Aquarius Records San Francisco
New Arrivals #365
New Arrivals #365
New Arrivals #365
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ aQuarius recOrds
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ New Arrivals #365
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_ January 28, 2011
Beloved Customers and Friends:
Hello friends! It’s list time yet again, yay! Man, this week’s is
pretty fab too if we do say so ourselves. The possible Records Of The
Week were particularly abundant, we picked 4 of them, and could
easily also have made the new Sublime Frequencies vinyl (Pakistan –
Folk And Pop Instrumentals 1966-1976) a Record Of The Week too, had
we wanted to go for a 5th.
Before we let you read all about the great stuff on this list,
though, a quick plea for help from any local folks who might happen
to be able to hook us up with a used (but not too terribly obsolete)
iMac… preferably an Intel core 2 duo or something similar… we
have had some bad computer luck this past week, just when we thought
we’d fixed Allan’s computer, Andee’s then died. And shortly
thereafter Allan’s died, again, and with grim finality. So we’re down
two computers, we’ve been using our crappy old laptops from home and
trying to make do, but boy is it slowing us up, especially since we
haven’t yet recovered all our data, yet. If you’ve ever had a
computer (let alone two) suddenly up and die, you know how it is. And
we’re a bit worried that this computer bad luck might come in threes,
as the iMac we use for mailorder processing is of similar vintage and
might not be long for this world either. Sooooo, if you have a used
iMac you could part with, either for a decent price, or in trade, or
a little of both or heck, maybe even just for free out of the
goodness of your heart, please let us know! Thanks so much.
Ok, begging out of the way, on with the list. Those many Records Of
The Week, including not one but two triple cds, are these:
NIGHTSATAN: Direct from Finland, the latest in “lazermetal”, what’s
actually synth-laden Goblin and John Carpenter worshipping electro-
prog, utterly up the AQ alley!!
5000 FINGERS OF DR. T: Deluxe, triple cd version of the soundtrack
to this cult fave film, a 1953 Dr. Seuss musical, now lovingly
reissued with tons of extra, previously unheard material!
DEMDIKE STARE: Yes, it’s here at last, the triple cd that collects
together the music from the 3 limited lps released in 2010 by this AQ
fave hauntological black dub artist, with an additional 40 minutes of
extra material as well!
THAI ELEPHANT ORCHESTRA: Third and final cd from, yes, this clever
bunch of elephants, who improvise on extra-large instruments designed
especially for them. We made their two previous discs Records Of The
Week and this one is maybe even better, it’s all-elephant, no humans
telling them what to do, and it’s beautiful stuff!
As for the Highlights, they were abundant as well, including that
Sublime Frequencies platter, a new Mississippi lp, a 7″ by Record Of
The Weekers Nightsatan, the last ever Bad Acid, this year’s Pop
Ambient installment, demos from Detroit rockers Death, the new major
label Iron & Wine album, several new Latitudes releases, and tons
ABORYM: Brand new record from these Italian post/avant/industrial
AGENT RIBBONS: Latest daydreamy disc from these local gals, reminding
us of Cocorosie and the Aislers Set, among others.
ATELECINE: This recent Record Of The Week relisted, last copies,
totally out of print, discounted due to slight cover damage!
BAD ACID: The final installment of this stoner/psych/doom/metal
multimedia magazine’s run, a crazy triple issue with three dvd-rs
packed with mp3s and PDFs featuring almost every cool band ever!
BALAM ACAB: Now on cd, one of our favorite ‘witch house’ releases yet!
BEST COAST / JEFF THE BVROTHERHOOD: Split 7″ of brilliant pop from an
old fave and a new one!
BIG EAGLE: Traditional roots music meets indie rock from this female
fronted band, whose singer makes us think of both Chan Marshall and
BURIAL TREE: Mysterious drone rock epic, for fans of both Barn Owl
and Three Mile Pilot.
ANDREW CEDERMARK: Underwater Peoples brings us this gorgeous slab of
home brewed noisy shoegazey twang flecked dream pop.
CHARNEL HOUSE: Super limited lp, blackened and doomy and witchy stuff!
CIRCLE OF OUROBORUS / CROOKED NECKS: Fave Finnish black metal weirdos
on a split with the band formerly known as Frail, lots of goth/cold
wave goin’ on, Cure and Joy Division fans should check it out!
CLEARED: New on Immune vinyl, the latest project from S. Hess of
Haptic, On, and Ural Umbo.
DEATH: Holy crap, more long lost proto-punk from Detroit’s Death!!
DEERHOOF: Awesomely poppy, weird yet accessible new album from these
DESTROYER: ’80s vibin’ indie rock from another old fave.
DISAPPEARS: These murky psychlords offer up album #2, reverbed and
rockin’ in a heavier way than most Kranky acts.
DOLPHINS INTO THE FUTURE: Not Not Fun lp of new agey synth laden
floor core drift, really nice!
DOPETHRONE: Montreal stoner sludge along the lines of Eyehategod, and
yeah Electric Wizard too!
ELECTRIC WIZARD: Speaking of, here’s those UK doomlords’ latest,
Black Masses, now a (cheaper) domestic release!
EL MICHELS AFFAIR: Isaac Hayes gets the El Michels treatment, soul
funk fans should dig big time!
EVOLUTION CONTROL COMMITTEE: Plunderphonic outlaws return with more
messed up mashups and other pop culture perversity, including the
best use of Autotune yet.
EXRAY’S: Lavishly packaged debut cassette from these local lo-fi
minimal bedroom synth poppers!
FLOWER TRAVELLIN’ BAND: Japanese hard psych heroes double album swan
song from ’73, reissued on cd!!
SERGE GAINSBOURG: Vinyl reish of this essential collection of
singles by the cooler-than-thou French singer/songwriter.
GANG GANG DANCE: Vinyl and cd ep on Latitudes from these folks, doing
some great multi culture/multi genre jamming.
MICHAEL GENDREAU: Book and cd from this interesting sound artist, the
book’s in French but the cd of manipulated field recordings all can
GOWNS: Another in the Latitudes series, from these noisy SF locals.
HAMNSKIFTE: Droning medieval slowcore cd-r from this mysterious duo.
CATHERINE C. HENNIX: The Electric Harpsichord, a legendary yet
obscure document of modern minimalism, circa ’76!
HOUSE OF LOW CULTURE / MAMIFFER: Now on limited vinyl, this split
from husband and wife duo, the husband half of which is Aaron Turner
IRON AND WINE: Sam Beam’s back with his major label debut, and it’s a
less folky, more lush and poppy I&W than before.
JAYHAWKS x 2: Two amazing alt country classics reissued!!
KORPERSCHWACHE: Crucial Blast brings us the latest from these
demonic, downtuned Texans.
LEBANON: Southern Lord 7″ of punk meets NWOBHM, killer!
LONESUMMER / PLANNING FOR BURIAL: Split cd-r teaming twisted black
metal with something a lot dreamier.
LORD OF DOUBTS: Russian Electric Wizard worship!
MAGICAL POWER MAKO: Now reissued on cd, another ’70s Japanese psych
PHIL MANLEY: Krauty, kosmiche synthy solo album from the Trans Am/
Champs guitarist and sound engineer, super!
MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE: Another in the Latitudes series, some
surprisingly space rock action from the MMoB.
BLIND WILLIE MCTELL: New Monk vinyl, a double album from this vintage
NADJA: The Canadian doomdronedirgelords get a Latitudes release as well!
NEGATIVE PLANE: We highly recommed the reverby rituals of these cult
black metal artists long awaited 2nd album!!
NIGHTSATAN: We’ve also got a 7″ from these Finnish synth proggers,
who say: Death to False Laser Metal!
NIHITI: Awesome electro synth-wave abstract downer pop from NY, on lp.
OAKEATER / MAMIFFER: The second Mamiffer split lp on this list,
teamed up with mysterious power electronics ambient drone trio.
RICHARD PINHAS x 2: Heldon’s guitar/synth wizard with 2 releases, a
reissue and a new one, the latter featuring both Merzbow and Wolf
Eyes as guests!!
RESOE: Deeeeeep dark spaced out dub on Echocord, yeah!
German electronic eccentric, album #4, another winner!
ROBA EL-KHALIYEH: Super limited cd-r of bizarre Brazilian blackness,
from the same label that brought us Clair Cassis, Nightbringer,
Velvet Cacoon, etc.
MATT SHOEMAKER: Back in stock, abstracted field recordings pushed to
the point of grotesque minimalism, yes!
SIC ALPS: Another fantastic twisted slab of lo-fi psychedelic
shitgaze noise pop from these SF rockers!
SLAYER MAGAZINE: The final, super elaborate issue of this legendary
metal ‘zine, in hardback, with bonus 12″, wow!
SMITH WESTERNS: Energetic pop awesomeness, inspired by everything
from T.Rex to Beach House.
STRAWBERRY PATH: More ’70s Japanese heavy pysch reissued!
THOU: Now on vinyl, this rad slab of New Orleans sludge!
THOMAS TILLY: Glitchy electronica? Nope, it’s hydrophonic field
recordings from the moat of a medieval castle!!
T.O.M.B.: Outsider black metal insanity!
SIDI TOURE: A gorgeous record of African folk music from this
legendary Malian singer.
UZ JSME DOMA: At last a new album from these Prague prog faves!!
V/A BRASS PINS & MATCH HEADS: Mississippi Records alert!! Old ’78s
from around the world collected on this new lp!!
V/A PAKISTAN – FOLK AND POP INSTRUMENTALS 1966-1976: New from Sublime
Frequencies, limited vinyl-only release of these vintage Pakistani
V/A POP AMBIENT 2011: Kompakt comes through once again, with this
year’s installment in this always-amazing series of, well, Pop Ambient!
THE WEEVIL SERIES: Three 12″s of some of the coolest, darkest,
grimiest dubstep we’ve heard, we’re selling together as a set.
WHITE FENCE: Wow, an amazing slice of warped ’60s inspired psych pop
BEN WILDENHAUS: Cassette release from this interesting avant /
EYE YAMANTAKA: The leader of Japan’s Boredoms presents some of his
amazing visual art in this book of imaginary record covers!!!
Plus plenty more, including a new issue of The Wire, the usual batch
of now-on-vinyl excitement (Beets! Minks! etc.), a warehouse find or
two, and more – including some cassettes in tiny wooden coffins
filled with bones!
So read on, enjoy, order up! And thanks for your kind attention!
Another reminder: Monday is the deadline for your entries in our Top
Tens of 2010 contest, so get your lists in! You can see what we’ve
2010customerfaves.html. (We’ve received a lot more than that, but due
to the aforementioned technical difficulties around the office, we
haven’t added ’em all to the webpage yet, but we will soon). Two list-
your top ten to [email protected], with “TOP TEN 2010″ in the
Also, the battle to save KUSF is still being fought, for the latest
Okay, enough with the intro, on with the list…
And as always, thanks for reading the list, passing it on to all your
friends who love weird music, shopping at our store, turning -us- on
to all sort of great stuff, and helping us spread the word and get
all this great music to the people who love it. YOU!! And as always,
please realize that we work really hard on the list, so if you find
out about stuff through us, please try to buy your records from us.
That way we can keep on doing what we do, and we’ll always be here
with our ears to the ground, and with cds full of metalcore pitbulls,
death metal parrots, gamelan playing elephants, recordings of
glaciers cracking, ice melting, zamboni’s, life support systems, drag
races, audience applause, and of course self flagellating Norwegian
dwarves, moaning telephone wires, recorded exorcisms, acapella
straight edge metalcore, high school battles of the bands, movie
theater organ music, Christian psychedelic folk, Bhangra Black
Sabbath as well as all the metal, indie rock, electronica, punk rock,
reggae, dub, sixties psych, krautrock, classic rock, country and
anything else your heart may desire. So thanks. A bunch!
read the New Arrivals list online where you can SEE COVER ART and
HEAR SOUNDCLIPS we prepared for you. Plus it makes ordering almost
effortless ’cause a single mouse click will pop an item directly into
your shopping cart! No more trying to remember everything that you
wanted to order after having read a hundred or so reviews!
And don’t forget to give our nifty AQ ‘radio’ thing a try, all the
NIGHTSATAN “Midnight Laser Warrior” (Solina) cd 17.98
They’re from Finland. They’re called Nightsatan. Their record
is called Midnight Laser Warrior and features on its cover some
helmeted ghoul with a knife, and a sawblade, and a bullet belt, and
tons of spikes and studs on the leather jacket that barely obscures
his rotting zombie flesh. They have song titles like “Four Eyed
Cyclops”, “Death Chess 2000″, “Karelian Stairmaster (Evil Lucifer)”.
The record was mastered by two members of aQ faves Finnish
hypnorockers Circle. We saw a YouTube clip of Nightsatan performing,
where a certain member of the crowd got so worked up he decided to
sing along, that person was none other than Albert Witchfinder of the
mighty Reverend Bizarre (and The Puritan, among others). Their
drummer is credited with player “Laserdrums”. And most importantly,
they play “LAZERMETAL”. Which is in fact, not metal at all, nor even
“NWOFHM”, instead it’s some sort of crazy, futuristic, electro prog,
like Goblin or John Carpenter, or any of the current crop of
Carpenter worshipping retro futurists (Majeure, Umberto, Zombi,
Blizaro) but filtered through some ELP, or Yes, or even more obscure
prog faves like Il Balleto Di Bronzo or the New Trolls. Sure the
sound is synthy, and retro and electro and will no doubt appeal to
those folks, but it’s also twisted and proggy and FINNISH, which
makes this something else entirely.
The cool thing about these guys, ONE of the cool things, is
that they’re a proper band, this isn’t just a studio project,
assembled at a desk with a computer, no these guys are a BAND, and
there’s tons of footage of them playing live, and most notably, they
have a DRUMMER, who plays drums, electronic drums sure, but they give
the sound a sweaty, urgent, human element missing from lots of
similar stuff, not to mention, these songs are epic and complex and
Opener “Four Eyed Cyclops” begins with a bit of Tangerine
Dreamy synthiness, accompanied by some growled cookie monster vox,
but it doesn’t take long for the track to get going, with some
awesome syncopated rumming, locked tight with the synths, then
another buzzing bit of low end synth swoops in, and while it’s not
metal, we can definitely feel the same sort of power and energy and
intensity. All the synths drop out, leaving just the buzzing low end
one to unfurl a serious slithery riff, the drums come back in, and
it’s like some weird electronic electro-doom, the metal vibe, more in
the vibe than the sound, but it’s definitely weird and heavy and
electronic, with lots of bent notes wound into electro leads. Awesome.
“Death Chess 2000″ starts off with more buzzing low end synth
riffage, some “Iron Man” style kick drum, before slipping into
another bit of electro-doom, only to have everything suddenly speed
up, and transform into a car chase Autobahn soundtrack that returns
briefly to that opening electro doom, before stripping down to just
minimal synth and a skeletal rhythm, and more of those weird raspy
vox, finishing off in a blaze of swirl and buzz.
“Karelian Stairmaster (Evil Lucifer)” might be the proggiest
of the bunch, another swirly Logan’s Run sounding intro, all
arpeggiated melodies underpinned by thick wheezing synth buzz, while
the snare drum drives the rhythm, before blossoming into a hazy,
futuristic soundscape (which more than one customer mistook for the
Tron soundtrack! If only!), that warbles woozily, and eventually
switches tempo and becomes the perfect score for some lost eighties
VHS tape horror movie futuristic dystopian city montage. Throughout,
the song offers up some strange detours, intense super dynamic stop/
starts, with pounding drums, and some gorgeous woozy video game
soundtrack balladry (which again has us thinking how much better
these guys would have been for scoring Tron).
“Ninja Apocalypse” is creepy, and haunting, with the sound of
fake rainfall, deep bass swells, and a main keyboard melody that
would most definitely not be out of place in a Halloween or Friday
The 13th movie, but like all the songs, the track continually shifts
and transforms, minimal and hauntingly creepy one second, supper
progged out and propulsive the next, soaring and majestic the next,
and druggy and psychedelic the next. “Steel Diamond Part 4″ (parts 1
and 2 are on the 7″ reviewed elsewhere on this list, not sure where
part 3 is though), is another electro prog workout, that features a
super soundtracky main melody wreathed in layer after layer of synth
buzz, the drums dense and intricate, the sound swirling and
shimmering, evoking images of alien planets, of crashed starships, of
subterranean lairs, of strange creatures chained up and walking into
the depths, of the blackness of space, which leads right into the
final track “Stars, Our Destination”, which takes that space synth
sci-fi sound even further out, pulsing and throbbing, the melodies
tangled and intricate, hypnotic and totally mesmerizing, the sound
dramatic and emotional and epic, and so totally cinematic, every
track in fact here plays out like the music to some climactic scene
from some lost eighties sci-fi adventure epic, with “Stars, Our
Destination” being the perfect culmination, the drums less rhythmic,
and more dynamic, pounding alongside the synths, the vocals more
breathy exhalations, soon joined by thick rubbery low end pulses,
everything growing more and more intense before fading into a
swirling drift of warbly synths, swirling FX and whispered urgent
voices. There’s a short hidden track, another sort of Halloween gone
electro synthwave, with a pulsing house-y beat, creepy raspy vocals,
and a main melody that sounds like it had to be created for some
horror movie, tense and intense, this final coda brooding and moody,
but also propulsive and weirdly motorik, the perfect sci-fi, electro
house, futuristic synth wave hypno krautrock finish to a pretty much
perfect sci-fi, electro house, futuristic synth wave hypno krautrock
And all this talk of soundtrack and cinema is not just us, the
artwork on the back cover, which features a modular synth, with the
various patch bays altered to read as song titles, also includes
various inputs for things like “Doom & Gloom”, “Heavy Pounding” and
maybe most tellingly “Extra Giallo”. So good. Easily our favorite of
this new batch of synthy soundtracky sci-fi sounds. There is vinyl,
but it’s not out yet, a few weeks still. And if you dig this, be sure
and grab one of those 7″s too!!
5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T, THE (MUSIC BY FREDERICK HOLLANDER)
“OST” (Film Score Monthly) 3cd 32.00
We’ve never been much for musicals. Sure Jesus Christ
Superstar had its moments. So did Godspell. And Hair. Hell, some of
us even saw Annie and Evita when we were kids. But musicals
definitely just seem to rub us the wrong way. Overly dramatic and
hammy, the songs cloying and annoyingly earwormy. But then there’s
this. A live action motion picture musical, conceived of, and written
by, none other than Dr. Seuss! A twisted Technicolor fantasy, the
story of a young boy who hated practicing the piano, and the evil
piano teacher who kidnaps him, and 499 other children, to play his
insidious tune on a custom built 5000 key piano, and who also kidnaps
and brainwashes the boy’s mother, only to be rescued (spoiler alert)
by a friendly sympathetic plumber! The movie was a only a middling
success when it was first released in 1953, as it turned out to be a
bit too scary for children (it’s practically psychedelic as well),
and thus ended up a cult classic, with viewings playing out like
Rocky Horror screenings, the crowd singing along and reciting the
dialogue along with the characters. The interesting thing is, that
much of the music composed for the film was cut from the final edit,
and when we originally carried the single disc version of this
soundtrack way back when, it was woefully incomplete. But this right
here is as about as complete as it gets, delivering not only the
soundtrack as it’s heard in the film, but also alternate versions,
composer sketches, preproduction material, instrumental orchestral
tracks, and most excitingly of all, the soundtrack as it was
originally conceived and composed, with all the original cues, songs,
ballets, and more. It’s fantastical and over the top: sumptuous ’50s
orchestral arrangements meet soaring swoonsome strings meet marching
band numbers and of course there are the various numbers sung in
loopy Dr. Seussian rhymes, it’s pretty far out, a twisted Seussian
musical, that even removed from the incredible visuals, still sounds
Originally, the movie was planned to be a vehicle for Danny
Kaye and Bing Crosby (as the evil Dr. T and the plumber,
respectively… how crazy would that have been?!), but they ended up
casting relative unknowns, and the story itself was both an anti-
Hitler allegory and an all encompassing anti authoritarian manifesto
(focused specifically on the looming threat of the atomic bomb), but
all of that stuff was very subtle, hidden underneath clever wordplay,
a fantastical plot, and incredible costumes and sets. If you haven’t
seen it, you should, it’s fun and funny and freaky, often compared to
The Wizard Of Oz too, for its whole “It was all just a dream… Or
was it???” premise, but all told, it’s definitely the music that
seals the deal, composed by Frederick Hollander, it’s creative and
inventive and playful and occasionally over the top, occasionally
sweeping and dramatic, but always totally mesmerizing and catchy,
whether goofy and fun and frolicky, or ominous and sinister.
First check out “Ten Happy Fingers”, that’s the song Dr. T
plans on having his kidnapped children play on the giant piano, it’s
super catchy, and that melody resurfaces throughout, but quickly, the
soundtrack shifts, and the orchestra begins to weave gorgeous
soundscapes of shimmery strings, and moaning horns, classic
soundtrack stuff for sure, epic and majestic and darkly moody,
sweeping and soaring, lovely and dreamy and mysterious, there are
ballads, “Many Questions” is all torch songy, “Hypnotic Chant” sounds
like a classic movie musical duet, but just a little bit twisted, it
is the part where Dr. T is hypnotizing the mother after all! Then
there’s Dr. T’s “Do Re Mi” where he sings about his favorite note,
which is of course ME. Probably the most famous song is “Dungeon
Shlim Shlam” also known as “The Dungeon Ballet”, which is one of the
best parts of the movie, where all the NON piano players are sent to
a dungeon to play, well “What other instruments are there??”, so they
end up playing all sorts of fantastical made up instruments. “The
Dressing Song” is one of the wackier tracks, and the one with the
most obviously Seussian lyrics, “Get Together Weather” is another
track with Seuss heavy wordplay, and so it goes.
We could go track by track by track, but it’s all just so
good. Old timey for sure, but a lot of this stuff definitely sounds
timeless. And the extras, WOW. The alternate versions are definitely
worthwhile, and the liner notes go into extraordinary detail about
just how they differ, and why there are multiple versions. And then
there are the orchestral tracks, which are gorgeous, so lush and
lovely and beautifully orchestrated, but it’s the composer sketches
and pre production material that we find ourselves listening to more
than we expected, low fidelity recordings, very scratchy, but so
lovely, just solo piano versions of the various tracks, which speaks
to their timelessness, even sans orchestra and vocalists, these songs
are incredible, and those skeletal versions definitely offer a unique
glimpse into the process. And then of course, for folks who just want
to listen to the songs EXACTLY the way they are in the movie, there
is a soundtrack cut, with all the extras and cut songs and alternate
versions removed, so it plays just like the film.
So incredible, and incredibly curated. A true labor of love.
The liner notes are extensive and super interesting, the story of the
composer, of the film, and most impressively, track by track notes
about each song’s placement, and inspiration, and what scene it
accompanies in the film. Tons of photos and anecdotes and pretty much
anything and everything you could ever want to know about what is
quite possibly one of the most enchantingly dreamy AND disturbingly
nightmarish kids’ films ever. And most definitely one of our all time
DEMDIKE STARE “Tryptych” (Modern Love) 3cd 28.00
Finally, Demdike Stare’s dark and dizzying, murky and
mysterious hauntological black dub triptych, previously available via
three separate slabs of vinyl, is now available on cd, gathered up
into a single, nicely packaged triple disc set. And loaded with bonus
tracks (nearly 40 minutes extra all told), which makes this pretty
much a shoe-in for Record Of The Week…
Demdike Stare are one of the few bands who seem to be a
unanimous aQ favorite, everyone here LOVES these guys, and judging on
how many of the various lps we’ve sold, everyone out there does too.
Which makes sense, when you consider, DS basically create a kind of
black metal dubstep, or as we (and others) like to describe it, a
blackened dub record on Chain Reaction. Either one should give you an
idea of the sort of dark sonic energy these guys conjure up. Thick
claustrophobic atmospheres, skeletal rhythms, thick throbbing bass,
skittering dubbed out beats, disembodied voices, stuttering minimal
sort-of-dubstep, looped and processed African folk music (??),
swirling glitched out electronics, deeeep pulsing dronemusic, reverb
drenched post-rock-via-techno skitter, all woven into a swirling
organic mass of dub flecked blacktronica, dark and sinister and
dubby, and weirdly house-y, sprawling and epic and creepy and so
totally sweeping and cinematic.
The first disc, Forest Of Evil, was originally two sidelong
tracks, the first starts out all deep shimmer, with a softly melodic
buzz, spidery acoustic guitars, long stretches of billowy black
ambience, bits of shuffly jazzy drift, peppered with thick shards of
buzzy fractured dub bass and Kompakt style skitter, giving way to
glistening late night techno, whirling pop ambient, and blissed out
ethereal dronemusic, while the second is darkly dramatic, epic and
majestic, like some lost Italian soundtrack, big drums, orchestral
and ominous, looped samples, blurred melodic smears over deep pulsing
bass, whirling clouds of cymbal shimmer, insectoid FX buzz, jumbled
atonal melodies (hints of Bernard Herrmann), the vibe tense and
haunting, with some dubstep bass buzz, that slowly dissolves into a
Caretaker like outro, all layered strings wreathed in hiss and
crackle, hazy and druggy and divine. The bonus track “Quiet Sky”
conjures up just what the title implies, a quiet sky, but a dark,
bruised midnight sky, flecked with stars, soft swirls of metallic
shimmer like gauzy clouds, the song gradually developing a strange
minimal hiccuppy rhythm, underpinning the deep melancholic swells, a
strange almost industrial tinged bit of pop ambience.
The second disc, Liberation Through Hearing, is thematically
related to the Book Of The Dead, and focuses on the space between
death and rebirth. Rendered in greys and blacks, in buzz and rumble,
beginning with some woozy late night Portishead style downtempo trip
hop, low slung looped skitter and swell, lush swirls of cinematic
strings, ghostly choirs, a softly lurching rhythmic stutter, a deep
cavernous throb, sounding like a ghostly stripped down dubstep. Which
gives way to heaving expanses of black tidal thrum, muted scrapings,
all wound into hypnotic pulses of dark energy, laced with distant
chiming melodies, a haunting, gauzey faded memory in sound, drawn
from radios with dying batteries and gradually slowing turntables, a
soft focus symphony of creaks and rumbles and blurred low end
shimmer. The first half finishes with a swoonsome smear of looped
ambience, like a field recording of an after hours nightclub captured
in a temporal loop, warm and druggy and fuzzy, strangely hypnotic and
rhythmic, totally trancelike, a creeped out wasteland soundscape,
mysterious and chilling, which is eventually augmented by thick slabs
of corrosive low end, and heavily reverbed industrial clatter, which
eventually emerges into a strange sea of crackle and hum, of warbly
rhythms, chiming bells and distorted crunch, sounding a bit like Jeck
spinning Pole record, abstract and spaced out and hauntingly lovely.
The second half opens with thick streaks of ghostly mesmer,
all washed out and slowly decaying, underpinned by thick swaths of
dubstep style bass wobble, but muted and smoothed into soft smears of
undulating blackness. Subtle skitter surfaces, as do distant voices,
the sound getting more and more dubby, a bit like a Caretaker record
on Chain Reaction, that sort of hazy abstract drift, but anchored to
barely there beats, the buzz building to an intense coda, all the
while wrapped in throbbing woofer punishing low end.
Some super stripped down rhythms are laid over a swirling
ghostly backdrop of fragmented melodies and a buried house music
thump, tangled and blurred strings wrap the proceedings in a veil of
softened reverb and subtle echo, the almost Eastern sounding pulse
and swell reminding us a bit of the late great Muslimgauze.
Finally, the record collapses into some sort of melancholic
sonic reverie, a hushed ambient outro, a tranquil sea of soft
swirling swells, clouds of echo and reverb, a dreamy darkness, a
blackened bit of blurpop minimalism, laced with muted streaks of fuzz
and hiss, but all gradually sinking into Demdike Stare’s endless
trancelike billowing blackness.
The bonus tracks on this one (3 of them, clocking in at nearly
20 minutes) continue the record’s surreal sonic journey, spidery
rhythms, and chiming melodies are looped and layered over a simple
pulsing propulsive groove, the whole thing slightly warped and
warbled, as if recorded onto an old piece of tape, and played back on
some dusty old ramshackle tape player, ghostly, but surprisingly
playful at first, before slipping into some seriously creepy,
deeeeeep droning rumbles, wreathed in shimmering solar winds, softly
billowing sheets of hiss and static, eventually shedding all of that,
leaving just a thick morass of softly undulating low end, shot
through with a slo-mo house music pulse, only to have the hiss and
whir return, this time relegated to the background, until the track
finishes surprisingly with what sounds like a bit of African style
funkiness, before disappearing in a brief cloud of swirling hushed buzz.
Finally, the third disc, Voices Of Dust, unveils the
Tryptych’s final movement, opening with “Black Sun”, a short stretch
of some super minimal electronic dronemusic, all layered overtones
and strange sonic shadings, which gives way to the chopped and looped
and stuttery vocal driven “Hashshashin Chant” which takes tribal
drums and traditional folk music vocals, and twists them all up, and
tangles those elements with strange percussion, industrial buzz, the
whole thing a dizzying chunk of hypno-electronic collaged psychedelic
mashup weirdness, before slipping into the much murkier and minimal
“Repository Of Light”, which unfurls like some sort of Hawkwind-meets-
Pole spaced out digi-dub drift. And so it goes, the sound flitting
between impossibly realized miniature sound worlds, cinematic
electronic ambience, ominously pulsing low end rumble, hazy glitchy
dubbed out Jeckian smears, super blown out electronic big beat
bombast, almost industrial sounding avant big band abstraction,
roiling corrosive soft noise, bellowing foghorn-like melodies, warped
and woozy scratchy old lp warblescapes and beyond.
The bonus tracks are the perfect, hazy, ghostly coda, the
first, a warm, whispery bit of keening abstract melody and thick
pulsing thrum, all very washed out and space-y and dreamlike, a
constantly vibrating living thing, a throbbing organic expanse of
minimal space drone psychedelic ambience, until finally, the whole
disc is laid to rest with 9 minutes of heaving, glacial, metallic
creep and creak, wreathed in record crackle, the final sounds unfurl
like some old dusty Tim Hecker 45 spinning at 16rpm, mournful moaning
melodies, buried rhythmic thumps, shimmery sitar like buzz, all hazy
and smeared and lysergic and mysteriously murky, the perfect slipping-
into-darkness, leaving-this-world-behind finale…
Gorgeously evocative, creepy and cinematic, abstract and
otherworldly, druggy and dreamy, fantastically haunting and utterly
spine tinglingly stunning. And thus, absolutely recommended.
Packaged in a super swank, oversized, hardcover book style
THAI ELEPHANT ORCHESTRA “Water Music” (Mulatta) cd 14.98
Wow, 2011 is ruling so far, so much good stuff has come out
this year already. Here’s one we REALLY flipped for when we saw it
was available – the third and apparently final album (bar the
inevitable reunion tour!) from everyone’s favorite all-elephant
ensemble. That’s right, the Thai Elephant Orchestra of the Thai
Elephant Conservation Center in the jungle locale of Lampang,
Thailand. We’re huge fans of their other two albums, made both of ’em
Records Of The Week, and this one is just as good – or actually maybe
even better, ’cause as they say it’s a “purist” recording of the
Elephant Orchestra, with no human guidance at all, edits, or
overdubs. It’s indeed all-elephant, with the exception of a Buddhist
monk’s chanted prayer for the elephant spirit heard on the very first
track (also we’re guessing a human came up with the song titles). All
the music is entirely improvised by the elephants themselves, playing
the special over-sized instruments built for them by conservationist
Richard Lair and experimental composer David Soldier as part of their
project to help preserve these amazing creatures and their ever-
threatened habitat. Lair and Soldier just hit record and let the
elephants go to it on these ten tracks. They really seem to enjoy
expressing themselves, these tracks truly lovely and mesmeric, with
all kinds of percussive textures, gently tinkling chimes, occasional
crashing gongs or drums, gamelan-like tones, harmonica drones… and
it’s all remarkably rhythmic, at a stately pace. Beautiful! They
definitely know what they’re doing, they’ve got big ears after all,
and it’s incredible the feeling and careful restraint that they bring
to the music they’re making (for such large animals especially). We
doubt humans could do better. NNCK, Sunburned Hand Of The Man,
Kemialliset Ystavat, et. al., you’re no match for these elephants…
as we’ve said before, if you didn’t know dem wuz pachyderms, you’d
think this was some new weird krautrock-inspired improv group, or a
reissue of something by the likes of Amon Duul, the Taj Mahal
Travellers, or Yahowah 13 perhaps.
For those unfamiliar with the Thai Elephant Orchestra, you’re
in for a treat! And anyone already a fan will be thrilled too.
Previous albums contained a fair number of tracks with humans
participating too, so it’s nice to have one that’s elephant-only, and
it’s sooooooo good. Utterly, utterly wonderful, both musically and
conceptually. How can you not love these elephants?
FYI, a new documentary about the Thai Elephant Orchestra can
ABORYM “Psychogrotesque” (Season Of Mist) cd 14.98
Brand new record from these Italian post/avant black
metallers, and their first record to get reviewed on the aQ list,
which is kind of crazy, considering most of the aQ metalheads have
been big fans ever since their debut in 1999. And since that debut,
the band has continued to stretch the boundaries of their particular
brand of black metal, culminating in this, the single song, ten
movement electro black metal concept record that is Psychogrotesque.
Beginning with a bit of creaking industrial ambiance, the
record soon launches into a twisted tangled bit of gnarled blackness,
blasting beats, chugging riffs, and a swirl of squiggly lead guitars,
not to mention little flurries of electronic crunch and glitch, all
backed up by choral like voices, and some almost ravey synths, that
weirdness is balanced by the croaking lead vocals, and the sinister,
minor key melodies, the track swings from churning buzzing blackness,
to melodic soaring majesty, to off kilter mathiness and back again.
The second movement explodes with some frenzied black metal buzz, but
it’s swaddled in more synths, the electronic element making it sound
alien and futuristic, before shrugging off the synths and delving
into some frosty true grim blackness.
And the record just gets weirder and weirder from there on
out. The synths competing with the riffs, the arrangements almost
orchestral, but instead of woodwinds and brass and strings, it’s
whirling buzzing keyboards and programmed beats, the vokills are
constantly transformed, occasionally becoming a deep dramatic croon,
most noticeably in the sixth movement, when those vocals are paired
with some Gerry Rafferty style way-out-of-place saxophone, and sure,
there’s plenty of straight ahead blackness, but there are also jams
that sound like black metal Daft Punk, or some bizarre hybrid of the
two, and then there’s the epic final track that is impossibly epic
and twisted, the black metal component furious and frenzied, the over
the top electronic bits cranked all the way up, so tense and intense
and heavy and twisted and totally bizarre, and be sure to stick
around for the hidden final track/coda, strange sampled vocals, over
hazy electronic shimmer, the sound gristly and gauzy and darkly
mysterious, making us wish they would have kept it going well past
its far too brief two minutes.
AGENT RIBBONS “Chateau Crone” (Antenna Farm) cd/lp 11.98/14.98
We’re always happy to get a new release by Agent Ribbons, and
it’s extra nice to hear the gals stretching their creative limbs on
their latest full length. On Chateau Crone, they dish up an
impressive patchwork quilt of new tunes with both passion and aplomb.
A bit less sugar and playful than their previous outings, and a bit
more shadowy, lush, edgy and eclectic – bringing together elements of
cabaret, garage rock, ’60s Brill Building girl groups, a bit baroque
pop, a bit Balkan gypsy too. Once again, they nestle in comfortably
alongside the likes of Cocorosie and Ditty Bops, but also to our
delight, the Aislers Set! In fact, the vocals at times are a striking
deadringer for AS’s Amy Linton. You need look no further than the
opening track “I’m Alright”. Indeed, that’s some infectious, smoky,
swaggering retro garage poppiness they’re slingin’ there! For sure,
they are as daydreamy and breezy as ever, but occasionally those
dreams take a spookier Theremin-laced turn. Very recommended!
ATELECINE “A Cassette Tape Culture” (Pendu Sound) lp 10.98
LAST COPIES! Now OUT OF PRINT, except for this small handful.
All the remaining copies have slightly damaged covers (mostly bent
corners), hence the reduced price, vinyl is pristine, last chance to
pick up one of these twisted beauties…
Most people probably know Sasha Grey for what she is most (in)
famous for, and that would be for being a porn star. Even folks who
don’t know porn stars might still know Grey as an actress, who
recently starred in Steven Soderbergh’s film Girlfriend, and has been
on HBO’s Entourage, but few probably know her as a musician (although
aQ customers might remember she sang on a Current 93 record!). And
we’re not talking cheesy club diva, a la Tracy Lords, crooning
terribly over bad house music, no we’re talking as a proper musician,
one who apparently has been making music since she was a teenager
(influenced by KMFDM and Throbbing Gristle), and whose current group
aTelecine is some sort of blackened industrial avant drone sound
collage thing, that would put most of the current crop of
experimental musicians to shame. The label hypes Grey’s music as
being heavily indebted to groups like Nurse With Wound and Coil, and
while we’re tempted to think this is just the label trying to make
the band seem ‘cooler’ and more authentic, it only takes a few
minutes listening to aTelecine’s new full length to realize, it’s not
all that unlikely. This stuff is dark, and corrosive, haunting and
fierce, otherworldly and intense, a little bit industrial, a little
ambient, a little witch house-y, a little black metal, doomy and new
wavey and seriously dark, a dizzying churning cauldron of field
recordings, samples, loops, electronics, distorted guitars,
programmed beats, FX drenched vocals, throbbing basslines, plenty of
glitch and clang and rumble and buzz.
If you’re anything like us it’ll just take a single song, the
first one we heard (even though this is aTelecine’s 3rd or 4th
record), the super creepy, super intense “I Came, I Sat, I Departed”,
a lumbering blackened industrial creep, all downtuned chug, low slung
slither, laced with some seriously fucked up and freaky hissed
whispery vokills, the sound crunchy and glitchy, but super hypnotic.
The song gets more and more chaotic, with anguished howls, more
distortion, the song seeming to crumble before our ears into a
hellish reverb drenched miasma. Terrifying and incredible.
The rest of the record stacks up pretty well too. “A Cassette
Played” is all woozy low end and rumbling bass over snippets of crowd
sound, a sort of collaged dark wavey drift, with some super minimal
skittery Autechre style fractured beats, a sprawling expansive
dronescape, laced with skitter, and ominous synth swells, strangely
cinematic keyboards, the sound becoming almost John Carpenter-esque
near the end, before slipping directly into “Chroeg Xen”, which
sounds like Steve Reich or Terry Riley as interpreted by the current
crop of retro futurist sci fi new wavers. “Elijah’s New Sun” is a
fluttering field of hiss and static, of shortwave interference,
buried synth pulses, strange processed vocals, and minimal synth
melodies way off in the distance.
“It’s All Write” is an avalanche of song fragments, woven into
a woozy, series of melodic swells, streaks of buzz, bits of sampled
voices, a minimal barely there beat, slowly unwinding like some out
of focus sonic charnel house. “Kitchen Light” is a surprisingly
lovely bloopy bleepy bit of spacey synthiness, while “Never Was A
Dreamer (vox)” is a swirling synthy crawl, all whispered tangled
voices, and layered shimmery drones. “She Is Beautiful” is another
bit of sci fi synthery, which leads into the short closer “Some What
Daft”, a gorgeous creepy glitchscape, of muted melodies, fractured
drones and alien squelches, all over a sort of krauty pulse, the sort
of track that we would have loved to see go on way longer. Which is
pretty much how we feel about almost every track here.
Sure, the fact that aTelecine is Sasha Grey’s band is the
hook, but it hardly matters really, besides bucking the convention of
actresses turned terrible musician, or certainly porn star gone
pointlessly mainstream, this stuff is incredible, dark and dense and
extremely well crafted, occasionally playful and mysterious, but more
often fucking chilling and intense, and definitely makes it plain for
all to see, that if Grey ever did decide to give up her day job, as
sad as that would be, at least we’d have more of this amazing music
to look forward to.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!
BAD ACID “The Burnout Issue (Tabs 10,11,12)” 3 x dvd-r + mini-
Sad sad news, UK underground heavy/spacey/metallic/psychedelic
magazine/compilation Bad Acid is no more. Longtime readers of the aQ
list have no doubt enjoyed an issue or two (or three or four) of this
sprawling publication, a combination printed zine, and computerized
PDF zine, complete with an audio component that usually clocks in at
at least 12 hours, sometimes twice that. It’s been 10 years, and Bad
Acid editor Dave Gedge has a family, and kids, has been losing money
(magazines, even ones as amazing as Bad Acid are most definitely a
labor of love) and furthermore is a Buddhist, so in addition to
simplifying his life, Gedge has simply been burnt out, which is why
this final salvo is called The Burnout Issue. And this final issue is
the only bit of silver lining, but WHAT a silver lining it is. This
final issue is in fact, THREE issues, #10, #11 and #12, and while the
printed part might be the most minimal yet, it’s more than made up
for by the contents of the 3 dvd-r’s. This time, the magazine itself
is more of an index, as it takes EIGHT pages, in tiny text, to list
all the bands and songs and videos and interviews and articles.
As usual, it’s split into sections, the first is the PDF
magazine, accompanied by music from each band as well as a review of
the band’s most recent record. Some of the bands in the magazine this
time around: Carlton Melton, Aluk Todolo, Bong, Plastic Crimewave
Sound, Sylvester Anfang, Residual Echoes, White Hills, Der
Blutharsch, GNOD, Jazzfinger, Grey Daturas, Hooded Menace, Necro
Deathmort, The Gates Of Slumber, Flood, The Wounded Kings, Full Blown
Expansion, Hey Colossus, Ancestral, Isis, Pelican, Scott Kelly of
Neurosis, Sutcliffe Jugend, The Accused, Inade, The Brian Jonestown
Massacre, Atomic Bitchwax, Snail, The Twilight Sad, Ramesses,
Ufomammut, Witchsorrow, Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, Slomatics,
Root, Nordvargr, Antonius Rex, Russian Circles, Centurions Ghost,
Nebula, Freedom Hawk, Steve Von Till of Neurosis, Leeches Of Lore,
Dianogah, Sardonis, Torche, Turzi, Ancestors, L’Acephale, and loads
more, including TONS of bands we had never heard of.
The second section is the interviews, and features Meads Of
Asphodel, Nadja, Expo 70, Centurions Ghost, Vincent Black Shadow,
Gnaw, Unearthly Trance, At War With False Noise, Old Corpse Road,
Alice Donut, and more! The next section features label profiles of
Denovali, Rocket and Future Noise, featuring loads of recordings from
lots of bands on each label.
Then there’s a section of bonus audio, with still more tracks,
including jams from Sundial, B*Tong, Disappears, Fire Witch,
Realmbuilder, Jex Thoth, White Buzz, Rich Hoak, Loscil, Jonas
Reinhardt, Fauna, Big City Orchestra, and once again, a whole mess of
bands we’ve never heard.
There’s also a bunch of videos, by Total Fucking Destruction,
White Hills, Psychofagist and a bunch more, some short films as well,
and finally, a section of bonus MP4’s, featuring promo videos from
Expo 70 and others, and more short films and live footage.
Phew! It’s epic and sprawling, and is equal parts rad bands
you know and new discoveries. Way recommended for anyone who likes
music AT ALL. But definitely Bad Acid leans toward the heavy and the
psychedelic and the left of center. So yeah, obviously WAY recommend,
and while Bad Acid will continue on in a different, bloggier, form,
it just won’t be the same, so you best buy this final issue of Bad
Acid and add it to that shelf of magazines you keep and treasure and
BALAM ACAB “See Birds” (Triangle Records) cd ep 11.98
NOW, BY POPULAR DEMAND, ON CD!!! Here’s what we said about the
now out of print 12″ version:
Another ‘witch house’ luminary gets their first proper (non cd-
r or download) release in the form of this gorgeous 5 song ep. For
those who have somehow missed out on the whole witch house thing,
it’s sort of hard to describe, a new self proclaimed genre that seems
to mix electronic music with dark creepy samples, everything slowed
down and murky and witchy, ethereal vocals, distorted production,
there’s already a serious backlash because of the ridiculous witch
house hype, which is pretty funny, considering probably all but the
very hippest folks have barely even heard any witch house.
We reviewed the debut 12″ from oOoOO a while back (all the
witch house bands tend to have names that borrow heavily from the
zapf dingbats font and the special keys on your keyboard), a
fantastically dreamy chunk of electronic ghostly minimal dream pop,
we also made Salem’s King Night our Record of the Week, with its
bombastic shoegaze bliss meets chopped and screwed Southern style
crunk, but Balam Acab definitely tends toward the former, the two
part title track a fuzzy, almost dubsteppy bit of gently glitchy
gauziness, angelic vocals, wreathed in reverb, drifting over swirling
industrial loops and shimmering synths, the second part totally
blissed out and otherworldly, the beats spare and skeletal, the
vocals floating on clouds of whirling effects and blurred melody,
while in between, basslines buzz ominously, beats careen in slow
motion, voices loop and hover, melodies fragment and drift apart, the
sound like some eighties MTV pop slowed way down and dipped in drugs
and left in the afternoon sun to warm, fuzzy streaks of sound wrapped
around stuttery glacial beats, “Big Boy” offering up a hook on par
with “See Birds”, while “Dream Out” sounds like a warped Kate Bush
record playing at 16rpm, while kids play video games in the next room.
Awesome stuff. And we could care less really if the hipster
intelligentsia has decided witch house is dead, cuz we’re definitely
dying to hear more…
BEST COAST / JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD “Sunny Adventure /
Bummer” (Volcom) 7″ 6.50
split (like the Flood / Wildildlife, which we still have a final few
copies of) featuring big time aQ faves, sunshiney beach poppers Best
Coast, who offer up another blast of hazy, girl group, fuzz pop
bliss… rocking and rollicking, windows down, breeze blowing, ice
cream melting, the usual boatload of reverb and warm summery
harmonies, and of course hooks galore, Bethany’s voice in fine form,
and the band kicking up a fun fuzzed out dream pop underneath,
another practically perfect chunk of washed out dreamy sunshine pop
that sounds like it could have been plucked right off their full length.
The big surprise here is Jeff The Brotherhood, who we sort of
expected to suck, based on the goofy name, but wow were we wrong,
reminding us a lot of classic Weezer or old school noise poppers
Further, also SF pop geniuses Ovens, super distorted guitars, weary
stoned boy vocals, sweet harmonies, killer hooks, crazy catchy, with
some tripped out spacey squiggly FX, pop fanatics will be in heaven,
and like us, will probably be scrambling for more from these guys.
LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES. Each one hand numbered. Pressed on
swirly clear pink vinyl. Comes with a download code for JUST the JTB
BIG EAGLE “Willow Creek” (self-released) cd 9.98
The first thing that is immediately striking about Big Eagle’s
debut record is the outstanding musicianship. The twangy pedal-steel
guitar floats like a dream and might bring salty tears to an eyeball
or two; the subtle bass lines never overstep or outshine the lead
melodies; the drums hold the songs’ foundations with elegantly simple
beats. And the vocals! Robyn Miller (formerly of The Peels) does what
all the greatest country singers have done: write and sing beautiful
songs about death, lust and hopelessness with a grace and dignity
unavailable to most human beings. She not only channels Lucinda
Williams, though: consciously or not, there’s definitely some Chan
Marshall and maybe a bit of Joanna Newsom thrown in.
Like Cat Power’s album The Greatest, Willow Creek walks the
fine line between indie rock and traditional roots music. Even in the
titles of the songs, there’s a strong dose of Americana: “Colorado,”
“Mississippi,” “For Sale.” “Broken Heart” mines the classic theme of
heartbreak and has some excellent slow banjo work. “Colorado” is a
short requiem, the pedal steel guiding you through the fragments of
the best dream you ever had. “For Sale” has a bit more humor, with
some clever lyrical wordplay and a playful guitar solo that lasts
almost the entire song. The last track, “Bill Robinson’s Run,” might
be the best on the record. The guitar and the banjo spar back and
forth, the Hammond organ screams, the breaks are catchy and clever. A
truly outstanding record from start to finish. Highly recommended!
BURIAL TREE “Outer Dark” (self released) cd-r 12.98
We’ve said it before, we love when our friends make amazing
music. The sort of music that transcends the bonds of friendship,
that requires none of the obligation that usually accompanies ‘friend
rock’, the sort of music that had you just discovered it, unaware of
its provenance, you wouldn’t think twice about proclaiming its
virtues, blasting it on your iPod nonstop, or if you’re us, raving
about it on the New Arrivals list.
Burial Tree is the realization of several years of intense
work, and is the project of aQ pal Monte and his wife Lauren, along
with a few other contributors, and is a mysterious, drone rock epic,
a blissed out and darkly brooding record of haunting heaviness and
abstract moodiness. A collection of subtly crafted cinematic
soundscapes, equal parts Barn Owl psychedelic drift, Neurosis riff
heavy crush, Three Mile Pilot post rock lope, and various stops in
The record begins with a haunting solo cello rendition of Hank
Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man’, transformed into an achingly mournful
lament, the perfect lead in to “Secret Arts”, a sprawling stretch of
minimal black ambience, a lush, layered expanse of layered low end,
and softly pulsing synth swells, laced with bits of melody, and warn
swirls of sonic sunlight, a slow shifting scene setter for the sounds
to come. “The Mysterious Stranger” is a dark twang flecked bit of
Earth-y post rock, the guitars spidery and minor key, the drums busy
and intricate, the strings soaring and swirling, all over a bed of
subtle synth shimmer, eventually big riffs swoop in, and things get a
bit metallic, with some killer stop/start dynamics, rife with synth
squiggles and spaced out FX. A driving, hypnotic, subtly proggy,
spaced out dirge rock, that shifts from dense distorted crunch to
minimal lope and back again. And it’s during those loping minimal
bits that the sound reminds us of vintage Three Mile Pilot, the thick
bass suspended over deep swirling space, paranoid and hauntingly
“The Bringer Of Light” mirrors the melodies from the song
before it, making it feel like a sort of second movement, it’s
reverby contemplative drift sounding like some nineties slowcore
combo via desert rockers Scenic, very evocative, barren landscapes,
wide open skies, shadows moving slowly across the ground, here too,
the strings do the heavy melodic lifting, while the drums and guitar
weave a skeletal framework, sounding like something that wouldn’t
have been out of place on Thrill Jockey back in the day. The track
builds to a swirling psychedelic climax, all pounding drums and
swirling synths, before fading into another bit of smoldering
dronemusic, a spacey effects heavy stretch of whirring Moogs and
looped FX, blurred into gauzy bits of fragmented melody, and thick,
softly undulating layers of washed out blackness.
“Conjuring Demons” is another post rocker that takes the spare
bass heavy, spidery melodies of 3MP and weds them to some more arid
spacious desert rock, another haunting excursion into abstract
instrumental meander, the stings here adding color and texture, the
main guitar riff memorable enough to stay lodged in your head, the
drums eventually dropping off, leaving just the strings over a barely
there bit of deep rumbling shimmer. The record finally winds down
with the gorgeous title track, the cello played so lyrically, the
melodies melancholy and mournful, wrapped around muted chiming
melodies, and a strange distant insectoid buzz, a dark, emotional
threnody, the sound of the sun disappearing beneath the horizon, the
moon vanishing behind the clouds, the fire dying to embers in the
hearth, the stars fading into the blackness of space. So nice.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES. Each one hand numbered. And each one
with a printed cover, and a screen printed insert, printed by a real
CEDERMARK, ANDREW “Moon Deluxe” (Underwater Peoples) cd/lp
We barely knew anything about Andrew Cedermark, other than
that his record is on Underwater Peoples, whose releases we tend to
dig, and that he was in Titus Andronicus, a band we never really
liked all that much. In this case, it seems UP trumps TA, cuz this is
a gorgeous slab of home brewed noisy shoegazey twang flecked dream
pop. The production is super hot, a little blown out, the guitars
buzz and jangle, the drums are distorted, but super minimal, and the
songs, while somewhat understated and minimal, are peppered with
bursts of distorted guitar, or lush squalls of swirling psychedelia,
or blasts of sun dappled noisiness.
Simple steel string guitars, and plaintive vocals drift
beneath clouds of explosive prismatic guitar, the drums locked into
an almost techno like pulse. The sounds crashing and chaotic, but
still warm and lush and melodic. Rocking yet introspective, these
songs build slowly and then gloriously crumble before our ears,
alternatingly personal and intimate, ramshackle and rambunctious,
often impossibly swerving between the two, swoonsome garage rock
collides with precious dreamfolk, before blossoming into a
fantastical effects drenched noise pop. Synths add strange sireny
color to some of the tracks, wood block percussion and tinkling
chimes do as well, and it’s precisely the balance between Cedermark’s
earnest and heartfelt pop songs, and his fractured kitchen sink
soundscaping, that make Moon Deluxe so goddamn good. Hard to think of
bands to compare this too, which is definitely a good thing, just
listen to the sound samples, we’re betting you’ll be as smitten as we
CHARNEL HOUSE “The Leprosy Of Unreality” (Sygil) lp 10.98
Along with the insanely limited tape-and-bones-in-a-wooden-
coffin from blackdoom horde OS (which is most likely already sold
out), we also have this, the lp debut from Charnel House, a similarly
blackened and doomy offshoot of the OS mothership, but with an added
witchy element in the for
align:center; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; border-collapse:collapse; mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; A Co-Sponsored Event with Beyond Difference Do you ever feel different than everybody else?
Here Tomorrow: Bestselling Author Meg Waite Clayton 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00 AM –
◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊ ◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊ aQuarius recOrds ◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊ New Arrivals #484.5 ◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊ Take Another Look… ◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊‹›◊ October 2nd, 2015 Beloved Customers and Friends:
Two New Classics At Special Prices 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00 AM – 9:00
Meet Cityscapes Author John King Tuesday 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00 AM – 9:00
Meet Cityscapes Author John King Tuesday 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00 AM – 9:00
///\oo/\\\///\oo/\\\ ///\oo/\\\///\oo/\\\ aQuarius recOrds ///\oo/\\\///\oo/\\\ New Arrivals #484 ///\oo/\\\///\oo/\\\ September 25th, 2015 Beloved Customers and Friends: Greetings! Dunno what you’re
align:center; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; border-collapse:collapse; mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; Arcade Happenings! Sooner! Later! Talbot back Monday the 21st with D. Watkins. McRoskey Party Wednesday
Composer Kirke Mechem to Discuss Memoir Tuesday 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00 AM –
Bar Agricole is partnering with Omnivore Books to present My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved my Life by
Debut Novelist to Read From Hot New Book Thursday 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00
align:center; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; border-collapse:collapse; mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; THIS Friday, 9/18, authors of Christa’s Luck will be visiting Upcoming Children’s Events at
ÓØÓØÓØÓ ØÓØÓØÓØ aQuarius recOrds ÓØÓØÓØÓ New Arrivals #483 ØÓØÓØÓØ September 11th, 2015 Beloved Customers and Friends: Hey all. Hope you’re
Stephanie Clifford to Read From Debut Novel Thursday 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00 AM
xXxXxXxXx XxXxXxXxX aQuarius recOrds xXxXxXxXx New Arrivals #482.5 XxXxXxXxX Records Of The Week Revisited Vol. 7 xXxXxXxXx September 4th, 2015
Sisters in Crime Meeting This Saturday Featuring Simon Wood 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open 10:00
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ :::::::::::::::::: aQuarius recOrds /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ New Arrivals #482 :::::::::::::::::: August 28th, 2015 Beloved Customers and Friends: Rah rah rah! Friday
Don’t Miss Pulitzer Prize Winning Science Writer John Markoff Tuesday 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open
Beloved Customers and Friends: Hello and thanks for tuning in to another aQ-list. Tonight’s installment is an in-betweener – please
Don’t Miss Pulitzer Prize Winning Science Writer John Markoff Tuesday 80 West Portal, San Francisco, CA 94127 415-564-8080 www.bookshopwestportal.com Open