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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 MING Hands Red With The Blood Of Her Enemies (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) 2cd-r 16.98
Ming (aka Campbell Kneale, aka Birchville Cat Motel, aka Celebrate Psi Phenomenon head honcho) has slowly been drifting into more metallic sound worlds with his last few releases, as BCM but also as the distinctly more metal Black Boned Angel, but with Ming, Kneale seems to be channelling a more divine scree, the upper register droning skree-scapes pioneered by the likes of Albert Ayler and Sun Ra, and more recently paid homage to by folks like Sunroof!, Total, Vibracathedral Orchestra and the like. Two discs, seven tracks, two hours of keening wailing drones, scraping and bleating, at times harsh and chaotic, with lots of feedback and clatter, and at others, shimmering and crystalline with warm whirling sonic ripples. Found sounds, field recordings, sounds that resemble but probably aren't actually throat singing, chanting, horns, squealing guitars, all captured on a crappy hand held recorder, for maximum grit and and a gorgeously blow out quality. Epic and transcendental, and in its own way quite brutal and beautiful. As with all things Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, this is VERY VERY LIMITED!!!
MPEG Stream: "Sunkissed Leaf Shriek"
MPEG Stream: "I Fought The Lord (And The Lord Won)"

album cover MING s/t (Don't Fuck With Magic) cd-r 15.98
Latest release from Campbell Kneale's Don't Fuck With Magic Label, this one from the mysterious Ming, which when you realize that Ming is in fact Kneale himself, doesn't seem so mysterious after all. Kneale, who previously performed as Birchville Cat Motel, still performs as Our Love Will Destroy The World, used to run the Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label, and who also plays in Black Boned Angel, seems to have returned to his Ming moniker to create something a bit more minimal and dark. Far removed from the collaged and looped heaviness of OLWDTW, the doomy blackened crush of BBA and the blissed out cacophony of Birchville, Ming here occupies a space much more abstract, and when we said minimal and dark, we meant WAY minimal and WAY dark.
The record starts out so hushed we had to crank the volume to be sure anything was going on, but once we did, we were quickly enveloped in a dark swirling low end fog, a rumbling whirring creep, that almost sounds like an even more abstract minimal Bohren. Around this amorphous bassy drift, float random sounds, breaths, footsteps, all manner of ambient noise, but be prepared at about 8 minutes, if you have the volume cranked, you're gonna want to dial it back quick, before your speakers blow and the vibrations send everything crashing to the floor. A thick swath of rib cage rattling bass, warm and thick and loud, but loud in the way only extreme low end can be, felt more than heard, and so it goes, all manner of tones and drones, layered and intertwined, unleashing more low end overtones. It's at about 21 minutes in, when all that low end is joined by a strange soft cacophony of chiming tones and mysterious textural scrapes, those sounds too are soon blurred and smeared into another layer of deep dark shimmer, the final 8 or 9 minutes find the low end receding, leaving a strange collage of percussion and fragmented melody, skitters and scrapes, creaks and chimes, all slowing down and slowly fading out.
Wow. not at all what we expected, but we like it, A LOT. Reminds us of Thomas Koner or Organum, in fact this Ming seems to fall right in between the two, a mix of bowed metal and clatter and clang, and deep subterranean resonance. Super dark and gorgeous and hauntingly hypnotic and...
EXTREMELY LIMITED. We got about half of the extremely small pressing, and if past Don't Fuck With Magic releases are any indicator, these will no doubt disappear quick, and it's unclear whether we'll be able to get any more or not...
MPEG Stream: "Untitled (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled (excerpt 2)"

album cover MING The Kill (Battlecruiser / Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) cd-r 11.98
The black musical cloud continues to creep wraithlike across the land, with yet another release on the Battlecruiser label, the metal imprint of Campbell Kneale's (Birchville Cat Motel) Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label. A home for all sorts of metallic sound, not necessarily metal per se, but experimentalists indulging their deep down metallic longings. We reviewed Ming's Hands Red With The Blood Of Her Enemies double cd-r on the last list, a massive expanse of Sunroof! / Total like free rock skree, droning and whirring and shimmering in lengthy swaths of gorgeous ambience. At once soothing and smooth, jagged and harsh. Well, The Kill sounds like that record's evil twin, or that record in an alternate, perhaps more evil dimension. Th sonic descriptors could be the same, droning, whirring shimmering, but instead of sheets of rich tonal color, and warm rumbling drones, The Kill is twenty minutes of monochromatic, hissing and harshed out hellish noise. It sounds a bit like there are some howled vocals and perhaps even a melody, but it could just be our ears playing tricks on us. Because if that stuff is there, it is suffocating beneath an impenetrable slab of pink noise buzz, a swirling miasma of hateful hiss and shrieking static. The Kill is definitely a harsh noise record, or maybe an industrial drone record, the metal here being implied or rather conveyed through the dark and brutal aggressiveness. But who was expecting (or wanting) a 'normal' metal record from Battlecruiser anyway? SUPER LIMITED AS ALWAYS!! NOT SURE WE'LL BE ABLE TO GET MORE WHEN THESE ARE GONE!
MPEG Stream: "The Kill"

MINGUS, CHARLES A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music & Poetry (Bethlehem) cd 11.98

album cover MINGUS, CHARLES At UCLA 1965 (Sue Mingus Music) 2cd 21.00

MPEG Stream: "Meditation On Inner Peace"
MPEG Stream: "Once Upon A Time There Was A Holding Corporation Called Old America"

MINGUS, CHARLES Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (Impulse) cd 16.98

MINGUS, CHARLES Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse) cd 16.98

album cover MINGUS, CHARLES Presents Charles Mingus (Candid Stereo) lp 13.98

MINGUS, CHARLES The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady / Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse!) cd 16.98

album cover MINIERE, JEROME La Nuit (Lithium) 2cd 15.98
Beautiful and lush, late-night electro-pop / hip hop. Dark mumbled, whispery vocals, looped minor key piano, shuffling jazzy drums, stuttering samples. Like a mix of Massive Attack, MC Solaar and the occasional touch of Magnetic Fields. Nice.
RealAudio clip: "Merveilleux Comme Ca"

album cover MINIMUM CHIPS Lady Grey (Baked Goods) cd 15.98
Soooo darn dreamy! Imagine a not so distant Australian cousin to Brits Stereolab and Broadcast, and you might find Minimum Chip fluttering into view. We've got a bit of a soft spot for this sort of krautrock inflected pop with all of its warm deep hypnotic synth bass lines, organ-y drones, shuffling drumbeats and feathery female vocals. The dozen songs on Lady Grey are sweetly sigh-inducing.
MPEG Stream: "Sleepy Pea"
MPEG Stream: "Lady Grey"

album cover MINISTRY Animositisomina (Sanctuary) cd 17.98
The first Ministry album since 1999's disappointing Dark Side Of The Spoon is certainly cause for fans' celebration as it marks Al Jourgensen's return to prime form. Following years of albums that sounded like pallid imitations made by Ministry wannabes, Animositisomina sounds like the Ministry of old. Pummeling, aggressive, malevolent and huge. You may be asking (as many around here have already) why you'd want / need any more Ministry records if you already own the classics such as Land Of Rape And Honey and The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. Well, good question... but there are definitely plenty of fresh new ideas brewing in the Jourgensen camp and a kick-ass group of players to execute the mission including longtime bandmates Paul Barker, Louis Svitek, Skrew mainman Adam Grossman and drummer Rey Washam formerly of Scratch Acid who alone elevates and propels this album immensely. Ten tracks in all including a cover of Magazine's "The Light Pours Out Of Me".
RealAudio clip: "The Light Pours Out Of Me"
RealAudio clip: "Animosity"

album cover MINISTRY Early Trax (RykoDisc) cd 15.98
Probably for diehard, longtime Ministry fanatics only! Early Trax is the very-similarly packaged companion disc to Side Trax (which we reviewed in the last AQ List). This compilation of, yes, early '80s Ministry 12" faves features multiple mixes of "Every Day Is Halloween", "All Day", Nature Of Love", and "I'm Falling", plus individual versions of "He's Angry", "Move" and "Overkill". Definitely from their more gothy, less overtly politicized, dancing-in-the-batcave days than their later times of harder living, sharp-tongued nu-metal. Recent Ministry fans might find their young synth and drum machine sound a bit too foreign and fey for their fist-pumpin' aggro taste, but for those whose black pointy toed buckle boots still lurk in their closets' shadowy depths, it's pretty great to have these tracks available once more along with four previously unreleased.
MPEG Stream: "Every Day Is Halloween"
MPEG Stream: "He's Angry (Unreleased)"

album cover MINISTRY Houses Of The Mole (Sanctuary) cd 17.98
Andee's been casting aspersions on the new Ministry for a while now and our pal and Andee's former housemate Josh "Josh Rock" Gottlieb has had just about enough:
As Andee has repeatedly asked me over the last couple of years "why would I possibly need another Ministry album?", it once again falls to yours truly to point out the fallacy of his nonsensical aversion and embark on what is most likely another futile attempt to pry the scales from his ears. This is the first album since 1988 without long time cohort Paul Barker, but the machine remains intact. If anything, it's now a nastier little beast. All the Ministry hallmarks are accounted for: blistering heaviness, technical perfection, and unfathomably catchy song structures. And, of course, the production is without peer, dense and multi-layered while retaining a sharpness akin to a freshly unwrapped scalpel moving through flesh. A good chunk of the cd finds Al Jourgensen and Co. in full throttle mode, basically hardcore with huge production values. But as with anything Uncle Al touches there's always something unexpected, off kilter and just a wee bit fucked wafting above and below the surface. Witness the slide guitar that drives the bruising "Worthless," the long, whiny chorus of "Wrong" colliding headlong with the fuzzed out gargle lurking in the verses or the dozens of samples that serve as the foundation for the insanity of "WTV." It's not all about speed though and when they decide to slow down the results are majestic. "World" is a rumbling mid-tempo march which re-envisions a peace march as Nuremberg rally whereas "Worm" sprawls its nine minute frame over a simple lumbering riff buoyed by a haunting harmonica melody, dueling choruses and murky atmosphere. So good. And to top it off, this is the most virulently anti-Bush album unleashed on the masses -- reading the lyric sheet certainly helps, given Jourgensen's penchant for heavily treated and distorted vocals. Gentility is in short order here, traded for raging diatribes and a plethora of samples of George W. himself making the case for his dismissal from office. Crushing, topical, essential.
MPEG Stream: "Worthless"
MPEG Stream: "WTV"

album cover MINISTRY Rantology (Sanctuary) cd 16.98

album cover MINISTRY Side Trax (Rykodisc) cd 15.98
We all loved Ministry at some point or another. Whether it was the deathlike disco of "Every Day Is Halloween", the pummelling metal/techno hybrid of The Land Of Rape And Honey and The Mind Is Terrible Thing To Taste, or the goofy White Zombie-ish "Jesus Built My Hotrod". But it was easy to miss some of Al Jougenson's finest moments as they didn't necessarily occur in Ministry. There were a handful of side projects that are as good as, if not better than the best Ministry. There was Pailhead, a slowly building powderkeg of emo aggression and soul shearing cascades of metal guitar and big beat pummel, featuring Fugazi's Ian Mackaye on vocals and folks from Naked Raygun. And wwho can forget 1000 Homo DJs, who reinvent Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" as a relentless, crushing industrial metal hybrid! This collection also includes tracks from PTP, a very early nineties sounding industrial pop, featuring Chris Connelly and Ogre from Skinny Puppy, and Acid Horse, which teamed up Ministry and Cabaret Voltaire for some gothy techno goofiness, complete with deep vocals and simple 4/4 rhythms and surfy guitar, sort of like Ministry with a Depeche Mode makeover. All cool stuff, but the 1000 Homo DJs and Pailhead tracks are all you really need. In fact, just throw on "Supernaut", crank your stereo, and find yourself in an alternate universe where Black Sabbath were not just metal demigods, but also dance floor destroyers!
MPEG Stream: PAILHEAD "I Will Refuse"
MPEG Stream: 1000 HOMO DJS "Supernaut"

MINIT Music (Sigma) cd 14.98
Release number 3 from this great new New Zealand label. Just like the first two (Rosy Parlane and Parmentier, reviewed in the last AQ-List) these are all-white packages of beautiful, minimal music.
The duo known as Minit present the blueprints for an architectural space in which lumbering loops and pin-pricks of static reconstitute the flow of empty space. A subtle beauty is captured within the lugubrious drones.

MINIT Now Right Here (Staubgold) cd 15.98

album cover MINITEL ROSE The French Machine (Futur) cd 14.98

album cover MINKS Araby (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98
There has been no shortage of bands using The Cure as a major point of inspiration over the last several years. While most of those bands take from the more obvious, goth and gloom side of The Cure, what makes Minks stand way above that crowded field is how they inject a warm breeze into that sound capturing the romantic side of early '80s dark pop and in the process creating what really is some of the most irresistible pop of the last few years.
The A side is another immediately catchy and rewarding track, the kind you put on mixtapes for months to come. The B side shows that Minks are capable of expanding their reach beyond their most obvious influences as this is a track that sounds nothing like The Cure, but instead some awesome version of The Chills covering Big Star. Wow!

album cover MINKS By The Hedge (Captured Tracks) cd 13.98
Similar to how The Soft Moon delivered on the amazing promise of their first two 7"s with their recent aQ Record Of The Week debut full length, Minks have managed the same feat, their brand new full length offering us everything their 7"s got us hoping for.
Dreamy blissed out pop that sparkles with such a suave touch and an impressive dynamic range. In fact as much as we loved the 7"s it did seem like maybe the Minks were just gonna be another band tapping into that of '80s and '90s shoegaze sound, but with By The Hedge, Minks demonstrate they have surprisingly wide sonic horizons and have added some serious depth and scope to their sound. It's an album that really has it all, from totally catchy warped pop nuggets, to subdued and stoney daydream moments. While pulling of course, from My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Field Mice, Slowdive, Ride, and even Ariel Pink, Minks have found a way to take those influences and make something very much their own. It's an album that we dig more and more with repeated listens. We really do think there is something to be said for what folks like Minks and Soft Moon have done in releasing a few 7"s before jumping into a full length, as both parties were able to take their time with the origins of their creation to make an album without any filler or throwaways. So damn good!
MPEG Stream: "Kusmi"
MPEG Stream: "Out Of Tune"
MPEG Stream: "Life At Dusk"

album cover MINKS By The Hedge (Captured Tracks) lp 16.98
Similar to how The Soft Moon delivered on the amazing promise of their first two 7"s with their recent aQ Record Of The Week debut full length, Minks have managed the same feat, their brand new full length offering us everything their 7"s got us hoping for.
Dreamy blissed out pop that sparkles with such a suave touch and an impressive dynamic range. In fact as much as we loved the 7"s it did seem like maybe the Minks were just gonna be another band tapping into that of '80s and '90s shoegaze sound, but with By The Hedge, Minks demonstrate they have surprisingly wide sonic horizons and have added some serious depth and scope to their sound. It's an album that really has it all, from totally catchy warped pop nuggets, to subdued and stoney daydream moments. While pulling of course, from My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Field Mice, Slowdive, Ride, and even Ariel Pink, Minks have found a way to take those influences and make something very much their own. It's an album that we dig more and more with repeated listens. We really do think there is something to be said for what folks like Minks and Soft Moon have done in releasing a few 7"s before jumping into a full length, as both parties were able to take their time with the origins of their creation to make an album without any filler or throwaways. So damn good!
MPEG Stream: "Kusmi"
MPEG Stream: "Out Of Tune"
MPEG Stream: "Life At Dusk"

album cover MINKS Funeral Song (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98
One of the catchiest slabs of vinyl we've heard yet from the crazily prolific and pretty much always awesome Captured Tracks camp. With nice undertones of a warbly and disjointed demeanor along the lines of Blank Dogs, but taken in a more sleek and shoegazey direction. It's got this awesome hint of past C86 glory while infusing darker elements into those swirling and seductive hooks. Kind of like The Cure's mid/late '80s sound trimmed of its fat and recorded on a four track, or Ride at their most focused and infectious. What's so exciting about the Minks is that these two songs prove they know how to write totally infectious and melodic songs that evoke that perfect kind of hazy and blurred emotion. It's not just nailing a style and aesthetic, as these two songs are just so damn good, so good that we've been flipping it over and over playing it more times in a row then is probably healthy. But when a band starts making us obsessive we know that's a pretty great sign. We're super excited to hear more, and this is a fucking awesome introduction!

album cover MINKS Ophelia (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98
The first 7" we heard from Minks a few months ago immediately became one of our favorite singles of the year. We love when bands use 7"s as a way to introduce themselves, offering up a few perfect jams on a handful of singles before releasing a full length. And Minks are doing just that, as these three songs show once again that that debut single was no fluke. Minks are able to tap into the best parts of The Cure without sounding like clones, and part of the reason is that while so many other bands who are influenced by The Cure tend to focus so much on trying to emulate Robert Smith's vocals, Minks instead explore the overall sound and dirgey instrumentation that those great Cure albums were rife with. Minks conjure a hazy and washed out vibe, creating a sound that is like a much darker and dingier side of shoegaze. So excited for a full length but until then we have three more songs from Minks to play over and over and over!

MINNY POPS Secret Stories (LTM) cd 17.98

MINNY POPS Sparks In the Dark (LTM) cd 17.98

album cover MINOR THREAT At DC Space / Buff Hall / 9:30 Club (Dischord) dvd 18.98
92 minutes of live Minor Threat footage, from three shows (1980, 1982, and 1983 in DC and NJ), including a Q&A session with Ian filmed in '83. There's a sixteen page booklet in here as well. Haven't had a chance to watch this yet, but we imagine all true Minor Threat fans will want this. And punk fans of today (if you're reading this) could probably learn a thing or two from these kids... man do they look young in the pictures on the DVD case!

MINOR THREAT Complete Discography (Dischord) cd 13.98

album cover MINOR THREAT First Demo Tape (Dischord) cd ep 4.50
Elsewhere on the list you'll find a review of Sleep's Dopesmoker demo reissue. One track, 60+ minutes, and slooooow. Well this here Minor Threat demo re-issue is pretty much the exact opposite. Eight tracks in 9 minutes. And faaaaast. It would be even shorter if they took out the before song banter/studio talk. No new tracks, just demo versions of those amazing songs that started it all! 'Minor Threat', 'Stand Up', 'Seeing Red', 'Bottled Violence', 'Small Man, Big Mouth', 'Straight Edge', 'Guilty Of Being White', and 'I Don't Want To Hear It'. Also available on 7"...
MPEG Stream: "Seeing Red"
MPEG Stream: "I Don't Want To Hear It"

album cover MINOR THREAT Out Of Step (Dischord) lp 10.98
All time classic! Remastered and comes with a digital download.
MPEG Stream: "Betray"
MPEG Stream: "Out Of Step"

album cover MINOR THREAT s/t (Dischord) lp 10.98
All time classic! Remastered and comes with a digital download.
MPEG Stream: "Filler"
MPEG Stream: "Minor Threat"

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

album cover MINOT An Era Of Institutional Failure (self-released) cd-r 11.98
First we've heard from these local math/post/kraut rockers since their The Ringing Silence Between Your Ears 7", which we LOVED, and even then we were already hankering for more, so here we finally have a new full length, five new songs, clocking in at more than 30 minutes, and all it takes is about a minute of the first track to remind us of why we love these guys so much. If this was 1995, these guys would be HUGE, and fuck it, even in 2013, these guys should be. Equal parts old school math/post/noise rock and more modern slow build heaviness a la Mogwai, Minot are masters of nuance, so tight and controlled, the sound intricate, rhythmically complex, heavy as fuck, and somehow, totally crazy catchy, a tough feat for sure when you're all instrumental, but after repeated listens, we find melodies and riffs stuck in our head like crazy. Progged out mathiness fused to moody jangle, all wound up into sprawling hypno-rock mesmer. The opener manages to be alternatingly dizzying and moody and melodic, while the second track dials the math back a bit (except for the drums which seem to be in constant motion) unwinding a fantastic sprawl of mesmerizing minimal post rock, the track already locked into a super dramatic slow build, atmospheric, majestic and epic, but these guys mix it up like crazy, the track constantly shifting into dense rhythmic tangles, stuttering start/stops, some seriously dense metallic mathiness, somehow all the while remaining utterly catchy.
The rest of the record follows suit, the band deftly weaving super intense soundscapes of chiming harmonics, busy drumming, angular guitars, thick super melodic basslines, even some electronics, the band nimbly flitting from dense brood to majestic metallic swirl and back again, loping post rock waltzes that morph into psych-prog jams, woozy droney dirges that lead directly into minimal mathy skitter, only to somehow get even mathier, but again, remaining kind of melodic and catchy. Rare is the band that can pull that off, and pull it off so consistently, but if you haven't figured it out by now, Minot is one of those rare bands. Totally recommended. Essential listening for fans of mathrock / postrock then AND now!
MPEG Stream: "Reiki"
MPEG Stream: "Redacted"

album cover MINOT The Ringing Silence Between Your Ears (The Mylene Sheath) 7" 6.98
First we've heard from these local math rockers, who KILL IT in a way few bands have since the heyday of this kinda stuff. These guys are obviously totally beholden to nineties style math rock, which we're totally fine with, as longtime readers of the aQ list know, we LOVE math / post / noise rock, and love all the old bands from back in the day, and actually, some of the guys in Minot may even have a pedigree that reaches that far back, regardless, this is so good, with a sound that manages to evoke that old sound we love, but still be super modern and not any sort of retro trip at all.
Instrumental, dense, melodic, intricate, driving and heavy, but super moody and textured, the A side manages to be catchy as fuck while delivering said catchiness in a barrage of constantly shifting arrangements and tempos, in fact in a way it sounds like slow build Godspeed style post rock all cranked up and tangled up, into something more dense and dizzying. We actually played the A side like 4 or 5 times before we even made it to side two. And as you might imagine, the B side kicks ass too, digging a bit deeper into the moody meandery side of math/post rockiness, but after a few second of rhythmic loping, the sound explodes into a dense drum heavy groove, driven by a super melodic bassline drifting over the roiling instrumental below, it begins to sound like strings at one point (probably a mellotron, which one of the guys plays in addition to bass!), and then the song splinters into a jagged start / stop breakdown before swooping right back into into it. The 'strings' surface again, and even though it's a wild wrangle of guitar and drums, the sound blurs into a brooding, dreaming epic that so much has us wanting to hear more!
Pressed on pretty clear blue vinyl, and includes a sticker. And they just so happen to be named after one of our favorite places on earth, Minot, North Dakota!!

MINOTAUR SHOCK Rinse (Melodic) cd 16.98

album cover MINOTT, SUGAR At Studio One (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00
Soul Jazz moves ever forward into the world of Studio One, no looking back now. Well, not exactly. Sugar Minott's tenure at Studio One represented a brand spanking new way of music production on the fertile Isle of Jamaica. As the '70s wound to a close big changes were on the rise in the music industry. Before the electronic studio would completely take over and all but eliminate the need for studio musicians, the phenomena of recycling rhythms -- which had been building momentum through the sucess of DJ culture -- came to a head... thanks to Studio One's enormous popularity. Using their house band The Revolutionaries, Ernest and Jo Jo Hookim of Channel One had begun re-recording popular Studio One rhythms with their own stable of vocalists penning new lyrics. Successful they were, but for Coxsone Dodd to trump them all he needed to do was just spin an old tape and let someone sing over it. The biggest cache of Jamaican classics resided in his vaults after all. Sugar Minott had already cut his teeth singing with a few other minor groups and it was while working at Studio One as a backup vocalist that he suggested that Coxsone allow him to sing over an old Studio One classic; one that he'd worked up new lyrics to and had been singing for years. Suffice it to say the experiment was a success and eventually resulted in an LP that is oft considered the first dancehall album. Minott opened the flood gates for old vocalists such as Freddie McGregor, Johnnie Osbourne and others. Sugar Minott At Studio One represents a best of collection from tracks he cut at the label between 1978 and 1982 before striking out on his own.
MPEG Stream: "Jahovia"
MPEG Stream: "Give Me Jah Jah"

album cover MINSK Out Of A Center Which Is Neither Dead Nor Alive (At A Loss) cd 14.98
Some magazine recently voted Minsk "Biggest Isis ripoff" in it's year end poll. Hardly fair we think. Good thing there's no black metal poll with a "Biggest Darkthrone ripoff" category, you'd need a whole magazine to list the results. Anyway, no, no, no, Minsk is their own glorious head caving soul crushing entity. Sure there are sonic similarities, this is definitely of the sludgy metallic post rock persuasion, and lord knows we can't get enough of that stuff. But Minsk are definitely a whole different beast, falling much closer to Neurosis or Buried At Sea (which featured at one point a current member of Minsk). Where Isis is tight and controlled, Minsk sound a lot crustier and sludgier. When you close your eyes and think of Isis, you probably picture mysterious figures standing before a vast body of water, or a huge expanse of starry sky, musically deconstructing the workings of the universe, but for some reason if you close your eyes and picture the guys in Minsk, all that comes to mind are huge furry yeti's, carrying spiked clubs, eight foot tall mountain men with beards down to their waists and greasy old baseball caps and unwahsed hair, blurry old tattoos, and big black shitckicker boots. Amps held together with bent rusty nails and scavenged duct tape, guitars covered in stickers and paint and dirt and branches and whatever else got in their way as they trudged from the cave to the stage. This is huge heavy harrowing shit. Massive riffs, roiling and churning, thick and viscous, the vocals are similar, a raging below, not quite a shriek or a howl, just an anguished, ultra pissed bellow, the drums are big and loud and way up in the mix, not ultra complex, but busy enough to keep the sludge in check. The other thing that Minsk has that sets them apart is not one but two synths, which gives the whole record a thick dense creepy creepy vibe, no silence EVER, always some sort of ominous sonic swirl, sometimes way in the background, sometimes whipped into a frenzy, a dense dark squall of rumbles and drones. Each track stretching out and chugging over and over, building and building like some heavy metal Steve Reich, before drifting off into some haunting almost Middle Eastern sounding stretch of clean guitar, sludgy synths and warm harmony vocals. The whole record is peppered with those sorts of strange stretches: spacy ambience, Hawkwindy psychedelic swirl, loping post rocky mesmer, blissy blurry shimmer. Each its own mysterious slow burn before the fucking walls come down in a suffocating sludgeslide of massive doomy droney riffing.
MPEG Stream: "Waging War On The Forevers"
MPEG Stream: "Narcotics And Dissecting Knives"

album cover MINSK The Ritual Fires Of Abandonment (Relapse) cd 12.98

MPEG Stream: "Ember"
MPEG Stream: "White Wings"
MPEG Stream: "Mescaline Sunrise"

album cover MINTON, PHIL + AUDREY CHEN By The Stream (Sub Rosa) cd 16.98
Um, last list we had the Quintet recording on Sub Rosa featuring these two unusual, improvising vocalists backed by drums, bass, and double bass. We might have scared some of you away by saying that sometimes the singing sounded like "Muppety monsters with gastric disorders" but it was REALLY GREAT (and we still have a few, be brave). For the adventurous folks who agreed with us (and perhaps more folks whom we might now convince to take a chance), here's the other, simultaneously released Sub Rosa disc we mentioned in that earlier review, Minton and Chen as an acoustic vocal duo only, no instrumental accompaniment at all. So everything you hear here, believe it or not, comes out of their mouths. Once again, it's quite weird and reminiscent perhaps of the most extreme vocal experiments you might have heard from Mike Patton or Eye Yamatsuka, though they mostly never scream or shout, making all these weird noises without really raising their voices at all.
We listed the other one first 'cause we thought (perhaps foolishly) that it was the more accessible, but really this one too, once you get into it, is a fascinatingly varied, corporal soundscape that can be both atmospheric and ridiculous, all the more impressive considering the "limitations" of the sound sources - two human voices - which don't really sound all that limited here! Being human voices (or whatever you would call noises emitted from someone's mouth - these aren't regular speaking or singing voices by a long shot) the sounds here have an emotional resonance even at their most nonsensical, something you wouldn't always get as immediately with free instrumental improv (which makes us think: the way the late Hans Reichel's bowed wooden "daxophones" were so effective, was in how they mimicked the human voice - and it's the lung power blowing the breath of Brotzmann through his horn that truly speaks to us). Minton and Chen cut out the middleman (instrument) and do it themselves, with artistry and inspiration. Intriguing and (for us at least) entertaining too - c'mon, 50+ minutes of moanings and groanings, mutterings and croakings, babblings and raspberry-blowings can't not be kind of funny, eh!
MPEG Stream: "It's"
MPEG Stream: "Are"
MPEG Stream: "To Do"

album cover MINTON, PHIL + AUDREY CHEN + GUY SEGERS + PETER JACQUEMYN + TEUN VERBRUGGEN QUINTET Four Instruments Two Voices (Sub Rosa) cd 16.98
Some recommended, unusual improv here. We were quite surprised at what a pleasant and compelling listen this is, considering the definite weirdness and occasional wackiness of it, which comes mainly from the "Two Voices" referred to in the title. Those two voices - belonging to Phil Minton and Audrey Chen (who also have a duo-only all-voice disc out on Sub Rosa, released simultaneously with this, that we'll be listing soon too) - specialize in mostly nonverbal, nonsensical "singing" - not really what most folks would call singing, but freely improvised sound-making with lips, teeth, tongue, throat, lungs... And what they do is really taken to extremes here - quiet extremes as there's not really any screaming or shouting. Lots of moaning muttering mumbling whining wailing whispering whistling burbling babbling blubbering hissing and humming, however. Pretty much almost any noise you could imagine being able to make with your mouth and some others that you can't! And while without meaning linguistically, you can't say it's not meaningful on some other level, more primal and emotive.
Sometimes there's a silliness to it, Minton and Chen sounding like Muppety monsters with gastric disorders, but sometimes it can be downright disturbing, harrowing stuff like a chorus of damned souls; either way we're enjoying it and we think fans of, like, Mike Patton's various vocal experiments and a lot of the singing of Eye from the Boredoms would really dig this too. Obviously that also goes for anyone already into UK voice improv vet Phil Minton - or similar "sound poet" Jaap Blonk of Holland.
On the face of it what we've just described might seem to be outside of a lot of folks' usual musical comfort zone, but for those with open ears, we feel that this comes off as being intriguing and entrancing rather than in any way annoying, also in part perhaps because of the other elements on here, the "Four Instruments" portion of this quintet (as well as singing, Chen plays cello, Segers is on electric bass, Jacquemyn on double bass, and Verbruggen plays drums), which provide the perfect environment of gently improvised "chamber orchestra" music for these eccentric voices to inhabit. The instruments and voices really mesh well, the musicians laying down delicate drones, skittery percussion, scraping strings... all of which mimic or is mimicked at times by the human voices themselves, achieving an atmospheric synthesis, so you can't always tell what's voice and what's instrument, not to mention how many there are.
It's soothingly bass-heavy, as you might imagine from the instrumentation, and also as we said rather gentle and oddly pleasant, with quiet blissed-out stretches, despite its textural density and potential disturbance factor. Even when Minton, on the fourth track, gets into some rapid fire glossolalic mumbo-jumbo like an auctioneer with Tourette's, it's actually somewhat hypnotic (or amusing). By the way, he's the only person on here with whom were were previously familiar (and we haven't reviewed much by him, just a couple albums he's been on with folks like Bob Ostertag and Tom Cora), most of the other folks are presumably from the Belgian improv scene since this was recorded in Brussels and released on Sub Rosa.
Again, like we said, a bit of a surprise, but we've been listening to this A LOT, even when going to sleep at night. Strange dreams...
MPEG Stream: "One"
MPEG Stream: "Four "
MPEG Stream: "Five"

album cover MINUS Jesus Christ Bobby (Victory) cd 16.98
While this is noisy, chaotic metalcore (a la Converge, Coalesce, Botch, Cave In) on Victory, there -are- some twists: First of all, these guys are from far-off Iceland (and to prove it, they even got an ex-Sugarcube to sing on one song -- not Bjork though) and, also, they produced this with the help of Icelandic electronica artist Curver, who contributes some additional digital-glitch chaos to Minus' already-complex and fucked up songwriting. We read a quite negative review of this on some indie pop website, written by someone suckered in by the Sugarcubes connection and subsequently confused and horrified by the madness on offer here -- the reviewer claimed that it wasn't even music! Well, that person obviously isn't an Aquarius customer...and certainly hasn't heard much current metal/hardcore stuff! In actual fact (well, our opinion), this is pretty darn amazing!! Minus go beyond the aforementioned crushing noisecore and computer fuckery to incorporate some unexpected emo-pop hooks and non-screaming singing -- and there's even an acoustic guitar song with plaintive vocals halfway through the album! Also, we love the bonus backwards track at the end. Minus is yet another reason all of us here at Aquarius really want to take a vacation to Iceland! Recommended.
RealAudio clip: "Misdo"
RealAudio clip: "Pulse"

album cover MINUS 5 Down With Wilco: A Tragedy In Three Halfs (YepRoc) cd 15.98
Scott McCaughey is one of pop music's tireless commanders and criminally unsung heroes. Following over a decade with Seattle's legendary Young Fresh Fellows, he formed his music collective called Minus 5. Its ever-changing, but always stellar line-up includes Peter Buck of R.E.M. (with whom he's also toured extensively) as well as AQ faves The Posies' Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. This time around, as the title of their fifth album states, there's a bunch of Wilco fellows along for the ride too. Not at all surprisingly, the songwriting's pretty darn superb and the chemistry is near-magical. The enthusiasm and sincerity they all convey is uplifting and infectious. Stylistically it's definitely out of step with virtually everything going on these days - truly much closer to the honest to goodness sixties and early seventies. The influences of the three B's (Beach Boys, Beatles, and Big Star) are readily apparent, but when have they ever not been for any of these individual artists? However, this by no means defines nor limits them. No sir! Much of the time it may seem like there's nothing fancy or elaborate goin' on, but that's the key to the Minus 5's pop mastery. Each of the thirteen songs is so finely composed, arranged and performed, it all seems absolutely effortless. Alright, enough gushing. Check it out for yourself.
RealAudio clip: "Retrieval Of You"
RealAudio clip: "Where Will You Go?"

album cover MINUS 5, THE At the Organ (Yep Roc) cd 10.98
Okay kids, check out this super duper group's stellar lineup... mainman Scott McCaughey, Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche, John Stirratt, Leroy Bach, Peter Buck, Mike Jorgensen, Rebecca Gates, John Ramberg, Bill Rieflin, Ken Stringfellow, John "Spider" Moen, Jimmy Talent, and Tucker. If those names don't sound familiar , perhaps you might recognize the names of those musicians' fine bands such as Young Fresh Fellows, Wilco, Posies, Spinanes, Neko Case's backing band The Boy friends, Bottle Rockets, Ministry... ring a bell? Thought so! We've said it before and we'll surely say it again, Mr. McCaughey is a criminally unsung, mighty pop songwriting force all by his lonesome, not to mention one of the nicest guys around. His contemporaries know this well, which is undoubtedly why they clamber to be a part of his Minus 5 band. So it's not at all surprising that this seven song ep is a dandy! It build on the already solidly built sparklingly witty foundation of its full length predecessors from the last couple of years -- In Rock, I Don't Know Who I Am, and Down With Wilco: A Tragedy In Three Halfs. Consistently great pop music laced with plenty of nods to early psych, country, and yes of course, pop too!
MPEG Stream: "Hotel Senator"
MPEG Stream: "Film Of The Movie"

album cover MINUS 5, THE I Don't Know Who I Am (Return To Sender) cd 15.98
Around these parts, new music is always welcome from any of the individuals who've participated in this ever-evolving group -- mainman Scott McCaughey (formerly of the criminally unsung Young Fresh Fellows), REM's Peter Buck, Jon and Ken from AQ faves The Posies, Wilco, etc. When they assemble as The Minus 5 the gloriously trippy pop blossoms flourish again and again. It's much like a visit from an old friend... one who comes bearing gifts of song laced with the sweet melt of ice cream and the smooth burn of bourbon. Drawing from pages of pop's history books (particularly those of the Beatles, Beach Boys and Big Star), they skillfully succeed in being warmly familiar while seldom being redundant. Check out the mellow "Queen's Head". These fellows are truly kickass veteran songcraftsmen with well-oiled, wry senses of humor to boot, and on this their contribution to the German Return To Sender series they keep 'em coming. (limited pressing of 2000)
MPEG Stream: "There Is No Music"
MPEG Stream: "Queen's Head"

album cover MINUS 5, THE In Rock (Yep Roc) cd 14.98
Lead by Mr. Scott McCaughey the perpetually boyish-voiced king of Seattle pop (also longstanding multi-instrumentalist for REM, and formerly of the fabulous Young Fresh Fellows), The Minus 5 will lift any droopy spirits with their unmistakable trippy, bouyant hooks. This incarnation of the ever-evolving band lineup includes REM's Peter Buck, John Ramberg (of Model Rockets, and guitarist for Neko Case's backing band Her Boyfriends), Bill Rieflin (of Ministry, KMFDM, REM, and Swans to name just a few). The effervescent supporting cast features Chris Ballew (Presidents Of The United States Of America), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie and Postal Service), John Wesley Harding and mad genius Kurt Bloch (Sgt. Major, Pure Joy, ex-Fastbacks, ex-Young Fresh Fellows). If these songs (or at least eight of them) seem familiar, well, it might be because you were one of 1000 who swapped a ten spot for one of the original pressing of In Rock (it was a hush-hush ten-song album released back in 2000 on Book Records) that they sold at their shows at the legendary Seattle venue Crocodile Cafe. They dropped two of the original songs and added four new ones for this edition. A delight!
MPEG Stream: "Dear My Inspiration"
MPEG Stream: "Courage Is The Smallest Bird"

album cover MINUS FIVE, THE s/t (Yep Roc) cd 16.98
This band should need no introduction, but like many of veteran Pacific Northwest pop maestro Scott McCaughey's innumerable musical wings, The Minus Five somehow still lingers in the criminally unsung box. Why, oh why??? Granted, it's not like he's one to trumpet his talents. He just goes about his business of making kickass music with (and for) other folks. An expert pop craftsman, he not only makes his own good music, but also plays a big part in making good music better (case in point, his participation in R.E.M.). But people, come on now, this is McCaughey's seventh Minus Five album! Time to get with the program!! His endearing, perpetually boyish vocals are in top form as are all of the participants' chops. While he'll occasionally delves into mildly gloomy or melancholic sentiments, it's never without a dab of his indelible wit which keep things on their trademark buoyant track. Stellar songwriting, stellar performances, and a stellar cast of beloved familiar faces including a bunch of Wilcos, a Posie, a Decemberist, an R.E.M., a Kelly Hogan, a John Wesley Harding, among many others. What more do you want or need?
MPEG Stream: "My Life As A Creep"
MPEG Stream: "Leftover Life "

album cover MINUS THE BEAR Highly Refined Pirates (Suicide Squeeze) cd 14.98
On their second album, Minus The Bear bestow upon our ears some refreshing waves of emotive, occasionally mathy, indie rock. Prety darn cool. Unfortunately there's a little something that blemishes full enjoyment this album though, and it's the choice of song titles -- lengthy wackiness that has little or nothing to do with the music and more to do with already tired, ironic self- and pop-culture references. Some examples? "Damn Bugs Whacked Him, Johnny", one of a few nods to the movie Starship Troopers, and "Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogaloo". Zzzzz. They really should leave the lengthy song title absurdity to the true masters, San Diego's The Locust (check out their latest album for a fresh batch!). That said, fortunately the music more than overshadows these distractions. It's both engaging and interesting. The album includes two (tidied up?) radio edit versions for those with delicate ears.
MPEG Stream: "Thanks For The Killer Game Of Crisco Twister"
MPEG Stream: "Let's Play Guitar In A Five Guitar Band"

album cover MINUS THE BEAR They Make Beer Commercials Like This (Arena Rock ) cd 8.98
Okay, we've gotta get one thing out of the way right now... that has got to be one of the worst album titles of all time! Whew, now that that's out of the way...
This is the follow-up to Minus The Bear's Highly Refined Pirates album, a driving, rocking album we quite liked despite the occasional potholes that were their oft too-wacky-wacky irony-laden song titles. HRP was energetic mathy emo boy rock, and we were looking forward to more of the same from this new EP. However, instead it appears they've brought their sound closer to the dancey flavor du jour (The Rapture, Franz Ferdinand, etc) on a bunch of songs. Not necessarily a bad thing if you dig those bands and want more, but quite a surprising (and perhaps dubious) stylistic shift for this particular band.
MPEG Stream: "Fine + 2 Pts"
MPEG Stream: "Dog Park "

MINUTEMEN Double Nickels On The Dime (SST) cd 18.98

album cover MINUTEMEN We Jam Econo (Plexifilm) 2dvd 24.00
At the risk of getting a huge amount of grief, we have to be honest and admit we were never all that into the Minutemen. Sure we dug the concept. And the energy. And the politics. And they seemed like super cool guys. And of course they were down with all of our favorite bands of that time, Black Flag, Descendents, Husker Du, Minor Threat, Sonic Youth, the whole SST stable. But their sound, at least at the time, was just a little too funky. Watching this movie though, definitely gives us pause, and had us re-evaluating, and it's suddenly so obvious how much those guys owed to groups like P.I.L., the Pop Group and especially Wire, and now, how much they beat the current wave of new wave post punk revivalists to the punch by 20 years.
As a film, though, We Jam Econo is as much about the time and the scene as it is about the band. Amazing interviews with all our punk rock heroes all grown up, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Jack Brewer, Dez Cadena, Nels Cline, Kira Roessler, Lee Ranaldo, Raymond Pettibon, Mike Mills, Thurston Moore, David Markey, J Mascis, John Doe, Jello Biafra, Milo Aukerman, Joe Baiza, Chuck Dukowski, Flea, Grant Hart, Greg Norton, Curt Kirkwood, Colin Newman and loads more. But it's pretty much the Mike Watt show, as he drives around in his old beat up Econoline, pointing out all the punk rock historical landmarks that are now Petco's or condos, as he gives an insane rambling account of the Minutemen's convoluted and endlessly fascinating history. There's some amazing live footage and a cool interview with the whole band, and D. Boon does seem like the coolest nicest guy in the world. And the tragedy of his passing really hits home after living vicariously through those years via this film.
Not sure that we necessarily LOVE the Minutemen now, but we do dig them a bit more, and the movie was awesome, and there are for sure a few songs that stuck, and will have us hunting down some Minutemen discs for sure.
Includes tons of amazing footage, and lots of extras, including videos, a set of acoustic covers performed live, uncut interviews, deleted scenes and more. The second disc includes 62 songs from three live performances, at the Starwood in 1980, at the 9:30 club in 1984 and at the Acoustic Blowout in 1985. Also includes a massive booklet packed with photos, notes from the filmmaker, and liner notes from David Rees who does the killer comic Get Your War On!
NTSC. All Region.

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