MORRICONE, ENNIO L'Uccello Dalle Piume Di Christallo (Cinevox) cd 16.98
Originally released in 1969, this is the soundrack for Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage", which is rumoured to be an amazing movie. The soundtrack starts with a creepy Rosemary's Baby feel -- tinkling bells and reverby girl vocals. The soundtrack has a light 'n' soft 'n' romantic feel, eerie yet poppy overall with some goofy songs strewn about. A few sexy noisy songs with hectic drums. Crazy and often beautiful.
"Piume di Cristallo" RealAudio clip:
"L' uccello dalle Piume di Cristallo"
MORRICONE, ENNIO La Califfa (OST) (Dagored) cd 15.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO La Corta Notte Delle Bambole Di Vetro (Dagored) cd 15.98
Another moody, beautiful film score by Morricone for this 1971 thriller by Aldo Lado, also known as Short Night of the Glass Dolls. It's about a guy who's girlfriend (a young Barbara Bach) disappears, he finds himself "awake" in a comatose state trying to figure out what happened, and tries to come out of it before they autopsy him. The score, as you can imagine, is a little spooky of course though it also features lots of moaning. Profondo Italiano.
"Valzer" MPEG Stream:
"Notte E Bambole"
MORRICONE, ENNIO La Donna Invisible (Dagored) cd 14.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO Metti Una Sera A Cena (Cinevox) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
MORRICONE, ENNIO Millennio (Hexacord) cd 8.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO Morricone 2000 (Dagored) cd 15.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO Morricone 2001 (Dagored) cd 14.98
The second Morricone collection to be compiled by Alan Bishop (of Sun City Girls). The Italian soundtrack composer's immense boundless talent is such that it can be distilled into sharper focus -- his Western stuff, or the lounge/exotica, or the suspense film work. While this collection focuses on (sometimes schmaltzy) orchestrated themes, it will certainly be of interest to the folks who liked Morricone 2000.
MORRICONE, ENNIO Morricone Giallo (Bella Casa / Cherry Red) cd 17.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO Morricone In The Brain (Blowing Your Mind With The Maestro) (Bella Casa) cd 15.98
It seems one can never have enough of Ennio Morricone's sublime cinematic orchestrations. Here's a new compilation of scores from a variety of films spanning the years 1965-1981, that's heavy on the ear candy and less concerned with the actual films that spawned them. As far as we can tell, none of the iconic spaghetti western themes are here, but there is a bit of overlap from other compilations, most notably the Alan Bishop compiled Crime and Dissonance comp from a couple of years ago. But while that compilation celebrated the darker and more trepidatious side of Morricone's oeuvre , this compilation is all about a sparkling joie de vive, taking the listener through a wide variety of styles, from wistful melancholy to goof-ball reverie and everywhere in between. And we mean everywhere! Some tracks are like a summer scooter ride through Rome, while others feel like tropical danger in Namibia. There's madcap Moog, poly-rhythmic madness, on-the-move organ psych, heart-wrenching vocalizing, and so much more. While that Crime and Dissonance comp did not make for pleasant road trip music, this new comp more than makes up for it. And it's a wonderful starting place for those who are new to Morricone's world of sound or for those who are looking to explore beyond his more well-known themes.
"Ninna Per Adulteri" MPEG Stream:
"Rag Nuziale" MPEG Stream:
"Anghingo" MPEG Stream:
"Bianco Rosso & Verdone"
MORRICONE, ENNIO Morricone Kill: Spaghetti Western Magic From The Maestro (Cherry Red) cd 16.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO Psichedelico Jazzistico (Cherry Red / El) cd 16.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO Psycho Morricone (GDM) cd 16.98
Ah, Morricone compilations. So many to choose from, so little time (and money). Being an avowed Morricone fan-atic, I (Windy) have had to be very very picky with all these records suddenly appearing out of the woodwork. I mean, we want quality, right. Some bang for our buck. It's quite nice that Dagored has taken to releasing worthy, whole soundtracks to single films that Morricone scored (altho please put out Come Maddalena!), and yes, it's also nice when a variety of labels collect the best tracks for those of you who only want one or two Morricone cds. But the *point* of the collections is to represent his best work, and to dispense with the filler tracks, or the ones that just obviously don't work when there's no images to accompany them. Unfortunately it would appear that Psycho Morricone, which claims to feature tracks from twelve Morricone-scored films such as Copkiller, Il Serpente, L'Attentato, Revolver, etc, is comprised of just that: filler! It's decent music of course, but Morricone fans will not find any unearthed gems, or even any memorable melodies or effects. It's basically lot of scary high-pitched violins, and some rackety percussion, and it's only slightly scary or 'psycho'. I'm looking forward to hearing the other attempts by GDM to collect Morricone stuff, namely the Bizarre Morricone and the Chase Morricone titles, but this one is, sadly, a disappointment.
"Rapimento" RealAudio clip:
"Paura e aggressione"
MORRICONE, ENNIO Revolver (Dagored) cd 14.98
MORRICONE, ENNIO Slalom (Dagored) cd 14.98
As we have said, genius Italian soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone is best known for both his lounge-style pop music for Italian sex kitten comedies and other flicks, and also the stunning, atmospheric (and archetypal) soundtracks to Westerns such as For a Few Dollars More. The soundtrack to Slalom falls into the former category, the bouncy "space age bachelor pad" stuff, and if you're a fan of the Dagored label that's been responsible for so many recent excellent reissues, you'll probably like this one too.
MORRICONE, ENNIO Tepepa (Dagored) cd 15.98
A classic Spaghetti Western soundtrack from 1969. This film, Tepepa (also known as Blood And Guns or Long Live The Revolution), features Orson Welles as the evil Colonel Cascorro. Sounds of the film, such as desert noises or gunshots, punctuate the orchestral swells of the music. A stunning and beautiful classic.
"Viva La Revolucion (Tepepa)" MPEG Stream:
MORRICONE, ENNIO The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Capitol) cd 5.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** If you're gonna own any Morricone soundtracks, or Spaghetti Western ones, or heck soundtracks in general, you gotta have this one - and it's now only five bucks! With its famous whistling theme, a motif which recurs throughout, Morricone's bombastic, evocative music for Sergio Leone's 1966 epic Western is what helped make it a classic - along with the performances of Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach as the titular characters, of course. Morricone's soundtrack too is a classic, and a good example of many aspects of the maestro's music that have had a big influence in various ways on such disparate artists as Sun City Girls, Grails, Barn Owl, John Zorn, and Bjorn Olsson. Also, it's awesome that the interior of the cd booklet consists solely of stills from the movie, specifically close ups of just the eyes of the three main characters in 3 two-page photo spreads, presumably staring each other down at the climax of the film. 21 track expanded edition.
"The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (Main Title)" MPEG Stream:
"Marcia" MPEG Stream:
"The Ecstasy Of Gold"
MORRICONE, ENNIO The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Dagored) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Also known as "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly", this is Ennio Morricone's most famous movie theme. Contains ten tracks *not* on the 1966 original soundtrack. We have this on cd (Italian title) and also on LP -- 180 gm virgin vinyl gatefold double LP with poster.
MORRICONE, ENNIO Ultimate Morricone (DagoRed) 24 cd box 194.00
MORRICONE, ENNIO White Dog OST (Film Score Monthly) cd 17.98
Samuel Fuller's dynamic and gritty film career often courted controversy but it was this last film he made in the US in 1982 that was perhaps his most controversial of all. White Dog, based on the Romain Gary book of the same name and starring Kristy McNichol, Paul Winfield and Burl Ives, is a social thriller about a stray dog found and taken in by McNichol and the harrowing discovery that her new pet was trained by previous owners to attack and kill black people. After several attacks and one brutal killing, desperate attempts are made to try and cure the dog of his trained behaviors, the most radical and questionably successful method by a trainer played by Paul Winfield, a black man. The overarching themes and hard questions raised by the movie whether racism can be unlearned or is indeed incurable were too controversial for the time and Paramount pictures suppressed the film after receiving negative press attention accusing the film of being racist before its release. It didn't even get a proper dvd release until 2008, by the Criterion Collection. Originally slated to be Tony Scott's directorial debut, his lack of a coherent script forced producers to turn to Sam Fuller and screenwriter Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential, 8 Mile). Fuller douses the film with a B-movie grittiness, and it's his hard line look at racism dead on that makes this film so dramatically compelling. The movie never had a trailer, but one YouTube user made one and it's pretty damn great and shows how the amazing score by the one and only Ennio Morricone is used to full dramatic effect (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhkrvBNnAcw). Morricone utilizes a dreamy but pensive title theme with piano, reeds, and strings that is pastorally lilting, but tinged with an undefined creepiness. Like David Shire's score for The Conversation, Morricone's score lingers lovingly on the surface, but is all paranoid foreboding underneath, and like The Conversation, beautiful to listen to on its own. We highly recommend watching this film though as well as pretty much anything else by Sam Fuller!
"Main Title" MPEG Stream:
"Dog's Return" MPEG Stream:
"Sweeper Attack" MPEG Stream:
"Cage Escape" MPEG Stream:
"Absentmindedly From A Radio Far Away"
MORRICONE, ENNIO / DARIO ARGENTO An Ennio Morricone - Dario Argento Trilogy (DRG Movies) cd 15.98
Includes The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, The Cat O' Nine Tails, and Four Flies On Grey Velvet.
MORRICONE, ENNIO, & BRUNO NICOLAI Dalle Ardenne.../Il Sorriso... (Spalax) cd 14.98
Soundtracks to two Morricone-scored films, on cd for the first time.
MORRIS, CHRIS Blue Jam (Warp) cd 17.98
I have become completely obsessed with Chris Morris. He makes me sad. Sad that we don't have anyone nearly as funny in the United States. He's been a staple of British radio / television for years now. And it seems like since day one, he's been trying to get himself blackballed. Or killed. His BBC program The Day Today, was a Today Show parody. Complete with a washed up, neurotic weatherman (the also amazing Steve Coogan), a narcissistic and completely cruel host (Morris), and a gorgeous and ice cold business reporting babe that spoke in complete gibberish. After The Day Today was cancelled, came Brass Eye, one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. This time a parody of evening news programs like 48 Hours or 60 Minutes, taking things even further. The goal of this show seemed to be to publically humiliate trusted government officials and public figures (quite successfully we should add) and contributed to Brass Eye's rather brief run. Then came Blue Jam, a totally surreal and unstructured radio show. featuring bizarre (and often offensive) free association / high (low) concept skits over music from a who's who of modern electronica / trip hop (Later turned into an even more unstructured television program called Jam. loosely adapted from the radio show). The Blue Jam cd is basically the best bits from the Blue Jam radio show, featuring Chris Morris and a few other folks, eating and killing and arguing and shitting off their limbs (?) over music from Labradford, Propellerheads, Amon Tobin, Funki Porcini, Herbaliser, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Fila Brazillia, 9lazy9, Clifford Gilberto, Jimi Tenor, and more. Until we can get Brass Eye over here, Chris Morris comes to you only via Blue Jam, quite possibly the funniest headphone mindfuck ever.
"Blue Jam 05" RealAudio clip:
"Blue Jam 07" RealAudio clip:
"Blue Jam 12" RealAudio clip:
"Blue Jam 16" RealAudio clip:
"Blue Jam 20"
MORRIS, JOE Singularity (AUM Fidelity) cd 14.98
Boston-based guitar improviser Joe Morris busts out the steel-string acoustic for this solo set, which doesn't really sound too far removed from his electric excursions, since he's known for his clean, bright, effects-less sound. In fact, the twang and resonance of the steel-string seems *more* distorted than other stuff of his we've heard. Anyway, this is a nice, mesmerizing, restrained workout.
MORRIS, LAWRENCE D. "BUTCH" Conduction 23 (New World Records) cd 15.98
MORRISON, BILL Decasia: The State Of Decay (Plexifilm) dvd 22.00
This is the most beautiful movie we have ever seen. EVER. And it is so appropriately Aquarius. Similar to how we love records buried in shortwave interference and vinyl hiss, and embrace all the crackle and pops and skips that add such depth and color to otherwise sterile recordings, Decasia takes that same tack with the visual. Compiled entirely from found film stock that had been archived and for the most part improperly stored, this is a gorgeous and meditative collage of stirring images, made even more so by the chemical reactions that threaten to overtake the images on screen, like some sort of plague or demon. Grainy and rich, the films have been affected in all sorts of beautiful ways by the elements: changing colors, stuttering frames, amorphous shapes, rotting filmstock with pure light shining through and every permutation in between. Obviously visually stunning, but equally thrilling is the score performed by the Bang On A Can Ensemble who in composing and performing this, simulated sonic decay by detuning their instruments and using prepared pianos. The result is totally haunting and absolutely mesmerising. My girlfriend's uncle showed me a film once called Alexander Nevsky by the late great Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, an epic tale of Russian resiliance. He had gone to great lengths to find a restored copy, where both the picture and the score had been repaired and now looked and sounded as close to flawless as was possible. I finally discovered a copy for myself, but it was an early version, not restored, with all sorts of visual detritus, and the sound was really scratchy and fuzzy and often indistinct. But it was so much better than the restored version, like a lost artifact (which it sort of was) finally unearthed, a mysterious glimpse into another time, the years and years imprinted on the film like the lines on an aging face, or the green cast of tarnished copper. Decasia celebrates deterioration and disintegration in very much the same way, letting time and nature run its course and simply observing the natural beauty inherent in decay.
MORRISON, BILL The Balloon Man (Sharpeworld) cd 23.00
Whoa, this is really... something! This cd is subtitled "40 one minute BIO-VIGNETTES by BILL MORRISON Recorded in 1971". And yes, it certainly is. So, who the heck is The Balloon Man? Well, we're certain that he's not Bill Morrison the filmmaker who made Decasia, nor is he Bill Morrison the videographer/musician who plays with Skinny Puppy. Nope, they're different fellows altogether. This Bill Morrison was a real 'one-of-a-kind' -- a peculiar nightclub performer who back in '71 concocted the idea of pre-taped one minute long radio shows. He believed they would make for a lucrative career move. Problem was, no one else at the time agreed. And it's not really all that hard to see why. But we know as well as you, that there's just not enough stuff like this in the world. If only we were around (well AQ was, but WE weren't) to stand up and proudly proclaim the... um... brilliance of this wacked and damaged disc. A Morrison minute can range from a totally focussed yet still absurd commentary to a completely oblique bizarre tangent. Along the way he touches on subject matter such as cars, brain tumors, coats, rectal disease, Leonardo DaVinci, wanting to stay in the womb when he was being born, and yes balloons. Hear him chuckling to himself about the how-to's of balloon blowing, getting himself riled up about blowing up balloons in different social situations, hollering a short phrase like "I sometimes think I should be! Y'know!" or "Oh oh oh oh oooh oooooooooh!" repeatedly until he's filled up the 60 seconds, and assorted other funny voices, noises and yuks. Sometimes he even continues to rant right over the cheery banjo'n'horn theme music that ends each vignette. Be sure to read the segments' titles, they're a hoot all by themselves! "Leftover Turkey", "Simple Balloon Animals: a Sequence", "Sex Between The Big Toe", "Make A Balloonskin Coat", "Bleeding Salmon", "In The Water But There's Something But You"! So yeah, you might've guessed the shows never aired. A year later along came Mal Sharpe (of the inimitable, 1960's absurdist men-on-the-street Coyle & Sharpe -- if you haven't done so yet, please do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with this duo... seriously!) who decided to make a short film about this Balloon Man. Now jump ahead over thirty years, and Sharpe's daughter Jennifer has just released those long-unheard recordings on cd. Whew! These forty unrelenting minutes could almost be a fairground attraction. How much can you take? Last 'til "Leftover Turkey" win a pencil! Last 'til "Go Climb A Rock" win a pair of socks! Last 'til "Balloon Man Take Me To Wherever You Are Going" win a date with Balloon Man! Okay, not quite. One thing though, be sure to listen to it in a relatively quiet setting 'cause if your space is even remotely noisy you'll probably only be able to hear random mumbles, hoots and guffaws between the much more, ahem, stable crystal clear theme music. Very limited edition of 300 packaged in very sharp lookin' (oops, no pun intended) letterpress printed covers.
"Sex Between The Big Toe" MPEG Stream:
"Balloon Person's Birth"
MORRISON, VAN Celebrities At Their Worst 3.1: Van Morrison's Contract Breaking Sessions (M.D.W.C.G.C.G.) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Having been released both in excerpt and complete form at various times in the past, the Mad God... label has decided to take a stab as well as part of their Celebrities At Their Worst series. The story goes that Bert Berns, who ran the label "Bang" on which Morrison released his first album, proceeded to release an album from a later session of recordings against Morrison's will. After Bern's passed away from a heart attack in 1967 his widow offered to release Morrison from his contractual obligations providing he record one more album for the label and give Bang Records the publishing rights. Rather than give them Astral Weeks, he slapped together 31 tracks of tomfoolery, many of which poke fun at Berns and his musical tastes.
"The Big Royalty Check" RealAudio clip:
"Want A Danish" RealAudio clip:
"Dumb Dumb George"
MORRISSEY Morrissey, You Are The Quarry (Attack) cd + dvd 22.00
Four years have passed since his last album Maladjusted, and it's comforting to know that Morrissey still sounds like Morrissey. Ever passionate, slightly poncy and petulant, he's always been the man with a brimming breast pocket full of wry metaphors and razor-sharp insult /compliments both self-deprecatory and directed at other. Grand orchestrations of stormy guitars, strings, flute (!) and keyboards provide the lush backdrop for the unmistakable soar and swoop of his voice. Be forewarned though that hearing the lead-off song might leave you wincing and worrying (as we were) that his bitter-bittersweet heartbreak poetry might be in short supply. Granted when you have a history of writing such stunning clever treasures as "The Boy With A Thorn In His Side" and "Girlfriend In A Coma", you've set the bar to a lofty height. Yet on this first song, Morrissey chose to set aside matters of the heart in favor of very pointed socio-political commentary. Suitably jarring, the very first words uttered are "America, your head's too big" (he also sings "America, they brought you the hamburger"!). The directness of his lyric writing is admirable, when it works it's like a graceful arrow piercing your heart, but what it doesn't, it's like a royal pain in the gullet. That said, fret not! Once he gets "America Is Not The World" off his chest it's back to his trademark imploring melancholia and cheeky cynicisms.
"America Is Not The World" MPEG Stream:
"How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?"
MORRISSEY Ringleaders Of The Tormentors (Attack / Sanctuary) cd 17.98
The follow up to You Are The Quarry, a record that many of us felt was probably the best and most charged album Morrissey had made since The Smiths were still around. At this point you either love the man or loath him, but we all lean way more towards the love. He continues to write such great songs, the perfect phrase, wit intact, heart on sleeve - connecting with that outsider inside all of us. While this isn't quite as great as You Are The Quarry this is still a good record for sure. The strong songs are amongst some of the best in his catalog. His dramatic flare on full flame, he even enlisted Ennio Morricone for arrangements on one track. Recently it was reported he turned down five million dollars to reunite The Smiths. Under his larger than life and iconic persona, Morrissey has proven that he does represent integrity, smart songwriting, and being a ringleader for all of us outcasts and underdogs.
"The Youngest Was The Most Loved" MPEG Stream:
"The Father Who Must Be Killed"
MORRISSEY Swords (Polydor) cd 13.98
Something happened to Morrissey when he moved to Los Angeles. It allowed him a new beginning of sorts. For the first time in his career he had dropped out of the limelight, he went almost seven years without releasing a record and for the first time since the beginning of The Smiths he really became a true underdog, and cult figure, gaining a revival of fans who maybe weren't around for the first, Smiths wave of Morrissey mania. When he finally returned with a new record, 2004's You Are The Quarry it really did feel like the triumphant second act to an already dramatic and amazing career. His two records since then have maintained that momentum and Swords collects many of the B-sides and non-album tracks from this era. Many of us who are Morrissey fanatics had grabbed some of the import 7"s that some of these songs come from, which are arguably as strong as any of his album tracks. There's also tons on tracks, not even the most tenacious fans around here were ever able to get their hands on, and all of it has the urgent punch and full sound that his defined his music over the last few albums, which rank up there with some of his best stuff. So many others who once possessed such golden voices really lose it as they grow older, but it's remarkable how intact and spot on Morrissey's vocal delivery has remained. And his songwriting remains utterly clever, strong minded, emotional, political, self deprecating and moving. We really can't think of any of his peers from those early '80s days who have remained so vital in creating great music all these years later.
"It's Hard To Walk Tall When You're Small" MPEG Stream:
"If You Dont Like Me, Dont Look At Me" MPEG Stream:
"Shame Is The Name"
MORRISSEY Swords (Polydor) 2lp 29.00
NOW ON VINYL!! Something happened to Morrissey when he moved to Los Angeles. It allowed him a new beginning of sorts. For the first time in his career he had dropped out of the limelight, he went almost seven years without releasing a record and for the first time since the beginning of The Smiths he really became a true underdog, and cult figure, gaining a revival of fans who maybe weren't around for the first, Smiths wave of Morrissey mania. When he finally returned with a new record, 2004's You Are The Quarry it really did feel like the triumphant second act to an already dramatic and amazing career. His two records since then have maintained that momentum and Swords collects many of the B-sides and non-album tracks from this era. Many of us who are Morrissey fanatics had grabbed some of the import 7"s that some of these songs come from, which are arguably as strong as any of his album tracks. There's also tons on tracks, not even the most tenacious fans around here were ever able to get their hands on, and all of it has the urgent punch and full sound that his defined his music over the last few albums, which rank up there with some of his best stuff. So many others who once possessed such golden voices really lose it as they grow older, but it's remarkable how intact and spot on Morrissey's vocal delivery has remained. And his songwriting remains utterly clever, strong minded, emotional, political, self deprecating and moving. We really can't think of any of his peers from those early '80s days who have remained so vital in creating great music all these years later.
"It's Hard To Walk Tall When You're Small" MPEG Stream:
"If You Dont Like Me, Dont Look At Me" MPEG Stream:
"Shame Is The Name"
MORRISSEY Years Of Refusal (Lost Highway / Attack) cd 15.98
While so many of his big name '80s peers have either vanished or started churning out sub-par sounds in recent years (The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, etc.) Morrissey has kept great quality control and has been aging so so gracefully. Years of Refusal might be his most punchy, rocking and self assured solo outing to date. With his golden voice still so warm and rich and powerful and his brutish band offering some muscular back up, this is a set of songs that rely not only on Morrissey's always clever and dramatic word play but the rockin' music backing it up as well! His last album Ringleaders Of The Tormentors, though filled with some great songs, tripped up a bit on its over-ambition and pretension. Years Of Refusal gets it all right, with a sound palette very similar to one of his great recent outings You Are The Quarry. These songs bristle with such natural force and those magical melodies that Morrissey has been creating for over twenty-five years now are in full effect. Even folks here at AQ who are far from being devoted Morrissey fanatics have been digging this big time! And those of us who do have that special place in our hearts for Morrissey are finding this to be such an infectious album that only reaffirms that despite what one might think of his persona or mystique, this is truly one of the greatest songwriters and singers of our generation!
"Something Is Squeezing My Skull" MPEG Stream:
"All You Need Is Me" MPEG Stream:
"It's Not Your Birthday Anymore"
MORRISSEY Years Of Refusal (Lost Highway / Attack) lp 14.98
Now available on vinyl! While so many of his big name '80s peers have either vanished or started churning out sub-par sounds in recent years (The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, etc.) Morrissey has kept great quality control and has been aging so so gracefully. Years of Refusal might be his most punchy, rocking and self assured solo outing to date. With his golden voice still so warm and rich and powerful and his brutish band offering some muscular back up, this is a set of songs that rely not only on Morrissey's always clever and dramatic word play but the rockin' music backing it up as well! His last album Ringleaders Of The Tormentors, though filled with some great songs, tripped up a bit on its over-ambition and pretension. Years Of Refusal gets it all right, with a sound palette very similar to one of his great recent outings You Are The Quarry. These songs bristle with such natural force and those magical melodies that Morrissey has been creating for over twenty-five years now are in full effect. Even folks here at AQ who are far from being devoted Morrissey fanatics have been digging this big time! And those of us who do have that special place in our hearts for Morrissey are finding this to be such an infectious album that only reaffirms that despite what one might think of his persona or mystique, this is truly one of the greatest songwriters and singers of our generation!
"Something Is Squeezing My Skull" MPEG Stream:
"All You Need Is Me" MPEG Stream:
"It's Not Your Birthday Anymore"
MORS SONAT Comforts In Atrocity (Crucial Blast) cd 13.98
Holy shit, does this sound like a made-in-hell aQ dreamdate or what? The first filthy sonic offspring of a mutated meeting of the minds, between Mories the mastermind behind longtime aQ faves Gnaw Their Tongues and Aderlating, and the mystery man behind one man Aussie black metal/blacknoize juggernaut Nekrasov, known simply as Bob. Both men specialize in a sick breed of sonic depravity, the soaring orchestral cinematic black doom noise of GTT, the grim harsh buzz of Aderlating, and the noise infused blackness of Nekrasov, but none of that prepared us for the opening track, a haunting near symphonic sprawl of swoonsome strings, laid over a bed of spare percussion, and softly swirling black ambience, a darkly demonic chamber music, that sounds a bit like a satanic Rachel's, or a way more sinister noise drenched Necks, a hushed blackened shuffle, that is gradually subsumed by thick, caustic swaths of crumbling distortion, heaving low end moans and rumbles, the whole thing splintering into a glorious billowing cloud of hellish harsh noise and grim psychedelic blackness. Which is our baptism by black sonic fire, into the warped and harrowing soundworld that is Mors Sonat, nothing so lovely as that opening track, and if anything, the record is like a musical black pit, yawning before you, and with every track, you get farther and farther from the edge, where eventually, fingers bloody and torn, all hopes of clawing your way out have been abandoned, leaving the only hope to continue down, further into the blackness. Thick swirls of hellish voices, buried beneath cascades of black industrial crumble, dense low end rumbles and howls, and splinters into a grinding swirls of blackened shards, long sprawling stretches of slowly decaying power electronics give way to sheets of blacknoise, which in turn give way to dense noisy drones, and soundscapes of abject grey thrum, and terrifying cinematic mystery. There are moments of lightness, subjectively speaking, when compared to most of the records deep black, but those moments are suffused with their own terror, dense and intense, laced with ghostly voices, buried melodies, a strange uneasy oasis surrounded on all sounds by black walls of unstable sound, that can collapse at any moment, and usually do, transforming these small moments of tranquility, into full bore black holes of sonic chaos. Near the end of the record, there's a gorgeous bit of funereal creep, all pounded piano, and grinding blurred staticky ambience, spread out into a haunting expanse of sonic malevolence, lovely but blackly lovely, a final respite, the long slow trudge toward the inexorable end, in the case of Mors Sonat, the final track, an all engulfing blast of hateful, harrowing, feedback drenched white noise terror.
MORTE MACABRE Symphonic Holocaust (Mellotronen) cd 23.00
This Swedish progrock supergroup got together to interpret great horror film soundtracks, like Komeda's theme to "Rosemary's Baby" and Frizzi's music from "City Of The Living Dead" and "The Beyond". This should definitely appeal to fans of Goblin (who get covered here too, of course). Includes an amazing, epic 20-minute piece that will even satisfy Godspeed You Black Emperor fans looking for their filmic music fix.
MORTHOUND Mortology (Raubbau) 5cd 72.00
A precocious one, that BJ Nilsen! Morthound (sometimes spelled Morthond on a couple of releases) was Nilsen's project when he was just a teenager, producing some of the more abstract convulsions of dark ambient and collaged electronics that appeared on the seminal Swedish industrial label Cold Meat Industries. This anthology collects the four Morthound / Morthond records recorded from 1991-1994 before Nilsen dropped the moniker in favor of Hazard, through which he matriculated onto Ash International / Touch Music shortly there after. Nilsen appends most of the discs of Mortology with various tracks from the CMI compilations and rounds out the entire collection with a whole disc of unreleased material. Death Time was Nilsen's first outing - a cassette from 1991 on CMI imprint Sound Source - and speaks much beyond the years of a 15 year old kid in Sweden going down to the library to check out sound effects and wildlife recordings to run through his Akai sampler and into a four-track. Along with those source materials, Nilsen also relied heavily on his shortwave radio, whose detuned transmissions and numbers station broadcasts he liberally cut-up into eerie collages full of shadow, drone, and dread. This Crying Age (also from 1991) was the first widely available Morthound cd, with a deep soundtrackish sensibility that recalled more of the early soundtrack work of Graeme Revell / SPK especially the Zamia Lehmanni album with its esoteric / occult mysteriousness through hypnotic, metal klang loops, emotionally somber rumblings, and wispily opiated flute melodies which sporadically graced the dark electronics. In the liner notes, Nilsen explained that he has never wanted to stick within one particular aesthetic, and Spindrift (1992) was very much a departure for Nilsen with this foray into legitimate psychedelic pop, with "Stairhead" being something of a hypno-drone-pop track of glistening guitars and summery organs with much more in common with Ultra Vivid Scene or A.R. Kane than Brighter Death Now! This track is a bit of anomaly as much of the rest of Spindrift is fleshed out with baroque, synthetically orchestral pieces full of John Carpenter / Halloween arpeggiations, David Lynchian themes within the creepy / maudlin scores, and plenty of saddened atmosphere. The final album recorded as Morthound was The Goddess Who Could Make The Ugly World Beautiful (a quote from Taxi Driver, fyi!), finding Nilsen shifting closer to the sound he would soon perfect under the moniker Hazard with stealth-bomber drones and arctic field recordings, but not before unleashing a handful of tracks inspired in equal parts by early Coil and contemporary In Slaughter Natives with a baroque pagan bombast through thrashy guitar riffs and muscular drum programming. The disc of unreleased Morthound material is uniformly bleak, spacious, and eerily abstract. Again, the material here points closer to the Hazard tracks that soon followed; and actually stands as some of the best material that Nilsen recorded during this time period. We have very limited stock on this boxset!
"Death Time" MPEG Stream:
"Mithril" MPEG Stream:
"The Age Of Crying" MPEG Stream:
"Stairhead" MPEG Stream:
"Losing Ground" MPEG Stream:
MORTIFERA Vastiia Tenebrd Mortifera (Goatowarex) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
MORTIIS The Smell of Rain (Earache) cd 15.98
What can one say about Mortiis? Hmmm, he's apparently acquired a new set of ears since his last pair were stolen while on tour many moons ago. But one may ask, "has along with his new elfin ears come a new look and sound too?" An emphatic "yes!" From the cover of this album you'd think either Mortiis is trying to look like a mummified Ani Difranco or has decided to do a roots reggae album (he's gnarled up his glossy Norwegian tresses into matted ropes). Actually it's neither, in fact Mortiis wants to sex you up and shake your goth booty down. That's right, it seems Mortiis' days of haunting the stage to dat tapes are over. In favor of what? Well, the follow-up to 1999's dark ambient "The Stargate" is dominated by rock guitar, pounding programmed beats, a veritable synth orchestra, and his effected vocals front and center. He does bring it down though, all soft and sentimental like, for one track called "Everyone Leaves", and I'd swear he scooped the main melody from Harry Chapin's "Cat's In The Cradle" for "Antimental". Allan compared it to Gary Numan, The Faint and Fischerspooner. I'd agree with the first (but only his very recent efforts) and maybe the third (especially when the female vocals come in to counter Mortiis' very Peter Murphy-esque emoting - just give "Spirits In A Vacuum" a listen). Byram compared it to Ministry or Lords Of The New Church. This is Industrial Dance / Dark Wave, and strangely it's on Earache (the second of his four album contract)! Heck, it made Andee do the robot dance... a lot, and made a customer snap his fingers. At any rate, I'd definitely recommend oHgr's "Welt" album instead. Oh, I forget to mention that the closing track is titled "Smell The Witch".
"Spirit In A Vacuum" RealAudio clip:
MORTON, JELLY ROLL The Chant (Monk) lp 22.00
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (1885-1941) is one of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century, a jazz pioneer and a gifted composer during the days of Vaudeville and one of the first musicians to take part in the new revolution in recorded music. A jack of all trades, Morton began his career in show business as a teenager in New Orleans, playing brothels and touring the American South, with later stints in major cities like New York, Chicago, Vancouver, and Washington DC. Along the way, he also racked up experience as a comedian and supposedly even as a pimp. He was also apparently pretty handy with a gun. But moreso with a piano! These recordings were captured in Chicago in 1926 and 1927, showcasing Morton's staggering talents as a pianist, composer, and bandleader. The songs show off a style of "Hot" jazz that will be instantly familiar to many of you, with lots of blaring reed instruments and Morton's rhythmic piano serving as the anchor. The songs are fun, easy going romps with lots of humor thrown in and the occasional raspy Morton vocal. Things flow with a nice drunken sort of feel while still maintaining a high level of energy, with the instruments loping about constantly within the busy arrangements. Fortunately, Morton was given access to recording facilities that had the fidelity to match the complexity of his songs, and things sound great here. A few songs even make use of sound effects like old klaxon horns, which is certainly interesting considering that these may represent some of the earliest uses of non-musical sounds incorporated into commercial recordings. This winner comes to us courtesy of the good folks at Monk and serves as a great introduction to Morton's vast catalog.
MORTON, JOHN Outlier: Music for Music Boxes (Innova) cd 14.98
New York pianist / composer / instrument builder John Morton has composed 5 pieces based around electronic and physical augmentation of traditional music boxes. Thus, the whirring plinks and tiny melodies of his arsenal of music boxes are central to Morton's work, but have occasionally been modulated by computer synthesis into odd timbres or altered like a prepared piano with tiny pieces of metal shifting the tones into clumsy thuds. While his multiple music boxes have an interesting rhythmic and harmonic complexity, his additional instrumentaions for clarinet (which are particularly dorky), piano, guitar, and vibraphone are not as sonorously complementary as Morton would like them to be.
MORTUALIA s/t (Northern Sky Productions / Greivantee) cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ultra grim and frosty, gloriously plodding midtempo black metal from Finland, dirgey and completely hypnotic. Featuring at least one member of the mighty Horna. This is ultra simple, dense and buzzing, with riffs that are more like static streaks of black buzz, the drums a caveman thud. Most of the tracks here break or come close to breaking the 15 minute mark, and most have no more than two parts, sometimes just one, usually a simple buzz, sometimes a haunting minor key melody, but always drenched in distortion, and always completely mesmerizing and dronelike. These sound like songs that have been playing forever, and will continue to play forever, and we've just stumbled across them, observing them briefly before moving on, leaving Mortualia to buzz and drone into the ether. But it's not just the riffing and the hypnotic plod, the vocals are utterly insane. Not Bethlehem insane, or even Silencer insane, they are much more feral and mewling, the closest we've come to capturing the sound of Mortualia is Burzum meets Oxbow!! An anguished, tortured shriek, equal parts demon, wild animal, and possessed child, draped over an endlessly blown out blackened droning riffscape. So good.
"The Blue Silence" MPEG Stream:
"In Bleak Loneliness"
MORTUUS De Contemplanda Morte (Ajna) cd 13.98
"Penetrations Of Darkness" MPEG Stream:
MORTUUS INFRADAEMONI Imis Avernis (Cold Dimensions) cd 14.98
MORVERN CALLAR (SOUNDTRACK) (Warp) cd 17.98
Lynne Ramsay, director of "Morvern Callar" and the bleakly beautiful "Ratcatcher," is emerging as one of the most interesting and talented new directors on the international film scene. Her impeccable visual sensibilities and restrained approach to narrative truly set her films apart from other contemporary UK filmmakers' tired, flashy and substanceless Tarantino/ Trainspotting rip-offs, as well as from the more traditional British realism. "Morvern Callar" is the story of a young Scottish supermarket clerk (Samantha Morton) who finds her boyfriend dead, wrists slashed, under the christmas tree. She deals with it by telling her friends he's run off, burying him in the highlands herself, signing her name to the novel he's left behind on the computer and selling it to a publisher, and using the money he had left for a funeral to take a holiday in Spain. The actions of Morton's virtually silent, emotionally unreadable Morvern somehow make sense as a last-ditch escape channel from small-town malaise. Guiding Morvern through her journey is a mix tape left by her boyfriend, and this soundtrack is basically that mix tape, although there are a couple omissions, like the Mamas and the Papa's "This Is Dedicated to the One I Love," which was the first thing I pulled out of my record collection after hearing it in the movie. What did make it is a really excellent collection of songs by Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, Stereolab, Velvet Underground, Broadcast, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Ween, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood (doing "Some Velvet Morning," always delightful!) and both Can and solo Holger Czukay. Unfortunately, none of the songs are exclusive to the soundtrack, although some of the tracks, such as the Boards of Canada track, made their previous appearences on eps or collections as opposed to proper albums. Still, this definitely functions as a really good mix tape, one whose tone of downer bliss worked perfectly in the film. If you haven't seen "Morvern Callar" yet, it's definitely recommended -- that goes doubly for "Ratcatcher," which is out on video now.
APHEX TWIN "Nannou" RealAudio clip:
VELVET UNDERGROUND "I'm Sticking With You" RealAudio clip:
LEE "SCRATCH" PERRY "Hold Of Death"
MORWELL UNLIMITED MEETS KING TUBBY Morpheus Special (Select Cuts) 12" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. 12" from the second volume of Select Cuts From Blood & Fire featuring Kid Loco's contribution to the comp, plus a dub mix of his dub.
MOS DEF The Ecstatic (Downtown Records) cd 16.98
Some of us were ready to concede the fact that Mos Def may have evolved into a much more important and amazing actor than rapper, but with The Ecstatic he grabs us forcefully and reminds us that he is most definitely still a potent musical force to be reckoned with! Any record that opens with a Malcolm X soundclip and goes right into a song that samples the music of Turkish psych singer Selda is setting the bar pretty high, and Mos Def just keeps pushing that bar higher and higher, as The Ecstatic is his most intense, immediate and powerful record in a long time. The Ecstatic features some of the best hip-hop producers around (Madlib, Oh No, Georgia Ann Muldrow, Mr. Flash and even the late great J Dilla). While those producers help flesh out the strong beats and slightly Eastern vibe, the strength of the album is all about the presence of a rejuvenated Mos Def who sounds so commanding, in control and at ease on the mic. His flow and intensity on the record reminds us of classic Eric B. & Rakim, the kind of hip-hop that hits you hard on first listen but keeps unveiling more of its potency on repeated listens. Can't imagine a better hip-hop record coming out this year. So great!
"Supermagic" MPEG Stream:
"Revelations" MPEG Stream:
"Auditorium (Feat. The Ruler)"
MOS DEF The New Danger (Geffen) cd 14.98
It's the much anticipated follow up to his highly acclaimed Black On Both Sides from way back in 1999. By his resume it was looking like Mr. Def was going to continue with his acting career and forsake his brief stint in the music business. With a cameo from Shuggie Otis on guitar, and production from the likes of Kanye West, we thought for sure we were going to hear something great. Did The New Danger meet our (high) expectations? Yes, and no. Some of us here were thrown a bit by how different this eclectic album is from its predecessor. And not everyone is a fan of all the styles that Mos Def throws into the mix on this genre-hopping disc. Whatever the case, others of us and our peeps think this record is one of the best pop music releases of 2004 -- yes, pop. Despite its heavy, slice-of-reality lyrics, and occasional use of metal riffs, this is a pop record. The New Danger flows like a beautifully made mix-tape, moving through a variety of genres with remarkable continuity. From early Funkadelic funk/blues ("Black Jack") to gritty urban hip-hop ("The Rape Over"), to Marvin Gaye-inspired soul ("Modern Marvel") to catchy funk/metal ("Zimzallabim"), Mos Def pulls out all the stops... and manages to combine them into a cohesive whole. Part of that is directly attributable to the extremely talented Black Jack Johnson band that Mos Def has assembled. Talk about street cred, Black Jack Johnson has it all over the place. The roster reads as follows: funk keyboard legend Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), drummer Will Calhoun (Living Color), bassist Doug Wimbish (Sugarhill Records, Tackhead, Living Color), and guitar by none other than Gary "Dr. Know" Miller of Bad Brains! These guys insure that no one will ever mistake Black Jack Johnson for Body Count, as they combine taste and restraint along with their considerable chops. There is plenty of fine musicianship, but it's the songs that really stand out. Worrell, in particular, is great on "Freaky Black" which comes off like the best of Schoolly D as rapped over infectious funk-metal all held down by positively filthy funk keyboards. Maybe this record isn't genius, maybe it isn't going to be as influential as Black On Both Sides, and maybe it does make too many concessions to being a pop record (endlessly repeated choruses etc.). The thing that is certain is that "The New Danger" is spectacularly produced, extremely well-played, full of surprises, and relentlessly listenable. This moved into heavy rotation at my house after only a couple of spins, and two weeks later it has yet to disappoint.
"Ghetto Rock" MPEG Stream:
"Sex, Love and Money" MPEG Stream:
MOS DEF True Magic (Geffen) cd 15.98
DUMBEST IDEA EVER. A special "no art work" (no booklet!!) rushed version to beat the folks who leaked the album onto the internet before the actual release date... WTF?
"True Magic" MPEG Stream:
"Thug Is A Drug"
MOSCONI, DAVIDE La Musica dell'anno Zero (Alga Marghen) lp 28.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Unfortunately, we're unable to offer much information about Davide Mosconi, other than his affiliation with various Fluxus artists and that "La Musica dell'anno Zero" was constructed entirely from fog horns recorded off the Scottish coasts. This album appears to be a straight collage of those fog horns, without much processing or contextualization, although some of the fog horns do modulate in pitch (the result of tape manipulation? or do Scottish fog horns sound like cows?) Hmm. It would be nice to offer some pontification that this piece is a meditation on the cautionary sounds found at the border between sea and land, but this a lot more boring than that.