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Learning To Crawl

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  • Learning To Crawl Learning To Crawl Quick View

    $34.99
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    Learning To Crawl

    What is the sound of a fledgling band dealing with multiple tragedies, coming to terms with drastic changes, digging deep into its consciousness, finding resolution in hurt, and overcoming staggering odds to record a bonafide masterwork? It's the sound of every note that graces the Pretenders' Learning to Crawl. Still recognized as one of the most emotionally gripping and musically gutsy performances ever made, the smash 1984 album hasn't aged a day. And now, it sounds better than could ever be imagined.



    Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Learning to Crawl finally possesses the combination of whisper-in-your-ear intimacy and nerve-checking toughness that it's always demanded on Mobile Fidelity's super-quiet analog LP. Leader Chrissie Hynde's voice is made viscerally apparent, wavering between vigorous determination and solemn reflection, while drummer Martin Chamber's punchy backbeats register with requisite punch. To say nothing of how fresh the effort's hit singles (Middle of the Road, Back on the Chain Gang) and incredible deep cuts sound.



    The story behind Learning to Crawl is directly connected to the powerful, moving music within. After releasing two records that swept the world by storm (Pretenders and Pretenders II, the latter available on hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity), the group's fortunes reversed after guitarist James Honeyman-Scott was found dead of a drug overdose in 1982. Shortly thereafter, founding member Pete Fardon, fired just two days before his partner's death, also succumbed to an overdose, leaving the band's state in tatters. Would there still be a Pretenders?



    Hynde answers this question with a resounding yes on Learning to Crawl, which still contains signs of the band's early, street-wise rawness but also adds new wrinkles, with more streamlined melodies, sensitive ballads, and reflective tones. Back on the Chain Gang, the Pretenders' most commercially successful hit, functioned as a bittersweet tribute to her ex-mates while the Christmas-themed 2000 Miles holds rank as one of the most effecting, penetrating love songs of Hynde's career. Throughout the record, the Pretenders are again one.



    New guitarist Robbie McIntosh supplies simpler, bluesier, basic guitar lines and the foursome know how to all-out rock, with the furious Middle of the Road and socially conscious My City Was Gone testifying to a stinging, thrilling sensibility that can exist only because of the devastation that the band survived. Call it the rise of the phoenix or triumph of the human will, but any way you see it, Learning to Crawl occupies a rare territory--akin to the space referred to on the superb cover of Thin Line Between Love and Hate--that registers in the pits of the human soul.



    Whether you've grown up with this album, heard it in college, or are just learning about it now, Mobile Fidelity's expertly mastered 180g LP version is the only analog edition worth owning. Hear Hynde and Co.'s cathartic, transcendent effort in all its full splendor, and, like the Pretenders, refuse to settle for less.


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    1. Middle of the Road
    2. Back on the Chain Gang
    3. Time the Avenger
    4. Watching the Clothes
    5. Show Me
    6. Thumbelina
    7. My City Was Gone
    8. Thin Line Between Love and Hate
    9. I Hurt You
    10. 2000 Miles
    Pretenders
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
  • Dalmak Dalmak Quick View

    $25.99
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    Dalmak

    180g LP Audiophile Pressing Includes Art Poster


    Fourth Album From Modern Contemporary / Instrumental Rock Ensemble Led By Percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) & Cellest Rebecca Food (Silver Mr Zion, Saltland, Set Fire To Flames)


    Partly Recorded In Istanbul With Four Turkish Guest Players


    Mixed By Jace Lasek (The Besbard Lakes, Wolf Parade, Suuns)


    When Esmerine surfaced with La Lechuza in 2011, the album signaled many things: the band's first new recordings in six years, an expanded line-up, and a song cycle inspired by and dedicated to the life and untimely death of a dear friend and fellow musician. What wasn't immediately clear was whether this acclaimed record would mark the opening of a new chapter for the band, or stand alone as a singular work of eulogy and homage driven by emotion and circumstance.


    Esmerine's new album Dalmak emphatically confirms that the group has indeed continued writing, exploring and collaborating - definitively extending its horizons in this new iteration of the band's trajectory. Bruce Cawdron (marimba) resigned from his seat as drummer for Godspeed You! Black Emperor in 2012, allowing him to focus more fully on Esmerine alongside co-founder and cellist Rebecca Foon (Silver Mt. Zion, Set Fire To Flames); the two
    principals also recruited percussionist Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Islands) and multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson as full-time members to solidify the group as a writing and performing quartet.


    European tours in 2011-2012 brought Esmerine to Istanbul, where the group's enthusiastic reception led to an invitation for an artist residency in the city. Dalmak is the fruit of that visit: the majority of the album was recorded in Istanbul, where compositions by the band's four Canadian musicians were augmented by a number of Turkish guest players.


    Dalmak is a Turkish verb with many connotations: to be absorbed in, to dive into, to bathe in, to contemplate, to plummet. As a title for Esmerine's new album, "dalmak refers in a literal sense to immersion in the culture and music of Istanbul but also appropriately evokes the range of music that emerged from this immersion: a collection of songs that shift between meditative pulsing and enveloping restraint to headlong flights into rhythm and groove. With Dalmak, Esmerine presents some of its most richly minimal and intimate music alongside what is surely its most explosive, energized and ornate. The album is a tour-de-force of cross-cultural music-making, emotive but unsentimental,
    deeply textured and detailed but never precious or pedantic, superbly guided throughout by a balance of DIY rock, new folk and modern classical/contemporary sensibilities.


    With initial recording by Barkin Engin and Metin Bozkurt in Istanbul, Esmerine laid down the
    live bed tracks for the up-tempo rhythmic songs at the album's core: Lost River Blues, Barn Board Fire and Translator's Clos. Marimba, cello, drums, tenor banjo, bass and trumpet are joined by bendir, darbuka, erbane, meh, barama, saz and electric guitar from local players for these centerpiece tracks, where extended melodic themes and short solos are passed around and woven through staccato grooves and polyrhythmic vamps in deeply
    satisfying fashion. The sessions continued back in MontrÉal at Breakglass, where Cawdron and Foon tracked the more studied cello and marimba songs Learning To Crawl and White Pine, and where the album's gorgeously saturated warmth, depth and propulsive grit was achieved courtesy of Breakglass head engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes,
    Wolf Parade, Suuns) and Ian Ilavsky, who mixed the album alongside Rebecca and Bruce.


    We're thrilled to present this new album from Esmerine and to document the continued evolution of Bruce Cawdron and Rebecca Foon, two musicians with whom Constellation has enjoyed a decade-long relationship spanning multiple projects. Dalmak is a distinct and exciting highlight in their diverse and adventurous discographies.

    1. Learning To Crawl
    2. Lost River Blues I
    3. Lost River Blues II
    4. Barn Board Fire
    5. Hayale Dalmak
    6. Translator's Clos I
    7. Translator's Clos II
    8. White Pine
    9. Yavri Yavri
    Esmerine
    $25.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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