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Aquarius Records
New Arrivals #282 and 2007 AQ Employee Faves
28th December 2007

Beloved Customers and Friends:

Greetings all!
And happy new year! The next time you hear from us via the list, it will be 2008!! Hard to believe. Thanks to everyone for another fantastic year! So much great music, so many amazing customers, we feel so lucky, and honored to be your source for music big and small, loud and quiet, soft and heavy. Here's to another super rocking, kick ass year!
2007 was pretty intense. Lots of great things, and lots of sad things too. The most notable sad things being the loss of two people close to our hearts, who were huge parts of our lives and were as much a part of aQuarius as any one we can think of. One was Lance Hahn, leader of the band J-Church, who for years was a fixture at the AQ front counter, but also repeatedly whisked Andee away to drum for his band on multiple European and Japanese tours. A great friend and one of the nicest guys ever, he passed away earlier this year. He was only 40. And another taken from us way too young, was our pal Cayce Lindner, who spent more time in the store than most people who actually work here. Many of you might know him as the leader of Flying Canyon, but we knew him as one of the sweetest, most talented, and loving persons we have ever met. 

You may have noticed this list is half its normal size, that's because the second half of this week's list is our AQ 2007 staff favorites!!! Check 'em out. Lots of favorites you may have missed, compare them to your top tens, some lists are actual top 10's, some are top way-too-many's, but it was a great year for music, so what can you do?! Also, soon we'll be asking you to submit your lists, to be posted on the AQ site, and of course, we'll pick a couple lists at random and give away AQ gift certificates, so start working on those lists!

But even with the list only half the length, it's PACKED with amazing stuff. Including our record of the week, the second solo lp and maybe most essential release from Caetano Veloso, recorded while he was in prison, a Tropicalia classic!!

And of course so so so many highlights:


Acrimony : One of the best stoner doom space rock records ever, reissued!
A Fashionable Disease: A 7" of fucked up metallic noise freaked out mayhem. 
Angel Eyes: A new super long ep from one of our favorite metallic post rock outfits. 
Aidan Baker / Beta Cloud: AQ fave Aidan Baker teams up with Beta CLoud for some more gorgeous ambient shimmer. 
Bailter Space: Awesome compilation of classic proto-shoegaze heaviness from these NZ legends. 
Burmese - Monkeys Tear Man To Shreds... lp: An alternate version of the sludge grind tUMULt classic. 
Chaos Moon: Gorgeous, epic, black metal brilliance. 
Circle: A new live Circle!!! What more do you need to know?
Climax Golden Twins: A super limited reissue of CGT's noisy and beautiful debut.
Coffins / Otesanek: Killer tag team matchup, old school black thrash doom from Japan versus ultramega doom sludge from the US!
Cover Story: From Wax Poetics, a gorgeous artbook packed with some of the most amazing record jacket artwork EVER. 
Daisies OST: Loved Valerie And Her Week Of Wonder? YOU NEED THIS. Another classic Czech new wave film's head spinning soundtrack.
Ensepulchred: Keyboard heavy black buzz, like a black metal Goblin!
Es - Sateenkaarisuudelma  2cd: These Finns' amazing double lp now available as a double cd.
Yair Etziony: Gorgeous murky electronic shimmer, CHain Reaction meets Pop Ambient meets Boards Of Canada. 
Eyes Like Saucers: Ex-Urdog dude weaves trances like drones in the desert.
Stephan Kasner - Works book: A book of artwork form this legendary artist, who has probably designed at least one record in your collection.
Gwigwi Mrwebi: Lost classic from this UK based South African saxophonist. Playful bouncy kwela jazz. 
Lilypad - Twin Holes: Two 3" cd-r's of dreamy loner synth drift. CRAZY LIMITED!
Longmont Potion Castle: The greatest prank phone caller of all time returns!
Minoru Sato (m/s, SASW) + Asuna: Super minimal drone music made from chord organs and resonating glass tubes. 
Mordraaneth: Trollmann Av Ildtoppberg member goes solo! Caveman new age!!
Murmur: An amazing acoustic drone record recorded in an old fermentation tank. Reverbb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bb bbbbbbbbbbbb...
Nuit Noire: The only purveyors of "faerical blasting punk" return with a new disc, half new tracks, half life classics. 
Gram Parsons: Double disc of newly unearthed live tracks. So lovely.
Prurient: Two masters of noise team up for some deep gritty dronemusic.
Radiohead: The new record, finally available NOT as a bunch of ones and zeros.
Skull Defekts: Brand new disc of cyclical percussive mesmer. 
Smohalla: Latest installment in the H.P Lovecraft 3" cd-r series. SUPER LIMITED.
Sunn x 2: Two classic discs of dronedirgedoom get fancy Japanese reissues, with new artwork and both with bonus discs. 
Tulus: The band that would become aQ faves Khold, double disc collection, first two records, demos and even a Bowie cover!
V/A  David Shrigley's Worried Noodles: The legendary lyrics without songs, get the songs they so deserve.
V/A  Gold Record Studio: A brain bending collection of limited to one records recorded off the cuff at a flea market. So bizarre and wonderful.
V/A  John Barleycorn Reborn: Dark Britannica: Awesome compilation of modern British folk, modern folkies channeling the spirit of classic seventies UK folk.
Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams: A return to form, from the Shaolin masters! Includes one of the jams of the year!
Otomo Yoshihide: The Japanese master of turntables, guitars and anything else he touches, explores guitars and the amplifiers like no one else can 

And a handful of other new releases, which could have been highlights themselves. So check em out!

And finally, before we get to the list, our pals in the band Middian, are getting sued, in what has to be one of the lamest lawsuits ever. By another band who barely exists. Read about it at the end of the list, and if you can, donate some money to help them with their legal fees. Their band rules, they're super nice, and stuff like this should never happen.

So that's it. Have a happy and safe new year. Looking forward to another year of amazing music, with all of our amazing customers. 


And as always, thanks for reading the list, passing it on to all your friends who love weird music, shopping at our store, turning -us- on to all sort of great stuff, and helping us spread the word and get all this great music to the people who love it. YOU!! And as always, please realize that we work really hard on the list, so if you find out about stuff through us, please try to buy your records from us. That way we can keep on doing what we do, and we'll always be here with our ears to the ground, and with cds full of metalcore pitbulls, death metal parrots, gamelan playing elephants, recordings of glaciers cracking, ice melting, zamboni's, life support systems, drag races, audience applause, and of course self flagellating Norwegian dwarves, moaning telephone wires, recorded exorcisms, acapella straight edge metalcore, high school battles of the bands, movie theater organ music, Christian psychedelic folk, Bhangra Black Sabbath as well as all the metal, indie rock, electronica, punk rock, reggae, dub, sixties psych, krautrock, classic rock, country and anything else your heart may desire. So thanks. A bunch!


Remember, give our STREAMING NEW ARRIVALS RADIO THING a try! (mp3 stream)


----* Record of the Week :

album cover VELOSO, CAETANO s/t (Irene) (Lilith) cd 21.00
It is with no small significance that we end this year highlighting one of our very favorite artists of all time, Caetano Veloso. If we were anything like Time Magazine, we could definitely see ourselves making him Man of the Year, because indeed, it has been a stellar year for Veloso. Not only have some of the many highlights of his extensive back-catalog been made available once again, but he also began the year, at age sixty, releasing one of the best rock albums of the year (Ce) that has made many of our top ten lists. If you were lucky enough to catch his performance at this year's San Francisco Jazz Festival, he shocked and delighted the audience by performing with just a stripped-down rock band, three young men on electric guitar, bass and drums, barely over a third of Veloso's age, his voice in amazing form, running from one side of the stage to another working the audience into a frenzy, causing a seemingly endless string of female (and one male) fans to jump on the stage for a quick kiss. Here was someone who could of easily just sat on his laurels and played his popular hits with the kind of over-orchestrated band you see in concerts on PBS, but instead embraced his forward-thinking musicality playing mostly new songs with a tight killer band and still managed to sway his oldest fans to cheer along. One of the best shows of 2007 for sure!
Years ago, when we first discovered the sounds of Tropicalia, it was through the more blatant psychedelic spectacle of Os Mutantes and their first three well-beloved records. But while we were aware of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil being the main songwriters and architects of the movement, most of their songs, until recently, we got to know through compilations and cover versions rather than through their full length records. While we have seen in the past couple of years so much amazing music being dug out of the far reaches of that fertile period and the post Tropicalia boom from Alceu Valenca, Jorge Ben, and Lula Cortes, as well as the amazing Soul Jazz comp, Brazil '70, it's been nice to see some of the best full length albums from Gilberto Gil and Veloso becoming available again. Earlier this year, Lilith reissued Veloso's first solo record from 1967 and his post-exile experimental jaunt from 1972, Araca Azul. So for a year that began with a return to musical form from this beloved Brazilian musical master, it's even more fitting that by years end we see the reissue of arguably the most important and most essential album of his vast discography, the second self-titled solo album from 1969.
Notice the blank cover with just a signature? Much different from most of Veloso's records which almost always feature his picture. That's because when he recorded this album, Veloso and Gilberto Gil were in captivity by the Brazilian Government for violating recently imposed orders against artists performing non-nationalistic music or expressing any statements that could be perceived as antigovernment. While confined, their long hair was shaved off, hence the decision to not display a picture. Allowed to play acoustic guitar and record songs through a masterful use of the media to keep a connection with the public for fear of being "disappeared" or tortured, both Gil and Veloso recorded albums (Gil recorded his masterful 1969 album as well at this time) using just voice and guitar and then sending the tapes to Rogerio Duprat, who added all the arrangements: electric guitars, strings, flutes and rhythm tracks. For such a strange and backwards production process, what results is a fervently articulate statement of politics and personal freedoms, with some of his first songs sung in English, namely the very pointed, "The Empty Boat".
Of course with time, it may be difficult to understand how radical the situation was, especially with the language barrier. Album opener "Irene" may seem like a pastoral groover with its opening flutes and guitars, but when he sings in Portuguese, "I want to see Irene laughing", it's rumored that the "Irene", he was referring to was the name of the machine gun of Tenario Calvacanti, a robber famously celebrated in leftist circles. While "Os Argonautas" is based on the belief that all oppressive dictatorships are fated to be temporary (Let's hold on tight to that belief!). The penultimate track "Acrilirico" is Veloso's response to the Beatles' "Revolution #9", a track very fitting to be on Veloso's own white album.
Like most Tropicalia albums, the urgently emotional song writing is tempered by a need to unite multiple populist musical forms together. So there are bits of Fado, Tango, Carnival music, psychedelic rock, with lyrics sung in English, Spanish as well as Portuguese. Veloso through the Tropicalia movement understood that the politics of freedom are best communicated through the musical language of the people. This record is more prescient than ever!
MPEG Stream: "Irene"
MPEG Stream: "The Empty Boat"
MPEG Stream: "Nao Identificado"

----* Highlights :

album cover A FASHIONABLE DISEASE s/t (My Pet Goat) 7" 4.50
Totally ass kicking and weirdly fucked brutality fills this little 7" from Santa Cruz's own, A Fashionable Disease! Another one of those what the fuck, seemingly impossible combinations of influences, synthesized in such a unique and successful way, that makes us kind of scratch our heads and lament that we haven't been turned on sooner. How do you describe this? Maybe filthyfreejazzcrustyfiedsatanicdamagedgrindpunkavantskronk? Or maybe just Crass meets Ayler meets Pig Destroyer meets Sun Ra meets Schoenberg meets Anal Cunt meets Mahavishnu. We don't fucking know, but it rules! Super demented, ultra damaged grind-jazz, complete with horn section! Putrid angular metallic guitar discordance, feculent terrorist manifesto screeched vocals, growling horns, blasting drums. The first cut, "Veal Medallions" starts with a blast of feedback before hurling into a psychotically chromatic guitar and piano line, ending up in a blasting tumult of throat tearing vocals and frenetically crazed drumming! Some of the lyrics from this number kind of sum up what these fellas are about... "skulls converge ruins/ rainbows ejaculate onto your face/ quiet in the piss-stained evening/ spring wind blows perfume of 1,000 rotting carcasses...". Fuck yes. The rest of the 7" is just as killer. Totally fucked and totally great! For fans of Zorn, Bathtub Shitter, Rudimentary Peni, Crass, Coltrane, Dystopia, Cecil Taylor, or anything filthy, proggy, grindy, avant-jazzy, and totally shredding! Recommended!

album cover ACRIMONY Tumuli Shroomaroom (Leaf Hound) cd 16.98
A few lists back, we reviewed a newly released collection of odds and ends from stoner doomlords Acrimony, a UK band, who combined all the best parts of many of our favorite bands, Electric Wizard, Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Hawkwind, Church Of Misery, Boris, Bongzilla, that list alone should have many of you already leaping for the 'buy' button, and that's as it should be. These guys destroy. Unbelievably heavy, crazy catchy, killer riffs, hooks galore, and plenty of spaced out druggy drone.
But YEARS before that comp, Bong On- Live Long!, we were already huge fans of this here disc right here, Tumuli Shroomaroom, now reissued with new improved sound, maybe one of the best stoner rock records EVER. High praise indeed, but not unwarranted we think. The guitars are massive, downtuned and crunchy, spitting out groovy Sabbathy riffage, but way more psychedelic, plenty of wah guitar, streaks of wild leads, all over a super dense rhythmic foundation. The drums heavy as fuck, pounding away, the bass throbbing and buzzing and holding it all together. The vocals a rough raspy, but melodic caterwaul. And the songs, as catchy as they are heavy, super charged and blown out, like someone took perfect pop songs, dipped them in LSD, rolled them in broken shards of Monster Magnet, wrapped them in thick sheets of Hawkwind, lit them on fire and smoked them, and then picked up guitars and this was the result. Not sure why these guys weren't huge.
Besides being a kick ass band, heavy and catchy, they also have a serious thing for repetition, and drone, most of the songs have long stretches of churning riffage that just repeats and repeats, mantra like, mesmerizingly headbanging, lots of them also lock into some sort of endless groove near the end, the song often transforming into an ultra heavy hypnorock workout, looped over and over, repeating sometimes for minutes, and then sometimes unexpectedly slipping right back into the song. Definitely part of what gives them such a druggy vibe. The best example of that is the track "Motherslug (The Mother Of All Slugs", a massive stoner rock jam, that is constantly locking into perfect looped grooves, so tight and hypnotic they almost sounds like the cd is skipping, a single riff churning again and again, so completely trancelike, while all around the main riff, other guitars swell and swoop, shimmering in little squalls pf psychedelic FX, sort of like those kick ass spaced out Hawkwind outros but way less spacey and more relentlessly and repetitively rocking, until the track suddenly and effortlessly slips back into the main groove again, eventually drifting apart into some awesome spacious doom jam, the guitar and drums locked in big crashes, spaced way far apart, the guitar chords crumbling and fading almost completely before the next crash comes, finally fading into some throbbing drone, buzzy and muted, maybe a didgeridoo or faux throat singing or something, finally fading out into the space-rock Sabbath riff that opens the next track.
Hard to know what else to say, one of our favorite heavy records ever, every track on here is a killer. Heavy and groovy, droney and hypnotic, druggy and spaced out, the ultimate stoner rock doom disc for sure. As we mentioned above, folks into Monster Magnet, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Ufomammut, Orange Goblin, Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Spiritual Beggars, Nebula, Bongzilla, Green Machine, Boris, Lowrider, Spirit Caravan, Solarized, Fu Manchu, Dozer and Mammoth Volume and have somehow made it this far without hearing Acrimony, might just have discovered their new favorite band.
MPEG Stream: "Hymns To The Stone"
MPEG Stream: "Million Year Summer"
MPEG Stream: "Vy"

album cover ALCEST Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde (Northern Silence) lp 24.00
This amazing chunk of blissy black metal jangle, a HUGE aQ fave, is now available on vinyl, for a SUPER limited time. It is limited to 999 copies, 333 on each color, three different colors, the colors are random, so you'll get what you get, please don't ask for a specific color, but fear not, all the colors are cool, and we ONLY got colored vinyl, so it should work out just fine for vinyl freeks and everyone who had been holding out for the lp version of this amazing disc. And as always with stuff like this, ONE PER CUSTOMER!!!!
We've been gushing over French black metal outfit Ameseours for a while now. Their amazing blend of buzzing blackness and indie jangle. Like nothing we'd heard really, but was exactly what we always wanted, nay needed to hear, just didn't know it. As we mentioned in our review of their record, various members of that group also do time in the much more black metal Peste Noire, whose most recent record FolkFuck Folie we also reviewed recently, and in both reviews we lamented the fact that we were never able to get the ep by yet another related band, the even less metal, more blissy Alcest. And while that 2 song disc does in fact seem to be out of print, this here is the brand new full length, and besides being amazing, and one of the prettiest records of the year, it's absolutely and entirely not the least bit metal. AT ALL. 
Which is in no way a bad thing, it's just perplexing that black metal folks have been touting this as one of the best metal records of the year, even ever. Much like Ameseours, Alcest is all about indie jangle, and blissed out shoegazey pop, but where Ameseours, mixes that sound with a more traditional buzz and blast, resulting in some strange blackened hybrid, a sort of indie jangle black metal, Alcest, jettison the metal entirely, leaving nothing but gorgeous, dramatic, epic, blissful pop perfection. And this is simply that, perfect pop. The guitars are still distorted and slightly heavy, and there is some double kick drum action, but that stuff is so wrapped up in dense smears of glistening chordal thrum and breathy emotional vocals, simple acoustic guitar picking and buzzing fuzzed out grooves, that it just sort of gets absorbed into Alcest's divine dreamy drift. 
We talked about Justin Broadrick channeling the spirit of early nineties shoegaze pop in Jesu, but Alcest sound like they were transported directly from that era, yanked from a field of similarly minded sonic explorers like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride, Swervedriver, Chapterhouse, and the like. It almost seems pointless to mention anything about the band's black metal pedigree, since if you were going on sound alone, you would be hard pressed to not imagine this was some legendary college rock record from 1992, each track glorious and glistening, the guitars soaring, epic and majestic, all major key, a walls of sound, rich and thick and lustrous, the bass mirroring the guitar, simple subtle harmonies, everything tangled into lilting bliss pop epics, while over the top drift soft fuzzy vocals, both male and female, that almost even more than the music recall that specific musical era.
Absolutely the finest slab of blissed out, post My Bloody Valentine dreampop indie jangle drift we've heard in forever. Just listen to the sound samples and we think you'll be just as smitten as we are... 
MPEG Stream: "Printemps Emeraude"
MPEG Stream: "Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde"
MPEG Stream: "Les Iris"

album cover ANGEL EYES ...And For A Roof A Sky Full Of Stars (Underground Communique) cd ep 6.98
Another awesome sonic document from Angel Eyes, one of our favorite of the new breed of metallic post rock outfits, a la Pelican, Isis, Minsk, Conifer etc...
This latest two song ep, gives us more of what we loved about their debut Something To Do With Death, long (two tracks that sound like movements of a bigger whole, one 16+ minutes, the other 10 minutes) slow building epics, spacious and expansive, dark brooding drifts that grow into roiling crashing chaotic heaviness. Whereas a lot of these sorts of band seem to have begun drifting one way or the other, ditching much of the metal in favor of a more ambient dark post rock sound, or alternately ditching a lot of the atmospherics and getting more and more metal, these guys still manage to deftly combine the two. The slow builds are super intense, gorgeously shimmering, the guitars fuzzy blurs, the drums a distant shuffle, the heavy parts are HEAVY, the guitars churning and downtuned and distorted, the vocals an anguished metallic wail, but even when Angel Eyes are at their heaviest, their sound is still streaked with gorgeous melodies, and sweeping cinematic heft, like Neurosis scoring the denouement of some amazing epic adventure film, it's almost impossible to not envision huge walls of flame engulfing whole cities, or a skyline gradually collapsing, or a planet crumbling and drifting apart, so totally evocative and intense and moody and emotional, just the way it should be. And the slow parts are gorgeous, brooding and darkly dreamy, a bit of Morricone twang, a bit of Calexico, a bit of Scenic, Godspeed of course, the various spidery melodies seeming to transform and become entangled before our very eyes, like the soundtrack to a time lapse film of the end of the world.
The second 'movement' is the more intense, like a more metal Explosions In The Sky, only allowing the listener a few brief respites between soaring sonic dramatics, the guitars keening and wailing over shimmering fields of sizzling cymbals and dense squalls of tribal pound, the melodies haunting and emotional, all woven into the roiling metallic swirl, eventually fading into a droning whirring fade out...
Packaged in a cool fold over ecopak, all hand silkscreened, the lyrics printed on the inside.
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 1"

album cover BAILTER SPACE s/t (Flying Nun) cd 23.00
Bailter Space by now is all but defunct, with most of their records released through Matador in the US now deleted and unavailable. That's unfortunate, as the short lived career of this late '80s and early '90s New Zealand droned out, art-rock band offered a brilliantly unique parallel to the English shoegazing scene (dead ringers sometimes for Swervedriver) and Seattle's nascent grunge community.
Bailter Space was a trio, whose members performed as NZ legends The Gordons in the early '80s, developing a cantankerous post-punk sound whose short-fused riffs, off-kilter bursts of noise, and rhythmic teeth-gnashing had been one of the many influences on Sonic Youth. After their dissolution in the mid 80s and subsequent resolution as Bailter Space in 1987, the trio had softened some of the rough edges creating a signature sound that perfectly brought together Joy Division and the Velvet Underground within the bleary-eyed charm that seemed almost natural to every one else on Flying Nun (e.g. The Chills, Pin Group, This Kind Of Punishment, etc.).
It's a bit hard to figure out what's going on with this record, a compilation actually of tracks from other releases, a greatest hits sort of, there's no real info, and the album doesn't even say which track came from which album -- just a track listing and the legal stuff, that's it. Needless to say, they all rule, and it makes us want to listen ot ALL those records again. As we mentioned, all of their US albums are out of print (and it's unclear if the NZ releases are still available); so this anthology is certainly a welcome return for a band that had long been a favorite of Aquarius all the way back to our days on 24th Street. Here you'll find the spry rhythms of "Tanker" (which was the title track from their 1988 album) darkly forecasting the shimmer and drone of Ride and Slowdive; there's also the narcotic tunes of sci-fi shadow and murk from their last great album Vortura (e.g. "X" and "DarkBlue"); and plenty of distorted-then-blurred extended passages of drone guitar which really sound like they must have been the template for Justin Broadrick's Jesu. We love this band, we have for years, their Robot World record is one of Andee's ALL TIME favorites. If you don't know this band, you need to. And this is a pretty great way to discover them for the first time, and even if you're already a fan, it's a pretty bad ass Bailter Space mixtape.
MPEG Stream: "Robot World"
MPEG Stream: "SoLa"
MPEG Stream: "Tanker"

album cover BAKER, AIDAN & BETA CLOUD An Open Letter To Franz Kafka (Laughing Bride Media) cd-r 10.98
Another new Aidan Baker record, another new collection of soft sonorous ambience (as opposed to another new Nadja record, another collection of crushing fuzzy blissed out doom), either way, this guy continues forward with the latest in his seemingly never ending, near monthly release schedule, and assuming one has the dough and the diligence to keep up, one shall continue to be rewarded in gorgeous sonic shimmer and whispery blurred ambience.
This newest release is a collaboration with Beta Cloud, whom we had never heard of until now, and while we don't know what BC sounds like on his own, he does seem a perfect match for Mr. Baker. The instrumentation is quite strange, Baker on flute, Beta Cloud aka Carl Pace on trumpet, synth and guitar, but you might now know it from the sound. Present of course are the thick clouds of ambient blur, the soft flurries of smeared distortion, and the slow shifting slabs of staticky whir, but on the first track of An Open Letter, there is a haunting melodic component, spare piano like melodies, drifting sprite like above the low end swirl, very hypnotic and almost new age-y sounding (in a good way), the notes wreathed in reverb and sent rippling into the ether, very reminiscent of Ambient Eno for sure, but with a much darker edge. Everything cloudy and grey, soft edged buzzing smoother into shimmering swells.
The other three tracks (all four tracks are loooooong) aren't quite as ambient and blissful, instead, they roil and seethe, like the sea beneath an impending storm, still dark and soothing, but pregnant with a subtle malevolence, laced with melodic fragments and strange sonic shards. There are a few moments, where the intensity builds to a fever pitch, causing us to briefly wonder if we hadn't accidentally thrown on a Nadja record instead, and here and there, the sound thickens into deeply resonant chordal washes or slips into what sounds like thick streaks of bristly solar flare guitar feedback, but always seems to settle back into a much more subdued, almost hushed drift, albeit one with an ominous edge, a brooding sonic intensity, always just below the surface...
MPEG Stream: "Brief An Den Vater"
MPEG Stream: "Brief An Felice"

album cover BURMESE Monkeys Tear Man To Shreds, Man Never Forgives Ape, Man Destroys Environment (Enterruption) lp 10.98
Originally released on tUMULt way back in 2000, this primal slab of dual bassed downtuned sonic mayhem, may still rank as one of the heaviest, most vitriolic chunks of sound this city ever produced. A prime slab of chaotic grind, laced with Whitehouse like noise, and bursts of metallic fury, not to mention a black hole entropy that found most songs falling apart into long stretches of broken amp feedback or crushed drum kit clatter.
So this record is finally available on vinyl, BUT, these are not the same recordings. The same songs yes, but recorded in their practice space just before the album proper was recorded, so while it's still heavy and furious and freaked out, it's also even more raw and blown out and most definitely damaged. Also included is a killer cover of Black Flag's "I've Heard It Before', even fiercer and more fucked up than the original (we sacrilegiously proclaim!) originally released on the band's now long out of print Treaties Of Greed And Filth 7".
As with all things Enterruption, the packaging is gorgeous and over the top. The sleeve is silkscreened, with all of the visual elements from the cd packaging represented (the dead elephant, the leafless etc.) The inside of the sleeve is printed with various live band shots, the vinyl is THICK and pressed on red wax, housed in a thick inner sleeve, printed with song titles and liner notes, also included are various show flyers from back in the day, reproduced on nice thick heavy cardstock. LIMITED TO ONLY 500 COPIES!!! Here's our (slightly altered) review of the cd when it first came out in 2000. And while these are different recordings, this description is still pretty apt, just add your own "harsher"s and "noisier"s and "more blown out"s here and there and it'll be perfect.
If you lived in San Francisco, circa 2000 you may have seen these local ne'er do wells playing live (this incarnation at least), with set times ranging from 30 seconds to 15 minutes, often covered in blood, writhing on the floor in a heap of destroyed instruments, charging wildly through the crowd, smashing tables and chairs (and playing with other club destroyers the Black Dice and Arab on Radar). So you'd be forgiven for expecting a messy sloppy record that is nothing without the live show. But boy, would you be wrong. Burmese's debut is a dense, ultra heavy, super low end (they have 2 basses and no guitar after all) crushing and pummeling onslaught.
The opening track is an intense free noise explosion of rumbles, feedback, and spastic drumming. The next 20 tracks take the grind of Drop Dead, drop it a few octaves, and add some seriously fucked arrangements. The last track is an epic drone ala EARTH: waves of subsonics weave in and out of malfunctioning electronics until the whole thing dissolves into a wash of turntables and instrument hum. Somewhere between DROP DEAD and EARTH circa Earth 2, this is some of the craziest, heaviest, noisiest low end grind/sludge we've heard in forever.
Again, LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!! So get it while you can...

album cover CHAOS MOON Languor Into Echoes, Beyond (Ars Magna Recordings) cd 11.98
From the grim frosty twilight of Tennessee, comes this amazing disc from Chaos Moon, a mysterious duo whose black metal, on first listen at least, is a thick smear of classic Norwegian buzz, but on closer listening reveals all sorts of stuff going on, a whole 'nother dark soundworld, where traditional black metal is spread out into expansive soundscapes and infused with all manner of distinctly non-black elements, resulting in a sound that is super unique while remaining troo and grim.
After reviewing so many black metal records, and sure this is probably true of any genre, but especially with black metal which has such a predescribed core sound, it gets tougher and tougher to describe the sound no matter how original it is. We often find ourselves wishing for a black metal thesaurus. A customer once emailed us to let us know that in one review we used the word 'buzz' 20 or 30 times. But what can you do, when a music's main element is the buzz, and it's how a band creates and shapes that buzz that makes it special.
So Chaos Moon, who are also obviously masters of the buzz, and this, their second disc is rife with buzz, furious washed out dense slabs of grinding guitarfuzz, shaped into alien insectoid riffs, and spread over thrashing blast beats, and some of the most awesomely anguished vocals we've heard in ages. So yeah, that would be enough for us to dig this disc, proclaim it worth owning, and give it repeated listens. But thankfully it's a lot more than that.
The core sound of black metal, that buzzing blast, is just such a perfect sound, we sometime wish a band would surface that just played one riff, with the drums locked into a looped blast beat, and remained that way, static for the length of a disc, of two discs, ten discs!! So when we talk about black metal and buzz, we're biased cuz we just love that sound, but some records truly do take that buzz and reimagine it, reinvent it. And those are the records that stand out. And while parts of this record are pure old school black metal buzz, the rest of the record, blossoms into something totally new and amazing, using that buzz as it's anchor.
The opening track is furious and fast, like older Satyricon, super dense and complex, spread out to fill up a whole disc we'd be sold big time, but even here, the songs is laced through with dense gnarled tangles of melody, and weird almost post rock sounding breakdowns, long tripped out dronescapes, seasick melodies, and some subtle but serious hooks.
But it's about halfway through where Chaos Moon transform into something entirely new, thick glistening smears of synth spread out into gauzy dreamscapes, drifting and shimmering, a constant fuzzy backdrop to the buzz and blackness above, often threatening to subsume the metal component entirely, and the two distinct melodies, engaged in some complex harmony, the rapidfire jagged guitar lines and the smooth flowing synths, somehow blending into some impossible dreamy buzzy swirl, separated by long stretches of hushed muted murmur, and barely there soft focus drones, even some cool, Godspeed like post rock interludes, the guitars a clean jangle, strings soaring, the drums loping amidst this epic sonic swoon. Even the pure black tracks are swathed in thick layers of high end synthesizer whir, and washed out whirls of minor key melody, turning what might have been just some moody melancholy black metal into glorious, super dramatic, emotional black metal epics, like Godspeed and Sigur Ros backing up Leviathan, or Immortal scoring a Coen Brothers film, or an alternate black metal score to some super intense harrowing tragedy, just gorgeous chunks of complex, cinematic black metal post rock majesty.
MPEG Stream: "De Mortalitate"
MPEG Stream: "Abstract Tongues"
MPEG Stream: "Countless Reverie In Mare"

album cover CIRCLE Rakkenus (Ektro) cd 14.98
You've probably already know this, 'cause you heard it from us, or from a friend, or you were there, or you saw it on Youtube (see http://youtube.com/watch?v=rkDGd28Kxm8 or http://youtube.com/watch?v=4FWftvvaVok for some examples) but let's just say it again: CIRCLE ARE AN AWESOME LIVE BAND. Their recent US tour last fall was the most recent proof of that. During their stop in San Francisco they did an fantastic Aquarius in-store, ruled at the Bottom Of The Hill, and utterly destroyed playing in the enclosed confines of our friend John's bus. Hopefully you saw 'em. If you did, you know you want this new live cd, recorded on that very tour (in Charlottesville, Virginia at a place called Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar). If you didn't see 'em, at least don't miss this chance at the Circle live experience, as captured on cd. It'll make a believer out of anybody foolish enough to doubt reports that some weirdo Finnish proggers could have created such an urgent and infectious hybrid of rhythmic, krautrocky minimalism and tongue-in-cheek, leather-n-spikes ass kickery, that's for sure. Such a hybrid (which itself is only a part of the wider range of Circle's music) is in full effect all over this hour-long disc, right from the get-go. A disc, by the way, that includes LOTS of material that we're pretty sure Circle has never previously recorded on any of their many previous studio albums.
Actually track one "Uusi Uhraus" (which is one of the several songs here that appear to be unique to Rakennus) starts innocuously enough, an introductory stretch of pretty, burbling synth a la Terry Riley mixed with the random anticipatory noises of the crowd, talking and laughing. Then, boom! at almost the three minute mark of this nearly 11 minute-long track, the "New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal" riffage kicks in, Circle's nervous "circular" chugging getting your head banging as Circle's vocalist/keyboardist/all-purpose madman Mika Ratto begins to bizarrely babble and screech like a homeless Rob Halford... "Shake shake shake / six six six" are some of the only words in English we (think) we can make out. And then, getting weirder (and cooler) still, at about two-thirds of the way through the song, someone else in the band starts honkin' way on the harmonica!
The second track, "Nopeuskuningas", comes from their classic album Sunrise, and rocks even harder, with more unhinged, Judas Priest riffed, motorik metal. They continue on "Breaking The Law" Circle-style with the equally metallic track three, "Tulilintu", originally off of Tulikoria, which boasts another harmonica solo. And by now, when/if you can hear the crowd at all, they're not talking, they're screaming and shouting and and hooting and clapping wildly, as this album/live set reaches an early, energetic peak.
Everybody takes a breather for the lovely ten and a half minutes track four, "Tuhat". It's a laidback jam with lots of meandering, Miljard or Tower-style electric piano and smoothly percolating percussion. Mika does deliver some expressive vocals here, but nothing in comparison to what he unleashes on the very next track, "Virsi", a song marked by bombastic prog-rock organ fanfare and crashing percussion, and especially Mika's over-the-top singing, sounding not unlike an even more extreme and dramatic version of Peter Hammill of Van Der Graf Generator -- a tall order, any fan of VDGG will concur! Triumphantly, Mika leads the band onward into old, old favorite "Point" (originally appearing on a Bad Vugum 7" from back in 1992, before they even had an album out) which demonstrates that the NWOFHM is no new thing they just thought up. And then "Murheenkryyni" is even heavier, yet more melodic and grandiose, and certainly left the band and their Charlottesville audience (and perhaps you the listener at home) totally spent and drenched in sweat. That's the final song of the set -- except of course they get brought back for an encore, wrapping things up with a version of "Kaappikellon Kummitus" which originally appeared not on a Circle album, but on a disc by Mika and bassist Jussi's side project, Ratto Ja Lehtisalo. It's a nice, mellow, piano-grooved and hand-clapped coda to a pretty darn intense show! Whew!
Rakennus is pretty much an essential document of something you don't see everyday, a band tearing the roof off playing music unlike anything else on the planet. Insane vocals! Harmonica leads! Spacey synth zappery! A prog-splosion of energy and tripped out bliss both... transcending all the elements of pastiche that color their music, the combination of riff-rockin' abandon and precise minimalism a truly hypnotic thrill ride. It's also something never quite to be recreated on any of their studio discs, another dimension added by their live prowess and choice of material.
And by the way, the live recording sounds fantastic, like you were there in the flesh, basking in Circle's vibrations, clear and powerful. The way the crowd noises are mixed in is not only the hallmark of a true live album but also seems to work as an extra texture with the music, like something Circle might have attempted in the studio anyway, mutterings reminding us of the Sunburned Circle set at times...
As always, this cd package features some nice graphics work, the booklet full of what appear to be snapshots of "Americana" from Circle's on-tour viewpoint. Also, Circle fans be aware that pretty soon (most likely for our next list) we'll have ANOTHER assuredly mind-blowing live Circle document, the DOUBLE LIVE cd Telescope recorded in Germany. So stay tuned...
MPEG Stream: "Uusi Uhraus"
MPEG Stream: "Murheenkryyni"

album cover CLIMAX GOLDEN TWINS Imperial Household Orchestra (Scratch Records) cd 14.98
Another brilliant, corroded, and demented facet of the Climax Golden Twins is found on the reissue of their 1996 debut full-length cd. From the release of this album, it became clear that the Sun City Girls were no longer the only game in town, when it came to fucked-up deconstructions of noise-rock propulsion with South East Asian overtones and painterly freeform improvisations. In a lot of ways, this album is a slightly more focused version of the Sun City Girls' 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond The Rig Veda, sans the Bollywood punk tunes blurted out by Alan Bishop. Yeah, it's that good!
The principle Twins (maestros Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor) invited eight musicians to join them and producer Scott Colburn for a series of studio driven improvisations, which were in turn sculpted into this "epic masterpiece," as Colburn later quipped and to which we can certainly agree. The urban gamelan infused improvisations meander through rhythmic tinklings upon metal bells and vibraphones, which provide a queasy Martin Denny air of tropical sicknesses abundant in every buzz, rasp, and clang of the ensemble's polyphonous scatter. As much as these elements do recall the equally skittering moments of the Sun City Girls, the Climax Golden Twins growl with the best of the post-hardcore noiseniks on Blast First (e.g. Sonic Youth, Big Black, A.C. Temple, Head of David, etc.) with some volatile, Mack-truck riffage scraping across lumbering backbeats with ample amounts of amplifier mangling distortion. Fucking great, we say!
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 7"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 10"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled 14"

album cover COFFINS / OTESANEK s/t (Parasitic) cd 15.98
We listed the lp version of this a list or two back, another killer slow and low matchup, this time it's Japan's doom sludge crustlords Coffins, versus Philadelphia's masters of doomic ultra slow motion trudge, Otesanek, but now we've got it on cd, so for those of you sans turntable, or those who prefer your brutality digitized, now's your chance...
Coffins blow through three tracks, spending most of their time pounding out downtuned nineties Earache style crust, like Carcass or Napalm Death or Discharge only at 16rpm, thick sludgy guitars seriously scary ultra low guttural vocals, blasting chaotic drumming, with all three tracks occasionally bursting into full on furious pummeling black thrash, but those blasts usually settle right back down into more lurching and pounding brutality (with a bunch of killer old school leads tossed in as well!). They even finish off with a Goatlord cover! How cult is that?
Otesanek counter with a seriously looooooooooong stretch of 3 rpm slow motion, glacial ultra doooooooooom. Think Khanate, Bunkur, Moss, but then think slower, meaner, maybe even weirder...
Guitars roar and then ring out forever, the buzzing crumbling riffage drawn out until the next crushing blow, huge drum plods are spaced miles apart, the vocals are sick and super harsh (one of the vocalists is a woman too, both sound demonic and fucking frightening!), angular grinding guitars, occasional stumbling chaotic drum fills, haunted tortured voices way off in the distance, bits of scrape and hiss, squealing feedback, all draped over Otesanek's grim bleak sonic landscape. This is about as slow and low, harsh and hateful, crushing and brutal as ultra doom can get before it just grinds to a complete halt. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: COFFINS "Evil Infection"
MPEG Stream: OTESANEK "Narcotic Hues"

album cover COVER STORY (Wax Poetics) book 19.95
OK, album cover aficionados, record jacket freeks, and all lovers of the esoteric and rapidly dying artform known as the lp sleeve. This is the book for you.
A massively thick, 7" by 7", 288 page tome, jam packed with some of the most far out, the most beautiful, the most striking, the sexiest, the most baffling and the most what-the-fuck record covers of the last however many years. Brought to us by the fine folks at Wax Poetics, whose magazines are always packed with some of the best photos around, this is book number two (after the recent Wax Poetics compendium) and it's a doozy.
You don't even have to like records, hell you don't even have to like music to freak out over some of these amazing images. Lots of mustaches, T+A, cartoons, kung fu, awesome clothing, wild live shots, plenty of bare bottoms, some amazing old school collages, some super tripped out druggy doodlings, a bunch of all time classic covers, plenty of embarrassing photos, a handful of lps that have been reissued on cd and become big time AQ faves, it's endless. Lots of the covers are all worn too, the visual version of record crackle that we all love so much.
Such an amazing book, and sadly, the more we move into the digital age, the more this stuff feels like a glimpse into some fantastic lost world. Includes an introduction and an essay by Dave Tompkins, the covers separated into sections, organized by the collectors who supplied the lps.

album cover DAISIES OST (Finders Keepers) cd 23.00
Following the rabidly received reissue of the soundtrack for Jaromil Jires' early '70s treasure Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, the folks at Finders Keepers keep the Czechoslovakian cinema adoration flowing. Here is the freshly reissued soundtrack to Cup's all-time favorite film -- Vera Chytilova's 1966 Czech New Wave masterpiece Daisies (aka Sedmikrasky)! It's an eye-popping work that incorporates an astoundingly broad variety of art styles Dada, absurdist, pop, cut-ups, collage, psychedelia, and so much more... all while delivering a potent commentary on the dark state of the world (which is as valid today as it ever was!). Genuinely radical and so ahead of its time, 'tis the Czech way that beneath a seemingly light-hearted, dreamy and charming exterior, lies a black wit and a mighty subversive heart.
The Daisies soundtrack commences with the insistent, pinched sound of a high-pitched horn and militant snare drum introduction, then just like the two main characters, the music tumbles and frolics and raises a giddy ruckus in a Technicolor kaleidoscope of fleeting melodic vignettes. Along with traditional instrumentation -- brass, woodwinds, strings, vocals, etc -- keep an ear out for the musique concrete scissor snips and a conversation between a typewriter and reedy woodwinds. They are definitely two particular highlights of both the film and soundtrack. Accompanied by processional/funereal march formalities, jazzy escapades, classical choral geysers, dainty minuets, Stalling-esque cartoony themes, and rambunctious surfy shimmy pop, the two female leads kick up their tipsy heels in a supper club effectively disrupting a ragtime flapper dance number, play with their food and toy with stuffily suited elder gentlemen, leave suitors hanging on the telephone, cram themselves gleefully into the tight spaces of a dumbwaiter, and... oh we don't want to give any more away. Must see! Must see! Nevertheless, taken sans the film's visuals, this soundtrack makes for a deliriously delightful, discombobulating listen all on its own! Ultra artful and fun! Feverishly wonderful, and fervently recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Sedmikrasky"
MPEG Stream: "The Juggler"
MPEG Stream: "Man With A Typewriter"

album cover ENSEPULCHERED Suicide In Winter's Moonlight (Autopsy Kitchen) cd 13.98
There aren't a whole lot of grim black metal hordes who call Indiana home as far as we know. In fact we can't think of any, other than this here trio, Ensepulchred. But these guys don't really sound like they're from Indiana at all. In fact they don't really even sound like they're from Norway. Or Sweden, Or Finland, Or any other nation of renowned musical blackness. They sound a whole lot more like they're from Italy, and from the mid seventies. Where they spend all their time wandering in fog shrouded graveyards, lurking in crumbling old cathedrals, terrorizing nightgown clad boarding school girls, digging up dead bodies, AND SCORING IMAGINARY SEVENTIES BLACK METAL ITALIAN HORROR MOVIES!!
Ensepulchred weave their buzzing blackness from thick walls of horror-movie synth, so much so in fact that most of the time, we're hard pressed to hear any guitar at all. Little bits of buzz here and there, but the riffs are mostly handled by keyboards. A creepy midnight world of gauzy, dramatic and cinematic Goblin like sweeps and swells, over simple programmed beats, howled harsh vocals, the melodies haunting and minor key, evoking all sorts of chilling atmospheres and blood curdling ambience. Suicide In Winter's Moonlight indeed. Dark depressive, doomy, but eyes closed, this is the sound of some misty moor, some darkened castle, a haunted bog, the world painted red with blood, the air alive with the terrified screams of dying virgins, the rattle of bones and the whispering wind, the sound of death, and dying, of misery and hopelessness, the sound of panic and mayhem and terror and horror. Ever wonder what a black metal Goblin might sound like... Or if Argento had Nortt or Xasthur score Suspiria...
MPEG Stream: "Sorcery"
MPEG Stream: "Eyes And Shadows"
MPEG Stream: "Asylum"
MPEG Stream: "Silent Gates"

album cover ES Sateenkaarisuudelma / Maailmankaari / Pianokaari (Fonal) 2cd 18.98
Originally released back in 2005 as a double lp, this amazing record is finally available on cd from the kind folks at Fonal, who perfectly reproduced the awesome lp art in miniature as well.
Now a double cd, each disc housed in a printed paper sleeve with art on one side and liner notes on the other, housed in a mini cd gatefold, with the lp's trippy dreamlike oil paintings of the various band members looking as gorgeous as ever. And in the middle, a big fold out full color poster collage. The whole thing sealed, in typical Fonal fashion with a Japanese style obi.
Here's what we had to say about the record (and a little bit more) when we first listed the double lp:
Yet more transmissions from the wonderful world of Finland, from a name most AQ list readers should be familiar with by now, Es, the group headed by Sami Sanpakkila, who happens to run the amazing Fonal label who has brought us releases from Kemialliset Ystavat, Islaja and Paavoharju, and featuring luminaries from other Finnish free rock outfits like Avarus, Kemialliset and Anaksimandros. This 2cd release, like the 2lp before it, compiles an entire discs worth of newly recorded material, as well as another long piece from a few years back and live on the radio recordings from the 2002 Es tour of the States.
The newer tracks are as lovely as anything we've heard, Christmas carol like harmony vocals, lilting and folky, delicate tangles of steel string guitar and tinkling piano, that slowly untangle into wispy smears of droney dreamy psych folk. Long languid organ drones laid across a field of tape hiss and record crackle, while hovering just beneath are squeaking reeds, quavering strings, plonked piano, all so gorgeously lovely. The final track on the first disc is an epic drone, that took up a whole side on the lp release, a crumbling staticky bliss scape of Lubomyr Melnyk like piano flurries, reverberating steel shimmer, swoonsome minimal melodies, soft washes of burred and hushed ambience, all glimmering, glistening and wrapped in a soft focus Tim Hecker like haze.
The live on the radio tracks sound like some lost pagan artifact, deliberately strummed guitars (but only strummed on the neck of the guitar, no touching of the strings, and with gentle brushes of the knobs), insistent rhythms, an angelic chorus of female vocals all with a distinctly krautrock style pulse beneath.
So fantastic, and so absolutely RECOMMENDED!!!
MPEG Stream: "Sateenkaarisuudelma II"
MPEG Stream: "Sateenkaarisuudelma III"
MPEG Stream: "Harmonia, Rakkautta"

album cover ETZIONY, YAIR Flawed (Spekk) cd 17.98
Another gorgeous mysterious little gem from Japanese label Spekk, who also released the Texture In Glass Tubes And Reed Organ reviewed elsewhere on this list. As we mentioned in that review as well, Spekk has staked out a nice little niche, a surprisingly varied one, including releases by free folk SF collective The Alps, a solo disc from Jefre Cantu of Tarentel, as well as a killer comp of electronic lullabies.
This disc by Yair Etziony, as the title might suggest, embraces mistakes and malfunctions, turning them into music both haunting and lovely. Even the track title point to some sort of assemblage of misfires: "Corrosion", "Broken", "Flawed", "Dirt" etc. but if you weren't aware of the genesis of these tracks, it's very unlikely you would assume they were borne of mistakes.
Instead, the sounds here are dark and brooding, muted and underwater sounding, hovering in some ghostly realm situated right in between the aquatic skipping cd-scapes of Oval, the glimmering gauzy shimmer of Pop Ambient, and the murky pulse of Chain Reaction. Most of the tracks shimmer dreamlike, some hushed and ephemeral, others more skittery and spidery, the various tracks peppered with bits of glitch and crackle. The prettier tracks remind us of a super tranquil Boards Of Canada, the darker tracks have a definite Oval via Chain Reaction vibe, with some parts splintering into super abstract dubbed out drift, others locking into looped motorik pulses, others still like some mysterious haunted house music, creepy and atmospheric, but always bleary eyed and softly blurred, layers of fuzz and whir wrapped around delicate melodies and barely there beats. Super nice.
Packaged in a cool, sleek oversized digipak style folder.
MPEG Stream: "Corrosion"
MPEG Stream: "Broken"
MPEG Stream: "Flawed"

album cover EYES LIKE SAUCERS Still Living In The Desert (Last Visible Dog) cd 13.98
Urdog was one of our favorite groups, a primitive psych folk ensemble, hypnotic and heavy and surprisingly prog, with a bit of space rock and a whole lot of drone. What was not to love?! The band called it a day a while back, but then a year or two later this little gem surfaced, a solo record from Eyes Like Saucers, which just so happens to be ex Urdog-er Jeff Knoch. But For ELS, Knoch has abandoned all the trappings of a proper rock band (ie drums, bass, guitar, etc), and he and his faithful canine companion took off in a VW van for the desert, armed only with an Indian harmonium, a toy piano, a glockenspiel, an oscillator, a Farfisa minicompact organ, a ukulele and presumably some sort of recording device.
The results are much how you might imagine from the instrumentation, long warm, warbly whirring dronescapes, the organ(s) pulsing, and wheezing, the chords shifting subtly, dense and layered, and drifting slowly, contemplative and dreamlike. Super obscure reference: reminds us a bit of NZ outfit Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos, but blurred into something much more static and meditative.
The record begins with a twinkling field of bells and chimes (the toy piano we're guessing) a playful high end field of plinks and plonks, melodies like sunlight through icicles, but then quickly the record gets slower and lower, transforming into a glorious shamanic drone record. Some of the tracks are rich and melodic, almost playful, jaunty, a bit like sea shanties (or desert shanties in this case), while others are lugubrious slow crawls, all whirring shimmer and blurred slow motion slither, some are peppered with the chiming toy piano percussion, or laced with Knoch's buried in the mix monotone vocals, others are left unadorned, just the notes and the melodies, the timbre and the tone, tangled into soft smears, drifting like a warm evening fog over the wide open sands of the desert.
So great. And there's even a Robert Wyatt cover! Quite recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Ideas Of Reference"
MPEG Stream: "Sea Song"
MPEG Stream: "Delusion Of Reference"

album cover KASNER, STEPHEN Works: 1993-2006 (Scapegoat Publishing) book 38.00
Most of you probably won't be familiar with the name Stephen Kasner, but most readers of the AQ list, and therefore very likely owners of many weird and obscure and heavy records, will most definitely recognize his work. A well respected visual artist, Kasner is probably best known, at least to us, as the man responsible for lots of iconic album cover art, having created covers for Sunn 0))), Khylist, Integrity, Ruhr Hunter, Himsa, Trephine, Rotting Christ, and tons more.
His art is amazing. Very striking and quite haunting. Bleak, austere, dark, and nightmarish. Mysterious figures, faces and shapes, animals and figures, signs and symbols, all suspended in fields of washed out browns and greys, blacks and off whites, strangely lit, weirdly textured, each image looking like some old parchment, recovered from the ruins of an ancient temple, the images at once hellish and horrific, lovely and utterly entrancing. Layered and textured, incredibly detailed, but subtly so, you can gaze into Kasner's paintings and feel like you're falling in, or being dragged in.
Record cover fetishists will definitely dig, but art freeks into photographers like Joel Peter Witkin, Max Aguilera-Hellweg, and visual artists like Francis Bacon Odd Nerdrum, H.R. Geiger and AQ customer Justin Bartlett (who's done many of your favorite heavy records as well).
It's a gorgeous cloth covered hardback book, 10.5"x10.5", 160 pgs, beautifully laid out, includes text from Dwid of Integrity, Seldon Hunt and more...
ps: Coming soon: a new series of releases on Utech, all with original Kasner artwork and featuring such aQ faves as Skullflower, Aluk Todolo, Vulture Club and more. Can't wait!

album cover LILYPAD Twin Holes (Arbor) 2x3"cd-r 14.98
Weren't sure what to expect from this mysterious little musical object, two paint splattered 3" cd-rs, each in their own little thick vinyl sleeve, nestled in a fold out poster, all metallic ink and trippy futuristic landscape, the cds and the poster housed in a little cardboard box, each individually hand painted, with another image of that futuristic landscape pasted on the front, and of course LIMITED TO ONLY 50 COPIES!! All we knew was that these two discs were the work of some spaced out solo synth loner, and to be honest we were expecting something noisy and harsh, or at least creepy and dark, but instead, our ears were treated to softly shimmering, smooth sonorous drones, looooong resonant tones, overlapping, intertwining and gently lapping like some dreamy sonic sea.
This is the sound of drifting through an outer space bathed in the light of a million alien suns, everything warm and rich, a fuzzy thrum that pulses almost imperceptibly, the various tones woven into chords, but chords only visible from the lithosphere, hovering miles above a strange world of slow shifting sounds, down in it, looking at the chords from within, from beneath, the chords are so expansive, the notes stretched so far apart, it's like laying in warm sand and staring at a sky full of washed out melodic blurs. Totally captivating and hypnotic.
For fans of Expo 70, Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream, Destructo Swarmbots, Tunnels and other practitioners of slow blissy drift.
And again, we only have 15 or 20 of these, OF THE ONLY 50 MADE!! So once these are gone, we won't be able to get more...
MPEG Stream: "Twin Holes (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Twin Holes (excerpt 2)"

album cover LONGMONT POTION CASTLE 6 (D.U.) cd-r 12.98
The return of the always hilarious Longmont Potion Castle!!! If you're like me (Matt), you missed LPC the first time around, and are super stoked to have a disc from this side splitting and incredibly aggravating (to his victims) prank call mastermind! The most amazing thing about these calls is how long these people on the other end stay on the phone! Most of the calls consist of LPC picking fights with mall employees and local business owners, trying to sell dog bowels to a pawn shop, and requesting Orange Julius employees to feed him grapes while he's interviewed for a job. There's also a lot of fucked up editing and sample based pranks on this disc that are sometimes more creepy than they are funny, like the fucked up effected speech impediment of "Can O' B.S.". The receivers of these pranks range from confused elderly folks to aggro townie redneck dudes, all of whom get super pissed and usually end up threatening some sort of beatdown. It's interesting and hilarious to realize how many people love a good verbal tussle, and out of frustration how many people are willing to actually fight assuming the prankster "comes on down there...". LPC's delivery is totally dry and deadpan, almost stoned sounding, but the things coming out of his mouth are so completely absurd and absolutely hysterical! The best is when the delay pedal is implemented over the phone for extra confusional hilarity. LPC records are by far the most consistently funny, clever, bugged out, annoying, and ultimately excellent pranks on disc EVER!!! If you have 1-5 (compiled in a now out of print boxset), 6 certainly stands up, and for those of you have never checked LPC out, this is a great place to start! It's a bit hard to describe how great this stuff is, but it's one of a kind, So funny and super recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Dog Gnash"
MPEG Stream: "Citation"
MPEG Stream: "Sandyman"

album cover MINORU SATO (M/S, SASW) + ASUNA Texture In Glass Tubes And Reed Organ (Spekk) cd 17.98
Wow, so many cool little labels all over the world. Each with it's own strange little niche. None stranger than Japan's Spekk label, who we first discovered when they released a compilation of out of print demos by local outfit the Alps (featuring our very own Scott). In the process of getting Alps cds, we also discovered they had released a cd from Jefre Cantu of Tarentel, as well as an amazing compilation of Small Melodies, featuring a handful of AQ faves composing gorgeous lullaby like tunes. They were also responsible for an old out of print disc from AQ fave William Basinski.
So we were more than a little excited to get wind of a new batch of Spekk releases, especially when we heard about this one, Textures In Glass Tubes And Reed Organ, by Minoru Sato and ASUNA. The liner notes are a little too dense for us to truly understand what was going on when this music was created, but the vibe we got, was similar to that of another AQ fave, Toshiya Tsunoda, who records the sympathetic vibrations running through huge objects, bridges, pieces of metal, docks, handrails, wind...
For the first track, five harmonic states were recorded separately, using a chord organ to cause sympathetic vibrations in glass tubes, or something like that. Regardless, the result is a dense, subtly shimmering near static drone. Five tones, each layered upon the other, woven into a reverberating tapestry of sound, a glistening dreamlike blur, very Niblock like in it's swirl of subtle overtones, the various tones beating and pulsing almost imperceptibly, 38 minutes of pure glimmering sun dappled soft static bliss.
The second track, utilizes an entirely different method for producing the sound, still with chord organ and glass tubes, explained in detail in the liner notes, but still a little dense for us to truly understand the method, it almost doesn't matter, this track too is a gorgeous slab of slow shifting minimalism, a muted hum, streaked with various subtle tonal variations, again the multiple layers of sound pulsing and rippling, giving the track some sort of invisible propulsion, the sound of light traveling through water, shimmering, shifting, sparkling, but sort of suspended and frozen in time, moving but so slowly it appears to just be vibrating in place, and just like the first track, total bliss out minimalist mesmer.
Packaged in a cool, sleek oversized digipak style folder, with photos of the instruments and extensive liner notes on the creation of the music within.
MPEG Stream: ASUNA "Superposing Five Harmonic States"
MPEG Stream: MINORU SATO (M/S, SASW) "Weaving Seven Resonances; with Raw Stereo Material"

album cover MORDRAANETH The Taverns In The Land Of Ashes (Skulls Of Heaven) 2cd-r 19.98
ATTENTION TROLLMANN AV ILDTOPPBERG faithful. Trollmann maybe e dead and gone but fear not...
Avid AQ list readers and doomlords worldwide should be well aware of our love of mysterious doom duo Trollmann Av Ildtoppberg. Four full lengths, a live record and a live dvd-r, each a sprawling lugubrious brew of fuzzy spacey keyboards, Skepticism-like slow-crawl riffs, rumbling demon vocal gurgles, as blessed out and darkly ambient, as they are heavy and crushingly ominous. For those new to Trollmann, it's not just the amazing and mysterious music, it's the whole world Trollmann have created, or the world they call home. The records are called Forest Of Doom, Arcane Runes Adorn The Ice-Veiled Monoliths Of The Ancient Cavern Of The Stars, Dark Clouds Blacken The Sky On The Eve Of The Thousandth Sacrifice, Tolling Beyond The Tombs Of Ancient Grimnity, the band members are depicted on their record covers, drawn, never photographed, one a little hairy elf on a toadstool, the other a huge bruiser of an ancient caveman, armed with a massive axe, the instruments used to make this music: "Cosmic keys to gates unknown," and "Rumblings Of Doom, Prophecies Of Times To Come." Hell yeah!
Just bass and keyboards, the duo managed to weave lush and truly haunting soundscapes, doomy drones and slow motion heaviness, like a black metal Tangerine Dream crossed with a much more ambient Thergothon. So we were pretty heartbroken when we discovered earlier this year that the band had called it quits. Their mysterious partnership dissolved, and our portal to that alien sonic dimension sealed forever. Or maybe not!
We arrived to work to discover a huge fissure in the floor of the store, some sort of fog or smoke drifting from below, an unearthly glow emanating from the murky abyss, the bravest among us braved the unknown and reached into the crevice, feeling around, it was warm, and moist, and gritty, the air a completely different quality, until they grasped something, a cloth sack, tied with rough twine, when pulled from the dark, spilled open just as the fissure miraculously closed up. What was in this sack? Some bits of ancient treasure, a handful of bones, some dirty cloth stained with something resembling blood, and THIS! The debut disc from Mordraaneth, aka Belegur from Trollmann, who over the course of these two discs, has thankfully taken up his cosmic keys to gates unknown, and opened up a new gateway, allowing us to return, at least aurally, to the glorious sonic landscapes of Trollmann, drones and dirges, smears of murk and shimmer, dark ambience and black doom. The sound familiar enough that anyone into Trollmann will find this essential, but different enough to remain mysterious and magical.
The opening track is a long meditative keyboard suite, layers of throbbing whir and pulsing chordal washes, the notes and overtones beating against one another, subtle rhythms and textures beneath the tranquil dreamlike drift. Definitely reminiscent of Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh, but with a vibe at atmosphere much more ancient, and timeless, the music of crumbling castles, of blackened underground passages...
The second track introduces vocals, a buried in the mix demonic rasp, and a thick layer of buzz, some subtle percussion, a strange slow motion martial fantasy fanfare, wreathed in hiss and static, the distortion crumbling, the track peppered with bits of grinding growl and blown out fuzz, but somehow still hypnotic and dream like, the keyboard running through it, it's melody entrancing and so pretty. The rest of disc one drifts along lazily, like floating down some black river that runs beneath the Earth's crust, winding through lost civilizations and abandoned villages, eye glimmering in the darkness here and there, a permanent midnight. Haunting and ominous and soporific.
The second disc is two looooong tracks, beginning with what sounds like harpsichord, once again transporting us back to some ancient court, you can almost imagine Lords and Ladies, doing some strange dance, beneath a huge stone edifice, lit by firelight and the stars above, the whole disc, all 58 minutes of it, is a weirdly festive medieval folk, like a much more haunting and fucked up Renaissance Faire music, or some sort of ancient new age, imagine Kitaro and Brian Eno in full corpse paint, scoring a film about knights and dragons. Medieval fantasy ambience. Playful and lilting, glimmering and glittering, a gauzy sun dappled cloud of music box melodies, slightly smeared and blurred into a dreamy drift.
Can't wait for Thundarr, the other half of Trollmann, to return with his Rumblings Of Doom and Prophecies Of Times To Come, but for now, we're perfectly happy to revel in the blissy ambient dreamusic of Mordraaneth!
MPEG Stream: "Entombed In The Ancient Halls Where No Light Reaches"
MPEG Stream: "The Horn Howls As The End Draws Near"
MPEG Stream: "The World Of Ashes"

album cover MRWEBI, GWIGWI Mbaqanga Songs (Honest Jon's) cd 17.98
An amazing release in this new series from the always kick ass Honest Jon's label. An offshoot of the equally amazing London Is The Place For Me series (which we've yet to review, but we're working on it!), Gwigwi Mrwebi is a sax player from Johannesburg, who moved to London in 1960 to appear in the musical King Kong (!) and who back in South Africa had recorded with Hugh Masekela among other jazz luminaries. We've been listening to this for months and months and are only now finally getting it reviewed and listed!
Mbaqabga Songs is a reissue of an impossible to find lp, and is totally delightful, groovy, jazzy, danceable, playful, rambunctious, a bit boppy, super happy and most certainly sets the toes a tapping. While this definitely has some African elements and will appeal to fans of all things Ethiopiques and Zanzibara, it's much more of a straight jazz record, performed in the Kwela style popular in Africa at the time, a happy, lilting, jazzy bounce with a definite fifties big band vibe (we even hear some rocksteady in there too), the melodies exuberant, the playing smooth and crisp, just so fun with a totally carefree vibe. It's easy to imagine a warm summer evening, the sun setting on an outdoor dancefloor, strung with multi colored lights, Mrwebi and his band playing on late into the night, everyone dancing and drinking and celebrating life. So great!
Beautifully packaged in a 8 panel digipak, packed super extensive liner notes from Steve Beresford.
MPEG Stream: "Good News"
MPEG Stream: "Nyusamkhaya"
MPEG Stream: "Lily Express"

album cover MURMUR Fermata - The Dixie Brewery Fermentation Tank Session (Backporch Revolution) cd-r 9.98
It's been raining Murmurs lately. Or Murmers. Or both. The last little while has given us the dark dronemusic of UK based Murmer aka sound sculptor Patrick McGinley. Then there's the dubstep pop ambient of the group Murmur with a 'u' that just came out (to be reviewed here soon). And there's definitely at least one other Murmer... and now we have -this- Murmur, also with a 'u', and we actually got an email from these guys about all the Murmurs and Murmers and they were talking about actually trying to do a three way collaboration! Cool.
This Murmur, is a loose collective of sound makers who gathered in an old decrepit brewery in New Orleans, where one of the players worked, and helped the others gain after hours access. The quintet dragged their instruments up into an old metal fermentation tank, dark and dank, with SO much natural reverb, that they couldn't even talk amongst themselves as the sounds would echo and overlap and turn into blurry smears of sound that would drown out the conversation. And so it was with any sound, the group had to barely play, barely breath, as every movement, every shuffle of the foot, would result in another layer of strange echoing sound. The building that housed the tank was subsequently damaged in Hurricane Katrina, then looted, and still stands abandoned and crumbling to this day.
Thankfully the resulting sounds are as fascinating as the story behind their creation. Using just acoustic guitars, harmonium, a tamboura-zither box, dobro, cymbal, Tibetan bells and vocals, the group, coaxed hushed sounds from their instruments, letting them interact with the alien acoustics of the tank around them. The various stringed instruments, their metallic buzz, billow into thick swells of reverberating low end, that occasionally transform into buzzing rhythmic pulses, always fading back into tranquil shimmers.
The organs wheeze, the vocals hum, the cymbals spread out like ripples in a pond, the percussion clatters and tinkles, the background rife with thumps and rattles, moans and creaks, but it's not just wispy drones and barely there rumbles, the band occasionally locks into some NNCK style shambolic freefolk, the guitars unfurling lazily, a constantly expanding smear of stumbling atonal riffage, drifting through a cloud of jangle and reverb, almost like a super lo-fi disembodied krautrock, the whole thing laced through with a nearly constant dronelike buzz, a sitar sounding shimmer that holds all the drifting sonic slabs together.
MPEG Stream: "Discovery Of Mother Voidness"
MPEG Stream: "Description Of The Between"

album cover NUIT NOIRE Fantomatic Plentitude (Armageddon) cd 9.98
The return of our favorite faerical blasting punk rockers, France's new wave black crust dynamic duo Nuit Noire. We went nuts for this band the first time we heard them, expecting some sort of grim black buzz, seeing as they were signed to a black metal label, were distributed by black metal distros, etc., but instead we had our blocks knocked totally off, by their furious short sharp bursts of super tweaked angular riffing, flurries of chaotic drumming, and some of the most tweaked damaged whiny yelpingly brilliant vocals ever! All tangled up into a confusional blackened aggro metallic pop, part punk rock, part grim buzz, part no wave, part new wave.
In the past we described Nuit Noire as sounding like a black metal Rudimentary Peni, but we're also hearing plenty of Christian Death, Joy Division, Crass and weirdly enough, on this new one more than ever, the Toy Dolls, mostly due to vocalist Tenebras' voice which is a dead ringer for the Toy Dolls' Olga.
This new disc is half new tracks, half older classics recorded live. All of em fantastic of course. The new tracks are even shorter and poppier and more fucked up than before. Take the second track "I Am A Fairy", a crusty gloomy jam, with a killer main riff, streaks of high end new wave squiggle, and the vocals, just repeating the title over and over and over, super fast, then drawn out and crooned, while the music beneath shifts from hooky and poppy to blasting and buzzing. Or how about "I Love You", another furious eighties crust punk jam, but with some black buzz spread over the top, and a totally strange, but incredibly catchy vocal line, sung sort of like "I love yooooooooooooo, I love yooooooooooooou". The rest of the tracks range from loping eighties grooves to washed out dreamy murk to chaotic old school punk rock to full on lo-fi grim black metal, usually all in the same song.
It's really hard to describe the sound, we're pretty surprised this stuff appeals to black metallers at all, there is some buzz and some serious riffing, but it's way more punk, and way more new wave, and the vocals are so strange and high and hysterical and freaked out and over the top, they sort of define Nuit Noire's sound, and are definitely the element that will make it or break it for you.
The live tracks are awesome. And if we didn't know it would have been hard pressed to even realize they were live. Almost the exact sound quality (maybe they're just live in the studio, but then why re-record old songs?) heavy and buzzy and furious and catchy as fuck. Even a wicked version of their "Faeries Of Paper" a song we proclaimed to be one of "the best songs EVER" with one of the greatest catchiest weirdest riffs we've ever heard. A few of the other live tracks we hadn't heard before and are just as good, if not even better than the songs we already loved.
Need more reasons to love these guys? Howabout the cool pencil drawings of the band members, one depicted as a huge monster-armed drumming demon, head cloaked in shadow, the other a faerie, in tunic and cape, big eyes and pointed ears, mic cable wrapped around a broadsword stuck in the ground. Or howabout the photo on the back of the cd, a very skinny, nearly naked band member, clad in a loin cloth and a cape, holding a guitar aloft in one hand, a sword in the other, cape spread out like the wings of a bat.
C'mon!!! How much more perfect can a band be? So goddamn recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Les Fees Volent Dans La Nuit"
MPEG Stream: "I Am A Fairy"
MPEG Stream: "Fantomatic Plentitude"
MPEG Stream: "Nuit Blanche"

album cover OTOMO YOSHIHIDE Modulation With 2 Electric Guitars and 2 Amplifiers (Doubt Music) cd 16.98
A carefully crafted, sculptural sonic study in amp buzz and feedback and stereo soundwave interaction, one of Japanese experimentalist Otomo Yoshihide's more extreme offerings of late. The last few albums we're heard from this maverick composer and guitar/turntables improviser have been more on the jazz tip, including two live discs with his New Jazz Orchestra. Sure some noisy stuff got woven into those, along with quiet "Onkyo" sounds and plenty of trad. jazz standard-bearing, but here, though, there's nothing "jazz" at all (unless perhaps the existence of smooth-jazzer Pat Metheny's infamous and atypical Zero Tolerance For Silence album has allowed such metal machine music stylings into the jazz canon). Even Otomo's previous solo guitar album on Doubtmusic, while quite skronky at times, included lovely takes on Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" and Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman". Whereas Modulation With 2 Electric Guitars And 2 Amplifiers consists of one track, 40 minutes and 16 seconds of the noisy abstraction the title suggests: droning hums, piercing tones, the crinkle-crankle of electrical excess. If Otomo's Fender amps were made of flesh and blood you'd imagine that veins would be standing out on their anthromorphic-amplifier foreheads, bulging with the constantly building pressure exerted by his feedback array... Though there certainly are parts of this disc that do achieve a sort of placid serenity, a steady state of soothing molecular vibrations. Of course it could be that by those points one's senses have been numbed, this disc when played loud enough having an auditory-overload effect. And Otomo does suggest it should be played loud ("at the highest possible volume"!), through speakers, "to obtain the desired results". This recommendation (or requirement) is made specifically because the conceptual, compositional goal here has to do with making music that exists as a physical presence in the space in which it is played, in three dimensions. Otomo explains: "Feedback sound issues from two amplifiers, each connected to one of two guitars placed on a tabletop.
Due to this stereo effect, the feedback mutually interferes, producing beatlike fluctuations, creating black holes into which the sound suddenly disappears, sounding completely different depending on the position of the ears, creating the illusion that the sound is coming from only one speaker when the listener is in certain locations, and so on, thus turning into truly interactive music.
Because these effects cannot be obtained unless the sound coming from the two amps mutually interferes, we recommend listening without earphones or headphones, through speakers, with the sound as loud as conditions allow. Depending on the positions of the speakers, the interference effect and sound image will surely differ as well." Of course, anybody could hook up a couple guitars and amps and make some noise, the key here is the "Modulation" in the title, something that Otomo has a deft hand (and foot on pedals) with, making this an interesting (if extreme!) listen -- unique repeat listens, in fact, as you experiment yourself with the positioning of both your speakers and your ears.
MPEG Stream: "Extract 1"
MPEG Stream: "Extract 2"
MPEG Stream: "Extract 3"

album cover PRURIENT / KEVIN DRUMM All Are Guests In The House Of The Lord (Hospital Productions) cd 13.98
You might think that the results of a collaboration between Prurient and Kevin Drumm would be nothing but a seriously noisy and speaker destroying affair, but then you'd be underestimating these guys, and the extent to which they've pushed the noise music envelope.
The last few Prurient records have been less about caustic abrasion and more about dark soundscaping, more about drones and darkness less about shrieks and blinding fury, and well, Drumm has always been capable of a soft touch, and often tempers his brutality with gorgeous melodicism.
With that said, both of these guys are perfectly capable of whipping up serious squalls of crumbling chaos, and do so here and there on All Are Guests, but the key in noise music, at least for us, is dynamics, and these bursts and blasts of sonic fury that pepper the landscape are perfectly balanced by long stretches of subtle drones, field recordings, whirring atmospheric buzzscapes and creepy vocals.
The opening track sets the stage and is a strange one, a dark, lugubrious crawl, with slowed down ominous vocals, reminds us quite a bit of AQ faves Burial in fact! But with a bit more Whitehouse mixed in. A lurching low end slither underpinning haunting disembodied vocals, you can't help but expect some stuttery dubstep beat to drop, although it never does of course.
"On This Slab" is more a proper noise track, with howled distorted vocals, crunchy blown out electronics and glitched out malfunctioning buzz, but all chopped up and arranged into a strangely melodic noisescape, laced with little bits of melody, and dense grinding chunks of almost-melodic buzz, not to mention some spare tranquil stretches. The there's "There Died Venus", a washed out super distorted slab of crumbling blissdrone, gorgeous melodies buried beneath a roiling sea of ultra blown out crunch and buzz, strange rhythms surfacing amidst the constantly shifting layers of whirring sound, in the background a near constant upper register shimmer, wouldn't be all that out of place on a Tim Hecker disc. "Though The Apple Is Rotten" sounds almost like a straight field recording, the sounds of children playing, footsteps, wind random clatter, but in the background there's a lot of other sonic stuff going on, hard to tell if it's just tape hiss, or if the band has woven a delicate backdrop, either way, it's quite cool.
"In Long Rows" is a 10+ minute chunk of minimal dark ambience, think Lustmord, Coleclough, Chalk, but with a bit more grit, a bit more hiss, maybe slightly more lo-fi, and with a brief resurgence of those murky pitchshifted vocals from the first track.
Finally, the last track finishes things off with, well, not a bang, but a burst of grinding whirring, mechanical chaos, like several Wolf Eyes jamming at once, a rumbling rusty metal beast, busted gears and blown speakers, a giant unholy machine designed to do nothing but make this glorious noise, a deep resonant distorted voice, speaking beneath the din, buried below ground in some ancient hellish oratory, the sound seeping up through black cracks in the ancient soil. And even then, as the duo expel a cloud of noxious drone and buzz, they still manage to make it sound almost dreamlike and dangerously close to pretty.
MPEG Stream: "First Memory Of Pain"
MPEG Stream: "On This Slab"

album cover RADIOHEAD In Rainbows (TBD) cd 13.98
Never before has a record been so completely overshadowed by it's delivery method. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year, you no doubt have read or heard about Radiohead, offering their album for download, at any price the customer deemed appropriate, whether it be $20 or nothing at all. Needless to say, this sort of thing can't really be pulled off unless you're one of the biggest bands in the world, but since Radiohead ARE, it seemed to be an unmitigated success. They haven't revealed how many copies they sold, or what the average price paid was, but it's probably safe to assume, they made out okay.
And then there are the Radiohead fans who don't like downloads, and who want every bit of music that they can get, and thus shelled out $80 for the deluxe double lp, double cd set, with a whole extra cd of outtakes and unreleased tracks (at least one aQ-er did! As did lots of aQ customers). We personally thought, for a band like that, it almost would have been cooler to NOT release an MP3 version, have it ONLY available in stores. After all, without indie stores they wouldn't have been where they are today. People are so worried about record sales, imagine if a handful of bands skipped the online release entirely, and you HAD to buy it in an actual store. Sure, we're sort of biased, but hell, we love records and cds and tapes, and even if we didn't have a store, we'd feel exactly the same way.
Well, look at that, we were just talking about how everything BUT the music on the new Radiohead has been discussed to death, and we go and spend the first half of our review doing the very same thing...
Anyway, now available on cd, and as a regular lp, Radiohead's latest, in case you haven't heard it in one way or another, is actually really quite good. Not immediately experimental, and a bit more rocking, with lots of fan favorites that have been in the works for years, the sound reminds us a lot of Hail To The Thief, but with definite nods to Kid A and Kid B (Amnesiac), it's hard to imagine these guys making a BAD record. They have such a distinct sound, and such a way with sonics, and melody, whether rocking furiously, or drifting dreamily. And In Rainbows covers pretty much all the bases, the opener, "15 Step", begins with an Autchre-ish electronic skitter, but then in comes Thom Yorke's falsetto croon, and soon the band is shuffling through swirling guitar melodies and children's voices, strange FX and dubbed out drums. "Bodysnatchers" is a serious rocker, and is one of the oldest songs here (we think), with a killer crunchy riff, distorted bass, a very motorik Neu!-like rhythm, and big chiming U2 like guitars. "Nude" is a hushed whispery ballad, but just weird enough to stay interesting, a haunting high end drift, with a super gorgeous vocal line. The rest of the record seems to slip back and forth, from rock to ballad, from swoonsome epic crashing bombast, to hushed intimate whisper. Finishing off with the amazing "Videotape", a slow soft piano dirge, with another delicate and haunting vocal melody, but underpinned with some weird muted electronic drum loop, the whole thing so hypnotic and repetitive and dreamlike.
But who the heck needs to review a Radiohead record anyway? Especially this one. If you didn't download it, you're probably already gonna buy the cd or lp. And in fact, we bet half the people who downloaded it are also gonna buy the physical version. Radiohead are one of the few bands with such a crazy universal appeal, regular folks dig 'em, indie rockers of course, lots of metalheads do too, and loads of 'experimental' and 'avant' music lovers like them as well. Which makes sense, cuz, hell, they're a great band, they write great songs, they're not afraid to experiment and take regular songs and twist them all up, and this is just another great Radiohead record.
Comes in cool 'green' packaging, designed so you can take the various parts and stickers and stick them in a RECYCLED jewel case and voila!
MPEG Stream: "15 Steps"
MPEG Stream: "Bodysnatchers"

album cover RADIOHEAD In Rainbows (TBD) lp 17.98
Never before has a record been so completely overshadowed by it's delivery method. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year, you no doubt have read or heard about Radiohead, offering their album for download, at any price the customer deemed appropriate, whether it be $20 or nothing at all. Needless to say, this sort of thing can't really be pulled off unless you're one of the biggest bands in the world, but since Radiohead ARE, it seemed to be an unmitigated success. They haven't revealed how many copies they sold, or what the average price paid was, but it's probably safe to assume, they made out okay.
And then there are the Radiohead fans who don't like downloads, and who want every bit of music that they can get, and thus shelled out $80 for the deluxe double lp, double cd set, with a whole extra cd of outtakes and unreleased tracks (at least one aQ-er did! As did lots of aQ customers). We personally thought, for a band like that, it almost would have been cooler to NOT release an MP3 version, have it ONLY available in stores. After all, without indie stores they wouldn't have been where they are today. People are so worried about record sales, imagine if a handful of bands skipped the online release entirely, and you HAD to buy it in an actual store. Sure, we're sort of biased, but hell, we love records and cds and tapes, and even if we didn't have a store, we'd feel exactly the same way.
Well, look at that, we were just talking about how everything BUT the music on the new Radiohead has been discussed to death, and we go and spend the first half of our review doing the very same thing...
Anyway, now available on cd, and as a regular lp, Radiohead's latest, in case you haven't heard it in one way or another, is actually really quite good. Not immediately experimental, and a bit more rocking, with lots of fan favorites that have been in the works for years, the sound reminds us a lot of Hail To The Thief, but with definite nods to Kid A and Kid B (Amnesiac), it's hard to imagine these guys making a BAD record. They have such a distinct sound, and such a way with sonics, and melody, whether rocking furiously, or drifting dreamily. And In Rainbows covers pretty much all the bases, the opener, "15 Step", begins with an Autchre-ish electronic skitter, but then in comes Thom Yorke's falsetto croon, and soon the band is shuffling through swirling guitar melodies and children's voices, strange FX and dubbed out drums. "Bodysnatchers" is a serious rocker, and is one of the oldest songs here (we think), with a killer crunchy riff, distorted bass, a very motorik Neu!-like rhythm, and big chiming U2 like guitars. "Nude" is a hushed whispery ballad, but just weird enough to stay interesting, a haunting high end drift, with a super gorgeous vocal line. The rest of the record seems to slip back and forth, from rock to ballad, from swoonsome epic crashing bombast, to hushed intimate whisper. Finishing off with the amazing "Videotape", a slow soft piano dirge, with another delicate and haunting vocal melody, but underpinned with some weird muted electronic drum loop, the whole thing so hypnotic and repetitive and dreamlike.
But who the heck needs to review a Radiohead record anyway? Especially this one. If you didn't download it, you're probably already gonna buy the cd or lp. And in fact, we bet half the people who downloaded it are also gonna buy the physical version. Radiohead are one of the few bands with such a crazy universal appeal, regular folks dig 'em, indie rockers of course, lots of metalheads do too, and loads of 'experimental' and 'avant' music lovers like them as well. Which makes sense, cuz, hell, they're a great band, they write great songs, they're not afraid to experiment and take regular songs and twist them all up, and this is just another great Radiohead record.
Comes in cool 'green' packaging, designed so you can take the various parts and stickers and stick them in a RECYCLED jewel case and voila!
MPEG Stream: "15 Steps"
MPEG Stream: "Bodysnatchers"

album cover SKULL DEFEKTS, THE Blood Spirits and Drums are Singing (Conspiracy) cd 15.98
Fuck yeah! Another Skull Defekts record. Hard to believe they were once one of those super obscure bands with practically no releases outside a cassette or a cd-r or two, considering now it seems like every decent label around wants a piece of these guys. And for good reason. SD are a total AQ sonic dream team, heavy and hypnotic, looped and rhythmic, clattery and chaotic. Usually we get a bit fed up when a band suddenly releases record after record after record, but in some cases, we're willing to make an exception, and we'll of course make one for these guys, since we're dying to hear more and more. Every label around wants a piece of these guys and that's just fine, cuz every disc we've heard we love, and this one is no different.
Well, no different in that respect, but sonically, there is a big difference. Whereas all the other records we've heard have been super abstract affairs, rooted heavily in rhythm for sure, but mostly ambient and drone-y and looped, with the various rhythms part of a bigger whole, dark soundscapes of creaks and groans and rumbles and whirs, all held firmly in place by fragmented rhythms, and looped percussion, this one sounds more like the work of a band. A -rock- band. Not to say it isn't still dark and hypnotic, looped and rhythmic, it's just this time, there's, well, there's singing for one, and while vocals may have been present on the other discs, here's it's as much a part of the music as the riff or the rhythm. The fact that it's a quartet, two guys handling guitars and "machinery", two other guys handling percussion and drums and again "machinery", the sound here starts to make more sense. Essentially two drummers and two guitarists, who lock into killer hypnotic grooves, that slowly mutate and spread out, change shape and transform. The core rhythm stays the same, with subtle variations, the guitars too remain mostly static, with little flourishes and filigree here and there, but they seem to be traveling through a world of sound that is constantly changing, thick washes of distorted grime, flurries of glitchy static, haunting alien FX, and of course the occasional bit of new wavish sounding vocals. The opening track is the perfect example of this, an extended nine minute jam, totally motorik and hypnotic, the background noise building and building to a frenzy, a the drums pound along relentlessly. Like Dutch hypno metallers Gore crossed with Australian minimalist jazzbos the Necks.
But then something strange happens in track two. The track starts off with just drums, then some angular guitars, then the vocals kick in, some cool percussion, and suddenly we're not so much in some European art rock mathrock jam, or some avant minimal kraut groove, no we're on some late eighties post punk dancefloor. All black lights and throbbing bass, downright funky, the vocals a snarling sneering punk rock scowl. Not hard to imagine this sound fitting right in between Television and Suicide and ESG. Or maybe imagine some modern day East Coast post punk mathrockers getting their Wire on. Weird, unexpected, but it sorta suits them. The next track, combines the two, an awesome angular postpunk riff, some more distorted new wave vocals, over a churning bass and some pounding drums, into a churning repetitive metallic post punk groove.
The rest of the disc continues in the same direction, the band spewing out some killer looped repetitive post punk metallic new wave pound. Makes you want to pogo and bang your head at the same time. Each track only one or two parts, transformed into extended dronedirgedancefloor workouts, the highlight being the nearly 11 minute "The Sound", a static jagged stab of sound repeated metronome like over a chugging distorted guitars, a simple pounding snare, wreathed in lots of low end bass rumble and guitar noise and some slithery sexy vocals, which made us think of a much heavier, more abrasive Girls Against Boys.
We've been digging this record like crazy, after we got over the initial surprise of the new songier sound, and while that might alienate some of the more industrial dronescape folks out there, the rest of you should definitely check it out, and maybe this 'Defekts record is just the thing to get some of the kids digging all this postpunknewwave revival stuff, into something a bit more fucked up and far out. Either way, we love it!
MPEG Stream: "Unholy Drums Are Singing"
MPEG Stream: "Rhythm Is The Key"

album cover SMOHALLA Nova Persei (God Is Myth) 3" cd-r 8.98
Latest in God Is Myth's ongoing series of super limited 3" cd-r's. each a tribute, homage, musical offering to the legacy of H.P. Lovecraft, who, as we've posited before, has had more of an affect on heavy metal, than even J.R.R. Tolkien! And these are crazy limited, only 100 copies, we got 20, and it's already out of print, this is your first and only stab and nabbing one of these.
The series so far has been pretty stellar, and surprisingly varied. Past installments have included UK experimental folk black metal one man band Caina, Appalachian heathen black metallers Harvist, mysterious blacknoise dronelords LVTHN, and Kentuckian black buzzers Sapthuran, who shared a split with the mighty Leviathan a while back.
The newest comes from a truly bizarre and epic post rock avant black metal trio called Smohalla, who hail from France, and while not shoegazey like the other French BM outfits we've been so obsessed with as of late, Alcest, Amesoeurs, etc., they do display a similar unconventional approach to their black metal, and while not as blissy, it is quite fuzzy and tripped out and in many ways not very black at all.
The intro is a brief swirl of atmospheric cinematic sort of krautrock, reminding us a bit of Silver Mt. Zion, epic and intense with some very Achim Reichel like vocals, delayed and tripped out.
The second track we expected to burst into furious buzz, but instead begins like some apocalyptic folk track, all martial snares, and mournful melodies, swoonsome melodic swells, chanted crooned vocals, clean finger picked guitars, all dense and reverby, wrapped in a mist of fuzzy swirl, definitely more post rock than metal, very reminiscent of Ved Buens Ende, but more washed out and druggy. There are some black metal riffs, but they're delivered cleanly, and stretched over a loping rhythmic backdrop. Before the pic doomy breakdown near the end, a thick wall of roiling guitars, heavy, but more melodic and mysterious.
The whole record tends to hover in a strange post rock landscape, where chunks of metal and buzzing riffage, drift by on steady currents of midtempo dramatic math rock minimalism, with occasional howly metal vox, but even then they're strewn over a chaotic avant rock framework, and the occasional blast beats too are nestled in thick reverby swaths of soft buzz instead of grim blacknessŠ
The only truly metal moment, is the opening of track 4 with it's dense furious buzzing riff, and harsh vocals, but even that is long passages of haunting piano, strange swirling FX, and disembodied voices, some very choral, the vocals like some ancient angelic choir.
These guys may be a metal band, and this may very well be a black metal record, but the typical tropes of black metal are not the focus, instead, they're just elements of a bigger whole, a weird, creepy, off kilter, fucked up, epic, cinematic whole, the sound more dark and haunting than heavy, more loping and midtempo than blasting and buzzing, but in many ways that makes this an even more appropriate tribute to the Lovecraft and the magical worlds he created.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, and again we have 20 of those. You know what that means. Full color cover, each disc includes an insert with information on Lovecraft as well as a killer creepy portrait.
MPEG Stream: "Les Yeux Du Temps"
MPEG Stream: "Nova Persei"

album cover SUNN O))) The GrimmRobe Demos (Expanded Edition) (Daymare) 2cd 38.00
Yet again, proving that you haven't really owned a Sunn 0))) record until you've bought it at least twice, preferably three times, here comes two more blasts from the dark side of the doom, what many consider to be Sunn 0)))'s finest moments, their debut, The GrimmRobe Demos, and record number three, Flight Of The Behemoth! Both expanded with over the top new packaging, gorgeous Japanese style mini lp gatefold style cd sleeves, inserts, printed inner sleeves, but most importantly a whole disc of unreleased material!!
The GrimmRobe Demos was the first most of us had ever heard of this supposed Earth tribute band, their debut disc in a cardboard sleeve, wrapped in a black trash bag silkscreened with the Sunn 0))) logo in metallic gold, the sound a filthier, sludgier version of Earth's classic 2 album. We were in doomdirgedeathdrone nirvana. And still are. After a million Sunn 0))) wannabes, the GrimmRobe Demos still sound as heavy and sludge-y and as gloriously grim as ever.
The packaging is of course fantastic, a super thick gatefold mini lp style sleeve, printed in that deep blue and silver, inside a HUGE booklet affixed to the front, with extensive liner notes, in English and Japanese, including a looooong essay, Ode To The Grimmrobe, by Seldon Hunt. Each disc is in a plastic sleeve housed in a full color printed sleeve, the disc proper has more images like those inside the gatefold, while the bonus disc has a flyer and photos from the live show within. So yeah, Sunn 0))) performing live, back in 1999, when they were still an opening act (opening for Angel Rot, who?), 25 + minutes of crumbling low end destruction, gritty and grimy and filthy, a massive roiling morass of downtuned guitar rumble and shimmering feedback, gorgeous and of course brutal, and capturing Sunn 0))) near the beginning. Fans will of course want this, the packaging, the essay, the killer live show, but just like Flight Of The Behemoth, folks who missed out on the GrimmRobe Demos the first time around, should must definitely rectify that situation RIGHT NOW.
Of all the SUNNO))) cds, and there have been a LOT, this remains perhaps the closest to the original template of worshipping Earth II to a T. Which as far as we're concerned, at least sonically, is a very very good thing. Earth tribute band? Sunn? Huh? For those confused, or new to the world of Sunn 0))), let's elaborate.
Once upon a time, there was Earth, a slower than slow, heavier than heavy Sub Pop combo that took the Melvins molasses drone riffing over the edge. Turning sound into something so slow and physical you could almost feel it more than hear it. They disbanded, disappeared, and since then they've resurfaced, albeit with a new, WAY less sludgey sound, so it was and IS up to the dudes in Sunn 0))) (get it, Earth, Sunn, there's also a Sunn tribute band called Moon) to revisit, and resuscitate Earth's genius genesis (back when Kurt Cobain used to play with 'em!), and thus, Sunn 0))) deliver what could be a part two to Earth 2, loooooong tracks of primordial dirge, humming and rumbling and crumbling and moving like a blackened glacier, riffs sprawled out over minutes instead of seconds, a slowly churning propulsive murky low end beast. One track is even named after Earth leader Dylan Carlson. And of course, as we mentioned above, the band name Sunn is derived from the proximity in the solar system to Earth, but also, and maybe moreso, the amps of choice for both outfits, appropriately so 'cause it's the amps more than the guitars that you hear here. They're not covering Earth tunes here, but are basically following the same formula towards drone metal godhead. Essential for all devotees of the ultra-heavy!
MPEG Stream: "Defeating: Earth's Gravity"

album cover SUNN O))) 3: Flight Of The Behemoth (Expanded Edition) (Daymare) 2cd 38.00
Yet again, proving that you haven't really owned a Sunn 0))) record until you've bought it at least twice, preferably three times, comes two more blasts from the dark side of the doom, what many consider to be Sunn 0)))'s finest moments, their debut, The GrimmRobe Demos, and Flight Of The Behemoth! Both expanded with over the top new packaging, gorgeous Japanese style mini lp gatefold style cd sleeves, inserts, printed inner sleeves and Japanese style obi's, but most importantly a whole disc of unreleased material!!
The third Sunn 0))) disc (still waiting on record number two, 00 Void, to get reissued), Flight Of The Behemoth, is packaged in an amazing metallic gold on black mini gatefold sleeve, printed inside and out, the various images from the old version reproduced on the printed inner sleeves, a fold out poster with liner notes and track listing and a discography on the other side. The first disc is discussed in great detail below, but the new, extra disc is a live recording from earlier this year, featuring Sunn 0))) and Merzbow performing together, and engineered by Masami Akita, Mr. Merzbow himself. Which makes sense since the second half of Flight Of The Behemoth was actually Akita remixing Sunn 0))) anyway. So you probably know what you're in store for, some seriously noisy business, which is of course what you get, two massive slabs of Sunn 0)))-y sludge, caked in blown out sheets of Merzbowic grit, shrieking feedback, malfunctioning electronics, high end shrieks, thick chunks of crumbling distortion, blasts of spaced out FX, while beneath it all, the sound of Sunn 0))) continues to grind and churn like some subterranean sonic lava flow. Pretty awesome, and much like when he performs with Boris, Akita knows how to make his noise compliment, instead of overwhelm. So yeah, Sunn freeks and Merzbow obsessives will absolutely need this, and if you somehow never managed to pick up Flight Of The Behemoth, now is as good a time as any. So here's what we had to say about Sunn 0))) 3: Flight Of The Behemoth, when we first reviewed it way back in 2002:
The third (duh) album from the lower-than-low doom duo of Stephen O'Malley (Burning Witch, Khanate) and Greg Anderson (Goatsnake, ex-Engine Kid). SUNN O))), formed in tribute to defunct Sub Pop heavies Earth, never fails to warm our doom-drone lovin' hearts, even as SUNN's thick, sludgy wall of bass-heavy guitar distortion utterly numbs our bodies. We loved their last album "OO Void" so much that we were both eager to hear this new one, and a bit apprehensive 'cause we heard it had a bunch of remixes on it, which sometimes means throw-away BS. But as it turns out, not in this case, thankfully!
The first two tracks, totaling 22 minutes, constitute a new SUNN original, with dark waves of Earth-worthy droneriff rolling relentlessly ever onward. (Track one is called "Mocking Solemnity" and track two is called "Death Becomes You", but there's no discernible break between them, it's really all one piece.)
Then come the two mixes, and the surprise is that they're even better than the SUNN-alone tracks!
Maybe that's 'cause they were produced by Masami Akita, aka the notorious Japanese noise artist Merzbow! His first mix (5 mins) drops some atonal piano into the dronezone of Sunn, while mix number 2 (13 mins) really goes for a grinding godhead experience. He really takes it to another level.
After the Merzbow tracks, "Flight" closes out with another original track called "F.W.T.B.T.", and it's another good 'un, featuring guests "Bootsy Kronos" on bass, and, uh, "Aspirin Feast" on drums. Drums!
Steve O'Malley did a great job with the album design, too, somehow emulating the graphics of Earth's "2" with nicely colored picture of a hunting dog, a shot of the SUNN boys looking like long haired, black clad twins, and -- get this -- what appears to be a certain rock star's Klonopin perscription from a Beverly Hills pharmacy!
Southern Lord recommends this to fans of Earth, Melvins, Thrones, Thomas Koner...and we do too!! Add to that list Boris, Corrupted, Fushitsusha, and Loop (the last two are SUNN fan Julian Cope's comparisons)... "Flight of the Behemoth" is truly a massive, rumbling, varied, experimental DRONEDOOM ESSENTIAL!
MPEG Stream: "O)))bow1"
MPEG Stream: "Mocking Solemnity"

album cover TULUS Cold Core Collection (Indie Recordings) 2cd 16.98
We totally dig Norwegian black metallers Khold, whose records we have raved about on the list again and again. Besides sounding a bit like a black metal Nirvana, with more hooks and groove than blast and buzz, they also had an amazing image, their frontman, shaved head, all clad in black, huge fur animal-leg-like pants, long sleeved turtleneck, and black corpsepaint covering JUST the bottom half of his head, leaving the top half white, a strange vision indeed, the other band members more randomly smeared with white and black, the demonic legions to their leaders mysterious dark prince.
But none of this was without precedent. Before Khold were Khold, they were Tulus, a different black metal band, with a different sound, a different image, but as far as we know all the same members. Strangely enough, Tulus recently reunited, thus rendering Khold on hold, or defunct, with a new album (Biography Obscene, which we'll review soon!) just released, but we're here to talk about the might Tulus, so let's, shall we?
Cold Core Collection gathers up the first two Tulus discs, Pure Black Energy and Mysterion, both on the first disc, the second disc made up of rarities, demos, unreleased tracks, as well as two covers, David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and Obituary's "Slowly We Rot". The first thing that struck us about Tulus, was the singer, he of the now half black half white shaved head, who in Tulus sported Pippi Longstocking style pigtails, lots of lipstick, and what seems to be a dress or some sort of strange tunic, the rest of the band look just as unlikely, especially the one who looks like a wizened demonic old man. Wow. And the music is just as impressive, plenty of what would find its way to the forefront in Khold is already here, strangely catchy grooves, totally hypnotic guitar melodies, lurching tempos, but here, it's in a much more grim and buzzing black context, lots of blasting beats, insectoid riffing, harsh vocals, BUT, just like in the image department, there's lots of weird stuff going on, creepy little girl / King Diamond falsetto vocals here and there, chunky almost punk rock sounding riffing, stretches of loping almost post rock, but Tulus is definitely a black metal band, just with a twisted aesthetic, sonically and visually, making their music both grim and kvlt, black and brutal AND fucked up and demented, catchy and bizarre.
The second disc is all over the map, the early demo stuff sounds like Striborg, ULTRA lo-fi, ALL drums, the guitar a weedy little background buzz, plenty of tape hiss and blackened murk. The later demos are more polished but still unequivocally black and buzzy. The covers are awesome, especially the Bowie, the verses heavy and harsh, with black metal vocals, but the refrains soaring and dang close to the original, shimmering steel string guitars and lush harmony vocals, a weird mix, but it sort of works.
Definitely recommended for anyone who dug those Khold discs, but this stuff is definitely grim and buzzy and fucked up enough to appeal to all the weirdo black metal fans out there. The booklet has the track info and some of the amazing photos (unfortunately not in full color) from the original releases. And for what it's worth, one of Andee and Allan's favorite black metal bands...
MPEG Stream: "Samlerens Kammer"
MPEG Stream: "Tjern"
MPEG Stream: "Dommens Fugl"
MPEG Stream: "Skuggeskip"

album cover V/A David Shrigley's Worried Noodles (Tomlab) 2cd 37.00
Once upon a time not so long ago a Scottish gent (and dandy, tweaked and twisted line drawing artist) named David Shrigley made an LP size book filled with his song-less song lyrics. 'Twas a novel concept which was welcomed and gobbled up by many -- the first edition sold out right away! Of course some of the folks who were charmed by it just happened to be musicmakers themselves, and the novel concept to compose and perform music for the lyrics was born. The awesome results (39 of them total!) are featured here on this double cd which comes packaged in its own cd-sized hardcover 100-page book. The list of contributors is nothing short of stimulating: David Byrne, Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat, TV On The Radio, Deerhoof, Mt. Eerie and Mt. Eerie's Phil Elverum, Grizzly Bear, Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, Trans Am, Islands, Tussle, The Dead Science, Final Fantasy, Scout Niblett, R. Stevie Moore, Cibelle, Les Georges Leningrad, Max Tundra, Yacht, Roger Ferguson, Dirty Projectors, The Curtains, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Liars, and more! The renditions are as varied as you'd expect, ranging from the sparsely twee pop to the angular dance rock to the tenderest indie folk to the most anticipated indie art-rock perturberances. Still, not at all unexpected it's the elder statesman of the bunch David Byrne whose offering is most successful -- at once showing a genuine sensitivity to the original artist's work while maintaining his own artful and whimsical identity and making the song wholly his own! Pretty great.

album cover V/A Gold Record Studio: Live At Laney Flea Market (Edgetone Records) 2cd 14.98
Record collectors, check it out: in a sense, this is a compilation of tracks from some of the rarest records EVER -- even though they were just recorded last year! That's cause they only existed in editions of, like, one. Ok, this is gonna require some explanation. The Gold Record Studio is the latest contraption/conception from our man Jon Brumit (whom we first met when he brought us field recordings from the San Francisco dump!) and colleague Lisa Mezzacappa... Basically a set-up where one-of-a-kind vinyl records were pressed on-the-spot with an antique record cutter for folks who recorded live (and impromptu) in an open-air, homebuilt studio at a local flea market! This was totally free of charge, with instruments and even guest musicians provided, and apparently proved very popular. This took place over several weekends last spring at the Laney College Swap Meet over in Oakland... the City of Oakland actually ponied up some arts-funding money to help make it happen. And it seems like a pretty cool thing, for both the participants (the "recording artists") and now listeners who get to check out the diverse array of talent (and otherwise) who made records at the flea market, the best (and worst? no such distinctions really being made) have been compiled onto this sprawling double disc set. There's contributions from folks of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. Some musical pros show up (including a couple Serbian prog rockers, and the DJ from the Ghetto Boys!), but also many total amateurs, young kids n' senior citizens. Lots of surprises in other words!
This man-in-the-street, instant-gratification, no-rules recording project really let some folks get, shall we say, expressive. And creative. And downright weird. Portions of this do come off like a rather dubious talent show, or drunk mom karaoke -- but lots of tracks could be some really underground, experimental cd-r fodder, too. As a whole, it's almost like a hypothetical installment of the Sublime Frequencies series dedicated to the sounds of why-be-normal urban America, jumping from track to track with ADD abandon. For instance, among the many tracks of disc one, you've got a woozy improv session with a barking dog factored in, followed a few tracks later by a version of "My Favorite Things" recast conversationally (and humorously) between teenage girls. There's also a pretty badass blues rock guitar instrumental, some crazy scat singing, and a song that sounds to us a lot like The Shitty Listener! And much much more... It's mind-boggling and exhausting and pretty darn special. Even the recognizable tunes that people try (for good or ill) are enhanced in our ears by the bustling flea market field recording happening in the background.
And then, there's a whole 'nother disc. 50 cuts on disc two, starting off with some very lovely solo guitar from "Sam"...which is followed by a much more maniacal track with a shouting child... and then some guy singing "Let It Be"... a super-distorted rap by a teenage girl... and on and on and on. There's definitely some Gong Show moments, which are good for a laugh or can be taken as something maybe unintentionally avant-garde. We really like the more "damaged", confusional tracks (of which there's plenty), where it sorta sounds like the people you hear DON'T know they're being recorded, or at least seem unaware of where the microphone is, or when the song is supposed to start or stop.
Even in the age of mp3 and MySpace, this Gold Record Studio project has taken the democratization of the "music industry" a step further, down to street level! There's just something really joyful about it, possibly due to the serendipitous social interaction happening right then and there at the point of creation. You're getting a glimpse at the inner musical burgeonings of people who until that fateful day they were wandering around the flea market, probably never ever ever dreamed that they would so soon be the proud owners of a physical vinyl artifact with their own singing/rapping/playing/barking/whatever on it, whether silly or serious. And that's pretty cool.
Also, if you get this, you'll definitely have some good material to put on your outgoing answering machine message for months to come... file it with stuff like MSR Madness anthologies of song-poem recordings, or Jacob Smigel's Eavesdrop disc of found sound recordings, although this takes its own unique place in that array of oddity...
MPEG Stream: "Lee, Jon, Suki, Brian, Tom, Jesse"
MPEG Stream: "Emily, Amara, Lucio"
MPEG Stream: "Sam"
MPEG Stream: "Birana, Tanaya, Shelley, Micha"

album cover V/A John Barleycorn Reborn: Dark Britannica (Cold Spring) 2cd 24.00
There's really nothing 'freak folky' going on in this British folk compilation. The music here is all pretty traditional. And thus pretty fantastic. Think Incredible String Band, Steeleye Span, Comus, Richard Thompson (and Fairport Convention), Trees, C.O.B., Shirley Collins, or the Wickerman Soundtrack (there's actually a song called 'Wicker Man' by The Story). As much as we love us some freak folk, none of that stuff would exist it it weren't for the above mentioned bands.
And the groups included on this comp, whose focus here is the fairly abstract 'dark folk', do a pretty amazing job of sifting through the various strains of classic British folk, and offering up their own subtle interpretations. And again, nothing shocking or even that experimental, just a new generation of musicians, paying tribute to the music that they grew up on, and that informed the music they make now. A handful of AQ faves are present, the Story, Far Black Furlong, Alphane Moon, Sharron Kraus, Martyn Bates, as are the A Lords, the Kitchen Cynics, Sol Invictus, and tons and tons of bands we had never heard of: The Horses Of The Gods, The Triple Tree, Pumajaw, English Heretic, The Anvil, Electronic Voice Phenomenon, The Purple Minds Of Lazeron, Quickthorn, Sand Snowman, Stormcrow, While Angels Watch, Xenis Emputae Traveling Band, Drohne and we could go on and on.
Two discs of glorious, classic sounding 'dark folk.' From lilting shanties, to tense ominous dirges, to brooding apocalyptic folk, to buzzing ragas, to dreamy lullabyes, fluttering flutes, fiddles and bongos, steel string guitars and an incredible array of vocal styles, male and female, raspy and weathered, wispy and dreamlike, mournful and melancholy, soft and breathy, dark doleful melodies, rich harmonies, weaving a gorgeous landscape of a lost sonic Britannica.
Amazing liner notes too, text on the source of the title, an introduction and explanation to the compilation, various short pieces on folk music and the history of folk music from a handful of the artists on the comp, concerning their songs, their groups and their musical journeys, lyrics, reproductions of old woodcuts and more. So fantastic. And absolutely essential listening for fans of freak folk, dark folk and seventies British folkmusic.
MPEG Stream: THE STORY "The Wicker Man"
MPEG Stream: SOL INVICTUS "To Kill All Kings"
MPEG Stream: ANVIL "John Barleycorn Must Die"
MPEG Stream: MARTYN BATES "The Resurrection Apprentice"

album cover WU-TANG CLAN 8 Diagrams (Universal) cd 15.98
We've been torn over hip hop jam of the year. It's either gotta be Birdman's "100 Million", from the new Five Star Stunna record, with its "Stuntin' Like My Daddy" verse and crazy soul harmony "Gangster's Paradise" chorus, or "Wolves", from the long awaited Wu-Tang Clan disc 8 Diagrams, with its classic Wu verses (including a killer from Method Man), and a rambling sort-of-sung chorus with George Clinton channeling Old Dirty Bastard, and well, the more we listen to it, the more the Wu-Tang seems to have the edge...
But before we get to the jam of the year discussion, holy shit is 8 Diagrams a killer comeback! And comeback it is. The last few discs, were admittedly weak, but always had at least a few stone cold classics on each, but not nearly enough to make any of those records worth more than a cursory listen or two, on 8 Diagrams though, they're almost all killers, a few missteps here and there, but even those tracks have some amazing part, or some crazy chunk of lyricology. Everyone's been talking about "The Heart Gently Weeps", the first legally sampled Beatles track, but it's kinda weak, a schmaltzy slow jam, with a bland Eryka Badu chorus. They could have transformed the original into something hard and fierce, but instead it turned out a limp ballad, -except- for the warbly refrain, a falsetto vocal singing "that bitch is crazyŠ", never fails to crack us up, but not enough to save the song.
But elsewhereŠ where to start? Howabout "Rushing Elephants"? The best Wu track since "Uzi (Pinky Ring)", but the same sort of vibe, with each Wu-Tang-er offering up an awesome verse, the loop playful and dramatic, then there's "Unpredictable", with it's Bernard Hermann like orchestral stabs, and the throbbing Prince like squalls of guitar feedback, the shuffling rhythm, all over long slow building swells of dissonant melody, the flows rapid fire and super aggressive. And so it goes throughout 8 Diagrams, RZA's beats bad ass, all the various Wu-Tang-ers are on fire, Method Man sounds better than ever, had us hankering for a new solo record, even the second stringers shine.
But as far as we're concerned it's all about the aforementioned "Wolves". The main loop is fucking perfect, twangy strum, a drone of low harmony vocals, some Morricone-ish whistling, mariachi horns, the drums simple and stripped down, but funky as shit, and then the flows over the top. Method Man's in particular. When his verse starts, he sings "Defecating on the map...", and it makes you laugh at first, but the way he spits it makes it sounds like some timeless Buddhist koan, a pearl of obtuse wisdom, and soon, that and a handful of other perfect turns of phrase are lodged in your cranium. And then there's the refrain. A raspy George Clinton, singing about the wolf that killed grandma, and about how he's your St. Bernard in a snowstorm, all delivered in a wavery old man croon, like some funky elder ODB, again, so goofy and funny and fucked, that it sort of makes you giggle, until it reveals itself as THE perfect hook, and suddenly, you realize, without a doubt, that this is in fact, the hip hop JAM OF THE YEAR! And the more we listen to this whole disc the more we can't seem to stop, which is leading us to believe that 8 Diagrams might just find its way onto plenty of 2007 top ten lists, ours included...
MPEG Stream: "Wolves"
MPEG Stream: "Rushing Elephants"
MPEG Stream: "Unpredictable"

----* New On PARADIGMS!! :

album cover AYTHIS Doppelganger (Paradigms) cd 12.98
Latest in the ongoing series of lovingly packaged, super limited releases from UK label Paradigms, who ostensibly are a metal label, but whose releases are sonically all over the map, the gothic chamber music of Amber Asylum, the buzzing blackness of Utlagr and Throne Of Katarsis, the blessed out dream done of the Angelic Process, the psychedelic space folk of Plants, the grinding cinematic noise of Gnaw Their Tongues, the black ambient of Wraiths, the metallic post prog rock of Woburn House, the ultra doooooom of Hjarnidaudi and we could go on and on.
And we most likely will as Paradigms shows no sign of slowing down. Two new releases this time around, a disc of progged out bombastic post black metal from Italian horde Kailash, and this here chunk of dreamy wispy neo-classical ambience from a group called Aythis.
Definitely the most traditionally pretty of the Paradigms releases, Aythis practice a sort of Dead Can Dance meets Der Blutharsch style post industrial neo-classicism, sweeping epic melodies, sung spoken female vocals way down in the mix, martial percussion, angelic choral crooning, twinkling chimes, simple minor key acoustic guitar melodies, all very dark and dreamlike, melancholic and ambient, but with that relentless percussion, the muted pounding of a death march drum, but buried beneath layers of gossamer shimmer, and warm whorls of chordal buzz. Some tracks sparkle and glimmer in the sun, epic and majestic, soul bared and head held high, all washed out and blue skied, warm afternoons suffused with a rich burnished glow, others are murky crawls through barren subterranean chambers, candle light flickering, shadows dancing on blackened walls, the dirt and sand rough against your hands, the sounds rough against your ears.
Pretty and mysterious, haunting and beautiful. Definitely recommended for fans of Dead Can Dance, Arcana, Elend and the prettier side of Cold Meat Industries...
Limited to 750 copies, packaged in a mini lp style sleeve wrapped in a hand stamped brown paper outer sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "Shallow Blackout"
MPEG Stream: "Innermost Land"

album cover KAILASH s/t (Paradigms) cd 12.98
Latest in the ongoing series of lovingly packaged, super limited releases from UK label Paradigms, who ostensibly are a metal label, but whose releases are sonically all over the map, the gothic chamber music of Amber Asylum, the buzzing blackness of Utlagr and Throne Of Katarsis, the blessed out dream done of the Angelic Process, the psychedelic space folk of Plants, the grinding cinematic noise of Gnaw Their Tongues, the black ambient of Wraiths, the metallic post prog rock of Woburn House, the ultra doooooom of Hjarnidaudi and we could go on and on.
And we most likely will as Paradigms shows no sign of slowing down. Two new releases this time around, a disc of dreamy wispy neo-classical ambience from a group called Aythis, and this here slab of progged out bombastic post black metal from Italian horde Kailash.
Equal parts Slint-y black swoon, Opeth like metallic prog, Don Cab like mathy chaos, and plenty of folky strum and doomy lurch.
The tracks are long and proggy, lots of parts, the guitars swinging wildly from finger picked folky flutter, to furious black buzz, grinding out jagged angular riffs one minute, unfurling lilting minor key melodies the next. The drums though hold it all together, incredible fills, blasting double bass, convoluted tangles of odd time signatures, occasionally growled demonic vox, but it's all about the music, even were it instrumental, these songs would be plenty dense and busy, varied and complex to keep your head spinning (and most likely banging).
The label drops names like Ved Buens Ende, Fleurty, Death, Opeth, Emperor, Agolloch and Ulver, and certainly, folks who dig any / all of those bands will certainly be into what Kailash are doing, but to our ears much of this seems a lot mathier, way more dense and complex, and some of the time it really does sound like a black metal Don Cab, but then there's the saxophone (!), never the best idea really in almost any sort of music (outside jazz) and weirdly enough, Kailash drop in some smoky sax here and there, changing the vibe completely, turning it into some sort of blackened Gerry Rafferty jam, but fear not, a burst of furious mathy proggy heaviness is usually right around the corner...
Limited to 750 copies, packaged in a mini lp style sleeve wrapped in a hand stamped brown paper outer sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "The Sleepers"
MPEG Stream: "Wind Under The Door"

----* New Label!! FAUNASABBATHA!! :

album cover BEHEMOTHAUR Necroglacial Enema (Faunasabbatha) cd-r 10.98
In a world full of tiny labels, it takes a lot to stand out, whether it's some amazing and mysterious sounds or super unique and hand made packaging. And if anything RuralFaune as shined in both respects, a crazy collection of some of the weirdest noisemakers in the world, and some seriously amazing, and in many cases, fragrant, packaging. Hand printed, painted, folded, pasted, held together with string or wire, often filled with branches or flowers, scraps of paper, seeds or bits of plant matter, many of them very strong smelling, all of them amazing.
Well, Bruno, the man behind RuralFaune, was really getting into heavy music, and decided that maybe RuralFaune was not the place for such musics, so he started FaunSabbatha, a new label dedicated to heavy, creepy, dark music, metal, metallic, or just plain evil. Four new releases, each one outrageously limited, gorgeously hand packaged, and gone before you know it.
The first in the series comes from the very strangely named Behemothaur, and their even more strangely named record Necroglacial Enema. With a name like Necroglacial Enema, you might expect this to be a joke, some sort of goofy pisstake on black metal, but there's nothing finny about these three songs. All three are dense and heavy and noisy and chaotic. The opener, the shortest of the three, clocking in at 8+ minutes, is the noisiest of the bunch, the drums blown out and in the red like a rehearsal recording, the guitars moaning and keening, lots of crumbling low end and squealing feedback, there might be riffs but if so, they're hard to follow, instead it sounds more like some noise rock blow out. Dead C, Harry Pussy, locking into stumbling jams, hurling cymbals, blowing speakers, all maybe wreathed in just a bit of murky blackness.
The second track, clocking in at a whopping 21 minutes, is a strange looped guitarscape, coruscating angular chiming crunch, looped into grinding arcs of moaning guitar howl, like jagged shards of Keiji Haino blow outs hurled into an expense of noise rock sprawl, a furious roiling concoction of psychedelic skree and smoldering deconstructed riffage, that eventually gives way to a surprisingly serene stretch of murky whir.
The closer is another downtuned noise rock murk fest. This one WAY heavier on the low end sprawl, lots of crashing percussion, splattery snare, cymbal sizzle, all draped over a slow lava-like crawl of doomy riffage, and all of THAT, wrapped in thick swirls of crumbling distortion.
While this is definitely heavy, it seems like this stuff might be a bit abstract for most metalheads, but fans of stuff like Heavy Winged, White Heaven, Fushitsusha, Dead C and the like will most likely dig big time!
SUPER LIMITED. ONLY 73 COPIES!!!! Packaged in a full color, oversized jacket, with a full color insert, housed in a plastic sleeve, with two crossed twigs like nature's crossbones!
MPEG Stream: "Discombulated By Blasphemy"
MPEG Stream: "Necroglacial Enema"

album cover HEADS OF PAGAN Under The Tall And Darkened Arches (Faunasabbatha) 3" cd-r 8.98
In a world full of tiny labels, it takes a lot to stand out, whether it's some amazing and mysterious sounds or super unique and hand made packaging. And if anything RuralFaune as shined in both respects, a crazy collection of some of the weirdest noisemakers in the world, and some seriously amazing, and in many cases, fragrant, packaging. Hand printed, painted, folded, pasted, held together with string or wire, often filled with branches or flowers, scraps of paper, seeds or bits of plant matter, many of them very strong smelling, all of them amazing.
Well, Bruno, the man behind RuralFaune, was really getting into heavy music, and decided that maybe RuralFaune was not the place for such musics, so he started FaunSabbatha, a new label dedicated to heavy, creepy, dark music, metal, metallic, or just plain evil. Four new releases, each one outrageously limited, gorgeously hand packaged, and gone before you know it.
Heads Of Pagan are a duo, just voice, guitars and effects, but their 21 minute track sounds more like a tangle of crumbling downtuned basses. Low rumbling, thunderous riffs, slowed way down and allowed to pulse and throb, reverberate and whir, slightly percussive, the sound of pick hitting string is quickly swallowed up by black billows of rib cage rattling sound, very abstract and murky, muddy and mysterious, which over the course of the track grow in intensity, becoming thicker, more grinding, more distorted, the notes and melodies becoming less indistinct, transforming into a roiling black bass drone, only occasionally offering up fragments of melody, sharp bolts of feedback entering the fray, eventually building into a full on Merzbow style noise track, but with the basses becoming fuzzy and alien, sounding instead like synths, oh but they're guitars so it's even stranger, buzzing warbly confusional chaos smeared into a dense blackened low end blur. Heavy but not metal, brutal but still sort of ambient. Definitely for fans of the sloooooow and looooooow.
LIMITED TO 66 COPIES. In a mini 3" sleeve with a mini 3" printed insert.
MPEG Stream: "Under The Tall And Darkened Arches (excerpt 1)"

album cover SORC'HENN Harmonium Pieces & Dead Reveries (Faunasabbatha) cd-r 10.98
In a world full of tiny labels, it takes a lot to stand out, whether it's some amazing and mysterious sounds or super unique and hand made packaging. And if anything RuralFaune as shined in both respects, a crazy collection of some of the weirdest noisemakers in the world, and some seriously amazing, and in many cases, fragrant, packaging. Hand printed, painted, folded, pasted, held together with string or wire, often filled with branches or flowers, scraps of paper, seeds or bits of plant matter, many of them very strong smelling, all of them amazing.
Well, Bruno, the man behind RuralFaune, was really getting into heavy music, and decided that maybe RuralFaune was not the place for such musics, so he started FaunSabbatha, a new label dedicated to heavy, creepy, dark music, metal, metallic, or just plain evil. Four new releases, each one outrageously limited, gorgeously hand packaged, and gone before you know it.
Sorc'Henn are from France, and their particular brand of heaviness, as the title of their disc suggests is all about the harmonium, the piano, and lots and lots of drones. The opening track is a thick cloud of piano overtones, lots of sustain and reverb, a single funereal chord, struck over and over and over, the tones blending into each other, the overtones building up until it's some sort of doomy sonata. The second track, is a bleary buzzy blur, very Tim Hecker-ish or Oval-like, but with vocals that sound like the growls of some wild beast, a gurgling rumbling grrr. A bit like a pride of lions fronting Lustmord, very haunting and very very weird. But at the same time, strangely pretty.
The next two tracks are thick layered drones, the first dreamy and blissy, lots of soft melody and dreamlike drift, the second is a blurred black metal, buzzing riffage doused in effects and overloaded, until the riff melts into its surroundings with the overall effect being a throbbing pulsing blackened swell.
The awesomely titled "Where Does The Breath Of The Dead Pianist Come From ?" ironically enough features no piano at all (as far as we can tell), instead sprawling into some grinding Wolf Eyes-ian industrial plodscape, with plenty of dirge-y whir and distorted crunch. The second to last track "Grand-Harmonium Du Diable" is just that, a creepy lo-fi harmonium drift, the instrument wheezing demonically, haunting minor key melodies escaping like a demon's heavy breathing, an evilized version of the harmonium work of Gurdjieff or Nitsch.
Finally, the disc finishes with "Huelgoat And The Droning Stones", a 10+ minute underwater dirgescape assembled from swooping backwards notes, murky and warbly and hypnotic, that fades to silence, before returning as a minimal muddy grinding low end melody that unfurls until the very end...
SUPER LIMITED!! ONLY 66 COPIES!!!! In a spray painted cardboard sleeve, housed in a printed oversized paper jacket, all in a plastic sleeve with little bits of branches!
MPEG Stream: "Toulgoat"
MPEG Stream: "Took Their Rise In Funerals"

album cover WAVERLY HILLS The Nurse (Faunasabbatha) cd-r 10.98
In a world full of tiny labels, it takes a lot to stand out, whether it's some amazing and mysterious sounds or super unique and hand made packaging. And if anything RuralFaune as shined in both respects, a crazy collection of some of the weirdest noisemakers in the world, and some seriously amazing, and in many cases, fragrant, packaging. Hand printed, painted, folded, pasted, held together with string or wire, often filled with branches or flowers, scraps of paper, seeds or bits of plant matter, many of them very strong smelling, all of them amazing.
Well, Bruno, the man behind RuralFaune, was really getting into heavy music, and decided that maybe RuralFaune was not the place for such musics, so he started FaunSabbatha, a new label dedicated to heavy, creepy, dark music, metal, metallic, or just plain evil. Four new releases, each one outrageously limited, gorgeously hand packaged, and gone before you know it.
Any band that thanks funeral doom horde Rigor Sardonicous is alright by us. Especially if RS are one of the only four entities thanked. One being the label, the other being one of the other bands featured amidst this recent spate of Faunasabbatha releases, Sorc'Henn.
So what comes of an unhealthy love/obsession with Rigor Sardonicous, how about a creepy, ultra sick, noise drenched slow motion doom crawl? Downtuned, and lurching, stumbling and heavyheavyheavy. After a brief intro, all mournful windblown twang, a spidery latticework of spare, sorrowful melodies, plucked out over a whirling expanse of emptiness, comes the filthy, crusty, noisy multiple o'd doom. But sonically, Waverly Hills don't so much resemble funereal doom, as they do, modern noise rock, or Japanese ultra psych. The guitars are caustic coruscating streaks of blurred buzz, unleashed in heaving waves, while much of the band's time is spent crawling doomlike through a field of sonic broken glass, the guitars spend most of their time erupting in squalls of near white noise that sound like Keiji Haino fronting the Dead C. Thick clouds of whirling buzz, deconstructed riffage, super abstract percussion, the vocals a subsonic rumble, a blurred low end gurgle (except when it's a haunting ghostlike falsetto!) underpinning the soaring and drifting slabs of buzz overhead. Imagine doom metal being pulled apart, the notes and chords and riffs being rent asunder, the resulting squall still dark and doomy, by way more tripped out and damaged.
So yeah, you doooooooomlords will definitely dig this, especially if you lean toward stuff like Moss and Khanate and Bunkur and of course Rigor Sardonicous, but it might be even more appealing if your cup of tea is abstract psychedelic noise a la Sunroof!, Total, Dead C, White Heaven, etc...
LIMITED TO 74 COPIES, hand numbered on a tattered, torn piece of cloth, with the Faunasabbatha logo stamped on there as well, in a paper sleeve held shut wit a piece of metal wire.
MPEG Stream: "The White Plague"
MPEG Stream: "In The Hallways"

----* Selected New Arrivals :

album cover ANGMAR / THE TRUE ENDLESS Unholy Virtues / The Dirty Raw Experience (Bestial Burst) cd 10.98
BACK IN STOCK! Managed to get a few more copies of this back in...
Killer underground black metal battle to the death between the Finns and the Italians, released on Finnish cult metal label Bestial Burst. Angmar, from Finland (not to be confused with the French Angmar, who shared a split with Alcest recently) offer up some fuzzy plodding blackness, dirgey and primitive, ultra lo-fi and buzzy, with simple drumming, and super anguished vocals. A sort of buzzing black thrash with some old school Celtic Frost moments here and there.
The True Endless from Italy counter with their own black blast, some serious buzzing black Mayhem worship. Lightning fast swirls of thick fuzz guitar, manic riffing and blurry blast beats. Two tracks of completely blown out Norwegian style classic blackness, bookending a gorgeously depressive doomic dirge, with sludgy guitars, plodding glacial drumming and howling guttural vocals.
Slightly sexist (sexy?) aside: The True Endless also feature on bass, Soulfucker, quite possibly the hottest corpsepainted lady we've ever seen!
MPEG Stream: ANGMAR "Stone Christ Semen"
MPEG Stream: THE TRUE ENDLESS "Who Stopped The Time?"

album cover BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE Sunset Mission (Wonder) cd 16.98
BACK IN STOCK! The second repressing of this AQ fave... here's what we said last time it came back into print...
After being out of print for almost FIVE years, Bohren's third album Sunset Mission finally gets re-released this time in a spiffy digipak!
Back when we first listed this (the first Bohren we'd managed to get a hold of for the store), this is what we said: Allan discovered Bohren on a trip to Germany in 1999, with their '95 double-cd Midnight Radio, an amazing extended late-night autobahn driving soundscape, slow, low, instrumental "lounge" music, utterly perfect for a mesmerizing midnight listen. Sunset Mission, their third album, was originally released in 2000 and is similar to Midnight Radio, more overtly "jazzy" perhaps, with the addition of smokey tenor saxophone to their piano/drums/bass lineup. Their original US distributor (electronica/techno label Studio K-7) labeled this ambient, but that's far from the mark. From the song titles ("Prowler", "On Demon Wings", "Black City Skyline", "Darkstalker") to the packaging (photos of nighttime Berlin and dangerous weaponry) to the music (a downtempo film noir soundtrack like the slowest, dirgiest Melvins played by Morphine, darker than Photek, moody and gorgeous) this is the nightmare "ambience" of a nowhere jazz-lounge you'll never leave alive.
By now, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore are a firm AQ favorite, with their recent album Geisterfaust sure to show up in a lot our our customers' year 2005 top-ten lists. Meanwhile Bohren's Black Earth, Gore Motel and Midnight Radio have always been steady sellers, so it's nice to have Sunset Mission back in the racks as well! Of the Bohren discography, Sunset Mission seems to be the jazziest (if indeed it's appropriate to use that term), definitely with the most sax of any of 'em, perhaps coming closest to its follow-up Black Earth in sound.
MPEG Stream: "Prowler"
MPEG Stream: "On Demon Wings"

album cover CURIUM Aember: A Suite Of Fierae Portraits By Curium (Dynamophone) 3" cd-r box 8.98
One of our fave new Bay Area indie labels Dynamophone close out 2007 with a fresh batch of aural treats. They are four installments in their limited edition 3" cd-r ep Parcel series by the likes of Curium, Lullaby League, Science Teacher and Sleep Robot. Chances are if you've been paying attention to our recent aQ lists you're probably already as enchanted with this label's richly atmospheric hazily dreamy roster as we are, and will welcome these four into your music collection. This one features three new luminous listens by Curium.
Don't delay though! Each release comes in a diminutive square cardboard box festooned with a full color cover art sticker, and is limited to 100 each. We only have a couple handfuls. Once they're gone, they're gone!
Psst: in keeping with this particular release's theme, Aember comes with a Dynamophone book of matches!
MPEG Stream: "Auror"

album cover DEATH IN JUNE Brown Book (Nerus / Soleilmoon) 2cd / marble container / 4 patches 60.00
Holy shit! Not for the faint of heart, the easily offended, the soft eared, or empty pocketed, this 20th anniversary reissue of Death In June's controversial 1987 release Brown Book, is a stunner. A legendary slab of politically charged post industrial neo-folk. Remastered, with a bonus disc featuring 14 tracks, alternate versions, outtakes and rarities from other long out of print reissues.
But it's the packaging too, that pushes this over the top. A circular marble container carved with the DiJ Totenkopf skull, weighing in at almost two pounds, slip the cover off and inside is a brown velvet pouch, housing the two cds, atop those are circular cards with photos and liner notes and other text, remove everything and there's a little recess in the bottom of the container which holds 4 fabric patches. Wow.
We only have two of these, as they are pretty pricey, but we figured there was bound to be a Death In June fan or two out there who would flip for one of these...

album cover ENCOMIAST Winter's End (Lens Records) cd 9.98
Finally managed to get more of these back in!!
Ever since we first listed Havens, a cd-r by one man free-noise/drone outfit Encomiast, folks around here just haven't been able to get enough. So we tracked down another older release, Espera, which flew out of here just as quick (we're not sure that one is still available or not btw), so we grabbed a handful of another old title, Winter's End....
So what is it exactly about Encomiast that has people all in a tizzy? A delirious blend of dark dreamy blackened drones and shimmering cinematic ambience, both deftly woven into long expanses of glacial, oceanic dreaminess. It's a crowded field for sure, anyone with a computer and a cd burner seems to have a label, or at least a drone record our, but there are a select few who are masters at sculpting sound, at creating music with depth and emotion. It's not as simple as notes sustained for the length of a disc. It's all about layer and texture and composition.
Winter's End, more than maybe anything else we've heard from Encomiast, is incredibly evocative and cinematic, in fact listening to this, it's hard not to imagine what images should be accompanying these sounds. From drifting fog banks of bleary fuzz and minimal shimmer, to haunting, string-like smears of minor key melody, rife with ominous longing and sublimated terror, to spacious expanses of murky thrum, hovering around drifting mysterious female vocals. From grinding buzz drenched blurs to abstract modern classical, this is music so visual and visceral, it's hard to just classify as 'drone music'. And it's equally hard not to think in terms of cinematic sound. This is the music of some mysterious journey, a lost kingdom, a tragic loss, impossible loves, restless spirits, an abandoned village, it's pretty remarkable that a single disc can invoke all of these thoughts and images, but Winter's End does. Definitely a new favorite...
MPEG Stream: "Io"
MPEG Stream: "Embrace:Betrayal"
MPEG Stream: "Without Fear Of Wind Or Vertigo"

album cover INCAPACITANTS 73 (Alchemy) cd 21.00
They are the best noise band. 'Cuz they're the noisiest. Simple as that. At least that's what Allan thinks, and he's got almost all their umpteen cds. Though we haven't really done a scientific test of noisiness, Merzbow vs. Hijokaidan vs. Masonna vs. Incapacitants, we all agree they sure would hold their own in any imaginable noise contest. Japanese extreme noise duo (and bankers by profession) Toshiji Mikawa and Fumio Kosakai aka Incapacitants have been blowing minds and eardrums for years now. This new disc on Alchemy consists of four brutal wall-of-sound tracks, exploding electronics almost psychedelically dense. One of these tracks was recorded live in Canada at the No Music Festival in 2003, another one captured at club called Lush in Tokyo last year, while the other two are studio recordings (not that it matters much).
Their banking experience is perhaps reflected in the song titles "What A Stupid Bureaucrat!!!" and "Fund Trap", while the title of the 22 minute track "Please Don't Try This At Home" almost goes without saying!
MPEG Stream: "What A Stupid Bureaucrat!!!"
MPEG Stream: "Please Don't Try This At Home"

album cover LULLABY LEAGUE Cantus (Dynamophone) 3" cd-r box 8.98
One of our fave new Bay Area indie labels Dynamophone close out 2007 with a fresh batch of aural treats. They are four installments in their limited edition 3" cd-r ep Parcel series by the likes of Lullaby League (nice Wizard Of Oz reference there!), Curium, Science Teacher and Sleep Robot. Chances are if you've been paying attention to our recent aQ lists you're probably already as enchanted with this label's richly atmospheric hazily dreamy roster as we are, and will welcome these four into your music collection. This one features one new nineteen minute long piece for you to sink into.
Don't delay though! Each release comes in a diminutive square cardboard box festooned with a full color cover art sticker, and is limited to 100 each. We only have a couple handfuls. Once they're gone, they're gone!
Psst: Cantus comes with a cinnamon apple-y scented votive candle!
MPEG Stream: "Cantus"

album cover PARSONS, GRAM Archives Vol. 1 (Amoeba) 2cd 21.00
Wow, here's something we're sure a few folks -- specifically Gram Parsons fans -- wished they'd found under the tree a few days ago!
Ah well, better late than never! Here's just the facts:
Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Bros.
Live at the Avalon Ballroom here in SF.
Two evenings back in April 1969.
These two cds feature 25 remastered live recordings
as well as two recently unearthed home recorded demos! they're packaged in a beautiful 5"x5.75" hardcover 20-page book. It sounds great. It looks great. A fantastic document of '60s Americana!

album cover ROCK-A-ROLLA Issue 12 - Nov/Dec 2007 magazine 10.98
New issue of the always kick ass Rock-A-Rolla magazine. Even with the brutal exchange rate and the shipping costs, RaR is still a steal at $11. Wire readers that aren't also reading Rock-A-Rolla are missing out, some overlap, but much more of an emphasis on the heavy stuff.
This time, on the cover, Dillinger Escape Plan, and inside: the Rock-A-Rolla top 30 records of 2007, a Q+A with Sunburned Hand Of The Man, the Magik Markers, Italian instrumental post rockers Lento, studio soundscapers turned real rock band Fog, hypno-riff doom duo Om, Jenny Hoyston from Erase Errata, darkdoomdrone outfit Tenhornedbeast, Vibracathedral Orchestra, modern day proggers Miasma, a label spotlight on John Olson's (from Wolf Eyes) American Tapes, tons and tons of reviews, cds, lps lathe cuts and everything in between, live reviews of The Boredoms + Michael Gira, Animal Collective, Unsane, High On Fire, Kling Klang, Liars, White Hills (!), Voice Of The Seven Woods and more, and finally on the back page, a one minute interview with Maninkari.
The layout keeps getting better and better, the writing is great (lots by Kevin, the mastermind behind our favorite music zine Salt), and the bands covered couldn't be more AQ!!

album cover SCIENCE TEACHER Parallelism (Dynamophone) 3" cd-r box 8.98
One of our fave new Bay Area indie labels Dynamophone close out 2007 with a fresh batch of aural treats. They are four installments in their limited edition 3" cd-r ep Parcel series by the likes of Science Teacher, Lullaby League, Curium and Sleep Robot. Chances are if you've been paying attention to our recent aQ lists you're probably already as enchanted with this label's richly atmospheric hazily dreamy roster as we are, and will welcome these four into your music collection. This one features three new ultra pretty (and non-academic!) numbers from The Science Teacher.
Don't delay though! Each release comes in a diminutive square cardboard box festooned with a full color cover art sticker, and is limited to 100 each. We only have a couple handfuls. Once they're gone, they're gone!
MPEG Stream: "Factory Flowers"

album cover SKULLFUCK The Supreme Ugliness (Bestial Burst) cd 10.98
The Supreme Ugliness indeed! From the cover, a dizzying scribbled high school notebook scrawl of black and white shapes, tattooed musclebound cavemen (one of which is fucking a skull, natch), devils, upside down crosses, beasts of all shapes and sizes, severed heads, profanity, filthy, crusty, evil and chaotic, to the music inside.
This duo spew out a brutal brew of old school metal, super harsh and stripped down midtempo death metal filth, but since it's one of the dudes from AQ faves Ride For Revenge, there are subtle bits of weirdness here and there, some freaky leads, some squiggly guitar partsŠ
But for the most part, this is pure grim evil, pounding, chugging, thrashing, grinding, downtuned, distorted, doomy and ugly METAL. The drums a caveman plod, the guitar grinding and corrosive, the bass a speaker shredding throb, song titles like "Life Of Shit", "We Are The Death Cult", "100,000 Dead" and "Suicidal Rape", vocals like someone puking up barbed wire and broken glass. Occasional blasts of furious thrashing, but mostly a skull crushing midtempo pound. Don't be fooled by the sludgey crumbling distorted bass intro, which had us thinking this would be some sort of ultramega doom disc, this is foul, frightful, stumbling,murky, coarse, loathsome, odious Finnish old school death metal. And we love it!
MPEG Stream: "Life Of Shit"
MPEG Stream: "We Are The Death Cult"

album cover SLEEP ROBOT Panicgrass and Feverfew (Dynamophone) 3" cd-r box 8.98
One of our fave new Bay Area indie labels Dynamophone close out 2007 with a fresh batch of aural treats. They are four installments in their limited edition 3" cd-r ep Parcel series by the likes of Sleep Robot, Science Teacher, Lullaby League and Curium. Chances are if you've been paying attention to our recent aQ lists you're probably already as enchanted with this label's richly atmospheric hazily dreamy roster as we are, and will welcome these four into your music collection. This one features three new delicate drone tracks by Sleep Robot (aka Henry Clarke).
Don't delay though! Each release comes in a diminutive square cardboard box festooned with a full color cover art sticker, and is limited to 100 each. We only have a couple handfuls. Once they're gone, they're gone!
MPEG Stream: "Prayer Wheel"

----* In Stock, Not Yet Reviewed :

If you want to order one of these, just search for the item, then click on the buy button and it will be added to your cart!
AFRIRAMPO "Suuto Breakor" (P-Vine) cd 25.00
AHMED, MAHMOUD & EITHER / ORCHESTRA "Tsedenia Gebre-Marqos" (Buda Musique) dvd 14.98
BAKER, AIDAN "Live From The Rotunda (Philadelphia, PA, February 2007)" (Gears Of Sand) cd-r 12.98
BAKER, AIDAN "Scalpel" (The Kora) cd 11.98
BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL "Seventh Ruined Hex" (Important) cd 14.98
BIRDMAN 5 "Stunna (Limited Edition)" (Universal) cd 14.98
BORIS / MERZBOW "Rock Dream" (Daymare) 2cd 32.00
BORIS WITH MICHIO KURIHARA "Rainbow" (Inoxia) 2lp+dvd 260.00
BOSMANN, KARL "Eskalation" (You Don't Have To Call It Music) lp 38.00
BOTTOMLESS PIT "Hammer Of The Gods" (Comedy Minus One) cd 13.98
BRUCE CARKISS "Definitive Edition" (Skulls Of Heaven) cd-r 8.98
BUG, THE "Poison Dart v. 1" (Ninja Tune) 12" 14.98
BUG, THE "Poison Dart v. 2" (Ninja Tune) 12" 14.98
DEADSEA "s/t" (Chrome Leaf) cd 11.98
DEMONS "Invisible Darkness" (AA Records) cd-r 9.98
DOWN "III: Over The Under" (Down Records) cd 17.98
ENCOMIAST "s/t" (Lens) cd-r 7.98
ENSEPULCHERED "The Night Our Rituals Blackened The Stars" (Autopsy Kitchen) cd 13.98
ES / SAMI SANPAKKILA "Early Filmworks 1996 - 2006" (Fonal) dvd 21.00
FLASKAVSAE "Celestial" (Milkweed) cd-r 7.98
FUCKED UP "Hidden World" (Deranged / Jade Tree) 2lp 25.00
GERONIMO "s/t" (Three.One.G) cd 14.98
GLUTTONY "Collapse Of The Roman Republic (Liber Primus)" (Cyclops) cd 15.98
GRUDZIEN, PETER "The Unicorn" (Subliminal Sounds) 2lp 39.00
HABIBIYYA "If Man But Knew" (Sunbeam) cd 16.98
HUGUENOTS, THE "s/t" (Hydra Head) cd 14.98
JACKIE-O MOTHERFUCKER "Valley Of Fire" (Textile) cd 15.98
KLIMEK "Dedications" (Anticipata) cd 15.98
LES RALLIZES DENUDES "Are You Rallizesed?" (Ignuitas) 2cd 39.00
LES RALLIZES DENUDES "Eve Night 1983" (Ignuitas) 2cd 39.00
LES RALLIZES DENUDES "Le Festival De Fleur Complet, 8 Avril 1975" (Ignuitas) cd 28.00
LES RALLIZES DENUDES "Live At Kinjou Gakuen University, October 30, 1976" (Ignuitas) cd 28.00
METALOCALYPSE "Season One" (Adult Swim) 2dvd 35.00
METALOCALYPSE: DETHKLOK "The Dethalbum" (Williams Street / Adult Swim) cd 14.98
MONSTER MAGNET "4-Way Diablo" (SPV) cd 16.98
NEKRASOV "Into The No-Man's Sphere Of The Ancient Days" (Exotic Corpse) cd 13.98
NEST / TIM COSTER "s/t" (Gest) cd-r 9.98
NEW RISEN THRONE "Whispers Of The Approaching Wastefulness" (Cyclic Law) cd 15.98
POCAHAUNTED / ROBEDOOR "Hunted Gathered" (Digitalis) 2cd 22.00
ROMERO, DAMIEN "Twins" (Tone Filth) 2lp 27.00
ROSETTA "Cleansing Undertones Of Wake/Lift" (Translation Loss) cd 9.98
ROSETTA "Wake / Lift" (Translation Loss) cd 13.98
ROTHER, MICHAEL "Flammende Herzen" (Water) cd 16.98
ROTHER, MICHAEL "Katzenmusik" (Water) cd 16.98
SEELENGREIF "Jenseits Der Schatten" (Tour De Garde) cd ep 12.98
SHITMAT "Grooverider" (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
SIGRBLOT "Blodsband (Blood Religion Manifest)" (Nordiska Forlaget) cd/2lp 15.98/22.00
SOMBRE CHEMIN "Doctrine" (ISO666) cd 14.98
STRIBORG "Spiritual Catharsis" (Displeased) cd 14.98
STRIBORG "Trepidation" (Displeased) cd 14.98
SURF PUNKS "Oh No! Not Them Again!" (Noble Rot) cd 13.98
SURF PUNKS "Party Bomb" (Noble Rot) cd 13.98
TIGHT MEAT DUO "Creaming The Gutterpunk / Nobody Loves The Hulk" (alt.vinyl) 8" square lathe cut 26.00
TORCH OF WAR "The Principle Of Cosmic Instability" (Autopsy Kitchen) cd 13.98
TORTURIUM "Black Lunatic Chaos" (Aura Mystique) cd 15.98
TULUS "Biography Obscene" (Candlelight) cd 14.98
UTON "Ground's Dream Cosmic Love" (Students Of Decay) cd-r 7.98
V/A "10 Tons Heavy" (Planet Mu) 2cd 13.98
V/A "200" (Planet Mu) 2cd/2lp 9.98/17.98
V/A "A Number Of Small Things" (Morr Music) 2cd 21.00
V/A "Melodii Tuvi: Throat Songs And Folk Tunes From Tuva" (Dust To Digital) cd 15.98
V/A "The Essence Of Swedish Progressive Music, 1967-1979" (Premium Publishing) 4cd 60.00
VELOSO, CAETANO "s/t (Irene)" (Lilith) lp 25.00
VERDUNKELN "Einblick In Den Qualenfall" (Van) cd 13.98
VIETUS MORTUUS "The Cursed And The Blessed" (self released) cd-r 4.98
VOMIT "Still Rotting" (Lyderhorn) cd 8.98
VON THRONSTAHL "Sacrificare" (Cold Spring) cd 16.98
WADA, YOSHI "Lament For The Rise And Fall Of Elephantine Crocodile" (EM) cd 21.00
WALTER, WEASEL QUARTET "Revolt Music" (ugExplode) cd 11.98
WILDILDLIFE "Peas Feast" (Chicas De Hoy) cd-r 4.98
WORMSBLOOD "In The Stars" (Skulls Of Heaven) cd-r 8.98
YEASAYER "All Hour Cymbals" (Are We Free) cd 14.98
YOUNGS, RICHARD "Summer Wanderer" (Gipsy Sphinx) lp 17.98
YOUNGS, RICHARD & ALEX NEILSON "Electric Lotus LP & Lotus Editions CD" (VHF) lp+cd 15.98
ZENI GEVA "Maximum Money Monster" (Cold Spring) cd $15.98



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[ note ] Due to the everchanging nature of the independent record business, we are not responsible for listed price changes (due to supplier price changes) and often cannot update our site fast enough to reflect these changes, but we will always try to let you know of any differences.

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Further Explanation (Please Read!):
Within the USA, an order of 3 or more items will be shipped via UPS ground for a flat fee of $6.50. These packages are automatically insured and trackable.

However, if your package contains just 1 or 2 items, we will ship your order via USPS Priority Mail, and charge you $4.50 for shipping. These packages are NOT insured or trackable, sorry. So if you desire those safeguards, please request UPS delivery at the $6.50 rate. You must mention this in the comments field of our online order form.

Also, please note that UPS will not ship to PO Boxes. If you only have a PO Box, we can ship packages of 3+ items via US Postal Service and charge you by weight according to their rates. Special shipping needs (e.g. UPS Next Day) are also do-able, just ask.

Another important note: box sets DON'T (usually) count as one item. Sorry. A box set will generally bump you up into the "three or more items" category. Y'know, they're big. Boxes.

-------------------------------- For foreign customers we ship via US AIRMAIL ("Letterpost"). Your price is based on the actual cost of shipping plus $1. You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package, No Correspondence" category and see the price for "Letterpost". 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound.)

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-------------------------------- You are hereby forewarned that Aquarius is not responsible if your international package gets lost in the mail. Insurance is your only recourse if your records never show up. Since the terrible events of 9/11, mail service has been slow and undependable... and while we haven't experienced any *confirmed* permanently lost mail, insurance might provide some additional piece of mind in this time of upheaval. We strongly recommend it. But yes, it is very expensive. It's your choice. Again: Aquarius is not responsible for lost mail, so if you aren't willing to take a (slight but real) risk, please buy the insurance.

International insurance is very expensive! In fact often the insurance costs more than the value of your package, in which case it obviously does not make sense to insure it. You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package, No Correspondence" category and see the price for "Parcel Post", which is the way insured packages are sent. 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound.)

For example: for a one-pound package worth $18 going to England, shipping without insurance is about $8. But with insurance, the shipping / insurance total is over $16!

It is your reponsibility to check the international rate calculator in order to determine whether or not you want international insurance. If you tell us you want international insurance, we will add it to your order no matter how much it costs!

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-------------------------------- Email the mailorder department: mailorder@aquariusrecords.org



----} in January
Magnetic Fields "Distortion"
Cat Power "Jukebox" 2nd album of covers
Dengue Fever "Venus On Earth"
Saviours "Into Abbadon" on Kemado
Aleister Crowley "1910-1914 Black Magic Recordings"
Caetano Veloso "Irene"
John Zorn "Filmworks XIX"

----} in February
Nada Surf "Lucky"
Kelley Stoltz "Circular Sounds"
Mountain Goats "Heretic Pride"
Ghengis Tron "Board Up The House"
Danava "Unonou" on Kemado
Brendan Murray "Commonwealth" on 23five
Chop Shop "Oxiode" 23five
Omit "Interceptor"
Japancakes "If I Could See Dallas"
Jesus & Mary Chain "B-Sides Collection"
John Coltrane "Africa Brass" and "Ballads" reissues

----} in March
Unearthly Trance "Electrocution"
BJ Nilsen & Stillupsteypa "Passing Out"

----} also upcoming sooner or later
3/3 "s/t" 2cd reissue on P-Vine
Afrirampo "Suuto Breakor" cd on P-Vine
Mariana Topley-Bird w/ Dangermouse
Paavoharju "Laulu Laakson Kukista" cd/lp on Fonal
Silver Jews "Look Out Mountain, Look Out Sea"
Circle X "Prehistory"
Loren Chasse & Michael Mnortham "Otolth"
The Wrens new album
Andrew W.K. new album
Suishou No Fune new album on Holy Mountain
Wolfmother new album
Endless Boogie "tba" cd/2lp on No Quarter
Coh "Strings" cd on Raster
White Heaven "Levitation" cd edition on Farside
Anton Batagov "Passionate Desire To Be An Angel" cd on Long Arms Records
Powers Court "The Red Mist Of Endenmore" cd on Dragonheart
The Heads tba 2cd 'best of' on Leafhound
16-17 "Gyatso" cd reissue on Savage Land
Pyha "The Haunted House" cd on tUMULt
Varghkoghargasmal "Drowned In Lakes" cd on tUMULt
Like A Kind Of Matador "Halfway To Dangerous" cd on tUMULt
Peter Grudzien "The Unicorn/Garden Of Love" LP reissue on Subliminal Sound


2007 AQUARIUS EMPLOYEE FAVORITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here it is! Our 2007 best of lists. Some folks stuck to ten, but most of us went CRAZY! What can we say? We love music. And we hear lots of it. And lots of it was great and worthy of inclusion on these here lists. So have a look, compare 'em to your own, hopefully you'll find some stuff you missed, or might want to check out. And of course, get your lists ready, cuz soon we'll be asking for yours, and we'll be awarding gift certificates to randomly picked lists, AND of course, your lists will be displayed on the AQ site for all to see! So dig in. And thanks to everyone for a fantastic musical 2007...


Allan's Tops of 2007

There's a LOT of records I liked a lot this year...
but these are 20 that I LOVED, alphabetically:

Circle "Panic" (Ektro)
Electric Wizard "Witchcult Today" (Rise
Eroc "1" (Revisited) REISSUE
Gentlemans Pistols "s/t" (Rise
Bruce Haack "Electric Lucifer" (Omni) REISSUE
Kemialliset Ystavat "Untitled" (Fonal)
Krypt Axeripper "Mechanical Witch" ep (Ektro)
The Makes Nice "This Time Tomorrow" (Frenetic)
Thierry Muller "Rare & Unreleased 1974-1984" (Fractal)
Marc Mundy "s/t" (Companion) REISSUE
The Narrows "Benjamin" (Wantage)
The Oscillation "Out Of Phase" (DC Recordings)
Michael Rother "Fernwarme" (Water) REISSUE
Slough Feg "Hardworlder" (Cruz Del Sur)
Bobb Trimble "Harvest Of Dreams" (Secretly Canadian) REISSUE
Bobb Trimble "Iron Curtain Innocence" (Secretly Canadian) REISSUE
v/a "Museum Of Future Sound" (Flogsta Danshall)
Vulture Club "Live Young, Die Fast, And Leave An
Exquisite Corpse" (Utech)
Witchcraft "The Alchemist" (Rise Above/Candlelight/Leafhound)
Richard Youngs "Autumn Response"  (Jagjaguwar)

(hmm, no, despite appearances, nobody at Rise Above, Candlelight and/or Leafhound plied me with favors...)

Oh... but of course, the list of runners up is extensive! I almost don't want to list any of 'em for fear of leaving something out that I forgot about. Not to mention all the cool stuff that I probably didn't even hear! But, heck, here's just a few: Brainbombs, Miguel Cantilo y Grupo, Comet III, Doomsword, The Farm, The Fucking Champs, Gallhammer, Dashiell Hedayat, Daniel "belteShazzar" Higgs, Les Rallizes Denudes, Lietterschpich, Liliental, Litmus, LSD-march, Mammal, MoRkObOt, Novalis, Orthodox, Oxbow, Peste Noire, Pumice, Rakhim, Raccoon-oo-oon, Silvester Anfang, The Skull Defekts, Steel Mammoth, Stinking Lizaveta, The Story, Supersilent, Tarentel, 3/4hadbeenelimnated, Tully, v/a "Disco Deutschland Disco", v/a "10 Tons Heavy", Michel Yonkers with The Blind Shake...

One further note: I DIDN'T include any reissues of stuff that, although amazing, I already had on cd in a previous edition and didn't (yet) find necessary to re-purchase. I only included reissues that were "new to me" on cd. Otherwise this list would have to be expanded to include the likes of the Bee Gees, Exit-13, Circle "Meronia" and "Sunrise", Harvey Milk "The Pleaser", Faust "So Far", Zeni Geva "Maximum Money Monster", Peter Brotzmann "Machine Gun", a bunch of the Boredoms "Super Roots" volumes, etc., all things that I'd highly recommend if you don't have 'em already. And at the TOP would definitely be the all-time epic doom classic by Solstice, "New Dark Age"!



Every year, I promise myself (and Allan) that I will come up with a super concise list. A top ten, and only ten, or maybe 20. But every year, there's so much new music, lots of it amazing, and I can't seem to whittle it down. But you know, when you hear as much music as I do, it shouldn't be shocking to end up with a list this big. It would be a sad state of affairs if after listening to thousands of records, I could pick a mere ten that kicked my ass. So apologies to Allan and other list purists, but hopefully other folks will find much to love, and much to discover in my WAY too big list of 2007 favorites:

TOP TEN (if I absolutely had to pick, as in absolutely most listened to)

GERONIMO  "s/t"  cd  (Three.One.G)  14.98
EDITORS, THE  "An End Has A Start"  (Epic)  cd  14.98
CORDIER, ERIC  "Breizhiselad"  (Erewhon)  cd  14.98
STIELAS STORHETT  "Vandrer..."  (Northern Silence)  cd  14.98
DEVOID OF ALL MERCY  "Your Children Left With The Stranger"  (Battlecruiser / Celebrate Psi Phenomenon)  cd  11.98
MAXIMO PARK  "Our Earthly Pleasures"  (Warp)  cd  12.98
THRONE OF BLOOD  "I Hope You Fail Miserably And Never Accomplish Anything Ever Again"  (Corleone)  cd-r  13.98
FALL OUT BOY  "Infinity On High"  (Island)  cd
AMOCOMA  "Go To Hell"  (Self Released)  cd-r  10.98
BURNING STAR CORE  "Operator Dead... Post Abandoned"  (No Quarter)  cd  13.98

And then to be fair, it's an 88-way tie between all of these for spot #11:

CHIODOS  "Bone Palace Ballet"  (Equal Vision)  cd  14.98
BIG BUSINESS  "Here Come The Waterworks"  (Hydra Head)  cd  13.98
LIFELOVER  "Erotik"  (Total Holocaust)  cd  14.98
CIRCLE OF OUROBORUS  "Streams"  (True Face Of Evil/Northern Sky)  cd/cassette  14.98/4.50
FORTERESSE  "Metal Noir Quebecois"  (Sepulchral Productions)  cd  11.98
ACRE  "Candyflipping"  (Yarn Lazer)  cd-r  7.98
KLABAUTAMANN  "Der Ort"  (Heavy Horses)  cd  17.98
LIGHT SHALL PREVAIL  "I Long To Destroy The Darkness Forever"  (E.E.E Recordings)  3xcd-r  15.98
XEXYZ  "Primeval Mountain"  (Dipsomaniac)  cd-r  5.98
HOTEL ALEXIS  "Goliath, I'm On Your Side"  (Broken Sparrow)  cd  11.98
VELVET CACOON  "Dextronaut"  (Full Moon Productions)  2cd  14.98
VALET  "Blood Is Clean"  (Kranky)  cd  14.98
RIDE FOR REVENGE  "King Of Snakes"  (Northern Heritage)  cd  15.98
PEKOS / YORO DIALLO  "s/t"  (Yaala Yaala)  cd  14.98
INQUISITION  "Nefarious Dismal Orations"  (No Colours)  cd  17.98
DRAUGURZ  "A Yell From The Past"  (Dark Hidden Productions)  cd/cassette  10.98/4.50
ALCEST  "Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde"  (Profound Lore Records)  cd  14.98
TARENTEL  "Ghetto Beats On The Surface Of The Sun"  (Temporary Residence)  2cd  15.98
ANCESTORS  "s/t"  (Northern Sky Productions)  cassette  4.50
INTERPOL  "Our Love To Admire"  (Capitol)  cd  14.98
VULTURE CLUB, THE  "Live Young, Die Fast And Leave An Exquisite Corpse"  (Utech)  cd  14.98
EXPO '70  "Animism"  (Kill Shamen)  cd  12.98
JESU  "Conqueror"  (Hydra Head / Daymare)  2cd  28.00
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY  "All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone"  (Temporary Residence)  2cd  14.98
DELAURENTI, CHRISTOPHER  "Favorite Intermissions"  (GD Stereo)  cd  14.98
HORDES OF SATAN  "s/t"  (Streaks)  lp  16.98
MONARCH  "Dead Men Tell No Tales"  (Crucial Blast)  2cd  14.98
V/A  "Hyphy Hitz"  (TVT)  cd  15.98
ARKANSAW MAN  "s/t"  (Radium / Table Of The Elements)  cd ep  11.98
ECHOSPACE  "The Coldest Season"  (Baked Goods / Modern Love)  cd  15.98
EGONOIR  "Der Pfad Zum Fluss"  (Amortout)  cd  11.98
HORSEBACK  "Impale Golden Horn"  (Burly Time)  cd  13.98
GALLHAMMER  "The Dawn Of Gallhammer"  (Peaceville)  cd + dvd  16.98
AGATHOTHODION  "Kan Guds Gjort"  (E.E.E. Recordings)  cd-r  9.98
BERGRAVEN  "Dodsvisioner"  (Hydra Head)  cd  14.98
LIGHT SHALL PREVAIL  "Retrospective - A Collection Of Rare And Unreleased Tracks: 2001-2005"  (E.E.E. Recordings)  cd-r  8.98
BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL  "Birds Call Home Their Dead"  (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon)  cd  17.98
TJOLGTJAR  "Halloween"  (Dipsomaniac / Rusty Axe / Illinoisian Thunder)  cd  9.98
JABLADAV  "Dead As Duck"  (self released)  cassette/cd-r  3.00/7.98
NID  "Plate Tectonics"  (Aufabwegen)  cd  16.98
LIGHT SHALL PREVAIL  "Defeat The Reign Of The Horned One Through The Light Of Christ"  (E.E.E Recordings)  cd-r  8.98
WOLD  "Screech Owl"  (Profound Lore)  cd  14.98
BENIGHTED LEAMS  "Obombrid Welkins"  (Supernal)  cd  15.98
DEATHSPELL OMEGA  "Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum"  (Ajna / Southern Lord)  cd  15.98
FLASKAVSAE  "Philosophies"  (E.E.E. Recordings)  cd-r  8.98
PESTE NOIRE  "FolkFuck Folie"  (De Profundis / Rosenkrantz)  cd  13.98
FORGOTTEN WOODS  "Race Of Cain"  (20 Buck Spin)  cd  12.98
SILVESTER ANFANG  "Kosmies Slachtafval"  (Aurora Borealis)  cd  14.98
DARKSPACE  "I"  (Avantgarde)  cd  14.98
DARKSPACE  "II"  (Avantgarde)  cd  14.98
LIGHT SHALL PREVAIL  "Unearthen Hymns Of Revolt"  (E.E.E. Recordings)  cd-r  8.98
TULSA DRONE  "Songs From A Mean Season"  (The Perpetual Motion Machine)  cd  10.98
GNAW THEIR TONGUES  "Die Mutter Wahlt Das Todtenkleidchen"  (Corps-Morts)  cd-r  7.98
GROUP INERANE  "Guitars From Agadez"  (Sublime Frequencies)  lp  25.00
SOUVENIR'S YOUNG AMERICA  "An Ocean Without Water"  (Crucial Blast)  cd  14.98
TENHORNEDBEAST  "The Sacred Truth"  (Cold Spring)  cd  15.98
NARROWS, THE  "Benjamin"  (Wantage USA)  cd  12.98
MAUSOLEUMS, THE  "I Am The Mausoleum"  (Chinese Workers Labor Union)  cd-r  8.98
WIZARD PRISON  "II"  (Gravelvoice)  cd  8.98
MAMMAL  "Lonesome Drifter"  (Animal Disguise)  cd/lp  12.98/23.00
REVERIES, THE  "Live In Bologna"  (Rat-Drifting)  cd  14.98
GNAW THEIR TONGUES  "Reeking Pained And Shuddering"  (Paradigms)  cd  12.98
HEAVY WINGED  "Feel Inside"  (aRCHIVE)  cd  13.98
LIGHT OF THE SHIPWRECK  "From The Idle Cylinders"  (Crucial Bliss)  cd-r  8.98
MUTIILATION  "Sorrow Galaxies"  (End All Life)  cd  14.98
PORTAL  "Outre"  (Profound Love)  cd  14.98
PUSSYGUTT  "Sea Of Sand"  (Olde English Spelling Bee)  2lp  29.00
WINTERBLUT  "Das Aas Aller Dinge"  (End All Life)  cd/2lp  14.98/18.98
ICE BOUND MAJESTY  "A Tomb To Erect"  (Frequency Thirteen / Night Angels Serve)  cd-r  7.98
INH HALENTROPY  "s/t"  (Metal Mind Control)  cd-r  9.98
SKULTROLL  "s/t"  (Frequency Thirteen / Night Angels Serve)  cd-r  7.98
ROCKFORD KABINE  "Italian Music: 31 Invalid Movie Themes"  (Combination)  cd/lp  16.98/15.98
MAKE A CHANGE KILL YOURSELF  "II"  (Total Holocaust)  cd  14.98
XASTHUR  "Defective Epitaph"  (Daymare)  2cd  29.00
XYNFONICA  "A Feast For Famished Ravens"  (Hekaloth / Cyclops)  cd  15.98
ALUK TODOLO  "Descension"  (Public Guilt / Riot Season)  cd/lp  10.98/21.00
ENOCKSSON, ERIK  "Farval Falkenberg"  (Kning Disk)  cd  15.98
FLESHPRESS  "Pillars"  (Kult Of Nihilow)  cd/2lp  17.98/29.00
SERVILE SECT  "Stratospheric Passenger"  (Sounds Of Battle And Souvenir Collecting)  cd  8.98
BRODSKY, STEVEN'S OCTAVE MUSEUM  "s/t"  (Hydra Head)  cd  11.98
DUKKHA / BLACK VOMIT  "Be My Second"  (Frequency Thirteen / Night Angels Serve)  cd-r  8.98
NJIQAHDDA  "Njimajikal Arts"  (E.E.E. Recordings)  2cd-r  19.98
PET GENIUS  "s/t"  (Hydra Head)  cd  11.98
SHEVALREQ  "Tournament At Constantinople"  (Cyclops)  cd  15.98
WILDILDLIFE  "Six"  (Crucial Blast)  cd  14.98
AUSTERITY PROGRAM, THE  "Black Madonna"  (Hydra Head)  cd  13.98
ASH POOL  "World Turns On Its Hinge"  (Hospital Productions)  cd   12.98
NIHILL  "Krach"  (Monumentum)  cd/2lp  13.98/17.98
TIC CODE  "Fbccade"  (Sickroom)  cd  13.98


V/A (MAN IS THE BASTARD NOISE / AMPS FOR CHRIST / BN/K2 / THE HIEROPHANT / UNICORN / ANTENNACLE / SLEESTAK)  "No Skull Left Unturned"  (200mg)  3cd / 4 booklets / stickers / patch / bookmark / button  41.00
ABRUPTUM  "Evil Genius"  (Southern Lord)  cd  14.98
PAYSAGE D'HIVER  "Schattengang"  (Kunsthall / Cold Dimensions)  cd  24.00
PAYSAGE D'HIVER  "Paysage D'Hiver"  (Kuntsthall / Cold Dimensions)  cd  24.00
EXIT-13  "High Life"  (Relapse)  2cd  16.98
HARVEY MILK  "My Love Is Higher Than Your Assessment Of What My Love Could Be"  (Relapse)  cd  13.98
MARBLEBOG  "Forestheart"  (Autopsy Kitchen)  cd/lp  13.98/13.98
SEBADOH  "The Freed Man"  (Domino)  cd  14.98
MONTGOMERY, ROY  "Inroads: New And Collected Works"  (Rebis)  2cd  14.98
LABRADFORD  "Prazision LP"  (Kranky)  cd  14.98
SEA HAGS  "s/t"  (Rock Candy)  cd  17.98
TORCHE  "s/t (reissued, remastered version)"  (Robotic Empire)  cd  10.98
FOR CARNATION, THE  "Promised Works"  (Touch & Go)  cd  12.98
ZODIAC MINDWARP AND THE LOVE REACTION  "Tattooed Beat Messiah (Special Collector's Edition)"  (Rock Candy)  cd  17.98
DIG THAT BODY UP, IT'S ALIVE  "A Corpse Is Forever"  (Rock Is Hell)  lp  21.00
BAD NEWS  "s/t"  (EMI)  cd  12.98
GRAVELAND  "Drunemeton"  (Forever Plagued)  cd  16.98
AKITSA  "Goetie"  (Hospital Productions)  cd  13.98
AKITSA  "Sang Nordique"  (Hospital Productions)  cd  13.98
TOLL  "Christ Knows"  (Cold Spring)  cd  15.98
ALPS, THE  "Jewelt Galaxies / Spirit Shambles"  (Spekk)  cd  17.98
NAPALM DEATH  "Scum"  (Earache)  cd + dvd/picture disc lp  14.98/15.98
V/A  "Passions Of Laja Aijala"  (Bad Vugum)  cd  16.98
TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS  "Live Stockholm July, 1971"  (Walhalla)  2cd  33.00
LERMAN, RICHARD  "Music Of Richard Lerman 1964-1987 - Featuring Travelon Gamelon (Music For Bicycles)"  (EM Records)  cd  29.00
SIEGE  "Drop Dead"  (Deranged)  cd  16.98
BEE GEES  "1st"  (Reprise)  2cd  23.00
CIRCLE X  "s/t"  (Dexter's Cigar)  cd  13.98
WARPIG  "s/t"  (Relapse)  cd  14.98
SKULLFLOWER  "IIIrd Gatekeeper"  (Crucial Blast)  cd  14.98
ACRIMONY  "Tumuli Shroomaroom"  (Leaf Hound)  cd  16.98

and of course ALL the Trollmann Av Ildtoppberg cds...


Wu-Tang Clan "Wolves (Featuring George Clinton) from 8 Diagrams
Birdman "100 Million (Featuring Lil' Wayne, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Dre)" from 5 Star Stunna


Still having a lady friend that not only lets me listen to all this stuff, but actually likes most of it herself! I love you H. 



MORNING RECORDINGS The Welcome Kinetic cd
NEUROSIS Given To The Rising cd
PATTON OSWALT Werewolves And Lollipops cd
PLEASURE FOREVER Bodies Need Rest cd
EMMA POLLOCK Watch The Fireworks cd

LAURIE ANDERSON Big Science - 25th Anniversary Edition cd
BEE GEES 1st, Horizontal and Idea 2cd
CHUBBY CHECKER Goes Psychedelic cd
CLUSTER Zuckerzeit cd
BETTY DAVIS S/T and They Say I'm Different cd
FAUST So Far cd
MARINE GIRLS Lazy Ways / Beach Party cd
DAPHNE ORAM Oramics 2cd
SECRET CHIEFS 3 Path Of Most Resistance cd
SPARKS No. 1 In Heaven cd
TURBONEGRO Apocalypse Dudes and Ass Cobra cd
YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS Colossal Youth & Collected Works 3cd

KENNETH ANGER The Films Of Kenneth Anger: Volume One 2dvd
KENNETH ANGER The Films Of Kenneth Anger: Volume Two 2dvd
ISIS AQUARIAN WITH ELECTRICITY AQUARIAN The Source: The Untold Story Of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 And The Source Family book
ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY The Films Of Alejandro Jodorowsky: Fando Y Lis, El Topo, The Holy Mountain 4dvd/2cd
WINSOR MCCAY Little Sammy Sneeze: The Complete Color Sunday Comics 1904-1905 book

Ghostbusters at the Castro Theatre 09.21.2007
I Am Spoonbender at the Mezzanine 05.11.07 (our first live performance in four years!)
Performing a Spoonbender 1.1.1 live score at the Castro Theatre 11.01.07
The reissue of all three cub albums (Betti-Cola, Come Out Come Out, and Box Of Hair)
Commencing work on a collaboration with Matt Waldron of Irr.App.(Ext.)
Co-designing a floatie pen for Nardwuar The Human Serviette
THE Oster Professional Series Blender!


IRWIN's favorite new records of Œ07:

m.i.a - kala
pj harvey - white chalk
panda bear - person pitch
tinariwen - aman iman: water is life
jeremy jay - airwalker
v/a - after dark
v/a - dirty space disco
sharon jones - 100 days & 100 nights
nicole willis & the soul investigators - keep reachin
omar souleyman - highway to hassake
caetano veloso - ce
chromatics - night drive
blonde redhead - 23
boredoms - super roots 9
rhys chatham - a crimson grail
jenny hoyston - isle of

my favorite reissues/comps & collections that came out
this year:
eroc - 1
gerard manset - 1969
betty harris - lost soul queen
chubby checker - goes psychedelic
tony allen - afro disco  beat
phillip cohran - on the beach
j dilla - ruff draft
elliott smith - new moon
vashti bunyan - some things just stick in your head
eduardo mateo - mateo solo bien se lame
v/a - new york latin hustle
v/a - thai pop spectacular
v/a - super cool california soul 2
v/a - eccentric soul: outskirts of deep city
v/a - folk is not a four letter word vol.2
favorite song/video of the year:
snoop dog - sensual seduction

old records discovered this year that i¹ve fallen in love with:
magical power mako - super record
t.p. connection - dreams
loose joints - is it all over my face 12²
lifetones - for a reason
moebius - tonspuren
ramp - come into knowledge
heldon - allez teia
rotary connection - s/t
patrick juvet - paris by night
caetano veloso - transa
new order - 1981 - factus 8 - 1982
moshudi durojaive - s/t
virginia astley - from gardens where we feel secure
gina x - yinglish
patrick cowley - megatron man
donna summer - four seasons of love / love to love you baby
christine perfect - s/t



Harvey Milk- My Love Is higher reissue
The Field- From Here We Go Sublime
Omar Souleyman- Highway To Hassake
V/A- Studio One Roots vol.3
Burial- Untrue
Pussygutt- Sea Of Sand
HAPPY MEAL- Matarte (deck)
Cloaks- A Crystal Skull In Peru
Monarch- Deadmen Tell NO Tales
DAFT PUNK-ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



New Releases:

Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Deerhunter - Cryptograms / Fluorescent Grey EP
Battles- Mirrored
The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
White Rainbow - Prism Of Eternal Now
Electrelane - No Shouts, No Calls
Caetano Veloso - Ce
Group Inerane - Guitars From Agadez
A Sunny Day in Glascow  - Scrible Mural Comic Journal
Nicole Willis - Keep Reachin' Up

Reissues a/o Compilations:

Porter Wagoner: Rubber Room
Lee Hazlewood - The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood
Dorothy Ashby - Afro-Harpin' / The Rubiayat of Dorothy Ashby
Eroc - 1
V/A - Brazil '70
Harmonia -  Deluxe
Seefeel - Quique
V/A - Dirty Space Disco
Malachi - Holy Music
The Dragons - BFI

Runners Up (New and Reissued):

Wooden Shjips - s/t
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
Jeremy Jay - Airwalker
Tinariwen - Aman: Water
V/A - I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore LP
Daphne Oram - Oramics
Jorge Ben - Forca Buta
Arp - In Light
V/A- Soul Jazz Singles
Gui Boratto - Chromaphobia


Alejandro Jodorowsky - Box Set
Kenneth Anger- The Films Vol. 1 and 2
Metalocalypse - Season One



Burial "Untrue" CD (Hyperdub)
Chromatics "Night Drive IV" CD (Italians Do It Better / Troubleman)
BJ Nilsen "The Short Night" CD (Touch)
Climax Golden Twins "Five Cents a Piece" LP (Abduction)
Matt Shoemaker "Spots in the Sun" CD (Helen Scarsdale)
v/a "Cassettencombinat" 5LP (Vinyl on Demand)
Tarab "Wind Keeps Even Dust Away" CD (23five)
Von Sudenfed "Tromatic Reflexxions" CD (Domino)
jgrzinich "Rudiments of Two" CD (Edition Sonoro)
RST "Other Machines" (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon)
irr. app. (ext.) "Cosmic Superimposition" (Errata in Excelsis)
Harmonia "Live" CD (Water)
These New Puritans "Navigate, Navigate" 12" (Angular)
Yui Onodera "Suisei" CD (and/OAR)
We Are The Physics "Fear of Words" 7" (One Records)
Dial "168K" CD (Cede)
Andrew Chalk "The River That Flows Into The Sands II" CD (Faraway Press)
RV Paintings "Trinity Rivers" CD (Root Strata)


Lauren's tops for 2007 (maybe a couple from late '06). In no particular order after the top 2.

Best New Stuff
Tinariwen: Aman Iman- Water is Life
Witchcraft: The Alchemist
Circle: Arkades
Pekos/Yoro Diallo: s/t
Titan: A Raining Sun of Light and Love for You, and You, and You
Souleyman, Omar: Highway to Hassake (Folk & Pop Sounds of Syria)
Nadler, Marissa: Songs III Bud on the Water
Malmberg, Erik: Verklighet & Beat
Mammatus: The Coast Explodes
Vieux Farka Toure: s/t
Expo '70: Animism
v/a: Lipa Kodi Ya City Council
Aquarian, Isis with Electricity Aquarian: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya
Ho Wa 13, & The Source Family (Book)
Hengst, Cliff & Scott Hewicker: Good Times, Bad Trips-Bad Trips (Book)
JapRockSampler: Julian Cope (Book)

Best Reissues
Harmonia: ALL!!!!!
Jodorovsky, Alejandro with Don Cherry: Holy Mountain (OST) plus DVD Box!!
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (OST)
Bee Gees: All of 'Em!!
Le Planete Sauvage (OST)
Ougenweide: s/t and All Die Weil Ich Mag
Young, Neil: Live at Massey Hall 1971
Eroc: 1
Scorpions: Lonesome Crow
Riley, Terry: Les Yeux Fermes & Lifespan
Harris, Betty: The Lost Soul Queen
Riot: Narita
Bunyan, Vashti: Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind
Ashby, Dorothy: The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby
Briggs, Anne: The Time Has Come
Checker, Chubby: Goes Psychedelic
Davis, Betty: s/t & They Say I'm Different
Crosby, David: If Only I Could Remember My Name
Tully: Sea of Joy
Rother, Michael: Fernwarme
Trimble, Bob: Harvest of Dreams



forever amber - the love cycle
hala strana - Heave the Gabmrel Roof
jeremy jay - airwalker
of - the sun and earth together
panda bear -  person pitch
pumice - pebbles
the story - arcane rising
neil young - live at massey hall 
richard youngs - autumn response
and all the bee gees, harmonia, this heat and cluster reissues!!


Sally's Favorites of 2007 (alphabetically listed):

Blonde Redhead - 23
Burial - Untrue
Chromatics - IV: Night Drive (OST)
Field, The - From Here We Go Sublime
Justice - Cross
Lekman, Jens - Night Falls Over Kortedala
M.I.A. - Kala
Morning Recordings - The Welcome Kinetic
No Age - Weirdo Rippers
V/A - After Dark



2) v/a Hyphy hitz 07
3) M.I.A. Kala
4) v/a Discovered (Daft Punk Samples)
5) Von Sudenfed
6) Gerard Manset 1968
7) Modeselektor - happy birthday
8) v/a So Young but So Cold
9) v/a After Dark
10) Eroc 1
11) Battles - Mirrored
12) Simian Mobile Disco- A.D.S.R.
13) Holy Fuck LP
14) v/a Museum Of Future Sound
15) v/a Dirty Space Disco
My favorite album and artist of all time (which I listened to heavily throughout 2007) - Jackson and His Computer Band - "Smash" 2005!!



Top 25 (I'm sure some things are being left out, oh, and this is alphabetical, obviously)
Boris wth Michio Kurihara ­ Rainbow (Drag City/Inoxia)
Circle of Ouroborus ­ Streams (True Face of Evil)
Cluster ­ Zuckerzeit (Lilith)
Efdemin ­ s/t (Dial)
Fennesz ­ Endless Summer (Editions Mego)
Fire Engines ­ Hungry Beat (Acute)
Harmonia ­ Live 1974 (Water)
Jeremy Jay ­ Airwalker EP (K Records)
Kluster ­ Zwei/Osterei
Eric Malmberg - Verklighet & Beat (Hapna)
John Maus ­ Love is Real (Upset! The Rhythm)
Monarch ­ Die Tonight (Throne)
No Age ­ Weirdo Rippers (Fat Cat)
Pantha Du Prince ­ This Bliss (Dial)
Pylon ­ Gyrate (DFA)
Sleeparchive ­ Papercup (Sleeparchive)
The Soft Machine ­ Volume Two (Water)
Sunn O))) ­ Oracle (Southern Lord)
A Sunny Day in Glasgow ­ Scribble Mural Comic Journal (Notenuf)
Throbbing Gristle ­ Part Two: The Endless Not (Mute)
Tunnels - Cluster of Rainbows for the Angel Who Announces the End of Time (JK)
v/a ­ Lipa Kodi Ya City Council
v/a ­ Expansion | Contraction (M_nus)
Valet ­ Naked Acid (Kranky)
White Rainbow ­ Prism of Eternal Now (Kranky/Marriage)



A list of 16 things hastily prepared by Michael who has only been
working here for a week, wasn't really expecting to have to do this,
and is probably going to forget a lot of really obvious stuff:

30 Rock Season One
Battles - Mirrorred
Blonde Rehead - 23
Bone Awl - Meaningless Leaning Mess
Boredoms - 77 Boadrum in NYC
Dog Day - Night Group
Harmonia - Live 1974
Karen Dalton - In My Own Time
The Memories Attack - s/t
Nadja - Touched
R. Kelly - Trapped in the Closet Chs. 13-22
Tujiko Noriko - Solo
v/a - Home Schooled
v/a - Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama
v/a - BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979-1985
VKNGS - s/t 12"



Middian may not be dead after all........
As many of you know, Middian received a cease and desist demand in
October from Midian of Milwaukee LLC. This demand required Middian to
stop using our name completely, stop selling our album, and further
demanded that all of our recorded cds and albums be destroyed. Middian
was served a cease and desist by a band that has never played outside
of Wisconsin, hasn't put out a single record, or had a steady line up
in the last 7 years. They hadn't even updated their website since year
2000, as of a few weeks ago. We played Milwaukee in May, and no one
there even mentioned a local band Midian of one "d". Nor did one of
their "fans" come to the show.
Prior to this demand, we had never heard of them. Upon further
research into the group, we discovered they had not used their name or
trademark in years or even played outside of Wisconsin, ever. Our
initial response was that our bands could peacefully co-exist.
Especially since we learned that our usage combined with their
non-usage entitled us to the name, rendering their trademark useless.
But we felt it would be wasting everyones time and money to send the
issue to litigation. Besides, before the name Middian was chosen, a
careful online search was done, proving that no other active unit had
the same spelling.
Instead of responding or agreeing to our offer of co-existence,
they filed a federal suit against the three of us individually, our
label (Metal Blade, who dropped us because of the suit), our booking
agent Nanotear Booking, and an online merchandiser we had never even
heard of until we saw the complaint.
We sent them word that we would give the name up and even
agreed to some other demands that seemed unreasonable, simply because
we're not in a financial position to fight it.
They refused to accept our settlement, demanding we pay them
tens of thousands of dollars. By right of actual usage worlwide, the
name Middian is ours. Regardless of that we have no choice but to FIGHT
and defend ourselves in court. We intend to strip them of their
trademark and deny them their unfair demands of money and of our music.
We're humbly asking for YOUR help. Spread the word far and wide, to
wherever you can. If you can afford it, please donate some money to our
defense fund. We're going to have A LOT of legal fees and we're simply not
in a position to pay for it by ourselves. There is a link at
www.middian.org under the "Middian Defense Fund" entry on our news page.

We would like to thank everyone that has sent us messages. The underground
metal community's love has simply been overwhelming.
With your help and support, Middian will stand triumphant against this
truly evil attack on our persons and families.
Mike, Scott, Will, and Nanotear Booking.



Lots of love from your devoted AQ staff

Andee Cup Jim AllanLaurenAshleyPamChristineIrwinMattScottSallyAntaeusCameronandMichael

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