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May 8, 2014

special announcement

THE BROOKLYN FLEA RECORD FAIR

SATURDAY, MAY 10 (11am-6pm)

Smorgasburg at East River State Park
90 Kent Ave. at N. 7th St. Brooklyn
Free Entry! | Facebook Event Invite

This Saturday May 10th, Other Music is excited to be participating in the spring edition of the biannual Brooklyn Flea Record Fair! Held next to the Smorgasburg food market inside the East River State Park, the fair hosts over 50 tables of pure vinyl goodness -- including record labels, stores and private collectors.

Redbull Music Academy will be on site as well for the day presenting DJ sets from Jesse Cohen (Tanlines - 1pm), Optimo (1:45pm), Caroline Polachek (Chairlift - 2:30pm), Autre Ne Veut (3:15pm), and Sandra Electronics (Regis & Silent Servant - 4pm). See you at the Flea!

in this week's update

FEATURED NEW RELEASES

Tune-Yards
Fatima Al Qadiri
Further Reductions
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde
French Fries
Lykke Li
Margo Guryan
The Horrors
David Toop
Lot.te
Fatima

ALSO AVAILABLE

Diane Cluck
Jacob Cooper
Pattern Is Movement
Pink Mountaintops
Savages 12"
Le1F 12"
Jungle 12"
Gardland
Dane Sturgeon
Ryley Walker
Papercuts
Shindig! (Spacerock Edition + #37 & #38)

BACK IN PRINT

Sigur Ros (Agaetis Byrjun)

announcements

MOGWAI TICKET GIVE-AWAY

FRIDAY, MAY 9

Terminal 5: 610 W. 56th St. New York, NY

Scottish post-rock pioneers Mogwai return to New York City tomorrow night (Friday, May 9), performing at Terminal 5 with Majeure opening the bill! Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets courtesy of Bowery Presents, and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing giveaway@othermusic.com.
 


WIN METRONOMY TICKETS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 14

Webster Hall: 125 E. 11th St. New York, NY

Supporting their excellent new album, Love Letters, London's Metronomy comes to New York City next Wednesday, May 14, performing at Webster Hall with openers Cloud Control. We've got a pair of tickets up for grabs and you can enter for your chance to win by emailing contest@othermusic.com.


WIN TICKETS TO TEEN'S RECORD RELEASE PARTY

THURSDAY, MAY 22

Baby's All Right: 146 Broadway, Brooklyn

TEEN's great new album, The Way and Color, finds the Brooklyn-based quartet nicely steering their ethereal droning pop into a slightly funkier, R&B-influenced direction. The band will be celebrating the release of the record with a live performance at Williamsburg's Baby's All Right on Thursday, May 22, and Other Music is giving away a pair of tickets to the party! Email tickets@othermusic.com for your chance to win.

this week's update

TUNE-YARDS
Nikki Nack
(4AD)

Nikki Nack, the third full-length from Merrill Garbus, a/k/a Tune-Yards, is a dazzling, inventive, wondrous record that will only cement her status as one of pop music's true visionaries. Like 2011's brilliant whokill, which came out of nowhere to top many year-end best-of lists, Nikki Nack seamlessly blends folk, soul, world rhythms and experimental pop; imagine an artist who conjures Bjork, Beyoncé, Joanna Newsom, Nina Simone, and M.I.A. and you'll get a sense of Garbus' awesome scope and talents. But there are some noticeable differences from Tune-Yards this go-around. Co-written with bassist Nate Brenner, the songs are more rhythmic and hook-friendly without losing their avant edge (neat trick, that). But Garbus is not trying to be more "accessible" -- she's always had impeccable beats and melodies -- she's just harnessed those talents as never before on Nikki Nack.

"Wait for a Minute" could pass for '80s R&B; "Find a New Way" opens with a plaintive harpsichord before giving way to rousing choruses; "Water Fountain" explodes with blistering polyrhythms; "Real Thing" features singing acrobatics that will leave you breathless; while the lo-fi "Rocking Chair," with simple percussion and vocal overdubs brings to mind raw recordings of early folksingers. As always, Garbus' voice is one of her greatest assets: warm, intimate, powerful. Certain to go down as one of the year's finest records, Nikki Nack is a must-own, further evidence that Tune-Yards is one of the indispensable acts in pop music today. [JBr]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$19.99 LP


FATIMA AL QADIRI
Asiatisch
(Hyperdub)

Brooklyn-based multimedia artist and producer Fatima Al Qadiri has been on a steady rise in and out of the art world since leaving her birthplace of Senegal. The standout release within her short discography is her Desert Strike EP for the Fade to Mind label. Inspired by her time living in Kuwait as a teen, that record was filled with wartime imagery as seen through the eyes of an avid player of the video game of the same name, as well as dealing with the duality of having lived through the events depicted. Her debut full-length on Hyperdub is another conceptual piece of sound art, this time based on an affinity for a mystic view of Asian culture, seen through the eyes of the West.

With a sound bank filled with synthetic gamelan, hollowed wood flute, steel pan, and other tropes, she creates a sonic landscape of rose gardens and opium fields, where samurais, ninjas, monks, assassins, geishas, Harajuku girls, kings and emperors walk through misty jade forests. Accented with the sounds of clashing swords, sharpening knifes, muted gunshots, pitch-shifted chants, gongs, and more, she brings to mind a vast world of references -- from Wu-Tang Clan and Jackie Chan to John Woo and Ang Lee. All of these elements and ideas are delivered in a frame based in the spacious and synthetic universe of grime. Processing a sinister presence throughout the album, she at times has similarities to Actress' RIP album, where orbits of microtones spin like glowing fireflies in the open night air with ghostly shadows creeping in the rolling mist. Despite the opening track, a cover of Sinead O'Connor's cover of the Prince-penned "Nothing Compares 2 U" that hints at the West's fascination with karaoke, this is a deep and mainly instrumental comment on appropriation and reimagining. An accomplished release that is heady, thought-provoking and engaging throughout. [DG]

$14.99 CD
$18.99 LP


FURTHER REDUCTIONS
Woodwork
(Cititrax)

Woodwork is the debut full-length from Brooklyn duo Further Reductions. While Shawn O'Sullivan is best known for his recent techno offerings on L.I.E.S., Avian, the Corner, and WT Records, his work in the synth-pop/synth-wave world actually predates those projects by a couple years. O'Sullivan and Katie Rose put out a 7" on Captured Tracks as Further Reductions in 2010, and O'Sullivan's trio Led Er Est also had quite a few well-received releases on Sacred Bones and Wierd Records around the same time period. The Cititrax release is a beautiful fusion of these two worlds, hinting at classic minimal wave and pop sonics with heavy doses of industrial and techno rhythms to take things into a unique contemporary sound space.

While Woodwork might be a bit short time wise, there's plenty of surprises and diversity contained within. Starting right from the opener, "High End Basics," a techno-like intro builds into a total curveball blast of synth brass, followed by almost spoken-word vocals buried under a heavy load of reverb. A2 picks things up a bit more into dance floor territories, only for the energy to be brought back to a slow thump with the next track, "Spectacle Dissolved." On the second half the duo continue to show off their wide range and knowledge, ending things with an homage of sorts to classic Chicago house. This is definitely one of those "something for everyone" records; synth nerds, pop ears, and techno heads alike should be able to get down to this together without debate. O'Sullivan and Rose have combined their knowledge of synth history and their innate knack for improvisation into a modern day classic, one that certainly won't be leaving my turntable any time soon. [CW]

$23.99 LP


BRIAN ENO & KARL HYDE
Someday World
(Warp)

Brian Eno's creative path has been a twisting and unruly one, yet wherever he has turned up over the decades he has managed to craft timeless and important music from the most unlikely of inspirations, and with a broad and incredible group of collaborators. This latest project is an electronic pop production with Underworld vocalist Karl Hyde, and here the duo offers a bubbling synth-driven sound that relies on looped and programmed percussion rhythms, yet manages to evoke shimmering organic Afro-pop, with slinky synth bass dancing between brassy horn stabs and Hyde's laconic vocals.

On the strutting lead single, "Daddy's Car," the jumping tropical rhythm is beautifully offset by swelling horns and Hyde's melancholy croon: "Faster than your daddy's car, North star, half moon, torchlight, fire." There are some great moments like this throughout the new LP, which hearkens back to Eno's earliest solo records, or his collaborations with Talking Heads and David Byrne, updated at least as far as '90s electronica in the rhythms. And while the engaging singles really stand out on an album that sometimes comes off as unfinished sketches more than fully realized productions, it's a solidly enjoyable new record from a couple of restlessly creative souls. [JM]

$13.99 CD ON SALE
$18.99 2CD ON SALE
$24.99 2LP


FRENCH FRIES
Kepler
(Clek Clek Boom)

Twenty-two-year-old, South American-born Parisian Valentino Canzani Mora, or French Fries if you will, delivers his debut full-length for the ClekClekBoom label with nice results. After making his way around the scene with a handful of singles since 2010, Kepler combines all his varied interests in one tight knit package. Inspired by the Kepler telescope and its inventor of the same name, French Fries creates an album that is as much about looking to space as it is about being firmly fixed to the earth.

In between tracks that run the gamut from Detroit techno, South American electro, to very Parisian ballroom bass, there are also some Brian Eno-inspired moments of ambiance. It's a combination that isn't new, and has become a style in itself, with artist like Untold, Kingdom, and many more embracing the abstract and textural as much as snappy rhythm and full low-end bass. Mora successfully combines the two elements, club bangers and head nodders, into an album that feels well-balanced and never lulled in one sound too long. Fans of L-Vis 1990, Martyn, Mike Q, or Jam City, let this be your next secret weapon in your DJ bag. The sound of Parisian club music never sounded so futurist and dirty. Tres Bon! [DG]

$21.99 CD
$27.99 2LP


LYKKE LI
I Never Learn
(Atlantic)

Over the last few years, Lykke Li has been slowly formulating an image for herself through her bleak and minimalist fashion sense, her somber cameos on Swedish TV, and her sporadic tours and publicity. She has always been the gloomy, hermitic it-girl of indie pop who withheld some serious resentment and sadness. However, her songs pretty consistently failed to evoke the same level of intensity as her persona. Breathing woes like "all my love is unrequited" and "everybody's dancing, everybody but me" just never matched the powerful misery on which Li has appeared to thrive. That is, until now.

Lykke Li's third album, I Never Learn, finally abandons the weakness that she has too frequently confused with sadness; ironically, it seems as though Li has learned from her past by toughening her sorrow with confidence. I Never Learn seethes with an authentic pain that results from having suffered real loss rather than having merely yearned for more. Perhaps we can account this to Li's recent breakup that she has described as "really killing me." But calling I Never Learn a breakup album would be mitigating its value completely. Whether the record is a direct result of the split doesn't matter when you start to feel how genuinely the tracks wail. Though there are only nine songs to work with, each hits so strongly after the next that there's no time to be bored. After the sharp agony of "Gunshot" comes the tear-jerking ballad "Love Me Like I'm Not Made of Stone," proof that nearly each track supersedes its predecessor.

In a sea of cheesy phrases that you have heard thousands of times in your life, Lykke Li can say "I'm alone tonight and I'm never gonna love again" and you will believe her. And even better, at the expense of incorporating such ardor into her album, she doesn't lose any of the songwriting ability that allowed her previous records to succeed; the melodies are as impressive as ever, stretching her range to new levels and proving her worth as a vocalist alone. No longer afraid to stick to one subject matter, Li fully devotes this album to a single theme of irretrievable love, perhaps a familiar notion, but one that is rarely approached this directly. Lykke Li has dug deep inside and finally come into her own on this very impressive work. [MM]

$11.99 CD


MARGO GURYAN
27 Demos
(Oglio)

It was almost exactly 10 years ago that I first discovered Margo Guryan's classic 1968 album, Take a Picture. Her soft and nuanced vocals sung over catchy orchestrated pop songs reminded me of the music I grew up listening to on the oldies radio station, bringing to mind Beach Boys, Mamas & the Papas, Lesley Gore, Del Shannon, and the Hollies. But in addition to the infectious melodies and lyrics, often about lost love and other pensive yet romantic moments, were these intricate musical arrangements which came off somewhat advanced for the songs they were created for...

Born and raised in New York near Far Rockaway, Guryan started writing music at an early age. Both of her parents were accomplished amateur pianists, so I suppose it was in her genes from the get-go. While still in high school she was signed by Atlantic initially as a singer, but then shifted her attention to songwriting due to her limited vocal range. Not long after, while attending the Lenox School of Jazz in 1959, Guryan had the chance to meet and work with greats like Bill Evans, Max Roach and Milt Jackson, and her focus turned to jazz compositions; it wouldn't be until the late '60s that she started writing pop music. Apparently inspired by Pet Sounds' "God Only Knows," Guryan realized that there was an opportunity for gorgeous arrangements outside of jazz and from there wrote "Think of Rain," and then "Sunday Morning," recorded by Spanky and Our Gang in 1967.

What we have here on 27 Demos is some of the recordings that preceded Guryan's 1968 masterpiece as well as a batch of songs that were never released at all (outside of the 25 Demos collection reissued in 2001). Although these songs were demos and thus relatively bare-boned, they remain exquisite in their own subtle way: reverb-laden organ grooves, very light percussion and bass, and Guryan's delicate yet intricate pianos flourishes throughout. Her vocals are whispery and mysterious and despite the qualms early on with her lack of range, I can't imagine anyone singing tracks like "Love Songs" and "Sunday Morning" more perfectly. Like a softer and more angelic sounding Claudine Longet (who also recorded some of Guryan's songs) or a wholesome '60s version of Lynsey de Paul, Guryan's voice has a wonderful breathy quality that does not call attention away from the instruments, but instead complements and carries them gently.

Although 27 songs might seem like a lot to pick up from a somewhat unheard of jazz composer turned pop singer, I cannot recommend this album enough. There are a few non-essential tracks later on, and a couple of novelties, like Guryan's attempt at a Christmas song and a disco tune (both of which are quite catchy), but overall this is just great stuff, and the collection gives you a glimpse into the different approaches she explored while working on Take a Picture. Recommended for fans of the aforementioned artists as well as Twinkle, Sandie Shaw, Evie Sands, Jackie DeShannon, Suzi Jane Hokom, and other lady luminaries of the '60s, and there is a bunch. Thankfully. [AC]

$15.99 CD


DAVID TOOP
Mondo Black Chamber
(Sub Rosa)

The album Black Chamber, from 2003, occupies the majority of the second disc of this double CD of recordings made by David Toop for the renowned Sub Rosa label. A brooding, sensual, noirish sound spectacle, it pushes the idea of ambient music towards exciting new territories. Touching upon a multitude of avant-garde escapades, such as field recording, improvisation, exotica, sound collage, and noise, to only name the most immediately apparent ones, the record offers the culmination of Toop's multifaceted musical interests, which famously have their origins in the 1970s London improv scene. The album starts, rather misleadingly, with chirping, unpleasant high-frequency tones, after which a vaguely Japanese sound design and weirdly shuffling rhythm make room for Lol Coxhill's dark saxophone arpeggios. This bold, accomplished sense of musical deception remains fully realized throughout the record's brilliant, sometimes irritating but always amusing, 50-plus minutes, which offer a truly captivating, kaleidoscopic sense of musical adventure. Those who dig the more recent avant-ambient output of people such as Tim Hecker, Kevin Drumm, or Brock Van Wey, or folks who are into electronic or electro-acoustic composition will find the album's impressive sense of pacing and the astonishing variety of moods and textures a refreshing surprise.

The first CD focuses mainly on the somewhat less convincing 37th Floor at Sunset album, the soundtrack to a multimedia installation by artists Els Opsomer and Herman Asselberghs from 2000. While the liner notes emphasize that this project's intention was to evoke a non-linear idea of music befitting its multimedia setting, the sonic element appears somewhat purposeless when detached from its original context. On the three remaining tracks, which were originally dispersed across different Sub Rosa compilations, Toop's unique aesthetic sensibilities are further explored and made apparent through electronic composition, sound art, and an ingenious sense of timing. Ultimately, however, the emphasis clearly remains on Black Chamber, a truly essential, wildly organic, yet fully controlled synthesis, which masterfully realizes the composer's characteristic conceptualization of ambient sound as an utmost immersive, rather than atmospheric affair. [NVT]

$18.99 2CD


THE HORRORS
Luminous
(XL Recordings)

When the Horrors appeared in 2006 -- shrouded in a thick goth cloud of hair, recycled Cramps riffs and over-the-top hype in all the UK music press -- I did what any self-respecting record-geek would: ignored them. Three years later, their song "Sea Within a Sea" appeared on a trusted blog I often visited in search of new and overlooked music, and as it started its steely, mechanic groove, I found myself very happily surprised. An eight-minute epic that conjured some tweaked meeting of early Can and Joy Division, it peaked into an ecstatic synthesizer sequence that sounded unlike anything I'd heard in recent memory. Of course, it was nothing like what I had been told the Horrors were. As I learned, I was catching them as they were beginning to hit their stride; away from the concept-driven garage band they formed, they seemed to be discovering something about themselves. And discovering music. It was as if they met a collective older sibling who started playing them all kinds of music, and instead of closing it out to focus on a narrow vision, they let it all in. Still, the album it came from, Primary Colours, felt like a nascent moment. I would wait until their next record to revisit them.

A year or so later, Skying appeared. And, from the moment you saw the album cover, you could tell something was noticeably different. Replacing their trademark black-and-white sleeves and gothic tones was Neil Krug's blissed-out, saturated photograph of the sun banking off the horizon of the sea. Krug, like Mark Borthwick, is known for opening up his camera to let the light leak in. It's a fitting metaphor for the group's evolution. Skying found the band high on music and in full bloom, a spiraling psychedelic pop concoction that combined the croon found in Simple Minds and Psychedelic Furs, the guitar textures of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, and the dubby dance rhythms of Andy Weatherall's Madchester.

If Luminous doesn't take the giant steps that they've made in the past, it might be due to the fact that this is the sound of a group settling into themselves. Using Skying's "Change the Rain" as a template, their emphasis is on euphoric pop, each chorus an attempt to elevate. If early single "I See You" borrows a riff from Echo & the Bunnymen (and with it, Ian McCulloch's low-end croon), it's the only time that particular influence appears. But it's not the only time that that group's heyday pops up; "First Day of Spring" could've soundtracked the late-'80s goth clubs that played "How Soon Is Now?" as a staple. John Hughes' shadow looms over the overall feel here. "In and Out of Sight" borrows Rio-era Nick Rhodes synthesizers -- can we finally acknowledge David Sylvian's Japan and Duran Duran as the forward-looking groups they were? -- with a little too much Thom Yorke (and Sade, actually). Elsewhere, "Change Your Mind" revels in the early 2000s, somehow suggesting Nirvana and Suede in the same three minutes.

Unlike the title suggests, however, there is some darkness on Luminous, but it's warded off by the light at the end of the tunnel. If the album is not necessarily the great leap forward some of us may have hoped for, it might be because the dynamic of the record is bogged down in a monotonous pacing; one song seems to slip into another without much of a shift. In this way, it seems their remix album, Higher (with reworkings from Daniel Avery, Seahawks and, yes, Andrew Weatherall), has influenced the narcotic low-end that defines Luminous. Add to that a desire to fill arenas -- there's far more in common with early-2000s UK Pop (Radiohead in particular) than Can or Tones on Tail -- and what you get is a musically adventurous group that seemed to be advised to tone down their adventures. Gone are the motorik rhythms and their fuck-all approach to influence and in its place is a mannered emphasis on teen anthem. These lapses aside, the Horrors are still a unique proposition in today's climate. It's pop with emotional landscapes, made especially for the wild-eyed boy from Freecloud. [AGe]

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$21.99 2LP
$34.99 DELUXE 2LP

LOT.TE
Pressure Chant EP
(The Bunker New York)

The fourth offering on NY-based breakout label the Bunker New York comes from Mehmet Irdel, a Turkish artist whose previous works have mostly focused on noise and power electronics. This 12" brings Irdel into the world of heady analog techno jams, fitting in perfectly with the aesthetic of the long-running Bunker parties. On the A-side, the titular "Pressure Chant" invokes memories of classic Surgeon and the heyday of '90s UK techno. This is definitely the most driving track released so far on the Bunker New York imprint, perfect for peak time dance floor action. A driving kick and insanely loopy melody are backed by swirling gushes of white noise and hi-hats, sure to do anyone's head in at 3 a.m. At two-and-half minutes in, we're finally treated to new elements with the arrival of some tribal bells and hand drums tucked into the background. Easily one of my favorite techno tracks released this year!

With the B-side, Irdel brings the tempo down and takes us into a slightly darker headspace. An ominous drone and gamelan-like bells open "Private Transgressions," giving way to the slow thump of a kick around the one-minute mark. Once the skittering hi-hats and dub stabs come in, the full picture is clear. This track floats somewhere in between the slow excursions of Andy Stott and the darker dub techno experiments of Deadbeat or Basic Channel, but the throbbing bass line keeps things happening on the dance floor. Pure, carefully crafted techno that you can still jam to in your living room. [CW]

$12.99 12"


FATIMA
Yellow Memories
(Eglo)

Swedish-born, London-based vocalist Fatima has been Eglo Records' featured female singer ever since the imprint's inception in 2008. Eglo label boss/DJ Alexander Nut and producer Floating Points have given lots of time and plenty of space for the young vocalist to explore her craft and create a sound that is a unique and natural setting for her warm, sweet voice. Following a few singles since 2010, some included here, Yellow Memories is a throwback to the neo soul and acid jazz era of the 1990s, yet it feels refreshing within the current fad of digitally created quiet storm.

With a handpicked group of talent including Theo Parrish, Scoop Deville, fLako, KNX, Computer Jay, Oh No, and Shafiq, they sculpt a set of modern soul that is organic, with a jazzy and hip-hop flavored blend of electronics and acoustic instruments including horns and strings (thanks to the Eglo Ensemble). Kind of a slow burner, Fatima seems to be more interested in crafting soft and heartfelt songs instead of radio-friendly anthems, in a similar vein to Erykah Badu or early Little Dragon. It works well as full-length with a laidback groove present throughout. All her songs and collaborations have been rich and welcomed through the years and it's great to have a whole album of her vibe -- you often get a sense that she's smiling with every line. Fans of Badu, Jill Scott, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Solange's Saint Heron compilation, or releases with Gilles Peterson's name attached, you'll want this: quality new school R&B without any of the usual bells and whistles, just natural talent and intent. [DG]

$18.99 CD
$32.99 LP

also available

DIANE CLUCK
Boneset
(Important)

Longtime Other Music customers may likely remember Diane Cluck's self-released Oh Vanille CD-R from 2004, which was lovingly housed in a construction paper sleeve with song titles written by hand in ballpoint pen. Like that disc's homemade packaging, this Pennsylvania-born folk-singer's music has always been beautiful yet raw, and Boneset, Cluck's seventh album and first in about eight years, continues in this sparseness. But where that self-released recording seemed to pull more from U.K. folk tradition than the halcyon days of New York's Greenwich Village (and her heartfelt, poetic reflections certainly stood out from the oft-ironic "anti-folk" scene of NYC from where she first came up from during the early 2000s), Cluck has continued to grow as a songwriter, well out-lasting the "freak-folk" that she was long associated with. Here, her lilted inflections frequently bring to mind that of Judee Sill's, but Cluck replaces the Laurel Canyon heroine's heartbreaking and oft-mystical ruminations with a sense of hopefulness glimmering through the sadness. Recommended.

$15.99 CD
$21.99 10"


JACOB COOPER
Silver Threads
(Nonesuch)

Nonesuch has a varied and eclectic catalog, from the budget classical releases of the mid '60s, to chart-topping ragtime to John Zorn to Wilco and a run of major motion picture soundtracks, with a lot of stops in between, but there has always been an undercurrent of the avant-garde running through these waters. From Morton Subotnick to Steve Reich, the label has long fostered new classical composition, and though they have not been very active with the younger set of late, Jacob Cooper is a talented and rising experimental electronic composer who fits in nicely with their legacy. Silver Threads is a shimmering ambient song cycle based around the powerful soprano of Melissa Hughes, who is equally adept at abstract vocal tones as she is tight song forms, and atop the gently pulsing arrangements, she delivers a fairly stunning performance. It's Cooper's most fully realized work, and a nice return to form for an iconic label.

$13.99 CD


PATTERN IS MOVEMENT
Pattern Is Movement
(Hometapes)

The Philly-based Pattern Is Movement shed a few band members, as well as their guitars, before making the wiggly R&B-influenced avant-pop of 2008's All Together, and in the years since they have only refined that sound. Dirty Projectors and St. Vincent are both good starting points for describing these tightly arranged tracks, combining laser-focused rhythms and dexterous keyboards with mannered yet emotional vocals, and twinkling production. Pushing boundaries, yet consistently lovely and engaging.

$11.99 CD ON SALE
$14.99 LP


PINK MOUNTAINTOPS
Get Back
(Jagjaguwar)

The ongoing solo project/side project of Black Mountain's Stephen McBean (featuring a revolving cast of collaborators), Pink Mountaintops' latest is as varied and oddball as anything he has done. Encompassing everything from motorik rock minimalism to fuzzed-out garage rock abandon to ridiculous porn-rap from Annie Hardy of Giant Drag (we are a family publication, so we'll refrain from quoting her here, but let's be clear this is NOT sexy stuff), Get Back was certainly a lot of fun to make, and while it's far from the most satisfying thing McBean has done over the years, fans of his eclectic rock and roll will want to give this a listen.

$12.99 CD ON SALE
$15.99 LP


SAVAGES
Fuckers
(Matador)

New 12" from these London post-punk femmes featuring a powerful 10-minute live performance of non-album track "Fuckers," which has been a staple at Savages' concerts this past year. The B-side, a cover of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" (recorded at the London Forum last November, the same show as the A-side), is not to be missed either!  Limited to 3500 copies with a debossed sleeve. 

$12.99 12"


LE1F
Hey EP
(Terrible)

Released digitally back in March, Le1F's debut EP for Terrible/XL Recordings is now available on vinyl. This openly gay, New York-based hip-hop artist (and a former producer for Das Rascist) has been causing serious waves going back to his killer mixtapes, and fans can now get a newly mixed and mastered "Wut," his tongue-twisting, honking sax breakthrough from 2012, and last year's Shy Guy-produced "Damn Son," plus four new great tracks with production from Matrixxman, Boody and Dubbel Dutch. One of hip-hop's most exciting up-and-comers, grab this now!

$12.99 12"


JUNGLE
Busy Earnin'
(XL Recordings)

London-based neo-funk collective JUNGLE drop their inaugural XL Recordings single, "Busy Earnin'," and it's a deep, neon-hued synth-boogie groover rich with falsetto vocal harmonies, popping bass work, and a slinky, clap-heavy beat that comes off like a killer collaboration between Dam-Funk and TV on the Radio, if you can believe such a thing! Their sound is a lush blend of vintage British Hustle and contempo synth-groove, and if their forthcoming album is as good as this teaser, we're in for one hell of a party.

$12.99


GARDLAND
Improvisations
(RVNG Intl)

Australian techno mechanics Gardland return with a new EP on RVNG that serves as an origin story of sorts: the three extended pieces on Improvisations were first recorded and broadcast on Aussie radio back in 2012, and were RVNG founder Matt Werth's initial introduction to the group. Cut live in the studio with proper hardware, these tracks feature a kinetic throb and spark that's loose-limbed and raw, displaying an able balance of experimental exploration and sure-footed dancefloor weight.

13.99 12"


DANE STURGEON
Wild 'n' Tender
(Yoga)

Dane Sturgeon's 1967 Wild 'n' Tender album was never intended for commercial release; rather, it was cut as a songwriting demonstration album that over the years has attained cult status as a private-press holy grail. This reissue by Yoga Records makes it easy to understand why, as its blend of breezy rockabilly folk, swinging go-go grooves, and offbeat psychedelic undertones add up to one of the most curious casualties of the free love era. If you like your pop slightly skewed to the left, you'd be wise to check this out... you're unlikely to hear anything else quite like it!

$12.99 CD


RYLEY WALKER
All Kinds of You
(Tompkins Square)

The debut album by Chicago-based guitarist and songwriter Ryley Walker is a lovely, melancholic collection of orchestrated folk balladry that recalls some of the finest moments of Tim Buckley, Davy Graham, and Nick Drake; in fact, it's so on-point that you could probably convince a listener fresh to its majesty that it's an LP by some long-lost UK troubadour. Walker's guitar work is intricate and nuanced, his vocals assured and passionate, and the bass, drums and string accompaniments add appropriate motion and color without over-saturating the proceedings. It's a stunning debut by a true talent we'd be wise to keep an eye on.

$13.99 CD
$16.99 LP


PAPERCUTS
Life Among the Savages
(Easy Sound)

Jason Quever's latest Papercuts album is a beautifully produced, hazy and lazy retro-pop LP arriving just in time for a mellow spring afternoon. There has always been a vintage soft-rock vibe to Quever's music, but as he's refined both his arrangements and recording chops over the years, he's homed in on that warm, relaxed sound that drove many of the best vintage pop productions, and when everything comes together, these songs sound like old friends.

$13.99 CD
$19.99 LP+MP3


SHINDIG!
Interstellar Overdrive: The Shindig! Guide to Spacerock
(Shindig! Magazine)

The name says it all! This special edition of Shindig! takes an extensive look at spacerock, going back to its early roots in '50s soundtracks, a la Louis and Bebe Barron's Forbidden Planet score, and then into the likes of Hawkind, Pink Floyd, Gong, Ash Ra Tempel, and Silver Apples, and moving through Chrome, Ozric Tentacles, Spacemen 3, and Loop, and finally touching down with modern day explorers like Astra, the Heads, and White Hills. Also covered, the sci-fi literature, cinema and space-race culture that helped inform these mind-blowing artists and sounds.

Also available, Shindig! #37, which features the Raspberries as the cover story, plus: the Dream; Nigel Mazlyn Jones; psych-pop newcomers Temples, and more. Shindig! #38 is here as well, marking the return of Linda Perhacs, along with features on: influential guitarist John McLaughlin; Nigel Waymouth, who discusses his legendary, psychedelic Granny Takes a Trip boutique and Hapshash and the Coloured Cat (Waymouth's graphic design/avante-garde music partnership with Michael English); plus Leafhound, Mary Love and more.

$12.00 SHINDIG! GUIDE TO SPACEROCK

back in print

SIGUR ROS
Agaetis Byrjun
(XL Recordings)

We can't believe it's been 14 years since Sigur Ros debuted with Agaetis Byrjun, now one of the best selling records of all time at Other Music. Back in print on CD via XL Recordings (look out for the vinyl in a few weeks), here's what we said about it back in 2000:

A calculated work of beauty. Combining swirling guitar washes, melancholy falsetto vocals and gorgeous sonic orchestration, this Icelandic outfit's new album exceeds all the expectation. The band's sound evokes the ethereal air of Cocteau Twins, the slow and winding song structures of Low, and an at-times Eno-esque ambiance. Their cinematic instrumental interludes blend seamlessly with haunting vocal swoops, converging emotion with an instrumental lyricism that speaks nearly as loud as the vocal sections. A near-perfect journey into Sigur Ros' cascading cinematic pop sound, and their best album--so far! [PW]

$13.99 CD

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