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Wild PlanetNumbered Limited Edition
Party Out of Bounds! Eclectic Groups Sophomore Album The Equal of Its Smash Debut
Boffo Encore: Surf, Pop, Dance, Kitsch, Cabaret, and Psychedelia Unite With Giddy Vocals and Ricky Wilsons Still-Underrated Guitar Playing
Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI: 1980 Smash Now Possesses Jump-Out-of-Your-Seat Sonics
Party out of bounds! Not only is this sentiment one of the B-52s directives on their ceaselessly fun sophomore album, its one of the records hit songs, and perfectly summarizes the spirit and intent behind this new-wave classic. Completely up to task in following up their kitschy debut, the B-52s step everything up a notch: Songwriting, humor, exaggeration, melodies, hooks, and group interplay. Wild Planet also finds the band embracing stronger psychedelic accents that seamlessly mesh with its lava-lamp colors and textures. What an album.
Rollicking, rousing, and riotous, Wild Planet soars on vocal efforts put forth by the delightfully campy chanteuses Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson, whose innocent girly tonalities wonderfully match up with Fred Schneiders effeminate deliveries and manic presentations. While the sheer exuberance and giddy nature of the music tends to make them an afterthought, the trios harmonies are utterly amazing. Add in Ricky Wilsons propulsive beach-bound guitar riffs, random squealing synthesizers, and a surfeit of danceable rhythms, and you have nothing less than a 1980s masterpiece that, due to its optimistic vibes and buoyant grooves, only gets better with time.
As for clever humor and quirky character? Everywhere. Mentions of an icebox, fruit punch, and surprise greetings kick off the defining Party Out of Bounds. Private Idaho is an instant mix-tape essential, sent up with declamatory refrains and insouciant beats. Not to be outdone, the B-52s tackle the subject of devilish possession on the witty Devil In My Car and get hysterical on Strobe Light, surely the finest tune ever written about making love in the shadow of a pulsating illumination device. Schneider is on fire, embracing his sexuality while pushing his mates to new limits. Theres no serious matter here; Wild Planet is all about celebrating, and few records do a better job of capturing such a mood.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, Silver Series numbered limited edition LP presents the B-52s 1980 classic in a rousing fidelity that will have you wanting to jump off your furniture, lampshade on head. The all-important bass lines, divergent vocal timbres, and usually unnoticed guitar lines attain an unprecedented level of balance and realism. And, few bands took advantage of the large-format LP cover art like the B-52s. The cover portrait of these fashionistas is reason enough to get these extraordinary reissue, which takes great pride in reproducing the original art right down to the last smear of eyeliner of Piersons face.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Party Out of Bounds
2. Dirty Back Road
3. Runnin' Around
4. Give Me Back My Man
5. Private Idaho
6. Devil in My Car
7. Quiche Lorraine
8. Strobe Light
9. 53 Miles West of Venus$24.99Numbered Limited Edition Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Chart-Topping 1974 Record Reunites Dylan With the Band: Interplay Alone Worth Experiencing Set in Highest-Possible Fidelity
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Mobile Fidelity Version Brings Underrated Gem to Fullest Light With Warm, Revealing Sound
Edgy Personal Album Captures Legendary Artist Straddling Line Between Romance and Suspicion: Includes Beloved Favorites "Forever Young" and "You Angel You"
Bob Dylan's Planet Waves became an event even before the album was released and revealed itself as an understated masterwork. His first studio recording in nearly four years, the homespun 1974 effort finds him reuniting with the Band, by then firmly established as virtuosos. The chemistry is obvious on every song. And the modest and spare production only magnifies the honesty and purity of the collaboration. Mobile Fidelity's 180g LP deepens the music's emotional connection and rustic warmth to the fullest possible extent.
Mastered from the original master tapes, this collectable audiophile edition brings to the surface the communal interplay and warm, relaxed vibe established by Dylan and the Band. Listeners will finally sense the sensitive tones made possible by the ensemble's laidback nature and watertight playing. The deep body of Richard Manuel's piano, pinpoint decay of Garth Hudson's organ, and clarity of Dylan's vocals emerge with new perspective. As a result, Planet Waves leaps from the background of Dylan's catalog into the fore, the revelatory sonics helping earn the record serious consideration as one of the Bard's finest.
Recorded in just three days time, Planet Waves is at its core an exhibition of the inimitable folk-rock honed by Dylan and the Band. Recalling the Americana spirit of The Basement Tapes while adding a domesticated edginess and subtracting a degree of wildness, the set personifies simple charm and scraggly sweetness. Couched in the context of Dylan grappling with the chasm between family life and the road, Planet Waves fittingly encompasses myriad moods and contradictions, with tunes ranging from unquestionably devotional to overtly dark. In between, the singer attempts to navigate peace, catharsis, and resolve.
Per Dylan's hallmark, many tunes on Planet Waves involve twists and subterfuge. Not, however, the best-known offerings-the often-covered wish "Forever Young," celebratory roll-and-tumble "On a Night Like This," devotional "You Angel You," which spark with love, romance, and prayer-like tenderness. Yet the seeds that blossomed into 1975's traumatic break-up album Blood on the Tracks are also planted here. Complex feelings and deep-seated personal confusion surface on "Wedding Song," the hardscrabble "Tough Mama," piano-centered "Dirge," and knocking-on-heaven's-door darkness of "Going, Going, Gone."
Throughout, Dylan's voice supplies subtle hints about his mindset and intent as the Band shadows him step for step, adding to the thematic ambivalence and contributing to a debate over meaning that continues today. Indeed, such relevance confirms the significance of Planet Waves 40 years after its original release. Mobile Fidelity's analog version digs beneath the surface and helps expose the record's buried strains.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. On a Night Like This
2. Going, Going, Gone
3. Tough Mama
5. Something There Is About You
6. Forever Young
7. Forever Young (Continued)
9. You Angel You
10. Never Say Goodbye
11. Wedding Song$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Old SaltGatefold Packaging
They came from Venus to destroy the cities. Valient Thorr is a wild ass Rock N Roll band
said to hail from inside of the planet Venus. Since crash landing on Earth in the year 2000,
they've played well over 1500 shows all over the world. They've toured with visionaries
from Motörhead and Joan Jett to contemporary heroes like Mastodon, Gogol Bordello,
and Clutch. Since 2005 they have put out six full length records and two seven inches!.
And just so you, don't think we're blowing smoke, look them up! This is only the cusp of
the feats of greatness this hard working, sweat drenched band has accomplished. And
that's just So Far!! Take it from any of their legion of fans all over the world, known as the
2. Lil Knife
3. Cut And Run
4. No Count Blues
5. The Trudge
6. Worm Up
8. Linen Maker
9. The Shroud
10. Looking Glass
11. Jealous Gods$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
WorkshopThe wildly eclectic New Rhythm & Blues Quintet, better known to its worldwide legion of adoring fans as NRBQ (or just the Q!), is the only band on the planet that can play rockabilly, bar-band blooze, Beatles sound-alikes and Sun Ra-style free jazz in the same set and remain standing.
The Q immediately followed Scraps with 1973s equally terrific Workshop. Gadler had departed, reducing the Quintet to its customary foursome (natch!), but the band never missed a beat with an album that featured the hypnotically chugging Come On If Youre Coming, the mouth-watering RC Cola and a Moon Pie and the ultra-prophetic Get That Gasoline Blues.1. C'mon If You're Comin'
2. RC Cola and a Moon Pie
3. Blues Stay Away from Me
5. Just to Hold My Hand
6. Get That Gasoline Blues
7. Deaf, Dumb, and Blind
8. Miss Moses
9. I Got a Little Secret
10. Hearts of Stone
12. Four Million B.C.$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ScrapsThe wildly eclectic New Rhythm & Blues Quintet, better known to its worldwide legion of adoring fans as NRBQ (or just the Q!), is the only band on the planet that can play rockabilly, bar-band blooze, Beatles sound-alikes and Sun Ra-style free jazz in the same set and remain standing.
By the time keyboardist Terry Adams, vocalist Frank Gadler, bassist Joey Spampinato, drummer Tom Staley and fabulous new guitarist Al Anderson released Scraps, their wonderful second album in 1972, they had relocated from Florida to New Jerseyand, like their name says, they were actually a quintet for the only time in their career. From the infectious Howard Johnstons Got His Ho-Jo Working to the loveably understated Magnet, Scraps is loaded with NRBQ classics that lived up to the eye-popping press garnered by their self-titled 1969 debut.1. Howard Johnston's Got His Ho-Jo Working
3. Don't Knock at My Door
4. Tragic Magic
5. Only You
6. Who Put the Garlic in the Glue?
7. Get a Grip
8. Boys in the City
9. New Tune
11. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive/Things Are Getting Better
12. It's Not So Hard
13. Do You Feel It?
14. Ain't It All Right$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Constricting Rage Of The MercilessFrom the combatant onset of Poisonous Existence In Reawakening, and the tense, hammering momentum of Unraveling Paradise, to the punkish urgency of FBS and the fiendish cascades of Schadenfreude (literally meaning the pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others), Goatwhore spew their unadulterated, subterranean metal as channeled through the historic likes of Motörhead and Bathory, with the insatiable hunger of a pack of wild boars. These are true requiems of revolt, at once predatory, epic, hate-fueled and sadistic. Due at least in part to the sheer synergy that comes from living in a van together for weeks on end, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless is razor sharp in musicianship literally writhing beneath the weight of its own sonic enormity. Duet's thick, gnarled guitar tones and bestial vocal accents coil seamlessly around Simmons' and Harvey's, brash, chest-heaving rhythms. It's all punctuated by the imposing voice and cynical prose of Falgoust who literally ran laps around the studio before taking to the mic to summon a more frantic, rasping edge to his signature tirades, now more enunciated than ever before. When Falgoust howls, WE ARE COMING TO SMASH YOUR IDOLS! (in traditional metal rager Baring Teeth For Revolt), souls weaken, forests die, planets implode. In a saturated metal landscape where sub-genres spawn sub-sub-genres and the very definition of metal seems repeatedly distorted by cross-pollinating madness, sacred are the bands who to stay true to their proverbial roots without repeating them.1. Poisonous Existence in Reawakening
2. Unraveling Paradise
3. Baring Teeth for Revolt
4. Reanimated Sacrifice
5. Heaven's Crumbling Walls of Pity
6. Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh
8. Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed
10. Externalize This Hidden Savagery$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Roadsinger (To Warm You Through The Night) (Awaiting Repress)With his reintroduction to the pop world behind him, renowned singer-songwriter Yusuf (the artist known as Cat Stevens) is ready to once again strike up an intimate relationship with his audience. After retreating from the pop stage following classic '70s multi-platinum albums such as Tea For The Tillerman and Teaser And The Firecat and acclaimed hits such as Wild World, Peace Train, Moonshadow, Morning Has Broken and Father And Son, Yusuf returned in late 2006 with his first pop album in 28 years. Now he's back again with a second album, Roadsinger (To Warm You Through The Night).
I was absent from my audience for so long, Yusuf says, people thought another album would never come. The 2006 album, An Other Cup, was a surprise. With this new album, the distance is much less. I'm back to doing what I do best, painting pictures with music and storytelling on a very human, personal, intuitive level through lyrics and song, so I can help people feel good again. I guess in some ways the new album picks up where the Cat Stevens the public knows left off.
The album, Roadsinger (To Warm You Through The Night), was produced by the now singularly named Yusuf with help from Martin Terefe (James Morrison, Jason Mraz, Martha Wainwright), and recorded around the world. Guests include Morrison, Michelle Branch and Holly Williams (granddaughter of Hank Williams, Sr.).
The new album is a response to the way An Other Cup was received, Yusuf explains. Fans said they wanted to hear more of me with a guitar. So, this album is much more folk-tale oriented. Also, apart from one track, all of it was recorded live. I listened to a lot of' '70s L.A. music, such as Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carole King, and it inspired me to go back into that intimate style of recording. The songs are somewhat autobiographical but abstract enough so everyone can relate to them and connect them to their own lives.
The title track, Roadsinger, unfolds the tale of an outcast who revisits his old hometown; along the empty street a child peeks from behind a store window and gives an innocent smile out of the shadows of prejudice. The theme of a journey has always been big with me, says Yusuf. A journey that was unexpectedly cut short in 2004 was when Yusuf was flying from his London home to Washington, D.C., en route to a meeting with Dolly Parton, who had recorded Peace Train several years earlier and wanted Yusuf to play guitar on her cover of his Where Do the Children Play. The incident that made headlines was resolved in 2006 and Yusuf's new song Boots and Sand resulted.
There are plenty people who sing, but not enough who have walked far from their block, he says. I embraced an unexpected spiritual path that was confusing for many (converting to Islam in 1977). Sadly, I'm still often misunderstood. Some people want to put me into their own one-sided view, but I don't fit those limitations. My world is still borderless and wide. The removal of conflict and establishment of peace has always been my global objective. It's a shame that lot of people, including some Muslims, overlook the name Islam, which actually comes from the word 'Peace' in Arabic.
The forthcoming album also showcases some songs from his upcoming musical Moonshadow. The story takes place on a planet of perpetual night where only the moon's shine lights the darkness; it is about a boy's meeting with his Moonshadow and the adventures they share in search for the a world of the sunlight and happiness. As well as having many new songs, the surrealistic musical, Moonshadow also weaves classic songs from his past, including Morning Has Broken, Wild World and The First Cut Is The Deepest.
Yusuf's return to his guitar came about when his teenage artist-musician son, Muhammad (aka Yoriyos), brought one home again. One morning, Yusuf was alone in the lounge when he looked over and felt a draw of curiosity overtake him. He slowly picked it up. I put my fingers on the fretboard to make a 'C' chord, he remembers, and surprised myself, It's still there! It felt right. So I started playing again. On the forthcoming album, Yusuf even plays electric guitar on a couple of tracks, along with keyboards. This part of my career feels similar in one sense to when I began, Yusuf reflects. I had to get past the songs on Mona Bone Jakon before I could move on to Tea For The Tillerman, etc. This time around it was the same story: I laid the groundwork with my debut album, An Other Cup, which inspired a great new collection of songs and scribblings. I had quite a few in my back pocket and again it was my son who sparked the next step. He said, 'Isn't it time to start recording a new album?' And it was.
1. Welcome Home
2. Thinking 'Bout You
3. Everytime I Dream
4. The Rain
5. World O'Darkness
6. To Be What You Must
7. This Glass World
9. All Kinds Of Roses
10. Dream On (Until...)
11. Shamsia$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Hollow BonesHollow Bones, the most anticipated blues rock album of the year from Long Beach, California's Rival Sons will finally be upon us! Having supported some of the biggest and best names in rock history, including being hand-picked to support Black Sabbath on their final world tour, following sold out tour after sold out tour, and just recently being added to the main stages at Europe's premier festivals such as Download, Hellfest and Rock Am Ring, the Rival Sons hype train continues to gain momentum, and Hollow Bones will surely propel them to their rightful place at the pinnacle of today's rock scene!
Arguably the most soulful voice in rock music today, Jay Buchanan's vocal performance on the album is as fiery and passionate as ever. Infused perfectly with Scott Holiday's fuzzy guitars, a powerful bassline courtesy of Dave Beste, and held together by the precise drumming of Mike Miley, and the two-times Grammy award winning talent of producer Dave Cobb, the lead single, Hollow Bones, Pt. 1 and the electrifying anthem Pretty Face encapsulate the harmonious blend that we've all come to know and love, now further refined and perfected to create a unique, timeless sound that sets the band apart.
Of course, no Rival Sons album would be complete without a heartfelt tune or two, provided here by the raw, dark Fade Out, which showcases the band's immense songwriting capabilities with haunting melodies and a touch of wistful melancholy. The final track, All That I Want, is an incredibly tender, touching finale, with the guitars this time taking a backseat allowing Jay Buchanan to deliver a breathtaking performance that'll tug at your heartstrings in a way that only he can. The man himself offers his own views on their latest work:
Each record we've made has been part of a distillation toward revealing the band's essence. This record, finally is the release of the unapologetic, wild beast that has long lived within the ribs of Rival Sons howling to be freed.
In keeping with a theme the band have touched upon several times, the stunning album artwork comes courtesy of renowned Brooklyn-based artist Martin Wittfooth, who's exhibited extensively in galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe. This particular piece, entitled Rainsong, is an oil-based painting featured in his latest solo exhibition, Offering, which was displayed at the famous Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York in late 2015.
Through his work, Martin Wittfooth has presented a dystopian world, devoid of human life and filled with strong symbolic implications that the root cause is our own disrespect for the natural world. In contrast to some of his earlier work, which have often featured creatures removed from their own natural environments and instead surrounded by trash and decay, Offering explores the ancient art of shamanism, demonstrating a more optimistic view that perhaps its current revitalisation can peel away the materialistic obsessions through which we are collectively destroying our planet. In Martin Wittfooth's own words, the reemergence of shamanism appears to be having a great impact on consciousness around the globe by severing individual attachments to the ego-driven, ideology-based monotheistic modality that has shaped so much of the human enterprise over the past millennia.1. Hollow Bones, Pt. 1
2. Tied Up
3. Thundering Voices
4. Baby Boy
5. Pretty Face
6. Fade Out
7. Black Coffee
8. Hollow Bones, Pt. 2
9. All That I Want$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Condolences (Gray w/Black Splatter)Pressed On Gray Vinyl With Black Splatter
A grimly glamorous ghoul who first slithered from the cobwebbed shadows of Charlotte, North Carolina, in the early 90s, WEDNESDAY 13 has firmly established himself as the world's premier purveyor of balls-out horror punk insanity. With a vivid and vile imagination that has endeared him to countless fans of riff-driven macabre over the last two decades, he has been one of rock's most prolific protagonists, spreading his credo of grave-robbing rock 'n' roll and Hallowe'en debauchery around the globe and unleashing a seemingly endless stream of blood-spattered albums and EPs.
"All my favorite stuff, like KISS and ALICE COOPER and TWISTED SISTER, those guys set the bar pretty high," he states. "I always wanted to do something in the worlds of those bands. That's the blueprint. It had to be as outrageous and crazy as that and I wanted to be on someone's wall one day and have their parents say 'Oh my god, what is that?' The formula's still there from when I started doing it as a kid and started wanting to be in a band. It's just GI Joe and Dracula!"
After several years of sharpening his creative teeth, WEDNESDAY 13 emerged from the fetid crypt of obscurity with his band FRANKENSTEIN DRAG QUEENS FROM PLANET 13, those masters of snotty schlock rock that released an astonishing five studio albums and six EPs between 1996 and 2002. Always the leader of the revolting pack, WEDNESDAY 13 then became a bona fide international rock star as frontman for the MURDERDOLLS, his collaboration with SLIPKNOT's Joey Jordison. The band took the world by storm, with Europe and the UK, in particular, succumbing to the feral charms of 2002 debut album, »Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls«; a raucous eruption of big tunes and bad attitude that noisily redefined the horror punk genre. After MURDERDOLLS went on an extended hiatus in 2004, WEDNESDAY 13 embarked on a widely lauded solo career that again provided him with an outlet for his relentless outpouring of fiendish musical and lyrical ideas. Albums like »Transylvania 90210« (released by Roadrunner in 2005), »Fang Bang« and »Skeletons« all cemented our pallid hero's reputation as the bastard son of ALICE COOPER and THE MISFITS, while his outlaw country project, BOURBON CROW and one-off glam metal vehicle, GUNFIRE 76 proved that he had sufficient versatility to survive outside the graveyard and abattoir.
MURDERDOLLS reconvened in 2010 for the vicious »Women And Children Last« album and another successful world tour before disappearing once more into the freezing midnight fog, leaving WEDNESDAY to revive his solo career with a few thousand volts of wicked electricity yet more highly praised albums and tours including 2014's scintillating acoustic opus »Undead Unplugged« and the following year's thunderous »Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out & Plague«. However, absolutely nothing that WEDNESDAY has created in the past has even touched upon the horrifying potency and allure of his brand new studio album, »Condolences«.
Frustrated with the arduous process of releasing his own music, our favorite black-hearted freak has thrown himself and his music into a whirling maelstrom of reinvention. The result is not just the heaviest and most authentically disturbing record of the great man's career but also a huge creative leap forward, neatly encapsulated by the new album's simple and direct title.
"It's more of a serious WEDNESDAY 13 record, I guess," he says. "The campiness has gone and it's taken a darker vibe. It's definitely not in the camp, sleazy world anymore. The band is visually stronger and that's taken things to a new level. Normally my album titles are parodies of something, like »Women And Children Last«, that's a VAN HALEN album title gone wrong! (laughs) So I wanted to make sure that this record came across as a brand new version of WEDNESDAY 13."
In musical terms, »Condolences« showcases WEDNESDAY's growing obsession with the world of heavy metal and its endless possibilities for exploring tales of horror and violence. Produced by renowned studio guru Zeuss, new songs like anthemic first single 'What The Night Brings' and the pile-driving 'Blood Sick' still exhibit a dash of B-movie weirdness and are full of WEDNESDAY's trademark twisted lyrics, but where previous albums were rooted in the worlds of punk rock and glam metal, »Condolences« is a full-on modern metal record with gigantic balls and the attitude to match. From the glowering menace of 'Good Riddance' to the grandiose hellishness of the album's 7-minute title track, it's living, breathing, murdering proof that the WEDNESDAY 13 of 2017 means business. And business is mean.
"The punk rock vibe has left the building and it's become a full-on metal vibe," WEDNESDAY agrees. "I've been the horror-punk guy for years, but this is horror metal. It's just evolution. Over the last ten years, I've become a metalhead for the most part. That second MURDERDOLLS record just amped the whole thing up, and the guys in the band have influenced me with so much other stuff. It's not just me with my SEX PISTOLS, ALICE COOPER and RAMONES records anymore! (laughs) Now I've got my band incorporating everything from death metal to rock'n'roll. It's all across the boards. There are no rules. We can do whatever we want, whatever fits."
Manifestly the strongest, heaviest and most individual album of his lengthy career, »Condolences« promises to push WEDNESDAY 13 into heavy music's upper echelons once again. With determined plans to tour relentlessly in support of the new record, the future is looking dark, dangerous, exhilarating and wildly, unapologetically theatrical.
"It's non-stop touring once the record comes out," WEDNESDAY concludes. "We just did our first video for 'What The Night Brings' and the visuals are really cool. I've incorporated a lot of stuff I've been doing live, like this devil character I've been transforming into at shows, and that got worked in. We're taking the music, the imagery and the entire stage show up a level. It's gonna be a full-on theatrical stage production, so I'll be busy as fuck on stage! I've been doing this shit for so many years, I started thinking 'How can I make this fun again?' (laughs)"1. Last Rites
2. What The Night Brings
4. Blood Sick
5. Good Riddance
6. You Breathe, I Kill
7. Omen Amen
8. Cruel To You
9. Eulogy XIII
10. Prey For Me
11. Lonesome Road To Hell
13. Death Infinity$29.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
AutomatonGossamer is Evan Reiner-the producer, guitarist, synthesizer scientist and
urban-spelunking field recorder whose full-length debut Automaton dissolves
the genre-breaking electronica of Autechre and Boards of Canada into a
bottomless sea of found sound and ambient atmosphere. It's less an album than
an environment all its own, or a journey into the unexplored. And whether it's
inspiring a trip deep into the discography of Steve Reich or into California's
beautifully desolate Ansel Adams Wilderness, it's that fearless spirit of
exploration that brought Automaton to life.
Reiner grew up in the L.A. neighborhood of Eagle Rock with a father telling war
stories about seeing Black Flag and the Germs play and with a set of cousins
who'd get him started listening to hip-hop. (Especially instrumentals by
iconoclastic producers like Premier, RZA and New York's crushing DITC crew,
Reiner remembers.) As he turned 16, he was playing guitar "religiously," he says,
as well as listening intently to Slayer and Cannibal Corpse on the way to
ferocious hardcore shows on the fringes of Los Angeles.
By the time he graduated high school, he was a hardcore kid with a heavy
grounding in hip-hop who'd developed so tremendously as a guitarist that he
was practicing notoriously formidable Django Reinhardt songs for fun. The
connection might not seem obvious, but it was there nonetheless-these were
three distinct musical forms equally dedicated to passion, individual technique
and total commitment to expression.
He won admission to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, where
his first semesters in the fall of 2009 were everything he'd hoped. But the more
he studied, the clearer it became that he'd need to strike out on his own: "So
many professors would tell their students what the right thing to do was in a
creative setting," he says now. "There is no right way."
He'd once used his computer just to help with his composition homework, but
now he was restless. So he began to focus on the potential of electronic music:
"I realized it was like having every component of a band at your fingertips," he
says. "It felt free and genuine with no distractions." He'd begun to make his own
field recordings, too, capturing the sounds of Boston at sunrise and stirring
them into his beat experiments. Intense study of movie sound and foley artistry,
like pouring sand across drum cymbals or using spent shells from a gun range
for percussion, gave him a whole new vocabulary, and he found further
inspiration in artists from Ai Weiwei to Maya Duren to Stanley Kubrick to Delia
Derbyshire-people who blew open the boundaries of their own disciplines.
Then in July 2013, he began to make what would become his first full-length
album as Gossamer. He'd rent an armful of microphones and hike to the tunnels
under Pasadena's eerie Devil's Gate Dam, site of suicides and barely-thwarted
summonings in the tradition of Aleister Crowley. ("The echo is crazy," he says.)
During a month in Japan, he recorded "terrifying trains" and cicadas and the
squeals of a rusting bicycle. He'd record himself smashing trash under a bridge
in downtown L.A., or knocking rebar against rotting wood 8,000 feet above sea
level in California's Ansel Adams Wilderness Area. Then he'd come
home-whether "home" at that particular moment was his own studio, a capsule
hotel in Japan, a friend's place in Boston or a temporary space in New York-and
"make accidents happen," he says, with recorders and samplers and guitar and
(this time) a stable of analog synthesizers.
The result was Gossamer's Automaton, a precise and gentle dreamscape of
experimental electronica, where the ambient atmosphere of Gas drifts across
the fractured beats of Autechre or Boards of Canada. It starts with its own
sunrise on "Thoughtform," where birdsong melts into ghostly vocals and waves
of synthesizer, and then shifts into the haunting "Print," which transplants the
sci-fi sensibilities of Vangelis to some desolate and wild new world. His "Okuma"
is like a Tortoise song that never touches solid ground, while tracks like  and
 recall the Brian Eno of Fourth World, somehow ancient and futuristic at
once. When the crickets start chirping on closer "-;- ", it's a signal that the
day-and the journey-are both coming to an end. It's might be his first album,
but it's also a first step towards something new.
"Automaton is me," Reiner explains. "It's my process. It's a symbol of having
accepted that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. It's a
coping mechanism for the struggle to realize and balance what I am and am not
in control of in my life. It reminds me of playing Bioshock and watching Blade
Runner at the same time while naked in the jungle on another planet. It makes
me think of watching an old home video of myself and seeing Neptune right
outside my window. The list goes on and on-I could go forever."1. Thoughtform
3. 3d Relief
5. J - Cruise
6. Off World
8. For Sleep$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now