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SPCO-PUR-15003xBill Evans & Jim Hall
Undercurrent (Pure Pleasure)This is the first of two superb albums recorded by Bill Evans, and guitarist Jim Hall, and it was recorded over two sessions in April and May 1962. Arrangements simply for piano and guitar are rare in Jazz, and it is even more seldom that the results are truly inspiring and as musically worthwhile as in this case. It is usual for intuitive musical relationships to develop over a number of years, but here we find two musicians who clearly shared an immediate understanding.
Both men are on absolute top form here - Bill Evans was on fire throughout the early and mid sixties, and after the tragic death of his previous musical partner, virtuoso bass player Scott Le Faro (at the age of 23), he was searching for new directions. Jim Hall is a guitarist of tremendous skill and powerful technique, with a highly developed rhythmic and harmonic sense that shines through on this album. What is so special about the performances here is an almost telepathic anticipation of where the music is heading - both musicians contribute equally, and there is a constant exchange of ideas, each reacting to the other with apparent ease, whatever the mood.
This is a brilliant jazz album, of great depth and tremendous atmosphere, and both players express some exceptional ideas. Highly recommended.
- Bill Evans (piano)
- Jim Hall (guitar)
Recording: April & May 1962 at Sound Makers, New York, by Bill Schwartau
About Pure Pleasure
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, Pure Pleasure 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 existent 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 emphasize that Pure Pleasure 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 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 and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. My Funny Valentine
2. I Hear A Rhapsody
3. Dream Gypsy
5. Skating In Central Park
6. Darn That Dream$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UndercurrentUndercurrent on Numbered Limited Edition LP from Mobile Fidelity Silver Label
Introspective, Almost-Hallucinogenic 1962 Album a Pinnacle for Both Jazz Icons
Guitarist Hall Aids Pianist Evans in Rebounding from Tragedy
Diverse Set Encompasses Ballads, Waltzes, Hard-Swinging Bop
Divine Sonics: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI
Bill Evans catapulted to the top of the jazz world in June 1961 after reeling off three straight masterpiece sessions at New York's Village Vanguard with his trio. Yet the emotional highs came to a screeching halt shortly thereafter when bassist Scott LaFaro died in a car accident. Devastated, Evans refrained from playing for nearly a year. If not for an inspirational collaboration of tremendous creative outpouring, one wonders what fate may have befallen Evans. Undercurrent, the outcome of two studio sessions with guitarist Jim Hall, is that project.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this Silver Label LP edition bursts forth with brilliant textures, you-are-there realism, and extraordinary tonalities. No other version outside of this analog copy brings you face-to-face with these two jazz giants' sonic communion, a kind of spiritual musical summit on which Evans' deft keyboard touches and Hall's reliably subtle phrasings seamlessly mesh and wonderfully dance, the compositions streaked with natural instrumental decay, full-frequency extensions, and poignant emotionalism that, on this LP, you can feel.
While Evans managed to sit down for a few one-off takes between LaFaro's passing and these April-May 1962 dates, he largely remained on hiatus and abstained from recording. Whether it owes to the intimate pairing, he and Hall's brotherly chemistry, or the exquisite selection of program material, the results consistently come across as the equivalent of a private meditation-such is the level of introspective depth and quietly shaded interplay throughout. For Evans, the duet clearly functions as therapy, a healing episode in which his partner patiently lays back, shadowing moves and suggesting others, neither musician interested in the spotlight but each striving for (and achieving) transcendent beauty.
In tackling standards such as Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine" and the Broadway classic "Darn That Dream," as well as the Hall original "Romain," the pair traverses complex harmonies with the astute elegance of a figure skater. At times, Evans and Hall go for broke on a hard-swinging romps, yet it's their implied melancholy and drifting, softly struck melodic refrains on waltzes and ballads that bestows Undercurrent with a nuanced romanticism and whispered atmosphere befitting the record's title.
Indeed, even the album's cover-an iconic photograph by Toni Frissell-exhibits the surreal, almost-hallucinogenic properties of the fare contained within.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. My Funny Valentine
2. I Hear a Rhapsody
3. Dream Gypsy
5. Skating in Central Park
6. Darn That Dream$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Undercurrent (Kenny Drew)Cut at 33 1/3 RPM by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio from the Original Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note Master Tapes
Pressed 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl LPs by RTI
Top Quality Gatefold Packaging with Laminated Covers & High Quality Session Photos
Kenny Drew was an unsung master of bebop. A brilliant pianist who started with the example of Bud Powell and then developed his own sound within the style, in the '50s Drew worked with some of the most important innovators of all time including Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Buddy DeFranco, Dinah Washington and Art Blakey. By 1960 when he recorded Undercurrent, Drew had already led ten albums of his own, mostly with duos and trios. Oddly enough he only had the opportunity to lead two albums in his life for Blue Note, an early effort from 1953 and the classic Undercurrent. Joined in a quintet by the young firebrand trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, the always-stimulating tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, the 32-year old pianist shows that he was ready to truly make his mark on the jazz world. All six compositions are his, and in his accompaniment of the passionate horn men and also in his soulful solos, Drew shows that he was one of the major hard bop stylists. This high energy album, which finds Hubbard, Mobley and Drew consistently inspiring each other to come up with heated statements, has many of the pianist's finest compositions including the roaring "Undercurrent," the bluesy "Funk-Cosity," the gospellish "The Pot's On," the well titled "Groovin' The Blues" and the beautiful "Ballade." Kenny Drew, who would move permanently to Europe in 1964 and would not lead another album until 1973, is heard throughout at the peak of his powers, creating his finest recording.
Limited Edition of Only 3500 Copies!
Remastered from the Original Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note Master Tapes!
Remastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
Pressed 180 gram Virgin Vinyl LPs by RTI
Ultra-Durable, Extra Thick Album Jackets
Gatefold Album with Session Photos in stunning High Resolution
Kenny Drew, piano
Freddie Hubbard, trumpet
Hank Mobley, tenor saxophone
Sam Jones, bass
Louis Hayes, drums
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Undercurrent
3. Lion's Den
4. The Pot's On
5. Groovin' The Blues
6. Ballade$54.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UndercurrentUndercurrent, the fourth album from acclaimed GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz was released on June 17th, 2016 via Sugar Hill Records. Unlike her previous albums, which have intricate arrangements performed on a variety of instruments, Undercurrent features a newfound confidence and a more minimalist production, focused on Jarosz's upfront vocals and most personal songwriting to date.1. Early Morning Light
2. Green Lights
3. House Of Mercy
4. Everything To Hide
5. Back Of My Mind
6. Comin' Undone
7. Take Another Turn
8. Lost Dog
9. Take Me Back
10. Still Life
11. Jacqueline$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UndercurrentMatisyahu's sixth studio album, Undercurrent, is musically his most courageous and lyrically his most vulnerable release to date. The music comes from trust. Trust in his band. There are no post-production bells and whistles, excessive overdub distractions, or litany of special guests.
On Undercurrent, the vulnerability felt throughout the lyrical narrative comes from acceptance in uncertainty. It's a musical reframing of the Jewish philosophical differences between the constant of faith and the immediacy of trust. Together, Matisyahu and his band have crafted a fully realized concept album about the forces within. The undercurrents of life, pulling at us all beneath the surface and unseen by those looking only at the surface.1. Step Out Into The Light
2. Back To The Old
3. Coming Up Empty
4. BSP Blue Sky Playground
5. Tell Me
6. Forest of Faith
7. Head Right
8. Driftin'$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
UndercurrentOther than four piano solos from April 4, 1962, this set was pianist Bill Evans' first recordings after a hiatus caused by bassist Scott LaFaro's tragic death in a car accident. The first of two meetings on record in a duo format with guitarist Jim Hall, the collaborations are often exquisite. Both Evans and Hall had introspective and harmonically advanced styles along with roots in hard-swinging bebop. The six selections on the original LP have been expanded to ten for this reissue with the inclusion of two alternate takes and previously unheard versions of Stairway to the Stars and I'm Getting Sentimental Over You. There is more variety than expected on the fine set with some cookers, ballads, waltzes, and even some hints at classical music. Recommended.1. My Funny Valentine
2. I Hear A Rhapsody
3. Dream Gypsy
4. Stairway to the Stars*
6. Skating In Central Park
7. Darn That Dream
8. Stairway To The Stars
9. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You*
*Bonus Track$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-FAT-4612xThe Felice Brothers
Celebration, FloridaRecorded in the library and theater of Beacon, NY's old high school, the Felice Brothers explore a multitude of sounds and instrumentation throughout their expansive new album, Celebration, Florida. It's inspired, imaginative, heady, menacing, passionate and rollicking. Most importantly, it's as steadfastly authentic as ever, expanding upon the dark, woozy undercurrent of ramshackle barroom blues, vaudevillian atmospherics, and surreal storytelling of their previous releases.1. Fire At The Pageant
2. Container Ship
3. Honda Civic
4. Oliver Stone
6. Back In The Dancehalls
8. Cus's Catskill Gym
10. Best I Ever Had
11. River Jordan$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stadium Arcadium (Out Of Stock)Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers call the band's first new album in four years, the most-anticipated album of the spring, The best thing that we've ever done...There's this weird kind of sublime, subliminal undercurrent that is suggestive, in a spirited way, of our earliest records. Exuding all the passion, energy and funked-up rock that have made the Red Hot Chili Peppers one of the most popular bands in history, Stadium Arcadium, simply put, will knock your socks off.Jupiter
Snow (Hey Oh)
Hump de Bump
She's Only 18
Strip My Mind
Especially In Michigan
Tell Me Baby
Hard to Concentrate
She Looks To Me
Make You Feel Better
So Much I
Storm In A Teacup
Turn It Again
Death of a Martian$39.99Vinyl LP - 4 LPs Sealed Buy Now
I Hate MusicI Hate Music is Majesty's dark twin. It's similarly aggressive, often moreso, and every bit as energetic. It reflects the joys of a life spent immersed in music (Me & You & Jackie Mittoo, Trees of Barcelona), but there's a dark
undercurrent as well. That title isn't tongue-in-cheek, but it's really more a question than a statement: When you're 20, lazy co-workers and romantic missteps number among your biggest worries; two decades later, life's bigger questions knock
louder and louder, demanding answers.1. Overflows
2. Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
4. Staying Home
5. Low F
6. Trees of Barcelona
7. Breaking Down
8. Out of the Sun
9. Your Theme
11. What Can We Do$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Daredevil, Season One (Original Soundtrack)Mondo is excited to unveil the soundtrack for Marvel's Daredevil - Season One, the Netflix original series, with collectible artwork by Matthew Woodson. John Paesano's score for Marvel's Daredevil Season One had the unenviable task of setting the tone for the new Netflix television series. Right from the opening credits Paesano creates a powerful sense of urgency and an undercurrent of darkness, crafting some of the most kinetic musical sequences in the Marvel Universe including the bombastic tracks "Hallway Fight" and "Stick."1. Daredevil Main Title
2. Fogwell's Gym
3. Battlin' Jack Murdock
4. Hallway Fight
5. Union Allied
6. Passenger Side
7. A World On Fire
8. Ben Urich
10. Wilson Fisk
11. Worthy Opponents
12. Avocados at Law
13. Man Of Ill Intent
14. The Suit
15. Daredevil$39.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Soul Message From DimonaFollowing a path blazed in Belize and the Bahamas, The Numero Group finds yet another stop on the soul diaspora tour: Dimona, Israel. Between 1975-1981, a group of American ex-pats took their native sounds of Detroit and Chicago and intermingled them with the messages of the Black Hebrew culture. The results are a heavenly mix of spiritual soul and jazz with an undercurrent of gospel psychedelia. Featuring the Soul Messengers, the Spirit Of Israel, Sons Of The Kingdom, and the Tonistics, Soul Messages From Dimona is the only living document of a thriving community at both the center and fringe of the world.$31.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Up the BracketUp The Bracket alludes to a slang term used by British comedian Tony Hancock in Hancock's Half Hour, implying a punch in the throat, which is a most fiiting title for this, The Libertines' raucous and brilliant debut. Recorded by none other than the legendary Mick Jones of the Clash, his not too rough and not too polished production wonderfully emphasizes the pedigree of The Libertines sound and the originality of it. The Londoners have managed to imbue snotty garage rock with a sort of wistful romanticism here, producing an undercurrent of genuine soul that is hard to ignore.1. Vertigo
2. Death On The Stairs
3. Horror Show
4. Time For Heroes
5. Boys In The Band
6. Radio America
7. Up The Bracket
8. Tell The King
9. The Boy Looked At Johnny
11. The Good Old Days
12. I Get Along
13. What A Waster
14. Mocking Bird$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Make YourselfAvailable for the first time on vinyl! Double gatefold sets presented on 180-gram audiophile vinyl.
Produced by Scott Litt, Incubus' second full-length album, Make Yourself, makes a bid for broader mainstream success while keeping the group rooted in a hybrid of familiar late '90s alt-metal (i.e., roaring guitars, white-noise sonic textures, and an undercurrent of electronics) and Chili Pepper funk-rock. Where S.C.I.E.N.C.E. sometimes veered abruptly between the two genres without really fusing them, Make Yourself finds the band settling more comfortably into its sound, and once again, there are a few really good singles.
2. Nowhere Fast
4. The Warmth
5. When It Comes
1. Make Yourself
4. Battlestar Scralatchtica
5. I Miss You
6. Pardon Me
7. Out from Under$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Mt. RoyalTo describe Mt. Royal's music it is easiest to explain that their contrasting elements work together for the sake of a common purpose. Their aesthetics and melodies appear to have a friendly pop leaning tailor-made for a broad audience, with a consistent undercurrent of attitude from the rhythm section and Ford's emotive, powerful delivery and sweeping, surging arrangements that provide some unexpected twists while retaining the clear focus of each song. The end result reconciles the most fundamental elements of intoxicating, heart-driven music. Mt. Royal has the charged ambition and scope of vintage psychedelia whilst always utilising the eclectic sonic palette of the modern world.1. Missing Reward
2. Black Thorn
4. Yes Your Majesty
6. What's On My Grave?$16.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
New 24 Bit /96 kHz Transfer Taken From The Original Master Tapes
Deluxe Silver Foil Jacket (Tip-On)
Limited Blue Sky Colored Vinyl
Formed in 1967 as a psychedelic electronic duo featuring Dan Taylor on drums and Simeon on a homemade synthesizer consisting of 12 oscillators (and an assortment of sound filters, telegraph keys, radio parts, lab gear and a variety of second hand electronic junk), Silver Apples quickly gained a reputations New York's leading underground musical expression.
Their pulsating rhythmic beats with the use of electronics laid the groundwork for what would become "Krautrock."
Silver Apples was released in 1968 and still remains an innovative and revolutionary album. Their highly influential sound has influenced countless bands from Stereolab, Beastie Boys, Blur and more.
The first remarkable trait of Lazy Smoke's sound is the lead vocal's similarity to John Lennon. Upon digging just a little deeper below the surface, we instead find a darker tone and a patient, eerie feeling resonating through the songs.
While bands like The Beatles and Love were singing about love, lament and hallucinated travel experiences, the songs on Corridor of Faces get sincerely dark right away.
Even the seemingly-light teenage love-themed "Sarah Saturday" shares an undercurrent of on-the-edge uncertainty. It's this undercurrent that calls to mind comparisons to Forever Changes era Love. Originally privately pressed in MA in an edition of only 500 copies in 1968. Now repressed again in 2016 on Blue Sky Colored Vinyl.1. Oscillations
2. Seagreen Serenades
5. Velvet Cave
8. Dancing Gods
9. Misty Mountain$27.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Have A Nice DayHave a Nice Day, Bon Jovi's ninth studio album of original material, picks up where 2002's Bounce left off, showcasing a harder, heavier band than either 2000's Crush or Jon Bon Jovi's 1997 solo effort, Destination Anywhere. Not only that, but this 2005 album finds Jon Bon Jovi picking up on the serious undercurrent of Bounce, writing a series of angry, somber neo-protest songs that form the heart of this record. While he's not exactly explicitly political here, there's little question that he's dissatisfied with the world today, whether it's about life in small town America or the sorry state of pop music; he even goes so far to write a variation on Bob Dylan's classic Chimes of Freedom with Bells of Freedom. Since he's stretching out lyrically, the band finds a comfort zone in sticking in the tried-and-true arena rock that's been their signature sound for 20 years now.1. Have A Nice Day
2. I Want To Be Loved
3. Welcome To Wherever You Are
4. Who Says You Can't Go Home
5. Last Man Standing
6. Bells Of Freedom
8. Last Cigarette
9. I Am
12. Story Of My Life
13. Who Says You Can't Go Home$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Testimonium SongsLimited edition, hand numbered vinyl of 550
Testimonium Songs collects the song cycle composed by Joan of Arc (Tim Kinsella, Bobby Burg,
and Theo Katsaounis) to be performed live in Testimonium, a work of performance by well-respected
experimental theater ensemble Every House Has a Door.
Testimonium responds -- both in substance and in style --to Charles Reznikoff's monumental work
Testimony, a translation into poetry of courtroom transcripts of witness and victim testimonies in
criminal cases and cases of workplace negligence, in the US, spanning the years 1885 to 1915.
Performances of Testimonium incorporate modern dance, theater, and original songs written and
played by Joan of Arc.
In a departure for the band, these highly structured compositions, developed over a two-year
rehearsal period, emulate Reznikoff's poetics by shaping themselves according to a mosaic method
- rotating a fixed set of musical units in warping permutations.
The lyrics re-invent the strategies of Objectivist poetry, by turns surreal, ordinary, testimonial, and
explosive, releasing the undercurrent of emotion in the poems while (almost) never quoting them
Beyond collecting the Testimonium Songs, the record has a life of its own, with the contributions of
stellar musicians David Grubbs, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang, and Jim Baker,
additional vocals by Melina Ausikaitis, and musical material not included in the performance.1. Amelia
2. I'd Expect Babies Should Fly, If Not at Least Float Away
3. Mosaic of Bolts
4. Stephen's Song
5. The Bird's Nest Wrapped Around the Security Camera
6. Jury Duty$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
I Blodi Og AndaSÓLSTAFIR have come a long way. Their latest, fourth full-length 'Svartir Sandar' (2011) got several nominations and entries for album of the year as well as general very high acclaim by critics and fans alike around the globe. When their album debut 'Í Blóði og Anda', which translates as 'In Blood and Spirit' was released in 2002 few would have dared to predict such a steep rise. Yet all the elements that were to shape the appeal of the Icelanders in later years are already present: epic and beautiful melody lines, psychedelic moments and a deep and strong undercurrent of classic rock permeates 'Í Blóði og Anda'. The unique sound, which raises SÓLSTAFIR far above the average, is clearly beginning to show. 'Í Blóði og Anda' went out-of-print almost immediately upon its release. Now Season of Mist makes this much sought after album available again including a bonus second disc full of previously unreleased material. Take a good look at this stunning snapshot that exposes the earliest roots of this incredible band!1. Undir Jökli
2. Í Blóði og Andabr
3. The Underworld Songbr
5. 2000 Árbr
6. Ei Við Munum Iðrastbr
7. Bitch in Blackbr
8. Í Víkingbr
9. Árstiðir Dauðansbr$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Beautiful Letdown180-Gram Colored Vinyl
Mastered For Vinyl And Lacquers Created By Stan Ricker
Plated At RTI
High Gloss Gatefold Jacket
11 X 22 Insert
The Beautiful Letdown is the fourth studio album by alternative rock band Switchfoot. Originally released on February 25, 2003, it launched the band into the mainstream on the strength of two top 20 singles: ''Meant to Live'' and ''Dare You to Move.''
For a band who took their name from their beloved surfing hobby, Switchfoot are anything but posterboys for the slacker mindset. The San Diego quartet spent little time resting on the laurels of their Best Rock Gospel Album Grammy nomination for 2000's LEARNING TO BREATHE, opting for a tireless tour schedule instead. Their first offering with new label Red Ink finds the band further refining their pop-rock craft. Switchfoot's music makes no secret at making musical nods to their contemporaries, most notably Foo Fighters (''Ammunition''), Third Eye Blind (''Dare You To Move''), and Sugar Ray (''Gone''). With THE BEAUTIFUL LETDOWN, Switchfoot succeed at making a document reflecting on real life with a consistent undercurrent of hope and humility.1. Meant To Live
2. This If Your Life
3. More Than Fine
5. Dare You To Move
7. The Beautiful Letdown
9. On Fire
10. Adding To The Noise
11. Twenty-Four$25.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
REDD-FAT-3211xThe Black Keys
ChulahomaChulahoma is a stopgap EP from the Black Keys, a collection of six covers of songs by cult bluesman Junior Kimbrough, whose 'Do the Rump' they covered on their 2002 debut, Big Come Up. Considering that this is the first time the blues-rock guitar-n-drums duo has devoted an album to nothing but straight-ahead blues songs, it wound seem logical that Chulahoma would be the bluesiest recording in their catalog, but the Black Keys aren't that simple. The six songs on this 28-minute EP are hardly replications of Kimbrough's gritty originals, nor do they have the dirty, punch-to-the-gut feel of any of the duo's three proper albums. Instead, this is the weirdest set of music the band has done to date, a trippy, murky excursion into territory that floats somewhere between the primal urgency of the duo's best work and the dark, moody psychedelia of late-'60s blues-rock. Take 'Have Mercy on Me' its winding, narcotic blues groove settles into a bed of droning organ and bongos, but the interplay between guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney prevents it from sounding as affected as psychedelia, while infusing it with a real sense of danger. That unsettling undercurrent flows throughout this brief EP, and it makes Chulahoma an album that's ideal for pitch-black nights, where the music can worm its way into your imagination and then run wild. That alone would make it a unique, noteworthy detour for the Black Keys, but when this is compared to Kimbrough's original recordings, it becomes an instructive listen since a side-by-side listen reveals how Auerbach drew inspiration from Kimbrough's stripped-down, idiosyncratic grooves and took it into some place entirely different. And while that might mean that Chulahoma doesn't necessarily sound like a kissing cousin to Kimbrough's originals, it does make it a greater, richer tribute than most cover albums, and it certainly proves that Auerbach's testimonial in the liner notes about how Junior Kimbrough changed his life is no lie.1 Keep Your Hands off Her
2 Have Mercy on Me
3 Work Me
4 Meet Me in the City
5 Nobody But You
6 My Mind Is Ramblin'$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-SEC-3519xGardens & Villa
Gardens & VillaIn the year of the saxophone, Santa Barbaras Gardens & Villa give us the flute. And along the way, G&V effectively wipe clear the vaseline from the murky bedroom funk of recent days. G&V bang out instant classics, each crystal clear and immaculate, but no less sweeping or languid. Their debut is a youthful exploration of just how opulent and pop starkness can go. It also leaves an impression of California in the way that Richard Diebekorns Ocean Park series or the pool party scene from The Graduate both do, always sensed more than stated outright.
Gardens & Villa channel all the taut pop precisions of '90s Britpop of bands like Blur, and send it through an '80s synth filter both undeniably coastal and modern. Its Spoons Kill The Moonlight lost in a daydream, but with that same hungry energy. Gardens & Villa may simultaneously pull from Gary Numan, The Kinks and odder prog within one composition. And like a fine sweet tea, its made just that right kind of sugary, though even the most upbeat tunes have an undercurrent of the bittersweet and the lost at heart.
In 2010, Gardens & Villa traveled to Oregon to record their debut with visionary, vibemaster and labelmate Richard Swift. Together, they put some sand in the sheets of new wave (Black Hills) and pop some translucent funk (Orange Blossom). Theres also a level of effortless class maintained across the whole set. Each and every lush little gem explores the wonderful mystery between intuition and proficiency, between tension and repose. Gardens & Villa are Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop and Dusty Ineman.1. Black Hills
2. Cruise Ship
3. Thorn Castles
4. Orange Blossom
7. Star Fire Power
8. Sunday Morning
9. Carrizo Plain
10. Neon Dove$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Field Of ReedsWith their risky third album, These New Puritans abandoned the angular dance-punk of Beat Pyramid and the gloomy electronic beats of Hidden to reinvent themselves once again for Field of Reeds, a record as indebted to classical scores and avant-garde jazz as rock. Taking a hands-off, live approach to the recording process, and allowing open space and emptiness to take precedence over beats, the music has a disturbing, dystopian feel to it, swinging from detached to nightmarish before resolving into something lovingly tranquil. Some of the best songs, like Fragment 2, V (Island Song), and Spiral (which sounds like a fever-dream version of Björk and Thom Yorke's I've Seen It All duet from the Dancer in the Dark soundtrack), thrive in this push and pull between atonal dissonance and sheer beauty. Even These New Puritans' most stark numbers, while often lacking a concrete backbeat or definitive structure, are bursting with details and ideas. Ambient textures, constructed from melancholic horns and eerie analog synthesizer tones, add a wavering undercurrent that is often hair-raising and haunting. The production is equally unconventional. After writing the material in Essex and Amsterdam, Jack Barnett fleshed out the parts with his brother George and Tom Hein before recording in London, Gloucester, and Berlin with new honey-voiced Portuguese singer Elisa Rodrigues, utilizing an unusual magnetic resonator piano and meticulously detailing the songs with field recordings, including breaking glass and the screaming of an actual hawk. This perfectionism, present in the sonics and in the complex arrangements, makes Field of Reeds the most challenging title in their catalog and also the most groundbreaking.
- Jason Lymangrover (All Music Guide)1. This Guy's In Love With You
2. Fragment Two
3. The Light In Your Name
4. V (Island Song)
6. Organ Eternal
7. Nothing Else
9. Field of Reeds$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The First Born Is DeadThe blues had long been a potent undercurrent in the Birthday Party's music, so it wasn't all that surprising that Nick Cave embraced the sound and feeling of rural blues on his second album with the Bad Seeds, The Firstborn Is Dead. What was startling was how well Cave and his bandmates -- Barry Adamson, Mick Harvey, and Blixa Bargeld -- were able to absorb and honor the influences of artists like Skip James and Charley Patton while creating a sound that was unmistakably their own. The moody obsessions of rural blues -- trains, floods, imprisonment, sin, fear, and death -- seemed made to order for Cave, and he was able to tap into the doomy iconography of this music with potent emotional force; on Tupelo, he makes a sweeping and disturbing epic of the rain-swept night when Elvis Presley was born, and Knocking on Joe is a tale of life on the work gang that communicates the pain of the spirit as clearly as the ache of the body. Also, the blues helped transform Cave's music as well as his lyrics; the brutal sonic pummel of the Birthday Party here gave way to a more subtle and dynamic approach that still made effective use of dissonance and bare-wired electric guitar noise while proving the balance of loud and soft only made each side deeper and more resonant. (The stark, barely there guitar and drums of Blind Lemon Jefferson are as startling and malignantly fascinating as anything in the Birthday Party's catalog.) The Firstborn Is Dead proved Nick Cave's musical palate was significantly broader than his debut album suggested and pointed to a path (channeling the sounds and emotions of American roots music) he would return to on many of his albums that followed.
- Mark Deming (All Music)1. Tupelo
2. Say Goodbye To The Little Girl Tree
3. Train Long Suffering
4. Black Crow King
5. Knockin' On Joe
6. Wanted Man
7. Blind Lemon Jefferson$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
See Mystery LightsLimited Edition of 1000 Copies on White Vinyl
Features Detailed Spot-Glass Artwork Exclusive to the Vinyl Version
Brainy and block-rocking rarely coexist like this.
Recorded in Marfa, Texas, YACHT's See Mystery Lights is an intimate party record that was captured in widescreen Technicolor. Singles include Summer Song and the sublimely catchy Psychic City, mixing electro and post punk rhythms seamlessly.
Jona Bechtolt - founding member of YACHT, former member of the Blow - is a huge talent, something that may not have been readily apparent on any of his three previous LPs. Those albums, created largely as solo endeavors, will not have prepared listeners for See Mystery Lights. Now an official partnership between Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, who performed on several songs on 2007's I Believe In You, Your Magic Is Real, YACHT finally feel like a full-fledged band with direction and vision, particularly given the added weight (or rather, levity) of Evans' influence.
The songs on See Mystery Lights - from the bouncy, burbling you-can't-take-it-with-you screed The Afterlife (which plays like a less spastic companion piece to the Mae Shi's Run to Your Grave) to the roller rink-ready vocoder vocals of I'm In Love With a Ripper - represent YACHT at their most poppy. It's a collection of stone jams that finds the band finally as hellbent on experimenting and expanding the boundaries of its sonic scope as it is on having fun. Built on electronic foundations - laser effects, skittering computerized beats, and spacey synth lines (or guitar riffs that have been tuned or distorted to sound like synths) - these new songs are giddy with creative freedom while remaining tethered in service of their melodies. The vocal melodies are bright and buoyant, but delivered (by either band member, or in unison) in a chanted, oftentimes detached monotone that plays up the repetitive lyrics' mantra-like feel and adds a welcome undercurrent of slacker cool to their otherwise sugary optimism.1. Ring The Bell
2. The Afterlife
3. I'm In Love With A Ripper
4. It's Boring / You Can Live Anywhere You Want
5. Psychic City
6. Summer Song
7. We Have All We've Ever Wanted
8. Don't Fight The Darkness
9. I'm In Love With A Ripper (Party Mix)
10. Psychic City (Version)$17.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now