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Dance To The Drummers Beat'
Dance to The MusicWhen the irresistible sound of Dance To The Music lit up the nation's airwaves in early 1968, it was obvious that Sly Stone's whole new thing was about to blow everyone's mind sky-high. This live-wire chart smash used the time-tested introduce the band technique to showcase trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, Sly's brother/guitarist Freddie Stone, saxman Jerry Martini, Sly's sister/pianist Rosie Stone, bassist Larry Graham and drummer Greg Errico all from different cultural/racial backgrounds. This radical new sound would have far-reaching musical implications the second album by Sly & the Family Stone is full of grooves and beats just as intoxicating as Dance To The Music, featuring addictive heavyweight numbers like Higher and Ride The Rhythm tunes ripe for Cynthia's cautionary warning, All the squares go home!1. Dance To The Music
3. I Ain't Got Nobody (For Real)
4. Dance To The Medley (Music Is Alive; Dance In; Music Lover)
5. Ride The Rhythm
6. Color Me True
7. Are You Ready
8. Don't Burn Baby
9. I'll Never Fall In Love Again$28.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Standing In The Way Of ControlThe first thing that strikes you is the rhythm. The Gossip have been making punks dance since they debuted 5 years ago, long before dance punk existed. Soulful and jagged, you can hear everything from Dischord to Motown in Brace's playing. Now, with the addition of new drummer Hannah Blilie (Shoplifting, ex-Chromatics) they have a new thundering beat for the kids to dance to on the corners and in the clubs.
The next thing that smacks you is Beth's voice, all the guttural blues of the South is in that inimitable instrument. It resonates with the confidence that is in her lyrics asking people to hold on just a little bit longer, re-assuring the youth that there are others out there, and spitting in the face of all who say otherwise!
Standing in the Way of Control, their third album, was recorded by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi) at Seattle's Bear Creek. From heartbreakers like ''Coal to Diamonds'' to the anthemic title track, released as a single with a Le Tigre remix, the band is unafraid to put it all out there and take their audience to new places. This is the sound of a band destroying and surpassing all expectations placed on them.01 Fire With Fire
02 Standing in the Way of Control
03 Jealous Girls
04 Coal to Diamonds
05 Eyes Open
06 Your Mangled Heart
07 Listen Up!
08 Holy Water
09 Keeping You Alive
10 Dark Lines$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
My Life In The Bush Of GhostsNow approaching its 25th anniversary, Brian Eno and David Byrnes My Life in the Bush of Ghosts appears downright visionary. With its found vocals, cut-and paste arrangements, funked-up rhythms and embrace of influences from all around the globe, the duos controversial work anticipated the creative cross-pollination and technological innovation of contemporary electronic dance music, world music, hip hop and alternative rock. You can hear echoes of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in the anthems Moby built around vintage vocal samples, in the outrageously exotic beats of Missy Elliot and Timbaland, in the Middle Eastern-accented chill-out tracks of Thievery Corporation or Bjorks otherworldly soundscapes.
Back in the day, however, critics were divided and audiences were, well, confused. Eno and Byrne themselves didnt know quite what they were looking for at first. They shard an enthusiasm for African music, especially the hypnotic grooves of Nigerian Feka Kuti, and a desire to free themselves from the constraints of conventional songwriting. They embarked on a nomadic journey through studios in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The players who accompanied them on these sessions included drummers Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) and Prairie Prince (The Tubes), bassist Bill Laswell (Material) and Tim Wright (DNA), avant-garde percussionist Dave Van Teighem and conga player Steve Scales, part of the Remain In Light live band. The result of their labors was an album that married West African and American R&B rhythms with the impassioned voices of talk-show hosts and evangelists taped off the radio or the evocative sound of prayerful singers culled from Middle Eastern field recordings. Byrne recalls their entire adventure in fascinating liner notes that detail the recording process and address the resulting critical furor. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts was cut between Talking Heads Fear of Music (1979) and Remain In Light (1980), but sample clearance issues, an almost unheard-of-problem in the analog era, kept it on hold until 1981.1. America is Waiting
2. Mea Culpa
4. Help Me Somebody
5. The Jezebel Spirit
6. Very, Very Hungry
7. Moonlight in Glory
8. The Carrier
9. A Secret Life
10. Come With Us
11. Mountain of Needles$36.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Mysterious Traveller (Speakers Corner)
In Weather Report's fourth album the mysterious multi-instrumentalist Joe Zawinul travels once again through his virtually endless sound universe. And once again the question arises as to whether he will manage to leave his genetic fingerprint - without resorting to routine - on all the newly created sounds. The magic word here is naturalness, which makes its way safely and surely through the electronic backdrop.
Nubian Sundance, performed with two drummers and a percussionist, twists and turns in an apparently disoriented, meditative fashion through a mix of sizzling sound and colours, leading up to the final live applause that brings this dance to a close and making it a real experience for all. Following the translucent, will-o'-the-wisp-like American Tango is Cucumber Slumber with its compact funky sound created by a cool mix of saxophone and the sucking sound of a synthesizer. The two protagonists Zawinul and Shorter seem to be on a par with one another in the dazzling title piece where the lyrical saxophone part is supported by thunderous piano chords. Warm, dreamy harmonies are heard for a short while, only to be hacked apart in Blackthorn Rose - this is no orbital music floating around in your head but sheer tension, which makes you clutch your seat until landing. Back on earth the mysterious traveller was received with open arms with the readers of Down Beat magazine voting the LP 'Album of the Year 1974'.
- Joe Zawinul (keyboards, percussion, vocals, guitar)
- Wayne Shorter (saxophone, piano)
- Miroslav Vitous, Alphonso Johnson (bass)
- Ray Barretto, Dom Um Romão (percussion)
- Skip Hadden, Ishmael Wilburn (drums)
Recording: 1974 at Devonshire Sound, North Hollywood, USA, by Ron Malo
Production: Josef Zawinul and Wayne Shorter
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Nubian Sundance
2. American Tango
3. Cucumber Slumber
4. Mysterious Traveler
5. Blackthorn Rose
6. Scarlet Woman
7. Jungle Book$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Illy B Eats Box Set Volumes 1-3The illy B Eats series is a compilation of the funkiest dance-hall beats by Medeski Martin & Wood drummer Billy Martin.These drum tracks were specifically recorded for DJs, musicians, and fans of Martin's grooves. Performed, mixed, and mastered to make even the jaded nod their heads, it's bumpin', thumpin', and you'll be humpin' to these breaks!1. Groove bang
3. Brazilian Cowboy
4. Funky iller
7. Dub stylee
8. Max moon
11. Phate's Bounce
12. Little D
14. Rocking man
15. The Apprentice
16. Invisible path
18. Sweeping up
19. Secret bearer
20. Pan ninja
21. Lucky charm
23. Invention Necklace
24. Bam bip
25. Gang war
28. Academy street gang / Hats
29. Academy street gang / Ride
30. Johnny Boy
31. Steven Lane
32. Cooper Street Gang / Hats
33. Cooper Street Gang / Ride
34. The Super
35. Waterbugs / Hats
36. Waterbugs / Ride
38. Cindy Goodwin
39. Jimmy the Law
40. Junkie$39.99Vinyl LP Box Set - Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
Document (Awaiting Repress) (On Sale)Ranked 470/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Urgent 1987 Breakthrough Catapulted Band to Stardom: Includes Classics Such as "The One I Love" and Unforgettable "It's the End of the World As We Know It"
Half-Speed Mastered From the Original Master Tapes: RTI-Pressed 180 gram LP Abounds With Incredible Dynamics, Faithful Tonalities, and Tremendous Imaging
Scott Litt-Produced Set Overflows With Mature Creativity, Fiery Intent, Catchy Hooks, and Stellar Songwriting
The last album R.E.M. made before migrating to Warner Bros., and very arguably the last start-to-finish masterpiece the band created in its acclaimed career, Document turned Georgia's celebrated sons into mainstream stars. Musically unadulterated and sonically pure, the group's 1987 work epitomizes the unmistakable sound and feeling of college rock during a period where innocence, experimentation, and adventurousness freely collided before being co-opted and branded as "alt-rock." Document is the record to which everyone refers when citing R.E.M. as the premier example of how a respected band is expected to behave, evolve, and maintain its integrity after experiencing mass success.
Mastered from the original master tapes and carefully pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's numbered limited-edition 180g LP edition of this breakthrough set explodes with unrivaled instrumental signatures, deep soundstages, and faithful tonalities that allow listeners insight into the actual makes and models of the guitars utilized on the recording. Sharp and clean, Scott Litt's widescreen production throws the band into clear relief, magnifying its razor-edged melodies and drummer Bill Berry's foundation-establishing beats. R.E.M. has never sounded so muscular or righteous.
Indeed, the quartet plays as if on a mission, its electrified energy teeming with a contagious fervor that helps fuel political numbers such "Welcome to the Occupation," "Exhuming McCarthy," "Disturbance at the Heron House," and "King of Birds." R.E.M. comes into its own, peeling back the layers on vagueness and utilizing Michael Stipe's biting lyrics and Mike Mills' amped-up guitar riffs to punctuate its catchy fare. Aptly, songs dance around a central image of fire.
The group's hallmark jangle-pop motifs and swooning refrains remain, yet they exhibit a determined attitude and wily quality that brings everything up to another notch. Toss in surf-rock fills, feedback accents, deep-South rootsiness, and subversive undertones, and Document stands as near-flawless statement: A reaction to the social and material currency of its era, a call-to-arms to overcome trauma via hope, humor, and justified anger.
All these characteristics bleed into the manic anthem "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," a renegade shot of beat poetry, delirious delivery, punk-infused vitality, and bounce-around-the-room chaotic abandon that never grows stale. Is R.E.M. serious or joking? Or both? Part of the genius is that it's still impossible to tell. R.E.M. delights in taking listeners for a ride on Document, the swerving, drifting, stylistic interplay, and brief detours all of a whole, the group relishing in the fun of going for broke and succeeding at all of its goals.
We don't need to go on about R.E.M.'s standing as a group that's influenced countless artists and inspired millions of listeners. If you own just one of the quartet's albums, it should be Document.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Finest Worksong
2. Welcome to the Occupation
3. Exhuming McCarthy
4. Disturbance at the Heron House
6. It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
7. The One I Love
9. Lightnin' Hopkins
10. King of Birds
11. Oddfellows Local 151$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
SadnecessaryYou never know who you're going to meet on the first day of school. Sometimes, you can end up being introduced to one of the best friends you'll ever
know. That was the case for Clemens and Philipp-otherwise known as Milky Chance. The Kassel, Germany duo met in an Advanced Music Course at
the start of eleventh grade, and they creatively gelled right off the bat.
They got along so great that they played in a local band until graduation. Even though the group disbanded when their drummer left Kassel, Clemens and
Philipp kept on making music. Weaving together elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars and lilting, lush vocals, they harnessed a style
unequivocally their own.
Clemens put it best, Think of it as the singer-songwriter spirit mixed with electronic beats. Somehow, it's always a little bit melancholy, but there's a
positive spin. You can dance to most of it too! Melancholy is something that I carry within me. I write the best songs when this mood catches me."
In order to capture that, the boys built a tiny studio in the quiet house Clemens grew up in. Over the course of two weeks in 2013, they cut their full-length
debut, Sadnecessary, on a minimalist setup, spending hours getting the settings just right. They didn't need anything more than a rudimentary interface,
microphone, and computer. That's why Sadnecessary sizzles so much.
After cutting the tracks, Clemens and Philipp uploaded the first single Stolen Dance to YouTube. With its bright handclaps, plaintive acoustic guitars, and
his own gravelly smooth delivery, the song became a viral sensation, eventually racking up over 30 million-plus YouTube views and made them the most
blogged about act on HypeM for that month.
About the song, he says, It's less of a story than a feeling. The feeling in the song refers to a certain moment I wanted to hold on to. It's the sentiment you
experience when you miss somebody you really like and just can't spend time with that person. You're sad the other person isn't there, but you're also
happy for the beautiful moments you've spent together.
Sadnecessary, released on the musicians' own Lichtdicht Records in Europe, became a phenomenon followed by packed shows around the continent. In
early 2014, Republic Records inked a deal with Milky Chance to release the record stateside, opening them up to their largest audience yet.
Now, songs like Down By The River flow between poetic musing and delightfully danceable grooves. Clemens remains honest at every turn though.
There is actually a personal story behind 'Down By The River', he adds. In general it's about being in love, but there's a lot of room for interpretation.
That's important to us.
Ultimately, because of that emotional expanse, these songs will resonate loudly with listeners everywhere. Clemens leaves off, At the end of the day,
we're most happy when people discover our music for themselves and have fun at one of our concerts. It's just great when they listen to a song and
connect it to a personal experience. That's the most amazing thing, and we'd love to encourage that.
Led by the irresistibly catchy, danceable track "Stolen Dance" - which has already hit #1 in 15 countries and amassed over 50 million views on YouTube -
German duo Milky Chance are now poised for greatness in the states as well.
The duo weaves elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars, along with lilting, lush vocals. It's a unique sound that is unequivocally their own.1. Stunner
2. Flashed Junk Mind
7. Down By The River
8. Sweet Sun
10. Stolen Dance
12. Feathery$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Danse Macabre DeluxeSaddle Creek is set to reissue one of the crown jewels of the movement, an album that over time has proven to be as influential as it is exhilarating: The Faint's third album, 2001's Danse Macabre. It all seems like a natural progression now, but the release of Danse Macabre's predecessor, 1999's Blank-Wave Arcade, was a sea change for the Omaha group, showcasing a fondness for dance beats and dark keyboards while completely moving away from the indie-rock songs found on its debut, 1998's Media. Seeking a unique sound was becoming a regular occurrence in Omaha at the time, which led to a slew of phenomenal local releases, including Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Cursive's The Ugly Organ.
The 9-song Danse Macabre sizzled with perfectly aggressive synth lines, Todd Fink's menacingly effected vocals, infectious beats, bits of industrial and goth, and, at the heart of it all, strong songwriting featuring the kind of minor-key melodies that make singing along inevitable. To top it off, upstart engineer and producer Mike Mogis perfectly captured The Faint's sound and attitude despite never previously working on an electronic record.
The Danse Macabre reissue is being supported by a tour that will find The Faint performing the album in its entirety for the first time ever, along with entries from across the group's discography and some brand new material. It will also be the first time fans have been exposed to the new slim-and-trim quartet of vocalist Todd Fink, keyboardist Jacob Thiele, guitarist Dapose, and drummer Clark Baechle.
Deluxe Edition package includes: remastered 180 gram vinyl pressed at RTI in custom tip-on gatefold jacket; remastered 2CD-set of entire album and bonus material; DVD with archival footage from the band, live projection videos from the era's tour dates, the "Agenda Suicide" video directed by MK12; 12-page book; and new liner notes. Limited to 3000 copies!
- Remastered 180g 2LP-set manufactured at RTI
- Remastered 2CD-set of entire album and bonus material
- DVD with archival video footage, live projection videos, the "Agenda Suicide" music video and live footage
- New liner notes (written by Marc Hawthorne) and photos from the band's personal archiveLP
1. Agenda Suicide
2. Glass Danse
3. Total Job
4. Let The Poison Spill From Your Throat
5. Your Retro Career Melted
6. Posed To Death
7. The Conductor
9. Ballad Of A Paralysed Citizen
CD1 - Original Album Remastered
1. Agenda Suicide
2. Glass Danse
3. Total Job
4. Let the Poison Spill from Your Throat
5. Your Retro Career Melted
6. Posed to Death
7. The Conductor
9. Ballad of a Paralysed Citizen
CD2 - Bonus Tracks
1. Take Me to the Hospital
4. Falling out of Love at this Volume
5. The Conductor (Thin White Duke Remix)
6. Glass Danse (Out Hud Remix)$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP + 2CDs - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Band Of Outsiders
Limited Edition Black And Red Splattered Vinyl
When jazz hits you in the face with a stack of bricks, Mike Dillon is there...twisting chaos into order before turning it back on itself again. -Splinters & Candy
The Mike Dillon Band is a predictably gruesome and sublime elixir of stealthy jazz vibes, street poetry raps and post-punk sonic carnage. -Boulder Weekly
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, at least when The Mike Dillon Band is supplying the dance music. The psychedelic rock group shakes and gyrates with heavy, vibraphone driven grooves, delivering a steady stream of infectious rhythms and hypnotic percussion. -Pittsburgh City Paper
How many artists can claim being praised a punk rock provocateur, jazz vibraphone visionary and percussion virtuoso in the same sentence? There's only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Brave Combo and Ani DiFranco, collaborations such as Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he's fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now.
With his latest effort, Band of Outsiders-released via Brooklyn label The Royal Potato Family-Mike Dillon has conjured the perfect storm of all these past endeavors. His manic creative vision found its match in three young musicians he met in New Orleans. Carly Meyers-whom Dillon describes as "a High Priestess of Trombone who channels the energy of Iggy Pop through the chops of JJ Johnson in second-line parade"-provides harmonic counterpoint to his vibes and percussion ("All Walks of Life") as she simultaneously ups the band's art-rock ante ("Carly Hates The Dubstep"). The rhythm section of bassist Patrick McDevitt and drummer Adam Gertner turns on a dime between snarling punk rock assaults ("Homeland Insecurity"), deep funky go-go ("Head"), ska grooves ("Here The Burro") and experimental hip-hop beats ("7AM At The Jazzfest") with all points covered in between.
Dillon recorded Band of Outsiders at Studio Center in Miami with the help of co-producers Gary Vandy and Richard Maloney Jr. Vandy is an old school engineer whose work includes over 200 platinum records predominantly in the disco and dance genres. His love of Zappa is what attracted him to Dillon's work. In the age of pro-tools chicanery, the production is straightforward, capturing Dillon and his band playing live in a room.
"Two tours of Mexico and a steady dose of Brazilian music was the jumping off point for these new songs," explains Dillon. "Add our love for The Melvins, Deerhoof, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Trouble Funk and all things New Orleans and this album surpasses our intention to make the freakiest, most vibrant dance music on the planet."
Lyrically speaking, Mike Dillon draws from his love of Miguel de Cervantes, William Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson to tell stories of New Orleans debauchery mixed with age-old themes of travel, love, self-destruction and greed. Delivered with Dillon's trademark vocal rasp, the record has the intensity of a Tom Waits-meets-Frank Zappa black comedy. Rumor has it that Dillon lived for the past seven years in the same apartment that Waits shared with Rickie Lee Jones. Dillon discounts those rumors: This apartment has housed dudes from Morning 40 Federation, Ani DiFranco, an old Conga player and a bunch of heroin addicts."
Taken in its entirety, Mike Dillon's Band of Outsiders is a snapshot of four musicians hitting full stride. Having relentlessly toured the country in 2013-both headlining and opening for artists like Fishbone, Clutch, Primus and Galactic-its 13 songs bristle with a group mind, spill over the sides with the visions invoked during countless dead-of-night drives crisscrossing the country in a van and hit their target with a sonic assault only possible from a band that's played 400-plus shows over the last two years.
"People are always trying to figure out how to describe our music. Maybe we should call it New Orleans punk jazz Brazilian math rock? It's a gumbo of tribal percussion, The Meters, old school hardcore, Brazil, hard bop and anything else that might move us," concludes Dillon. "But you know, I really don't care what you call it. We kick out the jams harder than anyone, and we also know when to heed the lessons of The Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime and keep things straight to the point. There's a reason we called the record what we did. We're the living, breathing definition of a band of outsiders, but together we deliver simple majestic beauty, let's leave it at that."1. Head
2. Hand of God
3. Homeland Insecurity
4. Hero The Burro
5. Carly Hates The Dubstep
6. Great Lakes Tuna
8. All Walks of Life 9. Celebrate the Hate
10. 7AM at the Jazzfest
11. So Long Pal
12. Baby Flint Talk
13. Dauphine & Desire$16.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Silver KobaltIn between work for Björk, The Cinematic Orchestra and Anoushka Shankar, the prodigious Hang player and percussionist Manu Delago has inked a deal with Tru Thoughts to release his own new album, 'Silver Kobalt'. The ambitious LP draws lines from pop to the avant-garde.
Aged just 30, Manu Delago is the world's leading Hang player (with 5 million YouTube views for his DIY performance video "Mono Desire") and possesses equally virtuosic skills as a percussionist and drummer alongside ever maturing instincts as a songwriter and producer. The accessible yet startlingly original sound of 'Silver Kobalt' draws on the experience and ideas built up by the London based Austrian native across a high-flying and diverse career to date. From overachieving teenaged rock bands, through extensive classical training; from his exploits at the cutting edge of art pop as the lynchpin of Björk's band, to a London Symphony Orchestra commission which saw him playfully subverting their expectations; this endlessly curious artist has been honing his own style rich in melody, wit and invention.
The title, 'Silver Kobalt', plays on the strangely linked themes of magnets, goblins and human behaviour. Throwing a pair of small magnets in the air one day, Delago recorded their frantic, thrumming sound for the track "Plus Minus"; he also experimented with the detuning effect of a magnet on the Hang. Magnet fascination deepening, he read that some rare elements are permanently magnetised, of which one is cobalt. Then, up popped the pleasing story that cobalt was actually named after the German word for 'goblin' ('kobold') by hapless silver miners who suspected little kobolds had taken all the silver and left them with this substance. Further reading revealed also that all humans contain cobalt which we need to survive. "I really enjoyed this string of information", he says. "As well as this fun idea of little goblins within us, it really struck a chord because I had been thinking a lot about attraction and repulsion - what makes people magnetically drawn to some things, away from others - and that is a strong theme in the music. 'Silver Kobalt' tied it all together."
Tying together the many sonic threads is co-producer Matt Robertson (Björk, The Prodigy, The Streets, Bat For Lashes), following his work on Delago's acclaimed 2013 LP 'Bigger Than Home', the record on which he began to truly develop his current sound. This is a sound that revolves around the unique timbre of the Hang, but encompasses much more, from acoustic percussion, bassoon, piano and chimes to multi-layered beats and a variety of synths.
The hypnotic, nursery rhyme-like Hang melody of lead single "Disgustingly Beautiful" feat. Isa Kurz opens the album; the affecting vocals of Kurz (also the pianist and violinist on record and in the live outfit Manu Delago Handmade) ride a bass-heavy undercurrent, with added beats from Grammy nominated producer j.viewz. On the spiky yet melodically catchy "Plus Minus", the aforementioned magnet theme is extended into the composition, with two main lines that are pulled together and pushed apart. "Drumheart feat. Anil Sebastian" is pristine bassy pop lifted onto another plane by the haunting, androgynous vocals of the up-and-coming singer.
Stealthily moving into a fascinating instrumental section, "Down to the Summit" (which, unusually, uses the Indian drone instrument Surpeti for harmony) leads to the punchy, subby Hang sound and four-handed piano tinkering of "Wandering Around" and on to the joyful "Simon is Psychling", which calls to mind a DJ with speakers on a bike, circling a big field, one lap bringing a bassoon solo, another an industrial noise-fest. Restoring calm, "Sun In The North feat. Isa Kurz" is a potent lyrical snapshot from a day on the beach on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, its rhythms inspired by playing with Indian musicians there. Cobalt gets its glory in the shape-shifting "Chemical Reaction feat. Rahel", and the lovelorn "Dearest" was conceived on tour in Australia where Delago captured the fairytale vocals of celebrated Australian folk singer Katie Noonan. "Almost Thirty", in Delago's words, "draws a bow from Eurotrash Dance Music to Austrian folk music, with some brainy immature rhythm ejaculations in between"; a banger that skirts the border between strange-town and club-land, it is a thrilling way to see out both his third decade on Earth and the album.
Having been given his first drum kit aged two, also learning the accordion and piano in childhood, Manu Delago was a professional performer by his teens, but it was in 2003, when he began playing the Hang - an enchanting new sound sculpture from Switzerland - that he discovered his passion for writing music. On graduating from the university Mozarteum in Innsbruck, he moved to London and studied at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Trinity College of Music. With this pedigree, the lessons learned from collaborating with his heroes, and influences from The Prodigy to Bon Iver, Michael Jackson to Stravinsky and Beyonce to Rage against the Machine, his music is as impeccably realised as it is impossible to classify. Delago has featured heavily in the world's media, having toured on six continents and played festivals including Shambala, Green Man, Haldern Pop, Reeperbahn, Eurosonic and Popfest Vienna.1. Disgustingly Beautiful feat. Isa Kurz
2. Plus Minus
3. Drumheart feat. Anil Sebastian
4. Down to the Summit
5. Wandering Around
6. Simon is Psychling [sic]
7. Sun in the North feat. Isa Kurz
8. Dearest feat. Katie Noonan$14.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Look Of LoveThe Look of Love doesn't tamper with Diana Krall's ongoing success, continuing the emphasis on romantic ballads and embracing them with lush string arrangements. At the core, of course, is Krall's voice. She's developing into one of the great torch singers, with an approach that's both direct and subtly nuanced, true to the song and yet deeply personal.
There's a combination of restraint and drama here, as Krall ranges from the confident to the wistful, from loss to playful insinuation, as each song requires. Cry Me a River is bittersweet triumph, while Love Letters and Maybe You'll Be There maintain the most tenuous emotional hold, at once fragile and resilient. Besame Mucho and Dancing in the Dark are sultry romances wafted on light Latin beats. The songs develop their intimacy in the setting of Krall's quartet, which usually includes bassist Christian McBride and drummer Peter Erskine and several fine guitarists, most frequently Russell Malone. They're a superb complement to her voice and piano, and the close communication carries through the depth and sheen added by Claus Ogerman's rich orchestrations. -Stuart Broomer1. S'Wonderful
2. Love Letters
3. I Remember You
4. Cry Me A River
5. Besame Mucho
6. Night We Called It A Day
7. Dancing In The Dark
8. I Get Along Without You Very Well
9. Look Of Love
10. Maybe You'll Be There$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Smith WesternsRummaging through 1970s glam, Phil Spector teen-pop, and Nuggets garage-punk with the youthful abandon of kids finding new toys in the attic, the Smith Westerns' self-titled debut exudes an earnestness almost as pure as its recording levels are deafening. Their simple, sweet choruses about boys and girls in love could spike the punch at a 1970s TV show school dance.
When singing guitarist Cullen Omori, his bassist brother Cameron, second guitarist Max Kakacek, and a drummer known as Hal have the tunes to make themselves heard over their vintage aesthetic, The Smith Westerns' teenage kicks are hard to beat. Take string-swept glam ballad Be My Girl. which softly punctuates one of the year's most wrenchingly innocent hooks with somewhat risque pick-up lines. There's less lyrical subtext, but no less raunchy production, on the glam-rock boogie of Girl in Love, a come-on cursorily addressing the fleetingness of youth. It's only fitting that the Smith Westerns both look and sound like the Black Lips' good-bad not-evil twins.
These guys are sort of literally true to their school, garage-rocker Miss Alex White is a fellow Northside College Prep magnet-school alum, and their time on the road with the likes of Jay Reatard and Nobunny is evident on fine 60s-style frat-rocker Gimme Some Time. With fuzzed-out xylophone, frenetic opener Dreams suggests the group's most recent tour with Girls and Los Campesinos! might serve them better for a follow-up. Diamond Boys almost earns its piano on the strength of its adolescent grandiosity, but We Stay Out lets lo-fi become the end rather than the means, with a guitar line that sounds like a bee buzzing underwater.1. Dreams
2. Boys Are Fine
3. Gimme Some Time
4. Girl In Love
5. We Stay Out
7. Be My Girl
8. The Glam Goddess
9. Diamond Boys
10. My Heart$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ranked 316/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
They say you can never go home again.
Yet, on their new Interscope Records release and fifth album, Rock Steady, No Doubt has embarked on a globe-spanning musical adventure that proves, once and for all, that home is where the heart is.
At the heart of the quartet's fifteen-year musical journey is a sound, a style and a sensibility that celebrates their enduring bond with millions of fans worldwide: the sheer pleasure of pure pop - danceable, hummable, instantly accessible songs that have become indispensable additions to the soundtrack of our life and times. And now with Rock Steady, that soundtrack signals a return to some of the key creative elements that have made No Doubt one of today's most popular and enduring bands. Simply put, No Doubt is ready to party.
"It's the hardest thing in the world just to be simple, to let the music and the words speak for what you're feeling and, hopefully, to share that feeling. And the feeling we all shared on this album turned out to be pretty simple, too: we were in a good mood."
So says vocalist, lyricist and glorious gamine Gwen Stefani on the inspiration that ignited the dozen deliriously entertaining new tracks comprising Rock Steady. With all-original material penned by Gwen and No Doubt's dynamic songwriting duo of Tony Kanal and Tom Dumont and a roster of producers that pretty much covers the cutting edge of the studio art, Rock Steady, recorded in such far flung locations as London and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Jamaica, is without question the most eclectic, wide-ranging and stylistically diverse offering in the band's extraordinary career. It is also a loving tribute to the musical roots that have nourished No Doubt from their very inception.
"We were on tour pretty much all of last year," explains drummer Adrian Young, "and whenever we had some down time, we found ourselves listening to lots of dancehall. It was kind of like getting back to where we once belonged." Dancehall, the exuberant evolution of reggae, ska and calypso currently rocking the clubs and studios of Jamaica, proved a potent point of departure for the group when they convened in early 2001 to begin work on a new album. "We were part of the whole ska revival back when we first got together," continues Adrian. "The fact is, we had to work hard to prove we had a wider range, and I guess we did that. Because this time around we didn't feel like we had anything to prove. The whole point was to follow the music, wherever it led."
"Following the music" would lead the quartet to a variety of exotic locales as they indulged their instincts and experimented with sounds and settings that would capture the sensational new music beginning to emerge. "This album was less about technique and more about attitude," asserts Tony. "We took it one day at a time and it became a very spontaneous process. Tom had set up a studio at his place in L.A. and we'd meet there just to try out different ideas. Whereas before we'd write everything with a guitar or bass, this time we started with just beats and grooves and keyboards and built from there. After a week or two of songwriting, Gwen had a trip planned to London. Since we were having such a good time we just packed up and followed her over there. We knew we were onto something."
"It felt like starting over," is Tom's assessment. "We had spent two years working on Return Of Saturn because we felt it was important to prove we could do a record that had depth and substance. Once we got that out of our system it was time to have some fun."
Return Of Saturn, the group's smash 2000 release, did indeed establish No Doubt's ability to fashion songs of substance as well as style. It also conclusively demonstrated that the group's 1995 breakthrough release, Tragic Kingdom was more than a flash in the pan, although it was a distinctly dazzling flash that elevated the group to world class status with a solid string of hit singles. "We'd already done most of what we'd set out to accomplish," continues Tom. "We wanted try something fresh."
Something fresh and, as it turned out, something tried and true. "With all the dancehall we'd been listening to it was only natural that some of that rhythm would seep into our new songs," Gwen adds. "We ended up going to Jamaica without really knowing exactly what we'd find when we got there. That was the whole plan from the beginning not to have a plan."
What No Doubt found in the lush musical environs of the island was a creative collaboration with some of Jamaica's most revered producers including the legendary team of Sly & Robbie who sat behind the board for the album's debut single "Hey Baby" and "Underneath It All," a tune written by Gwen with Eurthymics mainstay Dave Stewart during the group's London sojourn. They would also go on record with the fast rising dancehall duo of Steely & Clevie, who worked their magic for the incendiary selection, "Start The Fire." Remarks Tom, "Going to Jamaica and working with the great artists there had always been a dream of ours. Having that opportunity is one the best things about having some success. It's more important than any amount of fame or fortune."
As the spring of 2001 turned to summer the pace of recording stepped up, along with the group's increasingly bold ventures into new creative territory. In Los Angeles they added hip-hop to the mix with the streetwise sensibilities of The Neptunes, co-writers on the album's opening track, the scorching "Hella Good." Next they huddled with high-profile mixmaster Nellee Hooper on Rock Steady's title track as well as such standout selections as "In My Head," "Running," "Detective" and the above mentioned "Hella Good." Along the way they logged time with William Orbit for "Making Out," Ric Ocasek on "Platinum Blonde Life" and "Don't Let Me Down," and the inimitable Prince who co-produced and provided backing vocals on the drop dead gorgeous "Waiting Room."
But mixing and matching songs and producers was only part of the creative evolution that took place with Rock Steady. Says Tony, "Our attitude from the beginning was that we'd do whatever it took to make the music work. We've always been a very self-contained unit. This time we wanted to open it up, to find out what other people could bring to the party."
"The whole album was an exercise in spontaneity," adds Gwen, "and that challenged me to write more directly from my thoughts and feelings. I threw away my thesaurus and put aside my influences, everyone from Joni Mitchell to Sylvia Plath. I wanted to write songs about how it felt to be alive right now and that feeling, despite everything that going on in the world, is optimistic and full of hope. This is a time to affirm what's good and positive in our lives and if we can convey even a small part of the fun and excitement we had making this music, then we've done what we set out to do."
Hot on the heels of Rock Steady's release comes news of an extensive touring schedule that includes select dates with U2 as well as an extensive itinerary of international headlining dates. "We're primarily a live band," comments Tony. "That's how we started and that's how we maintain contact with our fans. Over the past couple of years, as the No Doubt machine got bigger, it's been more difficult to maintain that connection. But this time around,we're determined to stay true to the spirit of the music. It's about having a good time, about dancing in aisles and singing along. We all need that and it's what this tour is going to be about."
"After fifteen years together you naturally create all kinds of rules about how things should be," concludes Gwen. "There comes a time when you've got to throw the rules out and start all over again. That's what keeps it fun and interesting. For us that time has come."
It's a sentiment that gets to the heart of the brilliant music on Rock Steady, an album that finds No Doubt comfortable at home with the risks and rewards of true originality. It's also proof positive that, when No Doubt throws a party, everyone's invited.LP1
2. Hella Good
3. Hey Baby
4. Making Out
5. Underneath It All
7. Don't Let Me Down
1. Start The Fire
3. In My Head
4. Platinum Blonde Life
5. Waiting Room
6. Rock Steady$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Weird and mournful yet highly rhythmic, Brooklyn's
Glass Ghost offers dance-friendly art pop.
- TIME OUT NEW YORK
...that irresistible, disjointed mix of pop hooks and
...an affecting, gently aspirated bedtime piece...In
tune and percussion it struck me as the nocturnal
cousin to Merriweather Post Pavilion's Guys Eyes.
...a fractured bit of art-pop featuring...intoned
falsetto over some spare production and airy beats.
Since the release of their debut album Idol Omen in 2009, Glass Ghost's founding members Eliot
Krimsky and Michael Johnson have kept busy. In addition to playing dozens of shows, including
a tour with White Rabbits, Johnson joined Dirty Projectors as their new drummer, Krimsky has
been collaborating with Here We Go Magic on keys, and the duo welcomed two new members to
the group, Tyler Wood on keyboards and percussion, and Aerial East on vocals. Like their debut,
LYFE was produced by Tyler Wood, who also produced Joan As Policewoman's 2014 album The
Classic. For the LYFE recording sessions, the group recruited many of their friends to contribute, including Joan Wasser of Joan As Policewoman, Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors, and
Christopher Tignor of Slow Six and Wires Under Tension. Pushing their songs to new levels by
working with Brooklyn's musical elite is nothing new for Glass Ghost. They worked with more
than a dozen of their friends from Brooklyn's music community, including Sharon Van Etten
(who in 2011 noted "Eliot Krimsky is one of my favorite writers."), Here We Go Magic's Luke
Temple, and Matt Iwanusa of Caveman, for their debut which was described by the New Yorker
as "elegant compositions of frosted indie pop," and by Time Out New York as "weird and mournful yet highly rhythmic.
On their new album LYFE, Krimsky (who's currently working on his M.A. in Media Studies at The
New School, where he's exploring the convergence of technological mediation, identity and
music) turns his observations of the absurd and mundane into metaphors about living in a
world where every detail about your life is harvested, quantified, and used by marketing companies to manipulate your behavior. Rather than sounding didactic or overly intellectual, the
songs provide windows into the band's internal world, as Krimsky's tender falsetto glides over
the icy landscapes of synths, strings, woodwinds, and regal horns. As the product of Krimsky,
Johnson, and Wood's mutual trust, vision, and relentless attention to every detail, LYFE masterfully blends airy, melancholy, and chilly atmospherics with Glass Ghost's irresistible bottom-heavy grooves and hooky pop sensibilities.1. Life Is For The Living
2. Sound of Money
4. Wait A Second
6. Home For the Holidays
8. American Dollar
9. Hearing The Sound
10. Traveling With You
11. Outro$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now