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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 MAKE-UP Untouchable Sound - Live! (Sea Note) cd 14.98
The Make-Up were so much of what was great about indie rock in the '90s. Their commitment to all-ages shows, putting on a totally spirited and performative show, their release of a multitude of 7" singles, their aim at infusing some soul and propaganda into an all too stiff scene was such a welcome respite. Those of us who remember seeing them live know what an amazing spectacle their live shows were. Ian Svenonius channeled his inner preacher meets James Brown meets RFTC's John Reis for a concoction that oozed with charisma and infectious presence. Several years before bands like The Hives and White Stripes were coordinating their outfits and creating mystique with their presence, The Make Up were doing that with a brilliantly uniform vision and execution while keeping their hearts and principles deeply rooted in the underground, by always playing all-ages shows and keeping those door prices low. Taking their Nation Of Ulysses Dischord roots and adding some much needed ass shaking and soul sounding spirit into the equation.
MPEG Stream: "Every Baby Cries The Same"
MPEG Stream: "Born On The Floor"

MAKE-UP, THE Blue Is Beautiful (Dischord) video 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MAKE-UP, THE In Mass Mind (Dischord) cd 9.98

MAKE-UP, THE In Mass Mind (Dischord) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MAKERS Strangest Parade (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
Wow. I had no idea the Makers sounded like this now. They got some really schnazzy production which only serves to make them sound all generic 80's college rock, sort of like the Replacements on a very, very bad day. And then there's even a ballad or two? Whatthufuck? This just sounds... sad and pathetic, like Bon Jovi or something. What happened tough guy? Gone all soft? Yuck.
RealAudio clip: "Calling Elvis, John and Jesus"
RealAudio clip: "Dear Father, I Think I'm Falling"
RealAudio clip: "Addicted to Dying"

MAKERS, THE Rock Star God (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
With their newest record (a sort of stupid concept record), The Makers come across as much more glam than abusive, with lots of rhinestones, teased hair, and big Elton John sunglasses. Notorious in the past for getting themselves into a brawls with other bands and audience members, they seem to have redirected more of their energy and aggression into their style and music. Crank it up, flashy bad boys.

album cover MAKES NICE, THE Candy Wrapper And Twelve Other Songs (Frenetic) cd 14.98
All right, before we go naming the debut album from San Francisco's The Makes Nice the #1 Pop Album Of The Summer Even Though It's Barely February Already, full disclosure: we do happen to know these guys. An especially good friend of ours is guitarist/vocalist Josh Smith, whom you too probably know from some other bands of his in the past -- he used to play lead guitar in the The Fucking Champs, and also was integral to the legendary SF black metal band Weakling! So after Josh quit the Champs a few years ago, you can imagine our reaction when, eventually, he told us that his next band project was gonna be a power pop, power trio -- with him singing as well as playing guitar! That's pretty far from the instrumental metal of The Champs, or the epic evil of Weakling, eh?? But damn if he didn't pull it off!
Teamed up with Aaron Burnham (of The Mothballs) on bass and vocals, and Jack Matthew (of Harold Ray Live In Concert) on drums, Josh's new band has not only only blown us away with their live shows but now present their killer debut album, the cryptically-titled Candy Wrapper And Twelve Other Songs. The thirteen tracks here run about 31 and a half minutes -- most of 'em not even hitting the 2 minute mark. But each is crammed with so much blazing pop energy in the vein of freakbeat, psych-pop heroes of yesteryear who populate compilations like the Nuggets 2 box set (they'll tell you themselves) that it's got enough head-nodding, foot-tapping hooks for an album twice its length, and could power a full on ballroom blitz to boot.
Hopping on a White Striped bandwagon? No, not at all. What sets The Makes Nice apart from a lot of the current crop of garage rock outfits is their emphasis on Beach Boys/Beatles styled vocal harmonies and sheer songcraft. Yeah, most of these songs are totally raw and rockin' and full of high energy sonics, but also carefully arranged with vocal sweetness that would do Brian Wilson proud. Furthermore, the album is woven throughout with memorable guitar solos. Peeling off licks with tasteful abandon and doses of thick fuzz, Josh's virtuosic playing really gives The Makes Nice their unique signature and vitality. Fucking Champs fans who pick this up just 'cause Josh is on it won't find any metal, but they will hear plenty o' great guitar playing -- and in fact, Josh really lets loose with more soloing here than he ever did in the Champs! So rad guitar + sweet harmonies + utter catchiness = why The Makes Nice totally rule, basically.
And they didn't got to all that work with the vocals without giving some thought to the lyrics as well, so this thing has just got about all the angles covered, top of the pops as far as we're concerned. Definitely this disc should have a lot of appeal to fans of sixties Brits like The Who, Pretty Things, Creation, and Tomorrow up through '70s, '80s, and '90s North American acts like The Raspberries, Cheap Trick, Redd Kross and Sloan! Seriously, the toughest thing about writing this is that we still have to write a bunch of other reviews before this week's New Arrivals list goes out, but from working on this, we've got pretty much this entire record stuck in our heads right now -- and we don't want to make it stop!
MPEG Stream: "Candy Wrapper"
MPEG Stream: "Enough Is Enough"
MPEG Stream: "November Girls"

album cover MAKES NICE, THE This Time Tomorrow (Frenetic) cd 13.98
This Time Tomorrow? As in, by this time tomorrow, all these songs will be stuck in your head! San Francisco power pop power trio The Makes Nice hit us with their second album, again crammed with catchiness, boasting a bunch more action-packed, altogether killer, no filler tracks. A pitch-perfect hybridization and revitalization of all of their varied retro influences, from '60s Nuggets style garage to Elvis Costello to the Raspberries to Cheap Trick to the pansiest of paisley psych to, even, Devo. All 14 numbers are poppy n' boppy, but there's definitely two general sorts of songs The Makes Nice like to knock out, to knock us out: one is the energetic, nay frenzied, punker fueled by whiplash Keith Moon-ish bashing, full of slashing guitar rippage. Or, we get foot-tapping, sunshine n' lollipops hooks and harmonies... but even then, the headspinning guitar licks are in full force, Josh Smith doin' proud such legends as Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Even though it's only 33:48 long, this album is an embarrassment of riches. Heck we made their debut Record Of The Week. This one's just as good, maybe even better. No sophomore slump here! 'Nuff said?
If anything, The Makes Nice sound even more assured and dangerous this time 'round. If they've got any competition, they sure shut 'em down. Their not-so-secret weapon remains the wham-bam-thank-you-mam soloing of guitar whiz Josh (still formerly of The Fucking Champs, and Weakling too if it matters) but drummer Jack Matthew and bassist Aaron Burnham hold up their sides solidly for sure, and actually it's the whole band's involvement in complex arrangements, clever boy-meets-girl lyrics, and vocal harmony that really makes The Makes Nice something special. That's the thing, despite how prolific they are (by this time tomorrow, they probably will have written another cool song or two!), their craftmanship is prodigious, little details get a lot of thought. And as a result, they're not for everyone. The scuzzy sloppy garage crowd may find them too accomplished, complex. While pure pop fans might not get into their raw garageiness. And both camps could be scared off by Josh's advanced Stratocaster chops. On the other hand, in our book those are all real good things. So get with the program!
MPEG Stream: "Do It Again"
MPEG Stream: "When It's All Gone"
MPEG Stream: "Don't You Understand"

album cover MAKES NICE, THE This Time Tomorrow (Frenetic) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This Time Tomorrow? As in, by this time tomorrow, all these songs will be stuck in your head! San Francisco power pop power trio The Makes Nice hit us with their second album, again crammed with catchiness, boasting a bunch more action-packed, altogether killer, no filler tracks. A pitch-perfect hybridization and revitalization of all of their varied retro influences, from '60s Nuggets style garage to Elvis Costello to the Raspberries to Cheap Trick to the pansiest of paisley psych to, even, Devo. All 14 numbers are poppy n' boppy, but there's definitely two general sorts of songs The Makes Nice like to knock out, to knock us out: one is the energetic, nay frenzied, punker fueled by whiplash Keith Moon-ish bashing, full of slashing guitar rippage. Or, we get foot-tapping, sunshine n' lollipops hooks and harmonies... but even then, the headspinning guitar licks are in full force, Josh Smith doin' proud such legends as Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Even though it's only 33:48 long, this album is an embarrassment of riches. Heck we made their debut Record Of The Week. This one's just as good, maybe even better. No sophomore slump here! 'Nuff said?
If anything, The Makes Nice sound even more assured and dangerous this time 'round. If they've got any competition, they sure shut 'em down. Their not-so-secret weapon remains the wham-bam-thank-you-mam soloing of guitar whiz Josh (still formerly of The Fucking Champs, and Weakling too if it matters) but drummer Jack Matthew and bassist Aaron Burnham hold up their sides solidly for sure, and actually it's the whole band's involvement in complex arrangements, clever boy-meets-girl lyrics, and vocal harmony that really makes The Makes Nice something special. That's the thing, despite how prolific they are (by this time tomorrow, they probably will have written another cool song or two!), their craftmanship is prodigious, little details get a lot of thought. And as a result, they're not for everyone. The scuzzy sloppy garage crowd may find them too accomplished, complex. While pure pop fans might not get into their raw garageiness. And both camps could be scared off by Josh's advanced Stratocaster chops. On the other hand, in our book those are all real good things. So get with the program!
MPEG Stream: "Do It Again"
MPEG Stream: "When It's All Gone"
MPEG Stream: "Don't You Understand"

album cover MAKI, CARMEN & BLUES CREATION s/t (Phoenix) cd 17.98
Protometalheads, psychfreaks, Japanophiles - listen up.
Imagine, what if Janis Joplin sang for Black Sabbath? And further imagine, what if both Janis and Sabbath were in fact Japanese?
Well, you almost don't have to imagine. 'Cause Carmen Maki and Blues Creation's album together has just been reissued, on both cd and vinyl!
It dates from the magic year of 1971, originally released 'round about the same time as Blues Creation's all-time proto-metal classic Demon & Eleven Children, which we've gone on and on about before, one of the heaviest albums of the era, from a band who were basically the Japanese answer to Black Sabbath. And Japan had some heavy bands back then, like Flower Travellin' Band, Flied Egg, Ranmadou, and Speed Glue & Shinki. But of all those, the most Sabbathy one was probably Blues Creation (though of course FTB comes close, having actually covered the song "Black Sabbath" on their debut).
The lovely Carmen Maki, for her part, was already a popular Japanese singer, definitely of the Janis Joplin blues belting school. Though she's also been likened to Grace Slick, and even to a female Robert Plant. Made sense for her to team up with this particular shit-hot blues rock outfit, both live and on this record.
Bands back then tended to do a lot of covers, but instead of being obvious and covering a Janis Joplin song, the opening track here is a bit more obscure, though it might sound somehow familiar anyway, it's a version of "Understand" by a lady often compared to Janis, Lydia Miller of the American band Fantasy. They do a few other standards on this album, "Motherless Child" and "St. James Infirmary", but all the other tracks were written by Blues Creation guitarist Kazuo Takeda.
And to be clear, this record isn't nearly so heavy as Demon & Eleven Children, not all the time, a lot of it's in fact fairly mellow, and all of it is, naturally, quite bluesy. But, even when they're not in the midst of a rollicking full-tilt Mean Old Boogie, the gentler "soft rock" stuff is pretty nice; and each track usually builds into a fine frenzy of wild wailing blues licks and distorted riffery. Those solo sections are really when the Blues Creation guys get to let loose, though Cream is probably the much bigger influence here that Sabbath.
Maki later fronted a band called Oz (no not the Swedish '80s metallers), who were pretty heavy too, and proggy; we'd love it if that stuff got reissued too someday...
MPEG Stream: "Understand"
MPEG Stream: "Lord, I Can't Be Going No More"
MPEG Stream: "Motherless Child"

album cover MAKI, CARMEN & BLUES CREATION s/t (Phoenix) lp 24.00
Protometalheads, psychfreaks, Japanophiles - listen up.
Imagine, what if Janis Joplin sang for Black Sabbath? And further imagine, what if both Janis and Sabbath were in fact Japanese?
Well, you almost don't have to imagine. 'Cause Carmen Maki and Blues Creation's album together has just been reissued, on both cd and vinyl!
It dates from the magic year of 1971, originally released 'round about the same time as Blues Creation's all-time proto-metal classic Demon & Eleven Children, which we've gone on and on about before, one of the heaviest albums of the era, from a band who were basically the Japanese answer to Black Sabbath. And Japan had some heavy bands back then, like Flower Travellin' Band, Flied Egg, Ranmadou, and Speed Glue & Shinki. But of all those, the most Sabbathy one was probably Blues Creation (though of course FTB comes close, having actually covered the song "Black Sabbath" on their debut).
The lovely Carmen Maki, for her part, was already a popular Japanese singer, definitely of the Janis Joplin blues belting school. Though she's also been likened to Grace Slick, and even to a female Robert Plant. Made sense for her to team up with this particular shit-hot blues rock outfit, both live and on this record.
Bands back then tended to do a lot of covers, but instead of being obvious and covering a Janis Joplin song, the opening track here is a bit more obscure, though it might sound somehow familiar anyway, it's a version of "Understand" by a lady often compared to Janis, Lydia Miller of the American band Fantasy. They do a few other standards on this album, "Motherless Child" and "St. James Infirmary", but all the other tracks were written by Blues Creation guitarist Kazuo Takeda.
And to be clear, this record isn't nearly so heavy as Demon & Eleven Children, not all the time, a lot of it's in fact fairly mellow, and all of it is, naturally, quite bluesy. But, even when they're not in the midst of a rollicking full-tilt Mean Old Boogie, the gentler "soft rock" stuff is pretty nice; and each track usually builds into a fine frenzy of wild wailing blues licks and distorted riffery. Those solo sections are really when the Blues Creation guys get to let loose, though Cream is probably the much bigger influence here that Sabbath.
Maki later fronted a band called Oz (no not the Swedish '80s metallers), who were pretty heavy too, and proggy; we'd love it if that stuff got reissued too someday...
MPEG Stream: "Understand"
MPEG Stream: "Lord, I Can't Be Going No More"
MPEG Stream: "Motherless Child"

album cover MAKO SICA Dual Horizon (La Societe Expeditionnaire) lp 17.98
Mako Sica first came to our attention about a year ago with their awesome cassette on PlusTapes and an insanely limited 12" on Permanent Records. They really struck a chord with us, as the Chicago trio conjured an intimate collection of songs that sounded lush and expansive in a way other groups only hope to achieve. The cassette was lo-fi, but not as an excuse, and now the band ventures to new realms with their proper full length debut. Recorded live in an actual studio with no overdubs, the higher fidelity is used to the band's advantage, as they are able to properly expand upon the sound they nailed on the home recorded cassette. The three lengthy songs on Dual Horizon are the result of musicians who clearly understand the importance of working together as a unit to achieve something else entirely. Sure, there are bands (or more often than not "dudes" with solo projects) doing similar things throughout the globe - you may be reminded of a more Americanized version of Urthona with less distortion, or perhaps Expo '70 if their interests lay grounded in the desert instead of the cosmos - but Mako Sica is its own beast altogether, and more than most, these guys use negative space as an instrument unto itself for a truly unique feeling that is as beautiful as it is unsettling. It should also be noted that Dual Horizon was recorded by Todd Rittmann of US Maple fame, another band these guys recall at times, though after a couple handfuls of peyote.
"I'itoi" opens the record with wordless droning chants and some sparse bells. An atmosphere is established as windy sounds creep in, giving things a nice ominous vibe. Eventually, something begins to take shape as it bubbles out of the haze before turning into a thick ambient fog. The song is evocative of the middle of nowhere, the badlands from which the band took its name, and sharp bursts of jagged guitar snake about while voices continue to swirl in the mix. The sound is huge but still remains grounded by the musicians who refuse to lose control of their instruments to psychedelic noodling. Soon, a steady rhythm comes in and takes things heavenward as one guitar takes the lead with super fast picking on the high notes while the other holds down the role of bass. Things eventually change direction with a pronounced drumbeat taking you to another place altogether. "5th One Is The Dark" begins life with a softly muted root note taking the lead during the lengthy buildup. A tremeloed guitar begins to sound like something blowing in the wind, and though it's a bit "surfy" sounding, there are no waves in the desert, and it becomes another part of the band's enveloping sound. Sustained feedback and a voice soon work their way in, and though you can hear words, you are unsure of what is taking form. The song is dramatic and highly cinematic, managing to conjure the incomprehensible hugeness of nature while also sounding affirmative of the cycle of life that will continue after we're gone.
Taking up all of side 2 and clocking in at 21 minutes, "Dunes" rides out with giant sweeps of low end before everything drops and a steady tom rhythm comes in like a heartbeat. The guitars come back with a submerged melody and jangly high notes as you venture to the far reaches of your mind, and at around the 4 minute mark, things actually start to move with the flow of a "rock" song, but in a very minimal way, again utilizing the the open space around the band. It's interesting how the drums avoid using cymbals too much, as this works really well with the band's lineup; nobody overtakes anyone else and they sound like a living, breathing unit, and even though there is a lot of improvisation going on, the band clearly knows where to take things. As the song winds down, more voices emerge and disappear, with a blaring trumpet melody helping to further disorient you in the best of ways.
The record itself is pressed up on some awesome black and white hazed vinyl and includes a download card for those of you who plan to wander off under headphones with this thing playing on repeat. And while we're at it, we should point out the fact that there's only 250 of these bad boys out there, so don't sleep on this!
MPEG Stream: "I'itoi"
MPEG Stream: "5th One Is The Dark"
MPEG Stream: "Dunes"

album cover MAKO SICA Essence (La Societe Expeditionnaire) lp 14.98
Chicago's Mako Sica have been a longtime favorite here at aQuarius, and with their second full length (third if you count their live vinyl debut), we figured it was about time more people took note of this amazing band. The trio whips up a heady and unique noise that goes way beyond simple classification and remains blissfully in its own world. The main ingredients two guitars, drums, and evocative wordless vocals are augmented here and there with trumpet, thumb piano, and various percussive flourishes, but it's the way the musicians interact with each other that makes this band so special. And while they certainly do rock as they ascend to higher levels of psychedelia, calling Mako Sica a "rock band" or a "psychedelic band" doesn't quite hit the mark. The noise addled skronk of hometown labels like Skin Graft is certainly evident as well as plenty of free jazz and world music influences, but the band never tries to be anything other than themselves, and with those influences guiding the way they have arrived at a stellar sound that will be instantly accessible to adventurous listeners. At the same time, a level of mysteriousness remains constant, demanding repeated listens. As distinctive as it all is, we know this will appeal to fans of legendary groups like Trad Gras Och Stenar, Taj Mahal Travellers, and Les Rallizes Denudes, not to mention the current crop of San Francisco bands blowing the minds of the world like Barn Owl, 3 Leafs, and Carlton Melton. How could we not make this a Record Of The Week?
Essence opens with the monolithic sidelong "Fate Deals A Hand". A slow, eerie buildup gives the impression of a rising sun as the sounds bubble to life. Sustained, cello-like drones and bells accompany a voice that is itself another layer of beautiful sound. The mood gradually shifts and an underlying harmonic fuzz on one of the guitars indicates that things are finally gonna take off. The heaviness and unease of the guitars grows as the percussion becomes more insistent, and six and a half minutes in the sounds begin to merge into a more distinct form before launching into an ominous psych jam that is almost metal if it weren't for the way the drums hold it all in place. Queasy, discordant sounds kaleidoscopically swirl about as the vocals (which at times sound almost like Nina Simone if she were wordlessly chanting) add an awesome, somewhat disorienting vibe that makes it difficult to guess when and where this music could be coming from. It's amazing how the vocals illustrate a story without words and create drama, even if you aren't quite sure what it all means. Eventually a delayed trumpet glides into the maelstrom, at which point the band somehow still holds back and lets an atmosphere of spaciousness build - spaciousness being one of the key elements separating this band from the rest of the pack, who often try to cram as much as possible into the proceedings. Of course, Mako Sica launches into another distorted freakout before reaching a final and total silence. Fucking awesome.
Side two offers up two more lengthy jams, beginning with "On Cracked Sea". Cosmic chanting and guitars operate in unison, trading melodies freely without confining themselves to any traditional structure. Instead, it's just TOTAL music, melodic, jagged, beautiful, and noisy, all at once, with the drums clattering about creating just as much mood as the guitars. More of that awesome harmonically rich fuzz guitar comes cascading in, bringing the song to a new level of intensity before winding down into a woozy blissful fadeout. The final track here, "Chain Leg", begins with some low ominous rumblings and more bad ass vocal chants, reminding us a bit of a less metallic version of UK space/psych/drone collective Bong. Eventually the proceedings get a little more abstract even as some discernible riffing takes center stage. Everything sounds perfectly in place and open to whatever adventures appear to be happening in real time. Musical freedom, pretty much.
For a band that has continuously surprised and inspired, Essence stands as Mako Sica's greatest achievement so far. Their somewhat shadowy existence may mean they might not the first band that comes to mind when pondering the international resurgence in explorative, free form psychedelic music, but it's hard to imagine that not changing with this amazing record. Get it now!
MPEG Stream: "Fate Deals A Hand"
MPEG Stream: "On Cracked Sea"

album cover MAKO SICA Live At Subterranean (Chaos Of The Stars) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Chicago's Mako Sica return with another cassette release, with the band conjuring up two lengthy pieces live in their hometown plus an additional studio outtake from their amazing Dual Horizon album. You couldn't put together a more varied trio; the band is comprised of Polish guitarist Przemyslaw Krys Drazek (who also handles trumpet duties) formerly of longtime favorites Rope, drummer Michael Kendrick who cut his teeth for years in the underground metal community, and North Carolina bred guitarist/vocalist Brent Fuscaldo. Somehow the three managed to come together in the center of the United States, and with an arsenal of influences and references have managed to create a sound that is distinctly their own. Pinning the band down with terms like "psychedelic" or "improvisational" may help one get a vague enough reference, but these ultimately prove insufficient. The songs are expansive and constantly moving forward, always avoiding the pitfalls of mindless jamming and relying on the natural interaction of the three musicians, who possess an uncanny understanding of how to work with each other. Not surprisingly, there is a strong jazz influence to these songs, but the guitar team of Drazek and Fuscaldo is more than qualified to rock out and bring things into bold new territories. Kendrick's drumming perfectly complements his bandmates and provides the elastic framework that really sets the band apart from their peers.
The live performance was captured in August 2010, and monolithic 17 minute opener "Fate Deals A Hand" begins like smoke looming out across the horizon with an exotic Eastern feeling. Wordless chanting is used to great effect - sort of like a MUCH more restrained and melodic Haino-esque wail, at any rate an essential part of the band's musical vision. Things slowly build in intensity as the guitars create walls of swirling atmosphere while cymbals slowly crash about in waves as bells chime away. With the shamanistic vocalizing you probably won't be thinking "band from Chicago" as they lurch forward and become almost demonically heavy. The lead guitar snakes about while the rhythm work is created on the low strings for a sound that is a lot like you would get from an actual bass guitar. As we've mentioned in past reviews, these guys are experts at incorporating negative space for a totally unique effect, and even with members of the audience yammering away it almost seems like the voices were meant to be there. Bits of atonal free shredding stab like knives and bear a resemblance to legendary skronk rockers US Maple (whose Todd Rittman actually recorded the outtake on this tape). The band eventually cools down with sparse freeform drumming and some vocal-like trumpet work adding an elegant yet slightly disconcerting vibe before going into another suite of blissed out heaviness. Wow. Side 2 opener "Ancestors" begins with a steady drum plod carrying things forward while a thumb piano provides a unique kaleidoscopic melody. The dramatic low end guitar resembles something one might get on a synthesizer and the vocals create a cool mysterious feeling before the band explodes into a finale of beautiful noise that no doubt had some jaws dropping to the floor. As mentioned earlier, "Red Rivers" was cut during the Dual Horizon sessions. The song is another perfect demonstration of how well these guys know each other as people and musicians. The sharp bits of delayed lead guitar give out a jagged little melody alongside the gorgeous wordless vocals. The song has a lonely cinematic Western feel to it, eventually becoming reminiscent of Sabbath's "Planet Caravan" as it kicks into a steady groove with one guitar establishing an amazing dubbed out rhythm while the lead guitar dances about before wrapping up like a sunset.
An essential outing from one of Chicago's great unsung bands, and we are looking forward to the band's next full length which is in the works - can't wait!
MPEG Stream: "Fate Deals A Hand"
MPEG Stream: "Ancestors"
MPEG Stream: "Red Rivers"

album cover MAKO SICA Noise Attic Session 2 (PlusTapes) cassette 5.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
"Recorded by the band in an old attic with creaky floor boards, rusty pipes, stained rugs, a hot water heater, and a borrowed 8-track reel-to-reel."
So state the liner notes to the PlusTapes re-release of this excellent Chicago band's recorded debut. And after one listen, such a description certainly makes sense, as the music exhibits a sort or urban rusticity, a sound that is as pleasantly detached as it is connected to life in a big city.
Comprised of players from Chicago's experimental and metal scenes (and featuring Przemyslaw K. Drazek of longtime Aquarius favorites Rope), Mako Sica exists as its own island within a city generally known for post rock and heavier sounds. A dreamy haze of gently strummed melodies floats above free form percussion with chantlike vocals that aren't as much sung as they are summoned, occasional bursts of trumpet punctuating the atmosphere. At every moment, a beautiful and softly sustained drone permeates the recording like an additional member of the band. And then, right when you've happily fallen into Mako Sica's trancelike psychedelia, the band snaps into a rhythmic groove that is focused but never forced. The beautifully textured songs walk along the border of experimentation while never losing themselves to mindless abstraction. And when the tape finally runs out, your first impulse will be to flip it over, walk into Mako Sica's world once again, and stay there.
As we mentioned above, this gem comes to us from the good people at the ever reliable PlusTapes, which also means it's ultra limited. 100 copies... we received 20, so you know those won't last long

album cover MAKOTO MANGO Guru & Zero (Swordfish) cd 19.98
That *Acid Mothers Temple Alert!* *Acid Mothers Temple Alert!* *Acid Mothers Temple Alert!* emergency warning alarm has been going off pretty much continually here at Aquarius over the past couple weeks, driving us all batty. We thought it must be broken or something but no, there's just been THREE more releases from those hairy Japanese hippies known as AMT plus another Kawabata collaboration (w/ Daevid Allen of Gong). So let's assess the threat.
Makoto Mango is a pseudonym for Kawabata Makoto for this release, entitled Guru & Zero. He's joined by Psycho de Lick (Daevid Allen) and Mango Cottongo (guess who). Together they recorded this disc, one single 48 minute trip, I mean track, that's full of "organic loopage", "bio illogical yodelling" and "glissando guitar". Hallucinatory drone, whispered vocals, heavenly guitar tones, sci-fi effects, spoken psychedelic sermonizing... these guys aren't known for their restraint, but they do manage to maintain a nicely tripped-out mood for the duration. A bigger success than Gong's Acid Motherhood album, from the standpoint of someone who digs Kawabata's mellower journeys. Note: y'know that picture of Kawabata on the toilet that graced the back cover of that disc? Well on the inside of this cd's booklet they take that unfortunate idea and run with it...
MPEG Stream: "Kawabata Biodynamique (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Kawabata Biodynamique (excerpt 2)"

album cover MAKOTO, KAWABATA Tales of The Dream Planet (Housepig) cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Even if it didn't say Kawabata Makoto on the cover, or if you didn't know that Kawabata is the guitar player in Japan's Acid Mothers Temple, you might guess that this was somehow Acid Mothers Temple related, just from the cover graphics. Naked hippy chick in yoga pose, check. Flying saucer, check. Comic book style voice balloon, check. (She's saying, "AHAAAAAAA... UMMMMMM", which could be alternate, onomatopoeic titles for this disc's two tracks, actually.)
And knowing that, you have an idea what this is all about. It's one of Kawabata's most blissed out, droned out efforts. Actually, it's hard to imagine something as physical as a guitar being involved in its making. Kawabata seems to be playing some more ethereal instrument, a simple shimmering cloud of cosmic sound that already existed at the dawn of days, long before anything as mundane as a guitar was ever invented. The transcendent, translucent 46 minute "She Came From The Shining Sea", followed by the shorter (17 minute) and even quieter "Kiss On The Dream Planet", seem more like mental projections, delicate dream drones direct from Kawabata's inner space practice space. It's certainly difficult to believe that he's actually, you know, touching anything to make this music. In reality, these two tracks were recorded at the actual Acid Mothers Temple (Kawabata's flat in Tokyo, we assume, or better yet a commune filled with those naked hippy chicks) in January and March of 2006... Kick back, close your eyes, and enjoy.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES.
MPEG Stream: "She Came From The Shining Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Kiss On The Dream Planet"

MALA MORSKA VILA (ZDENEK LISKA) OST (Finders Keepers) cd 15.98

album cover MALA MORSKA VILA (ZDENEK LISKA) OST (Finders Keepers) lp 24.00

album cover MALA SUERTE / UZALA split (King Of The Monsters) 7" 5.98
Killer two way doom split, the A side, from witchy Idaho heavies Uzala and the B side from Texan sludgelords Mala Suerte. Uzala are another band you can add to the current crop of female fronted doom outfits, fans of Loon, and Royal Thunder and Jex Thoth and all the rest will most definitely dig these guys and gal, the riffs a little bit Sabbathy, the sound dirgey and sludgey, vocalist Darcy's got a wicked croon, the track heavy and a little bit psychedelic, definitely has us wanting to hear more.
The flipside finds Mala Suerte pushing their doom into a more psychedelic realm, opening with swirling psych leads over some laid back slo-mo doom. But it's the vocals where things get really weird, almost folky, delivered in a gruff, sing songy monotone, sort of OM style, but more like some twisted doom metal sea shanty. Weird, but for sure kinda cool.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!

MALACHAI Beyond Ugly (Double Six) cd 14.98

MALACHAI Beyond Ugly (Double Six) lp 22.00

album cover MALACHAI Return To The Ugly Side (Double Six / Domino) cd 14.98
Last year's Ugly Side Of Love, the debut from UK sampledelic duo Malachai, was a surprise hit around here, we loved it from the second we first heard it, we just didn't realize HOW much. We ended up playing it to death, and it ranked as one of our favorites of the year, so much so that we found ourselves lamenting the fact that we didn't make it a Record Of The Week. Which it no doubt should have been, a dizzying assemblage of samples and proper instruments, woven into what sounded like some some lost seventies retro rock, proto metal, fuzzy, groovy, heavy psych jam, and barring some little bits of obviously electronic filigree, it totally could have been.
So we were super psyched to discover a new record, and while on first listen, it doesn't sound -quite- as catchy as their debut, the more we listen, the better it gets, and we're pretty sure we'll find ourselves obsessed and kicking ourselves all over again. But whatever, just don't sleep on this, so fuzzy, and heavy and groovy and goddamn good. And strange. Simultaneously warm and familiar, but also like nothing you've heard, from the super cinematic opener "Monster", a string heavy bit of dramatic ambience, with big skittery beats, and a gorgeous soaring orchestral outro, which leads directly into a heavy shuffling drum beat, laced with some hazy guitar buzz, some swirling atmospheric shimmer, and then some reverby vox, the sound again some impossible hybrid of then and now, past and present, sixties psych wrapped around looped beats, and wreathed in shimmery effects.
"Mid Antarctica (Wearin' Sandals)" is super heavy proto metal buzz, the riffs epic, the organs whirring, the bass thick, the beats big, a sort of hip hoppy groove underpinning some serious psych fuzz, occasionally breaking down into ethereal drift, but always lumbering right back into some thick churning heaviness. "Rainbows" is all hazy and reverby and echoey, with gorgeous boy girl vox, the strums muted and washed out, everything wreathed in a patina of soft focus shimmer, and so it goes, the record shifting and transforming, from hushed balladic drift, to shuffling sunshiney hippie folk, to buzzy druggy groove, to piano driven super dramatic creep, to what might be our other favorite track, "Monster" which sounds like DJ Shadow, if he were raised on sixties psych as well as hip hop, epic and bombastic, moody and broody and so good. And it just keeps getting better. The sort of 'psychedelic sixties Entroducing' vibe becomes more pronounced as the record progresses, finishing off with the twangy, woozy buzz drenched strum and shuffle of the closer "Hybernation", pepper with some unlikely boomin' system low rider bass, and yeah, we're kicking ourselves now for not making this Record Of The Week, so just figure this is an UNofficial ROTW, which means this is about as recommended as it gets...
MPEG Stream: "Monsters"
MPEG Stream: "(My) Ambulance"
MPEG Stream: "Anne"
MPEG Stream: "Let 'Em Fall"

album cover MALACHAI Return To The Ugly Side (Double Six) lp 22.00
Last year's Ugly Side Of Love, the debut from UK sampledelic duo Malachai, was a surprise hit around here, we loved it from the second we first heard it, we just didn't realize HOW much. We ended up playing it to death, and it ranked as one of our favorites of the year, so much so that we found ourselves lamenting the fact that we didn't make it a Record Of The Week. Which it no doubt should have been, a dizzying assemblage of samples and proper instruments, woven into what sounded like some some lost seventies retro rock, proto metal, fuzzy, groovy, heavy psych jam, and barring some little bits of obviously electronic filigree, it totally could have been.
So we were super psyched to discover a new record, and while on first listen, it doesn't sound -quite- as catchy as their debut, the more we listen, the better it gets, and we're pretty sure we'll find ourselves obsessed and kicking ourselves all over again. But whatever, just don't sleep on this, so fuzzy, and heavy and groovy and goddamn good. And strange. Simultaneously warm and familiar, but also like nothing you've heard, from the super cinematic opener "Monster", a string heavy bit of dramatic ambience, with big skittery beats, and a gorgeous soaring orchestral outro, which leads directly into a heavy shuffling drum beat, laced with some hazy guitar buzz, some swirling atmospheric shimmer, and then some reverby vox, the sound again some impossible hybrid of then and now, past and present, sixties psych wrapped around looped beats, and wreathed in shimmery effects.
"Mid Antarctica (Wearin' Sandals)" is super heavy proto metal buzz, the riffs epic, the organs whirring, the bass thick, the beats big, a sort of hip hoppy groove underpinning some serious psych fuzz, occasionally breaking down into ethereal drift, but always lumbering right back into some thick churning heaviness. "Rainbows" is all hazy and reverby and echoey, with gorgeous boy girl vox, the strums muted and washed out, everything wreathed in a patina of soft focus shimmer, and so it goes, the record shifting and transforming, from hushed balladic drift, to shuffling sunshiney hippie folk, to buzzy druggy groove, to piano driven super dramatic creep, to what might be our other favorite track, "Monster" which sounds like DJ Shadow, if he were raised on sixties psych as well as hip hop, epic and bombastic, moody and broody and so good. And it just keeps getting better. The sort of 'psychedelic sixties Entroducing' vibe becomes more pronounced as the record progresses, finishing off with the twangy, woozy buzz drenched strum and shuffle of the closer "Hybernation", pepper with some unlikely boomin' system low rider bass, and yeah, we're kicking ourselves now for not making this Record Of The Week, so just figure this is an UNofficial ROTW, which means this is about as recommended as it gets...
MPEG Stream: "Monsters"
MPEG Stream: "(My) Ambulance"
MPEG Stream: "Anne"
MPEG Stream: "Let 'Em Fall"

album cover MALACHAI Ugly Side Of Love (Domino) cd 14.98
This was a total left field surprise, what on the surface appears to be some lost seventies retro rock, proto metal, fuzzy, groovy, heavy jam, is in fact, the work of two electronic musicians who cobbled this disc together via samples, computers, effects and yeah, some actual instruments. We weren't sure how we felt about it at first, but after a few minutes we were pretty much sold. And have been jamming this ever since.
For actual seventies proto-metal freaks, and retro reissue obsessives, this could definitely rub you the wrong way, but for the rest of us, who can dig some twisted modern take on the shit we LOVE, then this might totally hit the spot.
The guitars are fuzzy, the organs are warm and warbly, plenty of twang, some Morricone-esque moodiness, some rad old hard rock drumming, killer vox, hand claps, plenty of jangle, hooks galore, there are also plenty of rad psychedelic interludes, with twisted backwards guitars, swirling FX, all sorts of primitive electronics and layered collaged sounds, but it's the songs that seal the deal. Super heavy, totally groovy, while to these ears it sounds like classic proto-metal, to some folks around here it sounds more like current retro revivalists like White Stripes, Earl Greyhound, Wolfmother, but this stuff is so much cooler and weirder, the little studio tricks that make certain notes stutter, the samples that are played like an instrument but are still wreathed in record crackle, lots of backwards sounds everywhere, it's like some lost sixties psychedelic hard rock lost gem, reimagined and reinterpreted using modern day technology and it RULES.
MPEG Stream: "Shitkicker"
MPEG Stream: "Snowflake"
MPEG Stream: "Blackbird"
MPEG Stream: "Moonsurfin'"

album cover MALACHAI Ugly Side Of Love (Domino) lp 22.00
This was a total left field surprise, what on the surface appears to be some lost seventies retro rock, proto metal, fuzzy, groovy, heavy jam, is in fact, the work of two electronic musicians who cobbled this disc together via samples, computers, effects and yeah, some actual instruments. We weren't sure how we felt about it at first, but after a few minutes we were pretty much sold. And have been jamming this ever since.
For actual seventies proto-metal freaks, and retro reissue obsessives, this could definitely rub you the wrong way, but for the rest of us, who can dig some twisted modern take on the shit we LOVE, then this might totally hit the spot.
The guitars are fuzzy, the organs are warm and warbly, plenty of twang, some Morricone-esque moodiness, some rad old hard rock drumming, killer vox, hand claps, plenty of jangle, hooks galore, there are also plenty of rad psychedelic interludes, with twisted backwards guitars, swirling FX, all sorts of primitive electronics and layered collaged sounds, but it's the songs that seal the deal. Super heavy, totally groovy, while to these ears it sounds like classic proto-metal, to some folks around here it sounds more like current retro revivalists like White Stripes, Earl Greyhound, Wolfmother, but this stuff is so much cooler and weirder, the little studio tricks that make certain notes stutter, the samples that are played like an instrument but are still wreathed in record crackle, lots of backwards sounds everywhere, it's like some lost sixties psychedelic hard rock lost gem, reimagined and reinterpreted using modern day technology and it RULES.
MPEG Stream: "Shitkicker"
MPEG Stream: "Snowflake"
MPEG Stream: "Blackbird"
MPEG Stream: "Moonsurfin'"

album cover MALACHI Holy Music (Fallout) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Awesome. A few years ago, some friends of ours -- the Jewelled Antler guys as a matter of fact -- had a once-in-a-lifetime record collector wet dream come true experience while on a day trip up north of San Francisco. They came across some sort of town dump / recycling center place where a whole bunch of old vinyl lps had been left free for the taking. Like, someone's entire record collection! Of course our friends expected to find the usual beat-up Bread, Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel albums, but took a look anyway, just in case... and soon realized they'd stumbled upon a small cache of extremely cool, rare records! Obscure psych rock and free jazz stuff. Terry Riley and Alice Coltrane and even some Yahowha 13 lps!! Lucky bastards. Among the treasures was an album on Verve by someone called Malachi. We got to hear it, were wowed, and ever since have been hoping to find a cd reissue... at last, here it is!!
Psychedelic New Age before either terms were widely known or even invented, Holy Music was recorded one late San Francisco evening in 1966 by proto hippie Malachi. While most people consider psychedelic music of this time to be from garage rock bands who used sitars, Holy Music was truly one of the first psychedelic recordings in the way we define that term nowadays, meaning long and druggy, hypnotic, droney and blissed out. These five pieces named Wednesday (the day in which he recorded them) are raga-tinged guitar cycles accompanied by Jews harp, tom toms and meditative chanting, that bridged an eastern ornamentalism with earthy western counter-cultural invention. Malachi was the Animal Collective of his day. Allen Ginsberg was a big fan, and if you like your psychedelia to be both dreamy, drifty and earthy then we're sure you'll be big fans of Malachi too. Recommended!!!
MPEG Stream: "Wednesday - Second"
MPEG Stream: "Wednesday - Fifth"

album cover MALAKAI Fading World (Invada) 12" 9.98

album cover MALAKAT Collected Tracks + Yellow Swans / Grey Daturas / Malakat Collage (Sweatlung) 2cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Sprawling double disc of self described 'other planetary field drone' from this mysterious Aussie duo featuring members of doomsludge heavies Whitehorse, avant noisemakers Bone Sheriff, and grey metallers Krystoffkrvstoffiston, one disc of collected tracks (hence the title), the other disc a 'collaborative' collage put together by Malakat, and made up entirely of an unreleased collaboration between the now defunct Grey Daturas and the also now defunct Yellow Swans, but more on that in a second.
The collected tracks disc, gathers up various jams from the last few years, all of them hushed and minimal and mysterious, strange dronescapes of abstract ambience and microscopic events, field recordings and performances, long stretches of creak and whir and thrum and rumble, laced with mysterious voices, fragments of melodies, a sound somewhere between the free forest clatter of Avarus, the ritualistic black abstraction of Abruptum and the free sonic exploration of A Handful Of Dust.
Long streaks of feedback, overloaded mics, monstrous howls, low end crumble, whirring layers of glitch and hum, washed out hazy shimmer laid over murky sonar mumbles and muted clatter and clank, doomy crumbling rhythms pulled apart into sprawling industrial blurs, all smeared into creepy hushed black ambient drifts, and groaning, creaking, whispery abstract free noise minimalism.
The second disc, finds Malakat assembling somewhat similar sounds, but using only a recording of the Yellow Swans and Grey Daturas from 2006 as source material, and according to the liner notes: "pots, pipes, a clay skull and a wooden tube". And it sort of sounds like it. Sort of. Ultra minimal, abstract and ambient, stretches of what sound like alien field recordings give way huge heaving swells of crumbling buzz, squalls of roiling blacknoize splinter into full on drum freakouts and blurred drone jams, deep cavernous rumbles explode into jagged shards of hissing static and beastly vocal mewling, gorgeous blown out swells of chordal whir dissipate into chiming metal-buzz minimalism, these lengthy bursts of sonic energy, which actually don't sound all that messed with, more like they're just straight up recordings of GD and YS rocking out,, but those blowouts are all separated by short interludes of barely there shimmer and hazy muted drift. Killer stuff. On bad ass Australian label Sweatlung, and most likely crazy limited...
MPEG Stream: "I"
MPEG Stream: "II"
MPEG Stream: "III"
MPEG Stream: "Collage (Excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Collage (Excerpt 2)"

album cover MALARIA! Compiled 1981-1984 (Indigo) cd 15.98
It always seemed a little odd that during the past couple of years, a series of unlikely remixes of Malaria! had been popping up from Sun Electric, Dr. Motte, Westbam, Chain Reaction's Moritz Von Oswald, and the reprehensible Chicks on Speed (all of this due to Malaria!'s manager having since formed the trance label MFS). Yet, it's highly unlikely that any of the fans of Berlin's techno / electronica would have heard much less liked the bizarre New Wave of Malaria! (who like Neu! insists on an exclamation point at the end of their name). Finally, someone has recognized this lapse in logic and released a Malaria! retrospective. For the unitiated, Malaria! was an all-female German ensemble that existed during the early Eighties, and was formed from a number of previous collabortions, including Gudrun Gut's brief appearance in Einstuerzende Neubauten being the most notable. Ostensibly a New Wave band armed with the standard instrumentation of synths, guitar, bass, and drums, Malaria! employed a muscular miltancy that was at once ugly and punishing yet at the same time expressed a dry sense of humor. Unlike so many of the current proponents of irony who seem to purposefully perfom badly in order to punctuate their ironic content (i.e. Chicks on Speed), Malaria! were amazingly adept at their sound, slashing an elusive funk and weaving carnavelesque translations of German Cabaret into hammered Industrial rhythms. No one trick pony either, Malaria!'s sound ranged from the genuine death disco grooves of songs like "Kaltes Klares Wasser" and "Your Turn To Run" to the Nina Hagen-like horror/humor of "Macht" and the depressing brutalism of "Tod."
Malaria! is clearly dated from the early '80s and sometimes shows their age. But I'll take Malaria! over Le Tigre any day.
RealAudio clip: "Kaltes Klares Wasser"
RealAudio clip: "Macht"
RealAudio clip: "Tod"
RealAudio clip: "Your Turn To Run"

MALATESE Malatese Oksom Tejah (self-released) lp 9.98

MALATESTA Critical Beats (Entartete Kunst) 12" 8.98

MALCOLM, GREG Homesick for Nowhere (Corpus Hermeticum) cd 16.98

album cover MALCOLM, GREG Hung (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We raved about Malcolm's most recent lp not too long ago, Swimming In It, a lovely disc of neo-Appalachian Fahey worship. More of that steel string swoon and twang we love so much. But it seems like Malcolm realized that maybe this whole modern Appalachia movement was getting a bit crowded, especially for someone with Malcolm's experimental tendencies, so he took his guitar, actually his guitars plural, and struck out on his own to make the singularly strange and absolutely lovely Hung. Released on fellow New Zealander Campbell Kneale's Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label, Hung is a series of solo simultaneously played multiple guitar performances. Did you get that? Multiple guitars, all played at once by the same player. No processing or effects, just a bunch of guitars. Some contact mic-ed, some with extra strings and springs and things, one at his side, one at his feet, one in his lap. And wow is this strange and beautiful. From the opening track of chiming twinkling melodies with the guitars somehow sounding just like bells, to the percussive pluck of "Drops" with the guitar sounding like a marimba, a spare and spacious slow motion meander, to the raga-like "The Bells" with one guitar offering up a sitar like buzz, one acting as a sort of scraping percussion, while the other shimmers and glistens. Other tracks sound like clangy and clanky mechanical music, others like washed out indie jangle and strum, while others are almost doomlike in their acoustic dirginess. There's even a Steve Lacy cover, totally and wonderfully transformed. Absolutely amazing, must be a wonder to see these pieces performed live too...
MPEG Stream: "Ghost From The Past"
MPEG Stream: "Hung"

album cover MALCOLM, GREG Swimming In It ((K-RAA-K)3) lp 15.98
A warm drift of buzzing steel strings, chiming overtones, plenty of space, darkly delicate melodies. New Zealander Greg Malcolm throws his hat into the fast growing Fahey worship / neo-psych-folk ring, but manages to completely mesmerize with his unique take on that droning abstract psychedelic folk we love so much. A rich, meandering, minor key exploration of the guitar and the space that surrounds it. Chords are picked apart, releasing a note at a time and allowing each note to drift lazily toward your ears, occasionally brushing by another note creating a brief harmonic flourish, but just as often continuing on its solitary path like a single ripple in a pond. Gentle strums, and rumbling drones, drift and intertwine like sperate plumes of smoke, the barriers between the two becoming indistinct and leaving us with a dark and drifty lovliness. Recorded completely live with no overdubs, Swimming In It will obviously please fans of Jack Rose, Matt Valentine, James Blackshaw, Charlie Schmidt and all that abstract free folk psych and avant Appalachia, but there's plenty of dreamy droniness to please the rest of you as well!

album cover MALCOLM, GREG What Is It Keith? (Proper Music) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MALCUIDANT L'Hymne de la Ghilde (Total Holocaust) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what to say about a record. Especially a black metal record. Sure it buzzes and it's grim and frosty, there are fuzzy guitars, blasting drums. But it's in the way each of those elements are employed that make the music special. French one man black metal outfit Malcuidant takes those most obvious of black metal sounds and whip them into a truly mesmerizing swirl of Burzumic black metal. One of the coolest things about Malcuidant is the drummer, who can unleash a wicked blazing fast blast beat, as well as a dizzying double kick, but the double kick only comes in here and there, so a keening riff will buzz in the upper register for ages, almost like the band is being broadcast through a transistor radio, when all of a sudden a flurry of double kick will bring in a fucking wall of low end that is like a demonic black bulldozer grinding your bones to dust. And just as quick as they swooped in, they fade out, leaving more keening tinny black metal high end. But don't get the wrong idea, this is not a tinny lo-fi black metal, no not at all, L'Hymne de la Ghilde is a total blur of warm thick buzz, it just gets even heavier and thicker when the wall of double kicks drops in. But it's not just the drums, the guitars are insane and lightning fast as well, with the band occasionally dropping out to let a little riff or lick twist and squirm in space before the band drops back in with a pummelling wave of blasting blackness. And finally the vocals, a inhuman tortured shrieking VERY reminiscent of Weakling, sprawled above the spiked bed of prickly fuzz, the anguished wailing another thick sonic layer in the Malcuidant's bubbling black brew.
LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES. ALREADY OUT OF PRINT AT THE LABEL. WE HAVE ABOUT 20 COPIES...
MPEG Stream: "Tristesse"
MPEG Stream: "Invasions Impies"

album cover MALDITOS s/t (Alchemy Coffin) lp 14.98
The self-titled debut release from Malditos is a minimal and dark synthesizer driven ep filled peppered with some unlikely but super awesome electric tablas! Because most of the songs are sung in French you might be tempted to think this is a slab of obscure European '80s gothic vinyl reissued by Dark Entries; but no, this Oakland, CA band is comprised of current or former members of Swann Danger, The Phantom Limbs, and Black Ice. The aforementioned tablas and Eastern scales recall more than a few of the moodier aspects of Dead Can Dance, but there's also echoes of Rowland S. Howard's angular phased guitar work. The record is quite heavy, the two synths proving a driving and repetitive low end while occasionally swirling around the upper registers. As previously mentioned, three out of the four vocal tracks are in French. Pretty much the only French word you need to know, however, is "Noir". When listening to lyrics in a foreign (to this reviewer) language, what is said is less important than how it's sung and Cyn M. does an excellent job of setting a brooding and dark mood with her powerful vibrato. The last track is an almost industrialized cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Requiem Por Un C..." (sung in French, of course). Limited to 259 hand numbered copies, this record is sure to go fast.
MPEG Stream: "La Nuit Noir"
MPEG Stream: "Burning Eyes"
MPEG Stream: "Requiem Por Un C..."

MALDOROR She (Ipecac) cd 17.98
A collaboration between Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Fantomas) and Masami Akita (Merzbow). This is actually quite listenable, considering their combined propensity for annoyance. Playful and downright giddy Noise!

album cover MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE, THEE Themes For Proxima (Foreshadow) cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Managed to get a handful of these weird little gems back in stock:
Newest release from these mysterious Italian black metallers, who recently have evolved into a more sort of avant industrial experimental outfit, albeit with black tendencies. Much in the way Ulver transformed from grim buzz to moody cinematic ambience, Thee Maldoror Kollective have almost entirely shed their black metal skin, revealing a strange metallic skeleton and a circulatory system of buzz and glitch, beats and samples.
Only the most adventurous black metallers will dare tread here, four tracks from the soundtrack to a Spanish movie called Proxima, sounding a bit like Skinny Puppy crossed with Muslimgauze, crunchy grinding beats, glitched out electronics, snippets of Eastern melodies and female vocals, little chunks of skittery breakbeats, haunting stereo ambience, record crackle, and creepy synth melodies, and that's just the first song. Epic and cinematic, haunting and mysterious.
The other three tracks are just as leftfield, a symphony of beeps and buzzes, snippets of voices, crunchy guitar way down in the mix, processed into sort of industrial grooves, more Skinny beats, shuffling Boards Of Canada style electronica, new wavey synths, moaning mournful strings, tablas, operatic vocals, skipping skittering chopped up loops, exotic tribal percussion... Quite dizzying, an intense immersive listen that definitely leaves us wanting to see whatever crazy film these sounds could possibly be designed to accompany.
Included at the end are two older tracks, remixed and revamped, not sure what they sounded like before, but they've been modernized and minimalized, the first one sounds like some sort of Chain Reaction heroin house, that builds into some synth Euro Kompakt groove, with swooning synths, and all manner of robotic glitches and bleeps, while the second is super creepy and ambient, all high end shimmer and ominous drones, sort of Hitchcockian and John Carpenterian, with a distant heartbeat like pulse, and disembodied minor key melodies.
Definitely a weird one, no metal to be found here, but still pretty awesome. Fans of later Ulver will definitely dig, as will folks into abstract electronica, weird mood music and creepy soundtracks...
MPEG Stream: "Gorilla Move (Grey 01)"
MPEG Stream: "Ouranian Tablet (Brown 05)"
MPEG Stream: "Io Little Birds Remix"

album cover MALE BONDING Endless Now (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
The debut from these UK noise poppers had to be one of the biggest surprises of last year, a killer collection of grungy, fuzzy pop, equal parts indie jangle, blown out heaviness and fuzzy garage rock, loads of hooks, plenty of oooh's and aaah's, it most definitely gets loads of play STILL, and "All Things This Way", the 'hit' of that record, is definitely still on heavy rotation with most of the pop kids we know.
So we were super excited about a new record, a new batch of perfect pop, of noisy garage pop gems, and heck, whattayaknow, that's just what we got. There have been some grumbles about the group's new softer sound, and yeah, some of the rough edges have been smoothed out, the vocals too, much more crooned, sorta what you might expect from a band with their second go 'round'. And actually, we think it definitely suits them. Just give opener "Tame The Sun" a listen, and odds are you'll be smitten, sweetly melodic jangle, dreamy vocals a killer hook, some rad guitar, not to mention a super strange but weirdly subtle stuttery tempo change that pops up now and again, it's pretty goddamn great. As is the rest of the record. No huge reinventions, no dramatic shifts in songwriting, but then that's not really what we were after anyway. The sound is different enough that it's not a total rehash, but similar enough that our hankering for a Nothing Hurts part 2 is more then fulfilled, and really all we were hoping for is another great indie rock noise pop record which is precisely what this is, and like the first, the more we listen, the better it gets, and the more obsessed we get with all of these songs. A new pop fave for sure!
Like the first record, fans of the Lemonheads and Weezer and Guided By Voices will be just as psyched on this as fans of Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Royal Baths and all the rest...
MPEG Stream: "Tame The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "Carrying"
MPEG Stream: "Seems To Notice Now"
MPEG Stream: "Bones"

album cover MALE BONDING Endless Now (Sub Pop) lp 16.98
The debut from these UK noise poppers had to be one of the biggest surprises of last year, a killer collection of grungy, fuzzy pop, equal parts indie jangle, blown out heaviness and fuzzy garage rock, loads of hooks, plenty of oooh's and aaah's, it most definitely gets loads of play STILL, and "All Things This Way", the 'hit' of that record, is definitely still on heavy rotation with most of the pop kids we know.
So we were super excited about a new record, a new batch of perfect pop, of noisy garage pop gems, and heck, whattayaknow, that's just what we got. There have been some grumbles about the group's new softer sound, and yeah, some of the rough edges have been smoothed out, the vocals too, much more crooned, sorta what you might expect from a band with their second go 'round'. And actually, we think it definitely suits them. Just give opener "Tame The Sun" a listen, and odds are you'll be smitten, sweetly melodic jangle, dreamy vocals a killer hook, some rad guitar, not to mention a super strange but weirdly subtle stuttery tempo change that pops up now and again, it's pretty goddamn great. As is the rest of the record. No huge reinventions, no dramatic shifts in songwriting, but then that's not really what we were after anyway. The sound is different enough that it's not a total rehash, but similar enough that our hankering for a Nothing Hurts part 2 is more then fulfilled, and really all we were hoping for is another great indie rock noise pop record which is precisely what this is, and like the first, the more we listen, the better it gets, and the more obsessed we get with all of these songs. A new pop fave for sure!
Like the first record, fans of the Lemonheads and Weezer and Guided By Voices will be just as psyched on this as fans of Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Royal Baths and all the rest...
MPEG Stream: "Tame The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "Carrying"
MPEG Stream: "Seems To Notice Now"
MPEG Stream: "Bones"

album cover MALE BONDING Nothing Hurts (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
If we had to describe these guys in as few words as possible, we could probably do it in three: Dum Dum Boys. Or maybe even two: Vivian Boys. Yep, that's basically what Male Bonding are all about, yet another group carving out their own little chunk of sound in the ever dwindling sonic territory that makes up the current explosion of hazy lo-fi fuzz drenched reverby garage pop, but like the Vivian Girls (who guest on a track here) and the Dum Dum Girls, Male Bonding too manage to rise above, using lots of the same elements, but crafting a sound all their own. Sure they borrow from everybody, few modern bands don't, but their mix of Weezer and Guided By Voices, the Lemonheads, classic pop punk and nineties indie rock, all filtered through a the now sound of retro leaning warped garage rock, makes Nothing Hurts a serious contender for pop record of the year.
And it's all about the songs, the band deftly slip from crunchy feral punky garage rock, to totally infectious heavily hooky, power chord power, pop and back again, before exploding into another post punky workout that sounds like some obscure Polvo B-side. And when they team up with the Vivian Girls, one might expect a woozy, gauzy, reverb drenched sixties style Spector-ized wall of sound chunk of garage pop, but instead, it's an almost entirely acoustic jam, just guitar and vocals, with the Vivian Girls' contributing occasional "oooohs" and "ahhhhs", and then there's an unexpected bit of hazy washed out shoe gazey distorted guitar fuzz, before they slip right back into some dreamy druggy strum.
And that's sort of what's so great about the record, on the surface, it's fuzzy and punky and poppy, and all the folks into Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees and Gary War and of course Dum Dum Girls, will dig it right out of the gate, but spend some time with it, and it ends up revealing itself as so much more, a super smart, surprisingly complex, crazy catchy chunk of classic sounding indie pop / post rock crunch.
MPEG Stream: "Year's Not Long"
MPEG Stream: "All Things This Way"
MPEG Stream: "Your Contract"
MPEG Stream: "Worse To Come (Featuring Vivian Girls)"

album cover MALE BONDING Nothing Hurts (Sub Pop) lp 15.98
If we had to describe these guys in as few words as possible, we could probably do it in three: Dum Dum Boys. Or maybe even two: Vivian Boys. Yep, that's basically what Male Bonding are all about, yet another group carving out their own little chunk of sound in the ever dwindling sonic territory that makes up the current explosion of hazy lo-fi fuzz drenched reverby garage pop, but like the Vivian Girls (who guest on a track here) and the Dum Dum Girls, Male Bonding too manage to rise above, using lots of the same elements, but crafting a sound all their own. Sure they borrow from everybody, few modern bands don't, but their mix of Weezer and Guided By Voices, the Lemonheads, classic pop punk and nineties indie rock, all filtered through a the now sound of retro leaning warped garage rock, makes Nothing Hurts a serious contender for pop record of the year.
And it's all about the songs, the band deftly slip from crunchy feral punky garage rock, to totally infectious heavily hooky, power chord power, pop and back again, before exploding into another post punky workout that sounds like some obscure Polvo B-side. And when they team up with the Vivian Girls, one might expect a woozy, gauzy, reverb drenched sixties style Spector-ized wall of sound chunk of garage pop, but instead, it's an almost entirely acoustic jam, just guitar and vocals, with the Vivian Girls' contributing occasional "oooohs" and "ahhhhs", and then there's an unexpected bit of hazy washed out shoe gazey distorted guitar fuzz, before they slip right back into some dreamy druggy strum.
And that's sort of what's so great about the record, on the surface, it's fuzzy and punky and poppy, and all the folks into Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees and Gary War and of course Dum Dum Girls, will dig it right out of the gate, but spend some time with it, and it ends up revealing itself as so much more, a super smart, surprisingly complex, crazy catchy chunk of classic sounding indie pop / post rock crunch.
MPEG Stream: "Year's Not Long"
MPEG Stream: "All Things This Way"
MPEG Stream: "Your Contract"
MPEG Stream: "Worse To Come (Featuring Vivian Girls)"

album cover MALEFIC ORDER Raging Evil Desekration (Satanic Propaganda) cd 13.98
Metal Archives, the go to site for metal info, a sort of metal Wikipedia, lists 348 metal bands from Turkey, none of which we'd heard, or even really heard of, until now. Malefic Order, who besides being from Turkey, have one of the coolest metal logos ever, their name rendered in the shape of a helmeted horned demon, with a pentagram on its forehead and an impaled skull atop its helmet.
Recorded to praise Euronymous and Dead of Mayhem, Raging Evil Desekration could not be more appropriately titled, everything about these songs is raging and evil, raw and buzzy, obviously heavily indebted to the Nordic elite, these songs merge epic and majestic with raw and primitive, the result a relentless buzz drenched thrash flecked slab of frosty black mayhem, nothing overtly weird or fucked up, although there are some cool arrangements and weird creepy melodies here and there, this is more about the sound and the vibe and the spirit, every single note and drum beat, every blasting buzz oozes evil, the vokills some of the rawest and most intense we've heard, the riffing frenetic often slipping into dangerously catchy territory before exploding again into a blazing blur, the drums super heavy and powerful, the whole sound just ultra raw, super intense, pitch black and very very evil.

album cover MALEFICIA Beltane (self-released) cd-r 3.98
An excellent bit of black noise and somber ambience found here! Maleficia is the East Bay duo of A.C. Way and Ilysea Simpson, who craft spectral noises from a small arsenal of junked electronics accompanying voice and violin. The band's name is defined as the curse that witches were thought to inflict upon people or farm animals as acts of revenge through their pacts with the dark forces, and the album's title alludes to the mid-summer Celtic festival whose ancillary is the more well-known Samhain. As one might imagine, a rather ghostly veil of shadow and Iron Age mysticism abound in the work of this Maleficia. Out of an initial fug of gravel-throated noise which decays into an overarching atmosphere of nocturnal desolation, the two interlace a series of loops from those aforementioned instruments which come together as an arc which moves from the misanthropic electronics of early Maurizio Bianchi toward the hallowed collages of Current 93 by way of Phillip Jeck. Easily the best material that Maleficia have set to recorded media to date, but alas this clocks in at a brief 16 minutes.
MPEG Stream: "Beltane"

album cover MALEFICIA s/t (Isounderscore) lp 14.98
Maleficia is the Bay Area duo of Andy Way (N.F. Orchest, French Radio, Carrion, etc.) and Ilysea Viles Sunderman, who crafted this desolate, post-industrial smear of voice, violin, and electronics for the always impressive Isounderscore label. With the titles of the two side long pieces being "Making" and "Remaking," Malecia offers a crucible of elemental sounds being obliterated into a charred dust and rebuilt into ashen constructions of misery and disgust. Sunderman's voice is sparsely employed emitting mournful wails that are not unlike those of Christina Carter, but detached from a freak-folk context and applied to this blackened, post-apocalyptic miasma. The industrialized loops that Way wraps around the voice and violin come across like a slow-motion Maurizio Bianchi on par with the downer records he did with Land Use or the grim power electronic phase in the early '80s. Nocturnal clatter and plumes of black smoke shroud the murkier, noisier side on "Making," while funereal strings ground the nightmarish "Remaking." Certainly for fans of Amber Asylum, early Lustmord, and the dark ambient aspects of Broken Flag.

album cover MALEFICIA s/t (Breaking Wheel) cd-r 6.98
Maleficia is the work of Bay Area noise artist Andy Way (French Radio, NF Orchest) and avant-vocalist Ilysea Simpson. Their debut cd-r begins with an evocative wordless vocalization from Simpson conjuring the likes of Christina Carter and Jarboe in decontextualizing Southern hymns away from their spiritual intent and toward the raw emotional expression of just voice. After about five or six minutes of a capella delivery, Simpson's duet with Way begins as he gradually unleashes a torrent of tactile noise, all bathed in reverb, which somewhat mutes the sharpness of the distortion, static, and turbulant noise. As her voice becomes more processed and takes on more shrill characterists alongside Way's caustic noise, Maleficia begin to resemble the volatile noise and voice couplings of Fe-Mail to remarkable results. Stitched paper artwork completes this limited edition production of which we only have a handful.
MPEG Stream: "track 1"
MPEG Stream: "track 2"

album cover MALIGN Divine Facing (Norma Evangelium Diaboli) cd ep 13.98

MPEG Stream: "Sinful Fleshspear"
MPEG Stream: "Divine Facing"

album cover MALIK, AHMED ABDUL / CHARLES "CHICK" GANIMIAN & HIS ORIENTALS Oud Vibrations (Fingertips) cd 17.98
Oud Vibrations is a killer compilation collecting two rare records from the late fifties, which found two different groups incorporating the oud into their more standard instrumentation, in a quest for new, strange and exotic sounds. Most folks have seen an oud, even if they weren't sure what it was called - the body is pear shaped, with a short neck, and a strange bent head stock, the liner notes describe it as looking like a 'sawn off psychedelic guitar', which is pretty spot on. The instrument was prominent in lots of Middle Eastern music, as well as some Greek, Armenian and African music, it has a very distinctive sound, one that like the sitar, many Western musicians found super appealing, as much for its sound, as its exotic and spiritual connotations.
Both the records included here are pretty great, but Ahmed Abdul Malik's East Meets West is the main reason to pick this up, the sound a fantastic spiritual/modal jazz, hypnotic and pulsing, the playing incredible, the arrangements lush, and the sound truly exotic and original, with a serious band backing him up, including Lee Morgan on trumpet, among others. There are a few more standard jazz numbers, but the majority of the record is heavily Eastern influenced, driven by dense percussion, and another equally exotic instrument, the Darabeka. Fans of the Spiritual Jazz series, as well as reissues from Lloyd McNeill, Lloyd Miller, P.E. Hewitt and the rest will find Malik's record absolutely essential.
Charles 'Chick' Ganimian's Come With Me To The Casbah, has a bit more of a novelty vibe to it, but still has much to offer, the opener "Oriental Jam" lives up to its title, groovy, and soulful, exotic and spiritual, but then the cover of "Over The Rainbow", played on the oud of course, is a little bit kitschy. As is much of the record, but delightfully so. "Daddy Lolo" was the big hit, and is a vocal driven groover, with the cringeworthy line "This is Oriental rock and roll" delivered in a weird, heavily accented croon. Novelty hit for sure. But then there's the title track, which is a killer East/West hybrid, groovy and soulful, and very exotic sounding, so much so that it was apparently used as background music for an episode of the sixties TV show The Man From UNCLE. There's also the closer "Nine Eight" which is another fantastic blast of Eastern jazz that is as wild and wonderful on Malik's East Meets West.
Both albums are pretty fantastic, each in its own way, there's extensive liner notes included as well, that give a brief overview of the history of the oud in jazz, as well as some info on both of the records.
MPEG Stream: AHMED ABDUL MALIK "E-Lali (The Night)"
MPEG Stream: AHMED ABDUL MALIK "La Ilbky (Don't Cry)"
MPEG Stream: AHMED ABDUL MALIK "Takseem (Solo)"
MPEG Stream: CHARLES 'CHICK' GANIMIAN "Oriental Jam"
MPEG Stream: CHARLES 'CHICK' GANIMIAN "Over The Rainbow"
MPEG Stream: CHARLES 'CHICK' GANIMIAN "Come With Me To The Casbah"

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