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  • Cassette Cassette Quick View

    $17.99
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    Cassette

    In late 2013, Preoccupations (then known as Viet Cong) released a small-run cassette EP only available on tour. Over the course of a year, Matt Flegel and Scott Munro worked in their basement studio with a mess of old and run down equipment to build a set of fresh material.Joined by bandmates Daniel Christiansen and Michael Wallace, the band completed work on a debut cassette. What emerged from the studio was a mixture of sharply-angled rhythm workouts and euphoric '60s garage pop-esque melodies, balanced with a penchant for drone-y,VU-styled downer moments, and became a hard-to-find classic.
    1. Throw It Away
    2. Unconscious Melody
    3. Oxygen Feed
    4. Static Wall
    5. Structureless Design
    6. Dark Entries
    7. Select Your Drone
    Preoccupations
    $17.99
    12 Vinyl EP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Damogen Furies Damogen Furies Quick View

    $24.99
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    Damogen Furies

    Through this record I aim to explore as forcefully as possible the hallucinatory, the nightmarish and the brutally visceral capacities of electronic music." - Squarepusher. Squarepusher's legacy is unassailable. From his early releases on Rephlex and his residency at the Blue Note, through his aggressive interpretations of ensemble jazz, the peerless Music Is Rotted One Note, his musique concrete experiments, and the boundary-warping drum 'n' bass with which he is synonymous, Squarepusher has tilted ever forwards. Damogen Furies, his first full-length since 2012's Ufabulum, sees Squarepusher's powers in full flow. All of the recordings here were made in one take, with no edits. Damogen Furies is a record that has the brutal energy and vivaciousness of a debut. It sees the peak and confluence of the preoccupations that have emerged throughout Squarepusher's career, approached with the antagonism and audacity of an artist who still believes in the power of Format: CD the intervention.
    1. Stor Eiglass
    2. Baltang Ort
    3. Rayc Fire 2
    4. Kontenjaz
    5. Exjag Nives
    6. Baltang Arg
    7. Kwang Bass
    8. D Frozent Aac
    Squarepusher
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Common One Common One Quick View

    $21.99
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    Common One

    Common One is the twelfth studio album by Northern Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison - Originally released in 1980


    Easily among Van Morrison's least successful albums, Common One is probably also his least understood. Arriving in the wake of the far more concise, focused Into the Music, this 1980 project found Morrison making a sweeping left turn toward the open-ended, jazz-fueled vamps and spiritual questing of his impressionistic classic, Astral Weeks, 12 years earlier. The LP contains only six songs, several woefully uneven, and fans of his tautly constructed, soul-inflected '70s work could only scratch their heads, yet the heightened horn colorations and pre-industrial imagery of the opener, In Haunts of Ancient Peace, are a signpost to Morrison's thematic preoccupations in the decade to follow. Even more seminal is Summertime in England, which sets sail for the Astral plane and stays largely on course thanks to the horn section of Mark Isham and Pee Wee Ellis, and Morrison's own hallucinatory incantation to his bardic precursors. Without these brave journeys, Morrison's soul-searching '80s trips would have sounded far different. --Sam Sutherland

    1. Haunts Of Ancient Peace
    2. Summertime In England
    3. Satisfied
    4. Wild Honey
    5. Spirit
    6. When Heart Is Open
    Van Morrison
    $21.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Shortwave Nights Shortwave Nights Quick View

    $25.99
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    Shortwave Nights

    Shortwave Nights is the debut album by Hiss Tracts, a new duo featuring David Bryant (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Set Fire To Flames) and Kevin Doria (Growing, Total Life). The two met in 2004 and struck up a musical friendship that led to three Growing records being made at The Pines (Bryant's recording studio in Montreal) and a separate collaboration between the two, initially in conjunction with experimental filmmaker Karl Lemieux (also GY!BE's current 16mm auteur/projectionist). Rehearsal tapes from a set of sessions for a Lausanne Underground Film Festival performance in 2008 became the foundation and starting point for Hiss Tracts; David and Kevin continued working throughout 2009-2013, but much of the material from their earliest session is still present, in one state or another, within the tracks on this debut album.


    The sonic preoccupations of Bryant and Doria are well-known and well-documented across many highly acclaimed recordings over the past fifteen years, from the organic, group-based, semi-improvised collage albums of Set Fire To Flames to the glimmering, immersive minimalism of Growing and the more maximalist full-spectrum noise works of Total Life. David and Kevin are instrumental music practitioners of uncommon depth and intensity; Hiss Tracts opens new collaborative, procedural and narrative pathways for these fine musicians to continue exploring soundscape-based composition and production. Both are guitar players, and the electric guitar figures as both recognizable and unrecognizable source instrument on Shortwave Nights, but the deployment of a wide range of additional analog sources and signals ensures that there is no confusing this for a guitar-based drone, noise or post-rock record.


    Shortwave Nights defies categorization by terms like drone or ambient and it does not easily slip into any of the predominant subgenres that have proliferated around studio-based soundscape work in recent years. Insofar as drone is a touchstone, this has mostly to do with the approach to mixing, which tends towards a transcendent/trance-inducing integration of elements into a unified, saturated, wall-of-sound stereo field. The album contains no beats or programming and very little that is identifiably loop-based or overtly sampled and sampler-driven. Occasional deployments of digital signal processing remain firmly in the service of Hiss Tract's overriding framework and commitment to analog sources and human instrumentation. This is not an electronic record, nor does it sit comfortably at either the pastoral or spooky/sinister poles of any ambient or 'whatever'-wave spectrum; it can perhaps best be placed within the broad lineages of post-industrial and musique concrète.


    Meditative and visceral, humming with the electromagnetic atmosphere through which all manner of frequencies, transmissions and surveillances pass and collide, Shortwave Nights strikes an evocative balance between sonics captured-channeled-harnessed vs. composed-sculpted-performed, with an almost documentary rigour and restraint that nonetheless remains profoundly charged and engaged. Constellation is thrilled to introduce this new project with a brilliant debut album that has heavily infiltrated our brains and bloodstreams since Bryant and Doria first played us the nearly-finished recordings in the fall of 2013. Thanks for listening.

    1. ...shortwave nights
    2. half-speed addict starts with broken wollensak
    3. slowed rugs
    4. drake motel / 9 gold cadillacs
    5. windpipe gtrs.
    6. halo getters
    7. for the transient projectionist
    8. ahhh-weee dictaphone
    9. test recording at trembling city
    10. beijing bullhorn / dopplered light
    Hiss Tracts
    $25.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Asiatisch Asiatisch Quick View

    $18.99
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    Asiatisch

    Fatima Al Qadiri is a multidisciplinary artist and musician from Kuwait. In just a few years, she has quickly built a reputation as a conceptual artist, exploring themes informed both by her own background and global pop culture, through a number of highly acclaimed EPs, multimedia projects and writings. She is also a founding member of the production team Future Brown. Fatima's debut album is called 'Asiatisch', and as the track titles suggest, the record provides a simulated road trip through an imagined China. Musically, the album is an homage to that quietly influential sub-strain of grime, often loosely termed 'sinogrime' due to its preoccupation with Asian motifs and melodies, pioneered by the likes of Wiley and Jammer at the beginning of the 2000s in East London. 'Asiatisch' is a provocation which asks more questions than it answers. The title is the German word for Asian. Unlike its title, however, the music on 'Asiatisch' revolves around the fantasies of East Asia as refracted through pulpy Western pop culture, in particular Hollywood, literary fiction, music, cartoons and advertising. Fatima asks what is meant by the term 'Asian' in a digital age of viral interchange and the hi-speed trading of cultural bytes; the concept of 'shanzhai' proves pivotal, a term whose meaning stems from a wild, out of control zone of banditry, but which has come to be used to refer to the Chinese counterfeiting of Western brands and goods. While this 'sinogrime' has had many copyists over the last few years, 'Asiatisch' is really the first record that attempts to articulate this weird complex of sonic interchanges between the West and China. With the exception of the opening track, 'Shanzhai', a haunting cover of 'Nothing Compares To You' with nonsensical Mandarin lyrics, and the shimmering 'Loading Beijing', 'Wudang' and 'Jade Stairs' which sample and distort classical Chinese poetry staging an epic confrontation between China's ancient soul and the onslaught of the industrial factory machine, most of the tracks blend mallets, bells, gongs, flutes, steel drums and choral atmospherics with the searing synth-brass and the skittering drums of grime, playing melodies that are inflected as much by classic R&B as to synthetic versions of traditional Chinese music. On 'Dragon Tattoo' for example, stereotypical iconography of imagined China is slotted into a threatening, robotic R&B format. The carefree pirating of Western brands blurs into a soft-synth pirating of Chinese musical signs. 'Asiatisch' is wrapped in pristine artwork by Babak Radboy from Shanzhai Biennial, and the music was given a 3D sheen by in demand mixer Lexxx. Proclaiming both its love of both ancient and imagined China, 'Asiatisch' is a rare album that is both icily beautiful and conceptually layered.
    1. Shanzhai (for Shanzhan Biennial) ft. Helen Feng
    2. Szechuan
    3. Wudang
    4. Loading Beijing
    5. Hainan Island
    6. Shenzhen
    7. Dragon Tattoo
    8. Forbidden City
    9. Shanghai Freeway
    10. Jade Stairs
    Fatima Al Qadiri
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Stravinsky: Violin Concerto (Speakers Corner) Stravinsky: Violin Concerto (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Stravinsky: Violin Concerto (Speakers Corner)

    For many years Stravinsky was reluctant to write a concerto for the violin. He felt he was too unfamiliar with the instrument and its particular properties, and it would be too problematic and too much of a challenge to create a large work for the violin. That he finally acquiesced is due in part to persuasion from Paul Hindemith and support from the violinist Samuel Dushkin, who gave him valuable advice during its development.
    With its four-movement form and the descriptive titles of the movements -Toccata, Aria and Capriccio - the Violin Concerto in D testifies to Stravinsky's intensive preoccupation with Baroque forms, which he employs with rhythmic and metric imagination and irony. Stravinsky himself said that the work stinked of violin, but the orchestra is also very present so that one is reminded of a concerto grosso. The author Ernst MÜller (Analogue Audio Association Bulletin) praised the work euphorically, especially for its revelatory character and the tremendous dynamics of this Columbia recording. You can hear all the details, the winds are precise, and the orchestral accompaniment is simply grandiose


    Musicians:



    • Isaac Stern and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra

    • Igor Stravinsky (conductor)




    Recording: February and June 1961 at American Legion Hall, Hollywood, by Edwin Michalski
    Production: John McClure




    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    Stravinsky
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sheik Yerbouti Sheik Yerbouti Quick View

    $34.99
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    Sheik Yerbouti

    In order to finance his artier excursions, which increasingly required more expensive technology, Frank Zappa recorded several collections of guitar- and song-oriented material in the late '70s and early '80s, which generally concentrated on the bawdy lyrical themes many fans had come to expect and enjoy in concert. Sheik Yerbouti was one of the first and most successful of these albums, garnering attention for such tracks as the Grammy-nominated disco satire Dancin' Fool, the controversial Jewish Princess, and the equally controversial Bobby Brown Goes Down, a song about gay S&M that became a substantial hit in European clubs.


    While Zappa's attitude on the latter two tracks was even more politically incorrect than usual for him, it didn't stop the album from becoming his second-highest charting ever. Social satire, leering sexual preoccupations, and tight, melodic songs dominated the rest of the record as well, as Zappa stuck to what had been commercially successful for him in the past.

    1. I Have Been In You
    2. Flakes
    3. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
    4. I'm So Cute
    5. Jones Crusher
    6. What Ever Happened To All The Fun In The World
    7. Rat Tomago
    8. We Gotta Get Into Something Real
    9. Bobby Brown
    10. Rubber Shirt
    11. The Sheik Yerbouti Tango
    12. Baby Snakes
    13. Tryin' To Grow A Chin
    14. City Of Tiny Lites
    15. Dancin' Fool
    16. Jewish Princess
    17. Wild Love
    18. Yo' Mama
    Frank Zappa
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Magnolia Electric Co Magnolia Electric Co Quick View

    $24.99
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    Magnolia Electric Co


    10th Anniversay Deluxe Edition


    Expanded Reissue Of Songs: Ohia's Classic Record Gathering Together One Unreleased Song, Demos And Full-band Song Only
    Previously Available In Japan.


    Includes Rare Photos From The Era In Which It Was Recorded


    The hallmark of Jason Molina's career, Magnolia Electric Co., is both a confluence of all he would create and a line in the
    sand to mark a shift in his songwriting approach. It was the last statement under his iconic Songs: Ohia moniker, and the
    moment before he began making new legends as Magnolia Electric Co. for the next 10 years. Now- here at the end of that
    decade - with Molina gone, his work gathers more weight and meaning. This expanded 10-year anniversary edition of
    Magnolia Electric Co. features one never-before-released track plus many rarities. The full-band studio outtake of fan
    favorite Whip Poor Will is a sweet and spare version that ended up being played far differently on Magnolia Electric Co.'s
    final album Josephine (2009). Also included is the studio version of The Big Game Is Every Night. Previously only available
    on the Japanese version of the album, this opus serves as Molina's thesis statement, its poetry weaving through the 20th
    Century, through art and sporting culture - ultimately questioning what it means to be an American in the autumn of the
    American Era. The edition also gathers Molina's gutting demos for the record, including those two outtakes. Nearly each
    begins with audible sound of the RECORD button being pressed down on the tape player. They are so close and intimate,
    it's hard to look them right in the eyes. But you should.


    With the wailing lap steel of the album opener Farewell Transmission, Jason Molina & Company usher in a new day,
    playing the sort of rock that your cool uncle rolled to back in the '70s. Landing somewhere on the radar sonically between
    Bob Dylan's Desire and Bob Seger's Beautiful Loser, though thematically in-line with Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man, The
    Magnolia Electric Co lies at the crossroads of working class rock, white soul, swamp rock and outlaw country


    While Songs: Ohia's last record Didn't It Rain was a meditation on roots and stability, Magnolia Electric Co. finds itself
    toiling with the wages of change, which is well illustrated in I've Been Riding with the Ghost, a real rig rocker that could
    have easily fit on Time Fades Away, on which Molina sings: See I ain't getting better, I am only getting behind. Standing on
    the crossroad trying to make up my mind. Trying to remember how it got so late. Why every night pain comes from a
    different place. Now something's got to change.


    This thematic preoccupation with change also manifests itself in the rotating cast of lead vocalists. While the entire album
    boasts a doo wop-like line-up with five vocalists on the floor, six of the eight songs have Molina in the tall stool with the
    ever-enchanting Jennie Benford (of Jim & Jennie & the Pinetops, who was also a key player on Didn't It Rain) as primary
    back-up vocalist. But on two songs, new Songs: Ohia players step up to take on lead vocal duties, singing Molina-penned
    songs. Lawrence Peters takes the lead on The Old Black Hen with his fantastic Merle Haggard-esque country croon, while
    Miss Scout Niblett appears from the nether world of the Ohia wardrobe with feathers in her hair and casts her spell on the
    Ohia rig barreling through Peoria Lunch Box Blues.


    Recorded live, in its entirety, at the hands of Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio Studio in Chicago, Illinois, with the same
    core back-up band that played on the Mi Sei Apparaso Come Un Fantasma Italian live album, this is the record where the
    Songs: Ohia fan demographics make a radical shift from the dominant bedroom universe of the world's lonely, sensitive,
    overqualified young white dudes, and finds refuge in the masses by being embraced by the world's truck drivers, sorority
    chicks, and hockey players, alike. Indeed, this is the first Songs: Ohia record with more than one song that could be played
    at a strip joint or monster truck show. Amid the mid-tempo slow jams, there lie some of the most upbeat material that
    Songs: Ohia has recorded to date.

    LP 1
    1. Farewell Transmission
    2. I've Been Riding With The Ghost
    3. Just Be Simple
    4. Almost Was Good Enough
    5. The Old Black Hen
    6. Peoria Lunch Box Blues
    7. John Henry Split My Heart
    8. Hold On Magnolia
    9. The Big Game Is Every Night (Bonus Track)
    10. Whip Poor Will (Bonus Track)


    LP 2
    1. Farewell Transmission (Demo)
    2. I've Been Riding With The Ghost (Demo)
    3. Just Be Simple (Demo)
    4. The Old Black Hen (Demo)
    5. Peoria Lunch Box Blues (Demo)
    6. John Henry Split My Heart (Demo)
    7. Hold On Magnolia (Demo)
    8. The Big Game Is Every Night (Demo)
    9. Whip Poor Will (Demo)

    Songs: Ohia
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • If You Wait If You Wait Quick View

    $24.99
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    If You Wait


    "Longing, loving, leaving: Those are the boundaries of the impeccable
    pop universe that London Grammar has built for itself."
    - The New York Times


    "A stylish debut that demonstrates both their immense
    talent and impressive instincts."
    - Pitchfork


    THE NEXT BIG THING. Such a label serves at once as a curse and a blessing, for messianic crowns come studded with thorns, and chalices emblazoned with this inscription are often tainted with poison. Custodians of the title can implode under the weight of expectation, or fail to bottle further the magic of that first hit single.


    Not so for English art-rock trio London Grammar. Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman have been careful to avoid the dangers of over-exposure in the nine months since first single "Hey Now" seared itself into the collective consciousness of the blogosphere, instead releasing work after work of gradually escalating beauty from the safety of the shadows.


    That was until Disclosure dropped their album Settle, at which point London Grammar vocalist Hannah Reid came to wider attention on sweeping album closer "Help Me Lose My Mind," where her spine-tingling soulful singing combined with the wash of swooning synths and downbeat 80's percussion. It will come as no surprise to fans of this track to learn that Reid's magnificent vocals are integral to London Grammar's sound, serving as the perfect accompaniment to the band's discreet production and minimalist instrumentation.


    The same words will be used ceaselessly to describe Reid's vocals in coming weeks - "haunting", "brooding", "ethereal". Yet none of these terms adequately conveys the way her voice melts and evolves to suit the temperament and melody of each song on If You Wait, flowing like molten gold on "Interlude", or acquiring the varied textures of a vast swathe of satin and silk on "Nightcall". Her vocal is always underscored by an enduring brittle beauty and an underlying otherworldliness, as if she honed her craft singing amidst the forests of Lothlórien, or some far-flung corner of Westeros.


    Though her voice may be otherworldly, the thematic concerns of the album are very much rooted in this world - youth's timeless preoccupation with finding not only love but the nature of ourselves. These soundscapes and the lyrics that populate them are characterised by broken hearts, fractured dreams and people falling in and out of love. Perhaps the most telling lyric of all is on "Wasting My Young Years", with the heart-breaking concession of "I've heard it takes some time to get it right".


    The album's first single and opening track "Hey Now" has lost none of its grandeur and remains as devastatingly beautiful as it did when released at the tail-end of 2012. It's the main track on If You Wait that justifies the comparisons with The XX - especially in terms of how the band forges the space and atmosphere from reverb-tinged percussion and Rothman's discreet, almost-spectral guitars. "Wasting My Young Years" further showcases how perfectly the band balance the interplay between Reid's vocal and the twinkling keys and subtle instrumentation that floats around it, allowing it to drive the song and dictate proceedings but never once to feel overbearing.


    Latest single "Strong" mirrors the intricately weaved threadwork of sounds and elaborately crafted sense of space showcased on the opening track, but utilises a more hypnotic vocal from Reid that manages to sound simultaneously heart-rending and inspiring. Elsewhere "Interlude" is as refined a paean to love and devotion as you will hear all year, matching dual melancholic piano lines and subtly building percussion to Reid's sublime wistful singing.


    There is not a single weak track, but amongst the many highlights is a spellbinding cover of French house artist Kavinsky's "Nightcall". There's a particularly gorgeous moment around the two-minute-thirty-second mark when the instrumentation is peeled away and, for a few seconds, you think the song will end - before Reid's dazzling vocal is re-introduced amidst a haze of swirling keys. It's nothing short of transcendent. Also, the flawless sequencing leads to an album that begs you to drink in its beauty by listening to it from beginning to end.


    This is an enthralling, stunning, deeply emotive album that perfectly marries understated electronica to sublime vocals and melodies. In a year dominated by titanic LPs, London Grammar have not only made the most perfectly formed debut album of the year - they've made one of the best LPs, period. [A-]


    - Benji Taylor (Pretty Much Amazing)

    1. Hey Now
    2. Stay Awake
    3. Shyer
    4.Wasting My Young Years
    5. Sights
    6. Strong
    7. Nightcall
    8. Metal & Dust
    9. Interlude (Live)
    10. Flickers
    11. If You Wait
    12. Maybe*
    13. High Life*
    14. Strong (US Radio Edit)*


    *US Bonus Track

    London Grammar
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Offerings Offerings Quick View

    $29.99
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    Offerings

    If a Fellini film, a Bosch painting, and a Rorschach drawing had a collective sound, it would be Typhoon's new release. The 14-track record Offeringsis a musical and lyrical excursion into surreal imagery, eerie soundscapes, and an emotionally jarring narrative.


    The 70-minute album for Roll Call Records, which is the Portland, Oregon indie rock band's fourth studio album, centers on a fictional man who is losing his memory, and in turn, his sense of self. "I've always been preoccupied with memory, losing memory, and trying to recapture memory. I wanted to explore the questions: What does a person become if they don't know where they came from? What is the essential quality of the person if you strip away all memory?" explains singer/songwriter Kyle Morton.


    Motivated in part by his own preoccupation with "losing it," Morton also found a treasure trove of inspiration through various books, art, and film he was immersed in during the writing of this record. "I was watching a lot of David Lynch, and thought a lot about the Christopher Nolan movie, Memento, and Fellini's 8 ½.And there were a lot of books on my nightstand that played into this. It made it's a much darker album for sure," he says.


    Offerings is divided into four movements (Floodplains, Flood, Reckoning, and Afterparty) to represent the mental phases the main character goes through where he first realizes that something is wrong, then struggles through the chaos of his situation, and finally moves into acceptance before succumbing to his dreadful fate.


    "I wanted this record to be a journey, like Dante's Inferno. It kicks off with 'Wake,' where the character wakes up and he's shitting the bedand doesn't know what's going on. I was going for a specific feel that Samuel Beckett does so well," says Morton, who was reading Beckett's Three Novels, specifically Malloy, while writing the song's lyrics. "Beckett would call it a literature of impoverishment where he'd strip away as much as he could so he could get a feeling of essence and scarcity; that's what I tried to do musically and lyrically here."


    Mission accomplished. Morton also masterfully makes a parallel with the character's journey to the state of the world today starting with the second track, "Rorschach," which looks at the age of information and collapse of meaning.


    "But, by the third song, 'Empiricist,' there's a regression to the womb where the character is back in his bed at home,talking about his range of motion shrinking. This first movement ends with 'Algernon' [taken from one of Morton's favorite short stories, Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes], where he's constantly awakening and in an interrogation with a woman-who the listener should know is his wife, but he doesn't."


    Musically, there is a sense of impending doom and chaos throughout the record that mirrors the character's fear and anxiety. "The claustrophobic feeling of only having the present moment and this sense of repetition is musically mirrored with this looping that runs though the record with a through line of choral parts that give it a darker, creepier feel," says Morton.


    To set the right tone for the story, Morton went for a less horns, more guitar approach. "We have a little bit of trumpet on this record and a lot of string arrangements. But we really strayed away from the horn arrangements. I wanted it to be a darker, more intense rock record, so it's very guitar-based. It's going back to my rock roots before Typhoon," says Morton.


    The concept of what the main character in the album is going through is also meant as a way of explaining cultural memory loss. "I was also reading historian Timothy Snyder and was inspired by his take on how America is at risk of losing their sense of history. If we haven't learned the lessons of our past, historically, we can't recognize when elements come back to haunt us, which is what's happening right now," he adds.


    One choral part ("Down in the floodplains waiting on a cure/ Blessed be the water/ May the water make us pure") was especially inspired by current politics. "I had Steve Bannon in mind quite a bit when I was writing these choral parts because I'm taking on this world view that I don't agree with, which is that the world needs a bloody struggle to reset -bring on the demolishing of order," he says.


    The character's downward spiral continues through the album's second movement, Flood, while in the third, Reckoning, comes the absolute-zero moment where the character is ready and willing to let go of life. Reckoning kicks off with "Coverings," which is the first song Morton ever co-wrote with a band member -Shannon Steele, who also sings on it. (Steele lends her vocals to the end of "Bergeron," as well.)


    "'Coverings' takes the story into the devil's mansion where all the rooms are the same representing this repeated infinite present with no reference. For me, this is Hell. And, at this point, our character has lost his marbles," he explains.


    "At the same time, on the worldly scale," continues Morton, "this is the point where we don't have any public trust and there's no cultural memory, there's just chaos. People are becoming identical in this collapse of meaning and you have no reference. If there is any point to this record it's that -Without reference, you have an interesting concept of infinity, which can be really bad."


    As the album comes to a close with the acoustic "Sleep," the character decides that instead of taking part of the chaos, he'd rather sacrifice himself. But there is light at the end of this dark, emotional journey. "The secret track, 'Afterparty,' is where he finds peace and freedom. It's his homecoming. He's on the other side of it now and has found his version of Heaven," says Morton.


    It's this level of intricacy in Typhoon's storytelling and musicianship that has helped Typhoon become one of indie rock's most revered bands. Their previous album, White Lighter, hit No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers Album Chart and got Best of The Year nods from NPR and Paste.Typhoon has brought their, at times, 11-piece live show on the road alongside indie rock peers The Decemberists, Portugal the Man and Grouplove, and sold out major clubs and venues across America.


    Adds Morton of Offerings, "I kind of wanted to make a dystopian record. If it's nothing else, it's that. If I could write my own one-line review, I'd think I'd want people to say, 'It's disturbing and unfortunately correct."

    1. Wake
    2. Rorschach
    3. Empiricist
    4. Algernon
    5. Unusual
    6. Beachtowel
    7. Remember
    8. Mansion
    9. Coverings
    10. Chiaroscuro
    11. Darker
    12. Bergeron
    13. Ariadne
    14. Sleep
    Typhoon
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Strong Feelings Strong Feelings Quick View

    $16.99
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    Strong Feelings

    With the kind of understatement that's typical of the man, Doug Paisley describes his wondrous new album
    Strong Feelings as, "just 10 new songs. It's a lot less simple and unadorned than other recordings I've made,
    but it's just as earnest and straightforward." This is all in keeping with the Toronto songwriter's low-key
    approach to his art, preferring to let his songs speak for themselves. A fact borne out by the nature of the
    effusive praise given to Paisley's last effort, 2010's Constant Companion.


    Strong Feelings expands on that albums preoccupations, but this time Paisley has also opened up the sound
    - tunes like "A Song My Love Can Sing" and "It's Not Too Late (To Say Goodbye)" find Paisley crooning like a
    seasoned country veteran, his voice crumpled with the same weary heartache as Don Williams or Hoyt Axton
    in their prime. The steady tick of "Our Love", meanwhile, with its folksy grain and unfussy guitar, already feels
    like a classic Nashville ballad. The rockist "To And Fro" conjures visions of the open prairies, all golden skies
    and roving antelopes, essayed by warm electric guitar and a sort-of-boogie chug, while "Growing Souls" could
    be Dylan kicking back with The Band on an old spiritual in Big Pink's basement.


    Strong Feelings is an album that tries to articulate the speech of the heart in universal terms. One of its key
    tunes, "Radio Girl", can even be taken as a microcosm of Paisley's overarching theme. "It draws on some of
    the things people derive from their relationships with music and with musicians: longing, comfort, intensity,
    importance," he expounds. "I try to always be working in service to the songs I've written.


    "Near-perfect singer-songwriter album" - Rolling Stone


    "A quiet wonder" - The New Yorker


    "Sure-footed and ageless uncluttered, sad and unerringly lovely." - Uncut


    "An anti-star is born" - Mojo

    1. Radio Girl
    2. Song My Love Can Sing
    3. It's Not Too Late (To Say Goodbye)
    4. Our Love
    5. What's Up Is Down
    6. Old Times
    7. Growing Souls
    8. To And Fro
    9. Where The Light Takes You
    10. Because I Love You
    Doug Paisley
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Big Mango The Big Mango Quick View

    $25.99
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    The Big Mango

    "Sam Shalabi has raised the bar for modern psychedelic music by composing this epic suite for his 20-piece Land of Kush orchestra. Utilizing African, Middle Eastern, Indian, jazz, rock, and folkloric sources, The Big Mango weaves a seamless montage of styles in a transcendent way that is rarely, if ever, achieved. A singular cohesive statement built around four key tracks written for four different female vocalists it will demand your attention from start to finish." - Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls/Sublime Frequencies)


    Osama (Sam) Shalabi moved to Cairo in 2011, settling in an apartment one block from Tahrir Square, in the midst of Egypt's 'Arab Spring'. Shalabi describes The Big Mango, his new and phenomenal work for his Land Of Kush big band, as "a love letter to Cairo"
    framed by "the beautiful,surreal madness of the city as joyous, horrific, historical events were
    unfolding". The music was also inspired by time spent in Dakar, where in Senegal's music scene Sam experienced parallels to another of his central aesthetic and political touchstones, Brazilian Tropicalia, in the sense of a "positivity, complexity and radicalism in art that was also
    playful and joyous and wasn't necessarily part of a 'revolution' but seemed to be a form of innate radicalism". In tandem with the relative openness of Dakar's Islamic society - with the much more prominent role and presence of women in public and private life and the relaxed physicality and sensuality of the culture in general - Senegalese music offered a powerful counterpoint and feeling of promise for Egypt's own future. "The Big Mango" is one of the many nicknames for Cairo, but for Shalabi it also evokes the succour and sensuality of southern hemispheric music more generally, in this relation to broader socio-political movements.


    MontrÉal remains Shalabi's home base and the city to which he briefly returned towards the end of 2012 to reconvene the troupe of players that have helped him realize his large-scale works under the Land Of Kush moniker. Working through The Big Mango score with
    these local musicians culminated in two ecstatic live performances and a recording session at MontrÉal's Hotel2Tango studio. This third album by Land Of Kush is arguably the group's most focused and immediately satisfying.


    For Shalabi, gender and Arab culture has been a central theme, one he took up explicitly on the previous Kush album Monogamy (2011), and which similarly drives The Big Mango, where once again a series of female vocalists drawn from MontrÉal's indie rock community anchor the work and convey what in most of the North African Arab world remains a
    profoundly unrealized though burgeoning spirit of gender equality, participation, expression and liberation. This promise is at the heart of Shalabi's "love letter".


    The Big Mango opens with a bubbling Fauvist stew of balafon, flute, electronics and vocalizations which abruptly segue into solo piano and saxophone improvisations - an introductory set of musical mating calls that invoke the album's deeper conceptual and formal preoccupations. The libidinal energy of rock n' roll is then re-situated in a heterodox Middle Eastern context as the album's centerpiece songs unfold: "The Pit", "Mobil Nil",
    "Drift Beguine" and "The Big Mango" each marked by propulsive female vocal performances from Ariel Engle, Katie Moore, Elizabeth Anka Vajagic and Molly Sweeney respectively.


    Underpinning each of these singers is some of Land Of Kush's s most melodically and rhythmically compelling music, conjuring a post-modern psychedelia that is truly sui generis. The band delivers the grooves and soloists unleash excursions more fluidly than ever; for many of these players, it's the third time around embracing Shalabi's music, getting inside the spirit of the score, and following his conduction. In combination with the peaking intensity and electricity of Sam's compositional vision, The Big Mango coheres,sparkles and soars: a distillation of the sonic trajectory Land Of Kush has been charting for the past six years.

    1. Faint Praise
    2. Second Skin
    3. The Pit (Part 1)
    4. The Pit (Part 2)
    5. Sharm El Bango
    6. Mobil Nil
    7. St Stefano
    8. Drift Beguine
    9. The Big Mango
    Land Of Kush
    $25.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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