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2019-02-22
Spellling: Mazy Fly

Mazy Fly, the second full-length by the Bay Area artist SPELLLING, explores the tension between the thrill of exploring the unknown and the terror of imminent destruction. Chrystia Cabral spent the summer of 2018 in her Berkeley studio reflecting on the thresholds of human progress and longing for a new and better tomorrow. She was struck by the way the same technologies that have given humans the ability to achieve utopian dreams of discovery have also brought the world to the precipice of dystopic global devastation. Despite the darkness of this reality, Mazy Fly is defiantly optimistic. It is a celestial voyage into the unknown, piloted by Cabral.

Mazy Fly musically traverses the spaces between languid, honey-soaked vocals and distant angelic whispers, from thumping 808 club beats to crunching tape loops, and from silky, smooth R&B to whirling organ sonatas. Cabral became enamored by the idea of flight as a harbinger of both progress and apocalypse, and that was expressed in the textures and compositional techniques she utilized. Swarms, flocks, flies, angels, spaceships, flying saucers – all are represented sonically by Cabral and her Juno-106 synthesizer.

Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil

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Experimental lute player Jozef Van Wissem and acclaimed film director and musician Jim Jarmusch have a working relationship that dates back to 2006, when they ran into each other on the street in New York City and quickly struck up a friendship. Van Wissem contributed to the soundtrack for Jarmusch's 2013 movie Only Lovers Left Alive, and the two have collaborated on three previous studio albums - Apokatastasis, Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity, and The Mystery of Heaven. An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil is their second release as a duo for Sacred Bones Records, following The Mystery of Heaven, and its narrative picks up where that album left off.

Musically, the mostly instrumental album finds much of its power in minimalism. Van Wissem's unadorned lute traces the outlines of subdued electronics and ominous guitar drones laid down by Jarmusch. It's a subtle album, and repeat listens reveal vast depths in its dark corners. Above all, it's an album that sees two formidable collaborators complement each other brilliantly.

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2019-01-25
Zola Jesus / Johnny Jewel: Wiseblood (Johnny Jewel Remixes)

The new EP by Zola Jesus sees Nika Roza Danilova revisiting a pair of songs from her 2017 album, Okovi, alongside prolific composer and musician Johnny Jewel. In a nod to the maxi singles of the 1980s, the album features multiple remixed versions of the two songs, "Ash to Bone" and "Wiseblood." The track "Wiseblood (Johnny Jewel Remix)" is featured in the soundtrack to the film Beautiful Boy, directed by Felix Van Groeningen and starring Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell.

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2018-12-07
Emily Noyes Vanderpoel: Color Problems (Paperback)

Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) was an artist, collector, scholar, and historian working at the dawn of the 20th century. Her first and most prominent work, Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color, provides a comprehensive overview of the main ideas of color theory at the time, as well as her wildly original approaches to color analysis and interaction. Through a 21st century lens, she appears to stumble upon midcentury design and minimalism decades prior to those movements.

This book has for too long languished in antiquarian book markets, never receiving its proper audience. With this publication, we aim to change that, and have taken meticulous measures to reproduce the original artifact with this new edition. Using the most current digital methods and archival printing production, we aim to do justice to Vanderpoel's forgotten legacy as visionary and pioneer.

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2018-11-09
The Men: Hated: 2008-2011

NYC's The Men have made a name for themselves as wayfaring musicians, constantly evolving and eluding their listeners. Before they were genre-hopping through country, post-punk, noise rock, and more, they were applying that experimental nature within the more confined space of punk. Within that genre they were wildly adventurous, playing noise shows, hardcore shows, rock shows, and switching up the instrumentation as they saw fit, while always operating within a general punk ethos. Their first demo was a hand-dubbed and spray-painted run of 32 copies, half of which worked, and their first shows were at New York dives like Tommy's Tavern, Matchless, and Don Pedro.

That hand-dubbed demo kicked off a furious run of creative output from 2008 to 2011, much of which is now collected on the new compilation, Hated. The songs on Hated are pulled from a variety of sources - the debut demo tape, a split with Nomos, a 7", a 12" EP, and a slew of unreleased demos, outtakes, and live recordings. These songs show the huge range and potential of a band still in its infancy, when they were just beginning to blaze the path they're still on to this day.

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2018-11-02
Thought Gang: Thought Gang

By the time Twin Peaks' second season had aired and Fire Walk With Me had just began principle production, Thought Gang had been born. The esoteric jazz side-project of David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti evolved from the seeds of Twin Peaks' trademark slow cool jazz and blossomed into more experimental pastures: horizonless vistas of acid-soaked free-jazz, laced with spoken word narratives and sprawling noisescapes. Fire Walk With Me's soundtrack would ultimately showcase two preliminary tracks ('A Real Indication' and 'The Black Dog Runs at Night') from a full-length album that wouldn't see release for the next two and a half decades. Between May of 1992, and continuing throughout 1993, the bulk of the remaining material for the album was recorded in pieces. This dove-tailed into a string of contracted sessions for other Lynch-Badalamenti projects.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross: Halloween Theme (Remix)

To celebrate the release of the 2018 Halloween film scored by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Nine Inch Nails) are releasing their version of Carpenter’s iconic Halloween theme as a limited edition 12", b/w Carpenter’s version. Reznor explains: “I clearly remember my friends and I at 13 years old conning our parents into letting us see Halloween when it came out in 1978. We left the theater forever changed. We were damaged and scarred, with the shit genuinely scared out of us and that theme stuck firmly in our heads. John Carpenter, it’s your fault that I turned out the way I did.”

Speaking about the new version, John Carpenter states, “Moody and dark, ‪Trent Reznor‬ and Atticus Ross’ version of Halloween does amazing justice to the original. I’m impressed."‬‬‬‬

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2018-10-19
John Carpenter: Halloween OST

The 2018 Halloween movie has the distinction of being the first film in the series with creator John Carpenter's direct involvement since 1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Carpenter serves on the new David Gordon Green-directed installment as an executive producer, a creative consultant, and, thrillingly, as a soundtrack composer, alongside his collaborators from his three recent solo albums, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.

The new soundtrack pays homage to the classic Halloween score that Carpenter composed and recorded in 1978, when he forever changed the course of horror cinema and synthesizer music with his low-budget masterpiece. Several new versions of the iconic main theme serve as the pulse of Green's film, its familiar 5/4 refrain stabbing through the soundtrack like the Shape's knife. The rest of the soundtrack is just as enthralling, incorporating everything from atmospheric synth whooshes to eerie piano-driven pieces to skittering electronic percussion. While the new score was made with a few more resources than Carpenter's famously shoestring original, its musical spirit was preserved.

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2018-10-19
John Carpenter: Halloween OST

THE HALLOWEEN (2018) SOUNDTRACK, NOW AVAILABLE ON A NEW FORMAT: For the first time, Sacred Bones Records is making the formerly mailorder-exclusive "art edition" of John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies's Halloween soundtrack available for wide distribution. The art edition features deluxe packaging with unique art by Chris Bilheimer, as well as a massive foldout poster. This version is pressed on "Blood Puddle" color vinyl (clear vinyl with inset red "puddle") and is limited to 2000 units. The new Halloween movie has the distinction of being the first film in the series with creator John Carpenter's direct involvement since 1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Carpenter serves on the new David Gordon Green-directed installment as an executive producer, a creative consultant, and, thrillingly, as a soundtrack composer, alongside his collaborators from his three recent solo albums, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. The new soundtrack pays homage to the classic Halloween score that Carpenter composed and recorded in 1978, when he forever changed the course of horror cinema and synthesizer music with his low-budget masterpiece. Several new versions of the iconic main theme serve as the pulse of Green's film, it's familiar 5/4 refrain stabbing through the soundtrack like the Shape's knife. The rest of the soundtrack is just as enthralling, incorporating everything from atmospheric synth whooshes to eerie piano-driven pieces to skittering electronic percussion. While the new score was made with a few more resources than Carpenter's famously shoestring original, it's musical spirit was preserved. "It was great," Carpenter said of the experience. "It was transforming. It was not a movie I directed, so I had a lot of freedom in creating the score and getting into the director's head. I was proud to serve David Gordon Green's vision."

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2018-10-05
Exploded View: Obey

Exploded View, the international music project of Annika Henderson, Hugo Quezada, and Martin Thulin has returned and taken flight with their second full-length, Obey. The album was recorded at Hugo’s and Martin’s studios in Mexico City with Annika visiting from Berlin. Leaving behind their raw, live recording process, and embracing overdubs and multi-instrumentalism, the band has crafted their most ambitious work to date. The four-piece that recorded the band’s self-titled debut album and Summer Came Early EP became three to create a more concise collection of songs. Their motivation for creating together remains purely passionate and the improvisational spark the band is known for has morphed into the emotional flames of being close friends with a deep desire to make music with each other.

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2018-10-05
Heather Benjamin: Cavegirl Monologue

Cavegirl Monologue is artist Heather Benjamin's most substantial collection to date. Much of the art in this collection is new and unreleased, but it also contains a selection from her artist's books and foldout zines, including the recent Romantic Story collection that was wildly popular and is now out of print. "Because of my roots in DIY zine and comics culture, visual narratives are important to me, though I tend to pursue them in less traditional and more non-linear ways," Benjamin explains. "I'm interested in the stories that form within a singular image as well as in how the images relate to each other through shared use of iconography and theme." The subjects of her recent art are a logical continuation of the larger narrative of Benjamin's body of work: She works to excavate the female human experience as she knows it. Benjamin muses on intimacy, sexuality, self-perception, body dysmorphia, and trauma through her avatars. Her work is diaristic, approaching her subjects through the lens of her own personal experience; each piece can easily feel like a self-portrait. Her women are simultaneously self-assured and crumbled, standing defiantly on their own two hairy legs, yet seeking the shoulder of an empathetic viewer to cry on. Benjamin uses her art to sort through her own trauma and self-analysis, and seeks to give faces, bodies, and narratives to the different facets of her own womanhood. Through that excavation, she reaches for more universal ideas and truths about the relationships people have to each other and to themselves, hoping to guide herself through the abjections and frustrations of her womanhood toward a greater sense of self-acceptance and actualization.

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2018-09-28
Julee Cruise: The Voice of Love

25 years after its initial release, Julee Cruise's sophomore album The Voice of Love is being issued for the first time on vinyl and returning to print on CD, via Sacred Bones Records.

In 1992, after the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti and Julee Cruise returned to the studio with new compositions as well as the intent to craft previously instrumental score-based material from Fire Walk With Me and Wild at Heart into Julee Cruise songs. The result was 1993's final studio album The Voice of Love.

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2018-09-28
Marissa Nadler: For My Crimes

The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of guilt giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography.

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2018-09-28
The Holydrug Couple: Hyper Super Mega

It was 10 years ago, in a house on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, that Ives Sepulveda Minho and Manuel Parra started playing music together, and The Holydrug Couple was effectively born. A decade later, they've made Hyper Super Mega, an album that represents the culmination of everything they've learned in their years as a band.

If Hyper Super Mega feels like a classic pop record, that’s because Sepulveda and Parra spent much of the recording process thinking about the classic pop records of the '60s and '70s. Masterpieces by bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Fleetwood Mac were all reference points, not always explicitly in sound, but certainly in spirit. The duo approached the mythos of the "classic album" from their own inimitable psych-pop perspective, hoping to make a record that felt authentically like The Holydrug Couple that could fit into the same canon. By that criterion, Hyper Super Mega is a massive success. All the elements that made the band's previous albums Noctuary and Moonlust great are distilled to their purest essence and rendered in obsessive detail.

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2018-08-17
Julee Cruise: Three Demos

Three Demos is a very unique release, featuring the very first demo recordings for songs from Julee Cruise's initial LP with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti, Floating Into the Night.

These early versions are fascinating glimpses into the genesis of what became Floating Into the Night and the minimal key ingredients that made the material alchemize. An early version of the album opener "Floating" originally began with a stunning spoken-word intro later dropped entirely from the album version. A revelation in their overarching simplicity, the three-song collection is devoid of the LP's additional arrangement flourishes, and yet still manages to present the same emotional depth charge with only voice, synthesizer and lyric.

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2018-08-17
Uniform: The Long Walk

Following the release of critically acclaimed LP Wake in Fright, which had two songs featured in the new season of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, it was time for Uniform vocalist Michael Berdan and instrumentalist Ben Greenberg to return to the studio. The duo decided to up the ante and add a third member to help perfect their vicious post-industrial dystopian cyber-punk. After some deliberation, Greenberg called upon drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Zs) to help round out the sound they were looking for. Using a mix of triggered samples and real drums along with layered synths and good old electric guitar, the trio arrived at what would become The Long Walk after only a few short days in the studio.

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2018-08-03
SPELLLING: Hard to Please

Hard to Please is the debut Sacred Bones 7" release by Bay Area artist Tia Cabral, aka SPELLLING. SPELLLING released her first full length Pantheon of Me in September 2017 and it was self written, performed and produced in her apartment in Berkeley, California. SPELLLING's powerful vocal range dances over compositions that vary from rhythmic and ethereal to crunchy and hypnotic, while all remaining singularly cohesive to her distinct and enveloping sound. Pantheon of Me was Bandcamp's #4 record of the year in 2017 and they raved: "Cabral has it, from her careful sense of composition to her charismatic presence to her ability to communicate with her music straight through to the listener's heart."

Her newest tracks "Hard to Please" and "My Other Voice" (a cover of Sparks' 1979 symphonic disco track) pair together to reflect on bittersweet passions of an obsessive romance. "Hard to Please" presents as dance music but journeys through a swirling climax to something more spiritual. On "My Other Voice" the power of SPELLLING's voice elevates this cover beyond an homage and to a unique vision entirely its own.