Brrr. Whether we like it or not, the cold is here. Luckily here's pert near a hundred new titles in stock, each with their own brand of heat. We kick off with a new album from our beloved NICK CAVE, from whom we do not deserve any more music, but here he is giving it to us anyway! 'Ghosteen' is a double album, written and recorded in the year following the tragic passing of his son. Cave calls it "a migrating spirit"; the first disc of tunes is 'the children', and the second disc of longer songs is 'their parents'. This concludes a trilogy of albums that began with 'Push The Sky Away' and 'The Skeleton Tree' which, considered as a unit, might be the strongest period of albums across Cave and the Bad Seeds' long career. 'Magdalene' is the new album from shape-shifting chanteuse FKA TWIGS, and it's a richly-painted, slightly lovesick album of her one-of-a-kind surrealist ballads. Guitarist RYLEY WALKER returns from hiatus with a phenomenal new album in collaboration with Chicago percussionist CHARLES RUMBACK. 'Little Common Twist' might be my favorite Walker material yet, as he finds a great quorum with Rumback, turning in evocative, delicate and hypnotic folk-jazz instrumentals that could easily pass for old Rypdal/DeJohnette ECM sessions, if you came across them un-labeled. Big wow on this one!
The iconic downer folk gem 'No Other' from GENE CLARK gets the expanded reissue treatment this week, with the 1974 masterpiece getting the full Abbey Road remaster after decades of chintzy reprints. Everyday Byrds fans may not have embraced this album (seemingly executive produced by a pile of pills) upon its release, but time has granted 'No Other' Desert Island status for many, and now we have a nice LP version and an expanded 2CD for you to enjoy. One of the year's happiest and saddest stories is the re-emergence of poet/songwriter David Berman as PURPLE MOUNTAINS, whose new album was released earlier this year before his tragic death. After a few months out of print, we have it back in the house on LP. We lost one of the true originals in Mr. Berman.
It's been a busy year for LUCY DACUS, and she caps it off with a new EP called '2019' (hey that's this year) and a new color vinyl reprint of her much-heralded 2018 record 'Historian'. RACHAEL & VILRAY is a new project from the talented singer of Lake Street Dive, and we have a new live album from local heroes THE MASCOT THEORY, just in time for their performance at FLANNEL FEST this weekend at the High Noon Saloon!
Rwandan folk trio THE GOOD ONES release an album long in the works called 'Rwanda, You Should Be Loved'. Survivors of the civil war and genocide that brought the small country to its knees in the 90s, the group aims to restore faith and goodwill to a culture torn apart by mindless hate. Guests here range as wide as Kevin Shields, Corin Tucker, Nels Cline, and Tunde Adebimpe. FITTED is a new group of post-punk icons like Graham Lewis from Wire and Mike Watt of the Minutemen, and we have a new album from XYLOURIS WHITE, the improv duo co-helmed by the Dirty Three's Jim White and Grecian lutist George Xylouris. Gloomy doomwave is here from HAVE A NICE LIFE, and we have an explosive new record from MOOR MOTHER called 'Analog Fluids on Sonic Black Holes'.
Make way for the unsung heroes of days gone by. If you had any portion of your 2016 (or any time thereafter) utterly rearranged by the incredible 'Sky Girl' compilation, you'll remember the track 'Sarra' by Gary Davenport. That powerful slice of private-issue modern rock came from a trove of scarcely heard 80s recordings now plumbed for an LP release by the Numero Group, and containing a staggering amount of songs that are somehow even better than 'Sarra'. Whether he knew it or not, Davenport really had his finger on the pulse of where melodic art-rock was headed from his homebase in San Antonio, if these songs are any indication. With delicate arrangements, chiming guitars, and urgent, intelligent vocals, he hits notes of UK wavey rock like Sad Lovers & Giants or Nikki Sudden, stoic early American alt-rock like the Embarrassment or My Dad Is Dead, even hinting at the anthemic guitar-driven indie of 90s bands like Unrest and Versus. A step removed and a few years earlier, we get a huge download of unheard demos by the late, great PETER IVERS from the Rvng label. Known mainly for his musical contributions to David Lynch's 'Eraserhead' and for hosting New Wave Theatre, a groundbreaking musical variety show that got bands like the Dead Kennedys and Angry Samoans in front of a nationwide cable TV audience, Ivers' also recorded a handful of albums that flopped for Epic and Warner Brothers. What 'Becoming Peter Ivers' tells us is that there was a whole lot more beneath the surface of this fascinating character; an endlessly inventive songwriter, a nuanced, hilarious, and tender lyricist, and a multitude of attitudes that were punker than punk before punk was even punk! Musically, I'd compare a lot of these tunes to Harry Nilsson's mid-70s period, but it goes much deeper than that. We haven't been able to turn this one off for a few weeks now. As a music student in San Francisco before the days of disco, PATRICK COWLEY didn't have drum machines or digital workstations to help him write songs (they didnt exist yet), but he still managed to single-handedly create a new style of dance music he called Hi-NRG, which found its largest audience with crossover artists like SYLVESTER and PAUL PARKER. A true pioneer who had not got his due when he passed away, swiftly and without explanation, in the early days of the then-unnamed AIDS epidemic. Cowley had a range that few producers since then can equal, filling boxes and boxes of material ranging from aquatic, ambient soundtracks, to machine-like funk, to strident ur-techno. The Dark Entries label has paid loving tribute to Cowley's lasting legacy with several incredible sets of tunes, and now they go to some of his earliest unheard material for 'Mechanical Fantasy Box'.
Crisp, vibrational jazzy R&B is here from Australia's 30/70 ENSEMBLE with their new album 'Fluid Motion', and we have a new record of shimmering electro-pop from producer LAPALUX. California jazz-bassist and arranger SAM WILKES has a killer new record of group sound vibe-soup called 'Live on the Green'. In 2009, German producer MOCKY made a revelatory album of retro-futurist lounge jazz called 'Saskamodie', which netted him collaborations with Jamie Lidell and Feist, and now gets an expanded 10 year anniversary release.
Heart-filling, handcrafted synth-pop is here from the Korean group MID-AIR THIEF on 'Crumbling', an irresistible record that will appeal to all fans of no-fuss fuzz. London artist R. ELIZABETH has a phenomenal new record called 'Every and All We Voyage On', which breathlessly combines austere, loopy tape music with airy synth-pop straight out of the McCartney II canon. Elusive 80s Italian minimal wave is here from VICTROLA, a duo who only released one EP in their lifetime, the explosive, haunting 'Maritime Tatami'. A new double LP called 'Born From the Water' collects 12 more unheard cuts of hypnotic machine brilliance.
Classic LPs back in print this week include the dynamic duo of early CAN albums, 'Ege Bamyasi' and 'Tago Mago', a new pressing of SCOTT WALKER's 1984 left turn 'Climate of Hunter', and a new edition of AGAINST ME!'s iconic 'Reinventing Axl Rose'.
A pair of unbeatable roots reggae LPs back in the house: KEITH HUDSON's 'Flesh of My Skin, Blood of My Blood' and DR. ALIMANTADO's 'Best Dressed Chicken in Town'. Two absolutely blazing early salsa classics from the Fania label are back in print as well. Check out CELIA CRUZ & TITO PUENTE's 'Alma Con Alma' and WILLIE COLON's 'The Hustler'.
MAX ROACH's landmark spiritual/political jazz landmark 'We Insist!' is back in print, and we have a new pressing of the rare 1970 French jazz album from PERCEPTION that is full of organic, exploratory beauty. Massively influential South African township jive is here with a reissue of the MAHOTELLA QUEENS debut album from 1966, and we have a luxurious new set of seldom-heard early career recordings from swamp country singer TONY JOE WHITE, from when he made records for the Monument label.
A variety of great CD compilations in the building this week includes the 'Nigeria Soul Power 70' set from Soul Jazz, a new compilation of Midwest gospel from Tompkins Square called 'No Other Love', a collection of new music from the Bloodshot Records stable called 'Too Late to Pray', and a nice set of psych-pop from the vintage era on 'John Savage's 1969-1971'.
Back in 2011, GROUPER released a daunting pair of albums in a much more abstract vein, which have now become some of the most requested material in her discography. We've got copies of the limited repress of both, 'Alien Observer' and 'Dream Loss'. M. WARD's critically acclaimed 'The Transfiguration of Vincent' is back in print on vinyl, as well as everyone's favorite video game soundtrack, STREETS OF RAGE II!
The French label Komos has released a fascinating new series of discs pairing contemporary artists with a jazz legend. The standout for us is CHEICK TIDIANE SECK's 'Timbuktu', a tribute to pianist and composer RANDY WESTON. Others in the series include tributes to MARION BROWN, DON CHERRY, and HENRI TEXIER.
A rather potent outcropping of new ambient records this week begins with the latest from ANDREW PEKLER, whose 'Sounds From Phantom Islands' blends amorphous ethnological forgeries with brittle, lightly-limned beats. FIRST TONE is a new duo from a pair of lowkey legendary American composers TURK DIETRICH (from Belong and Second Woman) and DUANE PITRE; their debut album 'Reactions' goes deep on gently oscillating harmonies that connect deep in your core. Taiwan's SCATTERED PURGATORY see their wonderful 2014 cassette, 'Lost Ethnography of the Miscanthus Ocean', come to vinyl for the first time; it's a murky slab of guitar-oriented instrumental globules reminiscent of early Sunn O))) or Corrupted's 'El Mundo Frio'. Scarcely documented (seriously, does anyone know anything about these guys?) Milwaukee experimental duo DASZU have their entire output assembled on 'Zone of Swans', and we have a stunning record of quiet, haunted artpop from mid-80s New Zealand duo THE KIWI ANIMAL called 'Mercy'. The TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS are often namechecked as the godfathers of Japanese avant-garde music, but they might not get a lot of play since its so hard to even find their records. Well, now we have a new LP edition of their improv, late-night tone float session, 'July 15, 1972'.
New rap from old names is here with new discs by MURS and THE GROUCH, plus a new disc from SKYZOO produced by PETE ROCK. We also head all the way to Mongolia (yup) for a truly delectable album of Dilla-oriented beat goodness from BODIKHUU, an artist who loves Brazil but can't quite muster the scratch to visit. Do you own any records from Mongolia? Ok, how about one more?
Rare, glistening jewels of percussion albums are here this week, starting with a repress of a rare 1984 one-off from an ensemble called BELLS OF KYOTO, helmed by Jah Wobble-affiliate OLLIE MARLAND. Gleaming fusion meets Japanese percussion on this singular obscure LP. One of the groups featured on 2017's amazing 'Tropical Drums of Deutschland' compilation was OM BUSCHMAN, a German quartet who released one album, 'Total', in a small 1988 pressing. Recently, a significant supply of original, unsold copies of this LP were found in a warehouse somewhere in Spain, incorrectly filed with a bunch of empty sleeves. For now, you can pick up a copy of this deliriously heady album for cheap, instead of the $100 or so it typically commands online. Macht schnell! Same goes for 'Ritme Jaavdanegi', the utterly transporting album from virtuoso Persian percussionist MOHAMMAD REZA MORTAZAVI.
Lugubrious dub techno is here from mysterious Japanese (?? I think?) producer SA PA, whose latest 2LP 'In A Landscape' is full of windswept, ambient beat terrain similar to the classic Chain Reaction label releases from folks like Hallucinator and Vladislav Delay. Lovely cover art with embossed braille lettering from the real ones at the Mana label here. RICARDO VILLALOBOS' psychedelic tech-house opus 'Dependent and Happy' is back in print on 2LP, and we have a pair of fleet-footed, elegant new house EPs from YOSHINORI HAYASHI and YU SU.