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Please check out this week's special inbetween list:
Take Another Look...

Just some of the Highlights of the week of 40 items on
NEW ARRIVALS List #484 (25 September 2015)

album cover SCOTT, SIMON Insomni (Ash International) cd 15.98
With his first release under the auspices of the Touch label (via their Ash International subsidiary), after others on Miasmah and Immune, Simon Scott offers up yet another exquisite album, once again treading far beyond the shadow of Slowdive. Yes, Scott is the drummer from that beloved shoegazing / noise-pop ensemble; but there's nary a rhythm to be found on Insomni, which graces us with radioluminscent guitar drones, data-crunched sheets of noise, abstracted field recordings, and a number of languid ellipsis on the acoustic guitar. All of this comes together for a damn near perfect album that is right at home alongside so many of the other greats on Touch and Ash International (like Fennesz, BJ Nilsen, Lawrence English, Phill Niblock, Oren Ambarchi, Chris Watson, etc.). The album operates somewhat like a diptych with the first half of the album re-coding dilated shoegazing drones into effervescent explosions of digitalia girded with sublimely somber harmonics and loping melodies. Many of the environmental sounds address the album's title of insomnia, with Scott capturing those household drones and electrical hums that can dig into the brain as an unwelcome sonic earworm, late at night when one is trying to sleep but cannot. Scott amplifies and expands these sounds and coaxes something transcendent out of them amidst his soft-focused explosions of guitars and whatnot. The second half of the album is dominated by his beautiful acoustic guitar explorations that certainly pay homage to someone like Robbie Basho or Peter Walker, with these crystalline figures chiming into elegant fugues and languid passages equally melodic as they are hypnotic. Undoubtedly, Insomni is the best solo recording we've heard from Simon Scott yet!
MPEG Stream: "An Angel From The Sea Kissed Me"
MPEG Stream: "Confusion In Her Eyes"
MPEG Stream: "Nettle Bed"
MPEG Stream: "Nember"

album cover SWEAT LODGE Talismana (Ripple) cd 14.98
Not to be confused with a few other Sweat Lodges out there (we reviewed a tape by a screamo punk band called Sweat Lodge a few years back), this Sweat Lodge is a heavy psych stoner rock band outta Austin, Texas, and they are AWESOME. Seriously, all the stoner rock digging peeps here at AQ immediately fell in love at first listen, they're that good. Actually we meant to list it a few weeks ago, but our supplier was out of stock - now we've got cds (the vinyl version is still MIA, unfortunately) and are not only listing it, but making it Record Of The Week, just 'cause everybody here (not just the stoner rock digging peeps) has been digging it so much and we're still spinning it a LOT.
There's a big Black Sabbath influence evident here, you know, jamming grooves, powerful riffage, and Ozzy-ish (but not too Ozzy-ish) vocals... Sure, lots of bands play that game these days, but these guys are winners. Just super solid, with catchy songs, a dark and trippy vibe, and maybe most crucially, those vocals - the guy is good! Also the sound and mix is just right, clean but not too polished or produced, just a very satisfying, listenable sound, heavy but accessible and melodic. Along with the Sabbath, what we're hearing reminds us of the likes of Uncle Acid, Freedom Hawk, (fellow Austinites) Fogg, maybe even some Golden Void, and other heavy, rockin' faves so if you're into stuff like that, do yourself a favor and check out Sweat Lodge!!!
Weirdly, this band started out as a three piece, of just bass, drums, and vocals - no guitar! They performed and even put out a 7" and demo tape with that lineup, and that stuff WAS cool (lotsa heavy fuzz bass and those killer vocals, yeah why not?) but really they made the right decision recently to expand the band to its current five-piece format, as documented on this debut full-length, bringing in not just one but two guitarists for not just a fuller, even heavier sound but a lot more interesting psychedelic interplay and texture. Sabbath with twin guitars, nice idea. Just listen. Everybody we've played it for so far has gotten hooked!
MPEG Stream: "Bed Of Ashes"
MPEG Stream: "Slow Burn"
MPEG Stream: "Black Horizon"

album cover BASINSKI, WILLIAM Cascade (2062) cd 13.98
The Deluge and Cascade are two variations on the same set of tape loops constructed by William Basinski, with the former being released on vinyl and the latter on compact disc. Piano and orchestral recordings are the source material embedded onto those tapes, which Basinski colors with the muddled patina of a fictionalized antiquity. It's same deliciously haunted atmosphere that has captured our imaginations ever since he released the seminal Disintegration Loops nearly fifteen years ago. We'd love to believe that he stumbled up a pile of quarter-inch tape from some closet in a forgotten school who had a music program sometime in the '50s and '60s, whose students were only instructed on playing the most elegiac of funeral dirges on the piano. Or at least that's what Basinski's antiquated sounds allude to.
Cascade is a single 40 minute piece (coupled with a download of a live variation recorded at the Issue Project Room) that slows the pace on the frenzied loops that were introduced on The Deluge. It's a softer, more contemplative, dreamier variation, all the while keeping true to his woozy melancholia traced with delay, echo, reverb, and drone. So fucking what if we've already heard Basinski present this same technique on every preceding recording, it remains always unnervingly beautiful and spellbinding!
MPEG Stream: "Cascade"

album cover BLACK WING ...Is Doomed (The Flenser) lp 17.98
We've long been huge fans of experimental, outsider, bedroom, black metal outfit Have A Nice Life, so much so, that at one point, Andee was gonna release one of their records on tUMULt. Since then, the world has seemingly caught up, and caught on to the twisted genius of Dan Barrett's Have A Nice Life, and in the process, have also begun to discover the various other projects Barrett somehow finds time to mastermind.
One of which, this record right here, might be our favorite so far. Not entirely removed sonically from Have A Nice Life, but at the same time something completely different. Apparently inspired by a recent illness, and the surrounding machines that barraged Barrett with various beeps and bleeps and tones, Black Wing is not even remotely metal, although it is dark, an it's not difficult to draw a line back to Have A Nice Life, but essentially, Black Wing traffics in a sort of gloomy electro pop, a downer darkwave that seems to be equal parts post punk, and new wave, but filtered through Barrett's cracked sonic aesthetic.
The resulting record is a moody collection of droned out, minor key jams, built from cascades of sequenced synths, and primitive drum programming, all wrapped in a blurry, psychedelic song fug, and all in service of plaintive, echo-drenched vox, drifting way down in the mix. But don't get the idea that this is some straight up bummer rock, just check out "Luther", which sort of lopes and lumbers, until a second synth comes in and unfurls a gloriously melodic, and nearly sun dappled sounding melody, reminding us of a happier Cure, and when the vocals build into a lush chorale, this could almost be some outsider indie rock.
The whole record is rife with those sorts of sonic surprises, the eighties production, the booming reverberant drums, the tones and drones, the buzz and shimmer that seems to underpin all the tracks, and the vocals, lilting, plaintive, a little bid sad boy indie sounding, but that's kind of what makes Black Wing so cool. It's indie pop doused in industrial crunch, a little bit burnished and blackened, but a crazy catchy melody, or sweetly swoonsome vocal hook is never far away, and really almost every track eventually blossoms into something impossibly pretty. "Black Wing" sounds like a home brewed, lo-fi, industrial-wave Postal Service, while "My Body Betrayed Me" sound like it could be some weird eighties reissue on Medical Records.
While there are a few moments of twisted heaviness, the rest of the record plays out way more like some lost eighties synth pop record, albeit with extra fuzz and grit, especially the last track, which has an almost dance-y vibe, but one that is balanced by the strange harmony group vox, and a dense swirl of softly psychedelic noise. So good!
Includes a download code as well.
MPEG Stream: "My Body Betrayed Me"
MPEG Stream: "Unemployed"

album cover BOOGEY MAN, THE (TIM KROG & ED CHRISTIANO) OST (One Way Static) lp 37.00
And now One Way Static brings us a vinyl version of this killer (literally) soundtrack...
A classic slasher from the eighties, The Boogeyman is crazy even by the standards of other classic B-movie horror flicks. The plot is confusing to say the least, childhood trauma, a young girl and her brother, a murdered mother, killed while having sex, a mute child grown up to be a knife hoarding mute, living with the seemingly well adjusted sister, terrifying reflections in mirrors, eventually painted black, a priest impaled by multiple blades, possession, levitation. It's actually a pretty fun movie, but it is NUTS.
The soundtrack is a doozy though, the classic sort of Carpenter style creep fest of the time, actually quite reminiscent of what might be THEE greatest horror score EVER (and one that has inexplicably not been reissued yet), Phantasm!
Composer Tim Krog offers up ominous sprawls of squiggly synths, dense swaths of kosmische creepiness, twisted sound effects, some Halloween like melodic themes, moody organs, dark drones and moody ambience, for a batshit movie, the score is actually pretty fantastic, lovely and terrifying in equal measure, swirling atmospherics laced with cool backwards psychedelia, stately minimal melancholia, some far out WTF electronics, and a main melodic refrain that after a couple listens could definitely join the horror score pantheon of classics like Friday The 13th, Halloween and again, Phantasm.
MPEG Stream: "The Boogey Man"
MPEG Stream: "Explosion At The Well"
MPEG Stream: "Gloom"

album cover CARTER TUTTI VOID f(x) (Industrial) lp 30.00
That's Nik Void of Factory Floor once again joining the esteemed duo of Cosey Fanny Tutti and Chris Carter, proving that their first collaboration was not just a flippant one-off romp betwixt likeminded technicians; and hopefully, f(x) will be just one of many albums produced by this meeting of minds. As we experienced on the outstanding album of rebooted Chris & Cosey material, Carter Tutti has been exceptionally good as of late; and the insertion of Void into the mix changes that not one bit. If anything the pop quotient from the Carter Tutti productions has been distilled into faint melodies swimming amongst a chemical amalgam of hyper-processed / semi-aqueous sounds that are all suspended upon the girders of an almighty cybernetic whump generated with teethclenched tension. The rhythms begin and end with a chest-rattling pulse that is omnidirectionally nowhere and everywhere - the beat of an underground nightclub whose entrance cannot be found... the hollow-body vibrations from a multitude of car stereos straining at the urgency of those Gas albums from nearly 20 years ago... the chrome-plated precision of perfectly tuned machines purring at 126 bpm. Vocals and guitars from both Void and Cosey lock into place within these rhythms, albeit throughly processed, abstracted, haunted, and disembodied. The amount of details that pop into focus is startlingly dense for an album so overtly minimal, yet the trio effortlessly corral all of the component parts into one hell of a great electronic album.
MPEG Stream: "f (2.2)"
MPEG Stream: "f (2.3)"
MPEG Stream: "f (2.7)"

album cover CHALK, ANDREW & TOM SCOTT Calluna (Skire) lp 21.00
With Calluna, we are granted another sonic blessing from the beloved impressionist Andrew Chalk. Calluna is the second album that Chalk has produced with likeminded minimalist Tom Scott. The two recorded this shortly after their first live presentation in 2014, marking one of the few live performances that Chalk has made over the years. As on many of the recent Chalk productions and on the previous Chalk / Scott collaboration, Calluna is a tempered album of solitary tones dripping with radiant ambience and somnolent elegance. The piano (which still seems to be the responsibility of Scott) drifts from note to note, with a daydreaming wandering that will only occasionally snap into a recursive melody. Most all of the time, these notes are fleeting echoes and fragments, with Chalk responding to these fragments through his own production tricks of eerie dronemusik magic, flares of guitar harmonics, and the occasional deep thrum of a bass guitar that gives the proceedings a feel much closer to Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. To listen to Calluna is to stare at the starlight reflected in garden pools whose surfaces are rippled by a quiet nocturnal wind. Limited to a mere 300 copies; and cut at 45rpm!
MPEG Stream: "Colonnades"
MPEG Stream: "Caprice"
MPEG Stream: "Scirocco Sunset"

album cover CRYPT VAPOR Tombe Della Citta (Heavy Chains Records & Tapes) cd 10.98
BACK IN STOCK! A restock on this Record Of The Week from back in July finally just arrived via the slow boat from Tasmania. Here's the review again if you missed it:
Terror from Tasmania!! (Or perhaps from Italy, depending on what you wish to believe). The mysterious Crypt Vapor is the latest and one of the greatest, we think, in the realm of the New Wave Of Horror Soundtrack Sounding Stuff or whatever we ought to call it (there's gotta be a better name for this phenomenon, but we can't think of one right now). You know, underground musicians making Goblin and John Carpenter inspired, instrumental "imaginary soundtracks" that sound like they come from obscure '80s witchcult slasher flicks and badly-dubbed sci-fi suspense films. We're thinking of such VHS-loving artists as Umberto, The Night Terrors, Nightsatan, Zombi, Zombie Zombie, and of course John Carpenter himself, whose Lost Themes album on Sacred Bones we also made a Record Of The Week recently. If you loved that, you'll love this, though rather than an actual band recording, Crypt Vapor are very much a DIY, lo-fi deal, probably just one guy alone in a bedroom, basement (or crypt) with a 4-track and some secondhand electronic gear. Almost comes across like sinister "skwee" music at times.
A portion of this compact disc was originally released as cassette tape put out not long ago by the same outfit that now brings us this cd version, the cult Tasmanian metal label Heavy Chains Records And Tapes run by the front man for aQ-fave eccentric doomsters The Wizar'd (although, this is NOT metal, more like electronic music). In addition to including that prior (and already out of print on tape) Erotik Maniac ep, this disc features the brand new six-track Tombe Della Citta ep, and an additional three tracks from an earlier tape called Panic Night, for 17 tracks in all of Crypt Vapor's exceedingly spooky synth ditties, full of creepy drones and thudding heartbeat bass lines; urgent reverbed-out rhythms and eerie atmosphere. Plus a dose of almost-psychedelic synth soloing let loose here and there. Very effective, all of it, really pretty much exactly what we want from this sort of thing. Reminds us of what felt when we heard the very first Umberto cd-r, just YEAH, this perfectly captures that '80s synth-laden, hypnotically groovy, sinister soundtrack vibe. Crypt Vapor's style is simple and to the point, doing nothing unnecessary or unwanted. The synths are so raw and fuzzed out; the melodies eerie and earwormy. Ideal for listening to on a night drive through the wrong side of town, or waiting for the train on a desolate subway platform. If you dare.
Each moment of music on here, even the most danceable, sounds like it could be the last thing you'll ever hear - as your life is suddenly ended by the thrust of a knife in the back, or a blade across the throat. STAB! SNIP! Or, fade any track out, and it's a slow death, strangulation by black-gloved hands, or suffocation in the vacuum of space as the airlock is emptied... Anybody making a retro giallo horror movie or low-budget sci-fi thriller ought to sign up Crypt Vapor for the soundtrack, and seriously, some specialty label like Death Waltz or One Way Static should get on this, stat, and put out a fancy vinyl version for all the horror soundtrack obsessed LP collectors!
MPEG Stream: "Tombe Della Citta"
MPEG Stream: "Subway Crawler"
MPEG Stream: "Theme From Ritual (Panic Night version)"

album cover DARK BUDDHA RISING Inversum (Neurot) cd 14.98
Not sure what most devout Buddhists would think of this band, but we suppose if they're into heavy psychedelic Finnish space sludge drone trips, they'd like it! And the name Dark Buddha Rising isn't that bad of a shorthand description of the band's sound, really, in a way. There's definitely an ominous ceremonial vibe here, with trance-inducing ritualistic percussion and mumbling monkish chant amidst the slabular riff repetition. Is Yoga Doom a genre yet? These guys could teach a class in that for sure, heck they'd be at the top of that zoned-out heap, alongside aQ faves Nibiriu, whom this music reminds us of a lot. Speaking of esoteric Italian psychonauts, this reminds us of UFOmammut as well, and it's no surprise that DBR too has landed on the Neurot label for this release, following a sprawling double cd/triple lp set on Svart in 2013 and several rare, limited, uber underground vinyl-only sets (and a cd-r or two) before that.
With just two long tracks, "Eso" and "Exo", each at least a vinyl side in length (were this on vinyl), you know this Dark Buddha takes some time to rise, that's what it's all about, that process, that practice, that spaciousness, an exploration of the whole calmness/crushingness spectrum.
The first of the two tracks is a slow, slow build from vaporous drone on into eons of tumbling tribal rhythm and throbbing riff stumble accompanied by occasional, worshipful chants and screams of supplication - and more drone, waves and waves of it. The second similarly starts off quiet and blissful but gets into the action (of scaling the holy headbanging mountain) with less preamble, powering up the morose megaton throbulation earlier on, with some jazzy drumming around the edges (shades of Bohren), getting more massive and mesmeric as it goes, eventually approaching the lift off potential of the late, great Tarantula Hawk, with riff detonations on the SUNNO)))-scale. Earthshaking sonic ritual in other words, and our only disappointment is that after about 24 minutes, this sweaty yoga mat magic carpet ride to the dark side of the sun ends rather more abruptly than what we expected (endlessness???).
MPEG Stream: "Eso"
MPEG Stream: "Exo"

album cover DRINKS Hermits On Holiday (Birth) lp 15.98
As much as we dig White Fence, this might be our favorite recording yet by that band's Tim Presley, as he teams up here with an unknown-to-us Welsh musician named Cate Le Bon. The result of their collaboration is sheer post-punk perfection.
Taking turns on vocals, the interplay between Tim and Cate through these minimal and infectious songs works so well. There is not a wasted note or wasted second on this record. Think of the best parts of Young Marble Giants and Deerhoof coming together, and you might start to get a sense of the vibrant sounds that Drinks create. Angular, punchy, and stripped down sounds that ring with an immediacy that is so damn refreshing.
We're also reminded of a long and super underrated record that came out a decade ago, that was the only recording by a band named Klang who featured an ex-member of Elastica. If you ever heard that record, No Sound Is Heard, you know the greatness it contained and we were so stoked to finally hear a brand new record that taps into that same sound, and likewise channels early Rough Trade output in all its brilliant post-punk glory. Recommended, though maybe we don't even need to tell you that, as these Drinks have been flying out the door...
MPEG Stream: "Focus On the Street"
MPEG Stream: "Hermits On Holiday"
MPEG Stream: "Time Between"

album cover GOAT It's Time for Fun (Sub Pop) 7" 5.98
Goat Goat Goat! Yay, Goat. If anyone reading this isn't already a fan of Swedish Afro-Voodoo-psych-groove sensations Goat, we'd be sorta shocked. Seriously, who doesn't love Goat? And thus, who needs to know much more than that Sub Pop have a new Goat 7" out, and we've got it, and you need it??
The tightly percussion driven A-side "It's Time For Fun" still sounds very Goat-y for sure, the vocals are the usual distinctive Goat wail, but it's just a bit different - maybe it's what we think is a drum-machine in the mix, or the staccato keyboard melody that rides the groove out steady to the end. The aptly-titled flip, "Relax", is an instrumental, all sunny and organ-groovy, which kinda makes of think of Mammane Sani. And again there's what sounds like a drum machine, organically incorporated into the interwoven rhythmic texture. Figure they've been digging on some Francis Bebey? Sweet stuff, all around, on this single.
Includes mp3 download code.
MPEG Stream: "It's Time For Fun"

album cover GOLDEN VOID Berkana (Thrill Jockey) lp 17.98
Well, you know we're fans of this band!! We hosted a fun party here last week for the release of this new album (their 2nd) and in 201X we made their self-titled debut a Record Of The Week - this one really coulda been too, as Golden Void make Records Of This Or Any Other Week, really, as far as we're concerned. We've been in love with them ever since their first single came out on Valley King. Just, y'know, dang good stuff if you like heavy rock and psych music. If'n you don't know, Golden Void is a Bay Area band featuring members of both stellar psych squads Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound and Earthless, in particular showcasing the considerable talents of guitarist/vocalist Isaiah Mitchell, who takes the endless jamming / soloing style of his instrumental power trio Earthless and, without taming his searing solos entirely, puts 'em to use in a much more, let's say 'catchy song oriented', classic rock (that you somehow never heard before) format.
The magic is maintained on this sophomore outing, Golden Void again shining forth with their brand of mellow heaviness, very 'Cali', with vibes for miles, hooky and hypnotic, swinging and stonery, their loping grooves laced with achingly incandescent guitar soloing from Mr. Mitchell - though the rest of the band are no slouches either and keep up their end too amidst his astral-travellin' guitar forays. Lots of dreamy melody is the order of the day, the laid-back vocals a big part of the appeal, Isaiah's singing blending nicely with the backing vocals provided by keyboardist Camilla. They also riff it up quite heavily when they wanna, the band not lacking in power.
When we saw 'em play The Chapel here on Valencia Street last weekend, the day after the party, they had an old school liquid light show behind 'em, and they were perfect for it. Especially on numbers like (from this record) the super spaced out and mesmeric "Astral Plane", that one having a bit of Sufficiently Breathless era Captain Beyondness to it, we'd say. But the thing is, even though they were giving off that San Francisco ballroom, psychedelic '60s vibe, with the light show and all, and you could suppose the feel of something like Hendrix doing "All Along The Watchtower" sorta sums up where Golden Void are coming from, at the same time they're not throwback hippies, and this doesn't really seem like a retro affair, you know it's modern, it's got a different energy. Cool that they can make that work, sounding both so classic and current. Peeps into old Queens Of The Stone Age should check 'em out, also fans of Woods albums like Bend Beyond, if you haven't already. And of course anyone into classic old heavy psych rock with songs you that'll get stuck in your head, too!
So, once again, a winner. Golden Void rule. Wish we could party with them all the time, and whenever we spin their records, we feel like we are!
FYI, regarding the lp version, while they last we have a batch on some special colored vinyl that Thrill Jockey was nice enough to let us have.
MPEG Stream: "Burbank's Dream"
MPEG Stream: "Silent Season"
MPEG Stream: "Astral Plane"

album cover HEAT DUST s/t (The Flenser) lp 15.98
Local label The Flenser may have started out as a straight up metal label, but lately, it seems metal has taken a back seat to all sorts of other weird sounds, and we have to say, even as metalheads, we're digging it. Elsewhere on this week's list you'll find the electro gloom pop side project of Have A Nice Life, and recently we've dug the druggy psych folk of Boduf Songs, the twisted avant cabaret of Father Murphy, the crumbling shoegaze of King Woman and now this, the debut from New Orleans post punks Heat Dust. And it's a doozy. A murky sprawl of gloomy, reverby howl and pound, all bellowed dramatic vox, slithery low slung bass, and chiming angular guitar. Plenty of riffy crunch too, at times just as heavy on the punk as the post, with a heaping dose of dark swagger energy, swirling and psychedelic, the sort of stuff that should definitely appeal to fans of Iceage, Holograms, Interpol, Savages, Cold Cave, His Electro Blue Voice, Cold Showers, Beast Milk and all that (post punk) jazz. But unlike most modern bands of this ilk, Heat Dust do more than ape the sound, they're actually pretty bad ass songwriters too, all the songs here kinda crazy catchy. We didn't really notice at first, since this is just a sound we love, but the more we listened, the more we found ourselves humming along, returning to songs we wanted to hear again, and realizing that even sans the post punk trappings, these are just goddamn great songs. Needless to say, WAY recommended for folks into this kind of thing, and for folks who aren't, this might just change your mind.
Includes a download code.
MPEG Stream: "Nothing Left To Lose"
MPEG Stream: "Seeking A Praxis"
MPEG Stream: "Something For Nothing"

album cover HILLS Frid (Rocket) cd 17.98
Ah, Hills! We looooooove Hills. Rhymes with pills. Not to be confused with White Hills, whom we also love, most folks would be into both. This is plain ol' Hills from planet Sweden, doing timeless, kraut-channelling hypno-rock bliss, cyclic and psychedelic, totally in the ancestral tradition of their fellow countrymen / like minded souls from the '60s and '70s in the Parson Sound / International Harvester / Harvester / Trad Gras Och Stenar collective (also aQ faves, of course). What is it with Sweden, anyway? Good grief, both Hills and the mighty Goat aren't just on the same label Rocket Recordings, they're from the same town. Maybe they should have the water supply there analyzed. Anyway, yay, these particular master mantric jammers from Sweden now offer up their 3rd album (4th if you count the live lp on Cardinal Fuzz), and it's thankfully more of what we dig about them - deeply droned, trance-inducing excursions into higher mind states, filled with fuzz & wah, Scandinavian folk motifs, floatational flute flutter, ecstatic chant-like vocals, spacey fx, and endless krauty grooves. Tracks like "National Drone" or the ten-minute "Och Solen Sankte Sig Rod" just send you far into some fantastical ceremonial '70s zone, where you want to be. "Milarepa" is heavy-duty Parson Sound worship, "Anukthal Is Here" channels krautrock tribe Siloah, and then, like, on previous album Master Sleeps, the record ends with an especially ceremonial sounding track, the Lizard King meets Om chant, "Death Will Find A Way"... Altogether beautiful thing, heavy in a "heavy, maaaan" sort of way, once again for fans of their forefathers in TGOS et. al., also White Hills of course, Wooden Shjips definitely too, certainly their buddies Goat (throw on some Goat after this, it segues quite well), Circle at their hippiest, and the like... yeah!!
FYI, vinyl still upcoming.
MPEG Stream: "National Drone"
MPEG Stream: "Anukthal Is Here"
MPEG Stream: "Milarepa"

album cover ISHRAQIYUN (SECRET CHIEFS 3) Perichoresis (Web Of Mimicry) lp 17.98
NOW ON VINYL! Here's what we wrote about the cd version when it came out last year:
Not strictly a Secret Chiefs record, Ishraqiyun is the Chiefs' "neo-Pythagorean electro-folk" side project, which essentially consists of the non-rock based music the band routinely perform live, in non-Western tunings, and on non-Western instruments. But they're not played entirely straight, with most of the tracks sounding a bit like Master Musicians Of Jajouka by way of Don Caballero, with lots of bowed buzzing strings, tabla-like percussion, Eastern rhythms, a serious world music / international folk vibe, but then wedded to wild mathed out drumming, and swoon some cinematic strings, the arrangements intricate and the sound exotic, some mutant strain of math-prog-world music maybe?
Ishraqiyun for this debut recording is made up of various Secret Chiefs past and present, including Eyvind Kang and Ches Smith, and of course led by former Mr. Bungle weirdo and SC head honcho Trey Spruance. All the songs are exclusive to this record, although many have been performed live over the years, and anyone who's seen SC live, will definitely recognize some of the tracks here, and recorded they're just as mesmerizing and hypnotic, sprawling world-folk grooves, lush and layered and psychedelic, the sound like some alien Sublime Frequencies release. The title track is apparently the first recorded composition to feature Spruance's "evolving system of musical ideas patterned upon the specific geometrical relationships found in certain polyhedra and the tessellating patterns from which they are derived" Phew! And while maybe understanding what the heck that means might give you an insight into the mad musical genius at work here, it's not a requirement to dig these sounds. Not at all. And while most of the record is as described above, buzzing strings and will percussion, often wound around fierce propulsive proggy drumming, some tracks, like "Base Phive Futur Cossacks" mixes in some of the band's avant garde tendencies, some moments harkening back to the WTF? days of Mr. Bungle, others the band's obsession with John Carpenter style soundtrackiness, with sounds cutting in and out, swirls of mutated samples, thick buzzing synths, weird blurts of baroque pop, all draped over a woozy world music framework, and what at first sounds chaotic and on the verge of collapse, quickly becomes one of the record's highlights. And while the next two tracks (including the epic 16+ minute title track) dial back the weirdness, and deliver more whirling dervish folk prog and brooding hypnotic world music psychedelia, the final track gives us one final taste of that weird international synth-prog space-psych exotica, this time with even more synthy swirl, wild splatters of piano, blown out, distorto psychedelic guitar buzz, plenty of studio fuckery, wild edits (and if not edits, some impossibly dexterous playing), all in a swirling sonic tangle that has to be some of the most seriously dizzyingly next level, psychedelic, avant prog, faux world music we've ever heard!
MPEG Stream: "The 15"
MPEG Stream: "Base Phive Futur Cossacks"
MPEG Stream: "Aptarshi"

album cover J.C. SATAN s/t (Animal Factory / Born Bad) lp 21.00
More evilized, primitive, garage rock crunch from these satanic (?) weirdos, and while this new one still has much in common with the other records, it's at once simultaneously more raw and primitive, but also kinda more proggy. In fact, opener, "Satan II" almost sounds like a metallic, heavy garage version of prop-pop masters The Cardiacs. Albeit with plenty of spooky drones, spacey synths, and creepy atmospherics. But honestly, this is about as heavy and intense and brutal as 'garage rock' gets. A little bit surprised they haven't done a record for Castle Face, cuz it's the sort of sound that would definitely appeal to the Ty Segall / Thee Oh Sees / Mikal Cronin set. But it's not all pummeling crunch and howling bash and pound, although most of the songs feature some of that. They're also pretty goddamn good at whipping up hook heavy distorted pop, and wrapping it in almost Hawkwind-y psychedelic swirl. It's a strange concoction, and as you can tell from the review so far, pretty tough to accurately describe, but if some super poppy, ultra heavy, FX drenched, proggy and metallic, occultic, new wavey, distorto-garage sounds right up your alley, not only will this hit the spot, but J.C. Satan might be the only outfit even remotely capable of whipping up this sort of damaged, genius racket. Their best record so far by a long shot (which is saying a lot, considering how much we log pretty much everything they put out) and the sort of shit anyone into ANY of the other garage rock happening now should be flipping the fuck out over!
MPEG Stream: "I Could Have Died"
MPEG Stream: "Dialog With Mars"

album cover KNIZAK, MILAN Broken Music (Multhipla / Sub Rosa) lp 17.98
We had a cd reissue of this years and years ago, that's long out of print, but now here's a nice vinyl reissue of this pioneering 'turntablist' experiment from the '60s...
The Czech artist Milan Knizak began his art career without much success, getting himself thrown out of Pedagogic Uni Prague, Preliminary Art School Prague, and Art Academy Prague in quick succession. But during the mid '60s, Knizak affiliated himself with Fluxus and began experimenting with turntables, tape recorders, and the surfaces of vinyl in order to make a 'broken music,' predating the damaged turntable 'n' vinyl experiments of Christian Marclay by almost two decades! Originally he would just slow down and speed up his records to change to quality of the intrinsic music. But by 1965, he started to scratch the records, punch holes in them, sticking tape to the surfaces, dumping paint over whole record, burning them, literally cutting the records apart and gluing them back together. These would then be played on his turntable, and inevitably destroy the needle and often wreck the turntable itself! The collages that Knizak arrived at are nerve-wracking clattering works in which snippets of the original would emerge amidst erratic skips and asynchronous warbling. Certainly for those adventurous fans of Philip Jeck, "Metal Machine Music," and Marclay.

album cover LYKEN, MARK & EMMA DOVE Mirror Lands [Standard Version] (Time Released Sound) cd 15.98
Another aQ New Arrivals List, and another Time Released Sound offering! It's kind of crazy that TRS are now on their 55th release! And even more amazing, is the level of quality they've sustained since day one, both in the music, and the elaborate packaging. It's been nearly impossible to keep up with their relentless release schedule, and to collect all the releases, but it remains pretty fun to try.
Mirror Lands is the first we've heard from the Scottish duo of Mark Lyken and Emma Dove, and we weren't sure what to expect, considering the opening track is what sounds like a field recording of a construction site. Voices, the clank of metal on metal, engines revving, and no music whatsoever. But then on the second track, it's all delicate piano, subtly processed into shimmery contrails of sound, a haunting chamber music, very cinematic, hushed and ethereal, quite beautiful for sure, and very subtle, headphones definitely recommended. And right when we thought we had the sound pinned down, in swoops something completely different, the piano twisted and mangled, stretched and smeared, into a fractured field of glitches, and wound around still more field recordings, a twisted sonic menagerie, that gradually works its way back around to the pretty piano from the beginning of the track.
The rest of Mirror Lands offers variations on those themes, tending toward the lowercase, the whispery, the crystalline, piano being the main vehicle, but just as often as the notes are allowed to drift and shimmer, they're muted and mumbled, blurred and broken, there are more stretches of seemingly unadulterated field recordings, and of course, moments where those elements bleed beautifully into one another. There's the occasional near-noise crescendo, and the once-in-a-while electronic skitter, but for the most part, it's a darkly delicate landscape of haunted melodies, and lush, atmospheric sound design, a minimal soundworld that evokes all of the mysterious that lay beyond, and within.
Like all Time Released Sound releases, there are two versions, a deluxe and a standard. This time, the over the top deluxe version is limited to just 65 copies, and is housed in a vintage reel-to-reel tape box, double banded with two Japanese style obis, and is covered with vintage prints of the Scottish Highlands, antique maps, pages from 100 year old travel books and more. Also includes hand printed and stamped inserts as well as a link to a private viewing of a Mirror Lands film! There's also a standard version, only slightly less limited (only 100 made).
MPEG Stream: "Fishing For Rigs Part I"
MPEG Stream: "Hills Strewn With Ribbons"
MPEG Stream: "Douglas"

album cover MAGISTER TEMPLI Into Duat (Cruz Del Sur) cd 16.98
Sound the trumpets! Man the gates!! For it is the thunderous return of Norway's heaviest epic metal titans Magister Templi. And what a welcome return it is! It's been two years now since their debut full length Lucifer Leviathan Logos, which was a serious favorite amongst aQ's sword-flailing heavy metal brethren, and those two years have done nothing to dull the steel of The Templi's theatrical doom-tinged heaviness. Not unlike the previous record, Into Duat is a dizzying slab of stop/start, meticulously structured heaviness - the frantic pacing, off kilter riffing and labyrinthine song writing recalling Mercyful Fate, while the hints of doominess bring to mind early Trouble, Cirith Ungol and Candlemass. But make no mistake, this is no low energy affair! As heavy and earthshaking as Magister Templi can be, they mostly keep the pace uptempo, perfect for rabid fist pumping, feral headbanging and manic air guitaring. But there's also a certain regal majesty to their music - a sort of world weary drama, not unlike Dio-era Black Sabbath even. This is thanks in a large part to Abraxas' vocals which are a forceful, commanding bellow. Deep in register, but rich and kingly - every word sounding like a spell being desperately cast over the havoc of clashing steel! Needless to say, any and all fans of traditional metal who remain uninitiated need to check these guys out pronto, and if you already have... then we can only say that Into Duat will not disappoint!
MPEG Stream: "Osiris"
MPEG Stream: "Slaying Apophis"

album cover MAHONEY, DANIEL Sunblind Almost Motorcrash (Spork) book + cassette 19.98
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but this takes it to a whole new level. And believe us, we're greatly moved and hugely flattered. Aquarius pal and customer Daniel Mahoney was so inspired by the aQ reviews he'd been reading on our New Arrivals list for years, that he decided to try his hand at writing some reviews himself. But instead of just reviewing actual records, he made up the albums, and made up the artists too, and reviewed them as if they were real. Which on its own would be pretty amazing already. And the reviews themselves are great, with hints of the inimitable aQ style, some hyperbole, some creative word usage, insane enthusiasm, and an obvious love for the music being written about (even though it didn't exist). Though he takes things to something of a more literary, poetic extreme than we would probably ever do, which makes sense since this is really a creative writing project rather than actual music reviewing after all.
But after finishing all the 'reviews', he decided he wanted to hear what those bands actually sounded like. So he hit up a bunch of music makers to record as those imaginary bands, presumably in the style the reviews describe. Pretty ambitious, and kinda ridiculous, and ridiculously cool. Thus, the tape that accompanies the book features bands like Caverns (actually Lorelle Meets The Obsolete), Muebles Pasados De Moda (actually Terence Hannum from Locrian), Abaddon (actually Dag Rosenqvist of Jasper TX), Hemlighter (actually Reykjavictim), Tolt (actually Yan Jun) and even more, including bands portrayed by Aidan Baker of Nadja and Marcus Fjellstrom!!!
Holy cow! Even on its own, the book, is a fun, great, fascinating read, the reviews are definitely meant for of all you music nerds (like us), who almost like reading reviews sometimes more than actually hearing the records reviewed. But like they did with Mahoney, those reviews would probably have you itching to actually check out all the bands, which you now can! The music is all over the map: jumbled spoken word collages, churning, distorted metalgze doom, hazy tripped out psychedelic shimmer, angular, echo drenched post punk, brutal blacknoize industrial, loping, distorto dance down-tempo crunch, hushed, prismatic ambience, lilting, ramshackle junkyard folk, intense, sine wave avant minimalism and sun dappled, lo-fi, reverb-pop jangle.
All in all, pretty goddamn great. The book is beautiful too, a lovingly printed edition, and the tape includes a download as well. All we can say, is while we love what we do, and are grateful we get to listen to and write about music, the fact that what we do inspired THIS, only makes us feel that much luckier.
MPEG Stream: CAVERNS "When The Train Left The Station"
MPEG Stream: HEMLIGHTER "Buzzgem Hummer"
MPEG Stream: TOLT "Music For A Computer Chassis"

album cover MAUTHAUSEN ORCHESTRA First Essay: Sexual Depravity And Pleasant Atrocities (Urashima) 4cd 55.00
Before we delve into this boxset, we are reminded of an absurd experiment that took place here at Aquarius some years ago, when one of our staff reviewed each and every album in the Merzbox - the 50 cd anthology that was just a tiny fraction of the back catalog of the almighty Merzbow. And yes, all of the reviewing and listening was done here at Aquarius. The review became a stream of consciousness ramble that only tangentially related to the the noise found within, perhaps reflecting the teetering sanity of that particular staff member. So here we embark on the review for the first in reissue campaign into the back catalog of the horrifying noise productions from the legendary Italian power electronics project Mauthausen Orchestra (aka Pierpaolo Zoppo). Unlike what Extreme did for the Merzbox, Urashima has divided this body of Mauthausen Orchestra work into 3 sets of archival material, all of which had been collected into a 12 cassette boxset entitled the Gravitational Arch Of Sex. Or at least that's what the lurkers of the noise underground have claimed.
We can say that the First Essay does contain four of those cassettes - 2nd Movement (1983), Bloodyminded (1984), Anal Perversions (1985), and Host Sodomy (1986). 2nd Movement is a blackened hallucination of lo-fi synth noise, art brut primitivism, and overblown tape hiss into a hellish void of gaping existential alienation. Zoppo's propositions of desolation and despair mirror those of Maurizio Bianchi's cancerous work from the same time period. Bloodyminded's longform communions with abject sicktones and black noise rumble, bellow, and moan as a thoroughly nightmarish industrial soundtrack. It should also be noted that this was the origin for the name of Mark Solotroff's power electronics outfit after abandoning Intrinsic Action. Speaking of the aforementioned Merzbow, Anal Perversions shares more than a few of the timbres and metal-junk abrasiveness that Akita-san produced during those early days, though Zoppo seems to be still using all tape, synth, and feedback with no actual found metal in his arsenal. It's still a grim affair of thoroughly prolapsed noise that immediately descends into cauldron of tumult and discord, endlessly churning and boiling in its decay and malaise. Host Sodomy continues along this path of moral destitution and sonic devastation situated along an intertwining pair of noise-streams of phased distortion, volcanic abrasions, and prolonged thermal detonations. Damn brutal, these four discs. Limited stock, too.
MPEG Stream: "Anal Perversions 1"
MPEG Stream: "Bloodyminded 1"
MPEG Stream: "Host Sodomy 2"

album cover MB (MAURIZIO BIANCHI) CMRS / OPEA (Urashima) 2lp 36.00
Urashima offers forth a luxurious reissue of one of the rarest cassettes in the Maurizio Bianchi catalogue. CMRS / OPEA was realised back in October 1980, marking his early experiments with a Korg MS20, the synthesizer that would get worked into his arsenal of "cacophonelectronics" in the development of his signature, cancerous noise. This was before Bianchi had released the infamous Leibstandarte SS MB albums for Come Organisation, and when he was feverishly recording his own noise de-compositions and distributing them to a handful of friends and colleagues. Many of these early tapes eventually were reissued via Vinyl On Demand, documenting these early cassette editions. CMRS / OPEA was among those self-released cassettes from Bianchi, but the recordings had seemingly been lost to history until Bianchi's longtime friend Vittore Baroni had uncovered one of the seven or eight copies that Bianchi had duplicated back in the day. Now sprawling over two slabs of vinyl, his is the germination of Bianchi's hostile electronic sequencing and black hole nihilism that would later get fleshed out on Symphony For A Genocide. Bianchi's investigations and experiments with the tools at hand are still raw and untrained in many ways, but he still manages to push his electronics, his turntables, his effects, his tape decks towards his own damning vision of an existential self-immolation. Limited to 199 copies, we must note.
MPEG Stream: "Cmrs Part 2"
MPEG Stream: "Opea Part 1"

album cover MYRKUR M (Relapse) cd 15.98
Much hullabaloo has been made over Myrkur, this one woman project from Denmark, and it seems most of that hubub tends to focus on the fact that she performs that most sacred of musical forms (black metal of course) but has the gall to do so after previously playing in a... *gasp*... indie rock band!!! Personally we could care less if she used to be in The Wiggles, because when a record is this glorious, expansive, raw and beautiful nothing else much matters. M is the debut full length from Myrkur and incorporates in equal parts classic Norwegian black metal (the album is in fact produced by Ulver's Garm and there are definitely more than a few hints of their seminal Bergtatt album here), ambient, Cocteau Twins style ethereal vocal drift, new age (some of this seriously sounds like black metal Enya, and we mean that in the best way possible - Euronymoco Flow anyone??), Scandinavian folk, and epic naturistic harshness a la Wolves In The Throne Room. The songs themselves are barely even songs, more like ideas drifting in and out of consciousness, often fading out into a blissfully warm abstract soundscape. The affect is enveloping and largely dreamlike, like some sort of melancholy lost message sent across time from a once-mighty civilization, now in its crumbling death throes. A singular gorgeous vision and highly recommended for all those who don't mind their black metal lush, melancholic and a bit pretty.
MPEG Stream: "Skogen Skulle Do"
MPEG Stream: "Haevnen"
MPEG Stream: "Onde Born"

album cover SAVANT (K. LEIMER) Artificial Dance (RVNG) lp 22.00
Savant is an apt name for a band that is not actually a band, but a project with many blind contributors and collaborators playing unfamiliar instruments with minimally open instruction, recorded remotely without prior knowledge of how their parts would be used, and passing tapes amongst eachother, years before the practice of electronic musicians sending eachother Logic files over the internet became common. What binded the project together was the alchemic vision and studio wizardry of reclusive Seattle ambient auteur, Kerry (K.) Leimer, who released Savant's lone record, The Neo Realist (At Risk) in 1983. RVNG's Artificial Dance reissue ccollects that record with their debut 12" and a grip of compilation and unreleased tracks.
You may remember our earlier review of the RVNG's anthology of Leimer's lesser known ambient works, A Period of Review (1975-1983), which displayed an outsider affinity with the generative and open compositional tape works of Cage, Stockhausen and Eno. Leimer's Savant project at first glance may seem like a devout following into the Fourth World tape experimentation and global intrigue of Possible Musics and My Life In The Bush of Ghosts, or David Byrne's soundtrack for Twyla Tharp's dance piece, The Catherine Wheel, but its construction is much stranger and obtuse. Employing a move towards rhythm and texture in transportive and evolving phases, the way these cobbled bits of varying studio perfomance are pieced together so seamlessly to create their own visionary world is its own extraordinary accomplishment. One that connects to the methodical ethnographical productions of Wally Badarou, Finis Africae and Haruomi Hosono and clears a path to later developments of digidub and trip hop a decade later. We can't emphasize enough how good this sounds right now. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Using Words"
MPEG Stream: "Knowledge and Action"
MPEG Stream: "Stationary Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Sensible Music"
MPEG Stream: "Fault Index"

album cover SIGNOR BEN EDICK THE MOOR El Negro (Deathbomb Arc) cd 9.98
We usually don't pay too much attention to the tags on Bandcamp. After all, bands can make tags that say ANYthing. And often it's the artist's perhaps not entirely objective assessment of their own music. "Psychedelic, black metal, ego-trap, drunk-wave, psych folk." Sure, that's something we'd want to hear (okay, maybe we wouldn't), but it doesn't and couldn't exist. But occasionally, the tags do speak to us, and give some insight into an artist, and even more occasionally, they NAIL it. Los Angeles MC Signor Benedick The Moor (who's also a member of weirdo hip hop outfit True Neutral Crew) has only two descriptors: 'experimental prog rap' and 'krautrap', and really, how could we not wanna check it out after reading that? And holy shit, that's actually what it sounds like. Not only is SBtM a killer MC with a super unique flow, the music is crazy, definitely proggy, all over the map, strings, and martial drums, what sounds like epic soundtrack music, alongside super distorted, grimy beats, and distorted metal guitars, wild synth squiggles wound around pizzicato strings and booming tympani, one track sounds like Surfing With The Alien, another sounds like primitive, outsider sci-fi-hop, and another is a wild barrage of video game music. The production is in constant flux, as are the arrangements, it's a seriously wild ride, but one that's super ambitious and is the kind of forward thinking hip hop that should be as big as Drake or Kanye. It's way more fucked up and experimental for sure, but considering how weird much of mainstream hip hop has gotten, the time just may be right for Signor Benedick The Moor to sneak into the spotlight. Here's hoping.
SUPER LIMITED!!! These are likely the last copies there are, and for sure the last copies we can get!
MPEG Stream: "The Tragic Tale Of Bisen Francisco (In Media Res)"
MPEG Stream: "Existential Humanitarianism As A Fashion Choice"

album cover THEOLOGIAN Pain Of The Saints (Malignant Records) 2cd 13.98
The profane and blasphemous agenda of Lee M. Barlow (the principle agent behind Theologian, working with a few willing supplicants) looks backwards at the dual histories of metal and industrial culture. Yup, it is commonplace to find vehement opposition to Christian doctrine in the reversal the symbols as sigils of a black magic. Yet, this opposition is rarely a full-frontal denial of God as the blank void of atheism has no place for the transcendent and the spiritual, both of which manifest proudly in this rich and diverse iconoclasm. Aesthetically speaking, we suppose this could be trace even further back to Carl Orff, whose work has become the de facto audio signifier for all things Satanic; and probably further before Nietzsche, Lautremonte, and Baudelaire to the charisma of heretics, ignoble witches, and self-designated messiahs. So in a polemic for the will to power and the deification of the self, it's not all that much about what's said, but how it's said. And the aesthetics of Theologian speak mightily through blunt force, wielded as a relentless production of blackened synths and grim industrial drone. Pain Of The Saints conjures a sonic turbulence that is almost wholly drumless, which stands as a departure from much of the other Theologian albums which rely on heavy Teutonic beats to propel the vitriol and wailing. It's nonetheless an exhausting and exasperating journey, blasting through one miasma after another of aggressive amalgams of guitars, synths, and voice, two whole discs worth!
MPEG Stream: "Without Trust, Your Love Is Meaningless"
MPEG Stream: "Of Foulness And Faithfulness"
MPEG Stream: "Their Gelded And Rapacious Hearts"

album cover UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS The Night Creeper (Rise Above) cd 14.98
Clear the foggy cobblestone streets! Curfew is in effect! The streets are no longer safe. For around every shadowy corner and in every lonely lamplit alley may lurk... The Night Creeper!!! And accompanying this dark spectre is none other than Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. That's right, crawling once more from the pale artificial B-movie light comes the return of everyone's favorite occult stoner garage popsters. The Night Creeper actually marks album number four for these psychedelic psycho-derelicts (although album number one seems nigh unattainable and has yet to be reissued, c'mon guys), and once again it slinks and oozes with a palpable lo-fi Hammer Horror dread, even when its wealth of catchy hooks seem ready to strike from nowhere, like a glistening blade hidden in a Victorian aristocrat's overcoat! Many of the same hallmarks of Uncle Acid's sound are here in full force: Roky Erickson, Manson-esque subliminal imagery, swinging Sixties pop, and of course Black Sabbath (whom the band recently fulfilled what we can only assume to be a lifelong dream in opening for). Also we note the Sabbath influence here seems to come from the sounds of their mid-'70s Sabotage era rather than the very early daze.
But compared to 2013's Mind Control, The Night Creeper seems perhaps a bit more concise - less conceptual, doomy and atmospheric - more straight forward and groovy. In a sense a bit closer to their modern classic, Blood Lust! Not to say there aren't some moments of quiet moody gloom, most notably the instrumental "Yellow Moon" and the gentle morphine-swing of 8 minute album closer (the very appropriately titled) "Slow Death". Not to mention the acoustic secret bonus track "Black Motorcade". Another highly enjoyable notch on the cellblock wall for these drug devil deviants!!
PS also on vinyl, we're just waiting for more...
MPEG Stream: "Waiting For Blood"
MPEG Stream: "Murder Nights"
MPEG Stream: "The Night Creeper"

album cover WAND 1000 Days (Drag City) lp 17.98
Normally we'd scoff at a band releasing three albums in almost the span of a single year, but goddamn if we can't get enough of prolific, psychedelic, noise-pop, garage rockers Wand. And this new one manages to be pretty different than the other two. At least at the outset, sounding like some trippy, folky, psychedelic baroque pop, all sixties lilting jangle, Kinks like vox, but also barraged by weird squiggly FX and some seriously metallic guitar buzz, the second half somehow fusing, dirgey riffage with that paisley poppiness. But it works, and is pretty great. As is the rest of the record, which continues on in that fashion, shedding much of the lysergic freakery and blown out weirdness of the other records, in favor of folky, glammy pop. In fact, on "Broken Sun", the band unfurl a lush expanse of proggy, pompy pop, that explodes into some surprisingly far out (and weirdly dramatic), glam heaviness, replete with some wild guitar shred, and more thick guitar buzz. In a way, 1000 Days mirrors fellow garage rocker Ty Segall's sonic trajectory, this sounding like Wand's poppiest and glammiest record yet, but unlike Segall, it seems Wand have dragged some of their fucked up freaky past along with them, and it makes for a pretty wicked concoction. Sixties psych pop meets heavy glam rock stomp, meets distorto garage, meets freaky folkiness (that at times reminds us a little of the Frogs, which is about the highest compliment we can give!), which all adds up to a record of the year contender for sure. And maybe the record that will finally get Wand the sort of love their pals Segall and Cronin and Dwyer have been enjoying lately!
MPEG Stream: "Grave Robber"
MPEG Stream: "Lower Order"
MPEG Stream: "Sleepy Dog"

album cover WIRE, THE #380 October 2015 magazine 9.98
As usual, a lot of good stuff in this issue of the UK (and world's) premiere magazine of 'new music'... For starters, a special batch of features pertaining to the late great Sun Ra and his legacy, with Hieroglyphic Being, Marshall Allen, Gilles Peterson and more. Then, also this issue: Storm Bugs, Christina Vantzou, Heatsick, Ernest Berk, and Randall Dunn from the Master Musicians Of Bukkake (doing the 'Invisible Jukebox' thing). Plus lots more, including tons of tons of informative reviews of course.

album cover ZOVIET FRANCE & FOSSIL AEROSOL MINING PROJECT Flexible Pooling (Alt.Vinyl) flexidisc 7" 18.98
In 2014, we were blessed with a few copies of the first collaboration between the like-minded alchemists :zoviet*france: and the Fossil Aerosol Mining Projects, which came to us as a double lp, housed in a beefy slab of metal. Those few copies did not take long disappear, and we certainly expect that same fate to fall upon this outing as well. Flexible Pooling is intended to be the material antipode to the heft and durability of that first, with this 7" being a mere flexidisc and housed in a thin paper sleeve, with various printed ephemera gracing the package as well. There's two tracks found on the flexidisc and a download track, making the entire program an honest 30 minutes in length. It's a radioactive blizzard of tape machined errata, countervailed with subcutaneous drones and slippery layers of bedraggled, haptic noise compressed and / or exhumed from the vaults of some deep sea science station collecting data on thermal vents at the ocean floor before it was abandoned. The two entities organically sift through their material, sending various flutters, glissandos, snippets of unknowable dialogue, and electrical malfunctions into accreted and aggregated chorales of raw hypnogogia. Beautiful and eerie, Flexible Pooling represents a perfectly realized sound between two already exceptional authors of the sublime drift. Extremely limited.

red dot See ALL of NEW ARRIVALS List #484...

Also, just a few of the Highlights of the previous week, of 51 items on
NEW ARRIVALS List #483 (11 September 2015)

album cover HELEN The Original Faces (Kranky) lp 14.98
Sure, let's call 'em a super group. Why not? Helen is fronted by Liz Harris. Yes, THAT Liz Harris, of Grouper fame; and she's joined by bassist Scott Simmons of Eat Skull, and Jed Bindeman, who seems to be the only drummer in Portland, Oregon given his ubiquity in so many great projects (Eternal Tapestry, Heavy Winged, Operative, The Greys). Also, the trio list an eponymous Helen as the backing vocalist, who sounds remarkably like Liz Harris herself.
They've also made claim that the band's first intentions were to be a thrash band. Now, that would have been quite amazing had Helen followed through on that concept; but that was not meant to be. Instead we have this lovely lovely lovely shoegazing noise-pop project. Liz Harris has long been able to craft drifting, pop-narcotic perfection through her slumbering songs as Grouper. Joined by a rhythm section, she's forced herself to step forward with her melodies - both vocally and on guitar, both of which are still buried in rainclouds full of reverb and sadness - and it's a gambit that pays off very nicely. Simmons tends to throttle the bass, which has him sounding more like D Boon than Deb Googe more often than not; and Bindeman take an understated, if upbeat approach to the kit. Actually, the whole rhythm section of Simmons and Bindeman can be pretty upbeat, with Harris adhering a jangly blur to the wintery grandeur that's long been her trademark. It's a nice mix. The atmosphere on The Original Faces is pretty damn captivating, reminiscent in all the right ways of Black Tambourine, The Aislers Set, The Lilys, and whatever your favorite Slumberland band is, past, present, or future. A wonderful release!
MPEG Stream: "Violet"
MPEG Stream: "Felt This Way"
MPEG Stream: "Dying All The Time"

album cover SHIT AND SHINE Everybody's A Fuckin Expert ( Editions Mego) cd 16.98
Venerable noise rock miscreants Shit And Shine have essentially been a one man show for a while now. And long gone are the days of costumed, multi-drummered Buttholes Surfers-like rhythm-noise blowouts. No, in addition to being a one man band, they've also essentially transformed into a sort of outsider dance music / damaged DJ / UIDM (unintelligent dance music!) outfit. Which is not to say Mr. Shit And Shine, Craig Clouse, is a dummy, cuz he's most definitely not. In fact, he's some sort of Joe Meek like mad genius, it's just that the 'dance' music he creates, is fucked up and fractured, demented and brain damaged, occasionally funky or groovy, but just as often chaotic and caustic. Usually some dizzying, ear shredding mix of all of those.
This latest clutch of jams, which somehow found its way onto the Editions Mego label (where to be honest, it's a pretty great fit) is actually the least obtuse, with Clouse seemingly either mastering the tools of his trade, or opting to be less willfully antagonistic, at least sonically. Which again is not to say this shit is smooth, it's most definitely not. In fact it's defined by its rough edges - opener "Signal Noise" sounds like some mutant strain of Neanderthal house music, filtered through a drug addled Art Of Noise if that makes any sense. It probably doesn't, but that only makes the comparison somehow that much more apt. "Upside Down Cheeseburger" is a stuttery low slung groove, with processed children's voices, some reverby twang, it's kind like a home brewed dub, but with some kraut-psych energy, and like most of the tracks a motorik element, with most of the songs a single loop, that essentially goes through various permutations, a minimal techno by way of outsider noise and Texas psychedelic noise rock.
Everybody's A Fuckin' Expert does keep a relatively low profile when stacked up next to the rest of the Shit And Shine catalog. Tracks like "Hay Ride" are murky sprawls of alien techno, which transform into looped, fragmented block party electro ("Chop The Night"), but remains plenty muddy and lo-fi. This might actually be the first Shit And Shine record that could properly find its way into an actual DJ set, and we mean like a proper dance floor DJ, not some experimental weirdo. "Picnic Table", for all its avant filigree, is pretty goddamn groovy, hypnotic and sorta slinky. Then there's "Rastplatz" that sounds like some lost Chain Reaction rarity. But it is Shit And Shine after all, so there's also "Ass" (the title should have given it a way), a manic bit of frenzied lo-fi skitter, underpinned by blurred buzz and squiggly squalls of noisy FX. But again, even here, Clouse manages to rein it in, balancing delicately between total collapse, and total, well, whatever the opposite of collapse is.
We love these guys (this guy?) and always have. And, fuck, we still do. Big time! Rare is the band that can make full bore speaker destroying noise rock pummel, and then weirdo avant techno, and not only keep their identity intact, but do it in a way, that folks who dig the former, can't help but like the latter, and vice versa. Every record is somehow, fantastically confusing, eminently satisfying, and bafflingly brilliant, and Everybody's A Fuckin' Expert is no different.
PS There's double vinyl of this too, we'd be listing it now but our supplier accidentally sent us the wrong record, whoops. However, we'll have copies early next week, fyi...
MPEG Stream: "Upside Down Cheeseburger"
MPEG Stream: "Working On My Fitness"
MPEG Stream: "Ass"

album cover STARS OF THE LID And Their Refinement Of The Decline (Kranky) 3lp 37.00
YAY! At last, reissued on vinyl again! Here's our original review when it first came out, circa 2007 (and was a Record Of The Week then, too)...
We've been huge fans of the Stars Of The Lid ever since their first record, Music For Nitrous Oxide, way back in 1995. And their last record, Tired Sounds Of... is a beloved favorite and all time AQ best seller. It's been fascinating to observe their sonic development, from murky guitar based 4-track bedroom guitar drones, all foggy and fuggy and murky and dreamlike, to their current sound, a more modern, almost classical sound, of rich reverberant swells, and lots and lots of space.
The Stars' sound has obviously become much more clear and well defined, polished even, but everything we loved about Nitrous Oxide is still present, albeit in slightly altered form. The Stars' were always about swells, ebb and flow, melodies and compositions played out over expansive stretches of oceanic shimmer, and that at least hasn't changed on And Their Refinement Of The Decline. Notes aren't just played, they begin as tiny sparkles, little distant glimmers, and gradually grow into thick rich whirs, or massive rumbles, before just as quickly fading away again. Oceanic is definitely an apt descriptor, as the music here, as on the more recent records, does have that feel, like some epic dimly lit sonic sea swirling and churning, sometime tranquil and barely moving, other times heaving and tumultuous. It's the sound of a new dawn, an impending storm, or the birth of a galaxy, it's so completely epic while at the same time managing somehow to be pastoral and contemplative and breathtakingly beautiful.
In the early days it was just 2 guitars and a four track, and the sound reflected that, much more gritty and fuzzy, the mood a lot darker, evoking the desert, the starry sky, a druggy dreamy innerspace of muted minimal shimmer. As the band grew, and added instruments, more players, recorded in real studios, the sound changed dramatically, and suddenly, instead of some indie bedroom project, the Stars were crafting pieces that could stand alongside any modern classical piece, while remaining dreamy and drone-y enough to tickle the ears of indie dronesters worldwide. Which is probably the most fascinating part of the Stars' sound. They were making music equally as expansive and epic and gorgeous 10 years ago, but those sounds were limited by the technology, by the band's meager recording set up. And only now it seems that the band is able to fully realize the sound they have been hearing, and essentially creating, all along.
There are guitars here and there, it is after all still the root of their sound, but they seem to be overshadowed by the other instruments (although it is often difficult to pinpoint the instrument creating many of the sounds), heavy on the strings, three violincelles and a harp, as well as a surprising arsenal of horns, two trumpets, flugelhorn and clarinet, AND a children's choir!! But it's not just the players or the instruments, but how they interact and the music they create, and here the results are divine. Many of the tracks do sound like bits of modern classical stretched out into languorous stretches of muted drone and subtle shimmer, like watching the planets from outer space, observing the epic drifts of solar systems and an infinity of cosmic interactions, but others definitely reference more earthly sonic treasures, "Apreludes (In C Sharp Major)" has some serious Morricone going on, and "Don't Bother They're Here" references Scott Tuma's washed out guitar work in Souled American. But whatever subtle flavor is introduced into each track, the sound is definitely and distinctly Stars Of The Lid. Their shift to double disc releases also seems to suit them, allowing their slow burning soft swell compositions plenty of time to sprawl and spread and evolve into epic and soul stirring soundscapes. But even two compact discs worth (or, six lp sides) is not nearly enough as far as we're concerned, so everyone buy this one, so next time, these guys can release a four disc set, or a ten disc set or a twenty disc set...
MPEG Stream: "Dungtitled (In A Minor)"
MPEG Stream: "Articulate Silences Part 1"
MPEG Stream: "Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottages"

album cover STARS OF THE LID Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid (Kranky) 3lp 37.00
YAY! At last, reissued on vinyl again! Here's our original review when it first came out, circa 2001 (and was a Record Of The Week then, too)...
Epic double cd (make that triple lp) masterpiece from Austin, Texas' kings of the lullaby drone. Stars of the Lid's sound, while similar to past efforts, has undergone some pretty dramatic changes. Their multi-layered 4-tracked guitars are still present in all their serene beauty and dark tranquility, but the sound is more lush and more detailed, with treated strings, organs, backwards tubular bells and field recordings adding even more depth to this already layered and impossible-to-grasp-in-one-listen recording. 'Tired Sounds...' is easily the Stars' most obviously melodic record, thanks in no small part to the addition of strings, horns and piano. Dreamy nocturnal slow motion drones are the glorious backdrop to the ebb and flow of dark sonic swells and soaring strings. While lots of 'drone' music sounds sinister and threatening, and often clinical and cold, the Stars manage to imbue their minimal soundscapes with warmth and humanity, and a sort of hope and joy. When the mood does change, it's more melancholic, lost, maybe lonely, never evil. Really human, organic emotions brilliantly conveyed through sound. So much avant / experimental music is technical and electronic, but the shimmering ambience of the guitars and the grit and grime of the recording, as well as the perfect arrangements make this music transcend its contemporaries, filling your ears with thick slow sound, until it slowly spreads through your whole body. Think Angus Maclise, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Low, Alan Lamb's wire recordings, Pauline Oliveros' deep listening recordings, a more pastoral Skullflower, a more idyllic Total, John Cale, Godspeed You Black Emperor, the harmonium works of Hermann Nitsch, or Tony Conrad. But mix in those magic (non-academic) ingredients (rock background, songs, melodies) and you have probably one of the most beautiful recordings we have ever heard.
MPEG Stream: "Requiem For Dying Mothers part 1"
MPEG Stream: "Broken Harbors part 1"
MPEG Stream: "Austin Texas Mental Hospital part 1"

album cover ALPINE DECLINE s/t (self-released) lp 17.98
We've just gotten ahold of a handful of self-released recordings from Alpine Decline - one of the many amazing projects to arise from the panoply of Beijing bands. This boy-girl duo are in fact American expats (one shaggy haired kid from Ohio, one Chinese-American from Los Angeles) who uprooted their existence in LA after the demise of their previous band (Mezzanine Owls) to open shop in Beijing.
We've witnessed the arc of Alpine Decline's development all the way through to the release of their gorgeously heavy shoegazing album Go Big Shadow City, which proved to be an aQ favorite from 2014, and now here we have their eponymous first album. While defining just what makes up the Beijing sound is next to impossible, Alpine Decline's first recording certainly engages fully with the American underground, Jonathan Zeitlin's vigorous vocals dripping with a Midwestern drawl, and his guitar chops channelling the angular / ebullient indie-rock sound of the mid '90s, amidst the steady pound of Pauline Mu's drums. Think Unwound, Blonde Redhead, and Dinosaur Jr (sans J Mascis' penchant for the relentless guitar solo), but dusted with bright synths and plenty of reverb.
MPEG Stream: "Altitude Sickness"
MPEG Stream: "The Ghost"

album cover ALPINE DECLINE Visualizations (self-released) lp 17.98
We've just gotten ahold of a handful of self-released recordings from Alpine Decline - one of the many amazing projects to arise from the panoply of Beijing bands. This boy-girl duo are in fact American expats (one shaggy haired kid from Ohio, one Chinese-American from Los Angeles) who uprooted their existence in LA after the demise of their previous band (Mezzanine Owls) to open shop in Beijing.
Visualizations is the second album from the band, released in 2010, same year as the debut. A mystical spaciousness permeated their sound on Visualizations, which may not be surprising as the band employed the talents of Californian psychonaut M. Geddes Gendras to produce the record and flesh out the sound with bass, modular synths, and guitars. Jonathan Zeitlin sounds like he's singing through a tin-can telephone with all of the depth provided by the expanse of spring reverb. There are tons of effects laced throughout the album's 10 tracks - swirling, druggy pools of evanescent shoegazing blur and wash propelled through their jangled noise-pop. There is still plenty of Unwound and maybe a bit of Boyracer to be heard in the mix, but the album defines itself more via heavy doses of psychedelic atmospherics and the selective bombast of Pauline Mu's drums.
MPEG Stream: "Avalanche"
MPEG Stream: "Night Market"

album cover BACHS, THE Out Of The Bachs (Out-Sider) lp 28.00
New vinyl reissue of the sole artifact from Chicago teenage combo The Bachs, a charmingly underground sixties garage psych platter of all-original compositions which was privately released circa '68 in an edition of only 150 copies. Such extreme rarity can tend to increase the hype (and collector's prices) without regard to true quality, but the punningly-titled Out Of The Bachs does feature some truly Nuggets-worthy tracks all right, of slightly shaky psychedelic garage jangle. The vocals are a little bit amateur, but are also quite affecting and angst-ridden, with some fine melodies and harmonies. There's a certain amount of sappy strum and sigh to this album, but then you get to a song like the "Minister Of A Mind Diseased", with its depressively morbid lyrics and fuzz-fuelled ravings, and you realize The Bachs their best really let some dark moody trippiness out of the box. For fans of The Electric Prunes, The Lollipop Shoppe, and the like.
MPEG Stream: "Minister Of A Mind Diseased"
MPEG Stream: "Tables Of Grass Fields"

album cover BASINSKI, WILLIAM The Deluge (2062 / Temporary Residence) lp 19.98
The Deluge and Cascade are two variations on the same set of tape loops constructed by William Basinski, with the former being released on vinyl and the latter on compact disc. Piano and orchestral recordings are the source material embedded onto those tapes, which Basinski colors with the muddled patinas of a fictionalized antiquity. It's same deliciously haunted atmosphere that has captured our imaginations ever since he released the seminal Disintegration Loops nearly fifteen years ago. We'd love to believe that he stumbled up a pile of quarter-inch tape from some closet in a forgotten school who had a music program sometime in the '50s and '60s, whose students were only instructed on playing the most elegiac of funeral dirges on the piano. For that's to what these fragmented piano melodies allude. From the onset of the three pieces, Basinski introduces a loop packed with notes and relatively bombastic melodic figures, not quite to the point of Nancarrow / Melnyk polydactyl fervor; but the flurry from this introductory loop is intentionally set up to be a position of excess from which Basinski can chisel away to reveal a fundamental pattern within his woozy melancholia traced with delay, echo, reverb, and drone. So fucking what if we've already heard Basinski present this same technique on every preceding recording, it remains always unnervingly beautiful and spellbinding.
MPEG Stream: "The Deluge"

album cover BURNING Silver After Death (self-released) cassette 8.98
Burning (previously known as Prostate) is Minnesota-based industrial band that stopped by aQuarius on their recent US tour with Echo Beds (whose tape we also carry!). This cassette is a special tour edition of their full-length lp of the same name. The immediate and obvious contemporary reference point here is Youth Code - current and ex-punks diving head first into filthy, militant industrial that owes its existence to the mid-'80s output of Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, and the like. Burning fit nicely in the current revival of those harsh industrial aggressors, but also bring their own flair to the sound. On "Lepsis," for example, you get a Strotter Inst.-esque experiment in repetitive clanking, a reprieve from the aggression but not from the intensity.
Burning is hardly forging any new ground here, but a knowing nod to the greats of early industrial make this worth a listen. Cassette only, but it contains a couple of reworked tracks from the lp that are exclusive to this tape!

album cover COLD BEAT Into The Air (Crime On The Moon) lp 15.98
No sophomore slump for this band, as it just seems like the other day we were praising the driving dark beat of their debut, Over Me. But in the relatively short time since that was released, the band has expanded their sonic palette and production while letting a bit more warmth and lightness shine. You can feel it immediately in the string tones that open the first track here, "Bruno", also because singer Hannah Lew (previously of Grass Widow) is stepping up more to the front of the mix, and why not, her voice is great! At times, it sounds uncannily like Deborah Harry from the early days of Blondie ("Broken Lines"), and overall, the band seem to be channeling the production of late-seventies Sire catalog, without obviously aping those specific bands (Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads). In essence, they've taken all the things they already do well and have assembled them with a polish that bumps them to the next level without taking away any of their edge. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Bruno"
MPEG Stream: "Broken Lines"
MPEG Stream: "Ashes"

album cover COOPER, MIKE Fratello Mare (Room 40) lp 25.00
While Mike Cooper is probably best known for turning down the Rolling Stones when they asked him to join the band in the '60s, his own eclectic and super varied discography makes it clear that while his decision might not have led to riches, it did allow him to spend his life making exactly the kind of music he wanted, from free jazz to warped pop.
The songs on this new album are woozy and warm, hazy and dreamy, often sounding like they were recorded underwater, colored by prismatic sonic refractions and lush, layered textures. We're reminded a bit of aQ faves Woo, especially in the more sketch-like compositions, but it's also easy to hear shades of the fourth world explorations of Brian Eno & John Hassell, our favorite instrumental passages by baroque retro pop combo the High Llamas, and even some of those awesome homebuilt machine-music recordings of Pierre Bastien. While the term chill-wave was the go-to descriptor for a whole clutch of young/hip bands a few years back, this is more what we imagine ACTUAL chill-wave to sound like, created by someone who doesn't need to wear ironic neon sunglasses to prove how chilled out and utterly melt-worthy their music really is. And with the recent heatwave, this has been our go to record to get lost in the sun's rays, and be whisked away to some weird magical musical island on which we're perfectly happy to stranded. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "A House In Bali"
MPEG Stream: "Fratello Mare"
MPEG Stream: "Notes From My Pacific Log"

album cover GHOST Meliora (Loma Vista / Rise Above) lp 29.00
Let's get this out of the way first. Ghost seem to be the new Deafheaven - a metal (or maybe not?) band everyone loved and flipped out over, but then the more popular they became with the squares, the more the cool kids began to distance themselves. In the case of Ghost you could argue that record number two wasn't as good as the debut, which sure, is probably true, but this new one RULES. And we would suggest that any haters that jumped ship, jump right back on, cuz Meliora is a doozy, heavier than Infestissumam, catchier too, and we're saying that even though actually several folks here seriously DUG Infestissumam. We might make an argument that Meliora rivals Opus Eponymous too. Seriously, some of us have been unable to listen to anything else.
The production is polished and perfect, the songs are classic rock with hints of prog and occult metal, moody and melancholy, crunchy and fierce, majestic and epic, the rock band lineup augmented by organs and keyboards, the arrangements lush and the songs at once timeless but also modern and mysterious. The Blue Oyster Cult influence looms large, moreso than on any of the other records, which as you might have guessed is a very good thing. And that's just the music. Let's not even get into the costumes, the band of nameless ghouls, the demonic pope vocalist Papa Emeritus III (there's a different Papa on each record, except not really, they just claim to fire the previous one and hire a younger Papa, but somehow it's the same voice, hmmm...). They're like a KISS for the underground weirdos, which KISS was kind of too, but you know what we mean.
Totally hooky, totally headbangable, for at least a few of the big Ghost fans at aQ, this is their best, and a definite contender for a record of the year (certainly already in the lead, based just on its impossibly heavy rotation). If you've yet to check these guys out, don't let all the grumpy anti-hipsters dissuade you, cuz almost nobody is making heavy rock records like this anymore, certainly not rock records this weird and great, we're guessing you'll probably it. We definitely do.
MPEG Stream: "Spirit"
MPEG Stream: "He Is"
MPEG Stream: "Mummy Dust"

album cover HARLOW, JAMES Was Feed Weird Things, Then I Cared Because You Did... (self-released) cd-r 11.98
Okay, we love weirdo one man black metal band Jabladav. And have dug pretty much everything he's done, from buzzing black metal Weakling worship, to blissed out dronescapes, to grim, icy ambience. But for a while now James Harlow, aka Jabladav, had been threatening to release all kinds of other sonic weirdness, like a straight up prog record, which we're still waiting on, and an electronic record, and well, this is that electronic record. Your first clue shoulda been the title, mashing up the names of a classic Squarepusher record and a classic Aphex Twin record, and sonically, it's easy to see that's pretty much exactly what Harlow was going for. Mixing skittery beats, with a plethora of sampled voices, the occasional 'Amen' break, it's plenty glitchy, but also sorta jazzy (hence the Squarepusher nod we presume). Sonically all over the map, the record flits from goofy grooviness, to dense, programmed splutter, "Fuck You Muslimgauze" is one of our favorites, with its looped and loping industrial stutter step beat, and swirling swaths of Middle Eastern string buzz, in fact, a handful of the song titles are actually downright literal. "Ambient 12038" is indeed a hushed, wispy, ambient sprawl, while "Funky Sushi", is pretty much straight up funk, real drumming, not programmed, beneath some Funkadelic like super distorted shred. But Harlow is a weirdo, and that's reflected here big time. It's pretty schizophrenic, but all the different facets of Harlow's constantly shifting sound, are pretty bad ass. "Closed Letter Analog 7019" is a creepy, minimal drift, laced with chiming, minor key melodies, and ominous swells of chordal thrum, and "Schultz" might as well be called "Schulze", cuz it's total bloopy Tangerine Dream worship. The whole record is a trip, dizzying in its scope, and while that might be annoying in some cases, here it really just makes the record a kind of warped musical adventure, where you never know what's gonna happen next, and no matter what does, you're totally psyched. Or confused. Usually both!
Like all Jabladav related releases, this is extremely limited (just FIFTY COPIES), and each one is not only hand numbered, but also signed by the man himself!
MPEG Stream: "Apenazi"
MPEG Stream: "My Girl"
MPEG Stream: "Fuck You Muslimgauze"

album cover JABLADAV Gail (self-released) cd-r 11.98
Yet another recent release from this long time aQ fave, who after a protected period of silence, sent us a big ol' box with FOUR new releases. Two of which we've previously reviewed, this being the third, and much like Maj, which we listed last time, Hail is another ambient affair, and might be the prettiest, most tranquil thing we've heard from Jabladav yet. It's short, clocking in at just 19 minutes, but it's really beautiful. Haunting and pastoral, guitar chords ring out, smeared across a backdrop of hushed shimmer, the vibe sun dappled and dreamy, meditative and melancholy. It almost sounds like some sort of abstract twangscape, like a way more blissed out, drumless Earth, or even maybe Scenic, but super minimal. We also hear hints of Stars Of The Lid, and other guitar based soundscapers.
The sound unwinds and blossoms gradually, not building really, just sort of slowly shifting, the spaces as much a part of the proceedings as the sounds themselves. It also has a distinctly washed out, faded vibe, as if this might be something the Caretaker might whip up if his weapon of choice was the guitar.
You definitely don't have to be a metalhead to enjoy this side of Jabaladav, in fact, this is definitely something aimed more at anyone into psychedelic Krautrock, Pop Ambience, minimal dronemusic, and experimental guitar music, which we're guessing is a whole lot of folks reading this right now!
Like all Jabladav releases, super limited (just FIFTY COPIES) and obsessively numbered and personalized. Each disc is hand numbered, both on the disc itself and on the booklet, and both the disc and booklet are also signed. We got a bunch of these, but since there were only fifty made, it's a good bet that once these are gone, we won't be getting more.
MPEG Stream: "Gail"

album cover KITCHEN CINQ, THE When the Rainbow Disappears: An Anthology 1965-68 (Light in the Attic) 2lp 30.00
Latest in the series of reissues of obscure Lee Hazlewood productions from Light In The Attic comes this great anthology of tracks by a band of Nuggets-worthy never-weres from Amarillo Texas, The Kitchen Cinq (pronounced "Sank", a play on the French word for five, as they were a five piece, see!). The groop's sole 1966 album (Everything But....) and string of singles should have made them more than a mere blip in the regional psych scene as they were influenced both by the British Invasion and the emerging West Coast jangle folk sound. Like a mix of The Thirteenth Floor Elevators and The Byrds, with a seemingly aphetamine-fueled fuzz-pop sound, the band's probable lack of longevity was likely due to the fact they didn't record much of their own material - though songs like "Dying Daffodil Incident" and "When The Rainbow Disappears" by title alone should have set them apart. Instead, we largely get great covers of Neil Diamond ("Solitary Man"), Buffy Saint Marie ("Codeine") and The Hollies ("I Can't Let Go"), amongst many others. To their credit, they make these singles sparkle with gritty pop urgency, tremendous harmony and of course Hazlewood's top-notch production which accentuates the reverb and twang in such a beautifully satisfying way. As always with Light In The Attic releases, comes a great history of the band and lots of pictures. Great stuff for vintage garage beat geeks like us!
MPEG Stream: "Codine"
MPEG Stream: "Please Come Back To Me"
MPEG Stream: "Determination"
MPEG Stream: "I Can't Let Go"
MPEG Stream: "If You Think"

album cover LEGION OF ANDROMEDA Iron Scorn (Crucial Blast) cd 13.98
Urgh!! It's the debut full-length of brutal, blackened, industrial death metal churn n' clank from this Tokyo based duo of Italian expats, consisting of M on "axe/machinery" and R on "vokills". This band's brutish, minimal, monolithic music certainly isn't for everybody, no sir, but those it IS for will love it. You might know if that applies to you already, as a couple years back we rave-reviewed Legion Of Andromeda's self-titled, self-released cd ep, essentially a demo. New recordings of three of those tracks are featured here ("Cosmo Hammer", "Overlord Of Thunder", and "Sociopathic Infestation"), alongside four new compositions. Here's some of we said about the ep, all of which surely still applies here of course: "Each track mostly a single riff, hell, at times it sounds like a single chord, chugging hypnotically, driven by a programmed robotic rhythm, occasionally shifting into a sort-of-chorus, but really it's just a noisier version of THAT ONE riff. All the while, some seriously throat shredding demon grunt, grindcore style belched vokills gurgle and growl over the top. Total knuckle dragging blackened bliss out of the highest order." (Well, that's a bliss out for people like usÉ we suppose others may find bliss in turning it off!).
This album was recorded by none other than Steve Albini (chances are, these guys like Big Black a lot), and compared to the demo ep, Albini cleans their sound up somewhat, just a bit, it's slightly less fuzzed and blown out, more clinical and precise perhaps. But still plenty brootal indeed. 'Tis truly a massive beatdown of heaving bowels-of-hell vocals, oppressive drum machine battery, and wall-of-static axe distortion, all layered and endlessly looping in what becomes delirious, distorted, deathly dementia, like someone took the entire early Earache catalog and reduced it all it down into some of the most psychedelically primitive, monotonously mesmerizing, mechanical heaviness possible. If you liked the Sewer Goddess we reviewed last time, but want something even more sick and EXTREME, then check this out!! In closing, we can't help but quote what the band says about this release themselves: "No filler tracks, no fade-outs, no avant-garde intellectual scum: just 7 slabs of inhuman heaviness fueled by total hate. The world is dead and mankind is shit. LIVE TO HATE. COSMO HAMMER MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE."
Cool b&w teeth/fangs cover art, which also incorporates the band's nifty axehammer logo...
MPEG Stream: "Transuranic Ejaculation"
MPEG Stream: "Overlord Of Thunder"
MPEG Stream: "Fist Of Hammurabi"

album cover LOW Ones And Sixes (Sub Pop) 2lp 24.00
Holy shit... they did it again! Two plus decades into their career and Low have managed to make yet another breathtaking record, a collection of songs that even on first listen, induced the sort of chills that only the most special records ever do. Along with Yo La Tengo, Low have proven to be one of the most consistent and reliable bands to emerge from the indie landscape in the last twenty-five years. Pioneers of the slowcore sound, their music has always been rich with wrenching emotion and a relentless power.
Over the years, they have experimented with more rocking and poppy directions, but even then, their slowcore roots remained, and somehow they always ended up, if not back where they started, at least sonically expounding on all the glacial beauty that came before. With Ones & Sixes, Low they have created maybe one of their best records yet, one that most definitely belongs with other Low faves of ours, alongside Long Division, Secret Name, and Things We Lost In The Fire. Everything we love about Low is in full flower here. Alan and Mimi's aching vocals, soporific songs that unfold like slowly blossoming flowers, with melodies that have us humming along - and in a perfect world, could/should/would be all over the radio. Low have never compromised their singular vision, and like the rest of Low's records, this is exactly it sounds like when a band remains connected to their truth and purpose. Brilliant!
MPEG Stream: "Gentle"
MPEG Stream: "No Comprende"
MPEG Stream: "Spanish Translation"

album cover MARS Mars Archives Volume One: China To Mars (Feeding Tube) lp 17.98
Woah. Here's another amazing set of archival recordings from the seminal No Wave quartet Mars! Back in 2012, the boutique Spanish label Anomia released a triple cassette box from the band's archives; and now we're getting a portion of the first cassette issued on vinyl care of Feeding Tube, with a whole bunch of extra material.
Mars is a band that really shouldn't need any introduction, as they were one of the four seminal No Wave outfits along with Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, James Chance & The Contortions, and DNA, featured on the No New York compilation from 1978. At the time of that compilation, the band had only issued one single, but they recorded furiously with enough material to warrant the 78 album released by Lydia Lunch in the late '80s and a couple of live recordings some 20+ years after the fact.
The band's origins date back to late 1978 when Connie Burg (aka Lucy Hamilton) and Cunningham met Sumner Crane and Nancy Arlen. Aside from Crane's ability to play the piano and Cunningham's school days with a trumpet, Mars was an entirely self-taught proposition, trying to learn the basics of rock'n'roll through their collective infatuation with the Velvet Underground. At that time, the band christened themselves China (a moniker later adopted by Burg). The switch from acoustic to electric (and from China to Mars) is described in Dylan-esque terms, along with the name change to Mars as well as introductions to Lydia Lunch and James Chance being instrumental in the development into a tour-de-force project of rhythmic dislocation and atonal distortion.
For the Mars completist, we should note that there a handful of tracks on the cassette boxset that are not found here, and vice versa. Nonetheless, this is an incredible historical document!
MPEG Stream: "Cry"

album cover MELT-BANANA Charlie (A-Zap) lp 15.98
Out of print for a few years now at least, the third album from these frenetic Japanese spazz-mongers has just been repressed on vinyl!! We originally reviewed it back in 1998 when it first came out, giving it the following brief but enthusiastic write-up: With every release, you wonder how Melt Banana is going to make their records just as fierce and brutal as the last without indulging in banal formulas. Yet their sound has evolved into complex shards of Dadaist hardcore played with hyperkinetic precision. One of the highlights on this album is their insane collaboration with Mike Patton and the rest of Mr. Bungle on "Area 877 [Phoenix Mix]"! Highly recommended!
To that, what need we add? Perhaps about those shards, yes shards is the word - splintered shrapnel of yelping vox, wiggly guitar, octopoid battery, all spinning around in a blender at 100mph. Everything you like about Melt-Banana, Charlie delivers!
MPEG Stream: "Spathic!"
MPEG Stream: "Giggle On The Stretcher"
MPEG Stream: "Excess"

album cover MILK CULT Love God (Boner) cd 13.98
A couple years ago we found a very, very small stash of the original 1993 vinyl pressings at one of our suppliers - at original 1993 vinyl prices too! (Yes, remember when vinyl was cheaper than cds?). We wrote the following review and they were gone in a flash... well guess what? The same supplier just found a few more, presumably hidden away in a dusty corner, AND they also found copies of the cd version too, which we also had though was long out of print and had never listed before!! SO, now we're listing that, along with relisting the vinyl (be aware, they didn't find many more).
This release was the debut from Milk Cult, a beats-and-sound-collage side project of Dale "C.C. Nova" Flattum from San Francisco's late great grungy noiserock heavies Steel Pole Bath Tub, and it predates our "list" by a couple years, so we've never reviewed it, though much later on we did make Milk Cult's fourth and final album a Record Of The Week (2000's Project M-13, now long out of print unfortunately).
Love God opens with the title track, well worth the price of admission alone, 10+ minutes of chugging distorted Slayer riffage meets turntablist whip-whip-whap in a sampledelic maelstrom. All kinds of other insanity enters into the pounding mix, from flamenco dance music (?) to police sirens. It's apparently the soundtrack to a short film by Frank Grow which we've never seen but we figure it must be pretty freaky. From then on, the warped vibe of underground '90s plunderphonic noiserock industrial soundtrack mayhem continues, in a surrealistic style where, like, moments of sepia-toned old tyme record crackle loopage that could be from a Leyland Kirby disc, will be rudely juxtaposed with sudden onslaughts of -actual- Slayer samples, or even blasts of machingun fire. It's definitely very '90s, in a good way, think Pain Teens, early Scorn, Sucking Chest Wound, experimental Melvins, Cosmonauts Hail Satan, WordSound label dubby "illbience", and of course Steel Pole Bath Tub themselves - they always used samples, weird voice-overs and whatnot, and if you're familar with them, what you'll hear here will remind you of that aspect of their sound, but given center stage. Chaotic and/or creepy for sure, but "groovy" too in a way. Needless to say, these are the last copies we're gonna see, and when they're gone, they're gone.
MPEG Stream: "Love God"
MPEG Stream: "Drag Strip Riot Dream Sequence"
MPEG Stream: "Clown Party Pt. 2"

album cover NATURAL SNOW BUILDINGS Terror's Horns (Ba Da Bing) lp 15.98
Yes, there are a plethora of insanely limited editions published for and by Natural Snow Buildings and their satellite projects; but with their recent dealings with Ba Da Bing, the problematic availability has been alleviated somewhat. Of course, there was a tiny cd-r bonus edition that was coupled with this album but only available in pre-order direct from the label. No shops got any of those; so, we apologize in advance that we cannot offer that version. HOWEVER, we do have this amazing album itself, from aQ fave death-folk explorers Natural Snow Buildings.
There's long been a haunted thread that traces through all of the work from the French duo of Mehdi Ameziane and Solange Gularte, whose long-form tangles of ritualist drone-rock minimalism and sprawling, opiated psychedelia harks back to International Harvester, Flying Saucer Attack, and Kemialliset Ystavat. Here on Terror's Horns, Natural Snow Buildings plumb the depths of an emotional gloom and shuddering despair with this epic, cinematic album. The two have long specialized in expansive tracks of shimmering guitars, woodwinds, and bowed instruments that could be psalters, zithers, and / or violins, all of which blossom into sublime masses of dronological impressionism; and on Terror's Horns, Natural Snow Building engage in a sound far more elegiac and funereal and heavier than heard on any of their previous recordings. The freak-folk transcendence of NSB still will embrace the unsettling falsetto of Ameziane and the percussive clatter of Gularte, with the swirling psychedelia tumbling downward in lush cinematic collapse, with heavy minor-key chords and reverb saturated rhythmic plod providing plenty of parallels to the early days of Barn Owl and the latter days of Earth. Beautiful as always, these Natural Snow Buildings, if much darker than in days gone by.
MPEG Stream: "Dawn On A Buck Skin"
MPEG Stream: "King In Yellow"
MPEG Stream: "Sun Tower"

album cover SHANNON AND THE CLAMS Gone By Dawn (Hardly Art) lp 15.98
One of our favorite Oakland bands since they first hit the scene, we've been dying for this new album by Shannon & The Clams, as they seem to just get better and better with every record. And if you ask us, it's a crime that Shannon Shaw is not super famous, as her voice, delivery and presence blow away so many other, lesser singers, even those who are superstars. We'll take Shannon over Adele or Amy Winehouse or even the awesome Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) any day!
The group's secret weapon on "Gone By The Dawn" is again their wonderful range. Cody Blanchard, who doesn't get nearly the adulation he deserves, which is often the problem in a band with such an iconic front person, is such a great guitarist and vocalist in his own right, and is a driving force in the Clams. He leads the rest of the group as they whip up a seriously potent mix of doo-wop, punk rock, garage, and psychedelic pop. This could very well finally be the record that breaks them out to a new audience, and takes them to the next level. Cuz, damn, we want to live in a world where Shannon & The Clams could be a musical guest on Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show. And yet, even if that never happens, we'll be happy just to have these amazing songs, and to revel in the group's unique sound and irrepressible spirit for a very long time to come!
MPEG Stream: "I Will Miss The Jasmine"
MPEG Stream: "Covette"
MPEG Stream: "The Bog"

album cover V/A Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps, & Bumps From Peru's Electronic Underground (Tiger's Milk / Strut) cd 15.98
There was a time where scenes could exist totally isolated from the rest of the world. When it took months, not minutes, for music to find its way to the far ends of the earth. And when artists were forced to make music with very little knowledge of what was going on thousands of miles away. That said, who would argue that things aren't better now? There's no end to the amazing music we can discover these days with just the push of a button, instead of writing letters and waiting months. However, there are still scenes that may be super fertile, and producing incredible music, but for whatever reason, are barely known outside of the city/state/country. But all it takes is one obsessive music nerd, one obsessive DJ, or someone in the scene who decides it's time for the rest of the world to dig what's been going on, to change all that.
So we had very little knowledge about modern Peruvian music, electronic or otherwise. Most of our musical love was for seventies Peruvian psych and chicha music. But goddamn if this collection of modern electronic music didn't flip our lids. We had never heard of single one of these artists, but apparently they're all big deals in Peru, Lima specifically, which according to the liner notes is South America's party capital. These jams mix techno, house, electro, dubstep, and plenty of South American instruments and melodies, into a pretty sweet concoction of bass heavy beats, moody grooves, buzzing dancefloor blowouts, goofy blip-bloops, and some tracks that have a serious Afro-Latin vibe, maybe our faves of the bunch, which sound like they could have been plucked off some Sublime Frequencies dance mix (if there was such a thing, why is there NOT?). We won't bother going track by track, and odds are the names of the bands won't mean any more to you, but if you dig wild dance music, Afrobeat, Latin grooves, or any psychedelic electronica, odds are you'll find lots here to love.
MPEG Stream: CHAKRUNA "Cumbia Achorada"
MPEG Stream: PE GARCIA "Subete A La Noche"

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