the Monk takes on his past (“My Wild Life”), drink of choice (“Double Shot of Brandy”) and a tune that bridges Apache Dropout’s boogie and avant-garde notions (“I'm Not a Young Man Anymore”). Comes in full color sleeve with download code in edition of 500 copies. Recorded in mono by John Dawson and Lord Fyre at Magnetic South on analogue equipment.

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2012-05-22
Apache Dropout: Apache Dropout

Was your ear to the ground in 2011? If so, you heard Apache Dropout — the lysergic boogie trio from Southern Indiana. Their self-titled vinyl LP was named the best “re-scoring of the garage-rock aesthetic in the 21st century” by Mojo and repressed a couple times due to demand. Now, that platter is finally available in an expanded CD version. With mostly guitar/bass/drums Apache Dropout channel soul melodies, primitive rock thump and blasted solos that are soaked in the dimethyl-trip of teenage visions (see songs “Sam Phillips Rising” and “God Bless You Johan Kugelberg” for that) and a few whifs of Tuli Kupferberg. Sonny Alexander is the enigmatic howler/guitarist whose swagger and melted riffs lead the way. Recorded by the band at their own Magnetic South studio on all analogue equipment and mixed down to mono, they’ve used the studio-as instrument to push these 11 songs into highly textured nuggets of punk art that follow in the wave of The 13th Floor Elevators, The Velvets, and Patti Smith Group. A horn section, synth, backup singers and guest producers help round this album into a stoned cold classic of the American rock ‘n’ roll underground. Even in 2012, you’re not going to hear anything else like this. Exclusive to this CD version is a nine song live set by the band, featuring an unreleased song.

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2011-12-06
Chris Forsyth: Dreams

Dreams is a reissue of Chris Forsyth’s second solo album. In 2009 Forsyth pressed up 100 LPs for a European tour and created quite an uproar of approval by the heads who managed to score a copy. Now available again, Dreams rightfully shows Forsyth at the creme of American guitarists who blend masterful skill of country/blues with sometimes violent aggression or mind-bending arrangements. Dreams was recorded and mixed between 2007 and 2009 and catches Forsyth in the studio layering acoustic and electric guitars and organ with contributions from his guests, creating four pieces which are full of the raw power and intuitive delicacy that characterizes his live shows still. Dreams crosses free-wheeling minimalist rock balladry and anarcho-improv surrealism with a fearless approach to beauty in a deeply psychedelic landscape. It features contributions from his Peeesseye bandmates Jaime Fennelly (synth on one track) and Fritz Welch (drums and vocals on another) as well as the soaring trumpet work of Nate Wooley and organ, saxophone, and snare drum overdubs by another longtime collaborator of Forsyth’s in Phantom Limb & Bison, Shawn Edward Hansen. This is Forsyth’s second solo record, preceding Paranoid Cat, which was released on LP earlier this year on Family Vineyard.

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2011-09-20
Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi: Live at Hungry Brain

In 2009 Family Vineyard released the first U.S. album by Japanese saxophone legend Akira Sakata in more than 20 years. That critically heralded release, Friendly Pants, was with Sakata’s long running rhythm crew Chikamorachi — drummer Chris Corsano (Paul Flaherty Duo, Bjork, Jandek, etc.) and acoustic bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Grand Ulena, Brise-Glace, etc.). This LP is their follow-up. Recorded during the ’09 Umbrella Music Festival in Chicago, Live at Hungry Brain is an outrageous document by this brawling avant garde trio. Sakata, on alto/clarinet/ vocals, relentlessly pushes Corsano/Gray into the blackout zone where the body drops out and the spirit takes over. On each piece Sakata seemingly levitates higher into a cosmic zone while blasting out gorgeous melodic shapes — even when he sings. Those who have followed Corsano and Gray’s progression through the American rock, noise & free jazz underground will hear this LP as a pinnacle of their talent. It’s an exhilarating, deeply textured and exhausting listen only matched by the outlandish, yet spot-on, cover art by famed Japan illustrator More Rock All Art. Edition of 700 copies.

Akira Sakata & Jim O'Rourke with Chikamorachi: And that's the Story of Jazz...

And that’s the story of jazz… Get it? Well, maybe you had to be there when legendary saxophonist Akira Sakata, guitarist Jim O’Rourke and bombast rhythm crew of percussionist Chris Corsano and double bassist Darin Gray (aka Chikamorachi) jumped in the van for a Japanese tour. This two CD set documents their 2008 jaunt — not the first and far from last — in blistering detail. Shades of Last Exit, Coltrane’s Live in Seattle and even Kousokuya appear here but this quartet has nailed its own unique ‘n’ volatile tension and symmetry during its past six years together. Until now, their albums have only been available as Japanese imports. This is also the third U.S. release by Sakata on Family Vineyard in the past three years. Throughout Sakata charges upper registers on alto sax yet still hooks stunning phrases and harmonic themes. O’Rourke’s radical, electric guitar blasts are massive volleys of pure sound. All the while, Gray relentlessly anchors the torrent with subterranean grooves, scrapes and slaps while Corsano lays waste to his kit, pounding polyrhythms and tones. Together passages transform from blinding, uncompromised brutality to zones where Sakta’s sweetened melodies dance slowly alone and O’Rourke, also on harmonica, adds lonesome country blues. Over-the-top at times, but hey, that’s the story of jazz… If you want Grade-A, blood splattered free music, this is it, but you gotta pay for it.

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2011-09-20
Alan Licht: YMCA

YMCA is guitarist Alan Licht's first solo release since 2003's A New York Minute double CD (on XI), and his first solo vinyl outing since 1994's long out-of-print Sink the Aging Process (on Siltbreeze). Largely recorded at a 2004 concert at a Cambridge Massachusetts YMCA by Keith Fullerton Whitman, YMCA documents Licht's solo guitar set of the time — a three-part structured improvisation that moves from mournful, layered sustained tones that sound more like a reed organ than a guitar, to a gently plucked middle section, to a final firestorm of loop processing that is a tour de force of "the changing same." Inspired by his friends Oren Ambarchi and Tetuzi Akiyama's then-current albums (Triste and Don't Forget To Boogie), Licht proposed YMCA to Idea Records to form a kind of trilogy with those releases. With Idea's subsequent demise, Family Vineyard has stepped in to bring this peak performance out as a special limited edition vinyl release, exactly as the artist originally conceived it. Limited to 500 copies.

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2011-09-20
Dow Jones & The Industrials: Can't Stand the Midwest

Family Vineyard reissues an obscure and sought after punk/new wave treasure. Dow Jones and the Industrials’ 1981 debut and sole 7-inch EP, originally issued on the Hardly Music label, is immaculately re-mastered from the original tapes and now available on audiophile vinyl. Dow Jones and the Industrials of West Lafayette, Indiana existed from the late 1970s into the early 80s amongst a stylistically matchless state-wide scene that included The Gizmos, Zero Boys and Dancing Cigarettes. This EP -- of which original copies have swapped hands for more than $400 -- contains the often bootlegged and covered anthem “Can’t Stand the Midwest,” along with “Let’s Go Steady” and “Indeterminism.” The four member DJI combined jagged rock ‘n’ roll songwriting with emerging electronic instrumentation and smart-ass collegiate humor into a wild new wave sound that won them immediate popularity among Indiana’s punks and co-eds of the day and has remained in the hearts of record collectors these past 30 years. Includes exact reprints of the two different versions of an insert included with the original record. Family Vineyard will be reissuing the complete recordings of Dow Jones & The Industrials later in 2011.

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2011-09-06
Loren Connors: Red Mars

Loren Connors has long been heralded as one of the country’s most inimitable guitar voices. Like kindred spirit John Fahey, Connors’ legacy began by quietly self-releasing a series of raw and embryonic LPs. Since the late 1970s, Connors’ use of haunted Delta Blues, minimalism and compositional underpinnings have become an avant-garde style synonymous unto him. Along the way, musicians diverse as Chan Marshall, Jim O’Rourke, Darin Gray, Keiji Haino, Jandek, Alan Licht and others have sought Connors as a musical partner on record and stage.

Red Mars is the first CD of new solo music by the New York City guitarist since 2004. Since that time, Connors' unmistakable electric blues style presented on album has changed somewhat — from multilayer tape-recorded pieces to spontaneous live performances. The five pieces here, a suite to the Red Planet, are filled of the cinematic pacing, lyricism and a palette of phantom tones that hoist Connors to a stunning new peak. Portuguese bassist Margarida Garcia joins Connors on the opening journey, introducing a dialogue unique in its ambience as its entwined mystery and melodies. Features cover artwork by Connors.

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2011-03-29
Chris Forsyth: Paranoid Cat

Paranoid Cat is Philadelphia guitarist Chris Forsyth’s third solo album and the first for Family Vineyard. It is a sprawling, harmonically-charged side-long suite backed by a clutch of compositions merging raw and delicate American roots traditions. After more than a decade trotting the globe and recording with a mess of today’s avant garde greats, plus co-leading the brazenly absurd Peeesseye, Forsyth has arranged a full-band with dummer Mike Pride and members of D. Charles Speer & the Helix, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Peeesseye, and Mountains to accompany his electric six-string vision of interlocking arpeggios and maximalist peaks. The kaleidoscopic arrangements of Paranoid Cat are a leap from the stripped down attack on Forsyth’s hotly acclaimed 2009 Dreams -- to be reissued by Family Vineyard later this year -- with hints of John Fahey's “America,” Richard Lloyd's work with Television, John Lee Hooker, and Van Dyke Parks all being identifiable somewhere in the swirling mix.

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2010-11-09
Hisato Higuchi: Henzai

Tokyo-based guitarist/singer Hisato Higuchi presents his fourth full-length and first LP release. “Henzai” is Higuchi at his most bare. Each song appears like a spectral poem -- sewn together with hushed electricity and whispers. This recording is wholly intimate, recorded in seclusion, and washes over the listener like a hazy, day-break dream. Higuchi splits these 12 torch-songs between slow-motion improvisations and the composed, yet each is sung with a mix of beautiful wordless/Japanese language moans that appears to have no beginning or end. The electric guitar catches the fainest of blue melodies and single note trances before flickering into black nothingness. The disparate touchstones for the emotional weight waged across this LP range from Blind Willie Johnson to The Cure’s “Pornography.” Higuchi first embarked on his artistic travels as a puppeteer for a theater company. In 1990 he started creating music in his home studio and eventually self-released his debut CD EP “She” in 2003. Soon after he appeared on PSF’s famed Tokyo Flashback compilation series, and Family Vineyard released the full-lengths “Dialogue” (2006) and “Butterfly Horse Street” (2007). Higuchi will be featured on an upcoming installment of Root Strata’s Tsuki No Seika 7-inch series.= Higuchi recorded, produced and shot the cover art for this 550 edition LP

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2010-11-09
Suzanne Langille & Neel Murgai: Wild & Foolish Heart

Suzanne Langille started her recording career as a vocalist alongside Loren Mazzacane Connors on a string of rare LPs in the mid-1980s acclaimed for their startling transformation of the blues. Since, Langille has added vocals and lyrics to many Connors albums, including the landmark "Hell's Kitchen Park," collaborated with San Agustin and issued a conceptual full-length on Secretly Canadian in 1998. But all along a proper solo album has never surfaced -- until now. "Wild & Foolish Heart" joins Langille with Indian classical musician Neel Murgai -- a long-time collaborator and leader of his own ensemble. Langille's blues-filled moans are perfectly matched to the dazzling drone and subtle melodic rhythm of Murgai's tanpura and daf (Persian frame drum). Their reworking of popular/traditional songs and Langille's own dramatic compositions draw out redemption, sorrow and celebration in a way that makes listening to these sides feel like uncovering a lost field recording of otherworldly haunts or spirituals. Langille's pervading melancholic tone flares in the tradition of Patti Smith and Thalia Zedek at times. The LP ends with a scorching blowout from the Haunted House band, the legendary/defunct downtown 'blues rock' improv-combo fronted by Langille, with Murgai, Connors and San Augstin guitarist Andrew Burnes. This 550-edition LP features cover art from Loren Connors, a selection of his rarely seen photography/collage work, and is pressed in an edition of 550 copies.

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2010-02-23
Alan Licht & Loren Connors: Into the Night Sky

Into the Night Sky is the sixth album from avant guitarists Alan Licht and Loren Connors, the first after 2003's In France. Since 1993 these New York City artists have evolved an instrumental dialogue merging shades of electric blues and minimalism. These two epic pieces — one from 1996, the other 2006 — recorded live in concert clearly show far their desolate sound world grew over a decade of collaboration while the core of layered guitar complexities and alien melodies remain. The atmosphere conjured by the duo is unmistakable — the ebb of eloquently shaped feedback — while the harmonic patterns recall 20th Century classical music. Active since the early 1990s, Licht has worked with a veritable who's who of the experimental world, from free jazz legends to downtown composers while performing in Text of Light and an ongoing duo with Aki Onda. Since 1978 Connors has released dozens of acclaimed and sought after LPs documenting his singular adaption of the blues and forging his place as one of America's most iconoclastic artists.

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2010-02-23
Human Skab: Thunder Hips and Saddle Bags

Human Skab was a 10-year old boy from Elma, Washington who played African music with buckets and spoons. Thunder Hips and Saddle Bags is a 1986 cassette recorded by young Travis Roberts with his neighborhood pals and siblings. It was injected into the underground network of tape traders, zine scribes, college DJs, and freak seekers who were universally bowled over by its bewildering and utterly poignant snapshot of the mid-1980s. Skab's music — an orchestration of pots n' pans, three string guitar, poorly-tuned upright piano, broken bottles, toy guns, a garden rake, and a "Snake Mountain" microphone — is a response to fear of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, He-Man cartoons, Twisted Sister, the coolness of dinosaurs, the uncoolness of John Wayne, and Ronald Reagan. Roberts captures the fervor of do-it yourself ethos, punk energy and the rawness of early American folk by acting on his wild child imagination and enigmatic sense of song. These rare recordings have never been made widely available until now. This reissue includes the complete 1986 cassette. The CD version contain a bonus 1987 radio interview. The 16-page booklet in the 500 edition LP and CD contains extensive liner notes by Roberts and Cousin Franky, and radio DJ John Straub along with many full-color photographs and news clippings.

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2010-01-26
Jailbreak: The Rocker

Jailbreak is the duo of pedal steel/vocalist Heather Leigh and drummer Chris Corsano. The name foregrounds the kind of outlaw violence with which the two reformulate rock/roll instants by bringing free jazz fire power to amp-humping sex beats. Their musical alliance goes all the way back to the legendary Brattleboro Free Folk Fest, the birthplace of the ‘New Weird America’, where Corsano and his long-term saxophone partner Paul Flaherty joined Leigh and Christina Carter for a quartet show that took the roof off the building and the skin off their fingers. Since then Corsano and Leigh have worked together as part of Taurpis Tula and as members of Thurston Moore’s Dream/Aktion Unit. So, who better to describe this 700 edition debut LP, than Mr. Flaherty: For those of you who've been worried that the Free Power Noize scene has become a little too tame, (and seriously who isn't somewhat concerned about that), a new screamin' creamin' duo -- Jailbreak -- expoldes to the rescue. The Rocker is a blast-furnace of blisteringly joyous witch-howling assaults on the essence of whips and chains and repressive injustice gone legal. Both of these magisterial musicians are capable of extreme dynamics and subtleties, but those concepts don't get in the way of this monster-truck of a record. And why should they when drums and guitar can slash and burn in a riotous electric smash fest like this crazed merry madcap of an album. Over the top . . . Way!

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Release Date
2009-09-22
Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi: Friendly Pants

Friendly Pants is the first American release by legendary Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata in more than 20 years. It pairs the 65-year-old traveler alongside Chikamorachi, the bombast rhythm section of drummer Chris Corsano (Paul Flaherty Duo, Bjork, Jandek) and acoustic bassist Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Grand Ulena, Brise Glace). Since the late 1960s, Sakata has been a constant figure in jazz and creative music scenes as an ever evolving and adventurous, multi-instrumentalist, and member of classic groups such as Yamashita Yosuke Trio and Wha-ha-ha plus many of his own, like the Sakata Akira mii. He has recorded with Chris Cosey, Peter Brötzmann in Last Exit, DJ Krush, Yoshimio, and others.

Since 2005 Sakata has been aligned with Corsano and Gray — a duo equally informed by underground American rock, noise & free jazz — and already issued two other smoked and blown out albums with them in Japan. On each of those they were joined by Jim O’Rourke, who remains in the producer’s chair for this session. Sakata deliverers ferocious / highly lyrical approaches to the post-bop field and with Chikamorachi’s recalls late-period John Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders during the early 1970s at times. While the three smear and tear at the edges, Sakata’s massive tone and melodic sense reins in the chaos to create beauty and awe.

Originally issued on O’Rourke’s Japanese imprint Shakaijin Records, Friendly Pants is now reissued for the rest of the world to dig.