- Lowest Price
- Highest Price
Enter The Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers)Ranked 386/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Along with Dr. Dre's The Chronic, the Wu-Tang Clan's debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), was one of the most influential rap albums of the '90s. Its spare yet atmospheric production -- courtesy of RZA -- mapped out the sonic blueprint that countless other hardcore rappers would follow for years to come. It laid the groundwork for the rebirth of New York hip-hop in the hardcore age, paving the way for everybody from Biggie and Jay-Z to Nas and Mobb Deep. Moreover, it introduced a colorful cast of hugely talented MCs, some of whom ranked among the best and most unique individual rappers of the decade. Some were outsized, theatrical personalities, others were cerebral storytellers and lyrical technicians, but each had his own distinctive style, which made for an album of tremendous variety and consistency. Every track on Enter the Wu-Tang is packed with fresh, inventive rhymes, which are filled with martial arts metaphors, pop culture references (everything from Voltron to Lucky Charms cereal commercials to Barbra Streisand's The Way We Were), bizarre threats of violence, and a truly twisted sense of humor. Their off-kilter menace is really brought to life, however, by the eerie, lo-fi production, which helped bring the raw sound of the underground into mainstream hip-hop. Starting with a foundation of hard, gritty beats and dialogue samples from kung fu movies, RZA kept things minimalistic, but added just enough minor-key piano, strings, or muted horns to create a background ambience that works like the soundtrack to a surreal nightmare. There was nothing like it in the hip-hop world at the time, and even after years of imitation, Enter the Wu-Tang still sounds fresh and original. Subsequent group and solo projects would refine and deepen this template, but collectively, the Wu have never been quite this tight again. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide1. Bring Da Ruckus
2. Shame On A Nigga
3. Clan In Da Front
4. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber
5. Can It Be All So Simple/Intermission
6. Mystery Of Chessboxin'
7. Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit
9. Method Man
10. Protect Ya Neck
12. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber, Pt. 2
13. Conclusion$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Legend of the Wu-Tang: Greatest Hits1. C.R.E.A.M.
2. Method Man (Skunk Mix)
3. Protect Ya Neck (Bloody Version)
4. Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit
5. Can It Be All So Simple
6. Shame On A Nigga
7. Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'
9. It's Yourz
11. Gravel Pit
12. Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)
13. Sucker M.C.'s
14. Uzi (Pinky Ring)
15. Shaolin Worldwide
16. Diesel$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Liquid Swords (Awaiting Repress)Liquid Swords is the second solo studio album from Wu-Tang Clan member GZA. Upon its initial release, Liquid
Swords received critical acclaim for its complex lyricism and hypnotic musical style. Over the years, its recognition
has grown, with a number of famous publishers proclaiming it as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.
Continuing with its Respect The Classics campaign, UMe will be reissuing the classic back on standard weight vinyl for its 20th anniversary.1. Liquid Swords
2. Duel Of The Iron Mic
3. Living In The World Today
5. Cold World
7. 4th Chamber
9. Hell's Wind Staff / Killah Hills 10304
10. Investigative Reports
12. I Gotcha Back$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Kill Bill Vol. 1 SoundtrackFashion be damned: Pop culture is just one big Hometown Buffet for writer-director Quentin Tarantino. Nowhere has that sensibility been more apparent than on his hand-picked soundtrack choices, and this oft tongue-in-cheek tale of a female assassin's revenge (his first film in six years) is no exception. With dizzy, almost palpable glee, Tarantino evokes the international hall-of-mirrors influences that energize martial arts films and much of Asian pop culture in general. Thus the hip-hop of Wu Tang's RZA (who, along with composer Charles Bernstein, concocts what passes for the score's traditional cues) somehow finds itself but one ingredient in a heady souffle that includes vintage TV and film cue rarities (Al Hirt's main title from The Green Hornet, Bernard Herrmann's haunting theme from Twisted Nerve, the spaghetti western melodrama of Luis Bacalov's The Grand Duel, Isaac Hayes in full blaxploitation mode on Run Fay Run), Charlie Feathers' vintage rockabilly and a pan-kitsch sensibility that encompasses Zamfir, Nancy Sinatra's angst-in-the-pants take Bang, Bang and Santa Esmeralda's disco-era workout of Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. Tarantino's contemporary Japan-Pop selections are no less giddy, ranging from Meiko Kaji's sultry Flower of Carnage to The 188.8.131.52's loopy Woo Hoo. It's everything we've come to expect from a Tarantino score (including dialog excerpts and a few sound fx stingers), with a madcap trip around the pop music world thrown in for good measure. -- Jerry McCulley1. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - By Nancy Sinatra
2. That Certain Female - By Charlie Feathers
3. The Grand Duel (Parte Prima) - By Luis Bacalov
4. Twisted Nerve - By Bernard Herrmann
5. Queen Of The Crime Council - By Kill Bill Soundtrack
6. Ode To Oren Ishii (feat. The RZA) - By Vincent Tempera & Orchestra
7. Run Fay Run - By Isaac Hayes
8. Green Hornet - By Al Hirt
9. Battle Without Honor Or Humanity - By Tomoyasu Hotei
10. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - By Santa Esmeralda
11. Woo Hoo - By The 184.108.40.206's
12. Crane/White Lightning - By The RZA/Charles Bernstein
13. The Flower Of Carnage - By Meiko Kaji
14. The Lonely Shepherd - By Zamfir
15. You're My Wicked Life - By Kill Bill Soundtrack$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-DEF-8246xMeth, Ghost, And Rae
Wu MassacreFor the first time, three of the legendary Wu-Tang Clans most dynamic emcees step out together to create a supergroup with a distinctly shaolin sound. Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon have banded together on their new album of street bangers, Wu Massacre. Joined by fellow Wu-Tang alums Inspectah Deck and Cappadona on several tracks, and featuring production by RZA and Mathematics, Meth, Ghost and Raes Wu Massacre is guaranteed to satisfy the legions of fans in the Wu Army. From the soulful street single Our Dreams, to the thunderous lead-off track Criminology 2.5, Wu Massacre finds the three hip-hop legends in razor-sharp form.1. Criminology 2.5
2. Meth vs. Chef
3. Ya Moms Skit
4. Smooth Sailing (Remix) feat. Solomon Childs
5. Our Dreams
6. Gunshowers feat. Inspectah Deck & Cappadonna
8. Pimpin Chipp
9. How To Pay Rent Skit feat. Tracy Morgan
11. Youngtown Heist
12. Breaka Breaka Its That Wu Shit
13. Made Men (Bonus)$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Essential Wu-Tang ClanBest of compilation.
Sprawling rap collective from Shaolin (aka Staten Island), changed the course of hip-hop, spawned dozens of solo careers.
Emerging in 1993, when Dr. Dre's G-funk had overtaken the hip-hop world, the Staten Island, New York-based Wu-Tang Clan proved to be the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-'90s -- and only partially because of their music.LP 1
1. Da Mystery of Chessboxin'
2. As High as Wu-Tang Get
3. Put Your Hammer Down
5. Cash Still Rules / Scary Hours (Still Don't Nothing Move but the Money)
6. Rules (Dirty)
7. I Can't Go to Sleep
8. Uzi (Pinky Ring)
9. The Projects
10. Back in the Game
11. Can It Be All so Simple
1. Shame On a Nigga
2. Triumph (Explicit Version)
3. Reunited (Explicit Version)
4. Protect Ya Neck (Album Version)
5. Method Man
6. It's Yourz (Explicit Version)
7. One Blood Under W
8. Careful (Click, Click)
9. Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture Vol. 1 (Awaiting Repress)Pink Colored Vinyl
A watershed release in the history of the underground hip-hop movement, ''Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture'' reflects the convergence of Wu-Tang and the indie hip-hop culture. As ambitious in scope as it is creatively visionary, the album consists of Wu-Tang stylistic sensibility and production paired with some of the finest (as well as commercially viable) underground East and West Coast hip-hop lyricists.LP1
1. Dreddy Kruger - Introduction
2. GZA & Ras Kass - Lyrical Swords
3. Vast Aire, Byata, Timbo King & Prodigal Sunn - Slow Blues
4. U-God, Sean Price, Prodigal Sunn & C-Rayz Walz - Still Grimey
5. Various - Skit
6. Casual, Tragedy Khadafi, Rock Marciano & Vordul Mega - Think Differently
7. Various - Informercial: #1
8. RZA & MF Doom - Biochemical Equation
9. Various - O.D.B Tribute
10. Del Tha Funky Homosapien - Fragments
1. Various - Intermission
2. Bronze Nazareth, Solomon Childs & Byata - Street Corners
3. Littles, Khalid & Planet Asia - Listen
4. Various - Informercial: #2
5. Scaramanga Shallah, La The Darkman, Ras Kass & GZA - Verses
6. Aesop Rock & Del Tha Funky Homosapien - Preservation
7. C.C.F. Division - Cars On The Interstate...
8. R.A. The Rugged Man & J-Live - Give It Up
9. Bronze Nazareth - Black Dawn$22.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
The Saga ContinuesFor 24 years, two letters say it all, "Wu." The nine-man outfit of the
Wu-Tang Clan has paved a way for literally hundreds of artists in Hip Hop. There have
been classic and platinum albums like the group's 1993 debut, or Ghostface Killah's
Supreme Clientele, and there have been quieter releases that flew under the radar of
even the most core fans. The Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop group from Staten
Island, New York City, originally composed of East Coast rappers RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty
Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta
Killa. The Clan, has reunited for an early October album release this year, titled "WuTang:
The Saga Continues" via eOne Entertainment. The single titled, "People Say"
feat Red Man, will blow fans away. This all-new collection will bring excitement to true
Hip Hop fans and potential fans. It will take them on a true Wu expedition.1. Wu-Tang the Saga Continues Intro (feat. RZA)
2. Lesson Learn'd (feat. Inspectah Deck and Redman)
3. Fast and Furious (feat. Hue Hef and Raekwon)
4. Famous Fighters (Skit)
5. If Time is Money (Fly Navigation) [feat. Method Man]
6. Frozen (feat. Method Man, Killah Priest and Chris Rivers)
7. Berto and the Fiend"(Skit) [feat. Ghostface Killah]
8. Pearl Harbor (feat. Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA and Sean Price)
9. People Say (feat. Wu-Tang Clan and Redman)
10. Family (Skit)
11. Why Why Why (feat. RZA and Swnkah)
12. G'd Up (feat. Method Man, R-Mean and Mzee Jones)
13. If What You Say is True (feat. Wu-Tang Clan and Streetlife)
14. Saga (Skit) [feat. RZA]
15. Hood Go Bang! (feat. Method Man and Redman)
16. My Only One (feat. Ghostface Killah, RZA, Cappadonna and Steven Latorre)
18. The Saga Continues Outro (feat. RZA)$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Je Ne Sais ClaustBrooklyn, New York's Nuclear Santa Claust returns with their second LP on Don Giovanni Records, featuring ten tracks of blistering four-to-the-floor punk and occasional bursts of scuzzy power-pop infused garage. Mixed, mastered, and engineered by Jonathan Schenke (Parquet Courts, Frankie Rose, and PC Worship) at Seaside Lounge and Doctor Wu's Studio.1. Useless
2. Boots In The Sand
3. Castle Bravo
4. Sayonara Baby
5. Dark Days
6. Five Dollar Tarot Card
7. Violent Dreams
9. Modern Problems
10. Sent To Kill$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Pretty Toney AlbumThere's no Wu Tang Clan MC, outside of Ol' Dirty Bastard, who raps for broke like Ghostface, as if each album might be his last. Ghostface continues this tradition of flipping the most indescribable, gritty, grimy, and painfully honest rhymes imaginable. Ignoring current rap trends--i.e., Kanye West-style sampling and speeding up of old soul loops--Ghostface doesn't mask his samples or up the b.p.m.'s. On the choice cuts Holla and Be This Way, he spits fire over great old-school Delfonics and Billy Stewart samples. Of course this is not surprising considering Ghost often says he doesn't care much for contemporary rap music. His flows magically capture the full range of human emotion on It's Over and the RZA-produced Run. Don't be fooled by the relatively frail single Tush (featuring Missy Elliott) because it's not at all indicative of how strong the album is. --Dalton Higgins1. Intro
3. Kunta Fly Shit
4. Beat The Clock
5. Metal Lungies
6. Bathtub (Skit)
7. Save Me Dear
8. It's Over
9. Keisha's House (Skit)
10. Tush - Missy Elliott
11. Last Night (Skit)
14. Be This Way
15. The Letter (Skit)
16. Tooken Back
18. Love$39.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Devil's HaloDevils Halo, Meshell Ndegeocello's 8th album, harkens back to the way records used to be made with live band energy and phenomenal musicianship. Influenced by a breadth of sounds, from The Human League to Wu Tang to Yes, Devils Halo displays Meshells own diversity of formidable gifts. Always the uncompromising artist and bass player, this record brings a broad range of musical and lyrical voices and selves: the searcher, the skeptic, the dissenter, and the lover. True to form, Meshell offers compositions with raging climaxes alongside moments of terrifying tenderness and honesty. Genre-defiant as ever, Devils Halo asks for the real fans of exploration to please stand up.
Canonized, marginalized or just scrutinized, Meshell Ndegeocello has given up with the politics of explaining herself. After 20 years in an industry that has called her everything from avant garde to a dying breed, what unquestionably remains is the fearsome bassist, prolific songwriter and the creativity and curiosity of an authentic musical force. With that, she has earned critical acclaim, the unfailing respect of fellow players, songwriters and composers, and the dedication of her diverse, unclassifiable fans. For the sake of setting the record straight, a few brass tacks remain: Meshell was born in Germany, raised in DC, signed at 23, and has been nominated for 10 Grammy awards.1. Slaughter
2. Tie One On
4. Hair Of The Dog
5. Mass Transit
6. White Girl
7. Love You Down
8. Devils Halo
9. Bright Shiny Morning
10. Blood On The Curb
11. Die Young
12. Crying In Your Beer$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
City Of RefugeIn her relatively short musical career, Abigail Washburn has covered a lot of ground; both physically and metaphorically. Bouncing between China and Appalachia has informed much of her musical output and influenced a body of work that goes far beyond the usual claw hammer banjo repertoire.
Her Rounder debut, City of Refuge is a sublime marriage of old-time and indie-pop. On the album Washburn pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody's ever heard before. The album features My Morning Jacket's Car Broemel, The Decemberists' Chris Funk, Turtle Island Quartet's Jeremy Kittell, atmospheric jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, veteran Nashville studio percussionist Kenny Malone, Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor and Morgan Jahnig, Wu Fei, master of the guzheng, and the Mongolian stringband Hanggai, who managed to contribute ambient throat-singing from halfway around the world.
The album was produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Tift Merritt, Mudhoney) and features the talents of multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, Kai Welch (Tommy and the Whale). City of Refuge offers an expansive palette of supple and modern textures resulting in a remarkably harmonious piece of art.1. Prelude
2. City of Refuge
3. Bring Me My Queen
5. Ballad of Treason
6. Last Train
7. Burn Thru
8. Corner Girl
9. Dreams of Nectar
10. Devine Bell
11. Bright Morning Stars$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
WaterfallIt's safe to say since his emergence at the tail end of 2011 Evian Christ, aka Joshua Leary, has had a whirlwind two years. Off the back of his breakthrough mixtape "Kings And Them" which came out on Tri Angle Records in February 2012, the 24 year old, Ellesmere Port, UK native has produced on Kanye West's "Yeezus", collaborated with acclaimed conceptual artist Matthew Barney, released the notably abstract sound-piece Duga-3, performed around the world alongside the likes of Purity Ring, Actress and Four Tet and garnering positive reviews and features in global tastemaker press including Details Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Pitchfork and VIBE amongst many others.
Most notably, Evian Christ has signed a publishing deal with DONDA, run by Kanye West, where he will continue with his work as a producer.
His latest EP "Waterfall" finds Evian Christ exhibiting a creative restlessness that continues to make it harder to pigeonhole this young, evolving artist. On "Kings And Them" Evian Christ conjured up a sound that was influenced by hip hop as it much as it was by more ambient forms of music. On "Waterfall" Evian Christ has taken his unique sound into a far noisier and more aggressive territory.
The lead track from "Waterfall", the hip hop laced 'Salt Carousel' may open the record with the sort of dreamlike serenity that typified the vast majority of Kings, but it's really the quiet before the storm as harsher, more abrasive elements rush in and dominate. On 'Fuck Idol' huge walls of digital distortion clash with code red beats that grow more and more frantic as the track progresses, while the title track is a blast of metallic dancehall dread that mutates multiple times over the space of 4 minutes into something truly epic.
Having spent the past year experimenting and challenging himself, and in refusing to simply duplicate a sound that garnered him so much attention to begin with and led one of, if the not, the world's biggest hip hop artists to seek him out, "Waterfall" finds Evian Christ growing in confidence as a producer and continuing to elude any sort of easy categorization.
Recorded partially in his hometown of Ellesmere Port and partially in New York, "Waterfall" was mixed by Noah Rubin (Pusha T, Wu Tang Clan) and mastered by Heba Kedry (The Mars Volta, Liturgy, Fis). Track 2, 'Propeller', contains a sample of 'Nine' by close friend and affiliate producer, Lukid.1. Salt Carousel
2. Fuck Idol
$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Golden SkiesIt speaks volumes for how long we've been waiting for the debut Brainfeeder album from Mono/Poly that when Flying Lotus first got in touch with him about doing something for the label, it was via Myspace. The wait, though, has been worth it. Specializing in a kind of beat-driven cosmic soundscape which he describes as "electronic-classical-alchemy music," Mono/Poly aka Charles Dickerson has drawn on the lessons he's learned from collaborating on last year's Thundercat album as well as the Flash Bang Grenada hip hop project with Busdriver and Nocando, and made a beautifully realized, endlessly expansive record.
From the first orchestral trills of "Winds of Change" you know you're in for something special. As the track builds the listener notices not only the content but also the production chops - this is a record which sounds exactly as big, glossy and up front as its creator wants it to. Rebekah Raff adds scintillating harp work to "Transit to the Gold Planet," but it's the way Dickerson integrates it and builds on it which is really special. "Ra Rise" sounds like sunbathing in space, Niki Randa's abstracted topline vocal warming you right through. Title track, "Golden Skies" uses a looping piano riff reminiscent of Bach, Thelonious Monk and Wu Tang on E, all at once, without sounding like any of them. Add sternum- thrumming bass to that and you know exactly what's what. "Alpha & Omega" does something clever with slowed down d&b licks and tweaked vocal snips. "Empyrean" features Mendee Ichikawa (of the band Free Moral Agents), an ethereal, ghostly presence. "Night Garden" sounds like a drive through the dark streets of an alternate LA. "Euphoria" uses a simple, military-style snare and then twines keyboard lines over it until it's lifted into the sky. Thundercat joins in on last track, "Gamma," and adds some perfectly-judged low-end riffing to anchor Dickerson's keyboard swirls.
Mono/Poly has been a name to watch since his debut, The George Machine, back in 2009. His 2011 EP release for Brainfeeder, Manifestations, was supported by artists as diverse as Radiohead and Erykah Badu and his work on Thundercat's Apocalypse established once and for all the quality of his productions. With Golden Skies he has laid down a marker to any other "beat maker" out there. Because with a genuine producer with this much talent, everyone else needs to aim a little bit higher - up towards the golden skies.1. Winds Of Change
2. Transit to the Golden Planet
3. Ra Rise
4. Golden Gate
5. Golden Skies
6. Light Age
7. Alpha & Omega
9. Empyrean (feat. Mendee Ichikawa)
11. Night Garden
13. Gamma$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
For Long TomorrowFor Long Tomorrow is the second full length album released by Japanese math rock band toe.
Toe is one of the few post-rock bands out there that's easy to listen to. The band's sound is quite distinctive compared to their Western counterparts, preferring clean guitar settings and some choice effects in almost all of their songs. Unlike well-known post-rock bands like Sigur Rós and Explosions In the Sky, Toe's music can be described as light and melodic, with rare instances of distortion and vocals. The Japanese band is comprised of Kashikura Takashi on drums, Mino Takaaki and Yamazaki Hirokazu on guitars, and Yamane Satoshi on bass.
So far, Toe has released two albums and a few EPs. Their first full-length album, The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety, was well received by both local and international fans. It can be described as dynamic and free, with Takashi's drums dominating the tracks. It was with this album that Toe established its distinct sound and song structure.
For Long Tomorrow's overall sound is similar to their debut, but there is promise in this more experimental second outing. Toe shows that they've matured musically, as demonstrated by their extensive use of the Rhodes piano, acoustic guitars, and minor vocals in their songs. Although they have introduced new elements to their music, much of Toe's style remains intact, from their clean and melodic guitar riffs to their upbeat drum patterns.
A noticeable change in this album is that Toe's drum beats have been toned down, blending into the band's overall sound. Despite this, Takashi's jazzy and upbeat drumming still has the same energy that was present in their previous album. The addition of samplers into solos or breaks provides texture to their songs. Takaaki and Hirokazu's guitar playing continuously moves from acoustic to electric, changing the feel of most of the songs.
The first few songs in For Long Tomorrow showcase the band's usual upbeat instrumental tracks. The second track, "Vanishing Point and Whistle," has a sound reminiscent of Toe's debut. Many listeners consider the vocals from "Say it Ain't So" to be forced and awkward sounding, but it's part of the band's move to expand their musicality.
"Two Moons" and "Goodbye" are two very captivating tracks. "Two Moons" has a mainly acoustic vibe, with a vibraphone part that makes it melodic and light. On "Goodbye," Japanese singer Toki Asako collaborates with Toe to create a pensive and moody song.
Other songs on the album ride on Takashi's beats, which are sometimes reminiscent of Toe's original groove. Many of these songs are structured with a slow intro, followed by repetition, finishing with a climax. Noticeably upbeat tracks are "You Go," "Can't Hear Mosquitone Anymore #2," and "Long Tomorrow."
Toe's second album may sound at times like an extension of their debut, but the level of experimentation in For Long Tomorrow provides the light, upbeat sound the band was looking for. If Toe continues to innovate and improve their music, they'll be crossing continents and gaining new fans soon.
- Cadence Wu (Blog Critics)1. Everything Is Here, It Can Be Said That Nothing Is Here, Too.
2. Vanishing Point And Whistle
3. After Image
5. Say It Ain't So
6. Two Moons
7. Can't Hear Mosquitone Any More #1
8. Can't Hear Mosquitone Any More #2
9. Last Night (Album Version)
10. Goodbye (Album Version)
11. You Go
12. Our Next Movement
13. Long Tomorrow$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-ROU-6147xBela Fleck / Abigail Washburn
Echo In The ValleyWith one eye on using the banjo to showcase America's rich heritage and the other pulling the noble instrument from its most familiar arena into new and unique realms, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn's second album Echo in the Valley is simultaneously familiar and wildly innovative.
"Some of the most interesting things in the world come together in strange and unique ways and show our diversity," reflects Bela, a fifteen-time Grammy award winner who is often considered the world's premier banjo player. "The banjo is just one of those things. It's a great example of how the world can combine things and create surprising hybrids," a reference to the ancestral African roots of the banjo combining with Scotch-Irish music in Appalachia.
Echo in the Valley is the follow up to Bela and Abigail's acclaimed, self-titled debut that earned the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album. This time around, the mission was to take their double banjo combination of three finger and clawhammer styles "to the next level and find things to do together that we had not done before," says Bela. "We're expressing different emotions through past techniques and going to deeper places." The results are fascinating, especially considering their strict rules for recording: all sounds must be created by the two of them, the only instruments used are banjos (they have seven between them, ranging from a ukulele to an upright bass banjo), and they must be able to perform every recorded song live.
Fleck and Washburn met at a square dance and began playing music together a dozen years ago, beginning with the Sparrow Quartet. They married shortly thereafter and became parents to a cute little tot. They've been touring the globe as a duo for years, almost nonstop but for each other's performances with various other musical iterations: Bela with the likes of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Chick Corea and Chris Thile, among many others, and Abigail with Wu Fei (a master of the ancient 21-string Chinese zither), The Wu-Force and Uncle Earl.
With the exception of a few restyled traditional tunes, all tracks on Echo in the Valley are originals, and are largely co-written - a different creative approach from their first album, where songs were mostly his or hers.
"This time, we really wanted to truly write together," Bela adds. "We spent a lot of our time on the lyrics, deciding what we want the songs to communicate, both literally and under the surface."
Echo in the Valley reflects relevant issues while simultaneously connecting us to our past through wild re-imaginings of traditional pieces. New original tunes range from "Over the Divide," a song inspired by Hans Breuer, who worked to ferry Syrian refugees to safety, to "Blooming Rose," inspired by Native American voices and lamenting a continual distancing from nature, and "Don't Let It Bring You is an emphatic mantra for hard times.
With I don't wanna cry, cry, cry, oh, "Let it Go" is ultimately about release from the pain of transition, surrendering to growth. The song acknowledges that we must let our children grow up; the concession that youthful innocence will one day give way to adult cares and worries.
Clarence Ashley's "My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains" has been turned into a rural blues, and Bela's well-known piece "Big Country" is framed by the traditional Appalachian tunes "Sally in the Garden" and "Molly Put the Kettle On," a medley Bela and Abigail performed hundreds of times on stage before recording. "'Big Country' is one of the most beauty melodies I have ever heard played on the banjo," says Abigail, who takes the lead on this version.
"Come All You Coal Miners" is the point-of-view of coal-miner advocate Sarah Ogan Gunning, whose passages remain poignant and powerful today. "This song came from a very emotional, mother-driven, daughter-driven, wife-driven place, and there are not many songs throughout history from that perspective, so I am incredibly moved by her," says Washburn.
As the story goes, Bela was struck by the sound of Mr. Earl Scruggs' banjo when hearing the Beverly Hillbillies theme song. He got hold of a banjo, took his musical namesakes (Bela for Bartok, Anton for Weburn, Leos for Yanecek) to heart, and has since continuously broken new musical ground with his instrument. Fleck has the distinction of being nominated in more categories than any other instrumentalist in Grammy history, and has brought his banjo through scorching hot newgrass, traditional bluegrass, otherworldly funk, modern jazz, African originals, transatlantic Celtic, and classical realms, with two self-composed banjo concertos to his name (The Impostor and Juno Concerto), with a third one in the works.
Abigail was similarly jolted into life as a banjoist, but for her it was hearing Doc Watson.
"I was proud to discover that I came from a country where you can hear that ancient sound - from Africa, from Scotland, from Ireland - all mixed up in this beautiful new sound, with those ancient tones in it," Abigail reflects. "The ancient sounds of our culture remind us who we are, and in them, we see a constellation of who we are becoming."
Washburn has imbued this philosophy in all aspects of her work, from the string band Uncle Earl to her acclaimed solo albums, Song of the Traveling Daughter and City of Refuge, and her semi-autobiographical theatrical work, Post-American Girl, as well as in her musical ambassadorship with China, a country with which she has a long, profound history. Abigail is deftly following in the footsteps of the founding mothers of folk, and has become a prominent voice of old-time in our time while bringing to light those ancient sounds of American and Far East cultures in new and exciting ways.
Bela and Abigail's creative process on Echo in the Valley is sonically made manifest in the record's major themes of harmony, empathy and surrender. As Abigail explains, the intense, intimate collaboration that Fleck and Washburn put forward on this project required "a spirit of staying strong, but also a willingness to release into the other's ideas to create something new," possibly something bigger and more beautiful than one could do on one's own.1. Over The Divide
2. Take Me To Harlan
3. Let It Go
4. Don't Let It Bring You Down
5. Sally In The Garden / Big Country / Molly Put The Kettle On
6. My Home's Across The Blue Ridge Mountains
7. Hello Friend
8. If I Could Talk To A Younger Me
9. On This Winding Road
10. Come All You Coal Miners
11. Bloomin' Rose$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Terry Riley: In C (Pure Pleasure)If ever there were a popular work of minimalism, one that stated its purpose so clearly it could not be mistaken, Terry Riley's legendary composition In C is the one. It is a work that needs no explanation for its pulsing sequences of pitch all centering around the 53 phases of no duration played on the note and its performances have been numerous--even if there have been relatively few recordings of it. The Bang on a Can all-stars have recorded perhaps the most innovative version of the work thus far, after Riley's own, which was issued in the 1960s on Columbia's long defunct Odyssey label. This version reads minimalism as popular music and popular music as, finally, classical. The Bang on a Can version is outrageously wonderful. This single repeated note, meditatively engaged and then played upon in modulation, is taken by Bang on a Can and torn apart, with gritty, urban vision, rock & roll energy, and pure New York street smarts. Using a wide array of instruments (from piano, vibes, glockenspiel, cello, Wu man's pipa, clarinet, mandolin, soprano saxophone, electric guitar, marimba, chimes, and bass) for 45 minutes, this mind-flexing composition is moved through the sequence of all these instrumentalists, each coloring it just a bit, moving it a tad further outside and into the future, the dynamics shift subtly and change, direction becomes fluid, and the drama becomes white-knuckle tense after such a meditative beginning and then releases again.
This is the creation of language, tonal, timbral, and spatial. There is an architecture at work in this version that erects small towers of meaning in sound and piles them atop each other until a sonic Tower of Babel is finally fully erected. The pulse never stops; it never disengages no matter which instrument or group of instruments enters or leaves the fray. It is there, constant, always being born and always dying and being transformed, reincarnated as some other sound, some other phrase, but always identified by the pulse. This is more hypnotic than any rock & roll, and more powerful than any Beethoven symphony is taken in with openness. This is music -- ultimately made by a truly gifted and disciplined ensemble that share a singularly optimistic vision for modern music -- that can, and will, change your life.
- Terry Riley (conductor, saxophone, organ)
- Margaret Hassell, Lawrence Singer (oboe)
- Darlene Reynard (bass)
- Jon Hassell (trumpet)
- Jerry Kirkbride (clarinet)
- David Shostac (flute)
- Stuart Dempster (trombone)
- Edward Burnham (vibraphone)
- Jan Williams (marimba)
Recording: 1968 at Columbia's 30th Street Studio, New York, by Fred Plaut and Russ Payne
Production: David Behrman
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.1. In C$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Numbered, Limited Edition On Crystal Clear Vinyl
The W is the third studio album by the world's baddest Hip Hop group Wu-Tang Clan. Released in 2000, the album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, and instantly topped the R&B/Hip Hop Albums Chart after release. Containing the hit Gravel Pit, the album was certified Platinum a few months later.
After their 1997 album WU-TANG FOREVER and several solo projects, The W has a more rugged, less polished sound than most Wu-Tang related albums from that era. Group mastermind RZA produced The W with roughed up Soul samples and tight, tough beats. Paranoid kung fu samples and bizarre sounds drive the fantastic nightmare. The back-to-basics approach (the group's massive debut ENTER THE WU-TANG comes to mind) works so well because it puts the focus back on some of the best rappers in the game.
The album also features guest appearances from Isaac Hayes, Redman, Nas, Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg.LP1
1. Intro (Shaolin Finger Jab) / Chamber Music
2. Careful (click, Click)
3. Hollow Bones
4. Redbull (featuring Redman)
5. One Blood Under W (featuring Junior Reid)
6. Conditioner (featuring Snoop Dogg)
1. Protect Ya Neck (the Jump Off)
2. Let My Niggas Live (featuring Nas)
3. I Can't Go To Sleep (featuring Isaac Hayes)
4. Do You Really (Thang, Thang)
5. The Monument (featuring Busta Rhymes)
6. Gravel Pit
7. Jah World$44.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Iron FlagIron Flag is the fourth studio album by American East Coast hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan, originally released on December 18, 2001, on Loud Records.LP 1
1. In the Hood
3. Chrome Wheels
4. Soul Power (Black Jungle) [feat. Flavor Flav]
5. Uzi (Pinky Ring)
6. One of These Days
1. Ya'll Been Warned
3. Radioactive (Four Assassins)
4. Back In the Game (feat. Ronald Isley)
5. Iron Flag
6. Da Glock
7. Dashing (Reasons)$24.99150 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Illy B Eats Volume 3This is the greatest of all drum beat LP's for DJ's, producers and anyone else who needs to get down with their bad selves. Produced by Scotty Hard (Wu Tang Clan, Prince Paul, DJ Logic, Medeski Martin & Wood, Sex Mob, Tricky, Material, Grave Diggas, PM Dawn, De La Soul, Cypress Hill and more).1. Gang War
4. Hot Wheels
5. Academy Street Gang (hi-hat-snare)
6. Academy Street Gang (ride-stick)
7. The River
8. Dykman Street
9. Johnny Boy
10. The Stoop
11. Steven Lane
12. Cooper Street Gang (hats)
13. Cooper Street Gang (ride)
14. Boiler Room
15. The Super
16. Waterbugs (hats)
17. Waterbugs (ride)
19. Cindy Goodwin
20. Jimmy The Jaw
22. The Fentons$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Illy B Eats Volume 1: Groove, Bang And Jive Around (Awaiting Repress)Available only on limited edition vinyl, this Scotty Hard (Medeski Martin & Wood, Wu-Tang Clan, Jungle Brothers) produced album features 13 tracks of ground-thumping beats. Martin intends for Groove, Bang to also be part collaborative project in which DJs and musicians whom use the beats in original compositions then submit their works to illy B Eats for possible inclusion on a forthcoming double compilation.1. Groove Bang
3. Brazilian Cowboy
4. Funky Iller
7. Dub Stylee
8. Max Moon
11. Phate's Bounce
12. Little D
13. Afro-pan$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Beneath The SurfaceRespect The Classics Campaign Reissue
Beneath the Surface is the third solo studio album from Wu-Tang Clan member GZA. The album was released on June 29, 1999. Beneath the Surface is a worthy continuation and development of the Wu-Tang Clan
conglomeration. Quintessential tracks like Amplified Sample and Crash Your Crew, prove GZA's one the most innovative and talented vocalists Wu-Tang had to offer.LP 1
2. Amplified Sample
3. Beneath The Surface
4. Skit #1
5. Skit #2
6. Crash Your Crew
7. Breaker, Breaker
8. High Price, Small Reward
9. Hip Hop Fury
1. Skit #3
3. Skit #4
6. Feel Like An Enemy
7. Stringplay (Like This, Like That)
8. Mic Trippin
9. Outro$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The soundtrack from the 1998 debut film from hip-hop visionary Hype Williams. The album showcases the talent of hip-hop's heavyweights in the post Biggie/2Pac mass-consumption era of hip-hop. The songs on the album reflect the central theme of the film, the paper chase from the disenfranchised
point of view and the treacherous road to the riches tha tensues. Hip-Hop heavyweights Jay-Z, DMX,the Wu-Tang Clan, D'Angelo and many more all lend
their talent to the soundtrack.1. No Way In, No Way Out - Lady
2. Devil's Pie - D'Angelo
3. Grand Finale - DMX, Method Man, Nas & Ja Rule
4. Never Dreamed You Leave In Summer - Jerome
5. What About - Sparkle
6. Two Sides - Hot Totti
7. Movin' Out - Mya
8. Top Shotter - DMX, Sean Paul & Mr. Vegas
9. Story To Tell - Ja Rule
10. Crew Love - Jay-Z
11. Sometimes - Noreaga
12. We All Can Get It On - Drag-On
13. Militia Remix - Gang Starr
14. Windpipe - Wu Tang Clan
15. Pre-Game - Sauce Money
16. Tommy's Theme - Made Men
17. Some Niggaz - Half-A-Mil
18. I Wanna Live - Braveheart$34.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Willie DynamiteAppreciators of '70s blaxploitation cinema consistently rank Willie Dynamite among the best that the genre had to offer, and the soundtrack is no exception as it is Truly one of the top blaxploitation soundtracks of all time. The soundtrack features Parade Strut, as sampled by Massive Attack, Wu-Tang Clan, etc. Continuing with it's Respect The Classics campaign, UMe is reissuing this soundtrack back on vinyl, bringing this classic back to life.1. Willie D.
2. Willie Chase [Instrumental]
3. King Midas
4. Willie Escapes [Instrumental]
5. Passion's Dilemma [Instrumental]
6. Keep on Movin' On
7. Make It Right$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now