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   March 21, 2013  
Death in June
Purling Hiss
Night Slugs: Allstars Vol. 2 (Various)
Terrence Dixon
William Tyler
Dead Moon (2 LPs)
Kingsbury Manx
Chrissy Zebby Tembo
Martin Rev
Fall of Saigon
Metacomet & Andrea Schiavelli
Stars of the Lid
Kiki Paul

Black Pus
Jerusalem in My Heart
Atoms for Peace
Fol Chen
Hollis Brown

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$22.99 Deluxe CD
$31.99 LP


Synth-pop legends Depeche Mode are back with a new full-length, Delta Machine, which is out on shelves on Tuesday, March 26. Other Music has a limited edition, numbered, double-LP test pressing of the album to give away to one lucky customer! To enter, just purchase any format of Delta Machine from us between now and March 28th and you'll be automatically entered into the contest. Please note: the winner must be local to NYC and available to pick up the test pressing from us in the store.

MAR Sun 24 Mon 25 Tues 26 Wed 27 Thurs 28 Fri 29 Sat 30

Helado Negro's new album, Invisible Life, is a wonderful drift into atmospheric post-disco that brings to mind a little Arthur Russell, an indie Eno/Byrne, and even a sun-drenched John Maus. He'll be performing live at Glasslands this Sunday, March 24, with a DJ set from Devendra Banhart (who also appears on the record), Joymega, and DJ Leblaze. To enter for a chance at two spots on the guest list, email tickets@othermusic.com.

GLASSLANDS: 289 Kent Ave. Williamsburg, BKLN

MAR Sun 24 Mon 25 Tues 26 Wed 27 Thurs 28 Fri 29 Sat 30

Other Music is excited to give away one pair of tickets to the upcoming Film-Makers' Cooperative Benefit Concert and Art Auction. It's going to be a very special night for a great cause, with performances by Laurie Anderson, Ken Jacob's Nervous Magic Lantern Performance to music by J.G. Thirlwell, John Zorn and the Aleph Trio performing with Wallace Berman's "Aleph", Nomi Ruiz, Transgendered Jesus, and Zero Times Everything. Musicians will be paired with rare screenings of experimental films from FMC's collection, and there'll also be a silent art auction featuring works from Jonas Mekas, Carolee Schneemann, Peggy Ahwesh, Ken Jacobs, Tom Otterness and many others. To enter for your chance to win two tickets, email giveaway@othermusic.com.

$40 Tickets available online or at the door





$16.99 LP


(Dead Oceans)

"Song for Zula"
"Quotidian Beasts"

Matthew Houck is a lout. A poet and a lout, burned out, beat down, bowed but not broken, wronged, but more often just plain wrong, Houck has built a musical persona around his own contradictions and shortcomings: full of confidence, drowning in doubt, the Alabama boy in Brooklyn, the country purist playing indie rock, the lying philanderer looking for love and redemption. Houck is flawed... like all of us, right? He is flawed and fragile, and on Muchacho, his fairly stunning new album on Dead Oceans, Houck stares down his own demons, and while you might not be able to sing your way to redemption, Houck has made a truly emotional album trying. "I been fucked up, I been a fool. Like the shepherd to the lamb, like the wave onto the sand, fix myself up and come and be with you" (from "Muchacho's Tune"). You don't quite believe him, but you want to, nearly as much as he wants to himself.

Phosphorescent is a fluid thing, and Muchacho spins together the many strands of the band's sound, from the quiet solitude of the early records to the swagger of Here's to Taking It Easy to the classic swing of Houck's breakthrough Willie Nelson tribute, gilded with a refreshing irreverence to the touchstones of "country," adding programmed rhythms and synths as easily as it does quietly brushed drums or honky-tonk piano, a gospel chorus, an aching fiddle, a mariachi trumpet echoing in the distance. The recording is stoned and gritty, echoing with reverb, full of warm room tone and natural ambiance but utterly unvarnished, spare yet lushly beautiful. And at the center, of course, is Houck's beat-up voice, cracked, faltering, raw and rough; it's the sound of a man singing for his life. Like many icons of the genre -- say, Hank Williams (or even Lucinda Williams) -- Matthew Houck has made powerful and deeply affecting art out of his own pain, his shame, and his heartbreak. Full of hurt, full of hope, Muchacho is one of the more affecting albums I've heard in a long while; it's easily the best record Phosphorescent has ever made, and while the man behind the music may be sinking in eternal struggle, the music behind the man is soaring high. [JM]






The Snow Bunker Tapes

"Peaceful Snow"
"Our Ghosts Gather"

A wonderful new album from Death in June which gives us the original, fully formed studio demos that Douglas P. offered to pianist Miro Snejdr to base the piano-driven Peaceful Snow LP recordings upon. The first thing I should mention is that while these songs are ostensibly demos for Peaceful Snow, they are both distinctly different from that LP, and also fully realized and beautifully produced. In my opinion, they are also better. It's worth mentioning that online descriptions of The Snow Bunker Tapes have been quite misleading, and obviously written by those who've fallen into the now-common (always annoying) trap of citing the press release without hearing the record! The fallacious quote in particular that I keep seeing describes this as a purely acoustic demo consisting of voice and guitar without any added vocals, overdubs or percussion. This is completely false. The recordings are indeed accented with vocal overdubs, doubled vocals, and even sampled backing vocals deep in the mix. There is also wind chime and tapped percussion. And this, in fact, is what is so alluring about The Snow Bunker Tapes: its subdued intensity marries the intimacy of home recording with the ritualistic intensity of the live Death in June experience. (This classic ritualistic/militaristic intensity is nearly non-existent on the romantic, dinner-piano versions found on Peaceful Snow.)

The Snow Bunker Tapes actually comes across as the most idealized version of Death in June's live sound; it has that bare, dry acoustic guitar, complete with the ethereal rack of wind chimes and minimal percussion (no kettle drum, but here the militaristic tone is conjured by a metronome-like stick tapping). But instead of the bare vocals of a typical live set, Douglas P.'s paternal baritone is given the slightest echo and is either doubled or has contrapuntal overdubs brought in. This dichotomy exists on none of his previous albums -- live or studio -- making this record a rare delight indeed. Aside from the sound, these tracks also have a completely different feel from the previously released Peaceful Snow. The piano versions on that album shared a smooth, romantic consistency that succeeded by taking kitsch to a level of subversion -- a subversion of his own style, as well as fans' expectations. The studio-recorded Snow Bunker Tapes, however, possesses more complexity and brute strength (though still intimate); songs are much less of a flowing romantic mood and more of a push-pull, soft/strong dynamic. The vocals -- at times doubled or with a call-and-response overdub, along with some of the subtle, eerie backing tracks -- give it an entirely fresh though classic post-industrial vibe. I now have a new favorite DIJ LP to add to the already swelling list. Bravo, Dougie P.! Braaaavooo!!! [SM]




$13.99 CD
$18.99 LP


Water on Mars
(Drag City)

"Mercury Retrograde"
"Rat Race"

First, a lesson in recent rock history: there was (and maybe still is) a band in Philadelphia called Birds of Maya, an acid-fried blues/psych power trio of no small provenance. They had a record of demos on Holy Mountain, followed by a soundtrack album called Ready to Howl, three sides of low-down fury, and have been heard from only sporadically since. That's because two of its members quickly darted out with solo careers. Drummer Jason Killinger founded Spacin', whose FM-radio hard rock choogle and deep ventures into headtrip psychedelic speed freakery led their 2012 debut Deep Thuds into the hearts and minds of all those who were bored of what rock music has become as of late. Guitarist Mike Polizze has been out on his own for some time now as Purling Hiss, having released three full-lengths, one EP, and a split Record Store Day EP on labels like Permanent, Mexican Summer, Woodsist and Richie. These records vary from full-on Les Rallizes Denudes headmelt to woodsy, melodic guitar pop akin to Dinosaur, Jr. or citymate Kurt Vile, and all the points that make sense in between, but they all have one thing in common: a sonic template completely obliterated by a lack of fidelity. Their live shows as a trio have been exciting and well-received -- the band even opened for Wilco on a substantial portion of their 2012 tour -- but every one of these records sounded like a 2 lb. block of American cheese receiving a Viking funeral in a cast iron skillet. You don't listen to them so much as scrape them off your ears once they're done playing.

Water on Mars, Purling Hiss's fourth full-length and first for Drag City, is the first of Polizze's works to get the full studio treatment. What was once crusted under layers of sonic filth is now out in the open, clear and formidable, and proves a worthy successor to where grunge dropped off in the '90s. Opener "Lolita" is the heaviest and most direct track here, Polizze adopting a full-on Cobain holler over some steel-bending riffs and a thudding, solid rhythm section. The rest of the record takes cues from other, more specific sounds of Gen X, namely J Mascis' wake-and-bake drawl and fluid, ripping style of play, the accomplished slide of latter-day Meat Puppets, and most specifically the overcharged output of St Johnny. What's really fantastic here is Purling Hiss's ability to dial back from the aggro-crag of volume and intensity, and write these poppy, downbeat bar rockers that stick in your mind, and stick out from the pack. With the Milk Music album coming next month, 2013 is turning into a watershed moment for post-grunge hippie hairshake revivalism, and Purling Hiss is leading the charge for digging out your flannel. [DM]






Night Slugs: Allstars Vol. 2
(Night Slugs)

"Lost in Love" L-Vis 1990
"Stalker Ha" Kingdom

Over the last three years, one of my absolute favorite labels within the vast international dance scene has been the London-based Night Slugs imprint run by producers Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990. An instant attraction for me has been the seemingly effortless fusion of styles that exists under the label umbrella: neon rave, R&B reworks, ghetto bass, nouveau ballroom vogue, arcade funk, 2-step, jack tracks, and garage/house (more New Jersey than UK-inspired). Following on the silhouetted heels of last year's sleeper hit, Jam City's Classical Curves album, now comes the second label collection of dance-floor hits, vinyl-only jams, remixes, and exclusives. Night Slugs: Allstars Vol. 2 shows how the crew's production values and programming skills have matured and tightened, sitting firmer within their own brand of genre-twisting aesthetics. With a nice selection of digital and analogue gear they mix the vibe and sound of the old with the new seamlessly. They offer tougher tracks that still possess the playfulness AND dramatics that followers have come to expect, and generally blow newcomers minds. To quote my co-worker Scott Mou, their sound is "so poppy, yet so fucked up." Lots of references could be made from track to track, yet overall they are picking up where once vibrant labels like Mad Decent, Ed Banger, or even Strictly Rhythm left off. The Night Slugs crew of DJs and producers has grabbed the bass baton and has been strutting in fine style since day one, and this new comp is a fine example of their singular sound. With an international roster of artists, the global dance party is in full effect, with touchdowns in Toronto, London, L.A., Kansas, and Georgia. I can't say enough good stuff about Night Slugs, some of the freshest talents bubbling among the new school of labels and producers, and definitely in a class by themselves. [DG]




$19.99 LP


From the Far Future Pt. 2

Finally back in stock after blowing out our first batch of vinyl, more firm evidence of the Nth wave cultural renaissance in Detroit, where new producers push things ever forward and veterans also somehow continue to redefine themselves without compromise. Strong but not hard, this album nails it with truly modern, truly fresh sounding, deep, dark and warm techno. The LP title alone, as well as track titles like "Dark City of Hope" says it all; this is Detroit right the F NOW! In true form, From the Far Future is what all Detroit techno is essentially about: the now, and the movement towards an idealized future, a better time yet to come. Dixon does this with so much style, grace, depth and relentless beauty; huge and dramatic, this record is effortlessly modern and exquisitely crafted without any trace of pandering or brainless, shallow, floor-filling vibes -- nothing extraneous, nothing missing. It's so refreshing to have a listening experience where the sheer force and singular motion of a track blows any sense of familiarity clean from your mind. It actually just is what it is: infinitely enjoyable in our current sea of music made up of reference points, quotations and mere pastiche. This blows away the majority of new jacks (including the good ones) who are mining this same territory -- deep/dark, moody/stark techno. Forget everything you think you know about Terrence Dixon, he's onto some other shit here with this album. [SM]




$13.99 CD
$21.99 LPx2+MP3


Impossible Truth

"Cadillac Desert"
"Hotel Catatonia"

William Tyler has played guitar for artists as diverse as Lambchop, Charlie Louvin, the Silver Jews, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Candi Staton and Rhys Chatham, and his utterly embracing style is both forward-thinking, with origins in the post-Takoma school (Tyler has been a part of Tompkins Square's stellar Imaginational Anthem series, and released his great 2010 LP Behold the Spirit with the label), and steeped in tradition. Playing both six and 12-string electric as well as acoustic guitars, Tyler is a fluid and natural fingerpicker, and where his debut often pushed boundaries with surprising harmonics and lovely ambient soundscapes, this new one has more of a hazy vintage feel. Impossible Truth is sort of an instrumental homage to the '70s folk sound of Laurel Canyon and Tyler's hometown of Nashville, with his gorgeous melodic playing at the center of these lovely pieces that occasionally add in pedal steel, bass guitar, Vox organ, vibraphone, drums, and some dreamy treated trombone from Roy Agee. So no, it's not really "solo" guitar after all, but Tyler's fretwork is so central and so effortlessly beautiful, it's impossible to think of this as anything but a great guitar record by one of the best players of our time. [JM]

Customers who purchase either format of the new William Tyler album from Other Music between now and Wednesday, March 27 will be entered into a drawing for a very limited LP test pressing of Impossible Truth. Winner must be local to the NYC area and available for in-store pick up.




Stranded in the Mystery Zone


Strange Pray Tell


Stranded in the Mystery Zone

Strange Pray Tell

Dead Moon formed in the mid-1980s Pacific Northwest D-I-Y scene, from the ashes of various intertwined psychedelic, hard rock, punk and power pop bands stretching back to the mid-'60s. However, Dead Moon were none of these things, but rather a singular trio of backwoods rock n' roll lifers who did everything themselves, on a budget, and didn't care. Fred and Toody Cole, along with drummer Andrew Loomis, recorded and cut all of their own records, on their Tombstone imprint, built their guitars in a shop they opened down the street from their house, and toured the world over relentlessly for years in the back of a van. Their extremely raw attitude and alcohol-fueled brand of punk-rockin' blues has now become a sound that's truly their own, and many try to emulate.

This reissue series on Mississippi (which started with their earliest incarnations: the Range Rats, and the Rat$, respectively) has given old and new fans alike the opportunity to hear their LPs in a linear fashion, while also showcasing the group's ability to write rock songs effortlessly. Stranded in the Mystery Zone, their fifth proper full-length as Dead Moon, came out in 1991, and kicks off with "A Fix on You," highlighting Fred's signature guitar twang and a catchy chorus. Later in the album, "Jane" is another personal favorite, with Toody's soulful vocal abilities at the forefront and really rounding the whole thing out. Basically, with any Dead Moon record you're gonna get the hits and only the hits. Not a bad song on here.

Strange Pray Tell is most definitely a fan favorite of the Dead Moon cannon. With the gang looking particularly punk on the collaged cover, we're gifted with yet another set of hard-drinkin' bike punk anthems. Recorded at home in 1992, the album is another fine example of Dead Moon's ability to play with lyrical themes of loss, lust, life problems, revenge, and the blues. "Fire in the Western World" may be one of the greatest tunes they ever made and blasts this record wide open with Fred Cole lamenting, "The red sky's moaning and the wind is blowing hard / Better take warning 'cause this time it's gone too far," over a driving rhythmic punch. Other highlights include "Room 213," which deals with inner voices and PTSD -- definitely a product of Fred's involvement in the psychedelic era (see the Lollipop Shoppe) -- and "Destination X," a live favorite about corruption in the prisons and hospitals, which later became an album title. Any way you look at it, Strange Pray Tell is a classic dark punk record for fans of everything from Poison Idea to Howlin' Wolf. [RN]



Kingsbury Manx
$14.99 LP+MP3




Bronze Age

"Future Hunter"
"Glass Eye"

Subtle for Flames
(Little Ramona)

"Calling Mary Punch"
"An Itch Is a Pain"

Almost 15 years in, Chapel Hill's Kingsbury Manx are still one of the Research Triangle's best kept secrets, releasing an album every so often that warms the ears of those that hear, while wrongfully going unnoticed by most of the public at large. That said, in today's ever-demanding age of rushed follow-ups and fickle listeners, there's something refreshing about a band who takes their time to do what they do -- and they do it quite well -- ignoring whatever the flavor of the week might be. Their latest follows 2009's excellent Ascenseur Ouvert! which followed 2005's equally excellent The Fast Rise and Fall of the South, so it's safe to say that at this pace, the Kingsbury Manx are going to remain one of those best-kept secrets -- but I think the group and their fans are okay with that. As one would hope, the touchstones remain the same here -- sweetly melancholic, folky psychedelia with lush harmonies and subtle baroque flourishes, and always a few surprises -- and Bronze Age will indeed find good company between your Clientele and (A Band of) Bees records. This one is, however, their most varied to date, as the group moves from jaunty, pastoral folk-pop with tracks like "Weird Beard & Black Wolf" and "Handsprings" filled with crisp strums of acoustic guitar and accouterments like Mellotron, strings, flutes and horns, to propulsive indie rock a la "Solely Bavaria" and "Future Hunter," where during the latter buzzing synths and organ swirl around the electric guitars and provide the helium lift to Bill Tayler's calm tenor croon. Save for the ambitious psych-rock chugger "Custer's Last" (sure to be a live show favorite but on record it doesn't seem as fully formed), Bronze Age's strength is how comfortable and familiar the songs feel while at the same time sounding like they could have only come from the world of the Kingsbury Manx. It's arguably their finest album yet, and it's never too late for newcomers to make them their best-kept secret too.

While we're on the subject of best-kept secrets, the second record from Kingsbury Manx bassist Clarque Blomquist and his wife Caroline (now joined by Charlie Hearon and a rotating cast of guests) flew under most everyone's radar late last year. Far from the lush, psych-kissed indie-folk of the Manx, Waumiss offer up delightfully odd yet altogether captivating experimental bedroom pop, much of it assembled and updated from old home-recorded song sketches dating as far back as the mid '90s. There's something exciting about not being able to put your finger quite on it, and that sums up Subtle for Flames. One minute, the band is layering congas atop a couple of synths and a funky drum machine to unknowingly conjure a sampler-free, lo-fi Avalanches meets ESG ("Calling Mary Punch"), and then the next they're diving into the murky garage-rock blow-out of "Traditional Squirrel," where Caroline and Clarque's sunshine pop vocals are immersed in a thick wash of reverb that clings to the molten-fuzzed guitar riffs. It's endless genre and sound shifting like this, and moments like the spooky minimalism of "Farcheinkontrolle" which cues up the heady, infectious sway of "An Itch Is a Pain" (think Beta Band covering Olivia Tremor Control, or visa versa), that mirror the anything-goes vibe of a great, late-night free form radio show. For further proof, check the sprawling psych-rock head-trip that is "Pass Not Through the Threshold Slowly (I Felt the Impact)" in which halfway through someone suddenly pulls the plug on the careening guitars to let a polyrhythmic barrage of congas, cowbell and drums take over before the whole song goes out in a cosmic swoosh of sound collage. Weird, playful, art-damaged yet totally unpretentious, Subtle for Flames is all this and more. In other words, some seriously good shit. [GH]




$28.99 LPx2



"Secret Blood"

After years of being out of print, Dump's first full-length album, 1993's Superpowerless, is getting a much-deserved second coming (and vinyl debut). As a Yo La Tengo fan in the early-'90s, discovering that the affable James McNew was recording jangly lo-fi pop songs on the side under the moniker of Dump was a very welcome surprise. Like other four-track aficionados of the era (think Lou Barlow), McNew was prolific and experimental. Sure, you'll hear plenty of Yo La Tengo here on the album's 27 tracks, especially in noisier jams like "How Many Bells?" and "Outer Spaceways, Inc." However, what is unexpected are the places where McNew breaks free from the walls of noise. In "Secret Blood" he is brooding and dark as he recounts a sleepless night spent lost in regret, because "I know you're thinking of the nightmares I gave you/I think about them too/I think of all the awful things that I did to you." McNew wonders where his motivation has gone in the anthemic "Intro/Nothing Left" culminating with the simple, perfect line: "I'm up early and everything's broken." "Just for You" is a tender love song with McNew gently repeating: "There won't be no sorrow/If only for tonight/Up in the moonlit sky/A thousand stars are shining/Just for you/You you you." In spite of its roughness, the appeal of the four-track recording was, and still is, the intimacy and immediacy it conveyed. Hearing McNew stripped down like this still feels really special. [KB]




12" EP

Sheworks 005

WTF? The pristinely stark pummeling evil of Surgeon and the swinging WHOMP of Blawan... who even knew these guys had a bro-mance going on? A bit menacing, sure, but these tracks push the limits without falling overboard (as expected from any project involving Surgeon). It's a very pleasant avalanche, heavily featuring the brain-melting vocalizations of Blawan in the "Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage" style... swingin', slammin', throbbin' and ILLLLLLLLLLLL. Released on the limited (and hard to find) Sheworks label curated by Blawan. Will disappear like homemade chocolate chip cookies in a Deadhead's dorm room; that is fast. [SM]




$15.99 CD

My Ancestors

"My Ancestors"
"Coffin Maker"

A store favorite since its first reissue back in 2008, this milestone of African psych-rock and gateway LP for many listener's psych-o-delic journeys into obscure international recordings still sounds fresh roughly 40 years since its original release. Here we find Zambian session stalwarts the Ngozi Family jamming heavily in a rough western style. Absolutely brutal fuzz guitars, screaming English vocals, and a funky rhythm section really make My Ancestors feel like a perfecto punch in the face. "Troublemaker," along with "Oh Yeh Yeh," are absolutely essential African jams from this time period, and the album is a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Rough around the edges but warm production make this a perfect companion disc to titles from Question Mark, Paul Ngozi, the Witch, Ljadu Sisters and Amanaz -- however, like all of those aforementioned LPs, this one's a singular burner. [RN]




$16.99 LP+MP3
$12.99 CD

Martin Rev
(Superior Viaduct / ROIR)

Martin Rev is best known as half of SUICIDE, the legendary NYC minimal synthesizer art-punk pioneers. However, in 1980 he split from the group to record his first solo LP, which is finally seeing a reissue. Martin Rev is a beautiful self-portrait of this crazed genius -- sharing similarities with much of the German scene of the time (especially Schnitzler and La Düsseldorf) but keeping things very catchy and rooted in pop-rock, structurally. The record opens with "Mari," a cute and melodic, blissed-out Casio-worship-opus of major proportions. Later in the album, things take a darker twist, and tracks like "Nineteen 86" and "Temptation" bend the poppy formula into something both more personal and obtuse, foreshadowing what would inevitably later become '90s electronica. Ahead of its time! [RN]






$17.99 LP


Untitled EP
(Dark Entries)

Dance to a Dangerous Beat
(Dark Entries)

Fall of Saigon's sole record -- an eponymous EP released in 1983, that's here reissued by the always dependable Dark Entries -- is a brilliant slice of minimalist art pop from one of France's unsung experimental composers, Pascal Comelade. Best known for his stark compositions using toy instruments (as well as collaborations with artists such as Robert Wyatt and PJ Harvey), Comelade had already released a handful of albums in France by the time he formed Fall of Saigon with singer Florence Berthon and guitarist Thierry Den in 1981. Taking their name from a This Heat track, the trio's approach had a decidedly more British art school flair, and would have fit perfectly next to early Rough Trade signings like the Raincoats or Essential Logic. The band's blend of minimal, metronomic electronics, subtle, angular guitar rhythms, and bits of acoustic instrumentation, however, is most reminiscent of Young Marble Giants, with Berthon's breathy vocals floating across many of the tracks here. Yet, whereas the Giants stripped down their sound to the barest of essentials, Fall of Saigon's brand of minimalist pop feels fuller and less fragile, thanks to Comelade's more colorful arrangements. This has been a big head-turner every time we've played this record in the store, and rightfully so; it's a gorgeous, albeit brief, collection of tracks that sounds both familiar and wonderfully obscure. Fans of the artier edges of post-punk and early electronics should pick this one up post-haste.

Up next from Dark Entries Records is a collection of minimal synth rarities from the Melbourne, Australia group Informatics. Having met at art school (where else?) in the early '80s, the band recorded songs onto four-track in a garage space full of analog gear and released only a couple singles during their brief existence. Recorded from 1981 to 1985, Dance to a Dangerous Beat collects Informatics' discography, which features driving, primitive early electronics that ride a fine line between straight-up synth punk and more new wave-influenced dance floor material. Bringing to mind a more D.I.Y. version of early-era Depeche Mode or the Human League, the tracks here have a nice progression, moving from brittle electronic post-punk toward a more refined, fuller sound with highlights being the slow-burning instrumental "Underlife," the sample-heavy, Severed Heads-inspired "Great XI," and the subtle Italo disco of "Factory Nightlife 03." Fans of Dark Entries releases from Those Attractive Magnets, Europa, or the recent Product L will find much to enjoy here. [CPa]






Split Cassette

"Sayonara" Metacomet
"Alex" Andrea Schiavelli

Metacomet hail from the quiet hills of San Francisco, and have steadily been churning out some of the most thoughtful, pastoral, butterfly-inducing, guitar-based new-age-dream-pop of recent years. Tech shredders Ian Staub and Max Gardner hold down the guitar duties, and powerful vocalist/keyboardist Christina Boyd takes center stage on these pleasantly meandering tracks. Equal parts harrowing and precisely musical, Metacomet are a band to fully embrace. Imagine a slightly more accessible Charalambides jamming with Mick Turner or even Julee Cruise and you get only kinda close. Very, very pretty music.

Local hero Andrea Schiavelli uses rough versions of tracks from his latest LP on the flip, here showcasing his poppier sensibilities. "Thing for You" kicks off with a Fleetwood-style drum backbone and dual vocals, while later tracks slip into Hazlewood territory, with Schiavelli crooning over minimal drum machines and electronic keys. A limited run of 100 copies and we got a handful! Don't sleep. [RN]




$19.99 LPx2

The Ballasted Orchestra

Unquestionably one of the best ambient LPs of the '90s, The Ballasted Orchestra has been criminally out of print for years. All processed guitar without any trace of plucking or strumming, these are gorgeously pure, twilight-toned sheets of sound that rise and arc into each other, slowly fall, and rise again. Every Stars of the Lid release is worthwhile, but this is definitely my all-time favorite LP from the band. Its completely vast, earthbound yet otherworldly quality makes it indeed one of the "plumb line" albums I hold other ambient and instrumental records up to when gauging their worth. The only comparable releases I can think of that match its completely natural, effortless, slowly climbing and emotionally enveloping qualities would be the achingly gorgeous music of William Basinski or the many stellar collaborations between Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann -- incredible company to be in, I'd say. In fact, I recall upon hearing the singular sounds of Basinski's first readily available release, Shortwave Music (recorded in the early-'80s but released in 1998), I immediately wondered, "What is this record that reminds me of The Ballasted Orchestra?" I think I've said enough. Every inch of these four sides is absolutely priceless, this album is pure gold to me, and it's finally back on wax. Highest recommendation. [SM]




$13.99 CD
$17.99 LP

Terra Firma

"Farewell Appalachia"
"Great Procrastinator"

This sophomore LP from this UK folk-rock quartet is in many ways a humble affair, self-produced in someone's mum's garage, with a straightforward and open-hearted sound that updates the M.O. of the band's wide-eyed debut with more mature subject matter that speaks to big adventures and undertakings, the tale of a young romantic making his way through life's lonely and thrilling byways. In the current music scene, where groups of this ilk top the charts and fill arenas worldwide, Stornoway has made an album that hits all the marks -- great acoustic instrumentation, powerful and uplifting harmonies, melancholy yet triumphant tone -- without dumbing it down to current radio tastes; it's a set of sometimes sprawling, heartfelt songs that find their own way. The band draws on a long tradition of British and American folk, while adding their own spin, and it's clearly music crafted with real love and emotion. [JM]





(Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)

"Tomte Mars"

Pines stretches out from the earlier works of Finnish group Kiki Pau, who've latched their wagon to the estimable production skills of Dungen meister Gustav Ejstes for this effort. The result is four tracks of extended, florid psych-pop, easily accessible and irresistible if your tastes run alongside the Grateful Dead or early Pink Floyd caravans. The length of each song gives the group the ability to turn each into a travelogue of their inner brainscapes, a world of picaresque beauty and plangent melodies. [DM]




$18.99 LP

All My Relations
(Thrill Jockey)

"Fly on the Wall"

The second full-length (not counting several CD-Rs) and Thrill Jockey debut from Black Pus, the solo project of Lightning Bolt's drumming phenom, Brian Chippendale. Recorded in a proper studio with producers Seth Manchester and Keith Souza (Battles, the Body, Skull Defekts), All My Relations finds Chippendale replacing the multi-tracks of free jazz sax from 2011's Primordial Pus for a drum-mounted oscillator run through a string of pedals which coax ferocious bass tones that grind and howl atop his pummeling rhythms. Manchester and Souza's production adds considerable depth to the recording compared to Black Pus' past excursions, which also allows Chippendale to flirt with so-called pop elements via garbled and chopped-up vocals and even a little more song structure -- albeit there's nothing on All My Relations that even closely resembles "pop." Chippendale's hyperactive sonic assault is all at once visceral and explosive, and while All My Relations is not for the faint of heart, there's great reward in store for those who dare listen. Includes an 11"x11" screen-printed comic written and drawn by Brian Chippedale, while supplies last.




$19.99 LP


Mo7it Al-Mo7it


Formed in 2005 by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, a Lebanese national based in Montreal but who still frequents Beirut where he's also active in that city's experimental scene, Jerusalem in My Heart is known for its immersive live performances which occur a few times a year and have numbered from one to 35 participants, depending on the production. On stage, JIMH's blend of Arabic music and electronics are accompanied by 16mm film projections and light installations, as well as various other theatric elements, ensuring that each show is unforgettable and different than the one before. For Jerusalem in My Heart's first album, Moumneh is joined by French musician/producer Jeremie Regnier and Chilean filmmaker Malena Szlam Salazar, and the trio have created this deeply expressive record that combines modern, experimental Arabic and electronic composition with melismatic singing utilizing classical Arabic modes. Gorgeous and powerfully moving, this truly defies words.




$12.99 12"

Judge, Jury and Executioner

"Judge, Jury and Executioner" is the new single off Amok, the recently released full-length from Thom Yorke's Atoms for Peace project, which also features longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco. Backed with the non-album B-side "S.A.D." on the flip, this limited, onetime vinyl pressing is already out of print, so they won't be here for long -- grab your copy while we still have it on our shelves.




$16.99 LP


The False Alarms
(Asthmatic Kitty)


During the better part of their four-year career, L.A.'s Fol Chen has remained mysteriously anonymous, but with the coming of their third full-length they've lifted the shroud of secrecy -- hey, they've got names and a new singer -- and as such produced a set that's more straightforward than the experimental twists of their last two albums. No, Fol Chen hasn't gone boring on us, quite the opposite, as vocalist Sinosa Loa's alluring melodies are the perfect blend of sweet and aloof, complementing Samuel Bing and Julian Wass' intricate, arty, glitchy electro-pop to a T.






Ride on the Train

"Ride on the Train"
"Faith & Love"

This New York City quartet's influences are as classic as the Dylan song that inspired their name, but don't go thinking these guys are trying to make The Times They Are A-Changin' Pt. 2. Fronted by Mike Montali, whose lead vocals are an effortless mix of soul and grit, Hollis Brown have way more in common with Credence Clearwater Revival and '70s-era Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: swampy,  Americana-tinged rock, perfectly captured here by the no-frills production of Adam Landry (Deer Tick). Fans from Alabama Shakes to Delta Spirit and, of course, Deer Tick will want to climb aboard.
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