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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


MECKI MARK MEN Marathon (Universal) cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
3rd album from this Swedish psych act, recorded in Chicago in 1970. Lots of folks apparently LOVE this album but we thought it sounded like (bad) blues rock, too bad 'cause we liked the other MMM reissue that preceeded this one.

album cover MECKI MARK MEN Running In The Summer Night (Universal ) cd 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
I've been wanting to hear an album by these swingin' sixties Swedes for a long time, and at last one's been finally reissued on cd...yeah, I've been curious about 'em ever since I heard the fab Mecki Mark Men track found on the Cherrystones Rocks compilation we reviewed a while back...and also on account of how drumming for the Mecki Mark Men was the original gig of Thomas Mera Gartz before he ended up in AQ faves Parson Sound/International Harvester/Trad Gras Och Stenar! And not only that, but I also knew that the Mecki Mark Men had toured with Jimi Hendrix, and boasted a Hammond organ player who was said to have emulated Hendrix' showmanship on his own instrument (and, as you'll hear on this cd, also seemingly modelled his vocals after those of Hendrix). That's Mecki Bodemark we're talking about, the leader of Mecki Mark Men in their various incarnations. The band debuted with their first album in 1967 (which was released, oddly enough, in the USA in '68, where apparently they had some success, including coming over here to tour in 1970). Their second album came out in '69, featuring a new lineup (no Thomas Mera Gartz -- in fact the musicians on this album consisted of Mecki Bodemark plus members of another band entirely, the Baby Grandmothers). That's this album, Running In The Summer Night. And it's pretty cool platter of dramatic, psychedelic rock and R&B, some very trippy stuff but rockin' for sure. Lots of organ, lots of Hendrixy vocals, plenty of fuzz and some flute...quite a bit like what Swedish band Dungen is doing today in fact. Doubtless the Dungen dude has this album amongst others of its ilk in his collection... If not, I'm sure he's gonna go buy this reissue! In a nice digipack with photos/graphics and liner notes galore. Hopefully the band's other two albums will be reissued as well...
MPEG Stream: "Playing Child"
MPEG Stream: "Future On The Road"

album cover MECKI MARK MEN s/t (Mellotronen / Universal) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The folks at the Mellotronen label (who brought us Solid Ground, Life, Charlie & Esdor and other Scandinavian 'progg' treats) told us we'd want to get a bunch of these and boy they were right! It's the long-awaited reissue of the eponymous 1967 debut album from Swedish swingin' sixties psych-pop combo the Mecki Mark Men... We've had Mellotronen's other couple of MMM reissues, especially liking Running In The Summer Night, but this is even better. It's got the original MMM lineup, featuring of course band leader Mecki Bodemark and also drummer Thomas Mera Gartz, later of International Harvester and Trad Gras Och Stenar. Definitely influenced by the heavy psychedelic excesses of Jimi Hendrix (with whom they toured, briefly), Mecki Mark Men also conjure a groovy hipster nightclub vibe, with Gartz's jazzy drumming, and Bodemark's woozy organ jamming. Woozy too are his wasted, druggy vox, which sound a bit like Hendrix too. There's also doses of buzzing sitar, shimmering vibraphone, flute, and some fat sax blat. It's a wild, wonderful blend of fuzzy freaky drone and finger snapping, toe tapping catchy pop songwriting, wrapped into one psychedelic, shambolic whole. There's just something indefinably genius about this. Recommended, definitely for fans of Baby Grandmothers and Hansson and Karlsson and today's retro Swedish psych-pop sensations Dungen as well. This reissue is remixed and remastered, presented in a digipack with four bonus tracks.
MPEG Stream: "Free"
MPEG Stream: "Scream"
MPEG Stream: "Get Up"

MECO Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk (Mercury) cd 11.98

album cover MEDEH, HADRAMI OULD Kamlat / La Mone (Mississippi) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
**MISSISSIPPI RECORDS ALERT** **MISSISSIPPI RECORDS ALERT** **MISSISSIPPI RECORDS ALERT**
A gorgeous unearthed gem from Mississippi records, two tracks from Mauritanian singer and guitarist Hadrami Ould Medeh, a member of L'Orchestre Nationale de Mauritanie, the first modern Mauritanian musical group, this single originally pressed up in Lebanon and released in 1970, or more accurately, given away free to friends and family, this new version is an exact reproduction of that original single, right down to the label, and the fact that there's almost no English text on the sleeve or the label. But throw it on and you'll be blown away. If like us you didn't know where Mauritania is, it borders Mali, which makes sense sonically when you hear this. You've likely heard similar sounds on some Sublime Frequencies comp, and in fact, anyone into SF stuff will want to nab this quick, fluttering flutes, muted wah wah guitars, shuffling drums, and the vocals, emotional and oh so lovely, another comparison would be the Ethiopiques series, as this definitely sounds similar. No sound sample, but check out this video, and you'll be sold:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTbQfcY7N1A&NR=1
And while you're at it, check out this one too:
http://youtu.be/ud8fm-Pjbd0
MPEG Stream: "Kamlat"
MPEG Stream: "La Mone"

MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD Book of 11 (Masada) cd 16.98

MEDESKI, MARTIN & WOOD Combustication (Blue Note) 15.98
Newest from this popular jazz combo.

MEDESKI, MARTIN & WOOD Combustication Remix EP (Blue Note) cdep 11.98
The super-popular jazz organ trio get remixed by The Automator, Bill Laswell (of course), Guru, Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto), and a couple others.

MEDESKI, MARTIN & WOOD The Dropper (Blue Note) cd 15.98

album cover MEDICINE Box Set (Captured Tracks) 4lp Box + cassette 80.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Of the seemingly hundreds and hundreds of Record Store Day releases, we figured that probably most folks were gonna be dying for that Flaming Lips collaborative double lp (reviewed elsewhere on this week's list), but we found ourselves being way more excited about the Medicine box, a massive 5 lp set collecting the first two albums (as well as an ep and TONS of extras) from this legendary L.A. shoegaze / dreampop outift. One of the few American bands to be on the Creation label, Medicine spent the early nineties crafting some of the most glorious and gloriously blissed out experimental psychedelic shoegaze pop EVER. Their sound simultaneously heavy and tripped out, experimental and impossibly catchy, the guitars thick and lush and layered, soaring and so gloriously melodic, like a soft focus My Bloody Valentine, the vocals ethereal and washed out, definitely of the same era as Smashing Pumpkins, but where the Pumpkins had their sights set on arenas and mainstream acceptance, Medicine seemed to spurn such things, taking perfectly perfect pop songs, and pulling them apart, stretching out two minute gems into six minute psychedelic blowouts, their music as much about texture and arrangements, experimentation and exploration as songcraft. But excelling at both in a way few have since. Hearing this stuff now, it sounds as fresh as ever, and groups like M83, A Place To Bury Strangers, Alcest, Health, Serena-Maneesh, Jesu, Phoenix, and all the rest, most definitely owe Medicine royalties big time. And heck if that list looks like your record collection, and for some reason you DON'T have these Medicine records, now's the time to right that wrong.
We could go through both 1992's Shot Forth Self Living and 1993's The Buried Life, and describe our favorite tracks, but we'd most likely end up describing every single track. Even now, we don't hear a weak track in the bunch, and what sounds cool and strange and experimental now, must have sounded revolutionary and downright insane in the early nineties, especially for a major label band, and it just may have been what kept Medicine from achieving Pumpkins like fame, although we like to think it was cuz they just didn't give a fuck, and refused to play the game, and instead concerned themselves with making some of the weirdest, coolest, most tripped out pop music they could conjure up. Which is exactly what they did.
This boxset contains super deluxe double lp versions of both Shot Forth Self Living and The Buried Life, each record expanded with tones of bonus tracks, B-sides and demos, also included is the Sounds Of Medicine EP from 1994, here with two live bonus tracks not included on the original, there's also a pin and a photo, as well as a live 90 minute cassette called Always Starting To Stop, a collection of live recordings captured between 1992-1994 at various shows in the US and the UK, all housed in a super swank printed black and red box. This was a Record Store Day release, and was thus EXTREMELY limited, and is in fact already out of print. We have just FOUR copies of this box remaining, and once those are gone, they are gone for good!
MPEG Stream: "One More"
MPEG Stream: "Aruca"
MPEG Stream: "Defective"
MPEG Stream: "The Pink"
MPEG Stream: "Baby Doll"
MPEG Stream: "Slut"

album cover MEDICINE Home Everywhere (Captured Tracks) cd 15.98
Home Everywhere marks the second album in the return to the limelight for Medicine, a band that still garners the pithy epithet as an American equivalent to My Bloody Valentine. When Medicine burst onto the scene as the first American band to get signed to Creation Records in the early '90s, Loveless had only begun to ooze into the musical landscape, with bands like Teenage Filmstars, the Swirlies, and Medicine to take the idea of My Bloody Valentine's resampling and art-pop deconstruction as a zeitgeist to blossom and not merely as an oceanic wash of dream-pop / drone-on psychedelia. Medicine's initial recordings were cut from the same cloth as any punk band circa 1977 being inspired by the Sex Pistols. There was a license to take the ideas first proposed by My Bloody Valentine and go for broke on them. Throughout the '90s, Medicine produced some amazing records that got largely overlooked; and not surprisingly, the band called it quits. When the itch to reform came, Medicine's return was a delightful surprise as it was exactly what we had hoped Medicine would sound like - harmonic noise-laden overdrive, swoonsome vocal harmonies from vocalist Beth Thompson, and some pretty fucking catchy hooks ripping throughout. Home Everywhere is far more decentered and purposefully destabilizing as the baroque paisley pop structures are smashed against the floor with the blindingly sharp shards of noise, rhythm, and melody are pieced back together through an entirely different logic. It's a logic that speaks more of Brian Wilson at his grandest and most lysergic. The songs of Home Everywhere dissolve, tumble, and fragment; and it's hard to tell how much of that is by design of these experiments intentionally shattering their contents. Don't really know how to peg it in just the right way, but we'll just say that Los Angeles has always had its share of weirdos flying their freak-flags a top the Hollywood sign; and Medicine's refusnik noise-pop demolitions seems to adhere to that ethos.
MPEG Stream: "The Reclaimed Girl"
MPEG Stream: "Turning"
MPEG Stream: "Cold Life"

album cover MEDICINE Home Everywhere (Captured Tracks) lp 17.98
ALSO ON VINYL!
Home Everywhere marks the second album in the return to the limelight for Medicine, a band that still garners the pithy epithet as an American equivalent to My Bloody Valentine. When Medicine burst onto the scene as the first American band to get signed to Creation Records in the early '90s, Loveless had only begun to ooze into the musical landscape, with bands like Teenage Filmstars, the Swirlies, and Medicine to take the idea of My Bloody Valentine's resampling and art-pop deconstruction as a zeitgeist to blossom and not merely as an oceanic wash of dream-pop / drone-on psychedelia. Medicine's initial recordings were cut from the same cloth as any punk band circa 1977 being inspired by the Sex Pistols. There was a license to take the ideas first proposed by My Bloody Valentine and go for broke on them. Throughout the '90s, Medicine produced some amazing records that got largely overlooked; and not surprisingly, the band called it quits. When the itch to reform came, Medicine's return was a delightful surprise as it was exactly what we had hoped Medicine would sound like -- harmonic noise-laden overdrive, swoon-some vocal harmonies from vocalist Beth Thompson, and some pretty fucking catchy hooks ripping throughout. Home Everywhere is far more decentered and purposefully destabilizing as the baroque paisley pop structures are smashed against the floor with the blindingly sharp shards of noise, rhyhtm, and melody are pieced back together through an entirely different logic. It's a logic that speaks more of Brian Wilson at his grandest and most lysergic. The songs of Home Everywhere dissolve, tumble, and fragment; and its hard to tell how much of that is by design of these experiments intentionally shattering their contents. Don't really know how to peg it in just the right way, but we'll just say that Los Angeles has always had its share of weirdos flying their freak-flags a top the Hollywood sign; and Medicine's refusnik noise-pop demolitions seems to adhere to that ethos.
MPEG Stream: "The Reclaimed Girl"
MPEG Stream: "Turning"
MPEG Stream: "Cold Life"

album cover MEDICINE Shot Forth Self Living (Captured Tracks) 2cd 14.98
Shot Forth Self Living was the 1992 debut from this legendary LA shoegaze / dreampop outfit, and was recently included in a massive, super limited 5lp boxset collecting Medicine's first two albums (as well as an ep and TONS of extras) that came out for Record Store Day 2012, but has now also thankfully been released on its own, as a deluxe double cd, with a whole mess of bonus tracks and rarities.
One of the few American bands to be on the Creation label, Medicine spent the early nineties crafting some of the most glorious and gloriously blissed out experimental psychedelic shoegaze pop EVER. Their sound simultaneously heavy and tripped out, experimental and impossibly catchy, the guitars thick and lush and layered, soaring and so gloriously melodic, like a soft focus My Bloody Valentine, the vocals ethereal and washed out, definitely of the same era as Smashing Pumpkins, but where the Pumpkins had their sights set on arenas and mainstream acceptance, Medicine seemed to spurn such things, taking perfectly perfect pop songs, and pulling them apart, stretching out two minute gems into six minute psychedelic blowouts, their music as much about texture and arrangements, experimentation and exploration as songcraft. But excelling at both in a way few have since. Fans of experimental pop groups like Teenage Filmstars, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and the like will definitely fall in love, if they weren't already. Hearing this stuff now, it sounds as fresh as ever, and groups like M83, A Place To Bury Strangers, Alcest, Health, Serena-Maneesh, Jesu, Phoenix, and all the rest, most definitely owe Medicine royalties big time. And heck if that list looks like your record collection, and for some reason you DON'T have these Medicine records, now's the time to right that wrong.
We could go through both 1992's Shot Forth Self Living and 1993's The Buried Life, and describe our favorite tracks, but we'd most likely end up describing every single track. Even now, we don't hear a weak track in the bunch, and what sounds cool and strange and experimental now, must have sounded revolutionary and downright insane in the early nineties, especially for a major label band, and it just may have been what kept Medicine from achieving Pumpkins like fame, although we like to think it was cuz they just didn't give a fuck, and refused to play the game, and instead concerned themselves with making some of the weirdest, coolest, most tripped out pop music they could conjure up. Which is exactly what they did.
MPEG Stream: "One More"
MPEG Stream: "Aruca"
MPEG Stream: "Defective"

album cover MEDICINE The Buried Life (Captured Tracks) 2cd 14.98
The Buried Life was the 1993 follow up to the Medicine's amazing debut Shot Forth Self Living, and was further proof of just how amazing this legendary LA shoegaze / dreampop outfit really was, and was recently included in a massive, super limited 5lp boxset collecting Medicine's first two albums (as well as an ep and TONS of extras) that came out for Record Store Day 2012, but has now also thankfully been released on its own, as a deluxe double cd, with a whole mess of bonus tracks and rarities.
One of the few American bands to be on the Creation label, Medicine spent the early nineties crafting some of the most glorious and gloriously blissed out experimental psychedelic shoegaze pop EVER. Their sound simultaneously heavy and tripped out, experimental and impossibly catchy, the guitars thick and lush and layered, soaring and so gloriously melodic, like a soft focus My Bloody Valentine, the vocals ethereal and washed out, definitely of the same era as Smashing Pumpkins, but where the Pumpkins had their sights set on arenas and mainstream acceptance, Medicine seemed to spurn such things, taking perfectly perfect pop songs, and pulling them apart, stretching out two minute gems into six minute psychedelic blowouts, their music as much about texture and arrangements, experimentation and exploration as songcraft. But excelling at both in a way few have since. Fans of experimental pop groups like Teenage Filmstars, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and the like will definitely fall in love, if they weren't already. Hearing this stuff now, it sounds as fresh as ever, and groups like M83, A Place To Bury Strangers, Alcest, Health, Serena-Maneesh, Jesu, Phoenix, and all the rest, most definitely owe Medicine royalties big time. And heck if that list looks like your record collection, and for some reason you DON'T have these Medicine records, now's the time to right that wrong.
We could go through both 1992's Shot Forth Self Living and 1993's The Buried Life, and describe our favorite tracks, but we'd most likely end up describing every single track. Even now, we don't hear a weak track in the bunch, and what sounds cool and strange and experimental now, must have sounded revolutionary and downright insane in the early nineties, especially for a major label band, and it just may have been what kept Medicine from achieving Pumpkins like fame, although we like to think it was cuz they just didn't give a fuck, and refused to play the game, and instead concerned themselves with making some of the weirdest, coolest, most tripped out pop music they could conjure up. Which is exactly what they did.
MPEG Stream: "The Pink"
MPEG Stream: "Baby Doll"
MPEG Stream: "Slut"

MEDICINE Time Baby 2 (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98

album cover MEDICO DOKTOR VIBES Liter Thru Dorker Vibes (Companion) cd 14.98
THIS AMAZING REISSUE, A RECORD OF THE WEEK FROM LAST YEAR, NOW AVAILABLE ON CD! AND RECORD OF THE WEEK AGAIN OF COURSE!! Here's what we said 'bout the vinyl version:
Few records in recent memory have had us so excited in anticipation for their release, but this outsider visionary gem is so unquantifiably unique that it has worked its magical charm on us in such an intense way that we knew we had to make it Record Of The Week. Even before we heard a lick of music, the album cover, title and artist had us asking so many questions. That simple but puzzling orange cover with a vintage stock photo of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the mysterious and oddly misspelled title, Liter Thru Dorker Vibes, by an even more mysterious and misspelled artist name, Medico Doktor Vibes. Dorker Vibes??? What on earth could this be? Only a small text in the bottom right corner that said, 1979 Compton, CA and the record label Bi-Russell Records offered any clues to its origins. But the music inside, even stranger still is a primitive bedroom concoction of Caribbean-inflected outsider rock made with electric guitar, kalimba, synthesizer and drum machine that is an equally woozy, weird and introspective set of spell-casting witch-doctor psych groove.
Folks who bought Johan Kugelberg's excellent book on Private Press records, Enjoy The Experience, may recognize the cover as it was featured in that book as well as the opening song, "Diska Limba Man" which was included on the companion musical compilation, but its curious lack of back story in the book only give the record a more mysterious aura as if beamed into our world from another dimension. And it's almost like it was, as this record was just discovered at an Oakland Colosseum flea market only a few years back and made its way to the ever-curious vanity record enthusiasts at Companion Records. Companion, who have brought us some incredible private press reissues from Stan Hubbs, Michael Farneti, The New Creation, Marc Mundy and Luie Luie, did the legwork (with help from Rob Sevier of Numero Group) to track down the artist, who it turns out is a Guyanese man named Bill Russell, and worked with him to see this unique release resurrected. True to Companion's mission, they have reissued the record in the same form as the original with an old style tip-on sleeve, blank back cover and no liner notes, so as to experience the record as it is, unfettered from preconceptions. However, we did press the label for a little context and we'll get into some of the record's back-story a little later.
Each of the seven songs here vary in tone, but they are united by the instrumentation mentioned above in different combinations and Russell's accented softly mumbled delivery, as well as a seemingly urgent determination to get each song recorded as envisioned. As primitive as the recording and performances are, every song seems to have a deliberate focus, with moodier songs on side one and more rocking songs on side two. The record doesn't seem to have been made to promote himself as a professional or as a demo to make better produced recordings. In that, it is a perfect one-off record, its only obvious influential musical touchstones apart from some Caribbean musical rhythms, might be a bit of Santana and Hendrix perhaps (though this doesn't quite reach their heights, quite the opposite), but we're hearing a bit of Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Otis G. Johnson and even some Suicide in there too. It really just sounds like Russell plugged all his instruments directly into a 4-track, hit record and worked around the mistakes, never letting them curtail his vision.
The opener, "Diska Limba Man" sets the tone with an off-kilter synth sequencer and wonky slow-disco rhythm, the tempo slowing down and speeding up in an elliptical groove while an electric guitar and a tinny kalimba add melody and texture respectively. Russell's voice thickly accented but emerging from an introspective murmer sings of a small musical instrument and the man who plays it, embarking on a hypnotic repetition as the song progresses into a sort of subdued dark disco trance. The second track, "Kalimba Tune", is just that, the kalimba alone in a beautifully played magical weaving instrumental that borders on the minimalist composition of Philip Glass. The third track, "Take A Closer Look" ends the first side with a slow looping organ dirge with a loping martial rhythm, inflected with a simmering guitar melody that adds a mystical resonance. The song urging the listener to "take a closer look at the life you are living" points to the lighter ("liter") and darker ("dorker") vibes the album title implies.
Side two has more of a heavier rock feel. "Givers of Affection" opens with a motorcycle blues guitar riff and what sound like harmonica blasts and rudimentary drum machine in a Canned Heat style, Russell's voice double tracked in a driving falsetto. "Lonely No More" has a more laid back sunbaked Zam-rock vibe, with funky Caribbean rhythms and freaked out synth leads, filtered through homegrown distortion and double tracked vocals layered incongruously into a strange psychedelic brew. "Dig This Calypso" is a stoned sunny and breezy take on the origins of the calypso beat, and we're usually not that big on calypso, but as with all the songs on the second side, this one layered with warm distortion and gritty guitar squalls all filtered back in a lo-fi Caribbean funk groove, makes it one of the better calypso inspired songs we've heard. The final track, "Water Late" is an instrumental with a medium-fast shuffled martial rhythm, and some seriously wonky exploratory guitar leads as if Doug Blunt was fronting some primitive cave rock band like Cromagnon. It ends the record on a slightly open ended note as we're left to wonder what in the hell did we just listen to? But that is exactly the kind of naive quality in this record that makes us want to put it back on and listen to it again, figure out the words and try and put together what it all means, and why for all of its outsider artistry, these songs remain so hopelessly and wonderfully implanted in our brains. And most importantly, who or what is Medico Doktor Vibes?
The folks at Companion filled us in a bit. Bill Russell is an immigrant from Guyana who came to the United States and served in the U.S. military in the seventies. He came from a musical family and after serving, settled in the LA suburb of Compton and decided to make a record. He bought the recording equipment and instruments he used on the record all at once and set about making this one and only lp. He chose the cover image carefully by color because he thought it matched the mood of the record and thought it would appeal to people, even though he oddly didn't notice the Golden Gate Bridge, or at least it didn't register any additional symbolic meaning for him and he didn't have any Bay Area connection. The title though intentional is logically vague. The story goes that Russell saw the recording as a bridge between "light" and "dark" people, but felt that just calling it Lighter Through Darker Vibes was too politically charged and so he twisted the words to "Liter" and "Dorker" in avoidance (this must have been before the word "dork" came into a more common parlance). His hopes were that both Light and Dark people would come together and groove out to his music , though it was distributed modestly with only 100 original copies and went absolutely nowhere. Perhaps now with this reissue, Russell's original vision will finally come to pass. We certainly hope so.
MPEG Stream: "Diska Limba Man"
MPEG Stream: "Kalimba Tune"
MPEG Stream: "Take A Closer Look"
MPEG Stream: "Givers of Affection"

album cover MEDICO DOKTOR VIBES Liter Thru Dorker Vibes (Companion) lp 26.00
Few records in recent memory have had us so excited in anticipation for their release, but this outsider visionary gem is so unquantifiably unique that it has worked its magical charm on us in such an intense way that we knew we had to make it Record Of The Week. Even before we heard a lick of music, the album cover, title and artist had us asking so many questions. That simple but puzzling orange cover with a vintage stock photo of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the mysterious and oddly misspelled title, Liter Thru Dorker Vibes, by an even more mysterious and misspelled artist name, Medico Doktor Vibes. Dorker Vibes??? What on earth could this be? Only a small text in the bottom right corner that said, 1979 Compton, CA and the record label Bi-Russell Records offered any clues to its origins. But the music inside, even stranger still is a primitive bedroom concoction of Caribbean-inflected outsider rock made with electric guitar, kalimba, synthesizer and drum machine that is an equally woozy, weird and introspective set of spell-casting witch-doctor psych groove.
Folks who bought Johan Kugelberg's excellent book on Private Press records, Enjoy The Experience, may recognize the cover as it was featured in that book as well as the opening song, "Diska Limba Man" which was included on the companion musical compilation, but its curious lack of back story in the book only give the record a more mysterious aura as if beamed into our world from another dimension. And it's almost like it was, as this record was just discovered at an Oakland Colosseum flea market only a few years back and made its way to the ever-curious vanity record enthusiasts at Companion Records. Companion, who has brought us some incredible private press reissues from Stan Hubbs, Michael Farneti, The New Creation (whose Troubled just got a vinyl release, reviewed elsewhere on this list), Marc Mundy and Luie Luie, did the legwork (with help from Rob Sevier of Numero Group) to track down the artist, who it turns out is a Guyanese man named Bill Russell, and worked with him to see this unique release resurrected. True to Companion's mission, they have reissued the record in the same form as the original with an old style tip-on sleeve, blank back cover and no liner notes, so as to experience the record as it is, unfettered from preconceptions. However, we did press the label for a little context and we'll get into some of the record's back-story a little later.
Each of the seven songs here vary in tone, but they are united by the instrumentation mentioned above in different combinations and Russell's accented softly mumbled delivery, as well as a seemingly urgent determination to get each song recorded as envisioned. As primitive as the recording and performances are, every song seems to have a deliberate focus, with moodier songs on side one and more rocking songs on side two. The record doesn't seem to have been made to promote himself as a professional or as a demo to make better produced recordings. In that, it is a perfect one-off record, its only obvious influential musical touchstones apart from some Caribbean musical rhythms, might be a bit of Santana and Hendrix perhaps (though this doesn't quite reach their heights, quite the opposite), but we're hearing a bit of Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Otis G. Johnson and even some Suicide in there too. It really just sounds like Russell plugged all his instruments directly into a 4-track, hit record and worked around the mistakes, never letting them curtail his vision.
The opener, "Diska Limba Man" sets the tone with an off-kilter synth sequencer and wonky slow-disco rhythm, the tempo slowing down and speeding up in an elliptical groove while an electric guitar and a tinny kalimba add melody and texture respectively. Russell's voice thickly accented but emerging from an introspective murmer sings of a small musical instrument and the man who plays it, embarking on a hypnotic repetition as the song progresses into a sort of subdued dark disco trance. The second track, "Kalimba Tune", is just that, the kalimba alone in a beautifully played magical weaving instrumental that borders on the minimalist composition of Philip Glass. The third track, "Take A Closer Look" ends the first side with a slow looping organ dirge with a loping martial rhythm, inflected with a simmering guitar melody that adds a mystical resonance. The song urging the listener to "take a closer look at the life you are living" points to the lighter ("liter") and darker ("dorker") vibes the album title implies.
Side two has more of a heavier rock feel. "Givers of Affection" opens with a motorcycle blues guitar riff and what sound like harmonica blasts and rudimentary drum machine in a Canned Heat style, Russell's voice double tracked in a driving falsetto. "Lonely No More" has a more laid back sunbaked Zam-rock vibe, with funky Caribbean rhythms and freaked out synth leads, filtered through homegrown distortion and double tracked vocals layered incongruously into a strange psychedelic brew. "Dig This Calypso" is a stoned sunny and breezy take on the origins of the calypso beat, and we're usually not that big on calypso, but as with all the songs on the second side, this one layered with warm distortion and gritty guitar squalls all filtered back in a lo-fi Caribbean funk groove, makes it one of the better calypso inspired songs we've heard. The final track, "Water Late" is an instrumental with a medium-fast shuffled martial rhythm, and some seriously wonky exploratory guitar leads as if Doug Blunt was fronting some primitive cave rock band like Cromagnon. It ends the record on a slightly open ended note as we're left to wonder what in the hell did we just listen to? But that is exactly the kind of naive quality in this record that makes us want to put it back on and listen to it again, figure out the words and try and put together what it all means, and why for all of its outsider artistry, these songs remain so hopelessly and wonderfully implanted in our brains. And most importantly, who or what is Medico Doktor Vibes?
The folks at Companion filled us in a bit. Bill Russell is an immigrant from Guyana who came to the United States and served in the U.S. military in the seventies. He came from a musical family and after serving, settled in the LA suburb of Compton and decided to make a record. He bought the recording equipment and instruments he used on the record all at once and set about making this one and only LP. He chose the cover image carefully by color because he thought it matched the mood of the record and thought it would appeal to people, even though he oddly didn't notice the Golden Gate Bridge, or at least it didn't register any additional symbolic meaning for him and he didn't have any Bay Area connection. The title though intentional is logically vague. The story goes that Russell saw the recording as a bridge between "light" and "dark" people, but felt that just calling it Lighter Through Darker Vibes was too politically charged and so he twisted the words to "Liter" and "Dorker" in avoidance (this must have been before the word "dork" came into a more common parlance). His hopes were that both Light and Dark people would come together and groove out to his music , though it was distributed modestly with only 100 original copies and went absolutely nowhere. Perhaps now with this reissue, Russell's original vision will finally come to pass. We certainly hope so.
Limited to 500 copies! Sorry no download code.
MPEG Stream: "Diska Limba Man"
MPEG Stream: "Kalimba Tune"
MPEG Stream: "Take A Closer Look"
MPEG Stream: "Givers of Affection"

MEDITATIVE SECT Laceration Points (Merz Tapes) cassette 8.98

album cover MEDROXY PROGESTERONE ACETATE I Am An Empty House, Longing To Be Haunted (Black Horizons) 2 x cassette 11.98
We first heard from the oddly titled Medroxy Progesteron Acetate on a split 7" with Warmth a while back, but this is the first we've heard since, a sprawling double cassette epic, of burnt out psychedelic drift and drone out black synth shimmer, rife with strange voices and sampled vocals, buried melodies and constantly shifting textures and tones. Dense stretched out drone music, lush layered abstract psych-synth minimalism, slow-motion muted industrial creep, squalls of grinding sci-fi noise, or thick bleary buzz, this is heavy, deep, dark listening, paranoid, sinister, ominous, otherworldly, haunting, harrowing, but at the same time, strangely blissed out, mesmerizing, dense and dark and in its own bleak and black way surprisingly dreamy. Muted rhythmic drift fused to ethereal shimmer, and softly roiling sonic murk, the voices constantly in the distance, occasionally moving to the fore, intoning some mysterious passage only to be swallowed up and covered in layer after layer of hum and thrum and rumble. Fans of Pulse Emitter, Grasslung, and other synth-drone alchemists will definitely dig, but the constant flow of samples and strange voices and mysterious broadcasts, gives this the vibe of some fucked up soundtrack, or some purloined surveillance tape set to music, which is what makes this so cool. And so trippy, fucked up and frightening.
Like all Black Horizons releases, crazy deluxe packaging, two tapes housed in one of those cool double tape cases, with two full color printed J-cards, on metallic paper, each with an insert with all the 'lyrics' and liner notes, and each either silver or gold, matching whichever tape it accompanies.
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES!!

MEDUSA First Step Beyond (Numero Group) lp 33.00

album cover MEEK IS MURDER Algorithms (Granite House) lp 14.98
It seems like most of the music coming out of Brooklyn these days has been tending toward fey eighties beholden electro pop or gloomy Cure worshipping synthwave, but it's not all eyeliner and Siouxsie lunch boxes happening over there, at least based on the debut from Meek Is Murder, who might as well be called The Meek SHALL BE Murdered, cuz this is some seriously kick ass poser disposing heaviness, displaying a darker, seriously more fucked up and chaotic sonic side to everyone's favorite borough.
Recorded by Converge's Kurt Ballou, and definitely not that far removed from the Converge / Coalesce sonic axis, Meek Is Murder traffic in a dense, gnarled mathy metalpunk crush, that shifts deftly from dirgey downtuned sludge to crazed hyperdense metalcore fury, with plenty of twists and turns in-between. Nine short sharp blasts of tangled metallic mathpunk, most of the tracks clocking in at 2 minutes or less, 3 or 4 closer to 60 seconds, culminating in a final 6+ minute epic.
The record begins with an intro of sorts, a churning seasick dirge, with rad syncopated drums and rib cage rattling metallic chug, all wreathed in woozy spidery leads, before launching directly into "Return Void", the opening blast the sort of shit that makes pits explode, but then the double kick comes in, and the song blossoms into a weirdly melodic mini-epic, a sort of metalcore Godspeed almost. But it's the title track that might be our favorite, a galloping Speedwolf like classic thrash, laced with a tangled shreddery that at times sounds like a less demented Mick Barr, unfurling woozy harmonized classic metal harmonies over the roiling metalpunk below. From there on out, it's some of THEE best mathed out heaviness, we've heard in ages, we're reminded at time of Kiss It Goodbye or Deadguy, heavy as fuck, with almost proggy arrangements, but shot through with some serious melody, fractured by super dynamic stop/starts and wreathed in thick sheets of feedback. The bulk of the record clocks in at less than 15 minutes, but the songs are so jammed with tripped out parts and intricate arrangements, killer riffing, rad melodies, it feels like way longer, until the record finishes off with "Garbage Collector", which sounds like a more metal Dazzling Killmen, churning noise rock math metal radness, with some amazing, weirdly melodic, droned out breakdowns, as well as a seriously epic, brooding, slow build Godspeed-ish final movement, that pushes MiM's sound way beyond most other typical punk/metal outfits, and is fast making this, and these guys, a new aQ favorite.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!! 100 of which are white, and while they last we've got the white ones. Hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Hello, World!"
MPEG Stream: "Return Void"
MPEG Stream: "Algorithms"

album cover MEEK, JOE I Hear A New World (special edition) (RPM) cd 13.98
Okay, so he was "the English Phil Spector". Whew, got that out of the way. In fact he's arguably one of THE most innovative, albeit the most obscure, producers *ever* (other candidates being Spector, Brian Wilson, Lee Perry, other votes welcome!). Though famous first and foremost for his hit with the Tornados' "Telstar" (the first English pop song to hit #1 on the charts in the U.S.), this tone deaf wunderkind had a penchant for the very strange and esoteric as well. It's been said that the man turned down the opportunity to have a first stab at recording The Beatles and David Bowie while counseling an aspiring band to axe front man Rod Stewart if they wanted to work with him. Bad judgements or refined tastes? Given much of the work Meek chose to produce in their stead one might quickly point the finger in the direction of bad judgement, but Meek's visionary "I Hear A New World" suggests that the man had an altogether sublime inspiration that was far ahead of its time.
Fascination with what life could possibly exist on the moon was the seed which drove Joe Meek to compose what could be considered the first "rock" concept album. He wanted to "create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space." Quite a task. A task that required Meek to use every producing trick in his bag (a very, very big bag.) Take the foundation of an instrumental band, in this case Meek's The Blue Men -- a sort of Venturesy, Shadowsy, Les Paulsy kind of thing -- then squash the hell out of the drums with compression, throw delay and reverb around like a death battle with King Tubby, and add a potpourri of unusual instruments including the Clavioline (a super primitive pre-synthesizer) a purposefully out of tune tack piano, the occasional double speed vocals and you can almost hear Joe's New World. Top this off with the fact that Joe was attempting to create a stereo recording working only with primitive two track machines (not a huge multi-track facility) in his two room apartment recording studio and you know the man had to be a mad genius. (Certifiably mad, if the murder of his landlady and his suicide are any indication.)
This fine new edition of this *absolute*must*hear* album includes, along with all the original tracks, a 35 minute monologue by Joe Meek recorded in 1962 in which Meek gives a brief autobiography leading up to his residing at 538 Holloway Road, describes his studio and its contents: microphones, recording decks, etc and talks about his work. Quite a unique document. Also included on the disc is a film clip of Joe Meek in his studio talking about the music industry (and though the makers of this CD claim that you can only play the film on a PC, it seems to work fine on both Mac and PC.) Plus you get a nice fold out poster with Meek's original notes for each song on I.H.A.N.W. and a thorough telling of the story behind the album.
RealAudio clip: "The Bublight"
RealAudio clip: "Magnetic Field"

MEEK, JOE I Hear A New World (special edition) (RPM) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now available on vinyl! Okay, so he was "the English Phil Spector". Whew, got that out of the way. In fact he's arguably one of THE most innovative, albeit the most obscure, producers *ever* (other candidates being Spector, Brian Wilson, Lee Perry, other votes welcome!). Though famous first and foremost for his hit with the Tornados' "Telstar" (the first English pop song to hit #1 on the charts in the U.S.), this tone deaf wunderkind had a penchant for the very strange and esoteric as well. It's been said that the man turned down the opportunity to have a first stab at recording The Beatles and David Bowie while counseling an aspiring band to axe front man Rod Stewart if they wanted to work with him. Bad judgements or refined tastes? Given much of the work Meek chose to produce in their stead one might quickly point the finger in the direction of bad judgement, but Meek's visionary "I Hear A New World" suggests that the man had an altogether sublime inspiration that was far ahead of its time.
Fascination with what life could possibly exist on the moon was the seed which drove Joe Meek to compose what could be considered the first "rock" concept album. He wanted to "create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space." Quite a task. A task that required Meek to use every producing trick in his bag (a very, very big bag.) Take the foundation of an instrumental band, in this case Meek's The Blue Men -- a sort of Venturesy, Shadowsy, Les Paulsy kind of thing -- then squash the hell out of the drums with compression, throw delay and reverb around like a death battle with King Tubby, and add a potpourri of unusual instruments including the Clavioline (a super primitive pre-synthesizer) a purposefully out of tune tack piano, the occasional double speed vocals and you can almost hear Joe's New World. Top this off with the fact that Joe was attempting to create a stereo recording working only with primitive two track machines (not a huge multi-track facility) in his two room apartment recording studio and you know the man had to be a mad genius. (Certifiably mad, if the murder of his landlady and his suicide are any indication.)
RealAudio clip: "The Bublight"
RealAudio clip: "Magnetic Field"

MEEK, JOE Telstar Anthology (Not Now Music Limited) 3cd 12.98

MEEK, JOE (V/A) Work In Progress: The Triumph Sessions (RPM) cd 15.98
Particularly famous for the hit "Telstar," Joe Meek was Britain's homicidal/suicidal counterpart to Phil Spector... This disc features rare and previously unissued tracks (i.e. demos credited to the likes of The Fabulous Flee-Rakkers) produced by Meek circa 1960. Crazy.

MEELKOP, ROEL 7 Perceptions (Staalplaat) cd 17.98
It was stated in the one sheet that Roel Meelkop 'has been compared to Bernhard Gunter, (but) his work is... above all more audible" Hey, they stole our joke! Regardless, Meelkop presents shifting walls of granite sounds which are slowly grinding against each other leaving behind a residue which some may call musique concrete.

MEELKOP, ROEL + TOY BIZARRE 4 Pieces (Kaon) cd 17.98
The four pieces include one solo track from Meelkop (Goem, THU20), one collaborative piece, and two from Toy Bizarre. Both excel at environmentally based recordings with Meelkop tearing these sounds apart leaving their intrinsic silences behind and Toy Bizarre focusing more on the uncanny behaviour of his raw recordings. Their collaborative pieces narratively links the precedant (the Meelkop track) with the following Toy Bizarre track, as hard disc processing overlay and intercept the fractured sounds of each other to rather electronic means.

MEESHA Clack / Block (LoDubs) 12"+cd-r 8.98

album cover MEGABATS Goes To A Lemon (Debacle) cd-r 8.98
We've slowly been dipping into the impressive catalog of Debacle Records, and pretty much everything we've heard so far has ruled, the recently reviewed Blackout cd-r by space psych explorers Expo 70, and the synth and vocal bliss drone excursions of The Slaves, and now this, the most recent record from Megabats, whose pun titled cd-r offers up a selection of sounds that definitely fit pretty perfectly between both The Slaves and Expo 70, as well as other spaced out electronic weirdos like Fuck Buttons and Oneohtrix Point Never and Pulse Emitter, a sort of sci-fi synth drone tethered to pulsing minimal electro, and then blurred into hazy expanses of far out shimmery drone flecked electro synth throb, that manages to be energizing and urgent, while somehow remaining blissed out and spacey and oh so hypnotic.
The 'beats' are buried underneath thick layers of synth buzz, the beat usually a barely audible pulse, a sort of heroin house underwater rhythm, skeletal and spare, there less for propulsion or groove, and more for an anchor, a mesmerizing metronomic center, which entrances and enthralls, as the layers of buzz and thrum slowly wrap themselves around you and fill your ears with liquid warmth.
Total late night drugged out, sun rise chill out drift off soundscapery, every track here is epic and repetitive and hypnotic, many ditching the pulse completely and instead unfurling lush landscapes of glistening glimmering synthy shimmer, sun dappled sheets of spacey swirl, culminating in the title track, which takes all of the above, and adds a strangely ominous vibe, cinematic and darkly sinister, a fuzzy low end drone drifting beneath crystalline melodies and hushed buzzy blur, the two elements inexorably linked, a darkly beautiful bit of soundtracky synth swell, haunting but also weirdly spacey and soothing, a brooding new age spacesynth finish to a pretty fantastic collection of otherworldly, electro zoner-drone drone-drift bliss!
MPEG Stream: "Smugshot"
MPEG Stream: "Medicine Hat"
MPEG Stream: "Goes To A Lemon"

album cover MEGADETH Killing Is My Business... (Remastered) (Loud) cd 15.98
Reissue of this seminal thrash band's finest moment (although Allan insists 'Rust In Peace' deserves that honor). 'Killing...' is heavy and fast and loud and catchy. Mustaine spent some time in Metallica and there was plenty of mudslinging from both sides as to who wrote which riff and who stole whose leads. Check out the tune 'Mechanix' and compare it to Metallica's 'Four Horsemen'. Same song, different lyrics, marginally different leads, you make the call. All makes for a good Behind The Music. Regardless of how big a tool Dave Mustaine is now, this record is an essential document of 80's West coast thrash metal (Metallica, Exodus, etc,). And the reissue seems worthwhile due to the inclusion of 3 previously unreleased demo tracks, and band members commenting on each song in the liner notes. If you don't have this already (why?!), now's the time.
RealAudio clip: "Mechanix"
RealAudio clip: "Killing is My Business....And Business is Good"

album cover MEGADETH Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? (Capitol) cd 16.98
While Rust in Peace is arguably Megadeth's finest and most cohesive album, it is Peace Sells that is generally considered the best of their old-school 80s thrash releases, especially among the diehard fans who are the least forgiving. From the overt Satanism of "The Conjuring," and "Bad Omen" and the possibly Slayer-influenced graphic depiction of a serial killer's crimes in "Black Friday" to the oddly domestic infidelity of "Wake Up Dead" Peace SellsÉ contains Megadeth's darkest lyrical content. Plus you get their dubious cover of Willie Dixion's "I Ain't Superstitious" which I suppose is no less embarrassing than "These Boots" from the first album or "Anarchy in the U.K." on So Far, So Good, So What! The massive guitar crunch on "Devil's Island" and "Good Mourning/Black Friday" are archetypal 80s thrash -- classics of the era, and when you sit down and think that these tracks are nearly twenty years old, I'd say they hold up far better than most from the time. You may never need buy another metal album again after this one. I've personally had this record for over half of my natural born life and it's still just as good now as when I first bought it at 13. How many of the records you're buying now are you going to be able to say that about in 2018? Like the others in this reissue batch, remixed/remastered and includes alternate-mix bonus tracks.
MPEG Stream: "Wake Up Dead"
MPEG Stream: "Peace Sells"

album cover MEGADETH Rust In Peace (Capitol) cd 15.98
During the summer of 1990, while enjoying a three month holiday in Oslo, Norway, I (Elliott) came across a magazine that would be of untold influence to my thirteen-year old ears -- the 1990 Metal Hammer "Thrash Spectacular". This would serve to be my introduction to an obsession with extreme bands that would consume an unhealthy amount of my time and interest throughout middle and high school -- bands such as Exodus, Sepultura, Pungent Stench, Testament, Sacred Reich, and on and on. But the centerpiece of the issue was four articles on what Metal Hammer referred to as the "Big Four" of thrash, namely: Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth.
And now we have a re-mastered re-issue of Megadeth's Rust in Peace, originally released coincidentally enough, within weeks of my return from the land of fjords. Why is this significant? Well, because with the very notable exception of Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss, Rust in the Peace was arguably the last great album of the great '80s thrash bands. Sure most, if not all, of these bands continued to release albums up to the present, but really -- which of them would you seriously consider to be on par with their '80s predecessors? Exodus, Testament, Slayer, AnthraxÉit's like 1990 was an impenetrable divide that dictated, "No decent thrash may pass". And let's not even discuss the Black album. Anyway, the release of Rust in Peace heralded the end of an era, and did so with august aplomb, the group topping even their own previously great achievements. It was as if all bands of the ilk recognized that nothing more could be done within the confines of what was considered thrash. Thrash had, as they say, "jumped the shark".
But most importantly, Rust in Peace is simply a magnificent album, harkening back to a time when metal records were still collections of great songs. Every song on here is unique and there's not a bit of filler to be found. Take a look at the tracks: you get the MTV-friendly alien conspiracy hit single "Hangar 18"; the sheer aggression of "Take No Prisoners," one of their heaviest songs ever; the eerie occultism of "Five Magics"; the upbeat, almost poppy quality of "Poison Was The Cure"; the coke-sweating solipsism of "Lucretia"; the forlorn desolation of "Tornado Of Souls"; the austere drum and bass death march creepiness of "Dawn Patrol," (where you get to hear Dave's hilarious affected British accent) all book-ended by two of the finest thrash epics ever recorded -- the relentless juggernaut of an opener, "Holy WarsÉThe Punishment Due," and the apocalyptic groove of the closing title track. Rust in Peace also showcases the finest musicianship of their career, featuring the relentless guitar dueling between Mustaine and newly recruited Shrapnel recording artist Marty Friedman. Very rarely has such guitar-shop wankery been harnessed into such tastefully well-crafted songs -- the intro to "Holy Wars" alone is a must-hear. As for the vocals -- some have been at worst annoyed and at best amused by Dave's whining snarl but when you hear him scream "Paid by the alliance, to slay all the giants" I think you'll agree his delivery is perfectly fitting.
Like Black Sabbath's Volume 4 or Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales or Iron Maiden's Killers, Rust in Peace is a milestone of metallic perfection and one which you are doing your metal collection a grave disservice to be without. If you have any genuine interest in metal, any whatsoever -- a single Century Media sampler in your collection, even -- you MUST own this record. Do yourself a favor, hear one of the absolute pinnacles of thrash. It was the last of its era, setting a standard that the genre as a whole would be unable to match again. And don't just take my word for it...Allan's backing me up on this one too: Rust In Peace is a metal essential. This reissue is remixed and remastered, with four bonus tracks (3 demos of album tracks featuring original 'Deth guitarist Chris Poland and the unfinished, unreleased "My Creation").
MPEG Stream: "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due"
MPEG Stream: "Tornado Of Souls"

album cover MEGADETH Rust In Peace (Capitol) lp 22.00
Easily one of our top-metal-albums-of-all-time (especially in the Big Four/Bay Area thrash division), now (again) released on vinyl! Here's what former AQ mailorder staffer (and current medical student!) Elliott had to say about it when we listed a cd reissue of it a while back:
During the summer of 1990, while enjoying a three month holiday in Oslo, Norway, I came across a magazine that would be of untold influence to my thirteen-year old ears - the 1990 Metal Hammer "Thrash Spectacular". This would serve to be my introduction to an obsession with extreme bands that would consume an unhealthy amount of my time and interest throughout middle and high school -- bands such as Exodus, Sepultura, Pungent Stench, Testament, Sacred Reich, and on and on. But the centerpiece of the issue was four articles on what Metal Hammer referred to as the "Big Four" of thrash, namely: Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth.
And now we have a re-mastered re-issue of Megadeth's Rust in Peace, originally released coincidentally enough, within weeks of my return from the land of fjords. Why is this significant? Well, because with the very notable exception of Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss, Rust in the Peace was arguably the last great album of the great '80s thrash bands. Sure most, if not all, of these bands continued to release albums up to the present, but really -- which of them would you seriously consider to be on par with their '80s predecessors? Exodus, Testament, Slayer, AnthraxÉit's like 1990 was an impenetrable divide that dictated, "No decent thrash may pass". And let's not even discuss the Black album. Anyway, the release of Rust in Peace heralded the end of an era, and did so with august aplomb, the group topping even their own previously great achievements. It was as if all bands of the ilk recognized that nothing more could be done within the confines of what was considered thrash. Thrash had, as they say, "jumped the shark".
But most importantly, Rust in Peace is simply a magnificent album, harkening back to a time when metal records were still collections of great songs. Every song on here is unique and there's not a bit of filler to be found. Take a look at the tracks: you get the MTV-friendly alien conspiracy hit single "Hangar 18"; the sheer aggression of "Take No Prisoners," one of their heaviest songs ever; the eerie occultism of "Five Magics"; the upbeat, almost poppy quality of "Poison Was The Cure"; the coke-sweating solipsism of "Lucretia"; the forlorn desolation of "Tornado Of Souls"; the austere drum and bass death march creepiness of "Dawn Patrol," (where you get to hear Dave's hilarious affected British accent) all book-ended by two of the finest thrash epics ever recorded -- the relentless juggernaut of an opener, "Holy WarsÉThe Punishment Due," and the apocalyptic groove of the closing title track. Rust in Peace also showcases the finest musicianship of their career, featuring the relentless guitar dueling between Mustaine and newly recruited Shrapnel recording artist Marty Friedman. Very rarely has such guitar-shop wankery been harnessed into such tastefully well-crafted songs -- the intro to "Holy Wars" alone is a must-hear. As for the vocals -- some have been at worst annoyed and at best amused by Dave's whining snarl but when you hear him scream "Paid by the alliance, to slay all the giants" I think you'll agree his delivery is perfectly fitting.
Like Black Sabbath's Volume 4 or Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales or Iron Maiden's Killers, Rust in Peace is a milestone of metallic perfection and one which you are doing your metal collection a grave disservice to be without. If you have any genuine interest in metal, any whatsoever -- a single Century Media sampler in your collection, even -- you MUST own this record. Do yourself a favor, hear one of the absolute pinnacles of thrash. It was the last of its era, setting a standard that the genre as a whole would be unable to match again. And don't just take my word for it...Allan's backing me up on this one too: Rust In Peace is a metal essential.
MPEG Stream: "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due"
MPEG Stream: "Tornado Of Souls"

album cover MEGADETH So Far, So Good... So What! (Capitol) cd 16.98
Ah the Mega-re-issues just keep on coming! As it stands, So Far, So GoodÉSo What! ranks as the least essential of the set, but definitely still an excellent album and a more than adequate selection if you're still hungry for more Megadeth after Rust in Peace and Peace Sells. On this, Megadeth's third overall album we have the excellent opening pair, the atomic instrumental "Into the Lungs of Hell" and then the massive riffing of "Set the World Afire," plus Megadeth's first two quasi-ballads, the surprisingly decent "Mary Jane" and "In My Darkest Hour". Fear not though, they're both still plenty heavy! Closer "Hook in Mouth" has another classic riff and plenty of classic Mustaine sneer. Plus you get their laughably bad rendition of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." What's not to like? Come on, go for the 'Deth triumvirate! Like the others in this reissue batch, remixed/remastered and includes alternate-mix bonus tracks.
MPEG Stream: "Into The Lungs Of Hell"
MPEG Stream: "Set The World Afire"

album cover MEGAPUSS Surfing (Vapor) cd 15.98
Whenever we listen to this, we're somehow reminded of a line from The Simpsons where Marge Simpson's sister Selma in reference to a cheap slutty dress says: "This started out as a Halloween costume but soon worked its way into my regular rotation". Seems what began as a jokey one-off side-project between Devendra Banhart and Greg Rogove from Priestbird (formerly Tarantula A.D.) has taken up more time and attention than is probably warranted. From the weird "bro" energy of the cover to the childish references to penises, anal sex, and group masturbation peppered throughout, this is probably a project that perhaps should have stayed a joke. It sounds like their having a lot of fun and all, and it's not that there aren't good songs on here (Devendra's distinct pop sensibilities remain intact), but it seems like as a separate project, it doesn't know what it wants to be. It doesn't take enough risks musically for all of its crazy "fuck-all" posturing, and some of its attempts at humorous irreverence fall embarassingly flat (especially the song "A Gun On His Hip And A Rose On His Chest", where they cop the music from The Strangeloves, "I Want Candy", but replace the lyrics with "Fuck the Police, in the asshole. Fuck the Pope, in the asshole." ad nauseum). If you wanted a full album of all the sillier songs from Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, this might be for you. For the rest of us, we'll wait for Devendra's next record.
MPEG Stream: "Crop Circle Jerk '94"
MPEG Stream: "Theme From Hollywood"
MPEG Stream: "Another Mother"

album cover MEGASUS s/t (20 Buck Spin) cd 10.98
Finally available on cd!!
A name like Megasus can only mean one thing. METAL. That's right, pounding, thrashing, ass kicking head banging metal from Providence Rhode Island, which just so happens to feature Brian from Lightning Bolt on drums. But NOT Brian Chippendale, nope, that's bass player Brian (Gibson!) pounding the skins, and hot damn, he's a pretty sick drummer for being such an insane bass player.
For those of you out there that play Rock Band or Guitar Hero, odds are you've probably heard Megasus before, one of their tracks was a huge hit on one of those games, downloaded about a million times, but for us, Megasus came out of nowhere, and proceeded to pummel us into submission!
Shredding classic style heavy metal, with a definite punk rock flavor, reminding us a bit of bands like Karp, that sort of punked up metal vibe, although with Megasus it's mostly the vocals, for the most part this is some seriously TRUE metal. Wild soaring leads, guitar harmonies, relentless drum pound, lots of chugging riffage, proggy arrangements, some stretches of doominess, the vocals a distorted howl, but for the most part this is just some seriously kick ass metal radness!
MPEG Stream: "Ten Kingdoms"
MPEG Stream: "Megasus"

album cover MEGASUS s/t (Wild Power) lp 24.00
Available on vinyl one more time, new higher price though sorry:
A name like Megasus can only mean one thing. METAL. That's right, pounding, thrashing, ass kicking head banging metal from Providence Rhode Island, which just so happens to feature Brian from Lightning Bolt on drums. But NOT Brian Chippendale, nope, that's bass player Brian (Gibson!) pounding the skins, and hot damn, he's a pretty sick drummer for being such an insane bass player.
For those of you out there that play Rock Band or Guitar Hero, odds are you've probably heard Megasus before, one of their tracks was a huge hit on one of those games, downloaded about a million times, but for us, Megasus came out of nowhere, and proceeded to pummel us into submission!
Shredding classic style heavy metal, with a definite punk rock flavor, reminding us a bit of bands like Karp, that sort of punked up metal vibe, although with Megasus it's mostly the vocals, for the most part this is some seriously TRUE metal. Wild soaring leads, guitar harmonies, relentless drum pound, lots of chugging riffage, proggy arrangements, some stretches of doominess, the vocals a distorted howl, but for the most part this is just some seriously kick ass metal radness!
And the packaging, we talk about amazing packaging all the time, but wow, does this take the cake, an full color eye popping outer gatefold jacket, some sort of bloody winged goat, the logo and song titles embossed and stamped with gold foil, printed inner sleeve, pressed on 180 gram blood vinyl, comes with a poster, and a sticker. As well as a full album download. Phew.
MPEG Stream: "Ten Kingdoms"
MPEG Stream: "Megasus"

album cover MEGATON LEVIATHAN MMIX (Volatile Rock) cd 6.98
This came out on ultra-limited (108 copies!) vinyl last year, but now for those of you missed out, or were lacking in that new-fangled turntable technology, here's the nice-priced compact disc version of MMIX by former aQ Record Of The Weekers, Megaton Leviathan, those droning Portland doomsters who, while as heavy as their name so inadequately attempts to indicate (it's a quote from a Judas Priest lyric, we now realize), are surprisingly somnolently mesmeric too!
Actually, before being a cd or an lp, this was a tape, their original 2009 demo, five tracks, around 34 minutes of doooOOOOOooooom. The first two tracks, "Water Wealth Hell On Earth" and "Guns And LSD" both were later rerecorded for their cd debut, Water Wealth Hell On Earth, that we made ROTW, while the other 3, "Repeating Patterns Of Love", "Time Fades", and "Turlock", all appeared redone on their 2011 demo cassette as well. But in any case, if you don't have those demos, or the previous vinyl version of MMIX, you haven't heard these exact recordings, and anyone who loved Water Wealth Hell On Earth as much as we did will want this for the three 'new' songs not found on there at all.
As we've previously stated, ML's doom is a special sort of "soft doom", as much spacey slowcore shoegaze as it is anything else, uniquely so even on these, their earliest recordings.
MPEG Stream: "Guns And LSD"
MPEG Stream: "Repeating Patterns Of Love"
MPEG Stream: "Turlock"

album cover MEGATON LEVIATHAN MMIX (Volatile Rock) lp 13.98
At last, for those of you whose turntables are built sturdily enough to withstand the massive heaviness, here's some VINYL from former AQ Record Of The Weekers, Megaton Leviathan, those droning Portland doomsters who, while as heavy as their name so inadequately attempts to indicate, are surprisingly somnolently mesmeric too!
Released on their own label, it's a limited lp pressing of their original 2009 demo tape, five tracks, around 34 minutes of doooOOOOOooooom. The first two tracks, "Water Wealth Hell On Earth" and "Guns And LSD" both were later rerecorded for their cd debut that we made ROTW, while the other 3, "Repeating Patterns Of Love", "Time Fades", and "Turlock", all appeared redone on their 2011 demo cassette as well. So, no new songs, but if you don't have the original demo, you haven't heard these versions before, and in any case this is the only way to weigh your turntable down with their doom, as we said... though as we also have said, ML's doom is a special sort of "soft doom", as much spacey slowcore shoegaze as it is anything else, uniquely so even on these, their debut recordings.

album cover MEGATON LEVIATHAN Past 21 Beyond The Arctic Cell (Seventh Rule) lp 13.98
NOW ON VINYL!! We had a cassette of this not long ago, straight from the band, now Seventh Rule has done the vinyl deed! Here's more or less what we said before:
Finally! New music from these aQ faves, Megaton Leviathan Northwestern masters of psychedelic doom, or doomgaze, or, well not sure what we should call it now. When we made their Water Wealth Hell On Earth album an aQuarius Record Of The Week a few years ago, their sound was definitely doom, like doom with MANY oooooo's, but even then it was blurry and washed out and super psychedelic, and at times, barely even metal. Which is where this new one lands for sure. It's definitely heavy, but it's more spacey, and droney and dreamy, two epic songs per side, the first more of a slowcore shoegaze blissout, slow, but not a doomy crawl, just sort of mesmerizingly hypnotically midtempo, the guitars warm and billowy, the vocals whispery and washed out, almost like another layer of drone, the whole thing a dreamy dirge that really could go on forever. Gorgeously tranced out psych-doom bliss of the highest order. There are strings too, courtesy of Amber Asylum's Kris Force, which just adds to the epicness and spaciousness, fans of Godspeed and all who sail with her, if you've yet to discover Megaton Leviathan, now is the time, and this is the record, er, tape. Soaring, slow building musical majesty. Henry Barnes from Amps For Christ contributes sitar and 'oscillations', again, adding to the trancey raga-like mesmer of the songs.
The B side is a bit more doomy, but only a bit, the heavy downtuned churn is blurred into extended chordal streaks, and hazy black ambience, the sound on the B side hews closer to the minimal dub-doom of OM, fans of that band will flip for these guys too, the same sort of lumbering, minimal, metallic crush, but here, wreathed in swirls of effects, constantly shifting atmospheres and textures, laced with minor key melancholic melodies, pulsing, undulating until the momentum begins to ebb, leaving just a field of abstract chug, clouds of cymbal shimmer, only then to blossom into something even heavier, a murky death march plod, the bass and guitar impossibly distorted, the drums a rib cage rattling crush, locked into Gore-like minimal-metal mesmer, before exploding again, into some serious psych-doom drift, replete with FX heavy guitars and angelic female vocals.
The tape finishes off with maybe the oddest of the bunch, a sort of slowcore psych folk ballad, all clean guitars and crooned vocals, still plenty murky and druggy, and HEAVY, even sans metallic heft - although, ironically enough, that track is a cover of "Here Come The Tears" by Judas Priest, from Sin After Sin!! Cool.
Also - if you buy this, you'll find this very review on the back cover, ha! (That's how much we like ML, and vice versa!)
MPEG Stream: "Past 21"
MPEG Stream: "The Foolish Man"

album cover MEGATON LEVIATHAN Past 21 Beyond The Arctic Cell (Volatile Rock) cassette 9.98
Finally! New music from these aQ faves, Megaton Leviathan Northwestern masters of psychedelic doom, or doomgaze, or, well not sure what we should call it now. When we made their Water Wealth Hell On Earth album an aQuarius Record Of The Week, their sound was definitely doom, like doom with MANY oooooo's, but even then it was blurry and washed out and super psychedelic, and at times, barely even metal. Which is where this new one lands for sure. It's definitely heavy, but it's more spacey, and droney and dreamy, two epic songs per side, the first more of a slowcore shoegaze blissout, slow, but not a doomy crawl, just sort of mesmerizingly hypnotically midtempo, the guitars warm and billowy, the vocals whispery and washed out, almost like another layer of drone, the whole thing a dreamy dirge that really could go on forever. Gorgeously tranced out psych-doom bliss of the highest order. There are strings too, courtesy of Amber Asylum's Kris Force, which just adds to the epicness and spaciousness, fans of Godspeed and all who sail with her, if you've yet to discover Megaton Leviathan, now is the time, and this is the record, er, tape. Soaring, slow building musical majesty. Henry Barnes from Amps For Christ contributes sitar and 'oscillations', again, adding to the trancey raga-like mesmer of the songs.
The B side is a bit more doomy, but only a bit, the heavy downtuned churn is blurred into extended chordal streaks, and hazy black ambience, the sound on the B side hews closer to the minimal dub-doom of OM, fans of that band will flip for these guys too, the same sort of lumbering, minimal, metallic crush, but here, wreathed in swirls of effects, constantly shifting atmospheres and textures, laced with minor key melancholic melodies, pulsing, undulating until the momentum begins to ebb, leaving just a field of abstract chug, clouds of cymbal shimmer, only then to blossom into something even heavier, a murky death march plod, the bass and guitar impossibly distorted, the drums a rib cage rattling crush, locked into Gore-like minimal-metal mesmer, before exploding again, into some serious psych-doom drift, replete with FX heavy guitars and angelic female vocals.
The tape finishes off with maybe the oddest of the bunch, a sort of slowcore psych folk ballad, all clean guitars and crooned vocals, still plenty murky and druggy, and HEAVY, even sans metallic heft. Only on tape for now, but rumors of more formats in the future. For now, this is extremely limited, nice full color printed J-cards and green cases, sadly, no download.

album cover MEGATON LEVIATHAN Repeating Patterns Of Love (Demo 2011) (Feretro) cassette 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We all went a little crazy for the debut from Portland doomlords Megaton Leviathan, whose particular brand of doom was on the poppy, melodic, washed out and dreamy side of the doom spectrum. So much so that we felt obligated to come up with a new term for their sound, 'soft doom', when we made their cd a Record Of The Week. And we still can't get enough of these guys' woozy, spacey slowcore laced, drone flecked soft doom. So we were psyched to discover a brand new cassette, their newest demo, a teaser for their forthcoming full length, and if anything, the 'softness' of their doom has been transformed into something more like spaciness this time around. At least on the opening track, that sounds like Hawkwind crossed with Spacemen 3 and slowed down to a plodding, nodding dirge, hazy squalls of wah guitar, sung/spoken vocals, everything drenched in effects, shards of vocals, slivers of guitars, sent spinning into space trailing streaks of echo and reverb and delay, a sprawling drug rock space drone epic, that rivals most of the other bands out there who set their controls for space rock. In the case of Megaton Leviathan, it somehow sounds more organic, like their quest for slo-mo soft doom heaviness just somehow ended up here.
And as the record plays on, it becomes evident that the first track was no fluke, the doom almost entirely replaced by drugged out space rock and psychedelic slowcore, sure it's still dark and heavy, and slow and dirgey and okay, a bit doomy, but it's way less 'doom' and way more washed out, woozy, lysergic, hazy, gauzy, hypno-dronerock, repetitive, and cyclical, and hypnotic, the production simultaneously lush and lo-fi, the distortion cranked way up, but instead of making it heavy, it makes the sounds crumble and wash out and crystallize, making the overall sound seem that much more warm and rough and organic, especially when the band slips into slow spaciness, all low slung bass, melodic guitar echoes, and big drums, lumbering and loose, the sort of thing Three Mile Pilot were masters of in the old days, loads of space, all held together by sinewy basslines and krauty rhythms, and then the guitars come back in, and again, we're well past doom, the sound lifting free of the surface, and drifting heavenward, somehow mixing Hawkwind, Codeine, Low, Spacemen 3, Loop, a little doom, lots of drugs, and even more effects, into the sort of thing that should have fans of the current crop of space rockers (Wooden Shjips, Carlton Melton, White Hills, Moon Duo, Heads, Lumerians, White Noise Sound) losing their shit.
LIMITED TO 200 COPIES. Each one hand numbered, and record on swank reflective gold cassettes.

album cover MEGATON LEVIATHAN Water Wealth Hell On Earth (Feretro) cd 11.98
It's hard to know what to expect from a band with a name like Megaton Leviathan. You might guess heavy. Probably loud. And you'd be right on both counts, but you probably wouldn't guess that these guys play some sort of super melodic, poppy, and very pretty doom. Or sort of doom. Soft doom? We sure as heck didn't.
But that's pretty much what ML are all about. Even categorizing them as doom doesn't do them justice. The tempos are slow, the mood is doomy, but unlike the typical downtuned sludgery and lumbering slo-mo pummel of most doom combos, these guys infuse their dirges with soaring shimmering clean guitars, the vocals are clean, not howled or grunted, but crooned, bathed in reverb, and draped over the almost ethereal sounding heaviness.
The drums are strange, big and boomy, but they perfectly suit the Nadja-like doom-gaze, the washed out blissy reverbed doom pop, the hazy, gauze-y, space-y doom flecked psychedelia these guys so effortlessly conjure up.
The 19 minute opener is split into two parts, the first half, is a gorgeous dirgey creep, with a melancholy main melody, swirling synth textures, and those moody crooned vox, all stretched out into a glorious bit of space doom dream pop haze, the effects swallowing the instruments up and sending them spinning into the cosmos, woozy, and dreamy and mesmerizing and strangely emotional with some of the best most beautiful hooks you'll ever hear in a 'doom' band.
The second half almost sounds like a dub version of the first, the riffs are stripped away, leaving a glistening filed of layered vocal mantras and electronic effects, the drums spare and abstract, the sound thick and lush and distorted, but blurred and free and swirly and psychedelic, some sort of alien spacedoom ur-drone, the perfect balance for the more riffy bliss of the first half.
After another short track (and by short we mean almost 6 minutes), which is another dirgey crawl, through fields of cloudy effects and smeared electronics, sounding like a modern space doom Codeine, all pretty and melancholy but still dark and heavy, comes the 33+ minute closer, "A Slow Death In D Minor", the whole first half of which sounds like SUNNO))) covering Tangerine Dream, thick downtuned glacial thrum, underpinning, swirling kosmische synths and jangly shimmering clean guitar chords. This could go on forever, and practically does, until about 18 minutes later, the drums come in, and pound out a strange skeletal beat, atop the still drifting buzz and shimmer, buried vocals and muted melodies churn just below the surface, until finally, the sound grows more and more melodic, and what sound like strings surface, and the track is transformed into some sort of chamber doom, until eventually, just the strings are left, to soar dramatically over a barely there layer of crackle and hum, before slipping into silence.
This could definitely be our new favorite doom record, if it didn't feel so wrong to and reductive to call Megaton Leviathan doom. But it's definitely a new favorite, for fans of all things dark and heavy and dreamy and melodic, droney and drifty and pretty and poppy and trance inducing.
MPEG Stream: "Water Wealth Hell On Earth - Part I"
MPEG Stream: "A Slow Death In D Minor"

album cover MEGAWEAPON Dropsouts (Zum) cd-r 4.98
Megaweapon is Mr. DJ George Chen (of Zum Magazine / indie music label right here in the Bay Area) and a few of his Oakland cohorts from Boxleitner and K.I.T. Together they're makin' 'tape music'. Dropsouts is a coarsely ground and blended 4-track recording of noise-alicious distorted scraping, looping and churning. A brief but notable track is the second - a scant thirty seven seconds of what sounds like a chat between two homemade foghorns. 25 minutes total. Limited 'pressing' of 75.
MPEG Stream: "track 2"
MPEG Stream: "track 5"

album cover MEHRPOUYA, ABBASS Mehrpouya Sitar (Persianna) cd 25.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Long overdue reissue of this lost psychedelic Indian funk gem from one of Iran's top sitarists, his only record, recorded sometime in the seventies, and a holy grail ever since. The liner notes claim this is one of the rarest and most in demand albums from Iran, and it's easy to hear why. Imagine your favorite jams from the Ethiopiques series, WITH SITAR and FLUTE, and we're talking total psych funk groove nirvana.
Heavy and fuzzy and druggy and a little bit space-y these mostly untitled jams totally destroy, we can only imagine the sort of joyous meltdown any crate digger lucky enough to snag one of these must have experienced, the drums are fierce, powerful, organs swirl, flutes soar and flutter, and all over the tracks that sitar buzzes gloriously. Some of the songs are a bit folkier and more pastoral, sounding like some seventies acid folk record only with sitar and haunting Eastern melodies. But it's the stomping funk workouts that seal the deal, especially the 11 minute funk rock epic "African Jumbo" (one of only two songs here with titles), that sounds straight out of some seventies sitcom, or like it was purloined by Tarantino for one of his soundtracks, looped and hypnotic, super melodic and catchy as all get out. A few of the tracks feature vocals, deep and dramatic, and those songs slip into Bollywood love scene territory for sure, mysterious and moody, in fact the last few songs tend toward ballad territory, until the record closer, a bonus track taken from a super rare tape, that is murky and heavy with strings and wah guitar, total Indian blaxploitation soundtrack groove, that slips from sexy strut, to dreamy croon, to cinematic soar and back again. Amazing stuff. Fans of the Ethiopiques series and the funkier Sublime Frequencies releases will definitely dig...
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "African Jumbo"

album cover MEHRPOUYA, ABBASS Soul Raga (Pharaway Sounds) 2cd 25.00
We were pretty obsessed with this record when it was first reissued back in 2009, a lost psychedelic Indian funk gem from one of Iran's top sitarists, his only record, recorded sometime in the seventies, and a holy grail ever since. Known as one of the rarest and most in demand albums from Iran EVER, finally hearing it for ourselves, it wasn't hard to hear why. Imagine your favorite jams from the Ethiopiques series, WITH SITAR and FLUTE, and we're talking total psych funk groove nirvana. The other version is out of print, but fear not, now the fine folks at Pharaway Sounds (who seem to have also undertaken a long overdue Erkin Koray reissue campaign, among other tantalizing releases) have fleshed that original out even further, including that original rare record in its entirety, and a whole bunch of bonus tracks from equally rare 45's!!!
Heavy and fuzzy and druggy and a little bit space-y, these far out jams totally destroy, we can only imagine the sort of joyous meltdown any crate digger lucky enough to snag one of these must have experienced, the drums are fierce, powerful, organs swirl, flutes soar and flutter, and all over the tracks that sitar buzzes gloriously. Some of the songs are a bit folkier and more pastoral, sounding like some seventies acid folk record only with sitar and haunting Eastern melodies. But it's the stomping funk workouts that seal the deal, especially the 11 minute funk rock epic "African Jumbo", which sounds straight out of some seventies sitcom, or like it was purloined by Tarantino for one of his soundtracks, looped and hypnotic, super melodic and catchy as all get out. A few of the tracks feature vocals, deep and dramatic, and those songs slip into Bollywood love scene territory for sure, mysterious and moody, in fact a few songs tend toward full on ballad territory, until inevitably along comes another blast of murky and heavy Indian sitar-funk, rife with strings or wah guitar, often slipping into total Indian blaxploitation soundtrack grooves, that slip from sexy strut, to dreamy croon, to cinematic soar and back again. Amazing stuff. Fans of the Ethiopiques series and the funkier Sublime Frequencies releases will definitely dig. And even folks who already have that other reissue, if you're anything like us, you'll probably wanna buy this one now too!!
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "African Jumbo"

album cover MEHRPOUYA, ABBASS Soul Raga (Pharaway Sounds) 3lp 42.00
We were pretty obsessed with this record when it was first reissued back in 2009, a lost psychedelic Indian funk gem from one of Iran's top sitarists, his only record, recorded sometime in the seventies, and a holy grail ever since. Known as one of the rarest and most in demand albums from Iran EVER, finally hearing it for ourselves, it wasn't hard to hear why. Imagine your favorite jams from the Ethiopiques series, WITH SITAR and FLUTE, and we're talking total psych funk groove nirvana. The other version is out of print, but fear not, now the fine folks at Pharaway Sounds (who seem to have also undertaken a long overdue Erkin Koray reissue campaign, among other tantalizing releases) have fleshed that original out even further, including that original rare record in its entirety, and a whole bunch of bonus tracks from equally rare 45's!!!
Heavy and fuzzy and druggy and a little bit space-y, these far out jams totally destroy, we can only imagine the sort of joyous meltdown any crate digger lucky enough to snag one of these must have experienced, the drums are fierce, powerful, organs swirl, flutes soar and flutter, and all over the tracks that sitar buzzes gloriously. Some of the songs are a bit folkier and more pastoral, sounding like some seventies acid folk record only with sitar and haunting Eastern melodies. But it's the stomping funk workouts that seal the deal, especially the 11 minute funk rock epic "African Jumbo", which sounds straight out of some seventies sitcom, or like it was purloined by Tarantino for one of his soundtracks, looped and hypnotic, super melodic and catchy as all get out. A few of the tracks feature vocals, deep and dramatic, and those songs slip into Bollywood love scene territory for sure, mysterious and moody, in fact a few songs tend toward full on ballad territory, until inevitably along comes another blast of murky and heavy Indian sitar-funk, rife with strings or wah guitar, often slipping into total Indian blaxploitation soundtrack grooves, that slip from sexy strut, to dreamy croon, to cinematic soar and back again. Amazing stuff. Fans of the Ethiopiques series and the funkier Sublime Frequencies releases will definitely dig. And even folks who already have that other reissue, if you're anything like us, you'll probably wanna buy this one now too!!
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "African Jumbo"

album cover MEIRINO, FRANCISCO Notebook (Techniques Of Self-Destruction) (Misanthropic Agenda) cd 12.98
Over the past five years (or so), the work of Francisco Meirino has moved ever forward by leaps and bounds. Once the man discovered what could be done with an EMF detector, his aesthetic world exploded from that of a guttural noise-monger to that of an exemplary composer of muscular electro-acoustics. In sonorizing the signals from his EMF detector, Meirino gives voice to the electrical field in any given space. Parapsychologists and ghost hunters have used these devices as citations pointing to their claims of hauntings, poltergeist activity, and residual energies from psychic distress. Not surprisingly, Meirino did engage in the realm of the paranormal by working with ghost hunter Michael Esposito on an album mapped out of EVP recordings sourced by Meirino and researched by Esposito. Audio bleedthrough, spikes of energy, crude stabs of noise, electrified drone, and disruptions of all kind are commonplace within the sonic markmaking for Meirino; and Notebook (Techniques Of Self-Destruction) stands as one of the finest albums in Meirino's catalogue. Aggressive cuts across tape and digital files reveal jagged edges between frequencies and sonorities that Meirno exaggerates and telescopes as if all of his sounds were atomic particles irradiated with x-rays and then smashed against the clinical floor of some Swiss laboratory left to wiggle, glow, and collapse without much concern from the technician doing the smashing. There is a violence to Meirino's work, and it's one that carries over from his youthful days working under the noise moniker Phroq. The violence is actually more impactful given the dynamics of Meirino's techniques and compositional artistry. It's obvious that he's been pursuing a parallel path as that of the Schimpfluch Gruppe (e.g. Rudolf Eb.Er, G*Park, Dave Phillips, and Sudden Infant); and Notebook is a worthy contender to follow in that lineage of transgressive actions and theatrical nihilism.
MPEG Stream: "Le Processus De La Signification"
MPEG Stream: "Weak Recording Of An Embarrassment"
MPEG Stream: " Techniques Of Self-Destruction Part I"

album cover MEIRINO, FRANCISCO Untitled Phenomenas In Concrete (Cave 12) cd 15.98
The Swiss electro-acoustic tactician Francisco Meirino has proven a deft hand in cajoling caustic jolts of static and searing chunks of noises from electro-magnetic sources, growing leaps and bounds from his earliest recordings as Phroq to the intensely dynamic output he's been steadily releasing under his own name over the past couple of years. This album's title refers to the UPIC system developed by Xenakis as a means of drawing on a digitizing tablet which provides vector coordinates to a program controlling particular sound sources, which for Meirino's purposes include snow falling, bones cracking, magnetic field disturbances, and insect noises. As interesting as Xenakis' UPIC system is, it's reassuring that Meirino treats the device as just another tool in his arsenal to direct his own aesthetic and not let the tool itself speak any louder than necessary. Radioactive streams of static electricity and piercing sinewaves ground the scattered tactile events which at times sound more like resonant gongs and small scraps of metal whose trailing decay undulates in rippling patterns that parallel Nurse With Wound's Homotopy To Marie. Throughout the 37 minute piece, Meirino returns to the densely phased, atonal concoctions of sinewaves and static that accelerate and deflate out of pockets of agitated acoustically sourced sources. Where those cracking bones are in the mix is anybody's guess, as he adheres a sharply toxic aura to all of his sounds. Like Dave Phillips and G*Park, he's at the vanguard of contemporary Swiss electro-acoustic malevolence. Limited to 350 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Untitled Phenomenas In Concrete (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled Phenomenas In Concrete (excerpt 2)"

album cover MEIRINO, FRANCISCO & MICHAEL ESPOSITO Ghosts Of Case File 142 (Firework Editions) cd 13.98
EVP research is commonplace within the catalog of Firework Editions, a Swedish label run in part by the conceptual artist Leif Elggren. One of Elggren's more infamous projects is the Kingdom of Elgaland-Vargaland which occupies a liminal political space between the boundaries of countries; but within the magisterial constitution, Elgaland-Vargaland annexes the psychic realm of dreams and even goes so far as to abolish death. With this proclamation, the kingdom offers citizenship to ghosts, spirits, and apparitions; and seeks communion with such entities through EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomenon - whereby voices of unknown origin mysteriously appear on the electronic mediums of tape, radio, and digital recorders. EVP researchers like Chicago's Michael Esposito claim these voices to originate from spirits beyond the grave; and there's quite of lot of late night entertainment coming from their spooky if questionable paranormal research. Esposito seems to hold more of a metaphysical and poetic agenda in his work, by reaching out to the sound art community as a crucible for his admittedly unnerving recordings. He's collaborated with the aforementioned Elggren, fellow Elgaland-Vargaland cohort CM von Hausswolff, John Duncan, FM Einheint, and now Francisco Meirino.
Esposito's role in this collaboration with the electro-acoustic artist Francisco Meirino is that of a taxonomist, with Meirino doing most of the heavy lifting on the album. Meirino made a series of field recordings in a former school of anatomy in his native Switzerland; and upon hearing something odd in the recordings, he passed everything onto Esposito, who in turn discovered over 30 incidents of EVP in Meirino's original recordings. Those discovered events became the inspiration and source material for Meirino's composition which blisters with static bursts of noise, caustic flares of electricity, and hissing fields of magnetic disturbances. Amidst these jarring events (which come together as a something not dissimilar to the Hafler Trio, Joe Colley, or G*Park), Meirino cycles through the EVP material in repetitive phrases. It's still not all that easy to hear what Esposito claims to be in these recordings, but the mechanoid repetitions lend to a very cold and disembodied aesthetic which couples perfectly with Meirino's splinterings of electro-acoustic sound. Esposito may have been the inspiration for the album; but it's Meirino who makes it all sound so damn good.
MPEG Stream: "Ghosts Of Case File 142 (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Ghosts Of Case File 142 (excerpt 2)"
MPEG Stream: "Ghosts Of Case File 142 (excerpt 3)"

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