Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Peter Jefferies
Electricity

Superior Viaduct SV-055

2xLP
£25.99


Necessary reissue of one of the all-time New Zealand underground classics, this one belongs on the shelf of every serious VT head: released in 1994, perhaps the apex of the original avant underground, this was Jefferies’ follow-up to his great 1990 Xpressway recording, Last Great Challenge In A Dull World. Jefferies was part of the legendary This Kind Of Punishment and his song-writing style combines massively experimental basement psych/prog jams ala Vertical Slit/Jim Shepard with the kind of beautiful, avant garde piano ballad songwriting of a John Cale circa Fear/Paris 1919 et al w/a real sense of drama and mystery that is rare in the world of singer/songwriters. The supporting cast is absolutely stellar too, with Bruce Russell of The Dead C contributing electric guitar alongside Shayne Carter of Straitjacket Fits and Robbie Muir of Plagal Grind and the combination of beautiful, heartbroken piano reveries, ultra-crude drone rock jams, blurry almost Madcap Laughs-style dislocation and experimental tape works makes this a record that is heady with the possibilities of a certain time/space/place. Impossibly beautiful, raw, bled straight to tape, an inspired cover of Barbara Manning’s brilliant “Scissors”... they don’t make em like this anymore. This beautifully presented deluxe reissue comes with a gatefold sleeve featuring great snaps of Peter as well as an entire side of bonus tracks taken from Jefferies and Robbie Muir’s Swerve EP, also originally released by Ajax in 1992, and it gets VT’s highest possible recommendation, naturally. 

Morton Subotnick
Silver Apples Of The Moon

Karlrecords KR014

LP
£16.99


Edition of 500 copies first time ever vinyl reissue of this seminal recording from the legendary Morton Subotnik: Subotnick famously founded the San Francisco Tape Center in 1961 alongside Pauline Oliveros and Ramon Sender, worked with Don Buchla on the early synth Buchla Series 100 and released the landmark electronic music recording Silver Apples Of The Moon in 1967. It has lost none of its otherworldly power. Commissioned by Nonesuch as the first ever electronic composition specifically conceived for the vinyl format, this remains one of the most beautifully alien soundings of interplanetary electronics and utopian synthesized futures. No serious collection of 20th century experimental electronics is complete without it. This is where The Silver Apples got their name. Pressed on 180g vinyl this dazzling tour-de-force gets our highest possible recommendation.

Morton Subotnick
The Wild Bull

Karlrecords KR018

LP
£16.99


Edition of 500 copies first time ever reissue of this massive 1968 recording from the legendary Morton Subotnik: Subotnik famously founded the San Francisco Tape Center in 1961 alongside Pauline Oliveros and Ramon Sender, worked with Don Buchla on the early synth Buchla Series 100 and released the landmark electronic music recording Silver Apples Of The Moon in 1967. A year later he presented The Wild Bull, loosely based on and inspired by an ancient Sumerian poem of the same name. A lament that circles around themes of loss and the horrors of war, this massive two part work pushed the synthesizer into new realms of future. Beautiful, languorous drones bleed deep into pitch black space w/all of the malevolence of a Nurse With Wound circa Spiral Insana or Conrad Schnitzler tone-dialling interplanetary life-forms before the track breaks down into fractured rhythms and dense black holes of eruptive electronics. The second movement makes for some of the most forlorn and emotionally complex of 20th century electronic avant garde compositions, combining padding electro percussion with ghost tones, eerie, dystopian laments and an atmosphere that matches New Backwards era Coil. Fantastic and highly recommended. 

Sick Llama
The Earth Is Flat

Fag Tapes FT-371

CD-R
£9.99


Edition of only 50 copies private press CD-R from Heath Moreland’s legendary Sick Llama project: Can’t tell you how excited we are to welcome the Fag Tapes founder back to the VT catalogue and what a comeback! The Earth Is Flat utilises guitars, clarinet, field recordings, tapes and electronics to generate an incomprehensible electro-acoustic construct that takes off where Whitehouse’s Buchenwald left off, with the classic instrumentally irrational pile-up of slowed down media, miniature sandstorms of free jazz, basement feedback, high tension domestic minimalism and impossible concrete. Still sounds like no one else, very highly recommended. 

Tashi Wada
Duets

Saltern SLT001

LP
£16.99


Beautiful set of psychedelic minimalism from the composer Tashi Wada, son of the legendary Yoshi Wada, on his own privately curated imprint in an edition of 425 copies: like his father Wada is obsessed by the brain scrambling properties of sustained tones and maximalist microtonal confusion and Duets is another massive entry in the modern minimalist canon. This one presents a thrilling series of string duets composed by Wada and realised by cellists Charles Curtis (a key La Monte Young interpreter) and Judith Hamann (who has worked with Oren Ambarchi, Jon Rose, Ilan Volkov and more). With tracks dated across 2006-2008, we move from intense, blurry deep-field investigations of the potential of single, slowly-fluctuating tones through the kind of power-sawing of Four Violins-era Tony Conrad, roaring universal soundings that combine the free space of East Bionic Symphonia with an ancient cultic vibe that could almost be an irradiated Third Ear Band and the massively time/space usurping kind of subliminal string theories that would creepy-crawl the here and now with all of the brain-dazzling mystery and power of a Folke Rabe. Elementally profound investigations into the disruptive vibratory potential of eternally singing strings, beautifully packaged and with liners from Curtis, this comes very highly recommended!

The Terminals
Singles And Sundries

Ba Da Bing Records BING104

LP
£16.99


Stunning collection of alla the various key singles from this central New Zealand underground group avant rock/folk/garage group and Xpressway recording artists with connections to seminal outfits like Victor Dimisich Band, Pin Group, Renderers et al: The Terminals featured both Brian Crook and Peter Stapleton and they mainlined classic post-Velvets motorik rock with song styles that drew on aspects of early-Pere Ubu, Syd-era Floyd and Joy Divison, all rendered with that patented basement-on-the-edge-of-the-world feel of alla the best NZ trash. The Terminals gave birth to so many amazing groups in their wake, Flies Inside The Sun, The Renderers, Rain, and they were one of the first garage rock groups to fully internalize free music modes while still working with songs and exploded rock structures. Locating their aesthetic somewhere downwind of the early Pere Ubu/Rocket From The Tombs and Homestead-era Dredd Foole & The Din, this necessary collection tracks the group’s evolution across the 1990s and includes mp3 download code. Very highly recommended!

Uke Of Spaces Corners
Albumen/Ovum

Turned Word Records TRDWD-15

CD
£11.99


Limited/privately pressed CD edition of what was a cassette on Goaty Tapes: this is another devastatingly beautiful shot of lonesome from this sainted psych/folk group: Albuman/Ovum features primitive pre-thinks of material that would eventually turn up on their masterful Alchemy And Trust, only here played by a basement full of stoned hillbilly Jandek’s and a chorus of revenant angels. Truly timeless American folk with an umbilical that runs from the past to the future with an effortless vibe that is truly uncanny. The absolute apex of blasted, super personal, weird, utterly moving: very highly recommended!

Uke Of Spaces Corners
Flowers In The Night

Turned Word Records TRDWD-14

LP
£13.99


Original copies of this privately pressed LP from the pre-Village Of Space incarnation of this amazing Maine-based free/folk unit: this is a blast, country-doomed cultic big band freak played by a buncha solitary heads riffing on the utopian drone orchestra appeal of nada privates like Celebration’s Old Green Village with an atmosphere that is, by turns, celebratory and heartbreakingly sad, marrying high solitary blues with a feel for extended communal freak. Beautifully packaged too. 

Various Artists
NoFi Rainbow Vol. 1

End Of The Alphabet Records EAR 001

CD-R
£10.99


Incredible new very limited proto-Tokyo Flashback scale compilation that attempts to take the temperature of the New Zealand underground circa now, complete with original artwork by Campbell Kneale: this one subverts and bolsters the NZ destructo rock/home-bled concrete tape work tradition, marrying tracks from heavyweights like Bruce Russell and Peter Wright, Campbell Kneale’s Our Love Will Destroy The World and Antony Milton alongside major new voices that range from obliterated almost Omit-scale homemade electronics, evacuate beats and splintered vocals through roaring drone and end of the world soundings courtesy of killer new breed voices like Mischancerie, ETRC aka Shannon Reed, i.ryoko, Oona Verse and Noel Meek. Highly recommended.  

Zeitkratzer & Keiji Haino
Live At Jahrhunderthalle Bochum

Karlrecords KR017

LP
£16.99


Beautiful 180g deluxe LP in an edition of 500 copies that sees the amazing Euro avant/noise orchestra Zeitkratzer united with Japanese underground legend Keiji Haino of Fushitsusha et al: this is an astounding side that really has to be heard to be believed with Haino using nothing but vocals and no electronics as he leads the group through new vectors of convulsive body-sounding beauty and barbarous interstellar ritual. This intense live recording touches on aspects of Haino’s heady medieval ritual/choral work with Nijiumu as well as his amazing Black Blues sides, as he nails one of the most consistently mind-boggling vocal performances of his career. Zeitkratzer move from almost Dumitrescu-scale string dunt and piano/percussion minimalism while Haino shreds his lungs, tearing gut-busting heartache and pure body gnosis from the depths of his spirit. It’s all here, endless, glassy, forlorn drone hymns, assaultive noise projections, gentle operatic hallucinations, haunted European chorales with disembodied ghost vocals... indeed, I would say that this may well be the orchestral-scale follow-up to Era Of Sad Wings that we have long been waiting for. Very highly recommended!

Aaron Dilloway
All Of Them Spies

Mistake By The Lake No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Thunderous new solo album from Aaron Dilloway in a run of only 100 copies: one side is drawn from a live show in Detroit in 2013 while the flip features a studio junk session. The live set is stunning, coming on like a Cro-magnon juggernaut of monolithic percussive rainbows before breaking down into heady smears of blunt bass tone and convulsive small instrument hypnotics. The feel dovetails with the early minimalist tape experiments of a Bo Anders Persson as much as Birthdeath/Total Sex-era Whitehouse but with a heady Industrial/percussive feel giving way to ectoplasmic blats of organic electronics that sing like tiny satellites while Dilloway triggers whipcrack percussion and black, eviscerating silences. The studio recordings are a little more dense and gridlocked, with matrices of impenetrable shortwave fuzz and static given deep, endless passes while ricochet percussion builds on the Birdseed feel. Fantastic, highly recommended.

Clive Fencott
Restringing A Rotary Clothes Line

Feral Tapes No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


Edition of 40 copies with letter press printed sleeves that presents a fascinating collection of sound poetry works from Clive Fencott, best known as Bob Cobbing’s partner in Oral Complex in the 1980s and for his signal 1980 split LP with Paul Dutton, Blues, Roots, Legends, Shouts And Hollers. A recent performer at the Colour Out Of Space festival in Brighton, Restringing A Rotary Clothes Line presents a choice selection of recordings from Fencott with a wide variety of approaches, running from re-created underwater dialogues and demolished minimalist syntax through full-on body soundings. A fantastic outing, recommended. 

Anemone Lodge
2

Bezoar Formations No Cat

Cassette
£5.99


We were always big fans of Chicago-area drone navigators Number None so it’s a pleasure to reconnect with one of the great gentlemanly presences on the contemporary underground, None’s Chris Miller, as a member of this great trio, Anemone Lodge. Here Miller is joined by Gwyneth Merner aka The Opera Glove Sinks Into The Sea/Byssus and Matt Erickson of Radiant Husk/Sudden Oak. The sonics here feel as if they are more closely related to Tokyo than anything that might orbit Chicago, with a feel for deep dark space and lonesome F/X vibrating in a gulf of silence that mimics what you gotta imagine were the sounds reverberating around Takehisa Kosugi’s brain circa 1969. Indeed, Taj  Mahal Travellers best exemplify the style of minimal droning psychedelic improvisation that this trio excel in, with simple sound events, a violin string, possibly, a slow-spinning globe of electronics, a pin-prick of light, rising like fleets of hungry ghosts in the distance, vibrating names made alien and lonely through the disfiguring use of delay. It’s totally gripping, a form of organic improvisation that is as sensual as it is absolutely dislocated from the physical. If your dream date involves a basement, the sacramental use of psychedelics, spontaneously improvised sonics and the endless application of head-spinning F/X then you might want to marry this little fucker. Just fantastic: “Having lost a member since the initial Anemone Lodge sessions of 2006, the now-trio’d version of Chris Miller (Golden Sores, Number None), Gwyneth Merner (Byssus) and Matt Erickson (Radiant Husk, Sudden Oak) decided to bunker down in Chicago once again, this time in the sweltering July heat of 2009. Using myriad instruments to minimal effect, the trio attempted to navigate the continuum between magnifying slight gestures and constraining more expansive swaths of clatter. Would it be agreeable to claim their intentions to be akin to those of the East Bionic Symphonia, though with only a third of the members and with much of the rough-hewn edges snipped away, only to be gathered and polished into mirror form? Perhaps. Or could one state that what was once a three-hour session of assembly-defined, free-sound troubleshooting has now been condensed, groomed and catalogued into a set of auditory star charts? Indeed. Or could it be that the borders between spontaneous composition, elastic cosmos-echo and the fluid passage of long-tone regeneration were blurred, if only for a temporary moment in a cool basement on a muggy Illinois night?” – BF. 

Anne Waldman
Oasis At Biskra

Taping Policies TP#7

Cassette
£9.99


Limited edition of 150 copies cassette featuring poet, original Angel Hair founder and Naropa/Jack Kerouac School Of Disembodied Poetics professor Anne Waldman reading and singing with Thurston Moore on guitar, Daniel Carter on saxophone, Ambrose Bye on synth and Devin Brahja Waldman on saxophone: Waldman’s poems and readings have a cantorial musicality and an alternately apocalyptic and body Gnostic approach, bringing great ascensions of epiglottal passion to play on shamanic word gambits and visions of Ginsberg-ian cycles of eros, cosmos and thanatos. Carter sounds alternately haunted and inspired, playing in a ghostly, lamenting style before the whole group come crashing in, with Thurston playing w/the kind of overamped freestyle that would give the cassette the feel of a live Universal Mutant Repertory Company freak. Comes with a free download. Fantastic. 

Derek Monypeny
Limerence

Underwater Experiences UET-03

Cassette
£5.99


Edition of 100 copies cassette album follow-up to electric oudist and guitarist Derek Monypeny’s outstanding vinyl debut, Don’t Bring Me Down, Bruce LP. A collection of studio jams and massively treated string duels, this set is a world away from the post-Sandy Bull fourth world stylings of his debut, with variously stringed instruments treated to the point of illogic explode and fast slashing collages of six bleeding strings that come over like knives ran across electricity pylons or fast modal drone/dirges with the kind of screaming noteage that would reconcile the late John Coltrane Orchestra with Hototogisu. Monypeny is best known as a member of Sir Richard Bishop’s travelling ensemble but here he makes a stake for a conception of the parameters of variously translated formal/cultural/biological folk modes as the keys to the goddamn kingdom that is every bit as persuasive as Sun City Girls at their most alien. A massively potent listen, highly recommended. 

Dva Zagorodnyh/Swim With A Carrot
Split

Goaty Tapes No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


Double header of new Russian avant/pop underground moves from a pair of groups that share similar sonic tendencies to the Flying Nun cabal or even some of the stuff coming out of Oz right now but given a weird Eastern cold wave edge, even as it swims through pools of distant garage reverb and vaguely utopic teen stylings: “Russia was a place as yet unexplored under Goaty’s auspices, and in light of X-Men: First Class, I worried that the Russian-American dynamic was the same as ever. Is it all still blue jeans and nuclear threats, misunderstood attempts at world domination? I didn’t think so, but I wasn’t too sure. Lucky for us, Dva Zagorodnyh Doma and Swim with a Carrot—two different, but related, Russian projects—render this paradigm null. Both bands craft lo-fi pop atmospherics that share some qualities with the recent outburst of American garage basementisms, but their palette is at the same time exceptional—hazy, warm, almost tepid. Dva Zagorodnyh Doma follows a more traditional format, caking simple delicate pop songs in dynamic effects. Swim with a Carrot is a little more abstract, but harnesses a similar mood. The result is a split cassette that varies in form, but maintains a certain friendliness.” – GT.

Hi-Asobi
3 Films

Pseudo Arcana PA-126

DVD-R
£6.99


Cool new DVD from Pseudo Arcana that features a selection of films put together by Anthony Milton using raw footage culled from You Tube by using the search terms “historical New Zealand Super 8 film”. The resultant visuals have a distant memory vague appeal with a ton of surreal historical detail, airshows, folk festivals, landscapes... all combining in strange abstract forms while Hi-Asobi – the trio of Milton, Peter Wright and David Khan - generate power drones and eerie blues-inflected abstractions that add to overall dream/reverie feel. No region, all players compatible. Comes with a free digital download of the sonics.

Leslie Keffer & Scott Martin/Hobbledeions
Split

No Label No Cat

Cassette
£4.99


Limited self-released cassette from Keffer documenting her new collaborative project with Scott Martin aka Hobbledeions. Synth, beats and distant female angel vox combine in some of Keffer’s most straightforwardly beautiful bedroom jams. Flip is Martin’s solo project, with crude breakbeats and rolling synth.

Lexie Mountain/Abuelo Hongo
s/t

Heresee HS-060

C60 Cassette
£5.99


Split cassette from Lexie Mountain with a ton of disobedient free associative vocal goof and the duo of Abuelo Hongo, the duo of Triana and Andrew who work violin, flute, guitar, vocals and various pieces of found junk into handmade folk-brut instants ala Finnish subterraneans like Islaja. Limited edition of 100 copies.

Magik Markers
Isolated From Exterior Time aka Bonfire

Arbitrary Signs No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Another major self-released album from Magik Markers on Arbitrary Signs, always the repository of their most inspired jams. This one is pretty unique, starting off with a kosmische synth/eternal drone vision over clanking electro bass and glistening single notes of electric guitar, pushing Elisa’s vocals into a zone that’s somewhere between Patti Smith and some kind of eerie little girl pop. Recorded live in a basement studio in Elisa’s father’s house, the album runs to sixty minutes and is fairly obsessive in its hypnotism, with endless nod-out jams led by martial rhythms that are somewhere between Jandek and Savage Republic. Later movements have a crude DIY feel, with Shaw and Nolan riding the kind of ginchy rhythms that come straight out of the Messthetics songbook  while Elisa freaks over the top. Some cool re-thinks of primo Markers material are the icing on the cake, and the snippets of conversation and giggles gives it a winning audio-verite appeal, all cut up like Sonic Death so that even the poppiest moments sound hallucinatory and burned in the basement. Hand-penned sleeves too. Highly recommended. 

Robert Ridley-Shackleton
The Super Goaty Mixtape

Goaty Tapes No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


Supremely weirdo collection of sociopathic/self-loathing crack up No Wave DIY-isms that combine bleak Industrial confusion with “Cock In My Pocket” style swagger: “The Super Goaty Mix Tape gathers a massive amount of archival recordings from the one and only Robert Ridley-Shackleton. Robby’s aggressive no-rock invectives are splattered all over the internet, but it was only a few months ago when I first ear-ate his waste–courtesy of a typed note addressed to “Sir/Madame.” This collection runs the bedroom studio gamut of drum machines, electric guitars, keyboard, and squeaky microphones, but all of the songs still fall pleasantly and uneasily between Baronic Wall’s synthesizer wastelands and GG Allin’s vein-popping rock and parole mania. Themes swing between high intensity machismo and timid self-loathing. And despite the feeling that these songs were written for Robby and Robby alone, there seems to be something for everybody.” – GT. 

Soviet Pop
Record Of Adventure In The Spider Hole

Goaty Tapes #50

Cassette
£6.99


More great weirdo international pop courtesy of the sterling efforts of Goaty Tapes: Soviet Pop hail from Beijing and use Korg MS-20, modular synthesizer, floor tom and microphone to produce a disconcerting, deadpan combination of dark DIY pop, minimal synth and experimental bedroom noise. Over wobbly deep bass backgrounds, cracks of electricity and dilated melodies, vocalist Li Weisi sings in a deadpan, repetitive and unemotive style, like a darker Darren Harris recording for Vanity, a narcoleptic Minimal Man or a more awkward and apocalyptic Vita Noctis play Kraftwerk, and the effect is pretty stirring. Easy to imagine John Fothergill signing these guys to his more ‘commercial’ (!?!) United Dairies off-shoot. Another excellent side from Goaty Tapes, recommended. 

The Phantom Payne/Banana Head
Split

Goaty Tapes No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


Inspired double-sider with a bunch of unreleased malevolent new wave/post-Velvets jags from Juergen Gleue of German art/punk duo 39 Clocks recorded back in the 1990s and some contemporary avant pop from Banana Head: “Banana Head and the Phantom Payn share a naïve approach, where clarity and virtuosity are relegated to the periphery. An elemental type of song-writing dominates both sides of this tape: simple and familiar pop strategies rub up against off-beat, dopey, and sometimes droll counterstrategies. But while Banana Head recorded these songs in the USA over the last six months, the Phantom Payn’s tracks were gathered from 15 year-old German sessions. These discrepancies make for radically different subtexts. The Phantom Payn considers real life phenomena-apartment evictions, vacation musings-with a sardonic brand of drowsiness. His post-Velvets psych-rock moves share this directness. Banana Head, on the other hand, pushes towards abstractions—pop songs that are eviscerated, turned over, and left almost unrecognizable.” – GT. 

The Teleporters
Invite You To Come On A Pompous Journey

Goaty Tapes No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


Collection of cut-up tape noise, radio blasts, tragic English comedy and found sound interspersed with Shadow Ring-worshipping monologues, shackles-raising Philip Best-isms and even a touch of The Strolling Ones: “The Teleporters are R. Walker and the Octogram. Walker also plays in London’s ever-lovable Pheromoans. But that reference is misleading, as this tape has little in common with today’s garage punk wizardry. Instead, they deliver something that’s, well, progressive..? Side A wheels through radio samples, electronics, and oddly gripping monologues, all interspersed with minimal post-punk moments that recall the weirdest of Door & the Window. The spoken portions are reminiscent of Graham Lambkin speaking through Darren Harris in the Shadow Ring, except the Teleporters replace modernist bareness with a brighter, nimbler, more ironic reflection on shitty things from everyday British life. On the B side, R. Walker offers up extended piano sequences interspersed with bold words and frail croons that owe much to England’s DIY legacy, and yet, in obvious ways, departs from it.” – GT.

Timothy Leary
The Radicalization Of Timothy Leary

Counter Culture Chronicles #4

Cassette
£8.99


Stunning archival uncovering of recordings associated with Timothy Leary: Counter Culture Chronicles were the label that brought on the Angus MacLise deluge with their early vinyl collection of stray tracks and now the label has reactivated with this recording as well as a cassette of unreleased Jack Kerouac songs, poems and readings. The Radicalization Of Timothy Leary documents Leary’s continuous brushes with the law and his subsequent embracing of guerrilla tactics via some revelatory contemporary recordings. First off we get an interview with Leary at Millbrook in ’66 where he expands on his psychedelic/religious philosophy. Then we get a fascinating response from Ram Das to the revolutionary letter Leary sent from his exile in Algeria after his escape from prison in 1970. On the flip there is an alternately chilling and vaguely hilarious recording of a communiqué to the underground press from Eldridge Cleaver in 1971 where he explain that he has had to hold Leary and his partner hostage as he suspects they have something wrong with their heads (!?). Finally there is a fascinating interview with Leary, a Flashbacks interview from 1983. A major uncovering by CCC, with more reputedly on the way. Immediately sold out at source, edition of only 100 copies, very highly recommended!

Touch Of Poison
Moat

Goaty Tapes #53

Cassette
£6.99


Dark bedroom duo jams from Zully Adler (Goaty Tapes) and Matthew Hopkins (Naked On The Vague, Half High et al): recorded in Gent in 2012, Moat has the feel of one of the later Shadow Ring synth broadcasts with a great straight-faced austere Euro teen feel that walks the line between goof, sardonic and ‘threatening’, with minimal, growling keyboard parts that could almost be a ‘keen’ Asmus Tietchens playing nascent Hive Mind jags. 

Alice Coltrane
A Monastic Trio

Superior Viaduct SV-020

LP
£23.99


Much-needed reissue of this all-time cosmo drone/devotional jazz masterpiece: 1968’s A Monastic Trio was Alice Coltrane’s first date as a leader following the ascension of her husband John the year before. Featuring Jimmy Garrison on bass, Pharaoh Sanders on bass clarinet and Rashied Ali on drums, it represents Alice’s first vision of the cosmo drone potential of the new free music, building great arcs of classical mass into testaments to new time and space configurations, as well as a furthering of her husband’s  vision of a total music.
In the years following John Coltrane’s death Alice took his spiritual vision even further out, going beyond any generic notions of jazz or classical music to create an epic orchestral hybrid that combined celestial string arrangements with rippling harps, droning sitars and overdriven keyboards.
A track like “Lovely Sky Boat” with its waves of glissing harp and its outward-bound arc still sound unparalleled, as the rhythm section of Garrison and Ali ground Alice’s celestial string formations with some deep, free grooves. As well as all of the massive string work, which at points sounds like some of Ennio Morricone’s more fantastic soundtracks, there’s some smaller group pieces which run from void-swallowing raga works through what could almost be Moondog driving The Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up into outer space. Still, the staggering “Oceanic Beloved” remains the centrepiece, a five minute séance that works as a transmitter/receiver of the oracular voice of John Coltrane himself.
The Alice Coltrane corpus remains one of the central repositories of 20th Century Holy Music and this is its founding document – highly recommended! 

Heldon
Allez-Teia

Superior Viaduct SV-028

LP
£23.99


Major reissue of one of the great underground/private press cosmic/psych/punk LPs of the70s: Pinhas had impeccable counter-cultural credentials, taking part in the ’68 uprising in Paris, taught by Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault, personal assistant and collaborator with Gilles Deleuze, interviewing Philip K Dick for Actuel… and Heldon was an attempt to bring together all of his various obsessions in a wild basement psych style. 1974’s Allez Teia is the most straight-forwardly beautiful and ambitious of the Heldon albums, with the raw punk edge of the first being replaced by extended heavenly drones, tape loops and walls of soaring mellotron over that classic Fripp-inspired lead guitar. Indeed, Allez Teia features an extended tribute to Fripp, “In The Wake Of King Fripp”, alongside a re-working of the futurist psych sound of Fripp & Eno’s No Pussyfooting. But it’s the second side’s “Fluence” that is the album’s most radical track, an accumulating monolith of zoned ambient sound and reel-to-reel drones that sets patterns dancing on the inside of your head like the most seductive flicker machine. Alongside the 1st Heldon LP, Allez Teia effectively spearheaded the French avant rock revival. Highly recommended!

Raw Thug
Sugar Pills

Bezoar Formations No Cat

Cassette
£5.99


Can’t decide whether I prefer my Thugs Slim or Raw but I can still recall my first encounter with the Raw Thug at a house show in Kentucky where Taurpis Tula and Flaherty/Corsano were playing and where he was wandering round barefoot and bare-chested and strumming and singing with this beat-up guitar that sounded like a junkyard while making with a vaguely oracular take on osmotic tongue pressure that was straight out of the kind of inspired sleight-of-hand performance modes identified by Richard Meltzer. Which is to say the guy was channelling some seriously archetypal weirdo shit. It has been a long time since then and outside of a CD-R on Tom Greenwood’s U-Sound imprint – always one to document the more cracked fringe dwellers – and a cassette under the name Arsenio there’s been little sign of the Thug across the years. So this great tape comes as a real surprise, a bunch of tracks from Raw Thug that blur idiot-avant strategies that could almost be Japanese with weird stumbling slow-motion jazz that combines a lazy American Primitive atmosphere with a communal free-form appeal, incorporating accordion drones, electric bass, tape work and horns. It isn’t hard to imagine these breathy, free, open air sounds coming out of Satoshi Sonoda’s underground music pow-wows at Meiji University in the late 70s that attracted players like the late Yasushi Ozawa (Fushitsusha) and Chie Mukai but there’s an air of the iconoclastic inventor-composer to the overall arc of the sonics – Partch, Moondog, LAFMS – that is uniquely American: “Bold as it might seem, we feel that it’s safe to proclaim Alan aka Raw Thug (aka Arsenio Zignoto aka Arthur Kalow aka The Brothers San Angeliquez aka…) to be Louisville, Kentucky’s very own Magical Power Mako (from the earlier end of that spectrum, of course). Yes, we all know that in this post-Pessoa musical landscape the usage of shifting pseudonyms and heteronyms are quite the fashion. Who doesn't like sporting a new mask every once in a while, right? Raw Thug, however, is just one of many distinct and self-contained musical cosmologies blooming from this good gentleman’s noggin. Having done time in many of Louisville’s finer subterranean outfits, most notably as a mainstay in Sapat (whose “Mortise and Tenon” LP on Siltbreeze from a while back was a real gem of head-spinning, free-spirit group-think), it’s safe to say that Alan is fully comfortable occupying his own musical territory. We initially met Alan on his first-ever visit to San Francisco, through a mutual friend’s whole-hearted recommendation. Before we knew it, he was sitting on our floor playing computer music that he had made during his multi-day train ride out west that sounded a lot like Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano inside of a deserted Bell Labs basement. After that, we knew it was all sunshine. Eventually, Alan started to send us regular cd-r packages, each being a new window into his creative universe. It didn’t take long before we insisted on dispersing something into the world for a wider discerning audience. “Sugar Pills” indeed has that Mako blueprint of morphing genres within the arc of a song or two (pieces of outer-realm reed playing, laid-back porch-sitter psych, electro-acoustic composition, some near-Parliament funk-modes, etc.), trailing bursts of inspiration and genius modes of keen imitation, though now transported from Shibuya to Butchertown. Though we’ve spent only a couple of days in Louisville in our time, “Sugar Pills” seems to sound the way the town felt to us as outsiders: relaxed and leisurely, distinctive and idiosyncratic, and inexplicably strange in all the very best ways.” – BF.

Agencement
Viosphere + Selected Works 1984-1991

Art Into Life 007

CD Box Set
£21.99


ONE OF VOLCANIC TONGUE'S RECORDS OF THE YEAR 2013!

Major upgraded reissue of this seminal 1991 album with a ton of extras from Agencement, Hideaki Shimada’s stunning Japanese underground project focussed on the brain-scrambling potential of exactingly processed/multi-layered solo violin improvisations in an edition of 200 copies: Viosphere was Shimada’s third album, released on his own label, and it sounds glorious here. Using violin, 16 channel magnetic tapes, 100M synthesizer and assorted electronics, Shimada builds stunning laminal compositions from a string attack that comes out of Derek Bailey’s playing circa Aida with a feel for fields of electronically dosed atmospherics that is assuredly post-Catch Wave. Viosphere blurs distinctions between tactile hands-on playing and processed electronic composition, with Shimada’s interest in painting resolving itself into the pursuit of endless strangulated textures and barbed wire sonorities that just keep on coming on. The extras here are so much gravy, with an early previously unreleased sketch for Viosphere from 2003, a fantastic heavy-meta duo with Hironari Iwata featuring Iwata on electric guitar and Shimada on amplified autoharp that has a bloodied Kazuo Imai-edge, and a heady unreleased work from 1984 for Casiotone keyboard, magnetic tape and violin that positions itself more emphatically Outside The Dream Syndicate than the Faust/Tony Conrad sessions. Presented in a chunky box with a booklet featuring pictures and English language liners translated by Alan Cummings, this set is the bomb. A massively potent package, highly recommended. 

Bridget Hayden
Just Ideas/The Night’s Veins

Singing Knives No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


New cassette that reissues two limited CD-Rs, from 2002 and 2007 respectively, by Bridget Hayden of UK underground stalwarts Vibracathedral Orchestra: Just Ideas features four beautiful tracks in just over 10 minutes, from European Son-styled scree re-scored for horsehair, ultra-fugged takes on railroad blues, see-sawing accordion drone pomes and some affectingly unarmoured singing. At points the fidelity on this reminds of those early Daniel Johnson cassettes and there’s a comparable emotional nakedness to much of Just Ideas but there’s so much explosive overtonal activity that it functions just as well as a mainline to the centre of yr skull as it does as a soft fist in yr heart. The Night’s Veins pushes deeper into your brain with a set of wired electric guitar mutations. 

Claypipe
A Daylight Blessing

Mie Music MIE-025

LP
£14.99


New album in an edition of 300 copies from the NZ underground duo of Antony Milton (Pseudo Arcana/A.M./Birdcatcher/Sunken et al) and Clayton Noone (Armpit/Futurians/CJA): recorded in the run-up to a support slot with Richard Youngs in New Zealand in 2010, A Daylight Blessing sees the duo taking battery powered and acoustic instruments outside to the sandhills by the beach near Noone’s place in Dunedin. Milton’s describes the vibe as “hippy utopian” and it touches on a bunch of diverse, heady strategies. There are the elegiac long tones and open sky tunings of Taj Mahal Travellers, moments of almost Charalambides-esque floating folk melodies, beams of wordless vocals, even an odd Charlie Nothing-plays-Paralellograms feel that is uniquely transportive. Less amplifier worshipping NZ drone violence and more pastoral free folk ascension, Claypipe come over like an electro-acoustic Scorces playing blunt DIY paeans to elemental, eternal music. Beautiful, recommended. 

Factrix/Cazazza
California Babylon

Superior Viaduct SV-004

LP
£13.99


Reissue of this amazing live avant rock/Industrial/experimental meeting, with SF underground legends Factrix (w/members of Minimal Man and Airway) hooking-up with original Industrial Records recording artist Monte Cazazza: Factrix stared out as Minimal Man in 1978, with the duo of Cole Palme (one-time member of LAFMS free rock gods Airway) and Bong Bergland (later of Saqqara Dogs) joined by Patrick Miller, who would go on to adopt the Minimal Man moniker as cover for his own equally amazing solo work. Eventually re-grouping with the addition of bassist Joseph T. Jacobs, they recorded Scheintot, their studio debut, in 1980, before releasing this wild collaboration on Subterranean Records in 1982. Here Cazazza is on vocals, tapes, amputated bass and monochord while Bergland handles guitar, tapes and treatments, Jacobs is on bass, flute and monochord, Palme on ‘glaxobass’, tape and treatments and guest musicians Tana Emmolo-Smith on electric violin and guitar and Z’ev on found percussion. The sound is spare Industrial rock with slow bass torrents and automatic vocals that reflect on contemporary Stare Case cut up with endless mangled fuzz guitar, Teenage Jesus-esque monochord rock refusal, crude drum machine pugilism and wild bouts of sound poetry, with a version of the Brion Gysin permutation poem “Kick That Habit Man” that comes over like The Velvet Underground play Henri Chopin. Truly one of the most blistering electro-rock sides to come out of the SF Industrial underground, just fantastic. Comes with archival inserts. Highly recommended.

Matricarians
Birdsandburns

Les Enfants Du Paradiddle ENF-93

CD-R
£6.99


Limited self-released CD-R from this trio that features Alan Davidson of Aberdeen’s Kitchen Cynics alongside David MacKay on singing bowls, electronics, keyboard, guitar and phonofiddle and Susan Matthews on piano, glockenspiel and thumb piano: Matricarians amplify the dark drone at the heart of traditional and avant folk forms, building rainbows of singing strings and awkward keyboard melodies out of arcs of minor-keyed laments and site-specific recordings. Birdsandburns also features some massively evocative 1960s reel-to-reel recordings uncovered in a charity shop in Huntly in 2012 that come over like another transmission from the Coil entity ELpH. Recommended. 

Matricarians
Porthill Gymnastic Club 1912-13

Les Enfants Du Paradiddle ENF-89

CD-R
£6.99


New very limited private CD-R from a trio that sees Alan Davidson aka Aberdeen’s The Kitchen Cynics paired with David Mackay and Susan Matthew: more experimental and abstract than the Kitchen Cynics proper, this one runs from eerie bass and electronics dirges that enter the same kind of submerged tonal zone of Skip Spence’s Oar, free-floating drone works cut with fragments of recorded folk song, Raymond Scott-styled deconstructed piano, weird ancient-to-future chamber jazz, grainy shortwave broadcasts from the other side... there are also a bunch of love tracks recorded at The Tunnels in Aberdeen in 2012 that marry the radical drone and improvisation works with Davidson’s DIY folk songs to heart-stopping effect. Another major release from this reclusive DIY legend. 

Quasispecies Four
s/t

Art Into Life 010

Art Edition LP
£18.99


Beautifully presented art edition LP in a run of only 250 copies that documents a killer Japanese underground quartet featuring Toshiji Mikawa of Incapacitants/Hijokaidan on electronics, Hideaki Shimada of the amazing Agencement on violin and electronics, Nobuo Yamada (TNB collaborator et al) on metal junk objects and Katsuyoshi Kou on guitar and electronics. This fascinating set spans and reconciles a bunch of disparate approaches, with almost New Blockaders-scale electro/acoustic confusion and a wild/blunt interactive style breaking down into the kind of elemental post-AMM/MEV sound summits of East Bionic Symphonia. Mikawa’s no-stop electro assault comes straight out of the Masayuki Takayanagi school of Mass Projection and the addition of Kou on guitar pushes the whole deal into the kind of bulldozing speed freak zone of Takayanagi’s New Direction Unit while giving the nod to massive table-top sides like Live At Zojoji Hall. Indeed, this comes over like the best melding of psychedelic noise, radical Japanese improvisation and cultic freak this side of Marginal Consort. Beautifully packaged with an obi strip that circles the whole of the jacket and that affixes an insert to the back, this is one of the major Japanese underground vinyl releases of the year – very highly recommended!

The Flesh Eaters
A Minute To Pray A Second To Die

Superior Viaduct No Cat

LP
£21.99


First time vinyl reissue w/liners by Byron Coley of this classic side cut by a line-up to die for: released in 1981, A Minute To Pray... brings together Chris D on vocals, Dave Alvin of The Blasters on guitar, John Doe from X on bass, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos on sax as well as Bill Bateman of The Blasters and DJ Bonebreak of X on percussion. The sound is phenomenal, with Chris D’s wordy, gymnastic, epiglottal assaults supported by walls of almost Partch-ian percussion, staggered Beefheart-style rock, narcotic ballads straight out of the Johnny Thunders school of wasted rock elegance, even full bore brass/guitar assaults ala The Stooges’ Funhouse. Byron Coley calls it “the best rock record ever recorded.” You might too. 

Dan Melchior
Slow Down Tiger

Starlight Furniture Company *27

LP
£16.99


Stunning new psychedelic tape/collage work in an edition of 300 copies from Dan Melchior who has rapidly ascended to the apex of DIY concrete assemblage after fully extricating himself from verse/chorus punk: two sidelong works here, the first of which is simply dazzling and truly otherworldly, starting off with beautifully rendered sounds of riot from the poll tax disturbances of 1990 and taking off into a phantom requiem that includes the ghostly voices of Nicanor Parra, Basil Bunting and Gerard Manley Hopkins as well as a clip from Sult, the Swedish film based on Knut Hamsun’s Hunger, over elegiac loops and the kind of half-light drones of the Fothergill end of the United Dairies catalogue. Beautiful, classical in scope and assembled with a higher-minded musical logic, it’s one of Melchior’s hand-down best conceptions to date. Over on the flip we get another sidelong track, “Hospital Poem”, a solitary holy music minimalist classic that combines outer-space Nitsch-ian harmonium/accordion/organ drone with the slowly unravelling devotional feel of a Popol Vuh mass as distressed by William Basinski. Stunning – or as the label put sit – “prolific maverick bridges the canyon between ghostly fragments from a warped Fleetwood Mac spin-off and an Alan Licht-curated Freakazoids Of Minimalism list.” Okay! Very highly recommended!

Green Mud
Descended From A Faggot

Maim & Disfigure #28

Cassette
£3.99


Reissue on Lambsbread's label of a hardcore/metal demo from Cape Cod circa 1989 that staggers righteously into formlessness-through-cluelessness in a way that feels, uh, 'prescient'. "Ex members of CBS and future members of Chilmark if anyone cares." Hand-numbered edition of 40 copies that files nicely alongside your Violent Ramp tape on Fag Tapes.

Oyauchi-Deku Duo
Now’s The Time?

Armageddon Nova AN-R1

LP
£16.99


ONE OF VOLCANIC TONGUE'S RECORDS OF THE YEAR 2013!

Staggering edition of 250 copies 180g vinyl debut for this legendary Japanese underground free jazz duo, incredibly their first ever official studio recording: we have been working on this release for a while and are super excited to finally launch it. Partnered with Armageddon we’re the exclusive source for this major unearthing outside of Japan. Aishi Oyauchi is a radical alto saxophonist in the tradition of Kaoru Abe and who hails from the same first generation of Japanese free improvisers while Deku is a bassist who comes out of the whole Motoharu Yoshizawa school of radical free improvisation and rigorous sound art and was a student of legendary percussionist Masahiko Togashi. Due to having little interest in documenting their thought the duo have remained unrecorded despite both players being in their 60s and playing out for several decades so this is the first recorded evidence of the kind of ferocious invention these two are capable of and that has attracted regular collaborators to them over the years like PSF recording artist and folk-sprit Kan Mikami and drummer Sabu Toyozumi (who the duo are reconnecting with for a special record launch show in Japan).
This is a studio recording and it is diamond-sharp, allowing you to get all the way inside the players’ uniquely psychedelic and subtly brain-bombing style. Deku really gets into the grain of the strings, drawing thick black overtones and droning harmonics out of cold, silent space. Oyauchi plays soft, breathy tattoos, touching on aspects of Bill Dixon or Donald Ayler before breaking into phantom testifying and odd folk/traditional fragments that would reconcile the screaming, high/lonesome style of the late Kaoru Abe with the love cry of Albert Ayler and the mutant jazz feel of Moondog complete with choruses of small singing bells.
And it’s not all reed torture; there are long sections of soft, intimate exchange that recall the romantic midnight reveries of Frank Lowe and Phillip Wilson’s Out Of Nowhere side and high-wire sections of tense negotiation and silence carving that could almost pass for a post-PSF small-group take on the universal music of the Celestrial Communication Orchestra. Indeed, there’s a genuine ‘out of nowhere’ feel to much of this stunning session, with an advanced approach to form that fully internalises the radical leaps that thinkers like Togashi, Abe, Yoshizawa, Toyozumi and Masayuki Takayanagi made while incorporating moments of extended textural exegesis and an expressive use of stasis and silence that makes most ‘lower case’ improvisers sound like furniture polishers.
This is a signal side, a key missing part of the whole Japanese free music underground finally restored and an amazing document of two players from the furthest margins of the scene who have worked a very particular vision of the potential of free music in a comparative personal and cultural vacuum. We’re proud as hell to be a part of bringing this gorgeous release to light, presented on massively heavy 180g vinyl, 250 copies only and “recorded on 100% full analog”. Not for digital consumption, this is the archival free jazz/Japanese underground release of the year. File it alongside Paul Flaherty, Loren Connors, Jandek, Kaoru Abe and Motoharu Yoshizawa in the section of your record collection reserved for solitary mavericks. Highest possible recommendation!

Pod Blotz
Radar And Nest

Chocolate Monk Choc-168

CD-R
£5.99


“Oh yeah, this one is a cooker!! Latest strange brain broadcast from Ms Suzy Poling. Reel to reel tape collisions, organ & static make outs, wheezing electronics. All the atmospheric trippy slime & froth you have come to expect from this queeny. Shot the freak.” – DN.

Stiiiffs
s/t

Breakdance The Dawn BDTD-144

CD-R
£7.99


Another great set of Industrial strength sludge rock and liberated fire music from these Australian wildcards: take a one-note playing heavy metal bassist, a wall of free percussion, the kind of tongue-swallowing vocals of early Butthole Surfers and the cultic confusion of early SPK and let it blurt. Totally great.

Orphan Fairytale
My Favourite Fairytale

Aguirre Records Zorn-10

2xLP
£21.99


Gorgeous double LP that compiles a bunch of off-the-radar releases from Eva Van Deuren aka Orphan Fairytale: My Favourite Fairytale sinks the gonzoid approach of earlier releases in favour of a more elegiac, stately, though still beautifully fucked series of tone hymns. Eva still makes use of toy instruments and primitive loops but there's a weight to the material that makes it feel even more personal. Gathering releases from Taped Sounds, Rampart, Blackest Rainbow and an obscure self-released CD-R, the set spans the years 2008-2011. The set runs from thin, glassy tones forming into detailed helix patterns in a way that evokes the more minimal Mirror sides as well as the sound sculptures of Harry Bertoia through lilting/falling keyboard patterns which in turn parts to reveal the kinda hallucinatory tonal percussive weave you might associate with Spencer Clark's work. The side-long “Neverending Waves” is exactly that, a mesmerising/haunting keyboard choral that laps at the gates of heaven like nothing this side of James Ferraro’s epic Marble Surf. Huge fans of Eva here at VT and this may just be the apex of her catalogue to date, personal, weird, gently seductive, if anyone ever re-makes the soundtrack to Valerie & Her Week Of Wonders let it be Eva, very highly recommended! 

Andrew Chalk
Circle Of Days

Faraway Press FP-023

LP
£16.99


Stunning new elaborately assembled handmade LP from legendary UK soundist and big VT fave Andrew Chalk: Circle Of Days consist of a selection of shorter tracks that focus around minimal organ, steel strings and field recordings. The organ tracks are luminous, beautiful, hovering around pools of slowly fluxing drone and with aching, hymnal melodies that come over like a cough syrup take on the English eternities of the Canterbury crew while giving the nod to 20th century minimalists like Steve Reich, Charlemagne Palestine and Tony Conrad. But as with all of Chalk’s work there’s a fragility, a delicate desolate quality that is marked by very particularly nuanced field recordings and subtle, almost music box melodies, combined in a way that works to transport you into a reverie of days past. This feels like one of Chalk’s most instrumentally focussed works and although the delicate, lugubrious melodies on display here may seem a thousand miles from his flesh/metal experiments as Ferial Confine there’s a wounded quality to the sonics, a feel of pained remembrance that links his entire discography, even if now it feels like there is some kind of acceptance and near-resolution. Stately, beautiful, profoundly affecting, no one makes music – or vinyl artefacts! – like Chalk and this is another stunning folk/art masterpiece. Very highly recommended!

English Heretic
The Underworld Service

English Heretic EHCD-09

CD + Book
£12.99


Fantastic new CD/Book set from Andy Sharp’s singular English Heretic project: this is a massively ambitious set with a book that joins the dots between the dream/nightmare as completely divorced from notions of psychological hygiene while riffing on death, the descent into the underworld, Fulcanelli, Kenneth Grant, Malcolm Lowry, Michael Bertriaux, The Asphyx, the head of John The Baptist, The Haunted Shoreline, World In Action, Hiroshima and more. Coming with a full book of essays, notes and a listening guide, the CD represents a major coming together of Sharp’s obsessions and plays out like an uncanny fever dream of Coil re-soundtracking Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds (long a personal fantasy, ha ha), using field recordings, walls of omming Buddhist monks, snippets of classic prog rock and a convulsive, oracular vocal style that comes right out of England’s Hidden Reverse. So much to get your head around here, a truly magickal trip, very highly recommended!

Felix Mace
Boundary Situation

BUFMS BuFMS-51

CD-R
£9.99


Edition of 50 copies solo work from Felix Mace, once of mid-80s BUFMS satellites Serious Problmz: made while Mace was undergoing the early phase of chemotherapy, Boundary Situation presents a series of obsessive ‘chemo-narratives’ using electronics, loops, signal processing, ambient textures and eccentric voices to navigate his newly industrialised synapses, combining jacked rock riffs, hypnotic vocal reveries, the ghost of MRI machines and environmental sound to stunning compositional effect, w/crude OPN-isms married to dread-infused concrete experiments (ala In Menstrual Night, which may be the closest comparison) that feel oddly euphoric, constantly peaking towards the kind of zone that would reconcile the worlds of radio play, bedroom electronics and advanced psycho/biological therapy as a form of self-working. Highly personal, weirdly disturbing, oddly beautiful, another great one-off from BUFMS. Comes with an insert and free BUFMS-stamped gauze pad. Recommended.

Ferial Confine
The Full Use Of Nothing

Siren 021

CD
£14.99


Necessary deluxe CD upgrade for one of the key founding documents of the UK underground: Ferial Confine was the early solo project of Andrew Chalk, who at the time had connections to fellow avant travellers like Ramleh/Broken Flag and The New Blockaders. The Full Use Of Nothing was originally released on cassette by Chalk in the mid-80s and later briefly issued on vinyl. It parallels the early TNB recordings in its use of all electro/acoustic soundings, primarily metal and even the sound of cupboard doors banging in Chalk’s parents’ house while long-term collaborator Darren Tate appears on bowed autoharp (indeed Tate also gave the album its title).
The sound is sensual, textural free noise but with none of the harshness associated with TN, Ramleh or Whitehouse at al. At points the crawling/bubbling tectonics border on a form of metallic eroticism, cushioned by the kind of distant soft drones that Andrew would later amplify and expand on in his solo work. There are sections of forlorn classical piano bisected with dizzying laminal drones that give the music an undeniable feeling of haunted nostalgia, making for some of the most striking – and strikingly melancholy – UK noise music of the age. Very hard to extrapolate from the ‘base’ materials and process involved in its creation to the grandeur and complexity of its final form but this new edition sounds better than ever, allowing you to dive deep into the complex contours of this radical set of DIY compositional beauty. Long a secret influence on the whole of the UK underground, parts of this recording were later plundered by The New Blockaders on 1995’s TNB Est Mort! Comes in a gorgeous hard card slipcase with Japanese obi strip. Highly recommended!

Hasegawa-Shizuo
Lift

Utech URCD-029

CD
£10.99


Major album from this Japanese deep-drone duo that share members with Kito Mizukumi Rouber. Lift is a very minimal performance that seems, once again, to have been recorded outdoors. The piece opens with a series of punctuating clicks before the sound of the environment – wind across the mouth of the microphone, the acoustics of the place – amplifies the feel of a specific acoustic space. Then strafing angel vox tones and what sounds like heavily treated string drones start to push against the initial parameters, creating a claustrophobic form of drone that combines the minute mechanics of its creation with transcendent instrumental settings. Blurring the lines between a site-specific investigation of area sonorities and a ritual working, Lift is another shot out of leftfield from these two.

Henry and Hazel Slaughter
Cranking Sound From Rattling Dry Seasons

American Tapes AM-963

CD-R
£8.99


Limited hand-numbered edition of only 40 copies hand-made CD-R release on American Tapes from John Olson’s amazing ‘mutant techno’ project: this one feels a little slimier and more subterranean than previous Slaughter instalments, with automating ticker-tape rhythms fed through a gloop of room tone into super crude drum machine compositions that come over like Casiotone exotica w/a weird Aphex edge through seriously chopped and screwed beatbox-isms. 

Hiiragi Fukuda
My Turntable Is Sloow

Selection Records SR-008

LP
£16.99


Necessary edition of 300 copies vinyl upgrade for what was originally a killer cassette on Sloow Tapes from Hiragi Fukuda of Japanese underground group Doronco Gumo: this is more dosed and heavier on the acid folk vibe than Fukuda’s previous Oya Wa Touhoku, Oto Kumori with a great early-70s private/loner edge complete with echo vocals, comedown acoustic guitars and some stinging lead. Aspects of Masaki Batoh’s Ghost From The Darkened Sea but with a more progressive/rock feel alongside some classic Syd Barrett-isms make for a perfect late-night slow burner. Highly recommended!

Katsuyoshi Kou/Satoshi Hironaka
State, State, State

Ftarri #995

CD
£14.99


Bloody-minded set of re-worked drums/guitar/electricity breakdowns from this Japanese underground duo: Kou and Hironaka play pounding drum jams that cross free playing with rock savagery before cutting the jams up with moments of split-second silence that force the logic of the piece into ever more fractured and staggered rhythms, further forcing the potential for breakthrough in the sounds between the sounds ala Kousokuya/Fushitsusha but in a more rigorously analytical context. The guitar is furiously constrained, sometimes sounding like nothing more than the crackle of the jack or the sound of electricity, as tracks open out into overdubbed rock rhythms so that the accumulative effect is as close to hyper-psychedelic minimalism as much as nod-out rock jags or avant tape work. Throw in the sounds of cracked media used as rhythmic referents and you have a confounding and seriously head-fucking set of deep-listening rhythmic experimentation and off-the-scale improvisation. 

Kuupuu
Lumen Tahden

Time-Lag 044

CD
£13.99


CD edition of the new LP from Jonna Karanka aka Kuupuu, a floating member of a bunch of Finnish collectives including Hertta Lussu Assa, The Anaksimandros and Avarus. Kuupuu’s music could vaguely be described as acid-folk but it also takes in the kind of oddball DIY of groups like The Godz, the homemade aesthetic of Chocolate Monk, the ghostly madrigal style of Tara Burke’s Fursaxa etc wile coating the whole deal in a dreamy, out-of-focus forest of pagan percussion, delicate vocals and witchy atmospherics. There’s a soft electronic pulse that runs through the bulk of the new album, flickering like starlight in the background of solo piano conceptions that take off on the minimal repeat-logic of Richard Youngs circa Advent while stringing them with wraiths of ghostly vocals and backwards tape. A classic of bedroom female avant-folk, straight from the heart of the wood. Packaged in a heavy shrunken gatefold sleeve, edition of 1000 copies. Highly recommended.

Odd Nosdam
Le Ambient Mix

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Cassette edition of what was a feted CD-R mix that was passed around via underground heads, with an all-vinyl fade-into-fade-into-fade collection of massively zoned tone float, compiled by Nosdam. Beautifully mixed tracks from Popol Vuh, Stars Of The Lid, Cabaret Voltaire, Cloudead, including exclusive out-takes, alternate versions etc. Plays out great and comes with a full colour hand embossed tape cover in the usual suave SM style. Recommended. 

Orara
s/t

Breakdance The Dawn BDTD-146

CD-R
£7.99


Great set of electric ritual/blurry drone rock from the Australian trio of Matt Earle (Breakdance/xNoBBQx/Craft Bandits et al), Rory Brown and Adam Sussmann (2779/Emotional About The Rainbow et al): Matt describes this one as sounding “like Miles Davis wit da Skaters in the blue mountains” and that’s pretty spot on, with the kind of expiring brass that illuminated Heathen Earth situated in the kind of drone torrents more commonly associated with the Invasion Of Thunderbolt Pagoda. The ululating percussion is particularly hypnotic as is the smoky production style, with a John Godbert-era Vibracathedral Orchestra feel given that classic edge-of-the-world Breakdance production style. 

Pauline Anna Strom
Trans Millenia Consort

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Another major coup from Sanity Muffin, with an edition of 100 copies reissue of this amazing San Francisco weirdo synth private from 1982: a major rarity, the genesis of Trans Millenia Consort is just as off the map. Strom was suffering from obesity and the on-set of blindness and decided to try to work through her experience using meditative modular synth stylings and electronic treatments. The results are amazing, combining a raw, cracked, vulnerable real people vibe with water sounds, distant eerie keyboards that could almost be a haunted Monopoly Child and that classic Corwood-jams-Zeit appeal of Edmond De Deyster/JD Emmanuel et al. Sad, beautiful, strangely moving, another major excavation by Sanity Muffin, great liners too, very highly recommended!

RASheed
s/t

Breakdance The Dawn BDTD-194

CD-R
£6.99


“Cool sidestep militant boogie jams” the label sez, and they ain’t wrong: Rasheed play what sounds like The Velvet Underground’s “Guess I’m Fallin’ In Love” as stomping monochord boogie, dredging Hooker N Heat style scorch for maximum power chord friction and positing the eternal riff as the keys to the goddamn kingdom. Think the whole Numbers Band/Sweet Kelley/Jessie Mae Hemphill continuum re-thunk w/post-BDTD aesthetics and set the controls for the heart of the jam.

Richard Francis/Jason Kahn/Bruce Russell
Dunedin

CMR #27

CD
£10.99


Fantastic all-electric three way that sees Bruce Russell of The Dead C (on analog electronics) joined by Richard Francis on modular synth and computer and Jason Kahn on analog synth, radio and mixing board: recorded live on January 28th 2011 at Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand, this is a single 38 minute improvisation that feels environmental in scale but with a heady synthesized aspect that makes for a ghostly metal machine music. Three distinct voices make for a bafflingly beautiful combination, with odd almost-melodies that feel like the F/X from a 1960s Supermarionation production soundtracked by Joe Meek going up against the kind of massive UFO touchdown aspect of MEV or CCCC and some supremely invasive alarm tones that have all the flesh-penetrating third ear aspect of Bernhard Gunter or Maryanne Amacher. Whenever Bruce is involved there’s always a great non-technical garage band approach to wrassling electricity into caveman submissions and at points this feels like the scientific power trio of your dreams. A great set, highly recommended. 

Robert Scott
The Professor and the Team

Selection Records SR-007

Cassette
£8.99


Incredible collection of lo-fi home recordings cut in Dunedin in 1988 from Robert Scott of The Bats/Clean et al: 1988 was the year of The Bats’ The Law Of All Things and these recordings just slightly predate the first Clean LP, Vehicle. The Professor and the Team compiles a buncha zoned dreampop bled straight to tape w/classic proto-Xpressway fidelity, running the gamut of classic acoustic basement folk through brokedown motorik psych and heartbreaking edge-of-the-world DIY euphoria. Necessary, obviously!

Scrabbled
s/t

Breakdance The Dawn BDTD-189

CD-R
£6.99


Debut release for Scrabbled, an Australian underground group that features Conwae Burrell of Extrafoxx, Bek Moore of Clag, Jason Bright, Emily Wade and Mark Spinks: BDTD describe them as playing “quintessential Brisbane pop, girl/boy vocals, more Kitchen’s Floor than Go Betweens” and it’s true that they swing between frail, heartbroken post-Velvets drone pop and moments of scabrous, oiky DIY that give way to chiming minor chord paeans that could almost be the greatest hits of the singer-songwriter wing of Xpressway.

Serious Problmz
369 ½

BUFMS BuFMS-50

CD-R
£9.99


Excellent archival document of this previously undocumented mid-80s USA avant/garage/experimental ensemble in an edition of only 50 copies: Serious Problmz met-up on a weekly basis to record and jam throughout the mid-80s with players such as Lucian Tielens (Idler Arms/Bren’t Lewiis/Glands Of External Secretion et al), Thor Heglund, Felix Mace and Mark Evans taking part. Using traditional and DIY instrumentation – guitars, drum machine, bass, noise makers, typewriters, telephones, electronic machinery – the group offer a mid-80s nightmare basement riposte to the environmental improvisations of Japan’s Group Ongaku, with black, deep drones bisected with usurped documentations of domestic activity and crude non-musical blurt in a way that takes the whole improvising ensemble set-up into zones of American hobbyist excess ala the key LAFMS satellites. Still, there’s an austerity to the work that marks it out as something else other than the more cartoon/manic electro-acoustic post-LAFSM/pre-Chocolate Monk ethos, with an almost classical feel for crud tones and subtle monochord nowheres, almost as if Biota or the Mnemonists hadda been dosed with the early Destroy All Monsters tapes, moving from collage-based DIY psychedelia into inarticulate basement rock with a teen goth edge. But this is fantastic, another shot straight from the mystery zone thanks to BUFMS. Recommended. 

Terror Of The Deep
Death Of The Gideon

Selection Records SR-011

12” EP
£13.99


Debut vinyl from this unbeatable contemporary New Zealand underground unit in an edition of 300 copies: recorded in Wellington in 2011, Death Of The Gideon combines the kind of euphoric Sixties pop moves of The Chills and Able Tasmans with organ-driven garage moods and a weirdo/geeky pop style that should appeal to anyone who has ever wept over The June Brides. Throw in a hint of The Velvets circa “Ocean” and some irresistible pop hooks complete with ginchy three note guitar solos and it’s enough to make you swear off power electronics for life. Highly recommended!

The Sha
s/t

Breakdance The Dawn BDTD-148

CD-R
£7.99


Great post-Beefheart blunt metal improvisations from a group that can really make the basement wail, Matt Earle (Breakdance/xNoBBQx/Craft Bandits), Christian Durham and Adam Sussmann: this is classic free rock squall, with thudding Kousokuya style base accompanied by some amazing lunar string wrassling that flits between fleet Magic Band-style psych, early Royal Trux basement blues and Sonny Sharrock circa Black Woman. Indeed, this could be the post-Xpressway Last Exit that the underground has been crying out for, massively extended investigations into liberated string violence with enough dunder to float a crate of Black Sabbath albums. Fantastic. 

Warden Burger
Live At Real Bad Music

Breakdance The Dawn BDTD-137

CD-R
£7.99


Massively primitive post-Dream Syndicate aggro noise improvisations from this Brisbane (?) group who use strings, keyboards, drums, guitar and vocals to generate grimy Industrial trance monoliths cut-up w/mocking vocals that are somewhere between Graham Lambkin and Basil Kirchin. The drums come straight out of the Walter De Maria/Henry Flynt school of I Don’t Wanna while the strings balance C. Spencer Yeh-styled violence with the hallucinatory high-end of Tony Conrad, John Cale and Takehisa Kosugi. Throw in some MEV styled keyboard miniatures and the sound of throats guzzling solid air and you have a claustrophobic black nightmare take on eternal music that trades Pandit Pran Nath for Mark E. Smith while nailing itself to the floor. Pretty spectacular. 

Jason Kahn
Noema

Editions 003

2xArt Edition LP
£23.99


Stunning 2xLP 180g art edition LP from composer/sound thinker Jason Kahn, with deep connections to the Australian/Breakdance The Dawn underground as well as NZ avant-thought, in a hand-numbered private press edition of only 250 copies, all copies of which are individually hand-painted by Kahn himself: a departure from Kahn’s last celestial big band working and somewhere altogether from his jams with Bruce Russell of The Dead C and Richard Francis, Noema documents a three month stay in Kyoto in Japan in 2012. Across 37 short piece Kahn creates an hallucinatory and very personal sound journal by using field recordings culled from shopping centres, deep haunted pools, subway sirens, conversation, snippets of popular and traditional song, street noise, temple rituals and more, cutting them together in a way that expands on how the sounds of social spaces work their particular magic while riffing on fragments of sound and sight that work as nostalgic jumping-off points for the process of memory. The set comes with extensive liner notes and track-by-track commentary and it works best when read alongside the record, mapping Kahn’s movements and memories of the city via “a rain of nunchuks splintering the hot summer night”, melting in the summer heat, dropping microphones into secret waters and other geomantic workings across his stay. The tracks themselves are deep, laminal constructions that conflate environmental sound and song, the drone of the city asleep at night with minimalist composition and the sound of madmen on the streets with the music of the spheres. A beautiful set, endlessly replayable and a truly magickal transport – very highly recommended!

Le Son De L'Os
Old Sun

New Vague Records NV-001

LP
£16.99


Edition of 300 copies LP with silkscreened sleeves by Alan Sherry of SIWA featuring all-new recordings from this amazing Japanese underground group, whose previous album was on PSF: Le Son De L’Os is the duo of Hasegawa-Shizuo (who also play in Kito Mizukumi Rouber) alongside Masahiro Deguchi. The trio use acoustic guitar, vocals, flutes, pianos, bells and a one string bass to navigate a void of tone that crosses dosed and beautifully mistranslated UK acid folk moves with advanced improvisatory strategies. The music is specifically dilated in a way that comes over like the gentlest of Go Hirano hymns but with a weird acoustic “Sailor’s Life” aspect and the high, wordless vocals really elevate it to a whole other plane of now. If you dig Fairports, Mark Fry, Pentangle et al but you’re sick to death of crappy tribute groups and wanna hear a take on the basic atmosphere that is as informed by contemporary improvisation and psychedelic modes and cut w/a haunting occult aspect then check this out, a magical side that reminds of me of a bunch of weirdo acid folk one-shots from PSF back in the 1990s. Highly recommended. 

Majutsu No Niwa
Frontera

New Vague Records NV-002

2xLP
£26.99


Stunning, deluxe vinyl upgrade for this Japanese psychedelic monster in an edition of 500 copies with a different track listing to the CD edition and a bonus track: massive studio set from guitarist/vocalist Rinji Fukuoka’s post Overhang Party project, with bassist Hiroyuki Kageyama and drummer Shigeki Morohashi joined by guest player Sachiko (Kousokuya et al) on electronics. Frontera sees Fukuoka taking it back to the roots, with a series of atmospheric post-Sweet Sister Ray amplifier meltdowns bookended by the kind of psychedelic speed freak punkers that launched the PSF label, three chords and amphetamine rhythms blow apart by lucid fuzz guitar solos. If your tastes run to mountains of free-singing amplifiers threaded with occult electronics, ethereal angel vox and the kinda fuzz/wah explosions that’d shame The Savage Resurrection then your name might just be me, but either way this is a necessary purchase and sounds amazing on heavy duty vinyl. Massive gatefold sleeve too, highly recommended!

Sun Ra
Mix Tape

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Incredible culling of rare Sun Ra material from impossible to find Saturn jams mostly 1960s-1970s in a hand-coloured by Oakland kids edition of only 100 copies: running the classic Ra gamut from solo synth bloop through full-on sci-fi gospel orchestra, beatbox violence, space chants and wiggy full ensemble horn freak outs, this is pretty much the bomb in terms of unheard Sun Ra and pretty much everyone who has heard it has been blown away. All covers are unique and hand-coloured just like the original Saturn sleeves. Cassette release of the year? We have only secured a very limited supply of these amazing cassettes, so please don’t be disappointed if you miss out. Strictly one per customer. Highly recommended! 

Ben Patterson
A Fluxus Elegy

Alga Marghen Plana-P 17VocSon061

LP
£12.99


New limited one-sided LP from this modern composer presents an elegy to Fluxus by encoding the names of various key players (including John Lennon. LaMonte Young, Yoshi Wada, Yasunao Tone, Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins, Joe Jones, Philip Corner, Takehisa Kosugi, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Henry Flynt, Joseph Beuys, Henning Christiansen et al) in the form of International Morse dots and dashes which were 'performed' on a keyboard with a voice-pattern setting going through a loop unit and a mixer and straight to cassette. Front cover reproduces the original score. Edition limited to 345 copies.

Charlemagne Palestine
Sound 1

Alga Marghen Plana-P alga-026

one-sided LP
£14.99


Limited edition of 500 copies LP from legendary minimalist composer, pianist and artists Charlemagne Palestine. Less than 200 copies of this LP were ever put on sale, with 350 of them offered to the audience who attended a Palestine performance. Sound 1 represents the apex of Palestine’s experiments with oscillators as universal drone generators and features 16 machines played at full volume and subtly tweaked to generate gorgeous, complex blooms of clashing tone, ghost patterns, hypnagogic shadows and subtle orchestral movements. Palestine talks of the piece as a 3-dimensional sculptural canvas in mid-air, likening the sound to the humming of gargantuan Tibetan bees. It’s a mesmerising piece, one that fully occupies and takes over whatever space it’s played in, a classic slice of minimal electronic psychedelia in the tradition of La Monte Young, Coil’s Time Machines and the recent Eleh LPs. Recommended.

Charlemagne Palestine
Two Electronic Sonorities

Alga Marghen Alga-038

LP
£16.99


Stunning archival unearthing of late-60s/early-70s electronic works from minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine in an edition of 380 copies: recorded as experiments towards his ‘lost’ masterpiece L’Avventura, inspired by the Antonioni film of the same name, these pieces feature dense, overlapping settings for filtered sine tone generators and variously manipulated tape-works. The first side features a 1970 composition that is one of the wildest and heaviest recordings of Palestine’s career, with Industrial strength monoliths consisting of constantly shifting and elementally powerful steel tone drones pitched against each other in great hurricanes of sound. Commissioned as a dance piece for Gus Soloman, it’s one of Palestine’s most radically organic electronic environments. The second side features more love-level electro-drone works, with overlapping oscillators generating time-killing fluctuations. A massively heavy side from Palestine, with a set of recordings that create a spectacular vision of the future. 

John Duncan
The Nazca Transmissions

Alga Marghen Plana-ZCA

LP
£14.99


“On Christmas Eve, 2004, John Duncan received a mysterious email from an archaeologist working at the site of the Nazca Lines in Peru. He claimed to have discovered, and over time recorded, a variety of sounds actually generated by the enigmatic lines themselves. Familiar with Duncan’s “Infrasound-Tidal”, composed from source recordings taken from tides, seismic activity and barometric data from the Australian coastline, he suggested to Duncan the composition of a piece with these sources. All of the sources were modified in the studio of John Duncan, some radically, to bring out an unsettling, haunting quality. In mid-June 2005, the glorious 5-track piece was finally ready. John Duncan sent several messages to the archaeologist, none of them ever answered or returned. A hard disk crash effectively destroyed all of the email correspondence between them. What remains are the notes he sent that ostensibly describe the details of sites and times for the source recordings. Those notes have been reproduced on the insert included in this edition, also presenting John Duncan liner notes. First pressing limited to 380 copies, with embossed total-black cover, insert and full-color inner sleeve with wonderful space images of the Nazca Lines.” – AM. 

Michel Vogel
Ronde Matutinale a Amillis Berenice

Alga Marghen Planam-19

LP
£14.99


Edition of 270 copies LP from artist and sound sculptor Michel Vogel, using brushes and sticks on a series of prepared gongs and self-built instruments to create a tone field with a Zen clarity somewhat akin to some of Harry Bertoia’s singing sculptures or even the more minimal/percussive Mirror sides: "PLANAM proudly presents the second LP by the artist and sound sculptor Michel Vogel. Born in 1941 in Strasbourg, France, Michel Vogel artistic activities start in 1960 when, as a painter under the materic influences of Antoni Tapies and Jean Dubuffet, his mineral and sound experimentations built a universe influenced by free jazz, extra-European music and Olivier Messiaen. His researches develop with new sculptures and the creation of his own resonating metal instruments. His friends of the minimalist group, and specially the Fluxus artists, supported and pushed him to carry on his acoustics explorations while his sonic creations get closer to the music of John Cage, Philip Corner, Morton Feldman and Giacinto Scelsi. After the deep cosmo night music of “Une petite music de nuit” (Vogel first LP) PLANAM decided to issue two more early-morning oriented realizations, or “Ronde mattinale à Amillis” and “Berenice”. These alfa-wave improvisations for ‘prepared’ gongs and self-built metal instruments, selected in direct collaboration with the artist, will make you enter into luminous sonic dimensions." - AM

Spine Scavenger
Weighted Ghost

Cylindrical Habitat Modules #43

LP
£12.99


Deluxe vinyl reissue of what was originally a limited release on Hanson: Spine Scavenger is cover for the solo experiments of Aaron Dilloway, with malevolent looms of repeating synth giving birth to weird ectoplasmic melodies and a jelly-thick air of pure analogue menace. Weighted Ghost presents a series of minimal, rhythmic, violent drone and pulse work, with massively fat bass tones repeated to the point of infinity while great beams of criss-crossing sirens generate hallucinatory matrices of repeat-melody. Parallels for this kind of intense overloaded approach to minimalism are few but the set touches on aspects of Folke Rabe’s 1968 classic What??, the bodily invasive ‘third ear’ sounding of Maryanne Amacher and Coil’s Time Machines. Fully re-mastered for vinyl, the LP sounds amazing, and is pressed in an edition of 500 copies in beautiful silkscreened sleeves. Highly recommended!

Big Blood
Unlikely Mothers

Blackest Rainbow Recordings BRR-271

2xLP
£24.99


Stunning/sprawling new double LP from the heart of the New Weird Maine: Big Blood have connections to major VT faves Village Of Spaces and they have a similar circular, occult vibe, with ovum’s influence resulting in amazing minimal endless jams led by bass guitar that moves between Velvets-style two note hypnosis and almost King Crimson Red-era fuzz/dunt, lunar six string and the striking, otherworldly vocals of Colleen Kinsella.
Kinsella’s vocals are dizzying, narcotic, getting into all sorts of liminal Meredith Monk/Key style experimental zones before melting into dream-date Kate Bush fronts Parson Sound nirvana. Indeed, think of a Scandinavian drone group filtered via the Paisely Underground stylings of a David Roback and Kendra Smith for the kind of magickal rural glam that this amazing trio are capable of channelling. Aspects of the Heather Leigh/Scorces cultus are given repeating nod-out rock logic re-thinks, as voice and guitar blur into each other and strikingly original song-writing and phrasing get all the way out on waves of repeating Kraut/trance bliss. Unlikely Mothers is a massive double LP set that is organised in such a way that its end links to its beginning, meaning that its one of the few double LPs in recent memory that you pretty much have to re-spin as soon as you get to the end of the fourth side. Same kind of real deal/communal sub-underground vibe to this as classic Village Of Spaces but with a more trance rock feel and less Manson Family Jams. Easy to see why Michael Gira picked up on this group for Swans’ The Seer set, as they build arcing emotional crescendos from endlessly repeating monolithic drone forms in a way that relates to the contemporary Swans live sound but with a mainline much deeper underground. Totally blown away by this, incredible vibe, totally original in its conception, one of the hands-down records of 2014. Strikingly packaged too. Highest possible recommendation!

Asa Irons
Knife Gift Debt

Turned Word Records TRDWD-30

LP
£17.99


Beautiful set of loner folk beauty from this stone mason, carpenter and elemental folk spirit: Irons will be perhaps best known for his collaborations with Matthew Valentine and Erika Elder as well as his kinship with Maine-zone weirdos like Big Blood and Village Of Spaces and here he enlists members of Big Blood alongside Micha Blue Smaldone, Tom K and Janane Tripp to revisit his back catalogue, with lush, dramatically zoned readings of his loose, earthy folk songs that are heady with a ton of dark romance. Deep-throated and fleet death ballads and choruses of levitating chorale vocals illuminate stark tracks that touch on aspects of Townes Van Zandt’s death blues w/arrangements that are truly spectacular, marrying the circular, slowly-building grandeur of Village Of Spaces with an old world grace and a mythic, eternal quality. Fantastic and highly recommended!

Bernard C.
Lieu Magique

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Limited edition of 100 copies reissue of a classic weirdo French abstract electronic side from 1985: Bernard C. is possibly best known for his work on the Illusion Production label alongside close collaborators DDAA (IVG comp, anyone?). Like DDAA, Bernard C. fuses the kind of surreal avant gardisms that approach Nurse With Wound/Jac Berrocal along with a zoned, minimalist aspect that is directly comparable to Kosmische ritualists like Yatha Sidhra, Annexus Quam et al, with melancholy, DIY dub-damaged keyboard lines over reeds, ticker-tape percussion and up-close rasping/automaton vocals. Lieu Magique complies the original 1985 LP of the same name alongside plus two bonus cuts from his 1980 “Socialist Realism” 7”. This beautifully assembled set features all-new artwork on a three panel fold-out cover. A major uncovering, beautifully rendered. Highly recommended. 

Ilan Mimaroglu
Wings Of The Delirious Demon And Other Electronic Works

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Edition of 100 copies fully official reissue of this amazing 1972 private press side from Turkish composer and musician Ilan Mimaroglu: Mimaroglu studied at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music centre in the Sixties, working with everyone from Edgar Varese to Jean Debuffet. Wings Of The Delirious Demon was released on his own Finnadar Records, a massive rarity, and it is mostly concerned with weirdo manipulations and reprocessing of clarinet sounds through synth filters, generating strange flesh/metal concepts that combine grainy electronic details with a feel for the breath and lungs of humans. Alongside these there are explosive moments of electro-acoustic collage and swooning synth sweeps, generating a feel for deep electro-mystery that is somewhere between Lol Coxhill’s late-70s/early-80s experimental works like Digswell Duets and Pipe while touching on alien aspects of Ingram Marshall, Nurse With Wound and even Borbetomagus, given an alternately austere and playful 20th century classical rendering. A major cassette reissue, highly recommended.

Invocation Of Magnetic Spirits
Vol.1

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Edition of 130 copies “remixed and repurposed to resurface” collection of eerie found tapes featuring recordings of the wild, esoteric rituals of the New Mount Zion cult: reputedly discovered on the streets of West Oakland in 2009, these recordings have been re-wired using loops, static and processes of aural degradation by R. Brundage of Starlite Coffins with endless progressions of distorted liturgical organs that sound like Hermann Nitsch beaming in from Saturn while manic preachers vibrate fire sermons over the top and arching, almost Matthew Bower-scale drones explode from the tape hiss like live, time-coded spectra. An amazing melange of crude black gospel and harsh, rainbow electronics. Recommended. 

Phipps Pt.
Kiss You So Many Times You Can’t Count My Love

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Edition of 100 copies cassette from this female folk/psych spirit: playing guitar, singing and drawing luminous single notes of starlit electricity from distant steel strings, Phipps Pt. combines the awkwardly personal song structures of the Jandek/Nancy sides with the kind of slowly exhaled folk/psych magic of Christina Carter and the heavenly exotica of a Linda Perhacs. Phipps sings through chorales of multi-tracked/reverb damaged vocals while she plays fractured chords and percussive harmonics, ala a more gentle volk take on Derek Bailey. Melting song structures, free-floating steel strings, many, many breaths... this is a beauty. Recommended. 

Starlite Coffins
Eruptionem

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Edition of 140 copies set of “utterly primeval tape-speed sorcery and analog phantasmal death-drone” from this Californian unit dedicated to desiccated chorale work: Eruptionem uses ancient sounding synths, arcs of bleary feedback, doomy processionals and the holy sound of singing shortwave to generate the kind of atmosphere that would cross Hildegard of Bingen with the NWW/Current 93 masterpiece In Menstrual Night, Technical Space Composer Crew’s Cannaxis and the tape work of Billy Basinski. Think of a tape-worn, iron clad modern religious music that uses low fidelity as a form of mournful memorial of distant times and spaces, with snippets of early music gathering rust in great pools of galactic drone and almost Suspiria-esque balletic slow-motion violence. Kind of a gothic monochrome counterpoint to Ian William Craig’s recent A Turn Of Breath LP, this is fantastic and comes in three colour offset J cards, hand numbered and hand stamped. Highly recommended. 

Various Artists
Pulsating Strings: A Collection Of Psychedelic Asian Guitar Music

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Aces-up collection of rare, exotic and psychedelic guitar music from Asia during the apex of the new music explosion 1960s-1970s in an edition of 100 copies: compiled from the archive of Oakland DJ Bobby Ganush, the set runs from teenage garage band euphoric through raw, lo-fi soul, haunted pop and cranky avant excess from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan and beyond. Features tracks by The Red Stars, Cousen Brothers, The Tones, The Steps, The Hawks, Charlie & The White Cloud Orchestra, Group 123, Apollo Band, Adnan Othman & The Wanderers, The Caterpillars and more. 

Village Of Spaces
Welcome In

Turned Word Records TRDWD-33

CD-R
£12.99


Edition of 100 copies private press CD from the untouchable New Weird Maine duo of Dan Beckman and Amy Moon: Village Of Spaces’ previous album, Alchemy & Trust, was one of VT’s favourite LPs of the last few years and its follow-up, Welcome In, does not disappoint. The duo still play these amazing, circular, folk-hymnal forms that seem elementally arranged or at least set according to the stars, playing out in hypnotic accumulations of strange, stoned strings, aching male/female vocals and that amazing, far-off Maine drug-damaged appeal. Village of Spaces take aspects of psychedelic American fronteirsmanship – Michael Hurley, Harry Smith’s Anthology, John Fahey, Sandy Bull, US Saucer, Cherry Blossoms, MV&EE – and re-configure them as eternal musics, endlessly nodding-out in widescreen vistas of slow, revelatory blooms of tone poetry, mixing unforgettable melodies with trance-inducing arrangements and the sound of their environment. Whereas their free Maine kin Big Blood sounds like they are marrying Scandinavian and Krautrock forms to mint a form of off-grid rural glam, Village Of Spaces sound much more internally combustive, with a brokedown, heart sore sound that is as high and lonesome as anything by Dock Boggs but with a communal feel and a cultic vibe that has as much to do with The Manson Family Jams or a Hillbilly Theatre Of Eternal Music as it does UK acid folk visionaries like Stone Angel, Caedmon, Tony, Caro & John et al. Another incredible, peerless rendering of outside instrumental form and heart lacerating balladry from a group that can truly do no wrong. A timeless modern masterpiece, beautifully packaged in a gatefold digipak with offset printed and hand-stamped artwork by the band. Very highly recommended!

Village Of Spaces
Welcome In

Turned Word Records TRDWD-33

LP
£21.99


Edition of 300 copies private press LP from the untouchable New Weird Maine duo of Dan Beckman and Amy Moon: Village Of Spaces’ previous album, Alchemy & Trust, was one of VT’s favourite LPs of the last few years and its follow-up, Welcome In, does not disappoint. The duo still play these amazing, circular, folk-hymnal forms that seem elementally arranged or at least set according to the stars, playing out in hypnotic accumulations of strange, stoned strings, aching male/female vocals and that amazing, far-off Maine drug-damaged appeal. Village of Spaces take aspects of psychedelic American fronteirsmanship – Michael Hurley, Harry Smith’s Anthology, John Fahey, Sandy Bull, US Saucer, Cherry Blossoms, MV&EE – and re-configure them as eternal musics, endlessly nodding-out in widescreen vistas of spare, slow, revelatory blooms of tone poetry, mixing unforgettable melodies with trance-inducing arrangements and the sound of their environment. Whereas their free Maine kin Big Blood sounds like they are marrying Scandinavian and Krautrock forms to mint a form of off-grid rural glam, Village Of Spaces sound much more internally combustive, with a brokedown, heart sore sound that is as high and lonesome as anything by Dock Boggs but with a communal feel and a cultic vibe that has as much to do with The Manson Family Jams or a Hillbilly Theatre Of Eternal Music as it does UK acid folk visionaries like Stone Angel, Caedmon, Tony, Caro & John et al. Another incredible, peerless rendering of outside instrumental form and heart lacerating balladry from a group that can truly do no wrong. A timeless modern masterpiece, beautifully packaged in a single pocket tip-on gatefold LP featuring hand screenprinted, offset printed and hand-stamped artwork by the band. Very highly recommended!

Warner Jepson
Tullian Beach Bum (Machine Excerpts)

Sanity Muffin No Cat

Cassette
£8.99


Massive 90 minute compilation of previously unheard work from this SF-based composer, artist, sculptor... salvaged from tapes that were gifted to a thrift store in the wake of Jepson’s death (!!), Tullian Beach Bum features music made by Jepson on the legendary Buchla synthesizer at his private studio in SF and at Mills College, Oakland. Jepson released one highly desirable LP during his lifetime, 1973’s privately pressed Totentanz, a work that was commissioned by the San Francisco Ballet Company, later collected on 2008’s Totentanz And Other Electronic Works 1958-1973. Tullian Beach Bum looks to be the first in a series of revelatory documents of the rest of Jepson’s expansive work, presenting all-analog compositions that combine accruing minimalist patterns, sci-fi tones, beautifully damaged melodies and the kind of cranky Buchla work that would reconcile austere 20th century electro forms with the ludic, out there a minute stylings of a Sun Ra or early Asmus Tietchens. More please! Highly recommended. 

Angels In America/Weyes Blood
Split

Northern Spy No Cat

Cassette
£7.99


Hand-numbered edition of 100 copies split cassette from two Baltimore based nada-fi psych ghosts. The Angels side presents three tracks of gorgeous faraway choral chants and haunted spoken vox with a narcoleptic aspect that is extremely pleasing: hazes of boy/girl vocals, choral zones of feedback and bowed drones and subtle/primitive electro rhythms. Aspects of Grouper, Suicide, early No Wave but with a drug-damaged minimalist aspect that is supremely atmospheric. More please. Weyes Blood aka Natalie Mering presents a series of bewitching stripped-down acid/folk w/multi-tracked vocals and a lightly trippy west coast feel. 

Soft Power
If You Come Around

All Day Breakfast Enterprises No Cat

LP
£14.99


New Australian underground jams from a group that features Joel Stern, Andrew McLellan and Josh Watson of Sky Needle, Greg Boring et al alongside Sophia Brous on vocals: primarily assembled from organic electronics and primitive home-burned dub environs, this is a beautifully puzzling release. Brous’s vocals give it the feel of hallucinatory operatic exotica, with visions of irradiated Yma Sumac transmissions over what sounds like a screwed and chopped Cluster w/a 3am Aphex vibe. Some of the music has the fractured, out-of-time avant pop vibe of Greg Boring but fed through the kinda monoliths of non-musicality of a Conrad Schnitzler while Brous holds impenetrable dialogues with herself and worries over body sounds. File alongside weirdo liminal sides by AC Marias, Dome et al and you might find some kind of succour. On coloured vinyl in lurid 12” disco bag sleeves, a real late night slow burner from members of the Breakdance The Dawn cabal. Recommended. 

David Jackman
Edge Of Nothing

Die Stadt DS60

10"
£12.99


Much needed re-release in easy to flip form of some heavy, historically potent work from David Jackman of UK experimental cell Organum. “The Edge Of Nothing” was recorded back in 1983 and was originally available as part of the seminal bargain-bin staple The Elephant Table Album alongside tracks by players like Coil, Chris & Cosey and Nurse With Wound. “The Edge Of Nothing” was the first track Nurse With Wound’s Steve Stapleton heard by Jackman – reputedly hailing it at the time as “a cherry on a pile of vomit” - and was the inspiration for later collaborations. This features new mixes of the original material, which was derived from variously stimulating a cymbal with bows, knuckles, loops etc. The sleeve illustration is an isometric image of a WW1 British machine gun emplacement taken from an original drawing made by a member of 23 Field Company, Royal Engineers in February 1918.

MV & EE
Alpha Lyrae

Child Of Microtones COM-41

CD-R
£12.99


Limited to only 99 hand-numbered copies art edition CD-R of what is also the historic first ever LP release on one of the premier private press imprints of the era, Matthew Valentine and Erika Elder’s Child Of Microtones: in many ways COM was the first imprint to ever grok to the artistic and documentarian possibilities of the CD-R format, releasing lovingly crafted limited runs back when home burning meant little more than getting smoked up. So it feels nothing short of epochal to be welcoming this gorgeous slice to the catalogue. With a revolving cast of players that includes contributions from Mick Flower, Doc Dunn, Tim Barnes, Rafi Bookstaber, Jeremy Earl and Coot Moon, Alpha Lyre has the feel of an obsessively worked over and long-time coming ‘statement’ and it somehow manages to be the most brain-dazzlingly complex COM to date – something in the way the matrices of strings float and get entangled and the feeling of cosmo-drift between one song and the next, not to mention the kinda higher fractured logic that takes the drug ballad way beyond the reach of simple west coast trips – while amping up the crunch with some of the duo’s most raging full on group work. Indeed, side two’s opener, “Roll On>Mayan Feedback” rivals Lou Reed’s ostrich showcasing on The Legendaly Guitar Tapes as they tear through what sounds like a proto-Kaneko take on “Run Run Run” or “I Can’t Stand It”. “Boo Woe (When It’s All Gone)” presents a tragic scenario that we can all relate to while “Return From The Stars” mines a whole other Albion for some beautiful Canterbury-esque paeans to a smarter stone. “You” comes over like a Moebius strip eternal music take on the most dosed outward bound soft-focus psych, reaching its apex with the epic candyfloss dissolve and expiring space-whisper vocals of “Starchild”, which might just be the most erotic slice of pure floating non-body gnosis of their entire catalogue. Produced in full Spectrasound and strikingly packaged with the usual handmade care, the CD-R edition also boasts an exclusive track, a full jam outro on “Boo Woe” that features Willie Lane, John Moloney (Sunburned Hand Of The Man) and members of Prisma and Visitations. Highly recommended! 

Ora
Morgendammerung

Die Stadt DS-79

10"
£9.99


"This 10 inch vinyl only release by ORA, a group project which mainly consisted of Andrew Chalk, Colin Potter and Darren Tate - who both later moved on to become MONOS - active between 1991-1998 features two hauntingly atmospheric tracks from their rare "New Movements In G" CDR (150 copies) originally released on Darren Tate's own Gnome Records label in 1998, and were not included on the two Ora retrospective CD compilations "Final" and "After The Rainfall" (both on Colin Potter's own ICR label). For these recordings Ora were: Darren Tate, Colin Potter, Lol Coxhill, Daisuke Suzuki on the A-Side "The Sun Sheds A Golden Tear", and Darren Tate & Colin Potter on the B-Side "The Impregnable". Cover photography by Darren Tate. Inner sleeve artwork by Helen Potter. Cover design by Jonathan Coleclough. Edition of 500 copies in full colour sleeve on clear vinyl." - DS.

Slicing Grandpa
Chaos Midnight

Strain Theory Records No Cat

10"
£10.99


First turned onto this excellent Seattle-based duo by our pals Sparkle Girl and they were right, Slicing Grandpa are an excellent/weird rhythm machine/fuzz/vox/guitars cabal that take the sound of early Chrome and bombard it with downs, F/X and glue until it comes across more like a cough syrup pro-sci-fi take on Big Black. Aspects of this 10” would’ve sat just right on a Subterranean comp or an LAFMS cassette – the vocals sit under a thin storm of gloop while the guitars have a great lubricated, quicksilver feel that speaks of doom, drugs and dislocation like nothing else. Dark, fucked, totally great.

Totally Nang!
#1

Totally Nang #1

Zine
£1.99


Great new ‘old school’ no-digital/cut n paste underground zine from Glasgow: written on a typewriter borrowed from Richard Youngs, Totally Nang features a great candid/revealing interview with Youngs himself as well as a conversation with Finland’s Tsembla and reviews/appreciations of Blood Stereo, Pengo, Nazorani, Public Image Limited and more. 

Antti Tolvi
Taikuri Tali

Ikuisuus iku-040

LP
£17.99


Massive new solo album from Finnish free jazz head Antti Tolvi, best known as a member of Rauhan Orkesteri/Lauhkeat Lampaat et al: following on from his triumphal double LP of psychedelic piano minimalism on Fonal, Taikuri Tali collects a bunch of diverse strategies, with high masses scored for street organs, massively raw, almost Charlie Nothing-esque flute work, dazzling forest folk jams and minimalist DIY visions that could almost be Bo Anders Persson. Indeed, played back to back with Persson’s recent Love Is Here To Stay retrospective it makes for a historically up-ending listen, taking free improvisation into new depths of omming, brain-stilling psychoactivity. Recommended!

Aoki Tomoyuki & Mochizuki Harutaka
s/t

No Label No Cat

CD
£16.99


Privately pressed Japan-only numbered edition of only 200 copies from this mind-blowing new psychedelic Tokyo underground duo: guitarist/vocalist Aoki Tomoyuki is front-man for the hands-down best post-Flashback Tokyo psych unit Up-Tight, while one-time Volcanic Tongue recording artists Harutaka plays saxophone and sings in an emotionally desolate, high-wire style that connects the phantom reed work of a Kaoru Abe or a Masayoshi Urabe with a fraught take on the bleak folk-blues of a Shuji Inaba or a Kan Mikami. This beautifully packaged self-released album marks their debut as a duo and it makes for a thrilling ride. Cutting wild almost Takayanagi/Abe style improvisations with some startling songs, Tomoyuki mainlines his trademark post-Velvets OTT fuzz guitar style into thick beams of endless feedback worship, with the sound of mangled electricity exploding dark, desolate ballads that Harutaka tears apart with an up-close, un-dosed saxophone sound that moves from confrontational implosions to sweet, delicate melodic playing and upper register tone violence. Both Tomoyuki and Harutaka handle the song writing credits as well as vocals, combining the kind of minor chord melancholy of classic PSF-blasted enka with moments of pure tonal eruption, with what sounds like The Legendaly Guitar Amp Tapes put to the service of primo Japanese drug ballads. And when the two fall into the extended improvisations that bookend the folk/punk songs it feels like the next advance in the evolution of one of the most creatively accelerated underground scenes in the world. Fans of La Musica, PSF, the early Takayanagi/Abe duos and the whole Flashback folk/psych/acid sound need to plug this monster in. Very highly recommended!!

Ark
Voyages

Guerssen Records Guess-107

LP
£22.99


Long-time coming reissue of this massively heavy Christian psych legend recorded in 1978 and originally pressed in an edition of only 100 copies: legendary private press/real people psych dealer and Endless Boogie frontman Paul Major lists this as one of his all-time Top Five releases and it fully delivers on the hype with heady organ-driven eschatological hymns that combine the exuberant dooms of D.R. Hooker with the almost obligatory nod to Doors-style psychodrama and greasy biker duds that are a little more, uh, cocaine than gasoline, it is the late 70s after all, giving the whole Xian genre a touch of glitterball that reflects on the wastoid loungeland genius of Jade Stone & Luv as much as raw basement classics like Frolk Haven et al. Great endless/wayward fuzz jams that get all the way out coupled with goofy/inspired ‘F/X’ like wind across deserts and air raid sirens that give the whole deal the kinda epic/creepy Biblical aspect of Father Yod & Ya Ho Wha at their most thunderous. Beautifully presented with all-new liners and a ton of previously unknown info from ‘Lama’ himself, Mr Patrick Lundborg. Highly recommended!

Blues Creation
Demon & Eleven Children

Bamboo BAMLP7001

LP
£14.99


Heavy vinyl edition of the 1971 debut from the new, super-charged Blues Creation, still one of the heaviest stones to come out of the Japanese psychedelic underground: this massive album has enough squeal to please even a guy like John Fothergill, with that classic wailing acid guitar sound wrapped around a buncha monolithic thug punk excess. Track titles like “Atom Bomb Away” and “Sorrow” point to the kind of apocalyptically wasted sonics that await. “Just I Was Born” is the kind of razzing twin string blaster that would reconcile early sludge metal with the kinda levitating fuzz attack of The Savage Resurrection and the stoned 70s shred of the Spectator label. “Sorrow” is even better, with twin metal guitar harmonics and classic galloping rhythms giving way to the kinda power-weeping ballad style of the Far Out or even Blue Oyster Cult circa “Last Days Of May” w/Cream and Zep-isms given that classic turned up to 11 mutant Japanese violence. A killer heavy psych/amplifier worshipping side, highly recommended.

Dark Matter
s/t

Siltbreeze SB-170

LP
£17.99


New album from a group led by Stephen Cogle, best known for his time in legendary New Zealand underground groups like Vacuum, The Victor Dimisich Band and The Terminals: a great, dreamy full-band sound here, with a sound that feels directly linked to the Victor Dimisich recordings, incorporating the always dramatic, romantic feel of Cogle’s vocals with great xpressways of melodic guitar droning and a romantic, apocalyptic atmosphere that is impossible to resist. In a way, Cogle has the personality of a frontman from a different age, a Tom Verlaine, a John Cale or even a more gothic Lawrence circa The Splendour Of Fear as he sings about history coming to an end and the guitars trail off into the chiming motorik eternities of a Velvets or a Clean, those twin poles of NZ garage euphorics. But really, this feels more like a continuation of the trajectory Cogle first locked into with the Dimisich recordings than any kind of new comeback project and it’s a goddamn privilege to pick up the trail. Highly recommended. 

Hamish Kilgour
All Of It And Nothing

Ba Da Bing Records BING-102

LP
£15.99


Hard to believe that the world has never been graced with a solo album by Hamish Kilgour of New Zealand underground legends The Clean/The Mad Scene before but here it is: All Of It And Nothing is a very intimate, hushed acid-folk masterpiece, almost in the lineage of a Joshua Burkett, with a series of sparse, low-key songs and settings that combine washes of technicolour motorik ala early Clean with the kind of internally implosive gravity of a Skip Spence’s Oar. Indeed, there’s an uncanny 60s west coast comedown feel, almost as if it’s a solo bedroom studio take on The Notorious Byrd Brothers as re-interpreted by a Bob Desper or even a Bill Comeau. Less ‘pop’ and more dark and delicate than David Kilgour’s classic Here Come The Cars, this is one of the most enigmatic and unexpected pitches into the void ever to come out of the Clean mothership. Recommended. 

Kevin Aprill
Sunset On An Imaginary Beach Of Latent Energy

Del Val DV-11

LP
£33.99


Staggering reissue/rediscovery of what existed only as a single-copy acetate cut in New Jersey in 1971: this discovery was so momentous that it brought the legendary Del Val label out of hibernation after 10 years (they were the first to reissue The Bachs’ sainted Out Of The Bachs in 1992) in order to make it public. It’s a revelation. Aprill was a massively bombed-out American Primitive guitarist with a vision of the sound of the cosmos and this revelatory album combines aching acoustic guitar laments with the most fucked-up drone/sound environments ever to make it out of the real people 1970s void. Aprill and partner Mary Parshelunis use vocals, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer and kazoo – albeit kazoo soaked in OTT psychedelic F/X. The first side is epic, three guitar soli excursions that match Fahey’s Days Have Gone By in terms of temporal dislocation w/heady use of F/X. But it’s the b-side that will truly blow your mind. It starts off with an insane improvisation for solo dulcimer before dropping into an almost side-long suite called “On Tour Of The Solar System” that breaks down into three ‘movements’; “Plutonian Airwaves”/Improvization Upon A Traditional Martian Scale/Rocket Waves”. You never heard such sounds: the wailing echoed kazoo is equal parts Cherry Blossoms and Richard Youngs circa New Angloid Sound while the combination of harsh noise, wowing drone work and tactile fuzz-damaged folk/punk brut somehow reconciles the communal improvisatory appeal of Taj Mahal Travellers and CCCC with a homemade UK underground/DIY ethos (think the whole Bower/Campbell/Youngs orbit) and some massively crude would-be-concrete Industrial improvisations. Just incredible. Indeed, Sunset... pretty much encompasses alla the historical strands of the Fahey back catalogue in one goddamn session. The sleeve art is just gravy too, with titles written in pen and a beautiful reproduction of the original sleeve, complete with tears and tape markings. Amazing that at this stage of the game something so completely unparalleled can still be uncovered. Wow – very highly recommended!

Lars-Gunnar Bodin/Bengt Emil Johnson
Semikolon

Paradigm Discs PD-29

LP
£13.99


Numbered edition of 500 copies LP with four page insert that reissues this seminal 1966 text-sound collaboration from two key Swedish sound poets: originally created as a 6 part radio series in 1965 and released in 1966 by Sveriges Radio, Semikolon was the first LP recording by either of these composers, recorded at EMS (Elektron Musik Studion), the newly established studio facility at Swedish Radio. Inspired by the work of Öyvind Fahlström (who was a pioneer of concrete poetry along with the Lettrists and Futurists), the duo began exploring new text based experiments. The only other artist releasing recordings that were exploring a similar territory in Sweden was Åke Hodell who had released two 7” singles.
Access to the facilities and sophisticated electronics at EMS meant that the pair’s concepts were more advanced than their European counterparts w/ a heady radio-play logic that gave way to the first use of the term text-sound composition, a working description that was soon taken up by other Swedish artists like Ake Hodell and Sten Hanson.
Bodin and Johnson went on to inaugurate the Fylkingen festival of text-sound composition which in turn birthed a major series of LPs while they contributed to some of the major publications of the time, such as Revue Ou.
Semikolon is a radical collaboration, using voice, field recordings, the sounds of smashing glass, automatic narration, rasping electronics, body sounds and narrative jump-cuts to create a fractured form of sonic exegesis that combines an austere European experimental feel with a darker Kraut/Industrial aspect that is almost Nurse With Wound-esque at times. There’s also a strange sensual/nostalgic aspect to some of the tracks, with excerpts of sad lounge/country music interrupted by the sounds of industrial machinery and odd, deliberately articulated little girl voices that sound like a child’s first tape experiments. A historically potent release that comes with a bonus 7 minute track not on the original release - highly recommended. 

Maurizio Bianchi
S.F.A.G. 81

Recursion STRANA 001

LP
£16.99


Repro vinyl edition of this legendary side from Maurizio Bianchi, still one of the central Industrial/experimental records to come out of the revolutionary underground tumult of the late-70s/early-80s. Originally issued in 1981 on Sterile Records, Symphony For A Genocide was then re-issued as a completely re-worked piece by Broken Flag entitled S.F.A.G. 81 in January 1983. Excerpted on Vinyl On Demand’s amazing Broken Flag set, this edition represents its first full reissue on vinyl. S.F.A.G. 81 is a harrowing wake for liberal/humanist notions of humanity in the shadow of the Holocaust, with black tunnels of martial, mechanised analog drone, wailing alarm codes, primitive drum machines and conveyor belt rhythms marching inexorably into the heart of darkness. There’s a bleak, orchestral feel to the way that Bianchi totally rubbers the original recording, using a primitive delay unit to further refract and echo the spectral sonics while touching on the kind of talismanic freak zones of Heather Leigh circa Jailhouse Rock. Alongside the TG 24 Hour box, the early Broken Flag catalogue, a buncha the Italian power electronic sides, Nurse With Wound's Chance Meeting and Whitehouse's Dedicated To Peter Kurten, S.F.A.G. 81 remains one of the truly epoch-defining recordings and it still sounds every bit as disturbing and interrogating as it did the first time you ever encountered it. Remastered and fully authorised, beautifully packaged with thick tip-on sleeves and artwork by longtime Bianchi collaborator Siegmar Fricke. One time pressing of 500 copies. Very highly recommended!  

oMMM
Parallel Lines Converge

Alien Jams No Cat

LP
£13.99


Debut release in an edition of 300 copies from this label run by Chloe Frieda of the Alien Jams radio show, dedicated to past>future electronic experimentation: oMMM is the brainchild of Edmund Davie and uses primitive electronics, four-track cassette recorder, tape work, synth and drum machine to generate the kind of lonely lunar satellites that combine the feel of early Asmus Tietchens with classic, spooked bedroom radiophonia and an eerie occult/galactic atmosphere that is somewhere between The Conet Project and Joe Meek’s I Hear A New World. Tracks read like NASA interceptions of punk primitive alien technologies tone-dialling 20th century receptors with squiggles of shortwave, early Industrial wasp soundings, brain-blotting loops and clunky hermetic drones underlining the whole scientific bedroom hobbyist appeal. Unmusical and mind-bendingly crude, this makes for the perfect combination of eccentric analogue experimentation and cold, austere Kluster/Conrad Schnitzler style dead dark space. A great debut, highly recommended.

Our Love Will Destroy The World
Stillborn Plague Angels

Dekorder #30

LP
£14.99


Debut full-length album from Campbell Kneale’s post-Birchville Cat Motel/Black Boned Angel project. Kinda the Sunroof to Birchville’s Skullflower, Our Love Will Destroy The World retains the power/doom backdrop that has defined Kneale’s last few releases but somehow there’s a more free-floating aspect to the sonics that makes it sound more psychedelic and less immediately oppressive. Most of the tracks still work from vertical layers of steel tone but there’s a technicolour aspect to their construction that is much more lucid than the average post-Metal drone doofus. I mean, it’s still gonna shave your head but there’s something more sensual and deeply focussed about Kneale’s new style that is uniquely persuasive.

Patrick Conrad
Gelukkig Als In Het Bijzijn Van Een Vrouw

KRAAK No Cat

LP
£18.99


Unlikely deluxe LP reissue in a hand-numbered run of only 300 copies of what has been described as “one of the very few psychedelic treasures from Belgium”, Patrick Conrad’s stunning 1972 masterpiece: in 1972 Belgian poets Nic van Bruggen and Patrick Conrad founded Pink Poets, a group of mainly artists from Antwerp that “shared a love for quality restaurants and alcohol.” In 1973 Conrad recorded Gelukkig als in het bijzijn van een vrouw with Roland van Campenhout and two session musicians. Originally pressed in a tiny run of only 300 copies, its reputation has become legendary through its combination of weirdo poetry, downer acid folk and full-on Kosmische dreamtone bliss-out.
Conrad reads his poetry through an echo chamber, giving his voice all of the zonked oracular power of a Walter Wegmuller or a Sergius Golowin, who are probably the closest comparisons. The music is amazing, at points touching on totemic downer folk gods such as Bob Desper or Mark Fry covering the soundtrack to Valerie & Her Week Of Wonders with dosed flute, violin and weirdo narration. Then the album totally flips and Conrad takes off on walls of droning F/X that sound like the brainchild of Timothy Leary and Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser as he power-booms his poetry straight down the throat of the void over some blasted wah-wah guitar that feels like it was squoze out of the third eye of Conny Veit. This would’ve sat just *there* alongside Ultra Eczema’s on-going unearthing of counter-cultural Belgium madmanisms and the presentation is stunning, with hand-numbered gatefold sleeves that present extensive liners over pics of opium smokers, an amazing massive fold-out poster and a large 12” booklet. An incredible archival issue, a true one-off that demands to be heard, very highly recommended!

Raum
Event Of Your Leaving

Glass, House #003

LP
£23.99


Beautiful new duo set from Liz Harris (Grouper) and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma in a white vinyl edition of 500 copies: described as “a loose set of memories, dreams and imagines interpreting the visual work of Latvian artist Vija Celmins for piano, guitar, keyboard, voice and tapes”, Event Of Your Leaving takes the fuzzy/distant rural psychedelia of Flying Saucer Attack circa In Search Of Spaces and dilates it to the point of embryonic interstellar bliss, with the duo floating out on waves of slow-glissing solar winds while celestial melodies cohere in chains of smeared single notes. Some of the more euphoric passages have that glorious backwards guitar/tremolo wormhole appeal of Isn’t Anything-era My Bloody Valentine but with a smudged tonal palette that goes even deeper into nowhere. Beautifully packaged in a three panel fold-out cover that is an offset print and letter-pressed edition of artwork by Liz Harris, this one won’t be around for long! Limited supply, very highly recommended. 

Sachiko & Rinji Fukuoka
Void

Musik Atlach MACDR-001

CD
£10.99


Stunning new self-released album from the Japanese underground duo of Sachiko (Kousokuya/Overhang Party et al) and Rinji Fukuoka (Overhang Party/Majutsu Ni Niwa et al): recorded in startling hi-fi at Showboat in Tokyo in June of 2011, Void is the perfect name for this mind-blowing wall of relentlessly peaking black hole sound, with Sachiko’s angel vox and heavenly electronics bisected by Fukuoka’s vocals, electronics, bass, percussion and shortwave radio work. Sachiko has a way of generating hugely organic walls of feedback that still scream like sheet metal and here she is on particularly devastating form, building ghostly shapes and witch cries from ectoplasmic electricity that Fukuoka threads with haunted shortwave voices and ghost tones. Soon the whole piece is vibrating like a gridlocked Parson Sound, with Fukuoka’s electric bass pushing the whole thing into full-on nod-out/brain-dunt mode. Another peerless release from two of the leading lights of the contemporary Tokyo psych sound. Highly recommended. 

The Theatre Of Eternal Music
s/t

No Label No Cat

LP
£46.99


Staggering out-of-nowhere/massively limited LP of primo unreleased recordings from the original world-defining line-up of The Theatre Of Eternal Music: La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, Angus MacLise, Tony Conrad and John Cale. Consisting of excerpts from the legendary tapes that the group made across 1963/64 before MacLise’s departure for the east, there are four mind-blowing jams here, all rendered in spectacular fidelity.  La Monte plays sopranino saxophone throughout, with Zazeela on vocal drones, MacLise on hand percussion, Conrad on bowed guitar and Cale on viola. Track 1: “12/1/64 The First Twelve; Sunday Morning Blues. Track 2: 19/10/63 Fifth Day Of The Hammer; Bb Dorian Blues (Excerpt). Track 3: 28/11/63 The Overday (Excerpt). Track 4: 30/10/63 Day Of Hummingbird Night (Excerpt). One of the major archival unearthings of this legendary group and a key/secret Holy Music working. Beautiful pro-printed sleeves with liners by La Monte, incredibly short supply, single copies per customer, please do not be disappointed if you miss out! Highest possible recommendation!

V-3
Live At Bernie’s ‘97

No Label No Cat

LP
£18.99


Massive vinyl unearthing of what was originally released as a limited CD-R in a promo-only run of 100 copies: recorded live at Bernie’s on the same bill as Bassholes and Strapping Fieldhands this devastating live set presents the Photograph Burns-era line-up of V-3 in totally scorching form.
The music of Jim Shepard (Vertical Slit/V-3 et al) exists in a kind of timeless/non-historically specific zone and you could almost juggle the release dates of alla his back catalogue around and it would still make perfect sense. Inspired by UK prog like King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and Be Bop Deluxe as well as avant garde composition, the whole Velvets/Reed/Cale/Bowie/Rundgren cabal, free jazz etc, Shepard visioned a form of experimental rock that remained radically individual while anticipating developments in the form that weren’t even thought of by most underground players until well into the 1990s. He was a central player in the whole Columbus Ohio Mike Rep/Tommy Jay/Ron House/Nudge Squidfish scene yet there was always something friendless and lonely and combative about his musical persona.
Live At Bernie’s presents a live-in-a-basement rip through some of his best material, with his vocals pushed well up front. We get scabrous versions of tracks like “Your Uncle”, “Son Of Sam”, “Harry”, “Queen Of The Underground” et al that go as deep into the nocturnal American nightmare zone as anything by Simple Saucer, Chrome and White Light/White Heat era Velvet Underground. The fidelity is superb, actually higher than a buncha his ‘official’ albums while packing enough amplifier damage and lo-grade scuzz to take you directly *there*. Shepard remains a shining star in the VT universe, one of the most important and uncompromising voices to come out of the American underground, and this is as fine an epitaph for him as any, classic pre/post-Siltbreeze destructo rock mainlined straight from the source. Paste-on sleeves w/scrawled individually unique art. Love this era, love these songs. Don’t sleep! Highly recommended.

Various Artists
Neu Ist Zeit: Augsburg 1979-84

Randstock Platten RS-03

LP
£21.99


Stunning, fully licensed classic DIY style compilation of amazing 1980s DIY, synth, punk and no wave masterworks from Augsburg, Germany in a limited totally handmade edition of only 200 copies: assembled using no computer technology whatsoever, this is a true labour of love, with a presentation that stays true to how it would have looked had it been released in 1984, using pencil, hand, non-digital camera and a Xerox machine. Sleeves are all recycled LP covers hand-painted with black ink and with one of nine different original photographs mounted on the cover. Back cover is based on a b/w paste-on featuring original/non-seen flyer graphics.
None of the tracks compiled her ever made it to vinyl, being culled mostly from long lost cassette tapes. And what a sound! Maybe best known amongst this incredible micro-scene is the all-female ultra-crude punks Pervers, whose infamous 1985 7” remains one of the holy grails of DIY experimental non. They are represented here by great sounding unreleased original mixes (!) from their 1985 monster.  But there’s more: Stalinorgel (“one of the very first punk bands of Germany, they had two Velvets bootlegs and created their version of swabian punk”), Ameisensaure (“Flipper on 45”), Kalt (“early Neubauten meets Chrome”), Der Zustand (“experimental NDW inspired by their Lower East Side peers”), Schatten Unter Eis (“first track maximal synth bordering on acid house ((in 1983!)), the other track sounds like school boy JOY D fans covering Young Marble Giants”), Kurzschluzz (“synth NDW with fake French lyrics by the duo of Joachim Stender and Nicole Zunker, recorded 10 months earlier than their LÀDVENTURE IMAGINAIRE album”) and Fog (“first track is in the vein of mid period 39 Clocks ((whom they didn`t know)), 2nd track sounds like a teutonic version of Tuxedomoon during their early days in Brussels”).
This is an incredible overview of a massively accelerated underground scene, with post-Krautrock moves imploding into an incredible melange of cold synth, scrappy DIY jams, atonal avant rock refusals and insane no-count energies. Totally legit, perfectly mastered, this is just a goddamn treat and makes for the key DIY release of the year. Simply can’t recommend this incredible labour of love enough, comes with an insert w/a ton of info, highest possible recommendation!!