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GamelOOIOO has always created a musical language all its own. Under the leadership of Yoshimi P-We, also a founding member of Boredoms, the group has recorded six albums that have subverted expectations and warped perceptions of what constitutes pop and experimental music. Four years of work went into to making Gamel, their bold new album inspired by the Javanese style of gamelan and the first new music from Yoshimi in over five years. Gamelan is an ancient form that has inspired a great many composers and musicians over the past century, from Erik Satie and Claude Debussy to Mouse on Mars and Sun City Girls. The introduction of this traditional form transformed the group into a super tribe, side-stepping the road between the past and the future. Their focus is not to replicate these ancient styles, but to incorporate them into their consistently inventive, constantly shifting musical frameworks. They take their love of indigenous music into an entirely new dimension by freely weaving organic and electric tones into a vivid tapestry, employing their keen sense of color and texture.
While previous OOIOO albums have been largely studio creations, Gamel is the most accurate portrayal of the band's overwhelming, forceful live presence they have released yet. Yoshimi leads her minimalistic rhythm ensemble by making quick, impulsive shifts in tone and attack, the group acting as one mind under her expert instruction. While the gamelan elements will be brand new to many listeners, the band offsets the bizarre with familiar, at times even nostalgic and childlike, melodies. Gamel is euphoric, bursting at the seams with an exhilarating frenzy that is universal yet uniquely their own. OOIOO's music is reflected in the ear of the beholder, with each listener taking away something different.
Yoshimi began her music career in 1986 playing drums in UFO or Die with vocalist Eye, and later joined him in the revolutionary noise-pop group Boredoms. Her explosive drum performances captivated audiences and even inspired Wayne Coyne to name a now-famous Flaming Lips album in her honor. While the band's tours of the United States are infrequent, they are as the New York Times has stated, transcendent.1. Don Ah
2. Shizuku Gunung Agung
4. Gamel Ninna Yama
5. Gamel Uma Umo
6. Gamel Kamasu
8. Jesse Testa
9. Gamel Udahah
10. Kecupat Aneh
11. Gamel Ulda$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Street Of The Love Of Days
Amor de Días (Spanish for love of days) is the supergroup formed by Alasdair MacLean of the Clientele and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas. Over the course of three years, they quietly put together their debut record during evenings and weekends as they called in local friends (Louis Philippe) and visiting musicians (Damon and Naomi, Gary Olson) for sessions, building up the songs multifaceted arrangements and vocal harmonies with harps, bouzoukis, strings, recorders, and brass over the core of dual Spanish guitars and the dream imagery of their bilingual lyrics.
The result is a focused, cohesive jewel of chamber pop that reflects a little of Gal Costa and Caetano Velosos elegant brand of bossa nova, a bit of Erik Saties haunting night music, and a large dose of spooky psychedelic folk. But the beautiful harmony that sings throughout the record makes it all their own.
At times spare and empty, at times rich with instrumental texture, and at times jazz-tinged and hypnotic, Street of the Love of Days rivals anything either Alasdair or Lupe has recorded before.1. Foxes Song
2. House of Flint
3. Bunhill Fields
4. Season of Light
5. Late Mornings
6. Harvest Time
7. Dream (Dead Hands)
8. I See Your Face
10. Street of the Love of Days
14. Wild Winter Trees
15. Foxes Song (reprise)$18.99Limited Edition Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
WomanchildWhen CÉcile McLorin Salvant arrived at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC to compete in the finals of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, she was not only the youngest finalist, but also a mystery woman with the most unusual background of any of the participants. When she walked away with first place in the jazz world's most prestigious contest, the buzz began almost immediately. If anything, it has intensified in the months leading up to the launch of her Mack Avenue Records debut, WomanChild.
"She has poise, elegance, soul, humor, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth and grace," Wynton Marsalis asserts. "I've never heard a singer of her generation who has such a command of styles," remarks pianist Aaron Diehl. "She radiates authority," critic Ben Ratliff wrote in The New York Times in response to one of her post-competition performances, and a few weeks later his colleague Stephen Holden announced that "Ms. McLorin Salvant has it all.... If anyone can extend the lineage of the Big Three-Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald-it is this 23-year-old virtuoso."
Yet at almost every step of the way, McLorin Salvant has followed a different path from her peers. Born in Miami to a French mother and Haitian father, McLorin Salvant's first language was French. She immersed herself in the classical music tradition, long before she turned to jazz-starting on piano at age five and joining the Miami Choral Society at age eight. When it came time for college, McLorin Salvant bypassed all the US conservatories and jazz schools, heading instead to Aix-en-Provence in France, where she continued to develop as a singer, but with an emphasis on classical and baroque vocal music as well as jazz.
There, thousands of miles away from jazz's land of origin, McLorin Salvant entered into a fruitful partnership with reed player and teacher Jean-François Bonnel, first as a student and soon as a performer. Before returning to the US, she gave concerts in Paris, recorded with Bonnel's quintet, and immersed herself in the early jazz and blues vocal tradition. By the time she returned to her home country to take the stage in the Monk Competition, she had drawn on this unusual set of formative experiences in shaping a personal style of jazz singing, surprising and dramatic by turns, and very much in contrast to that of the other participants and McLorin Salvant's contemporaries.
In the aftermath of McLorin Salvant's triumph at the Monk Competition, the jazz world eagerly awaited the winner's first US recording. Answering that call with WomanChild, McLorin Salvant draws on songs spanning three centuries of American music. "I like to choose songs that are a little unknown or have been recorded very few times," McLorin Salvant notes. "While these songs aren't recognized as standards, many should be because they are so beautifully crafted."
On the album, her repertoire ranges from the 19th century ballad "John Henry," refreshed in a spirited up-to- date arrangement, to McLorin Salvant's own 21st century waltz "Le Front CachÉ Sur Tes Genoux" which draws on a poem by Haitian writer Ida Salomon Faubert for its lyric. She is joined by a world class band who share her concern for creating jazz of today by drawing on vibrant traditions of the past: pianist Aaron Diehl and bassist Rodney Whitaker (both of whom are Mack Avenue label mates), guitarist James Chirillo and master drummer Herlin Riley.
The old and new rub shoulders throughout this album, but this singer's attitude is neither beholden to the past nor trying to anticipate the trends of the future. Her captivating singing is immersed in the immediacy of the present moment. So much so, that those who have seen McLorin Salvant in concert marvel at how she radiates the confidence and poise of a mature artist even though she is just at the dawn of her own career.
McLorin Salvant may have the deepest roots of any singer of her generation. She knows the sounds and styles of modern jazz but also possesses complete command of the classic blues and early American vocal tradition. She has studied the entire recorded legacy of the great Bessie Smith (1894-1937), often called the Empress of the Blues, and also has deep familiarity with Valaida Snow, Bert Williams and other early masters of American music. For her, these musicians are exponents of living traditions that she has drawn into the orbit of her own work.
However, McLorin Salvant can't be pinned down as a jazz traditionalist. Alongside fellow Monk Competition winner Jacky Terrasson, she has recorded works by John Lennon/Yoko Ono and Erik Satie, and can sing in French, Spanish or English as the mood and situation warrant. Knowledgeable jazz fans will identify the influence and inspiration from some of the most distinctive modern jazz stylists, such as Betty Carter, Carmen McRae and Abbey Lincoln. She is also currently continuing her studies of the classical and baroque tradition. In short, McLorin Salvant is a seeker and a creative spirit who is determined to push ahead, even while she shows an extraordinary command of the tradition that has preceded her.
In his article in The New York Times, critic Stephen Holden listed some of the virtues of McLorin Salvant's singing: "perfect pitch and enunciation, a playful sense of humor, a rich and varied tonal palette, a supple sense of swing, exquisite taste in songs and phrasing, and a deep connection to lyrics." Her musical skills are considerable, but they are matched by an interpretive ability that is almost more akin to an actor's than a singer's. She draws out the story hidden inside the song, and can draw on the elements of her own personality and a full gamut of emotional stances-from the darkly troubling to the richly comic-in bringing lyrics to life.
"I want to get as close to the center of the song as I can," McLorin Salvant explains. "When I find something beautiful and touching I try to get close to it, and share that with the audience."
On WomanChild, McLorin Salvant gives music lovers the chance to hear why the illustrious judges at the Monk Competition gave her top honors. McLorin Salvant is still a bit of a mystery, but she will hardly be a secret any longer.1. St. Louis Gal
2. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
5. Prelude/There's A Lull In My Life
6. You Bring Out The Savage In Me
7. Baby Have Pity On Me
8. John Henry
9. Jitterbug Waltz
10. What A Little Moonlight Can Do
11. Deep Dark Blue$35.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Minecraft Volume Alpha (Colored Vinyl) (Out Of Stock)Transparent Green Vinyl
Minecraft - Volume Alpha is the work of German composer and musician Daniel Rosenfeld. Using C418 as his moniker, Rosenfeld crafted the sweeping soundtrack and vibrant sound design which helped breathe life into Minecraft's voxel-based universe. Fans and critics were universally enamored with his beatless, nuanced electronic pieces upon release. Popular gaming site Kotaku named it among The Best Game Music of 2011, calling the music remarkably soothing, and The Guardian has compared Rosenfeld's delicate piano and sparse ambient motifs to legendary artists Erik Satie and Brian Eno. In an interview feature with C418, Polygon distilled Volume Alpha to its essence: It's not bound by the retro aesthetic of Minecraft's graphics. It transcends them. The album is an attempt to uplift the combined game/music experience into the sublime.1. Subwoofer Lullaby
2. Living Mice
3. Moog City
7. Mice on Venus
8. Dry Hands
9. Wet Hands
12. Danny$20.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 (Out Of Stock)Aphex Twins 1994 masterpiece Selected Ambient Works Volume II includes barely anything resembling a beat or any sign of typical song structure, yet the album continues to garner adulation generally reserved for holy music. Fans have been testifying on its behalf for nearly two decades, as if it were capable of curing ills or healing the soul. Its synthetic construction belies the intuitive, human, melancholic and uplifting nature of the music.
Some have speculated the album was intended by Aphex Twins Richard D. James as a farce, as if its Über-minimalism was a joke played on an electronic community that relied so heavily on the beat; an expectation-defying statement from ambient-houses young hero. The album induces varied responses and often from the same person. A listener may go from being incredulous to drenched in tears within the span of a single track. Music critic Frank Owen described the music as veering between an eerie beauty and an almost nightmarish desolation. James himself described it as like standing in a power station on acid.
The albums raw emotional power is built upon the influences of Brian Eno, Erik Satie, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and The Orb. Each of its tracks has an elegiac and desolate feel far removed from the tooth-rattling, drill-n-bass or abstract electronica for which James was originally known. The soft, nimble flow leaves one in a tranquilized state. Throughout the album, James resists the temptation to layer the sound with beats or samples. Instead, he relies on swathes of sound and harmonics and almost-implied pulses. When the music does incorporate subtle industrial sounds, rhythmic drums or muted samples, it is only to affect a menacing feel in the textures.
Remarkably, for an album that is often perceived as difficult, Selected Ambient Works Volume II is quite accessible. Featured in films, commercials and video games, the music continues to offer an entry point for listeners new to the ambient genre while remaining a classic touted by connoisseurs.No tracklist available$33.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock