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Death CertificateIf Ice Cube's debut was a shocking attack that proved the N.W.A legacy would be stronger divided, his sophomore effort was a new kind of superstar pulling off the miraculous, a follow-up that equals its classic predecessor and tops it in some people's books. With a million copies of Death Certificate preordered, Cube was no longer the rock critics' darling. A million people listening was dangerous, especially since he was now slithering his influence into the suburbs. If the black rage didn't get you, the misogyny of I'm gonna do my thing, with your daughter probably would. Here, one of rap's greatest storytellers is able to draw hatred in under a minute with the short and direct Black Korea, an angry protest song concerning Korean grocers that got him dubbed racist and Ice KKKube by some. The track is an extreme representation of how a much sharper and cutting this album is when compared with his debut, and even though the intro announces the full-length is divided into a Death Side and Life Side, both are equally bleak. With the CD format, the two sides are indistinguishable and run over the listener with fast tales of drug dealing, drive-by shootings, and women who go from Ms. Thing to Ms. Gonorrhea. This would be numbing if it weren't for the rapper's amazing lyrics, ground-shaking delivery, and insight like when A Bird in the Hand deals with the irony of selling crap to buy diapers (Gotta serve you food that might give you cancer/Cuz my son doesn't take no for answer). A bit of sweet relief comes with the brightness of the great single Steady Mobbin' and with the nostalgia and slow tempo of Doing Dumb Shit. True to the Game (Ain't that a bitch/They hate to see a young nigga rich) is arguably the quintessential Cube track and if all this weren't enough already, the N.W.A diss No Vaseline hangs off the album like a crowd-pleasing, Brick-sampling encore. Although next year's Predator would be a bigger hit, Death Certificate brings to a close the man's trilogy of perfect albums that began with N.W.A's Compton and explodes into a supernova right here.
- David Jeffries (All Music)1. The Funeral
2. The Wrong Nigga to Fuck Wit
3. My Summer Vacation
4. Steady Mobbin'
5. Robin Lench
6. Givin' Up the Nappy Dug Out
7. Look Who's Burnin'
8. A Bird in the Hand
9. Man's Best Friend
10. Alive on Arrival
12. The Birth
13. I Wanna Kill Sam
14. Horny Lil' Devil
15. Black Korea
16. True to the Game
17. Color Blind
18. Doing Dumb Shit
20. No Vaseline$35.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Great Annihilator (Awaiting Repress)
2017 Remastered 2LP
The Swans are a study in metamorphoses. In 1983, when Melody Maker magazine dubbed the NYC noise mavens a deeply repulsive form of audio pornography, it was more a compliment than a slam. Cacophonous, confrontational, and unrelentingly loud, the band used vocal rants and bone-crunching distortion to achieve unparalleled levels of sonic pain.
Then, around '87 or so, rock's ugliest ducking found its inner Swan and blossomed into a vehicle for sweeping, complex arrangements of keyboards, strings and evocative sound effects. Vocalist Michael Gira traded his guttural growl for the croon of a balladeer, and the latter-day Swans were born.
Their 12th album, The Great Annihilator, is a majestic symphony of haunting melodies and shifting moods. Spirituality - or rather the absence of it - provides the linking motif. With a kinetic industrial goose step, She Lives! plays with chanted images of madness and martyrdom, while the jagged coda of Celebrity Lifestyle lays the groundwork for a cutting look at material dreams: She's just a drug addiction/ And a self-reflecting image of a narcoticized mind. Warm forms the album's thematic center, overflowing with ethereal vocal loops and drums that patter like raindrops accross the lyrical landscape. On Mother/Father and the mantric My Buried Child, vocalist Jarboe outdoes herself with a spectrum of darkly distinctive voices.
Taken on its own, this album is a vivid example of how to combine the dissonant with the dulcet while retaining a dangerous edge. Viewed in the context of the Swans' 12-year journey from audio pornography to majestic romanticism, The Great Annihilator serves as an epic apotheosis.
-Neva Chonin (The San Francisco Bay Guardian)LP 1
2. I Am The Sun
3. She Lives!
4. Celebrity Lifestyle
6. Blood Promise
8. My Buried Child
2. Alcohol The Seed
3. Killing For Company
4. Mother's Milk
5. Where Does A Body End?
7. The Great Annihilator
8. Out$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Open The CrownOpen the Crown conveys tendrils of raw energy emanating from the head - dream visions translated directly to audio outrage. Heavy. And sexy. To be expected from Arrington de Dionyso and his molten collection of Malaikat dan Singa who manipulate the "form'd and the formless" to create from within this broken system.
You may have experienced Arrington de Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa as an unexpected live force, pushing up through the earth like daffodils in late winter; or maybe you're familiar with their previous exploits in the studio, Malaikat dan Singa and Suara Naga, which burn clean with fragrant traumas. Open the Crown is similarly passion-filled, with new vistas (channeled hallucinations) exploring English (previously only the Indonesian language was employed) as their stomping ground to expand parallel themes anew.
The players involved have all been Arrington cohorts in past lives with Malaikat dan Singa and other Dub Narcotic Studio exploits: Ben Kapp (drums), Angelo Spencer (guitar), Mark Morrison (keyboards) and Nehemiah St. Danger (electric bass guitar); tape echo over all. The joy of Open the Crown was captured by Dub Narcotic Studio engineers Ben Hargett (the mix) and Ephriam Nagler (the mastering). It's cosmically pleasing to both ear and dance floor.
Arrington de Dionyso (b. January 4,1975) makes trans-utopian world music for a world that may or may not exists. He traverses the nameless territories between surrealist automatism, shamanic seance, and the folk imagery of rock'n'roll using performance and visual art. He clarified his eccentric brew of ecstatic lunacy and prophetic madness during his 15 year tour-of-duty with Olympia's Old Time Relijun.
De Dionyso's Malaikat dan Singa is a trance-punk outfit featuring bass clarinet, guitars, multiple drummers and his trademark wild vocals (multi-spectral harmonic throat singing combined with grunts, yelps, and barks). "Malaikat dan Singa" translates as "Angels and Lions," and de Dionyso's lyrics (both Indonesian and any other language he chooses to ply) fiercely combine mythology and fantasy. As a band Malaikat dan Singa ultimately defies a clean translation gaining power by crossing boundaries - both linguistic and psychic.1. I Feel the Quickening
2. I Create in the Broken System
3. There Will Be No Survivors
4. Tak Terbatas (versi Iblis)
5. Open the Crown
6. Jiwa dari Jiwaku
7. The Akedah (The Moon is Full)
8. Halilintar (versi Jatilan)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Broken FrameMartin Gore has famously noted that Depeche Mode stopped worrying about its future when the first post-Vince Clarke-departure single, See You, placed even higher on the English charts than anything else Clarke had done with them. Such confidence carries through all of A Broken Frame, a notably more ambitious effort than the pure pop/disco of the band's debut. With arranging genius Alan Wilder still one album away from fully joining the band, Frame became very much Gore's record, writing all the songs and exploring various styles never again touched upon in later years. Satellite and Monument take distinct dub/reggae turns, while Shouldn't Have Done That delivers its slightly precious message about the dangers of adulthood with a spare arrangement and hollow, weirdly sweet vocals.
Much of the album follows in a dark vein, forsaking earlier sprightliness, aside from tracks like A Photograph of You and The Meaning of Love, for more melancholy reflections about love gone wrong as Leave in Silence and My Secret Garden. More complex arrangements and juxtaposed sounds, such as the sparkle of breaking glass in Leave in Silence, help give this underrated album even more of an intriguing, unexpected edge. Gore's lyrics sometimes veer on the facile, but David Gahan's singing comes more clearly to the fore throughout -- things aren't all there yet, but they were definitely starting to get close.
- Ned Raggett (All Music Guide)1. Leave in Silence
2. My Secret Garden
4. Nothing to Fear
5. See You
7. The Meaning of Love
8. A Photograph of You
10. Shouldn't Have Done That
11. The Sun & The Rainfall$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Future BrownOften dubbed a "supergroup", each member of Future Brown is a seasoned artist across genres. Fatima Al Qadiri, a Kuwaiti musician and visual artist, last year debuted her LP Asiatisch to critical acclaim via the infamous Hyperdub. LA-based Daniel Pineda and AsmaMaroof have been producing and DJing as Nguzunguzu for the Fade To Mind crew and worked with rappers Le1f, M.I.A and R&B singer Kelela. J-Cush, runs Lit City Trax from NYC, a label providing an outlet for urban music from every corner of the globe including the late Chicago footwork legend DJ Rashad. Presenting vocal collaborators with strains of sonic ideas they would never encounter otherwise, Future Brown manage to catalyze a cosmopolitan, experimental approach to contemporary urban sounds. Future Brown caught early attention with their breakaway track featuring Chicago's rising star Tink. The first producers outside of her city to champion the young vocalist (who is now working on her debut album with Timbaland and AndrÉ 3000), the epic 'Wanna Party' now bookends the album with another Tink collab, "Room 302". Other vocalists include grime's Ruff Sqwad members Rapid and Dirty Danger, Kelela, Yung Chop's 8TMG MCs and Stargete'sproteges Sicko Mobb. Timberlee (reggaton star and Major Lazer collaborator) even graces the album, as well as rapper Shawnna. Performatively Future Brown have backed up their sound with full concept installations at MoMA's PS1 Gallery alongside DIS Magazine as well as Miami's Art Basel this winter. On radio they have gained fans regionally as varied as BBC Radio1 and DJ Pharris at Power 92 Chicago.1. Room 302 [ft. Tink]
2. Talkin Bandz [ft. Shawnna and DJ Victoriouz]
3. Big Homie [ft. Sicko Mobb]
4. No Apology [ft. Timberlee]
5. Vernáculo [ft. Maluca]
6. Dangerzone [ft. Kelela and Ian Isiah]
7. Speng [ft. Riko Dan]
8. Killing Time [ft. Johnny May Cash, YB and King Rell]
9. MVP [ft. 3D Na'Tee and Tim Vocals]
10. Asbestos [ft. Roachee, Prince Rapid and Dirty Danger]
11. Wanna Party [ft. Tink]$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Erpsongs (Out of Stock)First Ever Vinyl Release
A raggle-taggle, unpretentious assortment of punk-infused, dreadlocked hippies, the Ozric Tentacles wove psychedelic audio-tapestries that captured the almost dangerous musical diversity of the free festival scene, blending acid rock with dub, reggae, ethnic world music and electronic, jazzy experimentation. This was the soundtrack to the herb fragranced, alternative lifestyle that wound its way around country lanes looking for a place to set up and party, away from the psychoses of corporate life.LP1
2. Fast Dots
4. Spiral Mind
5. Synth On A Plinth
6. Dharma Reggae
7. Tidal Otherness
8. Erpriff (Glastonbury Oct '85)
2. Misty Gliss
3. Dots Thots
4. Clock Drops
5. Five Jam
6. Oddhamshaw$32.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock