May 26 , 2004  




Animal Collective
Alter Ego
Midwest Funk (Various)
Thomas Brinkmann
Grime (Various)
They Keep Me Smiling (Various)
The Eternals
Kingston Allstars Meet King Tubby

Slapp Happy & Henry Cow (Reissue)
Black Devil (Reissue)
Secret Chiefs 3


Richard Bartz
Nguni Sound (Various)
George Sibanda (Compilation)
Felix Da Housecat (Mix)
Ivan Smagghe (Mix)
Die Haut & Nick Cave (Reissue)
Canada's Message to the Meters (Canadian Funk Compilation)







Sung Tongs
(Fat Cat)

"Winter's Love"
"Kids on Holiday"

Close to four years after their impressive recording careers took flight with the highly-acclaimed but sparsely distributed Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished, Other Music alums Dave (Avey Tare) and Noah (Panda Bear) have once again taken center stage as the core members of Animal Collective. Following on the heels of two full-length albums (one released as Campfire Songs), a two-disc retrospective reissue, and an Avey solo split 12" with David Grubbs all released in the past year, along with massive tours supporting Mum and Four Tet in the states and abroad, pretty much anything the group put together for release this year would have earned far more attention than anything they'd done before. But instead of hitting a slump at this critical juncture and putting out a merely decent or passable album, Animal Collective have completely outdone themselves.

Sung Tongs is without a doubt their greatest and most accessible album to date. The decision to record with an outside producer (Colorado-based singer-songwriter and studio innovator Rusty Santos) seems to have allowed the musicians' ideas to take seed and slowly blossom into the kind of fully-formed and professionally-polished songs that we haven't heard on prior Animal Collective records.

The sly hints at pop that the band has tended to hide between long gaps of silence and behind electronic effects and incredible explosions of noise are no longer mere flirtations and suggestions. In a departure from some of their earlier work, there is no time spent in waiting for something big to happen. Every second is completely engaging, from the first note to the last, and there aren't really any "difficult" moments to speak of. They've purged themselves of virtually every element that might have alienated the casual listener and have still managed to retain whatever it is that makes them so unique. It's a brave and impressive step forward for them and a demonstration of their increasing confidence in their own abilities as writers and performers.

The vast majority of the record remains firmly rooted in their incomparable all-acoustic live shows, with Avey and Panda's voices and guitars perfectly complementing one another in arrangements too spontaneous to be rehearsed but too impeccable to be improvised. Avey and Panda's brilliant songwriting intuition has developed to a level that even their greatest admirers couldn't possibly have predicted. The haunting intro to "Winters Love" is reminiscent of the music from Edward Scissorhands; "College" sounds remarkably like a Friends-era Beach Boys song, and comparisons to the Incredible String Band, Skip Spence, Milton Nascimento, and the New Guinean folk songs on the Bosavi collection could all be made, but in all honesty there has never been a band that really sounded like this incarnation of Animal Collective.

While Sung Tongs probably won't make theirs a household name, it unquestionably guarantees that the group will long be hailed as one of the most innovative, exciting, and important in the history of independent music. Avey Tare and Panda Bear have made one of the most joyful, beautiful, and emotional records I've ever heard. Most importantly, it's incredibly fun to listen to. It would be a massive understatement to call this their breakthrough. Sung Tongs is an instant classic, you will not hear a finer record in the year 2004. [RH]







$21.99 3-LP


(Klang Elektronik)

"Satanic Circus"

It's been eight long years since Alter Ego's last full-length. Comprised of Roman Flugel and Jorn Elling Wuttke, this duo have been on the electronic music scene since 1991 (they also run the Playhouse and Klang Elektronik labels), and have been doing this for so long and seen so many styles come and go that they can predict what will be "the next new thing." And that is definitely what they have done with their newest full length Transphormer.

Transphormer doesn't necessarily take electronic music forward per se but they take it BACK -- back to when techno was hard, back to when people danced and techno music "rocked." This is the sound of now. The lead off track entitled "Rocker" has been a hit in the record crates of trendsetters like Michael Mayer, and this LP has been getting such rave reviews with many calling it the "techno album of the year." You can decide for yourself, but I guarantee that this album will blow through your soundsystem like a whirlwind, and take its 4/4 beat, squelching synths, melodic basslines, and you along for the ride; this is one album that is hard to ignore. Recommended. [JS]







Various Funk 45s from Tornado Alley

"Let's Do It Today" The US
"A Day in the Life" Chocolate Snow

I'm a person of color who grew up in the Midwest, Nebraska to be exact. Whenever I tell people where I'm from, I can always count of one of three following reactions: "Whoa Nebraska! Are there any other black people there?" "Is there any culture?" "You must've been itchin' to leave, huh?" The answer to all of those inquiries are yes, yes and yes... and if you have asked me or any other Midwesterner any combination of the questions, I give you this comp. Writer, DJ and archivist Dante Carfagna compiled this collection of rare funk from this area of America and it kills. There's a ton of dynamics in this album that range from the frenetic popcorn funk of Des Moines' "New Establishment of Soul," the psych-tinged organ rumblings of Lawrence, Kansas' Epitaph, to the mellow red-light rework of "A Day in the Life" by Wichita's "Chocolate Snow." It's a beautiful document of small thriving soul scenes that would've been forgotten if it weren't for compilations like this. Toss in the extensive research that went into the liner notes…errr…essays, and you've got a helluva album. If you are a fan of the Stones Throw, Keb Darge or Harmless comps, then this is essential. Now stop askin' me if I grew up on a farm (no!). [DH]







Tokyo + 1
(Max Ernst)

"Mate Song"

T. Brinkmann's new album is yet another new sound exploration for the multi-tasking techno producer to sink his teeth into. Here, Brinkmann offers alternately loose and tight production styles utilizing field recordings collected on the streets of Tokyo and Ikaria (Greece). Crowd sounds, bass hums and subway signals all become elements of Brinkmann's bump and click techno style (see "E-Bar" - track 1). The "loose tracks" (averaging every other track) utilize the mysterious nature of the sound's best. The "tight tracks" are more in the standard Brinkmann style-jacking minimal abstract house accented with off-kilter bits and blurps (track 4 - "Decoupe"). Other highlights include tracks like "Hatesong" and "Mamas" which delve into rough and raw "RadioBoy" style territory (see esp."Lovesong" for its road-rash inducing rawness -- HOT!). Very minimal industrial complete with sudden crash landings, it's nice to see Brinkmann lose control a little bit here and let the sounds speak for themselves. Definitely one for the fans of the Ernst & Freunde series as well as 12" gems like "Corvette", "Tina/Argo" and that one jam with the Depeche Mode cover "Mexico-xico-xico-xico" and "Trip". You know. That one. [SM]








"Too Hard" Markone

"The Music" Plasticman

The new comp from Rephlex is an update on and return to one of my favorite genres. Back in the day it was 'ardcore, jungle, or breaks; this time it's self-titled GRIME. The ingredients are the same: distorted and crunchy, hard hitting, tripping double-time drum patterns, elastic bass, snippets of vocals from funk, hip-hop, Indian, classical, or wherever. Oh, and lots of synth hits. This comp brings together three of the main producers in the current scene, Mark One, Slaughter Mob, and Plasticman (not to be confused with Richie Hawtin's Plastikman moniker). Each gives a fresh rub to the beat science at hand here mixing in elements of 2-step, house, and dancehall into the established breakbeat groove. Think Kid 606, Bug, DJ Rupture, Muttamasik, Shut Up and Dance, early LFO, or Nightmares on Wax, or prime era V recordings, or Dread (drum 'n' bass labels circa-'95). Definitely for fans of Rephlex, Planet Mu, Tigerbeat 6, or Agriculture. [DG]







(Uunited Acoustic Recording)

"Berserker" Jane
"Rugs of Prayer" Gang Gang Dance

Here's an awesome compilation brought to us by Japanese fashion label United Bamboo, lovingly curated and compiled by OM's good pal Hisham Akira Bharoocha, the once long-time drummer for the great Black Dice, and as you'll see in here, a pretty fantastic artist as well. Packaged in an absolutely exquisite 36-page hard cover booklet, They Keep Me Smiling brings together some of New York's most original, interesting and eclectic bands, producers, songwriters, and composers...each providing one track and their own artwork. The booklet's paper is thick and high quality, and the art contained within covers many styles...crudely drawn comics, watercolor sketching, full-blown psychedelic colorfests, untreated and digitally enhanced photography, hazy band photos, cut n' paste collage, and much eye candy! And like the art, the exclusive songs cover a wide range of styles. But before I rhapsodize on the tunes, I must first say that Bharoocha's track sequencing is nothing short of masterful. Whether the transitions are smooth or abrupt, every song flows into the next wonderfully, and even though on paper it would seem like the breadth of styles represented would make that an impossible task, it totally works.

Samara Lubelski (Hall of Fame, Tower Recordings), besides being an extraordinary violinist, is a songwriter of high caliber. Heavily inspired by '60s rock and pop, her sweet, honeyed voice glides over the breezy instrumentation of "The Fleeting Skies"...and what a perfect way to dip right in. Benji Cossa's "April" is joyous and rockin' with a nice touch of glam, and an instantly addictive guitar lick that'll be stuck in yer head for days. (Be on the lookout for a self-released box set coming out soon). Gang Gang, these folks are definitely onto something. The elliptical, Ethiopian-inspired guitar and piano interplay, snaky rhythms, and warbling voices make for a strangely intoxicating cocktail. Their combination of styles is completely unique and they are one of the most interesting sounding groups to emerge from anywhere in some time. Black Dice's already classic "Trip Dude Delay" is a psychedelic soundscape of disembodied voices, malleted toms and cymbals, and gentle-to-soaring electronic waves that seem to come from some yet unnamed part of the universe. White Magic's "One-Note" is simple, slightly jazzy, and very catchy. Even though they have something vaguely familiar about their folk-rock sound, there is something enigmatic about it that I can't quite place...which is a very good thing.

The Animal Collective...what can I say about these guys that hasn't been said already? They are undoubtedly destined for greatness. "The Kite" is a dream-like delve into the ether that is brought back to Earth by a great, lo-fi, frantic rawker by Blood on the Wall. Delia Rodriguez & Gavin Russom, armed with their homemade keyboards, deliver a very spacey Krautrock-ish number, sort of sounding like an updated Klaus Schulze (early-to-mid-'70s) or Ashra. The buzzing, sludgy old-school metal riffs and wailing banshee that is Angel Blood...all you children of Metal shall rise with devil signs and banging heads (check out the photo of them in a forest adorned in black leather and grim facial expressions...yeah!). Their ripping "Demented Sorcerer" gives things a nice balance from the heavier end of the spectrum, and somehow segues the next group of more subdued electronic tracks well.

UW OWL relishes in tweaked knob-twiddling, causing delay-drenched droplets and careening strange noises on "White Mountain." Terrestrial Tones' (Animal Collective's Avey Tare & Black Dice's Eric Copeland) "Face Mask" is an intriguing cosmos-bound trip of manipulated life recordings meshed with a sparsely percussive, glowing electronic backdrop. Jane (OM's DJ Casio a/k/a Scott Mou and Animal Collective's Panda Bear) gushes forth a darkly gorgeous, sensual drone, with emotive, distant voices, subtle vinyl crackle, and soft, ebbing cymbal splashes. So, so good and another perfect segue, this time for the twisting, instrumental prog-rock of Coptic Light. HSDOM, a solo project from a member of UW Owl, crafts a deliciously strange, dark beatscape.

Brooklyn's Tes provides the slow, deep beats and lyrical flow, and nicely represents as the lone hip-hop artist here. Finishing things off is the incomparable casio-carnivale known as Excepter (featuring ex-No Neck Blues Band member Jeff Ryan & OM's very own Dan Hougland), whose "Polyps" undoubtedly induces the "Post-Blackout-Sundazed" feeling of that crazy day and night we New Yorkers experienced last summer. A surreal time-period of euphoria, exhaustion, claustrophobia, displacement and overall strangeness that Excepter successfully interprets sonically, providing the perfect soundtrack...and a choice ending to the disc.

It's not hard to see/hear/feel the obvious care, love, and magic Bharoocha put into making this compilation happen. These musicians and artists are the friends and folks that inspire him, keep him smiling, and because of that, you listeners will be too. Consistently engaging, interesting, and special. Very highly recommended, and well worth the $35 price tag. [DD]







Rawar Style


I've been waiting a while for this one! The Eternals are a super-cool duo/trio from Chicago, Rawar Style their second full length. They started out on Thrill Jockey, only releasing two 12"s, and then moved over to the up-and-coming Aesthetics label. At the core of the group are Damon Locks and Wayne Montana (both formerly of Trenchmouth), and a strong love of dub, reggae, rap and post-punk. Their third member seems to be the X-factor. All three drummers are included here, John Herdon (Tortoise, Isotope 217, A Grape Dope), Dan Fliegel (played live with Tom Ze), and current live member, Tim Mulvenna (Vandermark 5) -- together they, along with occasional programmed drums, give the album a rhythmically varied touch.

The Eternal's sound is seeped in a blend of dubby bass, overall slower, groovier, hip-hop/post-punk filled rhythms, crisp electronic textures, eerie yet soulful synths, tropicalia flavored percussion and found sound, along with the original vocal stylings of Damon Locks. (Locks is also a visual artist and has designed album covers for the Dismemberment Plan, At the Drive In and A Grape Dope). Cruising through the musical city they inhabit, they capture images from some of the best moments from various styles as a complete whole. What may start off sounding like a bubbling Bjork track turns into a dubby, dancehall flavored tropical urban collage (check out their new EP on Puerto Rico based Antifaz).

Imagine the Specials, Konk, Lee Perry produced Clash, Sizzla, Tom Ze, and Dennis Bovell, all playing at the same time from boom boxes as you wander the streets of Brazil. If you liked what TV on the Radio did with doo-wop and classic soul in a rock context, this is the dubby urban inverse (very few guitars but lots of bass and synths). One of the best bands in Chicago and if any of this sounds interesting, it's more than worth the listen. Check them out live with Tortoise. (Incidentally, Rawar Style was mixed at John McEntire's Soma Studio.) Recommended. [DG]







Meet Downtown at King Tubby's 1972-1975
(Jamaican Recordings)

"Stand Up and Fight" Yabby-Yu
"Judgement Time" Wayne Jarrett

A new set from the London based Jamaican Recordings label showcases the production work of the great Bunny Lee. (One of my all-time favorite reggae producers ever, ever, ever!) It was Bunny's productions that provides the starting point for so many of King Tubby's greatest sonic explorations, and the combined talents of these two men in no small part ushered in what would later be considered the golden age of Jamaican music. It was a powerful union indeed.

But be forewarned, this is not a dub album. The work on this compilation focuses on vocal reggae from the early-to-mid-'70s. It was a time that saw the beginnings of an ideological shift to a slower heavier rhythm and more of a Rasta consciousness. Bunny Lee's productions tend to be a bit sparse on this collection which seems to work well with some of Jamaica's finest singers and players which include Horace Andy, Cornell Campbell, Johnny Clarke, Yabby-U, Wayne Jarrett, Sly & Robbie (pre-partnership), Santa Davis, Augustus Pablo and many others.

Linval Thompson's delicate performance on "Di Wicked Dem" sits beautifully over the wobbly shifting bass and stark snare snaps that would later show up on Augustus Pablo's seminal King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown album. And Ronnie Davis' soulful "Tonight," with its echo-drenched breakdowns and yearning lyrics, are sweet, sweet reggae music for lovers. A relatively unknown vocalist, Freddie McKay's lazy, high-pitched singing will definitely make sense to many in the hot summer months ahead. All in all, this is a pretty solid collection of work from some of the
finest names in Jamaica music. [GA]







$19.99 2-LP


Midnight Man
(International Deejay Gigolo)

"Street Dynamite"

Longtime, well-respected early collaborator (mid-'90s) with DJ Hell who has released tracks on Gigolo, Kanzleramt, Kurbel (his own label) etc., releases a new, anticipated full-length on Gigolo. As you'd expect from a veteran producer's album on Gigolo, this one's a neo-party album. Sure, the two opening tracks are updated electro/club jammers, but reflecting the no-nonsense, get back to basics feel of the current German club scene, Bartz gets into some (club)HOUSE. Track 4, "Foot Tappin" is exactly that, a track to get you thinking about the dancefloor. The next track, "Highwire," slams things home with a lean mean groove, but with enough space and room to let in the latecomers who didn't get on the dancefloor during the previous cut. Tracks 6 ("Feed the Flame"), 7 ("Symphonies of Midnight") and 9 ("Kilowatt Invasion") are probably all over dancefloors in Germany. These tracks are full of that neo-space house stomper feel that was all over M. Mayer's recent sets at Volume. Stomping German Space Disco-similar to Savas Pascalidis' last superb album, but with less of the dirty/new wave feel, more funk, and a refined touch of classic club tracks. [SM]







South Africa & Swaziland

"Inkulu Into Ezakwenzeka (Something Bad is Going to Happen)"
"Two Flute Tunes"

Hugh Tracey began recording African music in the 1930s, carrying cumbersome disc cutters to the most remote reaches of the continent. His impact on African music is immeasurable. With his exhaustive documentation he forever captured vanishing music forms. An extraordinarily driven man, he eventually began to record to tape, and if laid out end to end would probably reach to Venus and back. While Alan Lomax was able to keep most of his recording equipment in the trunk of his car, Tracey took his mammoth gear all over the Dark Continent in a caravan, parking his generators behind anthills and huts, recording almost exclusively out of doors.

Tracey founded the International Library of African Music, which collects all types of African instruments and released a stunning set of 210 LPs drawn from his recording trips. These were in turn distilled into the more digestible Music of Africa Series, which introduced the greater public to African music for the first time. Now the Sharpwood label has hand picked some of the finest examples for their impeccably remastered CD series highlighting the amazing work of Hugh Tracey.

The Nguni Sound collects gems from a recording trip to southern Africa in the late-'50s. The opening cut, "Something Bad is Going to Happen" ("Inkulu Into Ezakwenzeka") couldn't be more-true. This is some of the most captivating and bad ass musical bow playing ever. If you've never heard this deeply personal instrument before, don't wait another moment. The musical bow vibrates in several modes at once creating devastating overtones. This can be done either in the player's mouth or in a hollow, vessel like a gourd. This disc provides some generous selections of bow playing including Princess Magogo, who published a hopelessly rare LP.

If that weren't enough, there are beautiful choral groups, loping jazz progenitors, ill flute, and the fantastic, searing guitar style signature to South Africa. A crucial release for traveling souls. [JR]







The Legendary George Sibanda

"Guabi Guabi"
"Dlala Laiza"

George Sibanda, a guitarist from Zimbabwe, was discovered by Hugh Tracey (see the Nguni Sound review above) in the late-'40s and would become one of the first radio stars in Africa. After a fine run of 78rpm "singles," George succumbed to alcohol poisoning leaving not even as much as a photograph behind.

An unsung touchstone of the folk revival, George Sibanda's tunes were popularized by players like Rambling Jack Elliot and Jim Kweskin. "Guabi Guabi," perhaps his most famous and infectious song, took on a host of forms. Those unable to understand the lyrics debated over their meaning. This ignited a skewered mythology, which often happens to the greatest of folk songs.

One interpretation tells of a man named Guabi, who was arrested for making sandals out of discarded tires. While incarcerated he slipped on a banana and fell to his death. Another goes something like this: a man who was so poor he had only one name, fell from a rope bridge while trying to bring bananas to a lady. According to a direct translation of his native tongue, Sibanda's song is really just about a guy who is showing off his girl, all the while promising to buy her some sweet buns.

These blissfully indifferent rags jump all over the frets, rollicking in some sort of elevated country jive. His joyful ambivalence is near Joseph Spence, though Sibanda is certainly more polished. The world could crumble around them and they'd still be strumming. With crisp finger picking sparkle and digit-defying thumb maneuvers, Sibanda lays down some sunny modalities, fuller in sound than one man should be capable of. A guitar record for sun worshippers. [JR]







Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever
(Emperor Norton)

"Ready 2 Wear"
"Hunting Season"

Felix was one of the few electroclash artists who displayed the association proudly on his sleeve, so it shouldn't come as a complete shock that this record is a celebration of all things shiny, ironic, cold and pretty. What is surprising is how bright and optimistic it sounds, which is something I never really associated with his production. As catchy as Kittenz was, it still had a bit of a dark, angry edge to it, and there's nothing angry about this one. That doesn't mean that this record is bad; it has a lot of great moments. The collabo with DFA/LCD alchemist James Murphy is an inspired piece of new wave 2-step funk (think Tones On Tail meets Prince). "Ready 2 Wear" is a pretty damn perfect Italo-pop song, and "Let Your Mind Be Your Bed" is a nice reminder of how good Felix is at crafting a dancefloor filler. All in all it's pretty good. It's not a record you're gonna appreciate right away, but when you need to get yourself pumped up and ready to party, this'll be the album you reach for, and if you hear "Let Your Mind" at the party when that third drink you had just went to your head...fuhgeddaboutit! Yeah, it's worth pickin' up. [DH]






Bugged Out! Presents Suck My Deck

"Dead Eyes Opened" Severed Heads (Joakim Edit)
"Souls at Zero" Zombie Nation

React kicks off a series titled "Suck My Deck." This, as well as upcoming editions, will feature some of the newest names reshaping house music, all DJs who have also played at Bugged Out! events in the UK. The first installation features Ivan Smagghe (a/k/a Black Strobe), who is well known as a resident at the "Kill the DJ" parties in Paris. While his sets can get a lot harder than the music selection herein, Smagghe's mix is still slammin', delivering 73-plus minutes of electro-tech-house sprinkled with Italo-disco, acid and electro funk - his signature sound which has earned him tons of accolade in Europe's underground dance circles. The tracks are flawlessly mixed, with highlights like DJ T's Moroder-pulsed remix of Random Factor's "After the Tone", Jamie Bissmire's "Splitting Atoms", Zombie Nation's dark electro cut "Souls at Zero," as well as a Black Strobe remix of "Moskow Reise" by the Hacker, Millimetric and David Carretta. You'll also want to check out Joakim's killer edit of the Severed Heads' "Dead Eyes Opened," an album exclusive and another standout. [GH]






Burnin' the Ice
(Hit Thing)

"Truck Love"

From the same label that gave us the Liasons Dangereuses reissue comes another lost gem that has languished far too long in the archives, Burnin' The Ice by Die Haut featuring Nick Cave. Originally released in 1983, and only available briefly in Germany and England before going out-of-print, it quickly became a fetish item for every Cave/BP complete-ist. This is after all the dangerously explosive and wild-quaffed Birthday Party-era Nick, recorded in 1982 just prior to that band's implosion and the subsequent forming of the Bad Seeds. The lyrics he brought to the table were of course filled with the venom and fury he is known for. The entwined guitars of Remo Park and Martin Peter create an at-times difficult and frenetic chaos that compliments Nick's vocal intensity. Combine that with the rumbling bass of Christoph Dreher and the reverbed snare cracks of Thomas Wydler and suddenly a vicious beast unseen before or since is revealed.

Although he only sings on four of the seven tracks the energy that Nick throws into those cuts just bleed over into the rest of this fine platter. Offered now for the first time on CD as a limited edition package, it also includes a bonus DVD featuring live footage of Die Haut on their first tour with The Birthday Party in 1982. You have to see the black & white photos that they have stuck into this elaborate 24-page booklet. One photo in particular is of Nick on stage with Die Haut thrashing around in trademark form. An absolute must for Nick Cave collectors and is certain not to disappoint fans of any Birthday Party-related band. Burnin' The Ice also serves as a perfect launching off point into the 1980s Berlin scene. [AG]







Best of Frank Motley & King Herbert

"Wanda Unda Landa" Frank Motley
"Mr. Fortune" The Hitch-Hikers

From the same label that brought us the great Texas Funk compilation, Jazzman compiles a quality collection of Canadian funk. Showcasing two leaders of the late-'60s Toronto scene, we are introduced to bandleaders Frank Motley (vocals, dual trumpet), and King Herbert (tenor sax). Heavily influenced by James Brown, the Meters, Booker T, Eddie Bo, and early Kool & the Gang, but with an independent spirit all their own, both leaders made great use of Hammond B3 organ. Most of the songs were recorded in one or two takes, leaving a fresh, lo-fi, sweaty basement feel to the overall sound with lots of funky breaks, solid grooves, and inspired performances. These selections have seldom been heard and top many collectors' want lists -- hidden gems for the obsessive soul-jazz-funk enthusiasts. Includes covers of songs by the Meters, Sly & the Family Stone, and Bobbie Gentry. If you liked the Midwest Funk, Texas Funk, Funky 16 Corners, or Super Funk compilations, why not see what Canada has to offer. [DG]









Desperate Straights

"A Worm Is at Work"

Originally released in 1975, avant-rockers Slapp Happy teamed with Henry Cow to produce this legendary release. With a line-up that included Fred Frith, Dagmar Krause, Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore, Chris Cutler, John Greaves and Tim Hodgkinson, Desperate Straights is a strange mix of '70s prog, Dadaist theater, and playfully weird yet accessible songs. This re-mastered reissue features what many enthusiasts consider to be some of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow's finest recorded moments








Vehicles & Animals


A terrific debut from England's Athlete, Vehicles and Animals features a summery assortment of breezy, intelligent pop songs chock full of hooks, rich electronic textures and guitars.








Disco Club - Single

Timing Forget Timing"

A rare French disco gem originally released back in '78, Rephlex is reputed to have beat Metro Area's Morgan Geist to its reissue. Listening to the single's deep, dark disco sounds, it's easy to tell why the likes of Geist, Richard D. James and Luke Vibert (who contributes a remix to this re-issue under his Kerrier District moniker) are all huge fans.








Book of Horizons

"The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun)"

Led by Trey Spruance, the members of Mr. Bungle (sans Mike Patton) successfully deliver an incredibly ambitious album with an epic assortment of sounds and densely orchestrated compositions inspired from all over the world. Additional players include Eyvind Kang, (viola and violinist who also performs with Sun City Girls), Shazad Ismaily (Nels Cline, Barbez, Brian Eno, Air), William Winant (Xenakis, Steve Reich, Kronos Quartet) and Phil Franklin (Barbara Manning, Sunburned Hand of the Man).



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