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In Utero: 20th Anniversary Edition
20th Anniversary Edition Features The Original Album Brilliantly Remastered At Abbey Road Studios And Pressed On Two 45 RPM 180 Gram Vinyl LPs
The 180 Gram 33 1/3 RPM LP Includes Previously Unreleased Recordings And Demos, B-sides And Compilation Tracks And Live Material
Ranked 439/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
A reactionary statement to the phenomenal commercial success of Nevermind, In Utero remains Nirvanas most noisy, caustic, uncompromised, and aggressive album. Its also the bands best, a brilliant combination of contagious hooks, feedback-drenched squalls, bruised beauty, and biting lyrical wit intended to blindside causal listeners with raw emotion, difficult listening, and painful honesty. Rife with medical imagery and references to disease, sickness, decay, and dismay, In Utero is the distraught sound of personal catharsis and unyielding trauma. More revealingly, the record doubles as a haunting foreshadowing of singer Kurt Cobains suicide that took place just months after its release.
Unhappy with the high-gloss production and pop-based arrangements on Nevermind, Nirvana set out to make a harsher album that would literally alienate millions. While the trio succeeded in its goal of getting intimate with blistering dissonance and acerbic tones, In Utero resonated with the public, debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts and ultimately selling more than four million copies. Echoing John Lennon, Cobains piercing songwriting spoke to the disaffected masses that shared his anguish and set new standards for ironic depth that still stand. For every unsettling screed (Serve the Servants, Milk It, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter, Tourettes) there are introspective moments of folk-inspired elegance (All Apologies, Pennyroyal Tea, Dumb) that hint at the direction in which Nirvana was headed.
In Utero is equally legendary for the controversies involving its production. Originally helmed by Steve Albini, an engineer known for capturing live ambience and natural tones, the album was eventually remixed by Scott Litt after the group complained about the vocal sound. While the exact specifics of what party demanded the redo remain blurry, the finished results are staggering, with the added harmonies, better bass definition, and vocal volume boosts achieving an ideal balance that satisfied the bands wishes. Now, you can hear it like never before.LP 1 + 2 (45 RPM)
1. Serve the Servants
2. Scentless Apprentice
3. Heart Shaped Box
4. Rape Me
5. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
7. Very Ape
8. Milk It
9. Pennyroyal Tea
10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
12. All Apologies
LP 3 (33 1/3 RPM)
Remastered B-sides, never-before-heard mixes and bonus tracks from the original album release$59.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45RPM + 33 1/3RPM LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ChromaticsWhen songwriter and producer Sam Genders last donned his Diagrams hat, captive listeners found themselves truly stunned by the Streatham Hill artist's imaginative and inventive arrangements that made up 2012s debut album Black Light. Having now upped sticks from his London lodgings and settled in Sheffield with a new lease of life and wife, fresh pastures and friendships are what form the heart of Diagrams' brand new album Chromatics.
"Relationships are a constant thread. In all their frustrating, exciting, mundane, beautiful, wonderful, sexy, scary glory," reveals Genders of the album's themes. "And there's lots of hope in the songs. They shouldn't be taken too literally mind you in my head Chromatics is life in Technicolor; with all its ups and downs."
Equally drawing inspiration from the writing on relationships by David Schnarch, Ester Perel and the book Division Street by Sheffield poet Helen Mort, whilst spending time in his own home studio for the first time, it's without doubt that the Steel city provided the ideal backdrop for Genders to write whenever the inspiration came and, essentially, whittle down the fifty or so tracks he had recorded as part of the album's creation. "There are woods over the road and a little garden out the back with a greenhouse, shed, and flower beds. Being in a new place has brought something special to the process. Sheffield is a very open and direct place and I'd say the songs are more that way too."
Whilst Black Light fizzed with electronic effects, synth-bass, programmed beats and low-key funk grooves that brought about comparisons to the leftfield pop of Arthur Russell, Metronomy, Steve Mason and Hot Chip, it's without doubt that Genders' next offering falls closer to home comforts and marks the next step in Genders' renaissance. Take lead track 'Phantom Power'; it's the track which truly sums up what it's like to find yourself forever reassessing. "It's about feeling like you're losing a grip on your sanity at one moment, then feeling inspired and up for anything the next. Or frustration with yourself yet believing that it's possible to sort yourself out," explains Genders. Elsewhere 'You Can Talk To Me's delicate rolling melody and 'Serpent' once again showcase the playful, eclectic slant to Genders' songwriting prowess alongside an innate sense of crisp production and programming techniques.
Never one to shirk away from those around him, Genders would be the first to call Diagrams, and particularly Chromatics, a collaborative process. Once again featuring a rolling cast of inspirational musicians the album includes vocals from, amongst friends and family members, The Smoke Fairies whilst the skilled brass and string arrangements come courtesy of Danyal Dhondy and Sam Ewens. 'London's greatest' drummers Karl Penney, and Cacophony drummer Fletcher Adams provide the beats whilst live band members Emma Black and Ben Malitskie lend their expertise of Baritone Saxophone and Viola. 'Brain' meanwhile, was co-written with long-time friend and collaborator Matt McKenzie and features an in utero recording of his son James' heartbeat.
Yet it's the partnership with producer Leo Abrahams (Wild Beasts, David Byrne, Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, Ed Harcourt, Marianne Faithful et al) that has truly brought Diagrams to life. After a long search, Abrahams was picked to piece all parts together and as a result Genders found himself writing songs that worked across a variety of production styles. "Leo's incredibly good at what he does and virtually all the impressive production and soundscaping is down to him. He's also an amazing guitarist and played some of my favourite guitar moments on the album."
Who knows exactly what kind of relationships will inspire Genders next? Currently finding himself midst China's south central city of Changsha in Hunan as a Musician in Residence on behalf of the British Council and PRS foundation, life for Genders right now is all about new experiences, meeting new faces and learning from new friendships. "It feels like anything could happen from one day to the next. I'd like to record a Chinese version of 'Phantom Power' so that once I'm back in the UK I can reconnect with the music lovers I've met. I've heard lots of very poppy pop songs that incorporate both Chinese and English lyrics so I'd like to try my own twist on that."1. Phantom Power
2. Gentle Morning Song
5. You Can Talk To Me
7. Dirty Broken Bliss
9. The Light & The Noise
11. Just A Hair's Breadth$18.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
In Utero: 20th Anniversary Edition (2013 Mix) (Awaiting Repress)
45 RPM 180 Gram Vinyl Double Album
Mastered At Abbey Road Studios
Direct To Metal Mastering
Alternate Artwork Exclusive To This Release
The 20th anniversary of Nirvana's third and ultimately final studio album, In Utero, continues apace, with its 2013 Mix, mastered at Abbey Road Studios,
issued as a 45 RPM 180 gram vinyl double album--cut to copper plates using the direct to metal mastering process, and housed in stunning alternate
artwork exclusive to this release.
The 2013 Mix finds original producer Steve Albini revisiting In Utero with the blessing and oversight of Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. With an approach
described as more of an alternate snapshot of the same entity than a typical remix or new mix, the 2013 Mix coaxes forth never before heard nuances-
-and including unearthed alternate performances on some tracks--and finds incredible new sonic dimensions of the unwitting swansong of the single most
influential artist of the 1990s.
Upon its original 1993 release, In Utero was easily the most polarizing record of a generation. The most confrontational yet vulnerable material Kurt
Cobain, Novoselic and Grohl would ever record, it was also the first record Nirvana would make with any expectations from the public. The In Utero 2013
Mix double vinyl edition offers yet another perspective of the final and perhaps finest hour of Nirvana: of the most incredible yet conflicted rock 'n' roll band
of the era at the peak of its powers surmounting struggles from within and without to make the record they needed to make.LP 1
1. Serve The Servants
2. Scentless Apprentice
3. Heart Shaped Box
4. Rape Me
5. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle
1. Very Ape
2. Milk It
3. Pennyroyal Tea
4. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
6. All Apologies$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
OverjoyedAnnouncing Overjoyed, the first album in 13 years from legendary punk band Half Japanese. One of the most influential bands of all time, Jad Fair and Half Japanese spearheaded the DIY and Lo-Fi movements, influencing countless bands such as Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Daniel Johnston, and perhaps most notably, Kurt Cobain (who ranked Half Japanese amongst his top 50 favorites, had them open the In Utero tour, and was wearing their t-shirt when he died). Without exaggeration, Half Japanese is one of the most important bands in the history of music. Overjoyed was recorded and produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, and ranks amongst the best albums of the band's catalog.1. In Its Pull
2. Meant To Be That Way
3. Brave Enough
4. Do It Nation
5. The Time Is Now
6. Our Love
7. Shining Star
8. Each Other's Arms
9. Overjoyed And Thankful
10. We Are Sure
11. As Good Can Be
12. Tiger Eyes$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Peace DelusionsModern Pain's Peace Delusions is described by its creators' peers as if In Utero was a hardcore punk record. Peace Delusions resembles a golden artifact unearthed from the '80s American hardcore underground, harnessing the unbridled aggression of groundbreaking acts like SSD, Poison Idea and Infest and filtering it through the caustic,ashy atmospheres and unfettered noise rock of Texan predecessors Scratch Acid and the Jesus Lizard, as well as Moss Icon's murky, wordy pathos.1. Vivisepulture pt. 1
2. Ego Death
3. Holy Foundations Crumble
4. When the Hymn Fades
5. My Reality Is Slipping Away
6. World Inverted
8. Peace Delusions
9. Leave Me Here
10. Vivisepulture pt. 2$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ShadowsFrom the Press Release:I felt very free going into making this album. It was a solo mission, on my terms, my time, my choices, says Lenka. Previously my music was focused on being uplifting and energizing. For this album, I shifted to create a lullaby soundtrack for myself, my child and everyone out there. I have always loved albums that one can fall asleep to; an experience I enjoyed a lot growing up. Those songs drift into your unconscious like no others.
Tracks like Nothing Here But Love, an unbridled paean to the power of love, and After the Winter, a celebration of spring and the hope it holds that features Tracy Bonham on violin, offer a welcome respite from a rattled world. Two Heartbeats is an ethereal slice of life written from the perspective of an unborn child (and features the in utero heartbeat of Lenka's son)
The album has is soothing moments, to be sure, but Shadows also grapples head-on with separation (Faster With You), loss (the heartbreaking Nothing) and the fears that keep young and old awake at night (Monsters). The Shadows are imprints and remnants of the big life stuff happening to me right now, she explains. I have been reflecting a lot as things change around me. Birth, death, love, regrets, innocence, dreams, independence, connection.
Lenka plays a variety of instruments throughout, including keyboards, wurli, glockenspiel and vibraphone, and recorded the album in New York, Montreal, Toronto and her hometown of Sydney.
In Australia, Lenka reunited with Tom Schutzinger, whom she had originally worked with when both were members of acclaimed Australian electronic/ambient band Decoder Ring. Schutzinger produced No Harm Tonight as well as Heart To The Party, a track he and Lenka co-wrote.
After leaving Decoder Ring and moving to the States, Lenka released her self-titled debut album in 2008. It entered Billboard's Heatseekers chart at #3 and contained The Show, a No. 1 single at radio in three countries that has had a very long life. It was the pivotal song in the 2011 film Moneyball and Billy Crystal sang The Show during his opening monologue for the 2012 Oscars. The Show has also been heard in promotional spots for Ugly Betty, Old Navy, Coca-Cola, Apple and Crate & Barrel commercials, and on Dancing With The Stars and Grey's Anatomy.1. Nothing Here But Love
2. Faster With You
3. Heart To The Party
4. After the Winter
5. Find A Way to You
7. No Harm Tonight
8. Two Heartbeats
11. The Top Of Memory Lane$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live At Reading (Awaiting Repress)Ranked #1 in Kerrang magazine's 100 Gigs That Shook The World and voted as Nirvana's #1 Greatest Moment by fans in an NME poll, Nirvana's historic August 30, 1992 headlining appearance at the UK's Reading Festival is one of the most bootlegged concerts in the annals of rock 'n' roll. Now, fans finally can own a pristine copy of that entire performance complete with remastered audio.
While the show's centerpiece was a performance of nearly the entire Nevermind tracklist, also noteworthy were early performances of three as yet unrecorded songs which wouldn't be released until a year later on In Utero: All Apologies,Dumb, and, in its first ever public performance, Tourette's. The career-spanning set list also reached back to the band's 1989 Sub Pop debut album, Bleach, for Blew,About A Girl, School, Negative Creep, and the band's first single Love Buzz, and even further back for Spank Thru.
Other songs from the Reading set would appear in studio form on the Incesticide compilation later in the year: Aneurysm, Been A Son and Sliver. Additionally, the band played a pair of beloved covers by two bands that helped shape the formative Nirvana sound: The Money Will Roll Right In by Fang and by The Wipers.1. Breed
2. Drain You
6. In Bloom
7. Come As You Are
9. About A Girl
12. Lounge Act
13. Smells Like Teen Spirit
14. On A Plain
15. Negative Creep
16. Been A Son
17. All Apologies
20. Stay Away
21. Spank Thru
22. The Money Will Roll Right In
24. Territorial Pissings$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Binary"My last record was very inward-looking," says Ani DiFranco. "I was pregnant and then raising a screaming infant. But now that kid is about to turn four, so I got out of the weeds of personal space and started looking outward again, being more engaged, more big 'P' Political. As an artist, I like to be out in the world, and what initially compelled me was to try to push society to a better place. So when I'm not in heartbreak or motherhood mode, that's where you'll naturally find me."
With her twentieth studio album, Binary, the iconic singer/songwriter/activist/poet/DIY trendsetter returns to territory that brought her to the world's attention more than twenty-five years ago. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, DiFranco is kicking ass and taking names, with a set of songs offering a wide range of perspective and musical scope.
She describes a moment during the writing of "Play God," an unblinking pro-choice battle cry, as a particular breakthrough. (A live version of the song was included in the anti-Trump "30 Days, 30 Songs" campaign alongside tracks from Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, and more.)
"When I wrote the line 'You don't get to play god, man/I do,' I paused and thought, 'Can I say that?,' " she says. "It's not the first time I've thought that, but it's been a while. And in that moment, I thought, 'I'm back, mothafuckas!'"
"When you make a record about family and relationships, people assume you're mommy now and you've lost your edge, and it's going to be all buttercups from here on. So that line had the feeling of 'Take that! My kid is sleeping right now and I want to talk about some shit!"
On Binary, DiFranco tackles the challenge and necessity of teaching non-violence with "Pacifist's Lament" and the need for empathy in "Terrifying Sight." Remarkably, though, these songs-recorded, in her usual fashion, in a couple of short full-sprint sessions spread across several years-were all written prior to the 2016 elections and attendant political turmoil.
"I'm not surprised," says DiFranco. "Over twenty-five years, I've found that my songwriting is often full of premonition. It shows me, in a deep and spooky way, how we know things on levels below consciousness. I write songs and then they happen, and later I realize what they're about. I'm just happy to have some good tools in my toolbox to address what's happening now-the feminist diatribes are turned up nice and high on this record!"
She notes that Binary's title track is key to her intention on this project. "I always title a record from the song that seems to be at its core," she says. "An underlying theme in the songs, and in the feminism I want to engage society with, is the idea that autonomy is a fallacy-nothing exists except in relationship to something else. We are, in some senses individuals with individual liberties and unique powers, but that's only a surface story."
Though this concept is closely tied up in our present-day obsession with technology ("Sitting alone at home, staring at a screen, you can't really know anything, because knowing is engaging," she says), DiFranco also reveals a growing connection to nature and the physical world.
"Every year on Goddess' Green Earth, I understand my relationship to it more," she says. "My early songs were all human drama. I don't think I noticed the bigger picture at all-I was transfixed by power dynamics between people. Now I see that it's largely the providence of women to really embody nature, so I do think I'm getting back to basics, and it's a shift for me."
The backbone of Binary's sound is DiFranco's long-time rhythm section of bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins, but on much of the album, the trio is augmented with some all-star guests. "I knew I wanted to involve some of my brilliant friends this time out," she says. "We made some calls and got a party going. That was the idea, to reach out and have some other spirits enter."
Virtuoso violinist Jenny Scheinman and keyboard wizard Ivan Neville both join in for more than half of the record; "they are so captivating and they elevate my shit whenever they come near it," says DiFranco. Other contributors include the legendary Maceo Parker, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and Gail Ann Dorsey, longtime bassist for David Bowie. New Orleans resident DiFranco takes special pride in the Crescent City funk spearheaded by natives Higgins and Neville on a number of the tunes. "Their souls are of this place," she says. "The feel they bring is something they got in utero."
For the better part of 2016, DiFranco beat the drum for voter turnout on her "Vote Dammit!" tour, focusing on registering and inspiring people to vote. In the days following the election, fans turned to her for guidance with renewed earnestness, anxious to hear music and wisdom from the longtime activist. Ani encouraged fans to take political action and did the same herself, participating in the Women's March on Washington and performing at the official Women's March after party benefitting Planned Parenthood with The National and Sleater-Kinney.
Binary, of course, is being released into a world in which music distribution and consumption have transformed rapidly and dramatically. For DiFranco, a true pioneer in the music industry with her Righteous Babe label, it's a time to reconsider the possibilities and ambitions of her business.
"While I was precedent-setting at one time with Righteous Babe and my indie crusade, I feel like, in the time it took me to nurse another baby into being, I've fallen behind," she says. "The universe and technology have continued to evolve, and the idea of harnessing technology and crowd-sourcing everything-money, knowledge, revolution-is a very powerful concept that I'm ready to get more involved with. Righteous Babe is starting to grow now into something that will hopefully become avant-garde once again- more of a collective, more dynamic."
"I'm trying to figure it out daily," says Ani DiFranco. "Just like always."1. Binary
2. Pacifist's Lament
4. Play God
7. Even More
10. Terrifying Sight
11. Deferred Gratification$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now