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Seductive Reasoning (Speakers Corner)
Thanks to their undeniable musical talent, which allowed them to be taken seriously in the folk scene, the industrious Roche sisters' career began when they were young. The duo began by singing Christmas carols, doo-wop song syllable puzzles, and tricky barbershop harmonies. They finally caught the attention of Paul Simon, who brought the gifted girls in as backup singers on his LP There Goes Rhymin' Simon, and was primarily responsible for the birth of their first recording. The lavishly produced album achieved high critical acclaim. Although it was a worthy professional debut, the public was hesitant to buy the album. The specialist magazine Rolling Stone commented drily and somewhat at a loss that the Roches weren't everyone's cup of tea.
Maggie and Terre Roche are a well-rehearsed vocal team however: with a range from hazy, finely balanced voices singing as one, right up to pearly, radiant brilliance, the Roche sisters enthusiastically penned a songbook which is almost without exception their very own creation. Mechanical bluegrass music (Wigglin' Man), a steam-train character (If You Emptied ...) and a somewhat crude and unrefined country aura make the subtle lyrics easily accessible to all, but the LP also offers the listener wonderfully ill-humoured verse (The Mountain People) and story-like prose (West Virginia). This is a truly exceptional album, and well worth being discovered!
- Maggie Roche (piano, guitar)
- Terre Roche (guitar)
- Paul Simon (guitar)
- Pete Carr (guitar)
- Jimmy Johnson (guitar)
- Barry Beckett (keyboard)
- David Hood (bass)
- Roger Hawkins(drums)
Recording: 1973 in the Morgan Studios, London, and 1974 in the Muscle Shoals Studios, Sheffield, Alabama
Production: Paul Simon, Paul Samwell-Smith, David Hood and Jimmy Johnson
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.1. Underneath the Moon
2. Down the Dream
3. Wigglin' Man
4. West Virginia
5. If You Empty Out All Your Pockets You Could Not Make the Change
6. Telephone Bill
8. Burden of Proof
9. The Mountain People
10. Jill of All Trades$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Amen & GoodbyeAmen & Goodbye is the fourth studio album from the Brooklyn-based band, Yeasayer.
To visually interpret the album, Yeasayer collaborated with renowned sculptor David Altmejd (whose artwork is a major influence on the band) to create the gatefold artwork. The teasers released prior to the album announcement contained some of the sculptures Altmejd created while listening to the bands new album. This was a dream come true for the band and the full artwork is utterly spectacular.
Amen & Goodbye is the follow up to 2012's Fragrant World. Moving away from a digital-heavy approach, Yeasayer recorded Amen & Goodbye to tape at Outlier Inn Studio in upstate New York, then brought on board Joey Waronker (drummer - Atoms For Peace / Beck) to deconstruct everything to make the final document.
Yeasayer offered a peek into the world of Amen & Goodbye with 'I Am Chemistry', the first track to be heard from their highly anticipated forthcoming album. Featuring guest vocals from the legendary folk singer Suzzy Roche of The Roches, 'I Am Chemistry' is a linear psychedelic journey proving Yeasayer still has the knack for writing very odd pop songs.
Amen & Goodbye features Yeasayer's trademark sound, without sounding like anything the band has done before. They have created a collection of strange fables from the Bible of a universe that does not yet exist.1. Daughters Of Cain
2. I Am Chemistry
3. Silly Me
4. Half Asleep
5. Dead Sea Scrolls
6. Prophecy Gun
7. Computer Canticle 1
8. Divine Simulacrum
9. Child Prodigy
10. Gerson's Whistle
12. Cold Night
13. Amen & Goodbye$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SympathyGabrielle Herbst's formal training began at an early age, studying
Balinese dance and gamelan in Indonesia while learning both the
clarinet and piano. Herbst continued her training at Bard College
where she studied voice and composition under the tutelage of
Joan Tower, Zeena Parkins and Marina Rosenfeld. Her work has
already been showcased at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, as
well as Roulette, who in 2014 commissioned and premiered her
first opera, Bodiless.
Herbst's experience writing for chamber orchestra and mixed
instrumentation inspired her to develop a repertoire of short-form,
vocal-centric compositions under the name GABI. These were
driven by solitary explorations in early 2013 with a dual-track loop
pedal. The nine songs composed for Sympathy embrace the vast
potential of the human voice as instrument, story, and landscape.
Sympathy was recorded in the studio where she was joined by her
band Matthew O'Koren (percussion), Rick Quantz (viola), Josh
Henderson (violin), and Aaron Roche (electric guitar, trombone).
With arrangement by Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and
production by Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Ben
Frost), these open-ended sessions yielded a suite of compositions
that capture Gabrielle's metamorphosis into GABI via an intimate
exploration along the the edges of song-form.
GABI renders past influences and new collaborations into a
personal statement on the desire for human connectivity and
emotional catharsis.1. Koo Koo
2. Da Void
3. Love Song
9. Hymn$17.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Trigger Complex
Ultra Clear Vinyl
Influential Southern California punk rock pioneers T.S.O.L. will make their awaited return in 2017 with a new record label and their 11th studio album, The Trigger Complex.
T.S.O.L., short for True Sounds of Liberty, struck a nerve in the early 80's with their defiant, politically charged self-titled debut EP. At the intersection of punk and gothic new wave, the band's evolution of sound continued resulting in their critically heralded, full-length record Dance With Me (1981) as well as many other fan coveted albums, with various lineup changes and reunions along the way, that cemented their legacy in the punk scene as one of the most influential bands to come out of California.
Now, nearly four decades later, original members Ron Emory, Mike Roche and Jack Grisham have returned to creative heights with one of their most inspired albums in decades with The Trigger Complex. Comprising of thirteen songs, the band's new record runs the gamut of charging punk anthems to brooding rock songs that will no doubt please listeners. Given the country's turbulent, divisive political climate it could not be better timing for the return of one of punk's most important and vocal bands.
"It's a great time to be making music; to have a voice that can be heard," says Grisham. "I'm glad that things look bleak. Political turmoil breeds strength as well as strife. This record allows us to remind people that they aren't alone. We're here."
- Graham Spark (Decibel Geek)1. Give Me More
3. Strange World
5. The Right Side
6. Why Can't We Do It Again
7. I Wanted To See You
8. Wild Life
9. Nothing Ever Lasts
10. Going Steady
11. You're Still The Same
12. Don't You Want Me
13. Bats$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Small Town Heroes (Awaiting Repress)In 2014, Hurray for the Riff Raff release 'Small Town Heroes,' its debut for ATO Records. The album finds frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra -
who settled in New Orleans after leaving her native Bronx at age 17.
Produced by Segarra and engineered by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), 'Small Town Heroes' features twelve new, original songs all written or cowritten
by Segarra, with support from a vivid cast of Crescent City musicians.
NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit," never more so than on 'Small Town Heroes.' On the
hedonist country lament "I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)" Segarra sings to a forbidden love "I'll feed you watermelon off the vine," while on "The
Body Electric she exposes the misogyny of the traditional murder ballad, and warns Delia's gone, but I'm settling the score.
Ultimately though, many of the songs embody that most magical and fated of American cities, New Orleans. Segarra bears witness to a wave of violence
that struck the St. Roch neighborhood in St. Roch Blues; yearns for a night at BJ's Bar in the Bywater in Crash on the Highway; and sings of her own
Lower Ninth Ward home in End of the Line.
'Small Town Heroes' follows Hurray for the Riff Raff's self-released 2012 album 'Look Out Mama,' which led to a performance at the Newport Folk
Festival, and praise from Mojo, which compared Segarra to "a soulful, young Loretta Lynn," and The New York Times which hailed the group as part of
the loosely cohered movement of younger musicians embracing and reframing American roots music, giving it a polish of currency but otherwise leaving
its bones intact.1. Blue Ridge Mountain
2. Crash on the Highway
3. Good Time Blues (An Outlaw's Lament)
4. End of the Line
5. The New SF Bay Blues
6. The Body Electric
7. No One Else
8. St. Roch Blues
9. Levon's Dream
10. I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)
11. Small Town Heroes
12. Forever Is Just a Day$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
At BayDebut from the London based three-piece. The Wharves combine gracefully minimal psyche-rock with fuzzed out folk. Their songwriting remains consistently rich throughout 'At Bay' largely due to the startling harmonies of Gemma Fleet (bass) and Dearhla Minogue (guitar) bonding each of the albums 13 tracks. The glorious production courtesy of Rory Attwell (The Vaccines, Veronica Falls) makes for a unique debut. They invoke the spook of 60s girl groups, the mid-fi guitar crunch of The Amps, the vocal flavours of The Roches and the narrative of 70's progressive folk. Marion Andrau's thunderous drumming drives through these compositions, ensuring the wealth of disparate influences remain focused and celebratory.1. Left, Right and Centre
2. The Grip
3. Scarlet For Ya
6. By Hook or By Crook
7. Ode à Jimmy
9. Keep On
10. Mother Damnable
11. The Crane
13. First Day Back$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Psychic Temple IIIt may seem hard to imagine a place where indie rock visionaries like Sufjan Stevens and Castanets' Ray Raposa could meld minds with the genius of Brian Wilson, where death metal pioneer Paul Masvidal might wield his legendary six-string chops on a blissed-out soul ballad, where adventurous young jazz players like Kris Tiner and Devin Hoff share credit with Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens and singer/songwriter Aaron Roche.
Long Beach composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist (not to mention truck driver) Chris Schlarb has not only imagined such a place but has now made it manifest for a second time. Released by Asthmatic Kitty, Psychic Temple II is a labor of love, envisioned by Schlarb to bring his most far-ranging inspirations to life - as he puts it, "a dream ensemble that could never actually exist." The ensemble's sophomore release was painstakingly constructed over more than a year with the cooperation of some of the most progressive musical minds from a staggering variety of genres.
"I love interesting juxtapositions, where you bring together people from different communities," Schlarb says. He cites iconoclastic predecessors like Bill Laswell's ever-changing group Material, which once brought together a young Whitney Houston with jazz legend Archie Shepp and future Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers producer Michael Beinhorn to cover a song by Hugh Hopper of English prog-rock pioneers Soft Machine. On 2010's Psychic Temple, Schlarb assembled a 29-member ensemble that included Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, vocalist Julianna Barwick, and pianist Mick Rossi of the Philip Glass Ensemble.
"It seems like a crazy combination of people," Schlarb says, "but they're all just musicians. Why not bring them all together? It may not always work, but it's always worth reaching further."
Psychic Temple II reaches beyond the long-form experiments of its predecessor for a more tightly focused yet conceptually dense collection whose songs are no less exploratory for their briefer durations. "I never see the point in continuing to regurgitate," Schlarb says of the new album's unique direction. "What was natural at that time would now feel contrived. I have to keep moving forward."
Schlarb also includes three cover songs by composers who share his boundary-demolishing mindset: Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," Frank Zappa's "Sofa No. 2," and Brian Wilson's "'Til I Die," a gorgeous, lesser-known Beach Boys song that features vocals by Sufjan Stevens, Castanets' Ray Raposa, and Cryptacize's Nedelle Torrisi.
Psychic Temple had its origins in Create (!), a large improvising ensemble with which Schlarb used to perform. The free-form group would often incorporate multiple drummers, a concept that Schlarb decided to pursue in a more composition-oriented setting. No matter how much Psychic Temple mutates from track to track, the rhythmic possibilities of its two drummers (in this case, Tabor Allen and Andrew Pompey) remain intact.
Schlarb's imaginative leaps are evidenced from the outset of Psychic Temple II, on the intoxicating opening track, "Seventh House." Featuring the sinuous vocals of Sarah Negahdari, who recently served as touring bassist for Silversun Pickups, the song weaves together lyrical and musical references to Neil Young's "Will To Love," to the Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers album Pisces, and to Sheena Easton's notorious Prince-penned pop hit "Sugar Walls."
Then there's "The Starry King Hears Laughter" and "She Is the Golden World," two songs that pay simultaneous homage to poet William Blake and jazz legend Bill Evans; or "Solo in Place," Schlarb's attempt to filter classic soul through his own "weird prism," a missing link between the Isley Brothers and the Alan Parsons Project that features guitar wizard Paul Masvidal of the death metal bands Death and Cynic.
Despite such a mind-blowing array of talent from the farthest reaches of the musical spectrum, Psychic Temple II is a surprisingly cohesive album, a testament to Schlarb's clear controlling vision. "One of the fundamental flaws of modern music is the idea of the record as a pastiche," he says. "With hip-hop and R&R records starting in the '90s, you had ten tracks with ten different producers so every track sounded completely different. There was no aesthetic where you could just put on a record and listen to it beginning to end. I admire people who are control freaks."
Schlarb has wielded control over a number of vastly different projects himself. The New York Observer called his debut solo album, Twilight & Ghost Stories, "40 minutes of avant-garde bliss," while Interoceans, recorded with experimental jazz duo I Heart Lung, was chosen by NPR as one of the top five jazz albums of 2008. He composed the score for Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren's video game Nightsky and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Meet the Composer. In 2001, Schlarb founded the eclectic Sounds Are Active record label, which has released music by the likes of Nels Cline, Mike Watt, and Castanets.1. Seventh House
2. The Starry King Hears Laughter
3. Solo In Place
4. Bird In The Garden
5. 'Til I Die
6. She Is The Golden World
7. Steppin' Out
8. All I Want Is Time
9. Sofa No. 2
10. NO TSURAI
11. Hyacinth Thrash Quarter$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now