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When one thinks of The Dream Syndicate, it's not just the wild abandon with which singer/guitarist Steve Wynn, drummer Dennis Duck, bassist Mark Walton, and lead guitarist Jason Victor perform - it's the carefully constructed songwriting of Wynn that comes to mind. By now every rock critic in the country has predetermined who he or she feels Wynn reminds them of and what they think of that style of songs. This time, don't! Which brings us to The Universe Inside. Every article or review ever written will claim "this is new and different" - well, it is! Just look at the song lengths: 20:27, 7:36, 8:56, 9:55 and 10:53. Ok, sure - the Syndicate have occasionally committed a long song to vinyl, "John Coltrane Stereo Blues" was 9 minutes with live versions over the ten-minute mark. For the first time, every song is a group songwriting effort. What seeps in are Dennis Duck's knowledge of European avant-garde music, Jason Victor's passion for 70s prog, Mark Walton's experience in Southern-fried music collectives and Wynn's love of vintage electric jazz. The dazzling display of album cover artwork alone should clue you into the changes. But don't take our word for it. Dive in!

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Felt

Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty (Gate) [Deluxe] (Uk)

Vinyl: $37.99 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Vinyl LP pressing. Digitally remastered reissue of this 1982 album from British cult outfit Felt. This vinyl record, unavailable for many years, has been remastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collection. Lawrence's ambition was to release the best debut English album ever! Adrian Borland offered his services, then commitments with his band The Sound prevented this from happening. So Felt began a relationship with Swell Maps producer John A. Rivers. Recorded and mixed in six days the band got a taste of how bitter reality fares compared to the mellow fruitfulness of blind ambition
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Vinyl LP pressing. Recorded (mostly) in his attic studio in Massachusetts, Guesswork was produced by Lloyd Cole and mixed by maverick German producer Olaf Opal, with executive production from Chris Hughes. Lloyd collaborated with three other musicians on Guesswork, most notable of whom are two former bandmates - guitarist Neil Clark and keyboard player Blair Cowan - who found themselves working together on an album with Lloyd for the first time since The Commotions' swansong Mainstream in 1987. However anyone expecting a Commotions sound will be on the wrong tack: Guesswork is predominantly an 'electronic' album.
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Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing + seven inch single. The album has been remastered from the original tapes at Abbey Road Studios, London under the guidance of the band, and is packaged in a faithful re-production of the original vinyl artwork. The band has selected rarities to include on a 7" with the album. The album gave the band their highest ever UK Chart placing (#3) on release in 1997. Cited by Nick Hornby as one of his favorite albums in his book, 31 Songs, the album shifts focus to a cleaner pop sound than their previous albums, adding lush orchestrations to tracks like 'Planets' while retaining their ability to blend beautiful harmonies and gives it an optimistic and happy mood - as close to a summer album as they have made. Songs... is the sound of a band maturing and being totally comfortable with their own sound. It has a classic contemporary sound that ages extremely well and tracks like the UK Top 20 hit 'Ain't That Enough' and 'Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From' remain firm live favorites.
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Pharoah Sanders

Live In Paris (1975): Lost Ortf Recordings

Vinyl: $37.98 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $5.99 Download

Transversales Disques presents Pharoah Sanders Live in Paris (1975). A never-before released ORTF recording performed live at studio 104, Maison de la Radio, Paris. First official release with the full permission and cooperation of the National Audiovisual Institute. Deluxe edition in classic Tip-On gatefold jacket, including exclusive liner notes and pictures. Mastered from the original master tapes.
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Founded in 1972, SteepleChase Records is one of the most significant and prolific European jazz record labels. With a catalogue running to well over 200 titles, the Copenhagen-based imprint has recorded and released music from some of the greatest names in jazz, including Dexter Gordon, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean, Horace Parlan, Chet Baker and Stan Getz. Featuring in-demand tracks from the likes of Billy Gault, Johnny Dyani and Khan Jamal, and unearthing deep cuts from greats like Jackie McLean and Mary Lou Williams, our Spiritual Jazz 11: Steeplechase pays tribute to one of Europe's most important jazz labels.
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LP version. "I read a bit of Restoration poetry and listen to Leadbelly, and it comes out like that." (Bid, The Monochrome Set)Tapete Records present a reissue of The Monochrome Set's second album Love Zombies, originally released in 1980. The casual prose of pop history is full of backhanded compliments, and The Monochrome Set have received a few, ranging from "should have been massive" to "influential", numbering the likes of Morrissey and Marr, Blur's Graham Coxon and Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos among their celebrity admirers. Released in February 1980, their first album Strange Boutique (TR 394CD/LP), featuring the band's percussion-heavy theme song (predating Adam & The Ants' "Kings of the Wild Frontier" by months) and the Johnny Marr-anticipating "Love Goes Down The Drain", caught the Monochrome Set in full flight, quickly followed by the equally taut, funny and adventurously dynamic Love Zombies.
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Wire

Mind Hive

Vinyl: $29.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

WIRE are the definitive post-punk group. Since their inception they've maintained a reputation for creating music that stretches the rock form whilst simultaneously editing it down to its essence. With their gift for crafting songs that perfectly balance experimentation and accessibility, WIRE were recently hailed by the Quietus as "one of the most consistent British bands of all time". Yet WIRE exhibit little inclination to look back or trade on past glories, rather they remain resolutely focused on producing music which is smart, vital and defiantly modern.

Mind Hive is the group's first newly recorded material since 2017's stellar Silver/Lead. That album garnered rave reviews ("Some of the best tunes they've done" - The Guardian) and career best sales. Yet, if Silver/Lead set the bar pretty high, Mind Hive seems to have no problem vaulting over it.

Album opener Be Like Them is a super-angular composition, utilizing a recently rediscovered Wire lyric from 1977. Colin Newman and Matthew Simms' guitars constantly mesh and diverge, whilst the rhythm section of Graham Lewis and Robert Grey ensure the song prowls forward with an unstoppable menace.

In contrast, lead cut Cactused is the first of Mind Hive's pop moments. Newman's vocal is wide eyed and wired, with Lewis' smooth backing vocals thickening the plot. Simms' effects-heavy guitar work creates a bright web of noise, with the song's stop/start moments providing a series of precise energy bursts.

Primed And Ready rides out on a tightly pulsing synth sequence punctuated by icy slivers of guitar. Grey drives whole sections of the song with hi-hat alone, but when his snare cracks return, they push the song forwards with even greater intensity. This is Wire at their most compressed yet propulsive.

Off The Beach is another prime pop song. With its breezy, optimistic melody, and blend of electric and acoustic guitars, the song initially sees the group seemingly celebrating the joys of everyday life. And yet, as is so often the case with WIRE, things are destined to turn a shade stranger.

The sun-dazzled splendor of Unrepentant sees the group exploring the kind of bucolic soundscape early Pink Floyd would have been proud to call their own. Boasting one of the album's finest texts, the song radiates out into a shimmering sonic heat haze.

The atmospheric yet concise Shadows pulls the classic WIRE trick of placing a dark and cruel lyric amongst a musical setting of tender beauty. Never has the recounting of atrocity been so seductively pitched.

The muscular and dramatic Oklahoma is the joker in the pack. With its opening lyric of `I love your sexy hearse', Lewis' dark vocal swims through a rich compound of guitar textures and synth tones, building into a master-class of tension and release.

The album's centerpiece is Hung. This 8-minute excursion matches a brief but evocative lyric with a dense, mesmeric guitar grind. Simms and Newman's keyboards add a plaintive note, as the song moves through a series of sections, each with its own distinct atmosphere.

The album closes with the gorgeous Humming, a beatless autumnal drift fashioned from delicate keyboard textures and rich soaring guitar tones. Newman delivers the state of the world lyric with a touching sense of innocence, whilst the piece ends with Lewis' husky baritone listing locations and their difficult associations. An elegiac end to a supremely confident album.

WIRE's back catalogue is of course studded with influential epoch defining works. Last year saw the reissue of their groundbreaking first three albums: Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154. These were voted amongst the top reissues of the year (Rolling Stone at no.10, Uncut at no.12 and Select at no.3). And now Mind Hive arrives at a time when WIRE are being cited as an influence by yet another generation of bands. They are also the subjects of a career spanning feature documentary called People in a Film due for release late 2020.

Quite how a group that has been operating for such a long period is still able to produce such exciting and essential work is difficult to understand. And yet here we are; Mind Hive is the most masterful 35 minutes of post-punk you will hear this year.

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Duo Exchange was the flagship release of Survival Records. Percussionist Rashied Ali and saxophonist Frank Lowe were both in a hurry to ignite their careers as leaders, and this record lit the match. Survival Records was a joint venture between the duo, and the recording sessions done at Marzette Watts's studio were the maiden voyage of their partnership. They went in to capture the vehemence bursting forth nightly in the downtown lofts, and the results were furious, brutal, and poignant. With the release of this album in 1973, Ali and his family and Frank Lowe and his family all became executives and clerks helping to get the word out. And getting the records out-at loft shows and Village record haunts. The message of untamed tenor saxophone and Ali's drums should sound familiar: That's the combination that made Jazz history in Ali's 1967 duets with his then-employer, John Coltrane. What eventually came out as Interstellar Space is it's own pinnacle of the genre, but it's release was still a year off when Duo Exchange was issued to the public. Mixed and mastered from the original tapes, this expanded 2020 edition restores sections of the original record inexplicably excised from the CD release in the nineties, and expands on it with more than double the playing time of the original LP with fascinating outtake versions that rephrase the familiar tracks. 2xLP gatefold tip-on jacket.
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4AD’s first album of the Nineties, The Comforts of Madness by Pale Saints, is receiving a long overdue reappraisal on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. The reissue includes remastered audio and a bonus disc of rarities.

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Vinyl LP pressing. The only solo album by former Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis, released January 1998. Despite being released as a solo album by Hollis, it was originally intended to be credited to Talk Talk, under the name Mountains of the Moon. A beautiful and haunting work, this album picks up where he left off with Talk Talk's Laughing Stock seven years before, re-emerging with a suite of music that encompassed jazz, ambient, and folk. His inspiration came not from pop but 20th-century classical music and jazz from the late fifties and sixties (there is a distinct flavor of Miles Davis - In A Silent Way here) and is one of the quietest and most intimate records ever made - creating an exceptional atmosphere in which the listener can submerge.
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Louis Moholo

Spirits Rejoice

Vinyl: $29.98 UNAVAILABLE
Otoroku present the first vinyl reissue of Louis Moholo Octet's Spirits Rejoice!, originally released in 1978 on Ogun Recordings. One of the most legendary free jazz records ever produced, Spirits Rejoice! Is a high achievement in the movement of the era as it soars beyond oppression with a raucous and spiritually uplifting surge of movement and melody. Featuring Harry Miller, Johnny Dyani, Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, Nick Evans, Radu Malfatti, and Kenny Wheeler, this is former Blue Note artist Louis Moholo's first album under his own name and is a classic example of the cross-pollination between South African and British players. Mongezi Feza's 'You Ain't Gonna Know Me 'Cos You Think You Know Me" alone is enough to make your life a better place. Made with permission and in association with Ogun Recordings. Features an exact reproduction of the original artwork and liner notes, along with new liner notes from Matthew Wright. Remastered by Giuseppe IIelasi. High gloss sleeve; edition of 1000. From Matthew Wright's new liner notes: "The South African melodies, now so familiar, were wholeheartedly taken on board by the individual musicians, their unity of purpose mirroring the belief in the strength of the collective. Stunning solos, often close to the edge, feature throughout - Evan Parker and Keith Tippett on 'Shine Wherever You Are'; the contrasting trombone styles of Nick Evans and Radu Malfatti on 'You Ain't Gonna Know Me... '; the octet sounding like a full big band; and behind them, the relentlessly rhythmic urgency of the piano, bass and drums. Add to this Kenny Wheeler's moving and all-encompassing trumpet on the elegiac 'Amaxesha Osizi' and the joyous flamboyancy of 'Wedding Hymn' with Parker's relatively straight-ahead tenor and Tippett's dextrous piano solo over a bed of riffing horns, (fast) walking bass lines and a supreme sense of swing. Louis' early hero, Big Sid Catlett, would have loved it!"
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Coming October 11th: the debut solo record from Kim Gordon. With a career spanning nearly four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the most prolific and visionary artists working today. A co-founder of the legendary Sonic Youth, Gordon has performed all over the world, collaborating with many of music’s most exciting figures including Tony Conrad, Ikue Mori, Julie Cafritz and Stephen Malkmus. Most recently, Gordon has been hitting the road with Body/Head, her spellbinding partnership with artist and musician Bill Nace. Despite the exhaustive nature of her résumé, the most reliable aspect of Gordon’s music may be its resistance to formula. Songs discover themselves as they unspool, each one performing a test of the medium’s possibilities and limits. Her command is astonishing, but Gordon’s artistic curiosity remains the guiding force behind her music. It makes sense that this “American idea” (as Gordon says on the agitated rock track “Air BnB”) of purchasing utopia permeates the record, as no place is this phenomenon more apparent than Los Angeles, where Gordon was born and recently returned to after several lifetimes on the east coast. It was a move precipitated by a number of seismic shifts in her personal life and undoubtedly plays a role in No Home Record’s fascination with transience. The album opens with the restless “Sketch Artist,” where Gordon sings about “dreaming in a tent” as the music shutters and skips like scenery through a car window. “Even Earthquake,” perhaps the record’s most straightforward track embodies this mood; Gordon’s voice wavering like watercolor: “If I could cry and shake for you / I’d lay awake for you / I got sand in my heart for you,” guitar strokes blending into one another as they bleed out across an unstable page. Front to back, No Home Record is an expert operation in the uncanny. You don’t simply listen to Gordon’s music; you experience it.

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Happy Mondays

Bummed

Vinyl: $31.98 UNAVAILABLE
London Records present the first vinyl reissue of Happy Mondays' Bummed, originally released in 1988. Like many an influential album in rock history, the cultural significance of Happy Mondays' Bummed was apparent to precious few listeners upon it's first release on November 5th, 1988. Within a decade or two, Bummed would be hailed as one of the best records of the '80s, often by the self-same publications that had slated it back in the day - a harbinger of the seismic shift about to take place in British popular music, away from the squeaky-clean, corporately ordained pop-radio fodder which had increasingly dominated the charts since punk, and back towards the more aggressive, unruly, and experience-hungry urges which had always pulsed through rock n' roll. Artwork lovingly replicated by original Manchester designers Central Station Design. Featured the singles "Wrote For Luck" and "Lazyitis - One Armed Boxer". 180 gram vinyl; gatefold sleeve with embossing; printed inner-sleeve; includes download code.
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Double vinyl LP pressing housed in gatefold jacket. In February 2010, the late, legendary musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron released his thirteenth, and last, studio album. First conceptualized in 2005, and ultimately produced by XL Recordings head Richard Russell during New York recording sessions that commenced in January 2008, I'm New Here was Scott-Heron's first album in thirteen years and found him sounding as vital, boundary-pushing and insightful as ever before. On 7th February 2020 - the tenth anniversary of I'm New Here's release - XL Recordings release a limited expanded version of the album. In addition to the original album, the I'm New Here 10th Anniversary Edition features two unreleased tracks - a cover of Richie Havens' 'Handsome Johnny' and a previously unheard Scott-Heron song 'King Henry IV' - as well as a selection of other recordings from the original I'm New Here sessions that were only previously available on a rare, vinyl only deluxe version of the LP.
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Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire - The hugely well-respected and historically important Kinks seventh studio album Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire was released on 10th October 1969, and celebrates it's 50th anniversary on 2019. 'Rock musical' in style and one of the most effective concept albums in rock history, the album was constructed by Kinks' frontman Ray Davies as the soundtrack to a subsequently cancelled Granada Television play. The album receiving almost unanimous acclaim upon it's release. Rolling Stone 1969 - "Arthur is a masterpiece on every level, Ray Davies' finest hour. The Kinks' supreme achievement and the best British album of 1969". Melody Maker 1969 - "Ray Davies' finest hour... beautifully British to the core" Original album tracklist: Victoria, Yes Sir No Sir, Some Mother's Son, Drivin', Brainwashed, Australia, Shangri-La, Mr. Churchill Says, She's Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina, Young And Innocent Days, Nothing To Say, Arthur - The Kinks
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Stephen Malkmus

Traditional Techniques [LP]

Vinyl: $26.98 UNAVAILABLE

Traditional Techniques is new phase folk music for new phase folks, with Malkmus as attuned as ever to the rhythms of the ever-evolving lingual slipstream. Instead of roses, briars, and long black veils, prepare for owns, cracked emojis, and shadowbans. Centered around the songwriter's 12-string acoustic guitar, and informed by a half-century of folk-rock reference points, Traditional Techniques is the product of Malkmus and engineer/arranger Chris Funk (The Decemberists). Playing guitar is friend-to-all-heads Matt Sweeney (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Chavez, too many others to count), who'd previously crossed paths with Malkmus on the opposite end of the longhairs' map of the world, most lately gnarling out together back east in the jam conglomerate Endless Boogie.

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Over the last decade, Real Estate have crafted warm yet meticulous pop-minded music, specializing in soaring melodies that are sentimentally evocative and unmistakably their own. The Main Thing dives further into the musical dichotomies they're known for'lilting, bright guitar lines set against emotionally nuanced lyrics, complex arrangements conveyed breezily. What emerges is a superlative collection of interrogative songs as full of depth, strangeness and contradictions as they are lifting hooks.