Matthew Sweet’s new album, Forever Tomorrow, was recorded at his new studio – Black Squirrel Submarine – in Omaha where he now lives. Matthew engineered, performed on guitars, keyboards, bass, and god knows what else, sang lead and background vocals and mixed the recordings. The record was mastered for vinyl at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London by Sean Magee, a longtime veteran at the studio. Sean won a Grammy for his Beatles reissues and has recently won accolades for his remastering of the John Lennon solo catalog reissues. The record will be released on Sweet’s label, Honeycomb Hideout.
Parasite kicks off with the title track, a rowdy throwback to a younger, angrier incarnation of the band. Crafted in the wake of the election and during a tumultuous period in the band members’ private lives, “Parasite” is pure catharsis. “During the making of our last album, I didn’t want to scream anymore, I just wanted to sing and focus on melody. When we came to this recording, I just wanted to scream and curse,” says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel. If the EP is meant as a journey through the various stages of the band’s career, it certainly storms out of the gate with the same kind of piss-and-vinegar of their eponymous debut. And while “Wipe Out” is another rowdy venture, with bassist Meredith Franco taking over the lead vocal duties over a steady barrage of pointed power-chords, it also showcases the rousing choruses that elevated the trio from underground heroines to an internationally renowned garage act. Despite the adverse times, The Coathangers’ mastery of pop cannot be contained forever, as is evident in the EP’s single “Captain’s Dead”, with it’s sultry verses, triumphant chorus, and a bombastic freak-out of noisy guitar. The journey through The Coathangers’ musical evolution leads to a revamped version of “Down Down” off 2016’s Nosebleed Weekend LP and the smoky twang of “Drifter”, in which drummer/vocalist Stephanie Luke demonstrates her knack for solid Dusty Springfield-style ballads.
Vinyl LP pressing. With her twentieth studio album, Binary, the iconic singer/songwriter/activist/poet/DIY trendsetter returns to territory that brought her to the world’s attention more than twenty-five years ago. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, DiFranco is kicking ass and taking names, with a set of songs offering a wide range of perspective and musical scope.
Vinyl LP pressing including digital download. This 2017 compilation contains every song Beach House – AKA Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand – has made that does not exist on one of their albums. The band explains: When we announced that we were releasing a B-sides and rarities album, someone on Twitter asked, “B-sides record? Why would Beach House put out a B-sides record? Their A-sides are like B-sides.” This random person has a point. Our goal has never been to make music that is explicitly commercial. Over the years, as we have worked on our six LPs, it wasn’t the “best” or most catchy songs that made the records, just the ones that fit together to make a cohesive work. Accordingly, our B-sides are not songs that we didn’t like as much, just ones that didn’t have a place on the records we were making.
The Pop Makossa adventure started in 2009, when Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb first travelled to Cameroon to make an initial assessment of the country’s musical situation. He returned with enough tracks for an explosive compilation highlighting the period when funk and disco sounds began to infiltrate the Makossa style popular throughout Cameroon.
So why has it taken almost eight years from that first visit to the final compilation? From the very beginning, there were several mysteries hanging over Pop Makossa.
What had happened to Bill Loko, the teenage super-star whose monster hit ‘Nen Lambo’ caused such a sensation that he was forced to flee to the other side of the world? How did bandleader Eko Roosevelt go from Cameroonian prodigy to chief of an idyllic seaside village? And who exactly was Mystic Djim, the dreadlocked producer and mercurial hit-maker whose wizardry on a simple home four-track recorder could outshine even the mighty studios of Cameroon’s National Radio station?
It was not until DJ and music producer Déni Shain was dispatched to Cameroon to finalise the project, license the songs, scan photographs, and interview the artists that some of the biggest question marks began to disappear. His journey from the port city of Douala to the capital of Yaoundé brought him in contact with the lives and stories of many of the musicians who had shaped the sound of Cameroon’s dance music in its most fertile decade.
Indeed, all the tracks on Pop Makossa are a revelation. The beat that holds everything together has its origins in the rhythms of the Sawa people; Ambassey, Bolobo, Assiko and Essewé, a traditional funeral dance. But it wasn’t until these rhythms arrived in the cities of Cameroon and collided with Merengue, High-Life, Congolese Rumba, and, later, Funk and Disco, that modern Makossa was born.
Makossa, the beat that long before football, managed to unify the whole of Cameroon, was successful in part because it was so adaptable. Some of the greatest Makossa hits incorporated the electrifying guitars and tight grooves of funk, while others were laced with cosmic flourishes made possible by the advent of the synthesizer. However much came down to the bass; and from the rubbery hustle underpinning Mystic Djim’s ‘Yaoundé Girls’ to the luminous liquid disco lines which propel Pasteur Lappé’s ‘Sekele Movement’, Pop Makossa demonstrates why Cameroonian bass players are some of the most revered in the world.
Yet at the end of it all, there was still one final mystery facing the production team at Analog Africa: how was this compilation of amazing sounds from Cameroon going to begin?
After many month and hundreds of different running orders, something still didn’t seem to click… until one day they came across a mighty song entitled ‘Pop Makossa Invasion,’ recorded for Radio Buea, a tune so obscure that even in Cameroon it had never been released. Suddenly the whole compilation fell into place. ‘Pop Makossa Invasion’ makes its debut here and joins the pantheon of extraordinary songs that plugged Cameroon’s Makossa style into the modern world.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release. DG presents the third physical release from Max Richter’s Retrospective catalog, Infra. Written for piano, electronics and string quartet, Infra is an expansion on Richter’s score for Wayne McGregor’s ballet of the same name that was created as a response to the London bombings on 7/7. Max Richter is a West German-born British composer who has been an influential voice in post-minimalist composition and in the meeting of contemporary classical and alternative popular musical styles since the early 2000s. Richter is known for his prolific output: composing and recording his own music; writing for stage, opera, ballet and screen; producing and collaborating on the records of others; and collaborating with performance, installation and media artists. He has recorded seven solo albums and his music is widely used in cinema.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release, the third album from rapper Logic. Logic represents the man in the middle on Everybody. Everybody impresses from the outset, but the album truly begins to take off with “Confess,” a piano-laden offering that features an impassioned speech from Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who pens an open letter to God questioning the plight endured by minorities across the world. The album features production from 6ix and Logic, among others. It features the singles: “Everybody”, “Black Spiderman” featuring Damian Lemar Hudson, and “1-800-273-8255” featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid. Everybody debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200.
Arguably the most influential and charismatic rapper of the the last 10 years, Gucci Mane has become a cult figure and cultural phenomenon through his countless mixtapes, movie roles, and brushes with the law. Mama’s Basement takes us back to the very beginning of Gucci’s career, with some of the first known recordings from Wop. Gucci teamed with long term collaborator and legendary rap producer Zaytoven to lay down 12 tracks in his Mama’s Basement. The tape was only released to the public last year just before Gucci’s release from prison. Omerta Inc. Will be giving Guwop & Zaytoven the vinyl treatment with a very limited pressing. Limited to 500 copies on Cocaine white and black splatter 180 gram heavy weight vinyl, each copy hand numbered and house in a high quality matte finished sleeve with original artwork. If you’ve been hungering for some of their classic Atlanta sound and chemistry, Mama’s Basement is raw, unfinished, and bumping nostalgia trip of songs you haven’t experienced yet. – The Fader Zaytoven & Gucci Mane unearth some gems on ‘Mamas Basement’ – RWD Magazine Some songs unmastered, some unfinished, but the entire project is a look into what eventually became a flourishing relationship between the producer and rapper. – 2 Dope Boyz
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release from this Death Grips side project. The duo of Zach Hill and Andy Morin return with their album Bodyguard. The album is the follow-up to last year’s Scum With Boundaries. Tozer of the Yah Mos and Drug Apts played guitar on the record. The I.L.Y’s first release was 2015’s I’ve Always Been Good At True Love. The I.L.Y’s are an experimental duo from Sacramento, California. They were formed in 2015. The I.L.Y’s have never performed live other than as a part of Death Grips. They are currently signed with Castle Face Records, under which they have released their third studio album Bodyguard.
Jonwayne’s Rap Album Two is the latest offering of music from the California based MC and producer, releasing the album on his label Authors Recording Company. Rap Album Two follows up on four maxi-singles released over the last twelve months, further entrenching the archives and material available through his new imprint. Recordings for Jonwayne’s new full-length took place at the Cosmic Zoo in Los Angeles, CA and features contributions from close allies Shango, Danny Watts, Low Leaf and Zeroh. Production guests include D-Styles, Eets, Oliver The 2nd, Babu and Dibiase, with mastering facilitation by Low End Theory’s Daddy Kev. Conceptually, Rap Album Two serves as a detailed painting of Jonwayne’s life changing experiences over the last few years, diving into the inner realms of conflict and the alterations of life that followed. The album has been praised from journalists and radio all over the world, adding to the success of his sold out Rap Album Two European tour. Rap Album Two has been coupled with a series of music videos, including the already released Almost Raymond directed These Words Are Everything and the Ruffmercy animated Live From The F*** You.
Vinyl LP pressing. 20 years after the release of Blood & Fire’s outstanding but now deleted Heart Of The Congos reissue VP Records/17 North Parade release a definitive 2017 remastered 3LP edition of this Lee Perry masterpiece complemented by added dubs, disco mixes, seven and twelve inch versions and “Don’t Blame It On I” an overlooked previously unreleased track unearthed, too late to include on the Blood & Fire release, by Steve Barrow and David Katz in 1997. Printed inner sleeves with liner notes by Noel Hawks.
Limited deluxe packaging. Vinyl LP pressing. Released 50 years ago in March 1967, The Velvet Underground & Nico – also referred to as the The Banana Album designed by Andy Warhol – is back on vinyl with the original peelable banana cover, gatefold jacket and back cover photo. An additional insert has been added for the 50th anniversary edition including a booklet of images and liner notes. The Velvet Underground & Nico is the debut album by American rock band the Velvet Underground, released in March 1967 by Verve Records. Accompanied by vocalist Nico, the album was recorded in 1966 while the group were featured on Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia event tour, which gained attention for it’s experimental performance sensibilities and controversial lyrical topics, including drug abuse, prostitution, sadism and masochism and sexual deviancy. Though the record was a commercial failure upon release and was almost entirely ignored by contemporary critics, The Velvet Underground & Nico is now widely recognized as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of popular music.
At the time Silver Lake was recorded, you could count on two things with Vic Chesnutt: he would approach any topic, from the delicate to the mundane and he would take an unexpected angle. With an incisive eye and razor wit, he would always cut straight to the heart of the matter. He did so to great effect on Silver Lake, giving equal weight to the tender affirmation of “In My Way, Yes” and the scathing self-critique of “Styrofoam,” and applying his delightfully odd spin to the standard love story on both “Band Camp” (a funny, nostalgic tale of romance in the high school horn section) and the Brian Wilson homage “Fa-La-La” (a saga of unanswered longing that’s set in a hospital). Chesnutt’s idiosyncratic quaver and nylon-string strum are abetted throughout by generous rock and soul arrangements, all of which were pristinely recorded by Daniel Lanois protege Mark Howard (who also produced Lucinda Williams’s World Without Tears). “Chesnutt’s stories always strike an honest and recognizable emotional chord, no matter how oddball the situations that surround them” – All Music ” Vic Chesnutt might never be famous, but his songs touch on inner truths that lurk around us. They strike something deep inside their listeners’ beings.” Pop Matters
One of the most acclaimed British rockers from the 1980’s, this legendary band formed in Liverpool in 1978 and were forefathers of the neo-psychedelic movement. Their line up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant, bass player Les Pattinson and drummer Pete de Freitas, eventually replacing the original drum machine.
The band’s cult status eventually waned with mainstream success in 1983 after they scored a UK top 10 hit with “The Cutter” and attendant album Porcupine which hit #2 in the UK. 1984’s album Ocean Rain is considered a landmark post-punk release, featuring the lead single “Killing Moon.”
The band split in 1988 but regrouped in 1997, releasing an album in 2014 that was their first UK Top 40 entry since 1999. The band’s popularity never quite made the same impact in the US as it did in Europe so they are ripe for rediscovery for anyone interested in bands such as Suede, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Blur, Interpol and Oasis.
This brand new collection of their legendary live material recorded in Sweden in 1985 includes classic Rock-N-Roll covers of legendary tunes by the Doors, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Television and more available on vinyl for the first time. Many of the tracks from Sweden were recorded live for Swedish National Radio at the Karen Club. Also included here is a legendary extended version of “Do It Clean” recorded live in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983. LITA
Double 150gm vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. Includes digital download. Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness is the third studio album by Coheed and Cambria, originally released on September 20, 2005. It is the third installment of a projected tetralogy, as well as the final studio album to feature drummer Josh Eppard before his original departure. On their previous album, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, the phrase “My dearest Apollo, I’ll be burning Star IV” is written after the lyrics for the song “The Light & the Glass”.The album begins to resolve the issues of Claudio Kilgannon’s quest to protect the Keywork, and sheds more light on the demise of Coheed and his wife Cambria. Also, it expands on the issues of the Monstar virus and Jesse’s involvement in the saga. A graphic novel based upon the entire story of the album was released on the same day. This album, unlike the others, tells the story through the eyes of The Writer.
Limited double vinyl LP pressing. Greatest Hits is a 2001 compilation album by The Cure. The band’s relationship with longtime label Fiction Records came to a close, and The Cure were obliged to release one final album for the label. Robert Smith agreed to release a greatest hits album under the condition that he could choose the tracks himself. The subsequently released Greatest Hits features select singles from their then-25 year history, along with the two new tracks “Cut Here” and “Just Say Yes”. All songs were newly remastered specifically for the collection. Includes classics like “Just Like Heaven,” “Friday I’m In Love,” “Close To Me,” “Boys Don’t Cry” and many others.
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. On Tumbleweed Connection, Elton John and Bernie Taupin attempted their most ambitious record to date for the follow-up to their breakthrough album. A loose concept album about the American West, Tumbleweed Connection emphasized the pretensions that always lay beneath their songcraft. The album was recorded at Trident Studios, London, England in March 1970 and released in October of the same year. It peaked at #2 on the UK Albums Chart and #5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson appear for the first time together on this album as the rhythm section on “Amoreena”. Olsson had played on one track on Empty Sky for John in 1969. It is Murray’s first appearance on an Elton John album.
Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing. Originally released in 1972, Honky Chateau is a rollicking collection of ballads, rockers, blues, country-rock, and soul songs. Elton John is at the top of his form, crafting immaculate pop songs with memorable melodies and powerful hooks. Breakout hits include “Honky Cat” and “Rocket Man.” Honky Château was titled after the 18th century French chateau where it was recorded, Château d’Hérouville. The album reached number one in the US, the first of seven consecutive US number one albums for Elton John. A third single, “Hercules,” was prepared for release, but never materialised. This album marks the beginning of John’s transition from a singer/songwriter to a more rock ‘n’ roll style. It was also the first album to feature John’s road band of Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums (along with new member Davey Johnstone on electric and acoustic guitars and other fretted instruments) as the core group of musicians.
Reissue of extremely rare private press debut album from 1971, recorded in San Antonio, TX. Covers of songs by Bob Dylan and Buffy Sainte-Marie, along with original songs. He has recorded a new album, due out in 2018 on Tompkins Square.
Stiff Little Fingers are an Irish punk rock band, consisting of Jake Burns, Ali McMordie, Steve Grantley and Ian McCallum. Formed in 1977 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Stiff Little Fingers were on the forefront of the punk movement, alongside bands like The Clash, Sex Pistols or The Stranglers. With lyrics about their own lives as well as political issues like growing up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Stiff Little Fingers stand for music that combines the energy of punk with infectious hooks and delivery that rings of honesty and commitment. In 1979 they became the first band ever to hit the UK top 20 album charts on an independent label with their debut ‘Inflammable Material’. The album chronicles the band’s anger and frustration at the conflict in Northern Ireland, and calls on youth to create their own reality. The band split in early ’83. During the five years they spent apart, each member pursued musical projects. But none were as satisfying as Stiff Little Fingers. In ’87, Jake and Ali decided to do a few reunion shows. The audience response to the reunion shows was overwhelming. In ’94 they released the Get a Life LP. The album helped renew interest in Stiff Little Fingers just as newer bands that cited them as a major influence, such as Bad Religion, Sugar, Rancid and Therapy, were coming to prominence. In August 2003, Stiff Little Fingers released their ninth studio album, the critically acclaimed Guitar and Drum which was followed by 2014’s No Going Back. Over the years, their live shows continued to be special events of energy and power. And so did their annual show in 2016 at the Glasgow Barrowlands on St. Patrick’s Day, where Stiff Little Fingers celebrated a very special anniversary; not only with Glaswegians but with fans from all over UK and Ireland: 25 years in a row they played on this given day in Glasgow. Their incredible performance was originally released in the same year under the title Best Served Loud – Live At Glasgow Barrowland on CD, DVD and vinyl. It was sold-out immediately.