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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)"

album cover MEIZTER, K. Dark Matters (Old Europa Cafe) cd + 3"cd 23.00

MPEG Stream: "The Last Hurrah"
MPEG Stream: "Internal Features Of A Dead Body"
MPEG Stream: "Sidelights On The Life Of Death"

album cover MEKONS Fear and Whiskey (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
With well over two dozen albums, singles, eps, and compilations to their name, Yorkshire's Mekons have been around so long you can divide their career into distinct stages. In my opinion, prime Mekons territory begins well into their timeline, with the release of 1985's Fear and Whiskey, which was the first time they added a li'l country twang to their ragged punk rock sound. This period would continue throughout the late '80s (meaning you should definitely also pick up their Rock 'n Roll and So Good It Hurts albums if you see 'em). With Jon Langford's whiskey-soaked voice, the tinny meandering guitar, sweet fiddle, foot-stomping drums, and a general drunken honky tonk vibe. So excellent! If you've never heard the band before, this is a fine place to start. Pogues fans will also *totally* appreciate this!
RealAudio clip: "Chivalry"
RealAudio clip: "Abernant 1984/85"

MEKONS I Have Been To Heaven And Back (Quarterstick) cd 13.98

MEKONS Journey To The End Of The Night (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
The latest from critica faves/ underground heroes, the Mekons. More drunken and bedraggled indie rock twang, a kind of 'British Americana' with touches of '80s southern alt-rock (like "Green"-era R.E.M.). Nice.

album cover MEKONS Oooh! (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
The Mekons have been around for 25 years now. In that time, they morphed from punk rockers to country twangers, putting out one of the first "alt.country" albums ("Fear & Whiskey") in 1985, and continuing through today to release this very nice collection of songs. While sweet country lamentation is the primary component of "Oooh! Out Of Our Heads," their collectivist songwriting also makes room for the influence of down home gospel, eastern tinged violins, Irish reels, relevant although not didactic political commentary, and a bit of anarchic punk approach. A more than apt silver anniversary celebration.
RealAudio clip: "Thee Oide Trip To Jerusalem"
RealAudio clip: "Take His Name In Vain"

MEKONS Punk Rock (1/4 Stick) cd 14.98

MEKONS United (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Originally released as a companion piece to the Mekons' art book "United," this album features several reinterpretations of previously issued Mekons songs which had been sampled, mangled, and mashed into something new.

MEKURIA, GETATCHEW & THE EX & FRIENDS Y'Anbessaw Tezeta (Terp) 2cd 17.98

album cover MEKURYA, GETATCHEW Ethiopiques Vol. 14 : (The Negus of Ethiopian Sax) (Buda Musique) cd 15.98
I'm sure that, by now, we're way passed that point that divides the completists with those that are content with two or three volumes of this series. And yet, though speaking partially from a completist's viewpoint, volume 14 might be one that anyone who's enjoyed previous Ethiopiques releases to take note of. Volume 14 is a re-release of a 1970 Philips Ethiopia recording of Gˇtatch¸w M¸kurya. M¸kurya, a saxophonist, is apparently considered the Albert Ayler of Ethiopia. But before y'all non-free jazz aficionados get scared off by thoughts of atonal scree, you can rest assured that there's not a lick of that here. Probably what was most likely intended by such a comparison was either Ayler's propensity for using folk melodies in his works, or maybe even... marches. The cornerstone of M¸kurya's style is derived from a strictly vocal style associated with war known as "shellela". Apparently M¸kurya got the idea of transcribing this singing style to saxophone. Brash and insistent as it is, it's really nothing like even the tamest "sheets of sound" from Coltrane's pre-free jazz days. Entirely instrumental, the music of Gˇtatch¸w M¸kurya is, while familiar in the scope of Ethiopian music we've come to know and love, also much different than all that's preceded it. It probably most resembles Ethiopiques Volume Four in respect to their both lacking in vocals, but there the similarities stop. The band is stripped down to organ, guitar, bass and drums and accompaniment usually consists of a steady, uptempo ostinato over which M¸kurya then plays his rapid and rococo melodic improvisations (often alternating with the squealing farfisa-like organ). Also included as a bonus track for this CD issue is a late fifties rarity from M¸kurya. Yet again, we highly recommend this newest Ethiopiques release for both sometimes fans and -- it goes without saying I suppose -- completists as well.
MPEG Stream: "Yegenet Muziqa"
MPEG Stream: "Shellela"

album cover MEKURYA, GETATCHEW & THE EX Moa Anbessa (Terp) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
At long last, back in stock (to go with the Mississippi vinyl version, reviewed elsewhere this list):
A wild live blowout from legendary Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria, jamming with Dutch avant rockers The Ex and other like minded friends. It's time to once again get your Ethiopian groove on...
But with a twist. The twist being The Ex, everyone's favorite Dutch avant rockers who have always had a thing for world music, so much so that members of the Ex are directly involved in the running of Terp. So it makes sense that given the opportunity, they would jump at the chance to jam with the legendary Getatchew Mekuria. So here we have it, what sounds like one of the wildest musical parties ever! Oh how we would have killed to be there. Must have been a stone cold blast, but at least we have this here recording to ease our pain...
The record seems to be split right down the middle, half the songs are Ethiopian classics, given a bit of an angular post punk vibe, due in no small part to the fact that the band playing them is in fact the Ex, and the other half, the ones with vocals, sound like Ethiopian flavored Ex songs... We lean more toward the former, but both are pretty great.
Imagine your favorite Ethiopiques record, but way more bass heavy, a fuzzy distorted throb, along with jangly angular guitars, all underneath that oh so recognizable sax, wailing and soaring, practically singing, emotional and gorgeous. A few tracks are groovy and smokey and sultry, sounding like they could have come straight off of Ethiopiques 4, and even the all time Ethiopian groove classic "Musicawi Silt" here gets a sort of funkgroove makeover, with percussive guitar clang, blooping bass, the song was already funky, but in a different way, the new version is a little more tightly wound, but in a good way, you could maybe call it Ethiopian postpunkgroove or something. And there's also an amazing solo jam "Tezeta", with Mekuria just making the sax sing, an extension of his being, going from full on skronk, to melancholy drift, oozing emotion and passion. The crowd reaction afterwards says it all. The rest of the record is packed with the above mentioned Ethiopian Ex style jams, which are awesome and wild and are definitely kinetic and ebullient, but the vocals are definitely an acquired taste...
As with all Terp stuff, tons of photos and extensive liner notes...
MPEG Stream: "Musicawi Silt"
MPEG Stream: "Aynamaye Nesh"
MPEG Stream: "Tezeta"

album cover MEKURYA, GETATCHEW & THE EX Moa Anbessa (Mississippi) lp 14.98
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!!
This big time aQ fave, originally a cd on Terp, now released on vinyl thanks to the kind folks at Mississippi!
A wild live blowout from legendary Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria, jamming with Dutch avant rockers The Ex and other like minded friends. It's time to once again get your Ethiopian groove on...
But with a twist. The twist being The Ex, everyone's favorite Dutch avant rockers who have always had a thing for world music, so much so that members of the Ex are directly involved in the running of Terp. So it makes sense that given the opportunity, they would jump at the chance to jam with the legendary Getatchew Mekuria. So here we have it, what sounds like one of the wildest musical parties ever! Oh how we would have killed to be there. Must have been a stone cold blast, but at least we have this here recording to ease our pain...
The record seems to be split right down the middle, half the songs are Ethiopian classics, given a bit of an angular post punk vibe, due in no small part to the fact that the band playing them is in fact the Ex, and the other half, the ones with vocals, sound like Ethiopian flavored Ex songs... We lean more toward the former, but both are pretty great.
Imagine your favorite Ethiopiques record, but way more bass heavy, a fuzzy distorted throb, along with jangly angular guitars, all underneath that oh so recognizable sax, wailing and soaring, practically singing, emotional and gorgeous. A few tracks are groovy and smokey and sultry, sounding like they could have come straight off of Ethiopiques 4, and even the all time Ethiopian groove classic "Musicawi Silt" here gets a sort of funkgroove makeover, with percussive guitar clang, blooping bass, the song was already funky, but in a different way, the new version is a little more tightly wound, but in a good way, you could maybe call it Ethiopian postpunkgroove or something. And there's also an amazing solo jam "Tezeta", with Mekuria just making the sax sing, an extension of his being, going from full on skronk, to melancholy drift, oozing emotion and passion. The crowd reaction afterwards says it all. The rest of the record is packed with the above mentioned Ethiopian Ex style jams, which are awesome and wild and are definitely kinetic and ebullient, but the vocals are definitely an acquired taste...
MPEG Stream: "Musicawi Silt"
MPEG Stream: "Aynamaye Nesh"
MPEG Stream: "Tezeta"

album cover MELANKOLI Wind (Khrysanthoney) cd 9.98
The Khrysanthoney label returns after a bit of a break, with a barrage of new releases. Including this, the debut full length from Russian depressive black metal one man band Melankoli, whose sound is a perfect fit for Khrysanthoney, melding the downtuned dirge and melancholic creep of depressive black metal, with something much more lush and cinematic. The nearly 20 minute opener begins with lush synth swirls, strange field recordings, tinkling chimes, dramatic pianos, swirling FX, it almost sounds like M83, or some strange sci-fi soundtrack, the drums come in gradually, a spare, echo drenched pound, a deep dramatic spoken vocal, over a shimmery swirl of piano, total haunting shoegaze slo-mo blissout, swirling harmony vocals, wreathed in the sound of wintery winds, until finally, the guitars come cascading in, and the harsh vokills, but even then, they're paired with the more dreamy, dramatic sounds of the first few minutes, lilting and lovely, anguished and aching, epic and majestic, at times, the sound does grow dense and blackened, seriously heavy, but just as quickly, those moments dissipate, leaving soft synth swirls, or weirdly processed sprawls of electronic flecked drift, the programmed drums transformed into something much more trippy, before once again returning to the brooding, moody, cinematic churn, sprawling like the score for some end of the world epic. And while nothing else on the record is nearly as grandiose, the other four, shorter tracks here conjure up similarly stunning sonic moments, from the whispery electronic intro to "Embrace Of Winter", which runs throughout the whole song, giving it a weird electronic gloom pop, goth wave vibe, to the moody minimal blackened slowcore of "Coma", which should have Alcest / Amesouers fans in heaven, to the synth soaked sprawl of "Through The Shining Stars", which true to its title, sounds like the score to some super psychedelic sci-fi epic, images of huge expanses of space, of endless starfields, super melodic and darkly emotional, peppered with minimal percussion, and lilting electronic melodies, again, hard not to hear a little M83 (maybe M83's recent score for the movie Oblivion?).
Melankoli finishes things off with a Death Aura cover, a weirdly epic, murky, moody death march dirge, the sounds blurred and washed out, the vocals a buried-in-the-mix demonic rasp, the melodies minor key and melancholic, a beautifully brooding bit of black buzz loveliness.
LIMITED TO 250 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Wind"
MPEG Stream: "Embrace Of Winter"
MPEG Stream: "Coma"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN Assemblage Blues (Siltbreeze) lp 14.98
Our only real exposure to Dan Melchior, frontman of the Broke Revue and sometime collaborator with Billy Childish and Holly Golightly, was on a recent split with local garage poppers the Fresh & Onlys, and we were blown away, describing his side of the split as "awesomely super distorted garage pop, like Elvis Costello, all jammed up and slathered in crumbling hiss and grit, the vocals delivered in a thick English accent, the drums blown out, effects all over the place, everything buried beneath a patina of blurred buzz..." which pretty much describes Melchior's Siltbreeze record as well, but if anything, all the blown out weirdness and heavily effected and damaged aspects we dug so much on that 7", have been cranked WAY up here. Noisier, more lo-fi, way more chaotic and confusional, the proper songs that do surface are slathered in distortion and FX, and transformed into some sort of outsider lo-fi avant garage psych weirdness.
"Atomizer" is some sort of no-fi distorto new wave, the whole song driven by a churning muddied electronic pulse, the vocals distorted and WAY up in the mix, robotic and clinical, but crumbling around the edges, pelted by jagged shards of blown out guitar, and squalls of cascading psychnoise, and the lyrics, twisted and appropriately baffling. "Bewildered And Wild" begins all folky and strummy, until the vocals come in, all processed and effected, making it sound like some alien blues, everything smeared with grit and grime and hiss, total interplanetary back porch moon blues weirdness, rife with the occasional super distorted swell of low end buzz. "Bread Bin Wailing (Moonlight Crow)" is all muted backwards warble, and ultra thick metallic bass buzz, echoey vocals, smears of psychedelic leads, and so it goes, the whole record some sort of drug addled bedroom blues, filtered through NZ noise rock, eighties cold wave, outsider loner zoner psych, and spit out in all its filthy fractured fucked up glory! Think Suicide crossed with Chrome crossed with the Shadow Ring crossed with Robyn Hitchcock crossed with Alastair Galbraith crossed Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos. Indeed.
Comes with a download coupon too...
MPEG Stream: "Atomizer"
MPEG Stream: "Bewildered and Wild"
MPEG Stream: "Dugan"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN C.C.D.E. Music ( Little Big Chief ) lp 17.98
This might be one of the weirdest (and coolest) records we've heard from Dan Melchior, which is saying a lot, considering how twisted and cool most of his records are, but this one just might take the cake, seeing as what is essentially a full lp, is really only three or four 'proper' songs, filled out by some seriously twisted sonic weirdness, which in some cases we dig even more than the songs themselves.
The record opens with buzzing synths and garbled processed vox, a lurching distorto creep, all murky and warbly, which soon adds some acoustic guitar strum, and some weird samples, the sound constantly on the verge of blossoming into a 'real' song, but it's not until track three, that a 'proper' song coalesces from sonic murk, and even then, it's still pretty fucked up, skeletal programmed drums, jagged guitars, distorted bass chug, echo drenched vocals, a seriously lo-fi dirge, the vocals getting deep and dramatic, the song culminating in some wild, tripped out murk guitar shred. After that there's some minimal hushed shimmer, a sort of ambient interlude that leads directly into another weird dirgey jam, this one a bit more propulsive, but still plenty muddy and tranced out, psychedelic and trippy, laced with some awesomely twisted backwards vocals.
The B side opens with some abstract, psychedelic drift, distant chordal shimmer peppered with weird synth blurts, which bleeds into some creepy minimal drone/thrum, sounding like whipping wind over distant barely there riffage, which erupts into another song, this one cool fuzzed out drum machine driven gloom pop, heavy guitar buzz, droney, noisy and super hypnotic. There's a brief crumbly lo-fi ballad, all Faxed Head production, dreaminess beneath squelch and glitch and hiss and hum, before the final jam, a detuned Beefheartian creep, angular and atonal, super noisy, ultra murky, the whole thing eventually devolving into some super cool, and seriously demented free form sample laced drift. Wow. So fucked up, and twisted and dementedly amazing!

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN Excerpts (& Half Speeds) (Kye) lp 17.98
It may have taken us a while to catch on to the twisted garage rock genius that is Dan Melchior, but over the last little while, we've been digging everything we've heard, and while this record is not a proper album, so much as a cobbled together collection of experiments and sketches, it somehow holds together as some kind of strange Guided By Voices style chunk of micro-jams, albeit here, many of them consist of nothing but looped and layered voices or field recorded acoustic guitar. But all the tracks here, no matter how abstract or seemingly tossed off are pretty damn cool, whether it's the aforementioned vocal experiments, or sweet lo-fi piano ballads with strange foot-step percussion and a backdrop of running water, or stripped down bedroom folk with strange hummed harmonies, or dirgey distorted almost-Appalachia, warm swirls of acoustic guitars, minimal strums over mysterious field recordings or garbled into wild noisy tape experiments. And amidst all these fragments, do lurk a handful of gorgeous gems, both sides end in said fashion, the A side with a dense brooding, slow build dirge, the B side with a haunting bit of pretty reverbed piano over a swirl of strange stuttering electronics. Cool stuff.
LIMITED TO 450 COPIES!!!

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN Ghost In The Supermarket (Moniker) lp 14.98
Yet another Record Store Day release, that we managed to get some extra copies of, so all our beloved, non-local customers could have a shot at snagging themselves a copy. This one from garage rock weirdo/legend Dan Melchior, a 5 song 45rpm 12" pressed up on white vinyl, that displays Melchior's poppier side, one we've got glimpses of before on other recordings, but barring one track, most of Ghost In The Supermarket is more sort of dark acoustic pop, with warm strum and simple arrangements, the opening title track sets the stage, with some fantastically twisted lo-fi pop, weirdly produced drums, lush acoustic guitars, and super bizarre lyrics, concerning the titular ghost and some Cheez Whiz, but Melchior manages to make the goofiness work, transforming what it lesser hands might have been too jokey, into a gorgeous chunk of low slung, stripped down acoustic pop, complete with a really nice, simple acoustic guitar solo. The second track is the oddball here, and gives us a glimpse of another side of Melchior's sound, one that's more post punky and garagey, angular and slithery, with jagged slashes of guitar, weird processed vox, very eighties sounding, catchy as hell, but also more rough and ragged than the rest of the record.
The B side starts off with some woozy acoustic dirgery, spaced out and droney, darkly hypnotic before drifting into some abstract Appalachian alien folk territory, all plucked melodies, and keening high end shimmer, before slipping into the gorgeous closer, a sweetly sorrowful bit of classic sounding acid folk, all warm strum and shuffling tempo, twisted lyrics again (this time about Star Trek), laced with some rad psychedelic backwards guitars. Awesome stuff! And some super bad ass cover art. And again, this was a Record Store Day release, so odds are, once we sell out, we probably won't be able to get more.

MELCHIOR, DAN Hello, I'm Dan Melchior (Shake It) cd 13.98

MELCHIOR, DAN K-85 (Homeless) lp 14.98

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN Red Nylon Valance (SDZ) 7" 10.98
We dug Melchior's most recent full length, Assemblage Blues, like crazy. It was a wild collection of garage pop, and really our first proper exposure to his noisy chaotic outsider songstyle. We played that record to death, so were super psyched to get in this new single, and it's a doozy, much darker and lower key than that record. The A side offers up moody brooding verses driven by a woozy low slung bassline, which explodes into a dizzying psychedelic organ driven chorus, the song super catchy, and maybe one of our favorite Melchior jams yet. The B side is another brooder, that sounds a little bit like a more fractured lo-fi Cardinal if that makes any sense, the same sort of stately pop vibe, but here it's all lush darkly dreamy vocal harmonies over dizzyingly looped guitar figures and has us reassessing what we said about the A side, cuz the B side is also one of our favorite Melchior jams yet. Guess that means this is most definitely recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Red Nylon Valance"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN Slow Down Tiger (Starlight Furniture Company) lp 14.98
Further down the rabbit hole goes Dan Melchior! Slow Down Tiger is the latest sonic adventure of continuously deconstructed pop for the occasional collaborator with the beloved chanteuse Holly Golightly. That said, for those looking to his lo-fi garage pop quirks, Melchior does have an album on Castle Face due out in the summer of 2014; but we gotta say that he can continue to produce these long-form weirdo collages for as long as he wants! "Tongues" rolls out with an eerie, hypnotic sitar-n-electronics loop that grounds a series of media samples / spoken word snippets from a variety of sources. The fine people down at the Starlight Furniture Company (you should really see their storefront on Mission Street in San Francisco, they really DO sell furniture! really cheap stuff, too!) have mapped out many of the sources including BBC broadcasts about poll tax riots in the UK less than three decades ago, as well as Russian and Chilean poets, obscure film clips, and some cultural lamp-lighters who shine their philosophies of curmudgeonliness and traditional lore on those who care to listen. As Melchior cuts the power on the tape loop machine, a ghostly guitar drift trickles through the shadows, dripping in equal parts with maudlin syrupiness, inky depression, and overdriven spring reverb. The vocal readymades continues to dot this landscape of guitar dronescape as dreamy allusions to those Delia Derbyshire dream-reciting experiments from the early '60s or the delightfully subversive tract of daytime soap collaged by Daniel Steven Crafts some 30 years ago. The flipside "Hospital Poem" is a desolate piece of lo-fi minimalism for chord organ and electronics, evolving into a heartbreaking, loner meditation that in all likelihood takes up the theme of Melchior's wife's cancer and her ongoing struggle with the disease. Great. Great. Great.
MPEG Stream: "Tongues"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN The Backward Path (Northern Spy) cd 14.98
This latest full length from garage rock iconoclast/legend Dan Melchior is a definite departure from recent releases, in that not only is it the first solo record on which he doesn't play everything, and collaborates with a revolving cast / sort-of back up band, but also, it's much more song based, and somber, due in no doubt to the fact that his wife Letha (who played in the late great Ruby Falls, and is an amazing musician and artist in her own right, not to mention a super rad person!) was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, and the two have been struggling to deal with all the ramifications, from struggling to pay medical bills, to facing the mortality of a loved one. And it call comes through on the Backward Path, with Melchior as the brooding troubadour, the songs darkly melancholic, sweetly melodic, his distinctive croon wrapped in acoustic strum, and wreathed in a lush tapestry of atmospheric ambience, whirring drones, woozy lysergic shimmer, some of the tracks downright psychedelic, others spare and lovely, a stripped down garage pop psych folk that feels timeless, sonically, and emotionally, and of course, the whole record is musical love letter to his wife, which only makes it that much more beautiful and powerful.
The other cool thing, is that the record's proper (love) songs are separated by short interludes, sonic experiments, reminiscent of Melchior's record on Kye, brief abstract tone poems, each a chunk of experimental psychedelic ambience, drifting guitar strums suspended in hazy blurred shimmers, soft swirls of FX, skeletal spirals of muted melody, all of which perfectly balance the songs proper. Way recommended. And of course, you can (and should!) donate to the Letha Rodman Melchior cancer fund: http://melchiorfund.blogspot.com/
MPEG Stream: "Night Comes In"
MPEG Stream: "S.P. 2"
MPEG Stream: "All The Clocks"
MPEG Stream: "I Have Known The Emptiness"
MPEG Stream: "S.P. 5"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN The Backward Path (Northern Spy) lp 17.98
This latest full length from garage rock iconoclast/legend Dan Melchior is a definite departure from recent releases, in that not only is it the first solo record on which he doesn't play everything, and collaborates with a revolving cast / sort-of back up band, but also, it's much more song based, and somber, due in no doubt to the fact that his wife Letha (who played in the late great Ruby Falls, and is an amazing musician and artist in her own right, not to mention a super rad person!) was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, and the two have been struggling to deal with all the ramifications, from struggling to pay medical bills, to facing the mortality of a loved one. And it call comes through on the Backward Path, with Melchior as the brooding troubadour, the songs darkly melancholic, sweetly melodic, his distinctive croon wrapped in acoustic strum, and wreathed in a lush tapestry of atmospheric ambience, whirring drones, woozy lysergic shimmer, some of the tracks downright psychedelic, others spare and lovely, a stripped down garage pop psych folk that feels timeless, sonically, and emotionally, and of course, the whole record is musical love letter to his wife, which only makes it that much more beautiful and powerful.
The other cool thing, is that the record's proper (love) songs are separated by short interludes, sonic experiments, reminiscent of Melchior's record on Kye, brief abstract tone poems, each a chunk of experimental psychedelic ambience, drifting guitar strums suspended in hazy blurred shimmers, soft swirls of FX, skeletal spirals of muted melody, all of which perfectly balance the songs proper. Way recommended. And of course, you can (and should!) donate to the Letha Rodman Melchior cancer fund: http://melchiorfund.blogspot.com/
MPEG Stream: "Night Comes In"
MPEG Stream: "S.P. 2"
MPEG Stream: "All The Clocks"
MPEG Stream: "I Have Known The Emptiness"
MPEG Stream: "S.P. 5"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN The Heron (Limited Appeal) lp 13.98
While Dan Melchior is probably best known for his Broke Revue, and for playing with Billy Childish and Holly Golightly, we've been digging his solo records quite a bit, the weirder the better, with the recent C.C.D.E. Music being the weirdest so far, at least until now. The Heron sports a sticker proclaiming this to be "more experimental" and is on a label called Limited Appeal. Couldn't be more appropriate cuz this stuff is pretty far out, freaky and psychedelic, but not like garage rock psychedelic, more sort of tripped out WTF? psychedelic, with much of the record sounding more like the Shadow Ring, with Melchior delivering deadpan spoken word in a thick English accent over all manner of strange noises, freeform fuzz and warped electronics. FX heavy percussion drives much of the record, that slips from tangled glitchy weirdness to space acoustic guitar strum to dirgy noisy psych to crunchy riffy plod, replete with fluttery woodwinds. Melchior's vocals are also sampled and sliced and diced and looped into the background music, adding still more weirdness, and his wife Letha delivers some spoken word as well, their vocals constantly tangled up and morphing back and forth. We're generally not huge fans of spoken word, but the Shadow Ring style vocals kinda sound cool here, especially with all the sonic weirdness going on in the background. There are bits of atmospheric ambience, and collaged textures, and some moments of truly sublime beauty, which do balance the more unhinged audio experiments, and free wheelin' abstract psychedeic freakouts. Stick around for the closer too, with its rad harmonized guitars and minor key melodies, buzzy and psychedelic and really super cool.
LIMITED TO 231 copies, each one stickered and hand numbered. Housed in a diecut jacket, with a printed inner sleeve and printed insert.

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN UND DAS MENACE Catbirds & Cardinals (Northern Spy) cd 14.98
We still really have no idea who this Dan Melchior guy is. We first discovered him via a split with SF jangle poppers the Fresh & Onlys, his side of the split a huge surprise, knocking us for a loop, and turning the previously unknown to us Melchior into a serious aQ fave. His recent lp for Siltbreeze Assemblage Blues only helped seal the deal, but where that record seemed custom made for Siltbreeze, seeming to tap into the twisted psychedelic side of Melchior's sound, and focusing on the noisier tripper more fucked up songs, this new one definitely sounds more in line with the tracks from that split single, a woozy, super melodic, shuffling, acoustic guitar flecked garage pop, hints of that classic sixties sound, plenty of weird distortion and lots of reverb, but here used sparingly, and in the interest of crafting an incredible collection of quirky lo-fi pop.
Opener "Summer In Siberia" is fuzzy and jangly, with a perfect main melody, and a killer soaring sixties style chorus, the guitars warmly distorted and crumbly, Melchior's vocals delivered in a heavily accented British brogue, the production weirdly blown out and in-the-red, while the following track is a moody minor key chunk of quirky lo-fi outsider pop, super catchy, but strangely haunting and minor key. "Squalor On Sunday" is a pounding blast of psychedelic garage rock, with some super weird vocals, wheezing organs, crunchy guitars, all wound into a noisy blurred stretch of fuzzy washed out jangle. "Catbird" is a dour atonal dirge, the guitars careening from speaker to speaker, the vocals sung/spoken, the vibe reminds us of Purling Hiss, the same sort of classic rock beholden hookiness, but here, but as beholden to the most twisted of the nineties NZ pop, and actually, much of the record sounds like it could be some long lost Xpressway or Flying Nun record from the nineties, total perfect pop, but all twisted up and turned inside out, creating a fuzzy dreamy din, all psychedelic and warped but without losing any of the poppiness or hookiness. Somehow this new full length manages to be the perfect mix of that poppy split single and the way weirder Siltbreeze record, resulting in a gloriously skewed, cacophonous fuzzy psychedelic garage pop masterpiece that we can't seem to stop listening to.
MPEG Stream: "Summer In Siberia"
MPEG Stream: "The Forest Of Tin"
MPEG Stream: "Squalor On Sunday"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN UND DAS MENACE Catbirds & Cardinals (Northern Spy) lp 17.98
We still really have no idea who this Dan Melchior guy is. We first discovered him via a split with SF jangle poppers the Fresh & Onlys, his side of the split a huge surprise, knocking us for a loop, and turning the previously unknown to us Melchior into a serious aQ fave. His recent lp for Siltbreeze Assemblage Blues only helped seal the deal, but where that record seemed custom made for Siltbreeze, seeming to tap into the twisted psychedelic side of Melchior's sound, and focusing on the noisier tripper more fucked up songs, this new one definitely sounds more in line with the tracks from that split single, a woozy, super melodic, shuffling, acoustic guitar flecked garage pop, hints of that classic sixties sound, plenty of weird distortion and lots of reverb, but here used sparingly, and in the interest of crafting an incredible collection of quirky lo-fi pop.
Opener "Summer In Siberia" is fuzzy and jangly, with a perfect main melody, and a killer soaring sixties style chorus, the guitars warmly distorted and crumbly, Melchior's vocals delivered in a heavily accented British brogue, the production weirdly blown out and in-the-red, while the following track is a moody minor key chunk of quirky lo-fi outsider pop, super catchy, but strangely haunting and minor key. "Squalor On Sunday" is a pounding blast of psychedelic garage rock, with some super weird vocals, wheezing organs, crunchy guitars, all wound into a noisy blurred stretch of fuzzy washed out jangle. "Catbird" is a dour atonal dirge, the guitars careening from speaker to speaker, the vocals sung/spoken, the vibe reminds us of Purling Hiss, the same sort of classic rock beholden hookiness, but here, but as beholden to the most twisted of the nineties NZ pop, and actually, much of the record sounds like it could be some long lost Xpressway or Flying Nun record from the nineties, total perfect pop, but all twisted up and turned inside out, creating a fuzzy dreamy din, all psychedelic and warped but without losing any of the poppiness or hookiness. Somehow this new full length manages to be the perfect mix of that poppy split single and the way weirder Siltbreeze record, resulting in a gloriously skewed, cacophonous fuzzy psychedelic garage pop masterpiece that we can't seem to stop listening to.
MPEG Stream: "Summer In Siberia"
MPEG Stream: "The Forest Of Tin"
MPEG Stream: "Squalor On Sunday"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN UND DAS MENACE Hunger (Castle Face) cd 13.98
After the twisted avant collage experimentation of the recently released Slow Down Tiger lp, Dan Melchior returns to the garage rock sound he's more well known for, on this, his first for John Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees' Castle Face label, and while it's not so nearly warped and way out as Slow Down Tiger, it's still pretty freaky. Sure there's crunchy jangly guitars, and actual proper song structures, but there's still all manner of weird noises, strange effects, some songs lurch to a stop, like in the strange spoken chorus to opener "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer", other tracks are rife with psychedelic Syd Barrett-isms, like on "Night Of Fear", which sounds like Melchior is channeling some lost sixties Floyd B-side, but filtered through a thoroughly fractured modern garage pop filter, and others are just straight up blown out old school garage rock pounders, like the urgent distorto crush of "Rip It To Pieces". Like on all the other Melchior records, he can't seem to deny his experimental side, so drum machines pop here and there, multiple vocal lines tangled into unlikely harmonies, riffs are blurred into extended distorted drones, reverb and echo are slathered on everything, but all of that weirdness is somehow corralled into the service of some seriously great songs, that most definitely do sound right at home on Castle Face.
MPEG Stream: "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer"
MPEG Stream: "Night Of Fear"
MPEG Stream: "Rip It To Pieces"
MPEG Stream: "Robotic Footprints"

album cover MELCHIOR, DAN UND DAS MENACE Hunger (Castle Face) lp 15.98
After the twisted avant collage experimentation of the recently released Slow Down Tiger lp, Dan Melchior returns to the garage rock sound he's more well known for, on this, his first for John Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees' Castle Face label, and while it's not so nearly warped and way out as Slow Down Tiger, it's still pretty freaky. Sure there's crunchy jangly guitars, and actual proper song structures, but there's still all manner of weird noises, strange effects, some songs lurch to a stop, like in the strange spoken chorus to opener "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer", other tracks are rife with psychedelic Syd Barrett-isms, like on "Night Of Fear", which sounds like Melchior is channeling some lost sixties Floyd B-side, but filtered through a thoroughly fractured modern garage pop filter, and others are just straight up blown out old school garage rock pounders, like the urgent distorto crush of "Rip It To Pieces". Like on all the other Melchior records, he can't seem to deny his experimental side, so drum machines pop here and there, multiple vocal lines tangled into unlikely harmonies, riffs are blurred into extended distorted drones, reverb and echo are slathered on everything, but all of that weirdness is somehow corralled into the service of some seriously great songs, that most definitely do sound right at home on Castle Face.
MPEG Stream: "A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer"
MPEG Stream: "Night Of Fear"
MPEG Stream: "Rip It To Pieces"
MPEG Stream: "Robotic Footprints"

album cover MELCHIOR, LETHA RODMAN Handbook For Mortals (Siltbreeze) lp 15.98
The joy of reviewing this first proper full length from Letha Rodman Melchior is tempered by the sad fact that Letha passed away recently, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Beloved by all who knew her, she chronicled her illness via a hilarious and hilariously warts-and-all blog, detailing every facet of her illness, and her struggle to beat it. Musicians and artists and friends all over the world, rallied around her, playing benefit shows, to raise money to help with her hospital bills, and while she had been making art and playing music for decades (Andee's old band toured with her old band, Ruby Falls, way back in the nineties), her marriage to Dan Melchior, a musical force in his own right, brought forth a new bout of productivity and collaboration, culminating in this, the heartbreakingly beautiful, and fantastically fanciful handbook For Mortals, a joyously uninhibited collection of ultra personal musical vignettes, hauntingly lovely landscapes of piano and clarinette, laced with mysterious squalls of soft percussion, deep shimmery drones, whipping-wind-like swirls, breaking glass, a little bit chamber music, a little bit musique concrete, a series of strange sonic collages, fusing woozy, distorted, dream pop, to fractured avant murk, buried melodies and music box like warble. Some tracks unfurl lo-fi jumbles of found sounds, loopy percussion, swirling FX, others hushed, pastoral ambience, choral vocal harmonies and field recordings. The songs are laced with glitched out electronics, occasionally wrapped around stately piano threnodies, other times blossoming into wild sprawls of crumbling, distorted noise. Here and there, ramshackle ballads dissolve into equal parts hushed piano, recordings from the hospital (the beep of a life support machine surfaces on one track) and creaking machine like clatter. Handbook For Mortals is a heady, heavenly mix of twisted, mad scientist avant noise, and hushed, delicate, home brewed songcraft, a gorgeous bit of sound art, that has now been transformed into a beautifully bittersweet, and heartbreakingly poignant threnody.
R.I.P Letha. You will be missed.
MPEG Stream: "Hypatia Rilles"
MPEG Stream: "Mare Crisium"
MPEG Stream: "Marsh Of Sleep"
MPEG Stream: "Humouresques"

album cover MELECHESH Djinn (Osmose) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ok, so American death metallers Nile might have the market for Egyptian-themed metal all to themselves. And they're damn good at it. But what about the rest of the Middle East? Well, the guys in Melechesh play "Mesopotamian Metal"! And, they actually hail from the region -- several of the band are Arab-Israelis, now living in Europe. It's really an international effort, as on Djinn they are joined by new drummer Sir Proscriptor McGovern of Texan black trashers Absu! Hopefully you all know about him and them (see elsewhere this list for a review of the incredible new Absu disc). With Proscriptor, Melechesh take their Arabian Nights metal to new heights. Kinda like those '60s Turkish psych bands did on that fab "Hava Narghile" comp reviewed last list, the Melechesh legions fuse traditional Arabic music with their chosen brand of rock, in this case, black metal. The combination works really well, 'cause they do it with such heaviness and intensity. One of their slower numbers, "A Summoning Of Ifrit And Genii", might be one of the best metal songs we've heard all year. So, the music's great, and the occultic Middle Eastern concept's cool. They even have a song called "Rub The Lantern" (Hehehe, what's that an euphemism for? the Beavises among you are thinking...no, it's a song about rubbing the lantern, literally). Recommended. And it's amazing how much this ends up sounding like a metal version of Dick Dale...
RealAudio clip: "Whispers From The Tower"
RealAudio clip: "A Summoning Of Ifrit And Genii"
RealAudio clip: "Oasis Of Molten Gold"

album cover MELECHESH Emissaries (Osmose) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Holy crap this band SLAYS. What (the death metal band) Nile are to Egypt, this black metal outfit is to Iraq... That is, Melechesh consider themselves to play "Mesopotamian metal", lyrically focused on the mythology and mysticism of ancient Sumer. Except that, moreso than Nile, the music of Melechesh more fully incorporates influences from the traditional folk musics of the Middle East. So they're kind of an extreme metal version of the '60s Turkish psych bands we love so much, the garagey fuzz guitars replaced with downtuned distorted METAL guitars, making bellydance music with blastbeats. And, unlike Nile who are Americans, the guys in Melechesh actually all originally hail from the region (they're Arabs, emigrated to Europe). Well, they used to have a Texan in the band, the illustrious occultic drumbeast known as Proscriptor (of Absu fame) but on this album he's been replaced with a new drummer, Xul. Proscriptor's a tough act to follow but this Xul guy manages to do so quite well! Wow.
We've raved about 'em before, so hopefully you've already got some Melechesh in your collection and are as excited as we are about this new release, which is from the get-go a raging maelstrom of vicious riffage and masterful metal composition. Crushing AND catchy, technical, and very very METAL, yet with that extra Middle Eastern X-factor that makes it even better in our book, and allows the band to slow down for extra-ethnic, atmospheric interludes like "The Scribes Of Kur". Really, there's nothing we can find fault with here at all. A seriously great Middle Eastern metal assault, which even includes a cover of a song by a (Middle Eastern influenced) Canadian pop band, The Tea Party, weirdly, and cooly, enough. It's a shame that it's impossible to think about the ancient cultures and traditions of Middle East, and Iraq in particular, that Melechesh drawns such inspiration from, without of course dwelling on the current fucked up situation there, which sadly hasn't gotten any better since the release of Melechesh's last album back in 2003...
MPEG Stream: "Rebirth Of The Nemesis"
MPEG Stream: "Deluge Of Delusional Dreams"

album cover MELECHESH Emissaries (Osmose Productions) lp 21.00
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!!
Holy crap this band SLAYS. What (the death metal band) Nile are to Egypt, this black metal outfit is to Iraq... That is, Melechesh consider themselves to play "Mesopotamian metal", lyrically focused on the mythology and mysticism of ancient Sumer. Except that, moreso than Nile, the music of Melechesh more fully incorporates influences from the traditional folk musics of the Middle East. So they're kind of an extreme metal version of the '60s Turkish psych bands we love so much, the garagey fuzz guitars replaced with downtuned distorted METAL guitars, making bellydance music with blastbeats. And, unlike Nile who are Americans, the guys in Melechesh actually all originally hail from the region (they're Arabs, emigrated to Europe). Well, they used to have a Texan in the band, the illustrious occultic drumbeast known as Proscriptor (of Absu fame) but on this album he's been replaced with a new drummer, Xul. Proscriptor's a tough act to follow but this Xul guy manages to do so quite well! Wow.
We've raved about 'em before, so hopefully you've already got some Melechesh in your collection and are as excited as we are about this new release, which is from the get-go a raging maelstrom of vicious riffage and masterful metal composition. Crushing AND catchy, technical, and very very METAL, yet with that extra Middle Eastern X-factor that makes it even better in our book, and allows the band to slow down for extra-ethnic, atmospheric interludes like "The Scribes Of Kur". Really, there's nothing we can find fault with here at all. A seriously great Middle Eastern metal assault, which even includes a cover of a song by a (Middle Eastern influenced) Canadian pop band, The Tea Party, weirdly, and cooly, enough. It's a shame that it's impossible to think about the ancient cultures and traditions of Middle East, and Iraq in particular, that Melechesh drawns such inspiration from, without of course dwelling on the current fucked up situation there, which sadly hasn't gotten any better since the release of Melechesh's last album back in 2003...
MPEG Stream: "Rebirth Of The Nemesis"
MPEG Stream: "Deluge Of Delusional Dreams"

album cover MELECHESH Epigenesis (Nuclear Blast) cd 15.98
Good grief, but Melechesh certainly makes it tough for other 'extreme' metal bands to compete. If it wasn't enough that they're masters of razor sharp, ripping blackened deathly thrashy metal, they've also got the Middle Eastern thing going for 'em. Not just lyrically (they're into Mesopotamian mythology) but musically as well this has Middle Eastern motifs, heck there's even some bouzouki on here, and you know how much we like Middle Eastern influenced rock music, all that '60 Turkish psych stuff, well this is the modern metal equivalent! Plus these guys are a lot "closer to the source" than, say, those Egyptology obsessives in Nile, who are Americans. Melechesh are Palestinian Arabs, originally from Israel, and this album was recorded at a studio in Istanbul.
It's been four years since their last album, the amazing Emissaries, and they haven't changed much, except to get even better if possible. These songs are, as always, both crushing and catchy, as well as mystically, "magickally" atmospheric... mesmerizingly so, via the heaving heaviness of such tracks as "The Magickan And The Drones" (the magick wins out), full of sinuous, serious, seasawing riffage that leaves us utterly hypnotized. Elsewhere, the blazing fast battery does the same trick. Yet another AQ-approved aspect of Melechesh is how fist-pumpingly metal they manage to be, showing that their Middle Eastern sound might also have something to do with Iron Maiden's "Powerslave"!
Definitely for fans of Absu (whose Proscriptor was in fact a Melechesh member for a while), with whom they share some similarities of sound and vision; also of course the aforementioned Nile (though those guys are much more death metal) and Morbid Angel (who also are inspired by ancient Sumer). For another concocted comparison, imagine Dissection with a Middle Eastern makeover, maybe.
Highly recommended, this pushes a lot of buttons for us, definitely gonna be a major contender for 2010 top tens. Like we said, when you're listening to this, it's hard to see what else could compete. Comes packaged in a digipak, with suitably esoterically evocative artwork.
MPEG Stream: "Grand Gathas Of Baal Sin"
MPEG Stream: "Sacred Geometry"
MPEG Stream: "Mystics Of The Pillar"

MELECHESH Sphynx (Osmose) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Those crazy "Mesopotamian" metallers Melechesh are back, following up their last album, Djinn, considered a best of 2002 metal release 'round here, with this equally killer collection of tunes. The band consists of two Arab-Israelis now living in Europe and, perhaps the key to how Melechesh has become such a force to be reckoned with, percussion perfectionist Proscriptor of Texas black thrashers Absu. Dunno how they get together to practice or write songs, but whatever they do seems to work! As on Djinn, they meld traditional Middle Eastern music with black/death metal, kind of like an extreme update of the way those "Turkish Delights" garage-psych bands did it. They take their influences seriously -- in fact there's an enhanced portion of the cd that will fill your computer screen with lengthy explanations of their musicology, complete with guitar tabulature, drum beat analysis, and even pictures of the "oriental" instruments used alongside the usual electric guitars, bass and drums on the album! Then again, this is also state of the art metal. Sphynx is crammed with riffs, complex detail, constant changes, the utmost in headbanging tech. Totally adrenalized, thrashy and catchy. Fans should happily note that this includes their awesome track from the last Osmose World Domination sampler. Oh, and in case you're wondering, we found no overt references to the war in Iraq. These guys are more interested in ancient supernatural stuff than they are in our less-than-mystical world of strife.
MPEG Stream: "Tablets Of Fate"

album cover MELEE Violent Forms Of Laughter Pt. 2 (Arbor) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ultra underground noisemakers Graveyards have a bunch of stuff out, all of it so limited none of it has made it into AQ, BUT, we managed to get a little handful of these, the most recent release from Melee, who as far as we can tell is the rhythm section of Graveyards with some added man power on trumpet(!).
Won't get into it too much as we only have a few of these, but Melee, are pretty great, doing a sort of abstract ambient thing, weird little electronic squiggles, distant hums and rumbles, low end drones and streaks of static and tape hiss, disembodied melodies and melodic fragments, drifting amidst slow shimmering soundscapes of ultra minimal buzz and throb. It's actually pretty dreamy, and as the band sort of blisses out, it does sort of sound like some VERY minimal abstract Taj Mahal Travellers thing, abstract and organic, simple, but rife with layers of sound and constantly shifting overtones. Some serious, super abstract, minimal psych dronedrift for sure.
Packaged in hand painted soft plastic tape cases, with paste on hand screened artwork, with a photocopied insert, each tape also with screened label and hand painted.
LIMITED TO 200 COPIES. We have 5 or 6...

album cover MELENCOLIA ESTATICA Hel (Temple Of Torturous) cd 14.98
This is the first we've heard from this one woman black metal band, the work of a single entity almost comically named Climaxia, but there's nothing comical about Hel, an epic and super progressive slab of experimental atmospheric black metal. Inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis, this six part songsuite finds ME weaving an impossibly lush landscape of black buzz, industrial murk, dreamy almost psychedelic ambience, part one pretty much lays it all out, loping black metal, more muddy and washed out than buzzy, giving the whole thing a seriously dreamlike quality, the sound sound shifts, and splinters into a strange soaring blackened majesty, with some insanely deep demonic bellowed vokills, which get processed and transformed into clouds of hisses and whispers, before the buzz peels away, leaving clean guitar, murky drumming, a sky full of tangled voices, the sound super cinematic and WAY creepy, and then in swoop some angelic clean female vox, the effect choral, almost liturgical really, the sound seeming to grow more and more abstract, more psychedelic, the metal elements disappearing in a cloud of druggy FX heavy swirl. But we're still only partway through, the sound explodes into a grinding gout of heaviness, before once again transforming into a sort of gloomy dirge rock, the vocals now a throaty croon, haunting and heavy.
The second track begins in full black metal buzz mode, but again, the timbre and quality of the sound makes it much more dreamy and tranced out, those growled demonic vokills the only thing making it sound truly black metal, and even here, after a minute, the sound devolves into a stretch of clean guitar drift, before launching into another blast of blackness. The whole record, while heavy on the black buzz, spends much of its time drifting through fields of psychedelic shimmer, distant buzz, and slow, dirgey atmospheric creeps, and it's those interludes and non-metal parts that seem to seep into the blacker buzzier parts, transforming them into something much more moody and melancholic, not to mention all sorts of strange effects, warble guitars, twisted harmonies, dubbed out drumming, each song imbued with a sort of soft cacophony, that constantly threatens to overtake the black buzz, and often gloriously does!
Packaged in a super swank black and gold six panel embossed digipak...
MPEG Stream: "I"
MPEG Stream: "II"
MPEG Stream: "III"

album cover MELK The G6-49 (Joyful Noise) cd 14.98
From the Joyful Noise Label:
All the traditional melodies and musical conventions have been stripped away leaving the bare bones of an epic noise-rock opus. It is relentless, it's loud, it's mathy, it's symphonic without being rigidly structured. I'm not sure that melk could properly be considered a 'noise' band, because this is not shapeless distortion. Beneath the pirouetting curlicues of feedback and the convulsive pulse of the drums--there is a geometry and there is a message.

album cover MELLE, GIL The Andromeda Strain (Intrada) cd 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Andromeda Strain was Michael Crichton's first book published under his own name, and told the story of a military probe returning to Earth bearing a lethal, microscopic virus, that proceeds to wiped out an entire New Mexico town, as scientists frantically try to devise a way to destroy the ever mutating virus, eventually considering detonating a nuclear bomb, sacrificing their lives to destroy this insidious interloper. The book was a huge success, as was the movie that followed, retaining the book's documentary-like vibe, hiring unknown actors as well as using graphic footage of virus victims dying. Long a cult favorite, the movie was most notable to music geeks for two reasons, its trippy electronic musique concrete score, and that score's original lp release, which found the record housed in a cool octagonal sleeve, mirroring a recurring shape in the film.
The music, composed by Gil Melle, is incredible, minimal and abstract, but haunting and ominous, even removed from the visuals, it's a harrowing listen, much of it performed on an instrument called the Percussotron III, the FIRST instrument ever designed and built specifically for a film score, some sort of primitive synthesizer we'd assume, percussive as well judging by the name, but details and history aside, this is just a simply fantastic piece of music. Strange electronic chirps, ominous low end thrums, helicopter like whirs, deep swirling drones, spidery squiggly high end melodies, blooping and bleeping glitch skitter, some mechanical percussion, plucked strings, crunchy buzzing swells, haunting bell like tones, militaristic snares, clipped and truncated scrapes and bleats, moaning strings, shimmering synth buzz, tinkling piano, clouds of music box like chirps and whistles, blurred and smeared into a whirling cloud of intertwined sine wave tones, grinding rumbles over swirling streaks of hiss, chromatic melodies unfolding into atonal shards of jagged crumbling sound, cool stuttery machine like rhythms over tangles of bass warble and clouds of glitch, and huge psychedelic swirls of interlocking prismatic tones, all the various elements woven into a truly otherworldly soundtrack. One that sounds like some legendary lost musique concrete artifact, as much as it does a chunk of kitschy sci-fi weirdness, when in fact it's most definitely both.
Unfortunately this reissue doesn't replicate the awesome octagonal packaging, but it makes up for it with a massive booklet, featuring tons of photos, liner notes about the movie, the soundtrack, the composer, each individual song, as well as all of the original lp liner notes. So awesome. We'd been waiting for a proper reissue of this FOREVER. So totally recommended, sorry it's not cheaper...
MPEG Stream: "Wildfire"
MPEG Stream: "Hex"
MPEG Stream: "Andromeda"
MPEG Stream: "Desert Trip"

MELLOW CANDLE Swaddling Songs (Esoteric Recordings) cd 21.00

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