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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.


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 popisms, like on "Night Of Fear", where Melchior is channeling sixties flower-poppers The Move, 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 popisms, like on "Night Of Fear", where Melchior is channeling sixties flower-poppers The Move, 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

album cover MELLOW GRAVE Smoke Filled the Room, We Slept (Living Tapes) lp 15.98
Originally released as a super limited cassette, this killer chunk of witch house gets the deluxe vinyl treatment, and fuck the haters out there, it sounds as good as ever. Again, it bears repeating that for a genre that seemed to be born, get WAY too popular, and then incur a ridiculous backlash in such a short amount of time, the number of ACTUAL releases is surprisingly low, with most of the tracks released as cd-r's or mp3's or on SoundCloud or whatever, which is kind of a bummer, cuz as much as popular opinion may have turned, we still love this sound. The thick gloomy synths, the skittery crunk like beats, the chopped and screwed vocals, the doomy psychedelic ambience, all woven into some weird sort of grim gloomy electro, which appropriately goes by many genre names, drag, grave rave, zombie rave, cave rave, but you know what, we're fine with witch house. And really, if you dug the Salem (and really how could you not?!), then this will definitely push those same buttons. Not nearly as M83 blown out shoegaze pop (although there are some very M83 moments), and minus the rapping, Mellow Grave while sonically similar in many ways, definitely have their own take on WH, which is more of a gloomy new wave pop, infused with all the above mentioned elements, we hear bits of Joy Division for sure, New Order, Cold Cave, seems like adventurous fans of those bands might dig this as well. Industrial percussion, wheezing ominous synths, rhythmic stutter and skitter, warm deeply crooned vocals, loads of psychedelic effects, the songs usually crawl and creep, but when the tempo gets cranked, the frantic vibe is pretty exhilarating.
The opening track might still be our fave, with its horror movies synths over drum machine skitter and deep rumbling bass buzz, it's easy to imagine this as some sort of modern John Carpenter influenced composition for some crazed art flick, and then the vocals come in, and becomes some sort of dour witchy synth pop, laced with all manner of tangled melodies, and clipped and looped voices buried in the mix, haunting and hooky and so great. The second track is just as cool, sacrificing the thick low end heaviness for some killer stuttery industrial beats, that wind around more crooned vox and cool hooky distorted synth melodies that almost sound like some weird guitar buzz, the whole thing peppered with these machinegun like blasts of percussion. So killer. Recommended for fans of any of the current crop of new / cold / synth / electro wave, and obviously anyone who digs Salem, Balam Acab, Mater Suspiria Vision and all the rest, this is most definitely your new favorite record.
MPEG Stream: "Oxygen"
MPEG Stream: "Melatonin"
MPEG Stream: "Amphibian"
MPEG Stream: "Burn One"

album cover MELLOWHYPE Blackenedwhite (Fat Possum) cd 13.98
Mellowhype is the latest subversive sonic missive from the uber hyped Odd Future hip hop crew, which finally shines the spotlight on some of the other members after Tyler The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt getting most of the love up until now. But Mellowhype, aka Hodgy Beats and Left Brain, were in fact responsible for much of the production on those records, but unlike the spare sketelal horrorcore creep of Tyler's Goblin, and the stripped down minimal thump of Earl's jams, the sound of Mellowhype is much more lush, but no less twisted, what on the surface sounds like radio ready hip hop, seems to melt before your ears, sounds changing pitch, beats slowing down and speeding up, vocals constantly shifting, the sound peppered with glitches and tape dropouts, the melodies warped and woozy, it's the kind of shit that SHOULD be all over the radio, it's got all the elements required, but fortunately for us, that stuff is filtered through Odd Future's cracked perception of hip hop, and comes out the other end all mangled and fantastically fucked up.
After hearing this we imagine it's only a matter of time before big hip hop names start tapping these guys for remixes, or even just for beats, cuz these guys have crafted a serious slab of WTF here, a dizzying hybrid of purposefully problematic Odd Futurisms melded to surprisingly hooky hip-pop, and irresistible melodies, some killer flows, ominous loops, beats that slip from Southern crunkified skitter, to pounding black rocking crunch, resident Odd Future RnB-er Frank Ocean even drops in for a bit of crooning, and in true OF fashion his swoonsome hook is set amidst a jumble of warbly synths, hiccupping beats, and some damaged confusional lyrics. Awesome stuff. More than lives up to the hype.
MPEG Stream: "Primo"
MPEG Stream: "Gunsounds"
MPEG Stream: "Brain"
MPEG Stream: "64"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR Corollaries (Erased Tapes) cd 17.98
Lubomyr Melnyk is one of our favorite modern composers. The inventor and master of the Continuous Music technique, which has made him the Guinness-recognized fastest piano player in the world. But was we mentioned in other reviews, this speed and mastery is deftly employed, to create lush clouds of billowing chordal shimmer, the sort of dreamlike divine sound that should have Melnyk spoken about in the same sort or reverential tones reserved for legends like Reich and Riley and Palestine. Melnyk's method involves keeping the pedals on the piano depressed, allowing notes to ring out, bleed into each other, creating lush expanses of constantly shifting overtones, sounds layered and bleeding into one another, creating huge swaths of organic sound, a sound that seems to be alive, full of energy and emotion, not just Melnyk's technique, but his compositions as well, a true master who has created some of the most amazing modern piano music we've ever heard. The sad thing is that his records are quite difficult to find, and the fact that he has composed so many pieces, and his interest is in allowing people to hear as much of his music as possible, most of those records exist only as cd-r's. But gradually, it seems, interest in Melnyk has been growing, we've certainly been doing everything we can, constantly proselytizing, telling everyone we know about Melnyk and his music, reviewing them on our list, and getting as much of his music as we can into the ears of folks we think need to hear it, which we think is many of you.
So we're super excited whenever one of his records gets a proper worldwide release, and thus, we were thrilled when we first heard about Corollaries. Which besides being one of the few non-cd-r Melnyk releases, is also of note as it's the first collaboration we've heard from him. Even on past records where multiple pianos were used, Melnyk played all the parts. But here, Melnyk is joined by Peter Broderick and Martin Heyne, who give Melnyk's music an interesting, sort of washed out gauzy production, which really suits the sound, but beyond that, also contribute synthesizer, violin and vocals! We weren't at all sure what to expect, but were actually quite pleasantly surprised.
The opener here "Pockets Of Light" finds us in familiar territory, with Melnyk laying down a lush landscape of swirling notes, and lush chordal shimmer, and as we (and many of you) know by now, that's all we really need, Melnyk and his Continuous Music method are more than enough to fill the speakers, and your headphones and your ears with a wild field of sound, one that is so easy to get lost in, but here, the addition of violin, adds a fantastic element, a bit of a drone, and a melodic counterpoint, also complimented by the dreamlike production, we were pretty skeptical about the vocals, but when they come in, the sound is transformed into a gorgeous, shimmery sort of slowcore, Broderick's vocals high and clear, warm and emotional, drifting atop, Melnyk's lush landscape of chordal swirl, the more we listen, the more we realize we actually might have liked more of the songs to have vocals. Imagine Low with clouds of piano shimmer and you might be close. Divine and dreamlike and utterly mesmerizingly lovely.
"The Six Day Moment" is Melnyk solo, and is a delight of course, a dense, intricate classical music, that almost sounds like multiple players, but it's never too busy, or too chaotic, it's instead lush and lovely, melodic and moving, lyrical and haunting, we could listen to Melnyk play forever, and listening to this, we begin to wonder why someone hasn't asked him to score their film, the sound so evocative and cinematic, epic and intense. "A Warmer Place" finds Broderick returning again, this time playing violin, Melnyk's playing spare and minimal, demonstrating, that it's not just about speed or notes, lots of space, ambient and ethereal, Broderick's minimal melodies perfectly underpinning Melnyk's delicate crystalline arrangements, wintery and wonderfully melancholy.
"Nightrail From The Sun" might be the biggest surprise here, with its casual conversation laced false start, to the hypnotic piano/guitar interplay, some serious Reich/Riley style melodic mesmer going on here, Broderick adding some heft and background color via synth, but for the most part, it's the interplay between Melnyk's piano and Martyn Heyne's guitar that makes this so stunning, and like the other tracks, we find ourselves wishing for a whole record of this. And when Broderick amps up the synth, the sound becomes super dramatic, almost Godspeed-like in its brooding intensity. In many ways, it's like an even more intricate avant version of the recent collaboration between Melnyk and James Blackshaw. And finally, the record finishes off with another Melnyk / Broderick duet, this one with a distinctly mournful almost country feel, the violin unfurling an aching minor key melody, while Melnyk underpins Broderick's violin, with sweetly understated piano, the sound building to something extremely emotional and moving, again, evoking all sorts of images and emotions, and again making us wonder why Melnyk and Broderick aren't scoring films, the closer so cinematic, and expressively cinematic, lush and so so lovely.
Like everything we've heard from Melnyk, and absolute treasure, and a fantastic collaboration, that we hope will inspire many more, and will finally get the rest of the world to discover what we already know, that Melnyk is a genius. This record is simply more proof of that.
MPEG Stream: "Pockets Of Light"
MPEG Stream: "The Six Day Moment"
MPEG Stream: "Nightrail From The Sun"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR Corollaries (Erased Tapes) 2lp 34.00
Lubomyr Melnyk is one of our favorite modern composers. The inventor and master of the Continuous Music technique, which has made him the Guinness-recognized fastest piano player in the world. But was we mentioned in other reviews, this speed and mastery is deftly employed, to create lush clouds of billowing chordal shimmer, the sort of dreamlike divine sound that should have Melnyk spoken about in the same sort or reverential tones reserved for legends like Reich and Riley and Palestine. Melnyk's method involves keeping the pedals on the piano depressed, allowing notes to ring out, bleed into each other, creating lush expanses of constantly shifting overtones, sounds layered and bleeding into one another, creating huge swaths of organic sound, a sound that seems to be alive, full of energy and emotion, not just Melnyk's technique, but his compositions as well, a true master who has created some of the most amazing modern piano music we've ever heard. The sad thing is that his records are quite difficult to find, and the fact that he has composed so many pieces, and his interest is in allowing people to hear as much of his music as possible, most of those records exist only as cd-r's. But gradually, it seems, interest in Melnyk has been growing, we've certainly been doing everything we can, constantly proselytizing, telling everyone we know about Melnyk and his music, reviewing them on our list, and getting as much of his music as we can into the ears of folks we think need to hear it, which we think is many of you.
So we're super excited whenever one of his records gets a proper worldwide release, and thus, we were thrilled when we first heard about Corollaries. Which besides being one of the few non-cd-r Melnyk releases, is also of note as it's the first collaboration we've heard from him. Even on past records where multiple pianos were used, Melnyk played all the parts. But here, Melnyk is joined by Peter Broderick and Martin Heyne, who give Melnyk's music an interesting, sort of washed out gauzy production, which really suits the sound, but beyond that, also contribute synthesizer, violin and vocals! We weren't at all sure what to expect, but were actually quite pleasantly surprised.
The opener here "Pockets Of Light" finds us in familiar territory, with Melnyk laying down a lush landscape of swirling notes, and lush chordal shimmer, and as we (and many of you) know by now, that's all we really need, Melnyk and his Continuous Music method are more than enough to fill the speakers, and your headphones and your ears with a wild field of sound, one that is so easy to get lost in, but here, the addition of violin, adds a fantastic element, a bit of a drone, and a melodic counterpoint, also complimented by the dreamlike production, we were pretty skeptical about the vocals, but when they come in, the sound is transformed into a gorgeous, shimmery sort of slowcore, Broderick's vocals high and clear, warm and emotional, drifting atop, Melnyk's lush landscape of chordal swirl, the more we listen, the more we realize we actually might have liked more of the songs to have vocals. Imagine Low with clouds of piano shimmer and you might be close. Divine and dreamlike and utterly mesmerizingly lovely.
"The Six Day Moment" is Melnyk solo, and is a delight of course, a dense, intricate classical music, that almost sounds like multiple players, but it's never too busy, or too chaotic, it's instead lush and lovely, melodic and moving, lyrical and haunting, we could listen to Melnyk play forever, and listening to this, we begin to wonder why someone hasn't asked him to score their film, the sound so evocative and cinematic, epic and intense. "A Warmer Place" finds Broderick returning again, this time playing violin, Melnyk's playing spare and minimal, demonstrating, that it's not just about speed or notes, lots of space, ambient and ethereal, Broderick's minimal melodies perfectly underpinning Melnyk's delicate crystalline arrangements, wintery and wonderfully melancholy.
"Nightrail From The Sun" might be the biggest surprise here, with its casual conversation laced false start, to the hypnotic piano/guitar interplay, some serious Reich/Riley style melodic mesmer going on here, Broderick adding some heft and background color via synth, but for the most part, it's the interplay between Melnyk's piano and Martyn Heyne's guitar that makes this so stunning, and like the other tracks, we find ourselves wishing for a whole record of this. And when Broderick amps up the synth, the sound becomes super dramatic, almost Godspeed-like in its brooding intensity. In many ways, it's like an even more intricate avant version of the recent collaboration between Melnyk and James Blackshaw. And finally, the record finishes off with another Melnyk / Broderick duet, this one with a distinctly mournful almost country feel, the violin unfurling an aching minor key melody, while Melnyk underpins Broderick's violin, with sweetly understated piano, the sound building to something extremely emotional and moving, again, evoking all sorts of images and emotions, and again making us wonder why Melnyk and Broderick aren't scoring films, the closer so cinematic, and expressively cinematic, lush and so so lovely.
Like everything we've heard from Melnyk, and absolute treasure, and a fantastic collaboration, that we hope will inspire many more, and will finally get the rest of the world to discover what we already know, that Melnyk is a genius. This record is simply more proof of that.
MPEG Stream: "Pockets Of Light"
MPEG Stream: "The Six Day Moment"
MPEG Stream: "Nightrail From The Sun"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR KMH (Unseen Worlds) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ever since we heard Wave-Lox, possibly the most famous piece by composer/pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, we were totally smitten. The sound an impossible mashup of Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Charlemagne Palestine. A modern reimagining of the minimalist tradition, with his Continuous Music system developed over years and years, finding inspiration in harmony and expressing it through fluidity and virtuosity, dense flurries of notes. Later, the playing would become faster, even setting a world record, but always at the core of Melnyk's sound, was harmony and melody and simple beauty.
It's appropriate that KMH is the first actual Melnyk cd ever released (all the rest have been cd-r's) as this was his first actual recording. After years of perfecting this new technique, KMH was finally released in 1978, and while reminiscent of Reich's Music For 18 Musicians, it was something entirely new. Sound based on the movement of dancers, the music of moving and standing still all at once.
For those of you familiar with other Melnyk discs we reviewed, the sound here, while notably different, will at once be quite familiar, the main difference being that the sound is not so dense, there are not so many notes, the playing is not quite as fast, instead, it's deeper, and slower and almost dreamier, still warm and magical, but like a slowed down, relaxed version of Wave-Lox. Almost more traditionally twentieth century sounding, but at the same time, still wonderfully unique, and much more emotionally resonant than much modern minimalism.
For those who have yet to experience the amazing sounds of Lubomyr Melnyk, this is the perfect introduction, the first recorded instance of his Continuous Music, a technique involving continuos melodies, constant playing up and down the keyboard, with the pedals constantly depressed, allowing the notes to ring out and drift into one another, the various notes and overtones blending and beating, creating strange and mysterious harmonies.
Little fluttering clouds of notes drift in weightless swirls, like dust motes in beams of sunlight. It's like the musical equivalent of a snowglobe, notes drifting and floating everywhere, forming shapes, and then just as quickly turning back into separate notes again, the sound both wintry and warm, dreamily dizzying and serenely soothing. So totally captivating. A glorious glimpse into the formative stages of one of our favorite modern composers.
Packaged with all new artwork, new liner notes, photos, and the original liner notes from the original release.
MPEG Stream: "One"
MPEG Stream: "Two"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR Legend and Song of Galadriel (Bandura) cd-r 16.98
The name Lubomyr Melnyk is most likely not familiar to you. It definitely wasn't to us. Until a customer suggested we check out this unique piano player. He told us he thought it sounded like playing three Terry Riley records at the same time, which sounded pretty darn good. And we were not disappointed. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. We got a disc called Wave-Lox in, and we have been unable to keep it in stock, a swirling flurry of impossibly fast notes, a billowy cloud of piano ambience. How about a quick recap on the illustrious Mr. Melnyk:
In the early 70's Melnyk developed a unique approach to the piano called Continuous Music, a physical and mental technique that allowed Melnyk to play an incredible amount of notes at an incredible speed. In fact he holds two world records, one as the fastest pianist in the world, sustaining speeds of over 19.5 notes per second in each hand, simultaneously! And two, for the most number of notes played in one hour! In 60 minutes, Melnyk sustained an average speed of over 13 notes per second in each hand, yielding a total of 93,650 INDIVIDUAL notes.
That's right. World's fastest pianist. But Melnyk uses his powers for good. This is not wanky showboating, or Yngwie style pointless shredding, no this speed is necessary to realize his music, dense swirls of hundreds and hundreds of notes, whirling and swirling, overtones shifting and tonal color slowly changing. It's like looking at a pointilist painting close up, or sitting two inches from the television, colored dots, streaks of light, weaving in and around and all about each other, creating almost dronelike ambience, that seems almost static from a distance, but up close, it's made up of millions of tiny flitting parts and pieces. See the review for Wave-Lox elsewhere on the site for more about Melnyk and Continuous Music, because while The Song Of Galadriel employs similar technique, the results are a bit different.
It's hard to know what to say about this piece. On first listen it is much more traditionally classical sounding than Melnyk's other works, but according to the liner notes it is "one of the composer's most deeply personal and melodic works so far", and one can almost hear that in the music. Much darker, with much more attention paid to the lower registers, giving the piece a dark and ominous feel. The low end rumbles and sustains creating a warm dark drone above which little squalls of tinkling melodies swirl and soar. The main melody is quite subtle, being that it is created by hundreds of notes together, a lot like looking at a picture too close, so all you see are dots and lines, but as you step back, a picture begins to take shape. This is indeed lovely, and mournful and rich with emotion, while Melnyk's other pieces are more abstract and serve more as abstract and meditative, Galadriel definitely seems to have a narrative, and listening from start to finish, one definitely feels like a story was told, life and love and loss and hope and death and forgiveness all somehow represented in tiny little piano pixels. So totally fantastic.
It has been ages since we have been so blown away by a new discovery, and not just a new performer but a new way of performing. And for those of you who are especially moved by this music, you can write to Melnyk and purchase a course that will train you to be able to play Continuous Music. But be warned, Continuous Music requires serious discipline, in fact Melnyk, when he first started out, was unable to perform the pieces he composed, and only after years of strict discipline, including extra training, both physical and mental, in the form of martial techniques like Tai Chi, was he finally able to play the music the way he intended it to be played. SO AWESOME!!
These are professionally printed cd-r's with full color covers and extensive liner notes, they are bit more expensive than most cd-r's we carry because instead of mass producing one or two titles, Melnyk wanted to make available all of the pieces he has been working on for the last 20 years. Thus each disc is pressed in a super limited run, but what that also means is that there are 50 or more different pieces to choose from, all of them utterly amazing.
MPEG Stream: "Song Of Galadriel"

MELNYK, LUBOMYR Music For Solo & Double Pianos (SP1) (Bandura) cd-r 16.98

MELNYK, LUBOMYR Niche / Nourish / Niche-xon: Continuous Music For 2 Pianos (Bandura) cd-r 16.98

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR Remnants Of A Man / The Fountain (Bandura) cd-r 16.98
This is the fourth record we've reviewed from Lubomyr Melnyk, pianist and inventor of the Continuous Music technique. A customer suggest we check him out describing him as sounding like three Terry Riley records being played at once. And it does. And it's amazing. Anyone who owns any of the other three will most likely want this one too. It's definitely similar as are all the pieces utilizing Melnyk's technique, but it has its own unique sound and arrangement that makes it just as special as any of the other recordings we've had. And as with many things we just can't get enough.
For those of you who missed the titles we already listed or are new to the AQ list, here's a little info about Melnyk and his amazing technique:
In the early '70s Melnyk developed a unique approach to the piano called Continuous Music, a physical and mental technique that allowed Melnyk to play an incredible amount of notes at an incredible speed. In fact he holds two world records, one as the fastest pianist in the world, sustaining speeds of over 19.5 notes per second in each hand, simultaneously! And two, for the most number of notes played in one hour! In 60 minutes, Melnyk sustained an average speed of over 13 notes per second in each hand, yielding a total of 93,650 INDIVIDUAL notes. Holy shit!! But don't be mislead, this is not some Yngwie bullshit, where songs and composition are sacrificed for mere shredding. No, there is a method to Melnyk's madness, and the result says all that needs to be said. Continuous Music as you might have surmised, involves generating an extremely rapid flow of notes, with the pedal sustained non stop, patterns, broken chords, the sound is dense and dizzying, like glimpsing the inner workings of some tiny lifeform and watching atoms and molecules spin and swirl. The result of so many notes, played so quickly and so close together, with the overtones drifting and bleeding into each other, is some of the most breathtaking music we've ever heard. It's almost like a waterfall of piano notes, a frothy cascade of tinkling sparkling melody, or a laying beneath a perfectly black night sky, watching a million fireflies dance and flit, a sky full of tiny little streaks of light. At once chaotic and soothing, confusional yet serene. Close listening yields so much detail, like looking at a piano concerto through a microscope, not so close listening offers the listener a glorious abstract soundscape on which to drift away.
Just re-reading that gets us excited all over again. This music is indeed amazing and incredibly unique. A dizzying swirl of solo piano. So dense and deep it doesn't sound like it could possibly be coming from just two pianos. It's almost like someone took a million pianos, removed every note from each piano, placed them in some sort of giant container, shook it up, and then dumped all the notes over our heads. But somehow, the notes fall in perfectly predetermined patterns creating impossibly complex melodies and totally breathtakingly lovely textures and arrangements.
"Remnants Of A Man" was recorded in Stockholm in 1985 and is probably the least abstract and most directly dramatic piece we've heard. Beneath the flurries of high notes are huge resounding minor key chords. So dark and ominous. Within the piece is included a direct melodic reference to Beethoven, a short bit from his 9th symphony, Melnyk's tribute to Beethoven and his unhappy life. In fact the piece is themed around the futility of love, and you can totally hear it in the notes. Sad and sorrowful, intense and so emotional.
"The Fountain" is more of what we might consider traditional Melnyk, the cascade of notes composed to sound like the water of a fountain. And unlike most of his pieces, the first half of "The Fountain" is performed without the sustain pedal depressed, which means the notes are dry and there are no drawn out overtones, it's remarkable to hear the complexity of performance and composition. Almost like looking up into a sky full or raindrops or snowflakes.
The final track "Niche" is an excerpt from a longer piece and is an example of solo piano in the Continuous Mode, a glistening, sparkling, shimmering world of lighter than air melodies, gentle drifts of notes, cobwebby tangles of delicate melody, completely effervescent and dreamlike. Awesome.
Lots of super technical liner notes as always, with a brief history of Melnyk and the Continuous Music technique. Be sure to check out Wave-Lox, The Voice Of Trees and the Legend And Song Of Galadriel too!
MPEG Stream: "Remnants Of A Man"
MPEG Stream: "The Fountain"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR The Lund-St. Petri Symphony (Bandura) 2cd-r 32.00
It's been a while since we've heard from pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, master and creator of the Continuous Music technique, a playing style that involves incredible dexterity, the player creating swirling flurries of notes, in fact, Melnyk holds the record for most notes played per second! But as we've mentioned in past reviews, Continuous Music is no mere gimmick, Melnyk uses his technique to create dense shifting soundscapes, almost like a 20th Century Classical Oval, notes and melodies constantly in flux, dizzying and dreamy, a massive shape shifting organic whole, that seems to constantly change shape and tone and timbre. But the music of Melnyk is not difficult listening, just the opposite. His music is serene and hypnotic, mesmerizing and gorgeous. You can read way more about Melnyk and his technique in some of the other reviews, but needless to say, every new release is a thrill. And yes, it's another cd-r, but according to Melnyk and the label, there are so many pieces, that they'd rather make them all accessible, instead of making 1000 copies of just one. Who are we to argue? Besides, there's the fact that aQuarius is one of the only places in the world you can get Melnyk records.
Anyway, The Lund-St. Petri Symphony is another example of Melnyk's incredible skill and his deft arranging. This piece, originally composed and performed on organ, is recorded here on solo and double piano and is another shimmery expanse of Continuous music, with Melnyk sustaining a speed of 11-14 notes in each hand for the entire duration of the piece! What's even crazier, is it was meant to be played on THREE pianos (or organs), but was never recorded due to the fact that according to Melnyk, that much sound would not translate to modern recording techniques. There were plans to record the third part and release it as a separate lp so folks with two turntables could experience it in all its 3 piano glory, but it hardly matters, even on one piano, the sound is stirring. Minor key and melancholy, the notes glisten and glimmer, the melodies dense and ever shifting, the whole thing so completely entrancing. If you can imagine Pop Ambient music being created with just pianos, it would probably sound something like this.
As always, WAY recommended, this one only available at AQ as far as we know, and limited (maybe only 50 copies?). You like Oval, Eno, new age, Pop Ambient, or just wondered what it would sound like to hear 10 or 12 'normal' piano players all playing the same piece simultaneously, well, a little like this. Divine!
MPEG Stream: "NKR 22 Pt. 1"
MPEG Stream: "NKR 22 Pt. 2"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR The Voice Of Trees (Bandura) cd-r 16.98
The name Lubomyr Melnyk is most likely not familiar to you. It definitely wasn't to us. Until a customer suggested we check out this unique piano player. He told us he thought it sounded like playing three Terry Riley records at the same time, which sounded pretty darn good. And we were not disappointed. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. We got a disc called Wave-Lox in, and we have been unable to keep it in stock, a swirling flurry of impossibly fast notes, a billowy cloud of piano ambience. How about a quick recap on the illustrious Mr. Melnyk:
In the early 70's Melnyk developed a unique approach to the piano called Continuous Music, a physical and mental technique that allowed Melnyk to play an incredible amount of notes at an incredible speed. In fact he holds two world records, one as the fastest pianist in the world, sustaining speeds of over 19.5 notes per second in each hand, simultaneously! And two, for the most number of notes played in one hour! In 60 minutes, Melnyk sustained an average speed of over 13 notes per second in each hand, yielding a total of 93,650 INDIVIDUAL notes.
That's right. World's fastest pianist. But Melnyk uses his powers for good. This is not wanky showboating, or Yngwie style pointless shredding, no this speed is necessary to realize his music, dense swirls of hundreds and hundreds of notes, whirling and swirling, overtones shifting and tonal color slowly changing. It's like looking at a pointilist painting close up, or sitting two inches from the television, colored dots, streaks of light, weaving in and around and all about each other, creating almost dronelike ambience, that seems almost static from a distance, but up close, it's made up of millions of tiny flitting parts and pieces. See the review for Wave-Lox elsewhere on the site, because while The Voice Of Trees employs similar technique, the results are quite different.
The Voice Of Trees is a piece for 3 tubas and 2 pianos, composed and performed to accompany a dance performance by the Kilina Cremona Dance Company. In the liner notes it states that since NO other piano player has the skill to play Melnyk's compositions, he had to pretape on of the piano parts and play the other live. And this is a live recording, so if you listen very closely you can sometimes hear the feet of the dancers. This piece also holds the distinction of being composed partially in "Geometric Form" a type of musical composition invented by Melnyk (after the works of Russian philosopher Ouspensky) where musical events are dictated by mathematics, geometry and the Fourth Dimension (!?). Woah! But fear not, you don't need a physics degree to sit back, close your eyes and let this loveliness carry you right off.
The focus is still Melnyk's Continuous Music, a flurry of notes like leaves carried on the wind, but it's the tuba that adds an unlikely slant to the proceedings. By themselves, the two pianos are a hypnotic drone, dense and slowly moving and constantly shifting, totally lovely. But the tuba adds structure, and its low mournful melodies add a certain morose quality to the piece, and make it sound classical and more like some abstract epic post-rock, played on piano and tuba. Sound weird, and it is, but it's also so gorgeous, and so intense. The piano is dizzying, the listener sort of drifts back and forth from letting the notes blend together into a swoonsome whole, and seeing every note, trying to make sense of the thousands of notes, trying to understand the patterns and the composition. And that's where the tubas come in, allowing the pianos to act as a lush backdrop, while the tubas moan and croon their lonesome melodies. Amazing.
It has been ages since we have been so blown away by a new discovery, and not just a new performer but a new way of performing. And for those of you who are especially moved by this music, you can write to Melnyk and purchase a course that will train you to be able to play Continuous Music. But be warned, Continuous Music requires serious discipline, in fact Melnyk, when he first started out, was unable to perform the pieces he composed, and only after years of strict discipline, including extra training, both physical and mental, in the form of martial techniques like Tai Chi, was he finally able to play the music the way he intended it to be played. SO AWESOME!!
These are professionally printed cd-r's with full color covers and extensive liner notes, they are bit more expensive than most cd-r's we carry because instead of mass producing one or two titles, Melnyk wanted to make available all of the pieces he has been working on for the last 20 years. Thus each disc is pressed in a super limited run, but what that also means is that there are 50 or more different pieces to choose from, all of them utterly amazing.
MPEG Stream: "One"
MPEG Stream: "Two"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR Three Solo Pieces (Unseen Worlds) cd 16.98
We've long been fans of Ukrainian pianist and composer Lubomyr Melnyk. Have a quick look at the aQ site for much gushing, and a way more detailed of Melnyk and his 'continuous music' method of piano playing, which he invented, and involves the sustain pedal continuously depressed, turning Melnyk's rapid clusters of notes into gorgeous almost psychedelic sounding flurries, lush swirling clouds of sounds, which are once again in full effect here, which by the title, you can surmise does consist of three solo pieces, just Melnyk and a piano. Proper Melnyk releases are a rarity, since he decided long ago, that with so many releases, he would press up cd-r's, as a way to affordably have all of them available. But recently, Melnyk has been getting much more attention, having released a fantastic collaboration with James Blackshaw, and having several proper releases on actual labels.
Three Solo Pieces is as gorgeous as you might expect, the opener "Marginal Invitation" is brooding and melancholic, the playing measured and minimal, at least until a few minutes in, when the sound seems to transform, and suddenly, the listener is surrounded by warm, lustrous notes, and constantly shifting textures and melodies, the most dramatic part being where Melnyk abruptly lets up on the sustain pedal, and the notes suddenly snap back into a staccato framework, the notes still rapid fire, a different sort of swirling arrangement, dizzying and dramatic, Melnyk, slipping easily back and forth between the two. "Corrosions On The Surface Of Life" is atypically atonal, sounding much more '20th century' than most of his pieces, but no less compelling, a continuous cascade of notes and melodies, a blurred swirl of sound, tense and intense, the angular feel adding a sinister vibe to the proceedings, but before you know it, the sound is transformed, gradually shedding the more atonal elements, until it's downright lovely, before those dissonant notes gradually creep in again. The 18 minute closer begins like some famous classical piece you just can't put your finger on, the magic of Melnyk's mastery, conjuring up a piece at once utterly unique, but at the same time, one that sounds so familiar, the arrangement ingenious, as the low notes seem to be gradually shed over the course of the song, upper register melodies gradually coming to the fore, until finally, it almost sounds like music box melodies, dizzyingly repetitive, and mesmerizingly trancelike and tranquil. Fantastic!!
MPEG Stream: "Marginal Invitiation"
MPEG Stream: "Corrosions On The Surface Of Life"

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR Three Solo Pieces (Unseen Worlds) lp 23.00
We've long been fans of Ukrainian pianist and composer Lubomyr Melnyk. Have a quick look at the aQ site for much gushing, and a way more detailed of Melnyk and his 'continuous music' method of piano playing, which he invented, and involves the sustain pedal continuously depressed, turning Melnyk's rapid clusters of notes into gorgeous almost psychedelic sounding flurries, lush swirling clouds of sounds, which are once again in full effect here, which by the title, you can surmise does consist of three solo pieces, just Melnyk and a piano. Proper Melnyk releases are a rarity, since he decided long ago, that with so many releases, he would press up cd-r's, as a way to affordably have all of them available. But recently, Melnyk has been getting much more attention, having released a fantastic collaboration with James Blackshaw, and having several proper releases on actual labels.
Three Solo Pieces is as gorgeous as you might expect, the opener "Marginal Invitation" is brooding and melancholic, the playing measured and minimal, at least until a few minutes in, when the sound seems to transform, and suddenly, the listener is surrounded by warm, lustrous notes, and constantly shifting textures and melodies, the most dramatic part being where Melnyk abruptly lets up on the sustain pedal, and the notes suddenly snap back into a staccato framework, the notes still rapid fire, a different sort of swirling arrangement, dizzying and dramatic, Melnyk, slipping easily back and forth between the two. "Corrosions On The Surface Of Life" is atypically atonal, sounding much more '20th century' than most of his pieces, but no less compelling, a continuous cascade of notes and melodies, a blurred swirl of sound, tense and intense, the angular feel adding a sinister vibe to the proceedings, but before you know it, the sound is transformed, gradually shedding the more atonal elements, until it's downright lovely, before those dissonant notes gradually creep in again. The 18 minute closer begins like some famous classical piece you just can't put your finger on, the magic of Melnyk's mastery, conjuring up a piece at once utterly unique, but at the same time, one that sounds so familiar, the arrangement ingenious, as the low notes seem to be gradually shed over the course of the song, upper register melodies gradually coming to the fore, until finally, it almost sounds like music box melodies, dizzyingly repetitive, and mesmerizingly trancelike and tranquil. Fantastic!!
MPEG Stream: "Marginal Invitiation"
MPEG Stream: "Corrosions On The Surface Of Life"

MELNYK, LUBOMYR Vocalizes & Antiphons (Bandura) cd-r 16.98

album cover MELNYK, LUBOMYR Wave-Lox (Bandura) cd-r 16.98
This AQ fave finally back in stock!
We had never heard of Lubomyr Melnyk, nor his 'Continuous Music method' before. But the more we learn the more we fall in love with this iconoclastic modern innovator. In the early '70s Melnyk developed a unique approach to the piano called Continuous Music, a physical and mental technique that allowed Melnyk to play an incredible amount of notes at an incredible speed. In fact he holds two world records, one as the fastest pianist in the world, sustaining speeds of over 19.5 notes per second in each hand, simultaneously! And two, for the most number of notes played in one hour! In 60 minutes, Melnyk sustained an average speed of over 13 notes per second in each hand, yielding a total of 93,650 INDIVIDUAL notes. Holy shit!! But don't be mislead, this is not some Yngwie bullshit, where songs and composition are sacrificed for mere shredding. No, there is a method to Melnyk's madness, and the result says all that needs to be said. Continuous Music as you might have surmised, involves generating an extremely rapid flow of notes, with the pedal sustained non stop, patterns, broken chords, the sound is dense and dizzying, like glimpsing the inner workings of some tiny lifeform and watching atoms and molecules spin and swirl. The result of so many notes, played so quickly and so close together, with the overtones drifting and bleeding into each other, is some of the most breathtaking music we've ever heard. It's almost like a waterfall of piano notes, a frothy cascade of tinkling sparkling melody, or a laying beneath a perfectly black night sky, watching a million fireflies dance and flit, a sky full of tiny little streaks of light. Someone described Wave-Lox as three Terry Riley playing at once, which is not that far off the mark. Or imagine a thousand George Winstons spinning weightless in space, notes everywhere careening wildly, but with some strangely indescribable pattern. The sound of Wave-Lox is at once chaotic and soothing, confusional yet serene. Close listening yields so much detail, like looking at a piano concerto through a microscope, not so close listening offers the listener a glorious abstract soundscape on which to drift away. Wave-Lox is actually a piece for 2 pianos (giving you an idea of the density and number of notes we're talking about here) and 3 contra-bass, which offer the same sonic complexities as the piano, making a rich sonic stew even more deliriously dense.
It has been ages since we have been so blown away by a new discovery, and not just a new performer but a new way of performing. And for those of you who are especially moved by this music, you can write to Melnyk and purchase a course that will train you to be able to play Continuous Music. But be warned, Continuous Music requires serious discipline, in fact Melnyk, when he first started out, was unable to perform the pieces he composed, and only after years of strict discipline, including extra training, both physical and mental, in the form of martial techniques like Tai Chi, was he finally able to play the music the way he intended it to be played. SO AWESOME!!
These are professionally printed cd-r's with full color covers and extensive liner notes, they are bit more expensive than most cd-r's we carry because instead of mass producing one or two titles, Melnyk wanted to make available all of the pieces he has been working on for the last 20 years. Thus each disc is pressed in a super limited run, but what that also means is that there are 50 or more different pieces to choose from, all of them utterly amazing. We currently have about 10 different titles in stock, and while Wave-Lox is our favorite so far, one of the others features Melnyk on piano accompanied by multiple tubas! So drop us an email if you're interested in any of the other titles, but for now revel in the beautiful beautiful music of Wave-Lox!
MPEG Stream: "Wave-Lox 1"
MPEG Stream: "Wave-Lox 2"

album cover MELOY, COLIN 33 1/3 Series: Let It Be (Continuum) book 9.95
A match made in heaven. Arguably the best Replacements record, here exposed and examined and dissected and FAWNED over by Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, who waxes lyrical (and you can imagine just how lyrical based on the elaborate wordplay of his lyrics). SO GOOD.

album cover MELOY, COLIN Colin Meloy Sings Live (Kill Rock Stars) cd 14.98

album cover MELT-BANANA 13 Hedgehogs (MxBx Singles 1994-1999) (A-Zap) cd 13.98
In the bizarre musical world of Japan's Melt Banana, seven inch singles are hedgehogs, and MB's got a whole mess of em, most WAY out of print and long unavailable. So finally, all of these long sought after hedgehogs, all released between 1994 and 1999, have been gathered up, gussied up, digitized and released on one single compact disc. 13 Hedgehogs featuring all of MB's tracks from the singles "Hedgehog", "It's In The Pillcase", "Untitled (Piano One)", "Eleventh" and "Dead Spex" as well as their tracks from splits with God Is My Co-Pilot, Discordance Axis, Pencilneck, Target Shoppers, Stilluppsteypa, Plainfield, Xerobot, and Killout Trash. Phew. 56 tracks of maniacal squealing and squeaking, stop-start, ultra dense, mega complex confusional punk / grind / pop / whatthefuck! So ridiculous and so totally amazing!
MPEG Stream: "So Unfilial Rule"
MPEG Stream: "Buddhism Core"
MPEG Stream: "Dead Spex"
MPEG Stream: "Last Finger Split"
MPEG Stream: "Bad Gut Missed Fist"

album cover MELT-BANANA 666 (Level Plane) 6" 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
SUPER LIMITED 6" (that's right 6", not 7"!!) from one of our favorite Japanese aggro-spazz-math-grind-pop bands. Don't dawdle, these are gonna go fast.

album cover MELT-BANANA Bambi's Dilemma (A-Zap) cd 13.98
Geeze! Can't believe it, this must be the most melodic, "normal" (ahem) album from Japan's Melt-Banana yet, but it's still ALSO totally spastic and unhinged and extreme. Actually the more melodic, non-hyperspeed elements here make the other stuff all the more insane sounding. There's (only!) 18 caffeinated tracks on this disc, chock-a-block with bug zapper guitars, thrashing drums, and yelping vox, of course. But also: catchy hooks, sing-a-long choruses? Yes. It's been four long years since their previous album, Cell-Scape, and we guess we'd forgotten just how listenable that one was, surprising us at the time too. Melt-Banana had taken their trademark manic Boredomsey hardcore sound and tamed it just a bit. Well they do that here too, turning in a speedy, spasmodic pop-punk masterpiece that sounds something like the Ramones or Green Day bouncing off the walls in a bizarre experiment somehow involving chipmunks, crack cocaine, and computers... ok, dunno what that means either. But the point is, this is making us crazy in a good way, it's as if the more "conventional" Melt-Banana becomes, the more paradoxically disturbing they really are. And if you really want pure old school M-B HC noisiness, well there's a batch of shorter, seizure-like songs on the second half of the disc (tracks 11-17) that should do the trick. Well worth the wait.
MPEG Stream: "Cracked Plaster Cast"
MPEG Stream: "Cat Brain Land"
MPEG Stream: "One Drop, One Life"

album cover MELT-BANANA Bambi's Dilemma (A-Zap) lp 10.98
Geeze! Can't believe it, this must be the most melodic, "normal" (ahem) album from Japan's Melt-Banana yet, but it's still ALSO totally spastic and unhinged and extreme. Actually the more melodic, non-hyperspeed elements here make the other stuff all the more insane sounding. There's (only!) 18 caffeinated tracks on this disc, chock-a-block with bug zapper guitars, thrashing drums, and yelping vox, of course. But also: catchy hooks, sing-a-long choruses? Yes. It's been four long years since their previous album, Cell-Scape, and we guess we'd forgotten just how listenable that one was, surprising us at the time too. Melt-Banana had taken their trademark manic Boredomsey hardcore sound and tamed it just a bit. Well they do that here too, turning in a speedy, spasmodic pop-punk masterpiece that sounds something like the Ramones or Green Day bouncing off the walls in a bizarre experiment somehow involving chipmunks, crack cocaine, and computers... ok, dunno what that means either. But the point is, this is making us crazy in a good way, it's as if the more "conventional" Melt-Banana becomes, the more paradoxically disturbing they really are. And if you really want pure old school M-B HC noisiness, well there's a batch of shorter, seizure-like songs on the second half of the disc (tracks 11-17) that should do the trick. Well worth the wait.
MPEG Stream: "Cracked Plaster Cast"
MPEG Stream: "Cat Brain Land"
MPEG Stream: "One Drop, One Life"

album cover MELT-BANANA Cell-scape (A-Zap) cd 13.98
A new record from spazz-prog-punk rockers Melt-Banana and while the overall sound is not all that different, they continue to get better and better, and dare we say more listenable with each record. Less ear splitting high end skree this time around, and a much warmer production, as well as some really catchy songs and great riffs make this possibly the best MB record yet. Plus there's a bunch of strange midtempo 'breakdowns' as well as some bizarre production and electronic fuckery that add even more dimension to MB's already unique sonic palette. But fear not, still present are the fingernails-on-a-chalkboard guitars and the hyperspeed chipmunk vocals and the spazzy rhythms, it all just sounds much more refined. Allan thinks the new Melt-Banana sounds like a bizarre hybrid of three other records on this weeks list: the Simply Saucer, the Agoraphobic Nosebleed and the Cats And Kittens cds. Which is actually not all that far off the mark!
MPEG Stream: "Shield For Your Eyes, A Beast In The Well On Your Hand"
MPEG Stream: "A Dreamer Who Is Too Weak To Face Up To"
MPEG Stream: "Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold"

MELT-BANANA Cell-scape (A-Zap) lp 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now on vinyl! A new record from spazz-prog-punk rockers Melt-Banana and while the overall sound is not all that different, they continue to get better and better, and dare we say more listenable with each record. Less ear splitting high end skree this time around, and a much warmer production, as well as some really catchy songs and great riffs make this possibly the best MB record yet. Plus there's a bunch of strange midtempo 'breakdowns' as well as some bizarre production and electronic fuckery that add even more dimension to MB's already unique sonic palette. But fear not, still present are the fingernails-on-a-chalkboard guitars and the hyperspeed chipmunk vocals and the spazzy rhythms, it all just sounds much more refined. Allan thinks the new Melt-Banana sounds like a bizarre hybrid of three other records on this weeks list: the Simply Saucer, the Agoraphobic Nosebleed and the Cats And Kittens cds. Which is actually not all that far off the mark!
MPEG Stream: "Shield For Your Eyes, A Beast In The Well On Your Hand"
MPEG Stream: "A Dreamer Who Is Too Weak To Face Up To"
MPEG Stream: "Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold"

MELT-BANANA Charlie (A-Zap) cd 12.98
With every release, you wonder how Melt Banana is going to make their records just as fierce and brutal as the last without indulging in banal formulas. Yet their sound has evolved into complex shards of Dadaist hardcore played with hyperkinetic precision. One of the highlights on this album is their insane collaboration with Mr. Bungle! Highly recommended!

MELT-BANANA Charlie (A-Zap) lp 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
With every release, you wonder how Melt Banana is going to make their records just as fierce and brutal as the last without indulging in banal formulas. Yet their sound has evolved into complex shards of Dadaist hardcore played with hyperkinetic precision. One of the highlights on this album is their insane collaboration with Mr. Bungle! Highly recommended!

album cover MELT-BANANA Fetch (A-Zap Records) cd 13.98
We were looking back at our review of the last Melt-Banana record we reviewed, Initial T., which we listed way back in 2009, and yeah, it was just an ep, but even then we were bowled over by how these masters of grinding math pop / noise rock, continued to reinvent themselves and surprise us with every record. The surprise that time was a dramatic shift, into a sound more electronic, one that at the time we described as sounding like a sped up Deerhoof, or like Fuck Buttons. And goddamn if they haven't taken that sound and pushed it even further, transforming their sound, which was already insanely unique, and ridiculously difficult to describe, and literally unlike ANY other bands out there, into something even MORE. Just the first track alone should convince you, it's a total mind blower, a dizzying collision of a million different genres, and so many seemingly incompatible sounds, brilliantly woven into some total next level electro-metal-grind-pop weirdness, that manages to be both the weirdest thing we've heard from M-B, which is saying a LOT, and possibly also the catchiest! That track bears some in depth description, since it pretty much sets the template for the rest of the record. Opening with some glistening kosmische shimmer, some field recorded waves lapping on the beach, some swirling heavily effected guitars, those guitars gradually coalescing into some seriously crunchy riffage, laced with thick sinewy bass-lines, kick ass drumming, weird sound effects and wild FX, before splintering into insane mathiness, the song swinging wildly from indie rock groove, to mathy psychedelic tangle and back again, those super distinctive ultra high chirped vox, before the song breaks down, the guitars locked into digitized loops, peppered with blasts of metallic guitars, more swirling sci-fi FX, some wild double kick drumming, that drumming getting more frantic and chaotic, slipping into full on metal briefly, before launching into a final burst of mathy psychedelic noise pop. It's insanely complex, and impossibly dense, and how the fuck do they cram all that into just 4 minutes? No idea, but we LOVE it. And we won't say it gets weirder, or better, cuz that's not really possible, but it DOES stay that weird, and that good, which is a feat in itself, frenetic, hyper, chaotic, mathy, metallic, poppy, crazy catchy, confusionally fractured, some songs slipping into impossibly soaring epic electronic flecked majesty, others collapsing into dizzying grind-pop freakouts, still others getting all avant experimental WTF? Boredoms style noisiness, and even still others exploding in gouts of wild electro-punk jangle-metal weirdness. A few songs find dreamy guitar shred devolving into long stretches of field recordings, or blossoming into super melodic pop experimental video game krautpop, what a fucking amazing and totally weird record! After all these years, Melt-Banana continue to confound, confuse, inspire, freak out, inspire and blow us the fuck away. Every M-B record is so good, it's hard to proclaim this as their best yet, but you be the judge, cuz, really, we're beginning to think it most definitely is. So totally and absolutely recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Candy Gun"
MPEG Stream: "The Hive"
MPEG Stream: "Infection Defective"
MPEG Stream: "Then Red Eyed"

album cover MELT-BANANA Fetch (A-Zap Records) lp 14.98
NOW ON VINYL TOO!!!
We were looking back at our review of the last Melt-Banana record we reviewed, Initial T., which we listed way back in 2009, and yeah, it was just an ep, but even then we were bowled over by how these masters of grinding math pop / noise rock, continued to reinvent themselves and surprise us with every record. The surprise that time was a dramatic shift, into a sound more electronic, one that at the time we described as sounding like a sped up Deerhoof, or like Fuck Buttons. And goddamn if they haven't taken that sound and pushed it even further, transforming their sound, which was already insanely unique, and ridiculously difficult to describe, and literally unlike ANY other bands out there, into something even MORE. Just the first track alone should convince you, it's a total mind blower, a dizzying collision of a million different genres, and so many seemingly incompatible sounds, brilliantly woven into some total next level electro-metal-grind-pop weirdness, that manages to be both the weirdest thing we've heard from M-B, which is saying a LOT, and possibly also the catchiest! That track bears some in depth description, since it pretty much sets the template for the rest of the record. Opening with some glistening kosmische shimmer, some field recorded waves lapping on the beach, some swirling heavily effected guitars, those guitars gradually coalescing into some seriously crunchy riffage, laced with thick sinewy bass-lines, kick ass drumming, weird sound effects and wild FX, before splintering into insane mathiness, the song swinging wildly from indie rock groove, to mathy psychedelic tangle and back again, those super distinctive ultra high chirped vox, before the song breaks down, the guitars locked into digitized loops, peppered with blasts of metallic guitars, more swirling sci-fi FX, some wild double kick drumming, that drumming getting more frantic and chaotic, slipping into full on metal briefly, before launching into a final burst of mathy psychedelic noise pop. It's insanely complex, and impossibly dense, and how the fuck do they cram all that into just 4 minutes? No idea, but we LOVE it. And we won't say it gets weirder, or better, cuz that's not really possible, but it DOES stay that weird, and that good, which is a feat in itself, frenetic, hyper, chaotic, mathy, metallic, poppy, crazy catchy, confusionally fractured, some songs slipping into impossibly soaring epic electronic flecked majesty, others collapsing into dizzying grind-pop freakouts, still others getting all avant experimental WTF? Boredoms style noisiness, and even still others exploding in gouts of wild electro-punk jangle-metal weirdness. A few songs find dreamy guitar shred devolving into long stretches of field recordings, or blossoming into super melodic pop experimental video game krautpop, what a fucking amazing and totally weird record! After all these years, Melt-Banana continue to confound, confuse, inspire, freak out, inspire and blow us the fuck away. Every M-B record is so good, it's hard to proclaim this as their best yet, but you be the judge, cuz, really, we're beginning to think it most definitely is. So totally and absolutely recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Candy Gun"
MPEG Stream: "The Hive"
MPEG Stream: "Infection Defective"
MPEG Stream: "Then Red Eyed"

album cover MELT-BANANA Initial T. (Init Records) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It's been almost 2 years since we last heard from Japan's mighty Melt-Banana, our favorite purveyors of manic spastic grinding ultra complex math pop, and we were all ready to just write a generic review saying how we loved them but what else could we say, their sound hasn't changed that much, but then we threw this on and the opening track blew our fucking minds. Not sure why exactly, big buzzing bassline, all sorts of weird almost electronic sounding guitar parts, it almost sounds like a super charged sped up Deerhoof, the song soaring and epic, weirdly produced, processed, almost dance-y actually, and when the song kicks in it's just incredible, wild and catchy and frantic and heavy and so goddamn good, the sound lush and expansive, maybe like Melt-Banana doing their best Fuck Buttons or something. Whatever it is, it's just about the most delirious 2 and a half minutes we can remember.
Both the cd and the 7" are short short short, as in 5 minutes, but lots of parts and radness jammed into those 5 minutes and 3 songs. The second track is a bit more classic punked up MB, but that one too is more poppy and twisted and bouncy and electronic than we remember. The last track is another warped tangled pogo pop grind jam that RULES. Shit, maybe we've just been away from these guys (and gals) and just forgot how amazing they were. Regardless, this is just about the raddest 5 minutes we've rocked out to in forever!
MPEG Stream: "Loop Nebula"
MPEG Stream: "Leeching"

album cover MELT-BANANA Initial T. (Init Records) 3" cd 6.98
It's been almost 2 years since we last heard from Japan's mighty Melt-Banana, our favorite purveyors of manic spastic grinding ultra complex math pop, and we were all ready to just write a generic review saying how we loved them but what else could we say, their sound hasn't changed that much, but then we threw this on and the opening track blew our fucking minds. Not sure why exactly, big buzzing bassline, all sorts of weird almost electronic sounding guitar parts, it almost sounds like a super charged sped up Deerhoof, the song soaring and epic, weirdly produced, processed, almost dance-y actually, and when the song kicks in it's just incredible, wild and catchy and frantic and heavy and so goddamn good, the sound lush and expansive, maybe like Melt-Banana doing their best Fuck Buttons or something. Whatever it is, it's just about the most delirious 2 and a half minutes we can remember.
Both the cd and the 7" are short short short, as in 5 minutes, but lots of parts and radness jammed into those 5 minutes and 3 songs. The second track is a bit more classic punked up MB, but that one too is more poppy and twisted and bouncy and electronic than we remember. The last track is another warped tangled pogo pop grind jam that RULES. Shit, maybe we've just been away from these guys (and gals) and just forgot how amazing they were. Regardless, this is just about the raddest 5 minutes we've rocked out to in forever!
MPEG Stream: "Loop Nebula"
MPEG Stream: "Leeching"

album cover MELT-BANANA Lite Live: Ver.0.0 (A-Zap) cd 13.98
It's been WAY too long since we've seen Melt-Banana live, they are definitely one of THE raddest live groups ever, sonically brutal and precise and manic and impossibly complex, their stage presence unbeatable, the whole band bouncing around wildly non stop, the guitarist perpetually clad in surgical mask, the vocalist a tiny whirling dervish, it's pretty awe inspiring, and wild pogo pit inspiring too.
So this killer live set might tide us over, the sound is incredible, you would never know it was a live record unless you were told, and might not even believe it then! They are in fine form, the record opener is awesome, about as slow as they get, a killer midtempo jam, all freaked out effects and processed vox, lots of buzz, squiggly guitar weirdness, all set to the frenetic drumming, before the band launch into a burst of lightning fast hypergrind, insanely manic and frantic and frenzied, the vocals a staccato chirp, the drums spastic and chaotic, the guitar though, spitting out incredible riffs, then all sorts of impossibly tangled squelches and glitchy fragmented melodies. The songs blow by in a blur, which makes the slower tracks all the more powerful. "Cat And The Blood" is a droned out prog jam, all wooshing synths, and surprisingly restrained vocals, and muted guitar squiggles, before once again spitting out a handful of manic metal grind microjams before finishing off with two epics (4 and 5 minutes respectively), first "Last Target On The Last Day" a gorgeous tripped out space jam, super atmospheric and heavy, long drones, and warm swirls of synth underpinning an almost doomic groove, finishing off with the super atmospheric and cinematic "Humming Jackalope, Waiting For The Storm", all Theremin-like melodies, clouds of cymbal sizzle, washed out bass rumble, and streaks of total Tangerine Dream like synth shimmer before finishing off with a burst of white noise crunch. Phew. Epic and incredible and heavy and wild and wonderful. Definitely don't miss MB next time they come to your town, and check this out to remind yourself what you've been missing.
MPEG Stream: "Feedback Deficiency"
MPEG Stream: "T For Tone"
MPEG Stream: "Slide Down"
MPEG Stream: "One Drop, One Life"

MELT-BANANA MxBx 1998/13000 Miles (Tzadik) cd 15.98
While on a grueling tour of the States (something like 40 shows in 50 days), MB dropped in the studio one day to quickly record an album. The Japanese foursome brutally deliver 28 songs of hyperkinetic spastic hardcore complexities, which pretty much comprised what their set was during those shows... A few songs had as of yet not made it on to any albums, the rest had... also including a version of their cover of "Surfin USA" for the Japanese Beach Boys cover album.

album cover MELT-BANANA Scratch Or Stitch (Skin Graft) cd 14.98
"Reissued" on the trusty digital format after a brief (did anyone notice?) absence. The second (internationally distributed and widely available) recording from everyone's favorite dada-hardcore-spazz-grind-wave crossover band from Tokyo, MELT-BANANA! Recorded in 1995 by you-know-who in Chicago during one of their many travels across the U.S., this follow-up to the jaw dropping Speak Squeak Creak made the Melt-Banana threat official to the world. Suddenly they blew up, they were everywhere. Every band across America and beyond split a 7" with them. And who wouldn't want to? What with the absurdist cut and paste lyricism and high pitched commanding yelps of Yasuko O; the grounded yet frenzied all-over bass stylings of Rika mm'; the tight-as-shit drumming of Sudoh (sadly departed, check him out now in Thermo!); and of course, the massively intense and inventive hybrid of grinding metal, no wave skitter and all out noise of guitarist Agata! He single handedly brought back the whammy pedal! [*see below] Not to mention an experimental bent to hardcore that still resonates in many newer bands today. All the showstoppers are here, "Disposable Weathercock", "Ten Dollars A Pile", "Iguana In Trouble", "Rough Dogs Have Bumps", "Contortion Out Of Confusion" -- twenty-two tracks in thirty-two minutes! Listening to this album in retrospect, it becomes clear that these songs -- though captured beautifully on tape -- seem too perfect and self-conscious for their own good. The songs are fucking great, the recording is absolutely fine. But something seems to be missing, leaving me thirsty for more. Experiencing this amazing live band in action rewarded me with an energy and power all too rare in many live acts these days. It's not until their subsequent lp (following a shitload of singles), Charlie, that their dynamic is done justice in a studio recording. That personal note aside, this is a fucking amazing and totally essential record from one of the planet's most undeniably incredible hardcore bands!
[*Agata uses a Digitech Whammy pedal, it drastically alters the octave of whatever is being filtered through it by way of a variable sustain-like pedal. It's how he gets those alien-like siren-esque wails. The pitch can also be altered by foot in real time, unlike the Boss Octave. Digitech stopped production of the pedals sometime in the mid-nineties and since about 1999 they've been back in production. Brian Gibson of Lightning Bolt uses one or two of them in addition to a fixed range Octave pedal. That's how he goes from super low and heavy to high pitched tinny sounds, or both at the same time... Agata had to improvise without the Whammy on tour when it broke and he couldn't buy a new one, so he found a bunch of second hand ones (supposedly). Digitech was probably gonna come out with another one eventually, but I like to think MB had something to do with it.]
RealAudio clip: "DisPosable Weathercock"
RealAudio clip: "Ten Dollars A Pile"
RealAudio clip: "IGUANA In Trouble"
RealAudio clip: "It's In The PillcaSe"

album cover MELT-BANANA Snake Song / Love Song (HG Fact) 5" 8.98
Latest blast of squeak and skronk and blast and grind from these ultra cute, but totally dangerous Japanese pop punk grind craziness. This is the perfect way to experience MB, two ultra short, but still impossibly complex blasts of chaotic grind pop. Like getting beaten to death with a big fuzzy sack full of bunnies, cute but still fierce and freaked out as fuck. Or imagine being eaten alive by a gaggle of glow in the dark, rainbow colored cartoon characters, painfully cute, anthropomorphous fuzz balls, all soft and cuddly, but with sharp fangs and a truly deranged look in their eyes. NO ONE sounds like Melt-Banana, well okay, sometimes Fantomas does, but when they do, we just wonder why they're copping MB's style. We love Melt-Banana.
Super limited 5" vinyl, released on HG Fact (the same label that releases all the Corrupted records!).

album cover MELT-BANANA Speak Squeak Creak (A-Zap) cd 13.98
Reissue of the long out-of-print and highly sought after international debut of Melt Banana. Originally released on Nux / Charnel Music in 1994, "Speak Squeak Creak" took the US hardcore scene by storm and dropped jaws worldwide as these four bright eyed kids from Tokyo destroyed any and all bands they've ever played with. Recorded in Chicago by Steve Albini during their first US tour, all twenty-four blistering tracks of high velocity hardcore are restored here on MB's own A-Zap label. Vinyl version now available for the very first time!

MELT-BANANA Speak Squeak Creak (A-Zap) lp 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Reissue of the long out-of-print and highly sought after international debut of Melt Banana. Originally released on Nux / Charnel Music in 1994, "Speak Squeak Creak" took the US hardcore scene by storm and dropped jaws worldwide as these four bright eyed kids from Tokyo destroyed any and all bands they've ever played with. Recorded in Chicago by Steve Albini during their first US tour, all twenty-four blistering tracks of high velocity hardcore are restored here on MB's own A-Zap label. Vinyl version now available for the very first time!

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