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Smokescreen (Discontinued)The core duo of Michael Bernstein (guitar, synth, vocals) and Maya Miller (organ, vocals) began their careers together as the extreme noise act, Double Leopards. By 2005, they had left the industrial noise realm for the somewhat mellower pastures of Kraut explorations. Their last album on Ecstatic Peace was highly acclaimed and co-produced by label owner Thurston Moore. Like SB label-mates Moon Duo, or the recent Chilean signings of Follakzoid and The Holydrug Couple, Religious Knives draw from a well of pounding rhythmic drums and psychedelic drones with heavy organ and synth landscapes which envelope the listener fully.1. The Message
2. Paper Thin
3. Big Police
4. Garbage Can
5. Private Air
6. You Walk
7. Chill Haze
8. Smokescreen$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
CirclesArriving just a year and a half after their last album (Mazes), Moon Duo's latest was largely inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1841 essay "Circles." Most of it was tracked back home in Colorado in February, with a few final sessions at Lucky Cat Recordings in San Francisco last April. Expect a worldwide tour in support of the record later this year.1. Sleepwalker
2. I Can See
4. I Been Gone
6. Dance Pt. 3
7. Free Action
9. Rolling Out$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Occult Architecture Vol. 2Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that
which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then
the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo's fourth album - a psychedelic opus in two
separate volumes released in 2017 - is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible
structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark
Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything,
Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies
through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang.
Following the Yin (feminine, darkness, night, earth) represented on Occult Architecture
Vol. 1, Vol. 2 presents the Yang. Yang means "the bright side of the hill" and
is associated with the male, sun, light and the spirit of heaven, and as such Vol. 2
explores the light and airy elements of Moon Duo's complex psyche.
"In production, we referred to Vol. 1 as the fuzz dungeon, and Vol. 2 as the crystal
palace," guitarist Ripley Johnson explains. "The darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the
light of Vol. 2. We had to have both elements in order to complete the cycle. We're
releasing them separately to allow them their own space, and to ensure clarity
of vision. To that end we also mixed Vol. 2 separately, in the height of Portland
summer, focusing on its sonic qualities of lightness, air, and sun. Listeners can
ultimately use the two volumes individually or together, depending on circumstance
or the desired effect."
Vol. 2 was mixed in Portland by the band's longtime collaborator Jonas Verwijnen.1. New Dawn
2. Mirror's Edge
4. Lost in Light
5. The Crystal World$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Occult Architecture Vol. 1Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo's fourth album - a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in 2017 - is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light. Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. In Chinese, Yin means the shady side of the hill and is associated with the feminine, darkness, night, earth. Following this logic, Vol. 1 embraces and embodies Moon Duo's darker qualities - released appropriately, in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.1. The Death Set
2. Cold Fear
4. Cross-Town Fade
5. Cult of Moloch
6. Will of the Devil
7. White Rose$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
MoonBorn from love, musical empathy, a baby grand piano discovered on Gumtree and an expired visa, Snowbird duo Stephanie Dosen and Simon Raymonde have crafted an album of exquisite melody and mood that radiates the uncanny mystery of the object it's named after: moon.
Released on Bella Union, the label that Raymonde has run and curated since his former band Cocteau Twins went their individual ways in 1997, moon comprises 11 songs composed between two continents; Raymonde was in London while Dosen was in North Carolina after being based in the capital following her 2007 debut A Lily For The Spectre. Snowbird's album was subsequently crafted via the wonder of technology, and yet moon has one unifying and intimate sound and vision, from gently pulsating, pop-centric trails ("I Heard The Owl Call My Name", "Bears On My Trail") and lingering, luminous ballads ("All Wishes Are Ghosts", "Come To The Woods") to the musical equivalent of floating downstream, bathed
in silvery light ("Charming Birds From Trees", "In Lovely").
The eagle-eyed out there will notice the predominance of flora and fauna on moon, starting with the name Snowbird. There's more on "Where Foxes Hide", "We Carry White Mice" and "Heart Of The Woods". But there is one human subject in"Amelia", and others came out to play too, a suitably transatlantic roster of friends: Radiohead drummer Philip Selway and guitarist Ed O'Brien, Midlake guitarist Eric Pulido and drummer McKenzie Smith and two more gifted guitarists in Paul Gregory(Lanterns On The Lake) and Jonathan Wilson.
If the 11 tracks weren't enough there is a 2nd half of the record!. An album of remixes (one for each 11 tracks) by Michigan's electronic music genius by the name of RxGibbs, who expands, annotates and shines a whole new light on the wonder of Snowbird, adding and subtracting beats, creating otherworldly ambient passages, and building the other half of a distinctly beautiful and passionate whole that gives a whole new meaning to the term"moonstruck" The album cover (above) is by Vaughan Oliver, famed graphic designer known for his distinctive work for 4AD, including many album covers for Cocteau Twins.LP1
1. I Heard The Owl Call My Name
2. All Wishes Are Ghosts
3. Charming Birds From Trees
4. Where Foxes Hide
6. Bears On My Trail
8. Come To The Woods
9. We Carry White Mice
10. In Lovely
11. Heart Of The Woods
Track by track remix by RX GIBBS$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Moon TidesIt's a rare and beautiful thing when a band emerges fully formed, but it makes perfect sense in the case of guitarist Daniel Hindman and keyboardist Sarah Versprille's Pure Bathing Culture. Having backed folk rock revisionist Andy Cabic in Vetiver, the New Yorkers partnered up and moved West in 2011, settling in Portland, Oregon. Building off their past experiences as musical collaborators, in a short time the duo have created a sound that is undeniably their own: soaring synths, chiming keyboards, and shimmering electric guitars move in lockstep with bouncing drum machines. Sarah's crystalline voice floats on top of it all with divine purpose. It's a sound that looks back momentarily for inspiration -- Talk Talk, Prefab Sprout, Cocteau Twins -- but then fixes its gaze firmly on the present.
Further developing the sound of their acclaimed four song, self-titled 2012 EP, at the start of 2013 they set out to record Moon Tides, their first full length album. Again, they chose to work with producer Richard Swift at his National Freedom studio in rural Cottage Grove, Oregon. Throughout 2012 Swift had called on the duo to help him with other studio projects (Versprille sings on Foxygen's latest LP and Hindman adds his sprawling guitar work to Damien Jurado's excellent Marqopa) which only helped to cement the threesome's musical partnership. For Moon Tides they continued where the previous EP left off, bolstered by Swift's belief in the duo's artistic vision and their unique sound, "From very early on, Richard was the person telling us that what we were hearing and wanting to do musically (which at times could feel a little strange or embarrassing to us) was ok and valid and that we should pursue it."
Like the earlier sessions for the EP, they worked quickly in the studio and improvised parts around the basic song structures that they'd carefully composed up in Portland. Dan explains, "Pretty much all tracks (vocals and instruments) are all first or very early takes. Richard is kind of a stickler about this and I actually don't go in with a clean, pristine idea of what I'm going to play on guitar or any other instrument for that matter, so there's actually a lot of improvisation as far as performances in the studio go." The results, like the earlier EP, are astounding: the arrangements feel fresh and imaginative, the melodies are unforgettable and the finished songs, most importantly, feel intensely human and deeply spiritual.
It's this compassion and warmth in Pure Bathing Culture that set them apart. The music is uplifting. It invites self-reflection. It never feels alienating. This, confirms the band, is no accident: "Concepts of spirituality, self actualization, mysticism, new age symbolism and pretty much anything that has to do with humans making sense of why we're all here are all deep, deep muses for us." To that point, even the album title Moon Tides alludes to self-discovery: "We are deeply inspired by the relationship between the moon and the tides. Particularly in the sense that the tides and the ocean are comprised of water and the element water is often associated with human emotion." While these heady themes can be difficult to explore in a pop song, Pure Bathing Culture makes it feel effortless. "Pendulum" is a perfect mid-tempo album opener that pulses and shines. Other standout tracks from the album -- "Dream The Dare", "Twins", "Scotty" and "Golden Girl" -- are slices of reverb-drenched, soulful, danceable electro-pop, that musically and lyrically tap into an introspective worship of the natural and psychic mysteries that surround us. Pure Bathing Culture's debut album Moon Tides is optimistic modern music for souls who seek to explore the infinite.1. Pendulum
2. Dream The Dare
3. Ever Greener
5. Only Lonely Lovers
7. Seven to One
8. Golden Girl
9. Temples Of The Moon$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Aloha MoonThe first full-length from alternative indie pop duo, Magic Wands is a follow up to their debut EP, Magic Love & Dreams. Aloha Moon includes all 4 tracks from the EP, remixedand remastered, as well as 6 brand new tracks. CD and digital versions of the album features mixes by D. Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother, LCD Soundsystem) for Black Magic and Space, while the vinyl replaces Space with a mix by Sep V.1. Aloha Moon
2. Teenage Love
3. Kaleidoscope Hearts
6. Black Magic
9. Kiss Me Dead
10. Space$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Moon Safari (Awaiting Repress)Moon Safari is the debut studio album by the French music duo Air, released in 1998. Rhino will be releasing reissues on heavyweight, black vinyl, remastered and with all original artwork.1. La Femme D'argent
2. Sexy Boy
3. All I Need - By Air - Beth Hirsch
4. Kelly Watch The Stars
7. You Make It Easy - By Air - Beth Hirsch
8. Ce Matin-Là
9. New Star In The Sky
10. Le voyage de PÉnÉlope$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Moon Safari (20th Anniversary)20th Anniversary Edition Pressed On Phosphorescent (Glow In The Dark) Colored Vinyl
2018 is the 20th anniversary of French electronic duo Air's debut album, "Moon Safari." The album remains Air's most renowned release, and is acclaimed by critics and fans globally. It includes the iconic tracks 'Sexy Boy,' 'Kelly Watch the Stars,' and 'La Femme d'Argent.'
To mark the anniversary, Parlophone / Rhino will be releasing a phosphorescent (glow in the dark), colored edition of the LP using the original audio.1. La Femme D'argent
2. Sexy Boy
3. All I Need - By Air - Beth Hirsch
4. Kelly Watch The Stars
7. You Make It Easy - By Air - Beth Hirsch
8. Ce Matin-Là
9. New Star In The Sky
10. Le Voyage De PÉnÉlope$14.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Drawing Down The Moon (Awaiting Repress)It's been nearly seven years since Azure Ray duo Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor released their critically acclaimed and most recent album Hold On Love. With 3 prior full-lengths and an EP, the duo drew fans from around the globe with their transcendent songwriting and stunning vocals, and Drawing Down the Moon is an even more impressive and beguiling delight. Azure Ray are famed for their bittersweet melancholy and Drawing Down is a perfect ode to their harmonious musical gifts.1.Wake Up, Sleepyhead
2.Don't Leave My Mind
3.In the Fog
5.On and On Again
6.Make Your Heart
8.Signs In the Leaves
9.Love and Permanence
10.Shouldn't Have Loved
12.Walking In Circles$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Seven MoonsVinyl LP pressing of this 2008 album from this duo consisting of British Rock legends Jack Bruce (Cream) and Robin Trower (Procol Harum). The duo made two joint recordings in the early 1980's, and teamed up again for this record, this time with British drummer Gary Husband (Level 42). What makes Seven Moons such a success is that Bruce and Trower each play to their strengths, Bruce brings his distinctive croon/moan to bluesy, riff-oriented tunes dominated by Trower's playing. They conjure a power trio sound which touches on Cream and Hendrix yet draws from their own deep, dark wells of experience.1. Seven Moons
2. Lives of Clay
3. Distant Places of the Heart
4. She's Not the One
5. So Far to Yesterday
6. Just Another Day
7. Perfect Place
8. The Last Door
9. Bad Case of Celebrity
10. Come to Me
11. I'm Home$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Shadow Of The Sun (Marble Blue Vinyl)Pressed On Marble Blue Vinyl
Shadow of the Sun is the result of a few months of Moon Duo wrangling with a new and unsettling way of being. Working both in a dark basement in Portland, and above ground in sunny San Francisco, these new sounds and songs veered dramatically from groove to groove, revealing sonic textures the duo had not previously explored. The song Night Beat, with it's woozy dance rhythm, is an attempt at finding joy and acceptance on this new, shifting ground, while Wilding plays off the familiar Moon Duo sound, taking refuge in a repetitive, grounding riff-scape. Elsewhere the band gives itself entirely up to the trip, cruising along on the fuzzed rhythms of Slow Down Low and Free the Skull, crashing into the clenched-teeth herky-jerk of Zero, and floating down, down, down, on the narcotic mist of In a Cloud.1. Wilding
2. Night Beat
3. Free the Skull
5. In a Cloud
7. Slow Down Low
10. Fadeaway$20.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Killing Time (Expanded Edition)Pressed On Red Colored Vinyl
Moon Duo is the solo alter-ego of Wooden Shjips guitarist and singer Ripley Johnson. Under the Moon Duo moniker, Johnson creates expansive Krautrock-influenced tapestries of warm cascading fuzz and controlled feedback, organ, and accenting keyboard.
The Killing Time 12-inch was their second release, incorporating a much more concise, composed and driving sound than before. Johnson expanded on ideas only hinted at on the Sick Thirst 12-inch, adding a driving drum machine beat behind the thick walls of layered sound.
This expanded edition of Killing Time features the original four songs plus three bonus tracks: "Bopper's Hat" - originally released on a split-7 with Bitchin Bajas on Permanent Records,"Run Around" - originally released on Menagerie #2 on Blackest Rainbow Records, and "Dead West Pt. II" - originally released on Raven Sings the Blues Vol. 2.1. Killing Time
3. Dead West
5. Bopper's Hat
6. Run Around
7. Dead West Pt. II$20.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Magical Mystery Psych-Out: A Tribute To The BeatlesModern psychedelic rock bands pull out all the stops on this mesmerizing tribute to inarguably the most influential rock band of all-time, The Beatles. These exclusive versions are unlike any Beatles covers you've heard with performances by German psych band Electric Moon, British duo The KVB, The Underground Youth, The Vacant Lots, and a whole lot more!1. Electric Moon - Tomorrow Never Knows
2. Sugar Candy Mountain - Rain
3. The Vacant Lots - Julia
4. The Blank Tapes - The Word
5. The Ruby Suns - Martha My Dear
6. The KVB - Taxman
7. The Underground Youth - Come Together
8. Fantasmes - Love You To
9. Quilt - Cry Baby Cry
10. The Lucid Dream - And I Love Her
11. Kikagaku Moyo - Helter Skelter
12. Strangers Family Band - Sun King$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Secret LifeToronto duo Moon King have crafted a raw, rapturous and emotional new record, which documents their ascent from an intimate conceptual project into a powerful live band. A first preview of the record comes with the chugging propulsion, soaring harmonies and cosmic haze of album opener 'Roswell'.
In 2013, Moon King, made up of songwriter Daniel Benjamin and singer/guitarist Maddy Wilde, played over 100 shows to support a pair of EPs, Obsession I and II, which were released on Fucked Up's One Big Silence label in North America and Tough Love in UK/Europe. After a year spent on the road, it became evident they should capture the energy of their live show while it was fresh. Following a performance at Iceland Airwaves, Daniel & Maddy relocated to a cottage in northern Ontario to record the album with a group of Toronto music scene luminaries, all of whom had played in various incarnations of the live band.
Most of the tracks on the album were recorded live off the floor, with little except the vocals added, put to tape by live sound engineer Noah Giffin (Owen Pallett, Austra, Diana). Though only five days of recording were booked, an ice storm prevented them from leaving, resulting in an extra couple of days work. The record was then mixed in New York with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra/Blouse.
The album's production introduces further nuance to the wall-of-sound approach of the EPs, stripping back dense layers to unearth spellbinding vocals and melodies. Daniel's lyrics focus on catharsis and the weight of emotional trauma, as well as dealing with the self-doubt that stands in the way of recovery.
Frequent show-opener "Apocalypse" begins with the confession "somehow I feel no release when I'm alone with anyone else / somehow I fall to pieces when I wake up to nothing where you should be" and builds intensity and speed until overflowing in a rush of noise, an oddly structured pop song with no repeating sections. "It's impossible / you've been run through with fear / love's a landfill / just another burning spear" chants the soaring chorus of 'Impossible'. The ultimatum at the climax of "Golden Age" - "all I want is to be wanted" channels an honest and tangible fear not common in today's pop landscape.
This sense of loss and longing permeates the album throughout, each song carrying with it both a weight and a sense of urgency.1. Roswell
2. Secret Life
4. Come Back
8. Golden Age
9. Medicine$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Life CoachPhil Manley, founding member of the pioneering DC-trio Trans Am, and in-demand recording engineer (The Alps, Arp, Mi Ami, Moon Duo, Wooden Shjips) has recorded his debut solo album. Life Coach, a title inspired by Tony Williams Lifetime and Charles Bullen's Lifetones project, is a dynamic collection of instrumental songs composed, performed, and recorded entirely by Phil.
While there are reflections of Phil's work in Trans Am, Oneida, The Fucking Champs, and Jonas Reinhardt that a listener familiar with those bands will notice, Life Coach is more minimal and adheres to the structures of German rock of the mid 70's that has long inspired Phil, specifically the free-spirited and loose arrangements, the propulsive motorik pulse, and the sonic textures or klangfarben (translated sound colors).
German analog recording technology had reached its zenith in the late 70's. This coincided nicely with the careers of such artists as Neu!, Kraftwerk, Harmonia, Cluster and Popol Vuh. German recording engineer Conny Plank, a hero of Phil's, was responsible for most of the greatest recordings of each of these bands. Life Coach pays homage to the klangfarbenÂ of Conny Plank's recordings.1. FT2 Theme
2. Commercial Potential
3. Lawrence, KS
4. Forest Opening Theme
5. Work It Out
6. Make Good Choices
7. Gay Bathers
8. Night Visions
9. Life Coach$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Enta Da StageEnta da Stage is the debut album of American East Coast hip hop group Black Moon, released on October 19, 1993 through Nervous Records. The album was produced by DJ Evil Dee and Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz. Enta da Stage features the debut of underground hip hop duo Smif-n-Wessun, as well as appearances from Havoc of Mobb Deep and Dru Ha, the co-founder of Duck Down Records.1. Powaful Impak!
2. Niguz Talk Shit
3. Who Got da Props?
4. Ack Like U Want It
5. Buck em Down
6. Black Smif-N-Wessun
7. Son Get Wrec
8. Make Munne
10. I Got Cha Opin
11. Shit Iz Real
12. Enta da Stage
13. How Many MC's...
14. U da Man$10.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
LandNovella's formation was the result of an instant spark-guitarist Hollie Warren,
guitarist Sophy Hollington, and bassist Suki Sou met through mutual friends in
Brighton in 2010, where they quickly realized that they shared a common
love for '60s counterculture and bands like Black Sabbath, the Brian Jonestown
Massacre, and Pale Saints. The addition of drummer Iain Laws in 2011
and keyboardist Isabel Spurgeon in 2014 solidified the group into a propulsive
engine, capable of welding woozy, cosmic psychedelia to sustained
squalls of flanged-out, far-out dream pop. Novella's debut album, Land, is a
controlled blast of mainlined electricity, a tempest of relentless groove and
crystalline vocals that is at once the vicious edge and the calm eye of the
Recorded during one ice-cold week in January of 2014 by Jonas Verijnen
(Moon Duo, Ballet School) and Joshua Third (The Horrors) in an abandoned
clothing factory-turned-studio in Dalston, East London, Land perfectly absorbs
the band's vast array of influences and transforms them into songs
that Fact Magazine described as "equal parts effete jangle and ferocious
riffage." Combining London gloom and cosmic escapism, Sou and Laws
channel Can and the 13th Floor Elevators on the krautrock-inspired jams like
"Follow" and "Something Must Change," while Warren and Hollington stomp
their homemade flanger and phaser pedals to create dueling arcs of electric
guitars. As the band churns and riffs, the girls' voices soar brilliantly, their
glassy clarity recalling the Lynchian shoegaze of Lush or Stereolab. During
quieter, more reflective songs like "Sentences" and "Younger Than Yesterday,"
there are echoes of eerie psychedelia like Broadcast, evident in the myriad
of flutes, synths, and Fender Electric XII guitars.
On Land, Novella captures the wild spirit of creating something new from
pieces of the past. They ward off the overcast London melancholy with
evocative tales of weightless meandering, of drifting over the pavement of
familiar streets while dreaming about exploring fantastical alien landscapes.
These are the yarns of twenty-somethings in limbo, a collection of late night
tales that more often end in avoided glances than locked eyes1. Follow
2. Something Must Change
4. Two Ships
5. Land Gone
7. Blue Swallows
8. Younger Than Yesterday
9. Again You Try Your Luck
10. Skies Open$24.99Vinyl LP + 7 Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
CelaImagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan
Sagan Youth have traveled many light-years and have many more to go...The duo's second full-length release Cela is a 10-song science-fiction concept album chronicling the journey to and exploration of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. The story is portrayed not only through vividly emotive tracks but also by an intricate comic which graces the inside of the album's gatefold sleeve. Cela was laboriously recorded using only analog synthesizers, effects, and tape units, creating a complex tapestry of organically evolving overtones. Drawing upon the rich history of electronic music, from mid-20th century avant-garde to hypnotic Komische, Sagan Youth create idiosyncratic electronic expressions. They fluidly modulate between different soundscapes and emotional timbres, but always with underlying themes of compassionate questioning, open-mindedness, and an awe of Nature.1. Leo Dub
8. Ice Cavern I
9. Ice Cavern II
10. Ice Cavern III$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FantasyLightning Dust - the duo comprised of Amber Webber and Josh Wells - tends to thrive in the spirit of
change.2007'sself-titled debutwas a hushed,intricate folk affair,while 2009'sInfinite Lightfound a middle
ground between Suicide and Fleetwood Mac era pop. So when they geared up to make the music that
would become Fantasy, the pair waslooking for a new sonic stamp.
Lightning Dust'sthird properfull length findsitsinspiration in skeletalsynth pop,modernR&B beats,the
films of John Carpenter and - in accordance with Lightning Dust's only longstanding rule - absolute
The core of Fantasy lies as much in the songwriting as in its sonics, and begins with tools
familiar to Webber and Wells: her acoustic guitar and his Wurlitzer piano. They worked to distill the
arrangementsto justthe fewkey elementsthatwere necessary to make the feelright, and through countless
hours of labor in The Balloon Factory - their Vancouver studio - the songs found their way to a sonic
palette more squarely electronic than either expected.
The first product of this experimentwasNeverAgainwhichwas previously featured on a 7in 2011 and
now closes the new album. It is a menacing, almost gothic electro-pop churner, marching from an
oscillating beat to an anthemic thunderstorm of synth textures. Like many of its cohorts, the song came
together slowly: beginning with a barebones acoustic demo and honed through their new sonic prism,
NeverAgain became not only a bouncing synth opus but a thesisstatement of sortsfor Fantasy.
Knowing now where they were going, the path began to take shape. The duo was keen to use a purely
synthetic palette for Fantasy, but instead of toiling away in front of a computer,Wells armed himself with
an MPC 2000 - a cumbersome, outdated machine, but one that proved to be the perfect tool to keep the
spirit of absolute minimalism alive in their new musical terrain.
The time-honored producer's weapon of
choice became Wells' entrance to the world of programming, one that empowered him to work by feel
alone. Webber, meanwhile, mined the freedom she felt singing along to records as a child, and strove to
write vocal melodies and singwith a more extroverted pop sensibility.The hooks are apparent, andWebber
sings with a self-assurance that beliesthe extent to which Fantasy marks a new, uncharted sonic space for
By beginning at the end, Lightning Dust has delivered an album that informs their sound in remarkable
new ways. Fantasy is a hypnotic, exciting record,recklessly new without sacrificing the rich atmosphere
that makes Lightning Dust who they are. Loaded Gun is a robotic riot grrrl anthem, while Agatha
standstall as an ominouslullaby.Fire, Flesh and Bonerecallsthe best cinematic newwave ballads,while
acoustic heartbreaker Moon makes the rest of the world disappear. And so while Lightning Dust's
destination was never an exact place, Fantasy is as vivid a place as you've everimagined.1 Diamond
2 Reckless And Wild
5 Fire Me Up
6 Loaded Gun
7 In The City Tonight
8 Fire, Flesh And Bone
10 Never Again$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
By-What can be said about Bygones? Have you heard of Hella? Tera Melos? These bands don't need words to get their point across. So logically, a project bred from their members Zach Hill (drums, vocals) & Nick Reinhart (guitar, bass, vocals) is equally successful at rendering listeners speechless. Bygones' debut album by- is a sinewy, wired mass of riffs and rhythms tightly wound around a uniquely pop heart. The duo fits more riffs and ideas into one song than most bands fit into a whole album. It's tireless, and nearly infinite in the sheer quantity of ideas to unravel.
Most everyone familiar with Zach Hill knows he's an equally tireless collaborator. Along with Hella, he also performs with Marnie Stern and in El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Team Sleep (with Chino Moreno of Deftones), Goon Moon, Crime In Choir and a host of others. In a recent news story, Pitchfork quipped of his ridiculously busy schedule, at this rate, Hill's probably going to need to clone himself.
Can we play the game of stepping out of the bounds of what's expected to the point where we're no longer sure if we believe in anything anymore? Is there a point? Bygones are a product of our age. Let's not over-analyze. Let's not look for cultural pertinence. Let's not be stymied by tradition, or by the desire to react against it. Let's not pander. Instead, let's rejoice in both our common bonds and our eccentricities. Let's own it. And, let Bygones be by-.1. Cold Reading
2. Click On That (Smash The Plastic Death)
3. Not What It Is But What It's Not
4. Nu Cringe
5. Fool Evolved
6. Spray You With Your Own Trip
8. Up The Shakes
10. Error$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
A Different Arrangement"A study in aching, moaning, human emotions set against robotic rhythms... there's a sense of decay present in every note."- About.com
"[Their] darksider organ drone and Goth vocals charm rather than wear."- Capital NY
"A promising Hardly Art debut."- Seattle Weekly
Black Marble's Weight Against the Door was an auspicious, attention-grabbing debut that made the Brooklyn duo the go-to opening act for today's darkwave greats (Light Asylum, TRUST, the Soft Moon). Now, less than ten months later, bedroom producers Chris Stewart and Ty Kube follow that gritty, surgically-precise EP with A
Different Arrangement, a new full-length that is, as its title suggests, a departure from Weight's calculated
A Different Arrangement surveys a wide variety of sounds, from the radiant, bouncing ebullience of "A Great Design" to the haunted playground-bop of "Limitations" (which juxtaposes sampled rim-drum clacks with layers of sentimental synth melodies and Stewart's resonant, reverb-smeared baritone). The warm, Peter Hook-inspired basslines shapeshift across Arrangement's runtime, and vintage synthesizer arrangements by Kube (formerly of electropop outfit Team Robespierre) are likewise versatile-airy ("MSQ No Extra"), astral ("UK"), and at times so distinctly manipulated and sculpted as to be otherworldly ("Last").
The influence of early synth pioneers like Thomas Leer and Robert Rental is felt across A Different Arrangement's eleven tracks, as are the fingerprints of the record's hard-line do-it-yourself architects.
"All the music we gravitate towards has that quality where you can imagine the space it was created in and the people who made it. Not this handed-down-from-on-high sensibility. A certain handmade feeling is what we're after," Stewart explains. "The music doesn't have to be complex, but it's important to carry some residue of the
process, especially when working with what [can sometimes] be construed as cold-sounding electronics. It's humanizing."
If Weight Against the Door constituted a long, cold night, then A Different Arrangement heralds the moment when the radiator finally sputters to life, flooding the room with heat as the sun rises over a horizon of Brutalist tower blocks. The homemade soundtrack to a still, uncertain dawn, A Different Arrangement is a striking evolution in Black Marble's sound.1. Cruel Summer
2. MSQ No-Extra
3. A Great Design
4. A Different Arrangement
10. Safe Minds
11. Unrelated$13.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Maria Taylor has been beguiling listeners since 1997, from her start in Little Red Rocket as a teenager to her time spent as half of the acclaimed duo Azure Ray to her career as a solo artist. Shes released a trio of varied, accomplished, and successful solo albums over six years; 2005s 11:11, 2007s Lynn Teeter Flower, 2009s LadyLuck and in 2010, after a six-year hiatus from Azure Ray, she reunited with Orenda Fink for the bands fourth album, Drawing Down The Moon.
Taylors journey has carried her from hometown Birmingham, AL, to Athens, GA, to Omaha, NE, and to Los Angeles, CA, and on tours all over the world. Guided by an indomitable inner compass, her instincts called her home to Birmingham in early 2010. She packed her things in LA and drove southeasterly, unsure exactly why but heading back to her family and to the South, which has always greatly influenced her music.
It was surprising to Taylor then, that after buying her first house and settling in, she was unable to write any songs for an entire year. Concerned, but busy with touring and promotion around Azure Rays new album, she carried on. Then last December during a month-long break, she finally wrote a song, the ruminative and haunting Happenstance, and the floodgates opened. Taylor hid away in her bedroom for two weeks, writing and demo-ing the nine songs that now make up her lush fourth LP Overlook.
With a distinct, raw sound in mind, Taylor self-produced for the first time and called upon friend and neighbor Lester Nuby III (Verbena, Vulture Whale) to engineer Overlook. She sought to capture the sound of the South, of Alabama and its music scene, enlisting a host of local musicians to flesh out the album and lend their personalities to the songs. These contributions proved invaluable: Browan Lollar (Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit) handled lead guitar on all tracks, while adding acoustic and lap steel throughout; brother Macey (The Mystic Valley Band, A.A. Bondy) played bass on the entire record, adding banjo, organ, and keys; and Nuby provided his formidable drumming skills on two tracks, while Taylor herself played the remaining drum parts. Sister Kate played and sang on a couple of songs, including Matador, and dad Macey, Sr. played mandolin and sang on Bad Idea?, which was recorded completely live after only a few practices, simply seven of her close friends standing in a circle, making music. The sessions ran loose and easy, with family and friends often stopping in and spending time as she recorded. Taylor even hired LA-based but Birmingham-native Daniel Farris to mix the album, and her friend, local artist Margarette Simmons, designed Overlooks artwork.
In addition to tracking many songs live, Taylor kept a number of her own demo tracks (drum, guitar, keyboard) recorded in her bedroom straight to her computer without a microphone, in the final songs; the result maintains the unguarded honesty captured in the first moments of creation.
Much of Overlook is about the searching and uncertainties that come with growing up and growing older. The songs vary in sound from alluringly bold and immediate, and softer contemplation. Masterplan is the taut, simmering intro to the albums richness, all thundering drums, jangly guitar, and soaring keys, as Taylors evocative vocals haunt like a warning bell. Matador then shifts gears to a sultry, lusciously modern take on 60s pop strut unlike anything shes written before. Relationship gone-sour tale In A Bad Way follows later in the album and shares a similarly seductive, but looser, groove. The old-time shuffle of Bad Idea? could have been heard in a 1920s speakeasy, while the sunny guitars of This Could Take A Lifetime belie the dark and longing ache found within the songs bedrock. All through Overlook, Taylors voice is illuminating, drawing listeners in with its warm and resolute yet vulnerable grace.1. Masterplan
4. Like It Does
5. Bad Idea?
6. Idle Mind
7. In A Bad Way
8. This Could Take a Lifetime
9. Along for the Ride$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-GHO-7001xXeno & Oaklander
Topiary (Colored Vinyl)Half-Moon Vinyl (Half Black, Half Transparent)
Ghostly International presents Xeno & Oaklander's new full-length album Topiary.
In their fifth album to date, the Brooklyn based girl / boy electronic duo explores
themes of arcana and electricity.
The title 'Topiary' refers to a highly ornamental hand sculpted garden such as
Levins Hall in Cumbria UK or the stately grounds of Versailles. Pruned and
fashioned into forms, shrubs and trees are turned into semblances of abstract and
natural shapes - nature imitating nature, much to the delight of dreamers and
romantics. The band, Sean McBride and Liz Wendelbo, views the album as a
journey through the manifold hallways of electro magnetic architecture and
The sound of Topiary is rich and deep; like a 60s French Pop album shot through a
prism of late renaissance chamber music. Liz Wendelbo's voice seems haunted by
ghosts of YÉYÉ girls, Françoise Hardy's whispers set against a glorious backdrop
of blaring synthetic horns and organs.
Known for their signature analog synth sound, Xeno & Oaklander have been
quoted as referring to their synths as elemental: fire is what powers energy,
voltage and electricity. Electro magnetism is electric energy, like lightning in the
sky: here it is controlled by switches and buttons, shaped by filters and
envelopes, and travels through patch cables and modules to create synthetic
creations of classical instruments: pianos, brass, guitars, percussions. The result is
orchestral and textured.
A room - a sound studio is often referred to as 'the room': it has a sound, a history,
and ghosts in its machines. Xeno & Oaklander's new album was recorded at the
Tom Tom Club / Talking Heads' Clubhouse Studio deep in the woods of New
England. Known for their analog synthesizer sound, Xeno & Oaklander plugged in
their entire arsenal of synths into the Clubhouse array of analog outboard gear.
They used their signature style of recording: the album was recorded as a live
session, but this time in a bracketed amount of time and in one place. Everything
was arranged, recorded and mixed in a month at the Clubhouse. Liz and Sean
were intent on creating a sense of dimensionality with this recording by exploring
the idea of 3D in sound: left, right, back and front as well as up and down. Room
tone is present in the recordings themselves, so that 'the room' is present in the
songs, and so that there is a trace of the space in the sound itself: making this a
unique recording. The vinyl and Cd are mixed seamlessly like a constant pulse of
Metaphysics, the study of being, time and space is a long time fascination for
Xeno & Oaklander and the inspiration for part of their band name. Xeno was a
pre-Socratic philosopher whose view on the world tipped it upside down and
inside out: he is known for his paradoxes; in short what you see is not what you
get, life is a chimera, an illusion, a matter of perception. It is this inversion that
captures the imagination of the band. Day vs. night, hot vs. cold, sunshine vs.
moonlight, glitter vs. silver, chemistry vs. alchemy, stasis vs. movement; these are
themes that permeate their lyrics and sounds.
The artwork by Liz Wendelbo echoes the electro magnetic theme with what looks
like a starry night sky or skyscraper at night. It is a blown up X-Ray of protein
photographed through an electron microscope - what is called X-Ray crystallography.
In Liz's words what is deep inside of us is a reflection of what is above us: and
electricity runs through it all.1. Marble
2. Virtues and Vice
8. Worldling Worlds
9. Topiary II$19.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now