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  • Ghost Of David Ghost Of David Quick View

    $18.99
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    Ghost Of David

    Ghost of David, the third album by Damien Jurado, is now available on vinyl and cassette for the first time. Originally released September 19th, 2000, Ghost of David has sold over 13,000 copies to date. Damien Jurado is an urban-folk singer with his hand in the baskets of all the right fringe genres. He's a storyteller, and the stories have matured steadily since he first appeared on the scene with the perfect balance of lighthearted pop and saddest of the sad on his early singles and first full-length, Waters Ave S. Since then, (with his second full-length, Rehearsals for Departure, the Gather in Song EP (both from 1999), and this year's collection of found recordings, Postcards and Audio Letters) he's moved more toward the dark, and if you ask him, he'll tell you point blank that it's in the dark where you'll find us all.
    1. Medication
    2. Desert
    3. Johnny Go Riding
    4. Great Today
    5. Tonight I Will Retire
    6. Ghost of David
    7. Parking Lot
    8. Rearview
    9. Paxil
    10. Walk With Me
    11. December
    12. Rosewood & Casket
    13. Ghost In the Snow
    Damien Jurado
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Ghost Who Walks The Ghost Who Walks Quick View

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    The Ghost Who Walks

    On her debut disc, The Ghost Who Walks, Karen Elson spins intriguingly unsettling tales of lost love, dashed hope, romantic betrayal and various crimes of passion witnessed only by the full moon. In a coolly inviting voice, strumming an acoustic guitar, she summons up a dark yet seductive atmosphere, an after-midnight world that's irresistibly alluring. The arrangements for her small band - featuring the virtuosic Jackson Smith on guitar, Elson's longtime collaborator Rachelle Garniez on accordion and vocals, and husband-producer Jack White on drums -- evoke the lonesome side of country (''Cruel Summer'') or the tormented side of the blues (''The Truth Is In the Dirt''), with eerie organ touches, and keening electric guitars.


    Until now, the British-born Elson has been better known as a top model, the face of ad campaigns for, among others, Armani, Prada, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent's Poison. With her pale white skin and shocking red hair, she seems an almost otherworldly presence on any given glossy page. While she assiduously worked as the face of various brands, she conducted an altogether different life behind the scenes as a singer and songwriter, honing what has proven to be her considerable skills. In part, she learned by doing: for the last five years, she's been a member, alongside Garniez, in the Weimar-style cabaret of New York City-based art and music collective The Citizens Band. Two of her more theatrical tracks, ''100 Years From Now'' and ''Mouths To Feed,'' inspired in part by author Tim Egan's dust bowl saga, The Worst Hard Time, were originally penned for her troupe, which combines bawdy entertainment with barbed political commentary.


    The Ghost Who Walks may not be drawn literally from Elson's life, but it does represent an aspect of her psyche she's been brave enough to explore: ''I'm very much interested in the dark side of things. In my life, truthfully, I've had a lot of bizarre and dark experiences that have definitely colored the way I think about a lot of personal things. The music I have always listened to as well has had a sorrowful, mournful, if not murderous, quality to it.'' She pauses to laugh. ''I'm not saying I would ever want to kill anybody, but sometimes love can drag you to the very depths of yourself and - my God - make you so desperate and forlorn. I really respond to songs that write about that. Hank Williams, for crying out loud, speaking of being forlorn and forsaken -- there's a song I just heard of his, an early demo, that really resonated with me. Those songs move me in a way that happy go lucky songs don't.''

    1. The Ghost Who Walks

    2. The Truth Is In The Dirt

    3. Pretty Babies

    4. Lunasa

    5. 100 Years From Now

    6. Stolen Roses

    7. Cruel Summer

    8. Garden

    9. The Birds They Circle

    10. A Thief At My Door

    11. The Last Laugh

    12. Mouths To Feed
    Karen Elson
    $18.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • You and the Night Soundtrack You and the Night Soundtrack Quick View

    $20.99
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    You and the Night Soundtrack


    "This score is really for lovers and ghosts." -Anthony Gonzalez


    M83 is excited to announce their latest collaboration: the soundtrack to Yann Gonzalez's first feature film, You And The Night. Anthony warns that You And The Night is not a typical M83 release. "People who only like "Midnight City" are going to be disappointed. Mellow and romantic, this soundtrack pays tribute to French soundtracks from the 70s and is much more intimate than Hurry Up, We're Dreaming and the Oblivion Soundtrack. This score is really for lovers and ghosts."


    Growing up together in Antibes, France, Anthony and his brother Yann were both inspired from an early age by European filmmakers such as Luis Bunuel, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Similar themes underline each of their individual artistic expressions, via both film and music: an appreciation for the majesty of hope and an overall embrace of humanity. Describing his career up until now, Yann explains "if all of my films are put together they form a kind of ensemble, a sort of community. And that is precisely what You And The Night is about: an emotional community, the utopia of a community." For the Gonzalez brothers community and family allowed them to grow into their roles as filmmakers and musicians, so when the time came to chose someone to create a soundtrack for his first feature film it was obvious that Yann would look to work with his brother. "Music is an organic part of the films I make." "M83's compositions bring together the most diverse kinds of music that can only communicate in the end through the logic of emotion and the faith you place in them."


    For Anthony You And The Night is a film about love, loss, new love and melancholia. He comments "The movie is very emotional and it's the movie of my brother, so it was a very important project for me. Yet as we share the same values, have the same artistic influences, it was also a very natural and uncomplicated process."


    In creating this sultry and luminous soundtrack Anthony reunited with several of his previous collaborators. Joe Trapanese (Oblivion, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming) returned to assist with the orchestral arrangements, whilst long-term M83 collaborator Morgan Kibby (M83, White Sea) and Susanne Sundfør (Oblivion) performed vocals on several tracks on the album. Evolving from their time working together on Oblivion's title track, it seemed a natural step for Sundfør to become involved in the recording sessions for You And The Night. Susanne comments "It was very inspiring to see how Anthony works and how his perfectionism and high ambitions brought out the best in everyone around him. It's something I'm grateful to have been a part of, and I think the soundtrack ended up sounding beautiful and mystical, just like the movie."


    Once again You And The Night highlights the musical richness of M83 and adds an impressive chapter to the growing repertoire of work that Gonzalez has produced since his initial, self-titled release. M83, in 2001, right through to the 2011 Grammy Nominated release Nominated Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, which included the platinum selling hit-single "Midnight City".


    Though of course, as Anthony warns, don't expect to hear anything like that on this record!

    1. L'inconnu
    2. Nous
    3. Vision
    4. a la Lumiere des Diamants
    5. Mon Enfant
    6. First Light
    7. Ali & Matthias
    8. a la Lumiere des Diamants II
    9. Holograms
    10. Vision II
    11. Nous II
    12. Ali & Matthias II
    13. Too Sudden Silence
    14. Adieux
    15. Un Nouveau Soleil
    M83
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Dear Youth Dear Youth Quick View

    $19.99
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    Dear Youth

    Los Angeles hardcore band The Ghost Inside will release their fourth album Dear Youth on Epitaph Records. The album was co-produced by Jeremy McKinnon and Andrew Wade.


    Front man Jonathan Vigil explains the album concept in a letter written to his younger self:


    Dear Youth,


    I'm writing to you now because it seems I've lost my way. I can't pinpoint exactly when it started, but I know that it's not like it was before. I've realized the more time that passes, the more we lose touch. It's starting to feel like all I ever do now is lose touch with things. But not you, I never wanted to lose you.


    I wish I had something to blame it all on, but I don't. One day I was there and the next I was here. As if I was dreaming and suddenly woken up. These days I'm always wondering if what I've done is enough. It's getting harder and harder for me to shake this feeling of stagnance.


    So old friend I'm writing to ask you what it feels like to have the whole world in your hand? Where we could set out and do anything that we imagined. Endless possibilities way before complacence set in. To be honest with you, I've forgotten what that all feels like. There was a wonder about us that has long since faded. That sense of excitement, I miss it.


    Dear youth, will you show me again? I need to be reminded of those times, back before this began...


    - xx

    1. Avalanche
    2. Move Me
    3. Out Of Control
    4. With The Wolves
    5. Mercy
    6. Phoenix Flame
    7. Dear Youth (Day 52)
    8. Wide Eyed
    9. My Endnote
    10. The Other Half
    11. Blank Pages
    The Ghost Inside
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
  • Homesick Homesick Quick View

    $20.99
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    Homesick

    Before digging into the steely, handcrafted technoisms of Homesick, you need to
    know a few things about Charles Du , the Bay Area artist behind Matrixxman.
    Perhaps most importantly, he is a dedicated futurist-quick to name Google's
    director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, as a major personal inspiration, and prone to
    contemplating artificial intelligence and a true post-corporeal reality. He's also a
    voracious information junkie, soaking up government conspiracies and
    contemporary science-fiction like a proper X-Files fanatic. These cultural reference
    points are as integral to the background of Homesick as Detroit, Chicago, and
    Berlin's musical legacies. Across the record's versatile tracklist, Matrixxman uses
    the language of machines and dancefloors like a hungry pulp novelist, weaving
    together his divergent narratives and characters under one sprawling dystopian
    sky.


    If you listened to house and techno in 2014, you've undoubtedly heard the name
    Matrixxman. The guy has been on a prolific tear since debuting his project in 2013,
    having issued no fewer than 12 cold-ass futuristic releases and taken his
    genre-blurring DJ sets around the world in under two years. But his story reaches
    much further into the past: back to being a drum & bass-obsessed teenager in the
    late '90s, back to when Du 's best friend changed his life with a Juan Atkins mix
    CD in 2001, back to producing for hotly tipped MCs like Le1f, Ty Dolla Sign, and YG.
    Matrixxman is already a venerable pro with workmanlike constitution, to say the
    least, and yet his debut album has only just materialized.


    My obsession with the darker sides of humanity's exploits gone awry is secondary
    to the more important matter at heart: evolutionary transcendence, Matrixxman
    explains. And his focus on cybernetic themes shines through the music. Emergent
    AI, interplanetary travel, neuroenhancement drugs, incredible opulence
    juxtaposed with abject poverty, leaving physical form and existing as data-Homesick
    distills the concepts into thick acid lines, brawny 909 patterns, tonal contrasts,
    dynamic aesthetics, and viscous pads steeped in digital ephemera. It begins with
    Necronomicon, a massive black cloud of noxious ambience looming over our
    story, and ends on the astral mysticism of Earth Like Conditions. Yes, there is an
    arc built into Homesick, and the sci-fi epic it illustrates seizes your undivided
    attention.


    Even the tracklist speaks volumes to the record's music and narrative-from the
    enhanced motorik systems of Augmented and Network Failure's cognitive
    dissonance, to the dark hedonism in Opium Den and the drum machine violence
    that drives Switchblade. As Matrixxman says himself, The titles correlate to
    distinct, separate scenes. And those visuals just about come alive on tracks like
    Packard Plant-a whirring, windswept homage to the desolate Detroit
    landmark-or the album's haunted and distant centerpiece, Annika's Theme. Du
    is quick to share Annika's identity: She's an incredibly gifted neuroscientist,
    pursuing cutting-edge research in fields that will have a profound impact on
    humanity. But what exactly she accomplishes and where she goes is unexplained.
    Homesick outlines the cues needed to follow along, careful to leave room for us to
    fill in the details.


    Matrixxman uses his debut album to evoke visions of a not-too-distant-future with
    music made both for the dancefloor and the early morning zone-outs that follow.
    These are the real world applications of Homesick, though Du comes to it all from
    an entirely di erent mindset. We will have the technological capability to fully
    map out a human brain in its entirety within 30 years, he starts. The implications
    of such a possibility are deep and far reaching. We will be crossing a rubicon
    towards a new phase in human consciousness. I am one person that is prepared to
    take that step. Once you emerge on the other side of Homesick, it seems possible
    that Matrixxman already has.

    1. Necronomicon
    2. Augmented
    3. Red Light District
    4. Packard Plant
    5. Dejected
    6. Network Failure
    7. False Pattern Recognition
    8. Opium Den
    9. Annika's Theme
    10. HMU (Hit Me Up) feat. Vin Sol
    11. Switchblade
    12. Earth Like Conditions
    Matrixxman
    $20.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Ultima II Massage Ultima II Massage Quick View

    $22.99
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    Ultima II Massage

    TOBACCO can't have nice things.


    On his third album, the Pennsylvania snake-synth-charmer deepens his approach
    to aural depravity. Ultima II Massage widens a jagged swath through the dude's
    own weird catalog, each disparate track damaged to the point of contributing to
    some sort of greater, lurching Frankenstein-like state. "I spent a lot of time
    breaking it in all the right places," says TOBACCO. "It ends up making the whole
    thing breathe - sometimes gasp for air. It feels more alive." Immediately after
    nishing 2010's Maniac Meat, he went to work on the beat-addled series begun
    with Fucked Up Friends in 2008. There were notable breaks en route to now - a
    surprising commission to remix White Zombie's "Thunder Kiss '65," a new BMSR
    record (Cobra Juicy), and producing Demon Queen's Exorcise Tape with vocalist
    Zackey Force Funk - but he saved the worst for last, amassing the most
    misanthropic material for Ultima. To wit, SPIN dubbed early share "Lipstick
    Destroyer" a "junkyard takedown of Daft Punk's beloved, pristine electro."
    TOBACCO explains his modied approach: "I wanted to push each song just
    enough, so that even when the album's at its wildest, it's something you can zone
    out to. It feels like a denitive end to a concept I've been trying to perfect forever.
    Maniac Meat was linear. This time I wanted to do a lot of di!erent things and have
    them come together as one meditative piece. At least for myself."


    Which, oddly enough, makes sense. This is easily TOBACCO's most diverse set to
    date - his own Stereopathetic Soulmanure, but about that 1-900 hotline life:
    massage parlors, plasticized sleaze, fake tans, old dial-ups to the fan clubs of
    dead B-actors. Fittingly, the album's only contributor is Beck music director Brian
    LeBarton who shrieks as Notrabel on the grimy freak-out "Streaker." At 17 tracks,
    Ultima is stacked with beautifully perverse hits - from the sickly sticky "Eruption,"
    to the wobbly demon swaggerer "Face Breakout," to the distorted punk spazz of
    "Dipsmack," to the apocalyptic sepia ambience of "Spitlord." You may hear
    disembodied bits of Boards of Canada, early Def Jam records, and Gary Numan,
    or maybe just public-access TV and bad VHS dubs of '80s horror icks. Or the sun
    exploding and everything you've ever loved melting. Again, TOBACCO was just
    trying to make meditation music.


    But to nd that rotted sweet spot, as always, he had to subvert his pop urges.
    TOBACCO went back to the cassette decks he started o! with - analog weapons
    of distortion to compliment his hissing vocoder and blown rhythms. Any moment
    that felt "just right" was brutally assaulted until ugly again. All to accomplish one
    end: "This might be my most purposely difcult album yet, but I promise if you let
    it in, it can fuck you up."


    Ultima II Massage. No happy ending.

    1. Streaker (ft. Notrabel)
    2. Good Complexion
    3. Video Warning Attempts
    4. Eruption
    5. Lipstick Destroyer
    6. Self Tanner
    7. Face Breakout
    8. Blow Your Heart
    9. Beast Sting
    10. Dipsmack
    11. Creaming for Beginners
    12. Omen Classic
    13. Pool City, McKnight Road
    14. Spitlord
    15. Father Sister Berzerker
    16. The Touch from Within
    Tobacco
    $22.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • How To Get To Heaven From Scotland How To Get To Heaven From Scotland Quick View

    $69.99
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    How To Get To Heaven From Scotland

    Last time we heard from Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap), it was with the wonderful, darkly humorous, spoken word album and book package I Can Hear Your Heart, which received rave reviews upon its February 2008 release. Less than a year later, the 35 year-old Moffat is back in a new guise, as frontman of Aidan Moffat and the Best Ofs.


    It's not really a band, says Moffat, So much as an open-door club where anyone with a talent for something I like the sound of is welcome. There's no line-up in any traditional sense and members come and go according to their availability, but for this album, the band includes Stevie Jones (Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan's band) and Alun Woodward (ex-Delgados/Lord Cut-Glass.) How To Get To Heaven From Scotland was recorded simultaneously with I Can Hear Your Heart.


    I decided it was time that I attempted to write some positive love songs, which is incredibly difficult to do if you want to avoid cliche and repetition, explains Moffat. You have to try to make them both personal and universal, which also can be quite difficult; you have to try to forget other people are going to hear them while also making sure it will appeal to an audience. There's a lot more sunshine and happy endings on this record, plus a song about my grandfather's non-existent ghost and a lullaby about the terror of impending fatherhood. Hopefully I've managed to keep it at least diverting for the 37 minutes it lasts.

    1. Lovers Song
    2. Big Blonde
    3. Atheists Lament
    4. Oh Men!
    5. A Scenic Route to the Isle of Ewe
    6. Thats Just Love
    7. Ballad of the Unsent Letter
    8. Now I Know Im Right
    9. The Last Kiss
    10. Lullaby for Unborn Child
    11. Living with You Now
    12. My Goodbye
    Aidan Moffat And The Best-Ofs
    $69.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • All Harm Ends Here All Harm Ends Here Quick View

    $14.99
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    All Harm Ends Here

    The Early Day Miners Good Time Band is back with another platter of Midwest post-goth. Having already introduced their new rhythm section (Matt Griffin on drums and Jonathan Richardson on bass) to the world over the course of their last two tours, with All Harm Ends Here Early Day Miners have combined the lushness of their second album Let Us Garlands Bring with the conciseness of their last full-length Jefferson At Rest. Moreso than on any of their previous efforts, EDM take both musical and tonal cues from the principal architects of the 80's sad-as-hell dark underground - Echo & the Bunnymen, the Church, early-the Cure, and most notably the Bauhaus/Tones On Tail/Love And Rockets axis. While contemporaries like Bedhead and Interpol have mined primarily the darkest aspects of these long shadows, there lies in Early Day Miners' method an innate sense of hope that transcends even their darkest themes (decay, suicide, desertion). Perhaps this is most evident in the guitar interplay of long-time collaborators Dan Burton (Ativin) and Joseph Brumley. Arpeggios abound, the works of Roger McGuinn and The Edge come to mind in that there is a sense of hopefulness and sublimation which drives the songs to a better place. While the album is filled with death and ghosts of all sorts, its unifying theme is the individual's ability to escape the death and ghosts. Even the making of the album (which was done just outside of the band's hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, on the outskirts of Hoosier National Forest) was plagued by ghosts and phantoms. Recorded at the Old Mt. Gilead Church - recently revamped into a recording studio and still immediately surrounded on three sides by a dozen acres of 150-year old cemetery - principal tracking for All Harm Ends Here was halted for days at a time on multiple occasions when inexplicable flutter infected the reels of tape, almost requiring EDM to relocate its principal tracking altogether. Mixing and overdubbing was done at Burton's own Grotto Home Studio in an effort to evade those ghosts in the machine which possessed Old Mt. Gilead. While the Early Day Miners don't make flashy music, their layered music rewards the repeat listener. If you listen closely enough, in fact, you can hear ghosts in the distance.
    Errance
    Townes
    The Union Trade
    Comfort/Guilt
    All Harm
    Precious Blood
    We Know in Part
    The Way We Live Now
    The Purest Red
    Early Day Miners
    $14.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Membrane Pop Membrane Pop Quick View

    $17.99
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    Membrane Pop

    Membrane Pop is the debut Software Recording Co. release by
    experimental duo Sculpture.


    The self-described opto-musical agglomerate was born in 2008 after a
    chance encounter between British musician Dan Hayhurst and New
    Zealand animator Reuben Sutherland. By combining practices, the pair's
    rst test splattered a psychedelic palette that pushed them to explore
    sensorial intricacies emerging from chance operations.


    Raw materials for Sculpture's music include a mix of analog and digital
    practices. In Hayhurst and Sutherland's hands, tape manipulation,
    samples, found sounds, aleatoric and algorithmic programming and live
    improvisation become more complementary than you might imagine.


    Sculpture draws from experimentalism to promote new potentials for
    pop and electronic music in an age where many of our sci- fantasies
    have become mundane occurrences. "I'm aiming to make a coherent,
    adventurous electronic pop record with its own voice and identity,"
    Hayhurst explains. "I don't think experimental music has to be dark,
    difcult or joyless. I try to make something playful, and maybe a little
    absurd."


    At the center of Membrane Pop is a phenomenological approach to
    sound and performance. "Symbolic Molecule" is a morphing, unsettled
    groove, but its addictive properties remain potent. "Polymorphic
    Operator" bubbles with a sort of chemical effervescence; the ghost of
    Jamaican dub modulating itself into an innite haze. Sculpture's
    compositional predilection emerges amidst scrambled sound worlds in
    "Hackle Scam Populator", while "Distraction Display" is perhaps the
    closest ambient cut on the record.


    What makes Sculpture sculptural (we bet the original Abstract
    Expressionists would have dug them) are moments where their
    craftsmanship feels almost animate within the constraints of musical
    time. In the opening seconds of "Lingual Junk", these moments appear
    to freeze and unthaw an old recording. As the track narrative unfurls,
    you can feel Hayhurst ghting to acclimate the sound from out of
    cryostasis and into his reality.


    If a majority of the music you hear today resembles the hard-set stone
    carvings of history, then Sculpture's offerings are imagined, transitory
    statues with no xed place in time. Hearing Membrane Pop in a different
    context, time or place may well bring about a different experience. Or
    perhaps a similar result.  

    1. Materialising
    2. Multi-Faith Capsule
    3. Symbolic Molecule
    4. Unhitch Your Program
    5. Polymorphic Operator
    6. 5 Seconds in the Future is a You Made of Pure Thought
    7. Hackle Scan Populator
    8. Distraction Display
    9. Lingual Junk
    Sculpture
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Wall Of Sound Wall Of Sound Quick View

    $23.99
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    Wall Of Sound

    I thought WALL OF SOUND would be the toughest album I would ever make. I was so satisfied with my previous album, INFERNO, more than I have ever been in my whole career. Musically, sonically, and most importantly, I was satisfied with the melodies and soundscapes on a personal level. It was as if I finally found the key to something.

    Even as I was still working on INFERNO, I was thinking, how the hell am I ever going to top this next time? I was doomed.

    I started WALL OF SOUND with a daunting blank slate and somehow, ideas came out. Refined ideas, complex ideas, small and large scale ideas and plenty of them.

    It was as if the exhaustive process of putting INFERNO together strengthened a new creative muscle that I had never zoned in on before, so the first steps of writing WALL OF SOUND felt like a runner who runs a marathon after over-training for a long time. I was well warmed up.

    The guitar playing on the album also came quite easy, despite it being without question the most evolved guitar playing of my career. It's a challenge to evolve on one's instrument album after album, especially on your 13th solo album. Luckily this is a challenge that I love. You will find this hard to believe when you hear the density and sheer amount of guitar coming at you from all directions, but in fact, all of the final guitar tracks on WALL OF SOUND were done in 9 days.

    This furious and productive pace was made possible by over a year of making demo after demo and spending more time listening and living with the music rather than playing it. I had lived with the songs and edited them so incredibly many times, that by the time I got to the actual recording studio, it was like I had been playing the whole album on tour for a year already. I learned to do this from making INFERNO. This is why a lot of artists` debut albums are so strong - because they have had so much time to reflect on and fix the music, and also, more importantly, attach real life experiences to the songs. I feel like I have a debut album here.

    Guests:

    Jinxx from Black Veil Brides and I wanted to do something that would shock his fans and my fans. I arranged a monster of a tune called Sorrow & Madness based on a melody that Jinxx wrote on the violin. I took his sweet melody and added so many twists and turns that it became a mammoth of Martyisms in tandem with a large side of Jinxx that has yet to be heard by his fans. We are both very proud of what happened.

    I think Deafheaven is the one heavy band that comes to mind when people ask me to recommend something that`s not Japanese!, I was super excited to work with Shiv from Deafheaven. We wrote Pussy Ghost together and it is one of the most aggressive songs I have ever played, while at the same time evoking grotesquely beautiful moods that I have never felt before. One thing I learned from making INFERNO is that when you have a guest, let them come up with music first. Let it be their baby, so they are personally invested in the song. Then arrange it and do it my way, then add more things together. This gives you a final song that really sounds like both of the people put their heart and souls into the music, as opposed to one guy doing everything and the guest just blasting out a solo somewhere.

    Jorgen from Shining also guested on INFERNO and when we finished that song we immediately started talking about what we would do next. For those who don`t know Shining, they are like a steroided out and genius level musicianed out version of Nine Inch Nails for the 21st century, with a charismatic singer/composer (Jorgen) and a wicked sense of melody, that hits me in the gut on every song. (Just Gimme) Something To Fight is the one vocal track on the record and it kills. Even after finishing this song we have started working on more new things for who know what

    Having super engineer Paul Fig (Ghost, Alice in Chains, Rush), mixer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Lamb of God) and even the producer responsible for many of Queen's biggest hits and my idol Brian May's guitar sounds, Mack do the mixing on 2 of the songs on the album, is an honor for me for sure.

    1. Self Pollution
    2. Sorrow and Madness
    3. Streetlight
    4. Whiteworm
    5. For A Friend
    6. Pussy Ghost
    7. The Blackest Rose
    8. Something to Fight
    9. The Soldier
    10. Miracle
    11. The Last Lament
    Marty Friedman
    $23.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son Quick View

    $16.99
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    Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

    Damien is out of his goddamn mind.


    This isn't a recent development, but it's an important aspect of his work that often goes ignored. In place of
    this key element is the idea that his music is a sober and in-depth excavation of the American landscape and
    rural psyche. Well, folks,I'm sorry, but it's not.


    Damien Jurado is every character in every Damien Jurado song. He is the gun,the purple anteater,the paper
    wings, the avalanche, the airshow disaster, Ohio, the ghost of his best friend's wife. It is a universe unto its
    own,with it's own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy. You might go as far as to call it a religion, and your
    religion is a character in his religion.


    Level with me. You're reading this because of Damien Jurado's new album,Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal
    Son (produced by Richard Swift). You are a progressive minded, left-leaning person who in parlor-style
    conversation regarding the globo-political ramifications of Sky Person relationships laughs knowingly so as
    not to be judgmental and very reasonably concedes "Well, I don't believe He's some old man with a beard
    sitting up in the clouds" at which point everyone agrees on [insert benign middle-ground] and moves on.


    Consider this:What if the only way to understand a religion is to create your own?


    Who is this Silver community? Where the hell are they in the Bible? Is this heresy? Agnostic reference? Isn't
    this sun business a little, I don't know, animistic? Pagan? Go ahead and answer that question for yourself. I'll
    give you a second.


    Do you understand the music any better?


    You know that adage we all use so we have something to say while we shrug our shoulders? "People change"?
    That one. Is that applicable to Jesus Christ? Maybe he's been on a personal journey of discovery since he
    ascended. He went through the 60's, 70's,he turned on,tuned out, got disillusioned. Why can't we talk about
    that Jesus? Does it have to be the old-timey one all the time? American folk Jesus,ugh. The one who's always
    winning Best Soundtrack Oscars for people. Rarely do stories of faith make us identify with Jesus. It's
    Abraham, Satan, Silver Timothy, Salome, Dr.J, Saul of Tarsus; divinely imperfect brothers and sisters who give
    Gawd something to do.


    Damien Jurado made up his own Jesus because a Damien Jurado album needs a beautiful Jesus. Some freaky
    space Jesus that I don't recognize. The name is the same, a lot of the imagery is the same, but he's reborn.
    Born again,I mean. Yeah, as if Jesus got born again. That's what this album sounds like.


    Jesus is out of his goddamn mind and I want to live in Damien's America.


    Sign me up.


    --- Father John Misty; 09-20-2013

    1. Magic Number
    2. Silver Timothy
    3. Return To Maraqopa
    4. Metallic Cloud
    5. Jericho Road
    6. Silver Donna
    7. Silver Malcolm
    8. Silver Katherine
    9. Silver Joy
    10. Suns In Our Mind
    Damien Jurado
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Upside Down Mountain Upside Down Mountain Quick View

    $32.99
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    Upside Down Mountain

    Though only 34, Conor Oberst has been a recording artist for more than two decades, starting with raw, acoustic guitar-based bedroom tracks he cut as a young teenager and initially released on cassette. After his early Omaha-based band Commander Venus broke up, Oberst recast himself as Bright Eyes, an umbrella name for Oberst, producer-keyboardist Mike Mogis and multi-instrumentalist/arranger Nathaniel Wolcott, and a shifting group of collaborators. By the time he released Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground on Saddle Creek, the label he helped found with friends in Omaha, Oberst was a word-of-mouth success, with an avid young audience that helped to sell out his tours. The critics soon followed. Rolling Stone called him "a true American original: the ghost of Walt Whitman setting up shop in the wraith-white, rail-thin frame of an acoustic-strumming Nebraska Cure fan." The 2005 simultaneous release of two markedly different Bright Eyes albums-the more singer-songwriter-oriented I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and the darker, computerized Digital Ash in a Digital Urn-displayed the breadth of his talent. Time Magazine listed I'm Wide Awake among its top 10 albums of the year. Since then, Bright Eyes has continued to evolve, its lineup morphing with each successive tour. While supporting his 2007 Cassadaga album, Oberst took over New York City's Town Hall for a week of sold-out shows, with his large, string-augmented ensemble outfitted spectacularly in white suits. He's also recorded and toured with Mogis, Jim James, and M. Ward as Monsters of Folk as well as with his own Mystic Valley Band. For the first leg of his summer 2014 tour, he's bringing along Wilson's other pals, the Southern Californian quartet Dawes as his support act and backing band.


    "I feel lucky that I have been able to do this for as longs as I have," declares Oberst. "I've seen so many talented friends come and go, for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes they stop making music because they can't pay the bills or they lose the passion for it. At this point it is my life. I don't know another way to live. There is something fundamental in myself; I have to be this way. It completes what I am."


    Upside Down Mountain features many other friends of Oberst's, including producer Jonathan Wilson, engineer Andy LeMaster, bassist Macey Taylor, multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills, and the Swedish sibling folk-rock vocal duo First Aid Kit. What started as exploratory demos with producer-musician Jonathan Wilson at his Fivestar Studios in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, in a home Wilson rents from Oberst, became the first de facto album sessions. Returning to his native Omaha, Nebraska, Oberst kept rolling with the help of frequent collaborator, engineer, and friend Andy LeMaster at his own ARC Studios. Even more tracking followed in Omaha last November and December. Then Oberst and Wilson moved south to Blackbird Studio in Nashville.


    "This is a return to an earlier way I wrote," Oberst says of the songs on Upside Down Mountain. "It's more intimate or personal, if you will. Even if all my songs come from the same place, you make different aesthetic decisions along the way. For me, language is a huge part of why I make music. I'm not the greatest guitar player or piano player-I'm not the greatest singer, either-but I feel if I can come up with melodies I like that are fused with poetry I'm proud of, then that's what I bring to the table. That's why I'm able to do this."

    1. Time Forgot
    2. Zigzagging Toward the Light
    3. Hundreds of Ways
    4. Artifact #1
    5. Lonely at the Top
    6. Enola Gay
    7. Double Life
    8. Kick
    9. Night at Lake Unknown
    10. You Are Your Mother's Child
    11. Governor's Ball
    12. Desert Island Questionnaire
    13. Common Knowledge
    Conor Oberst
    $32.99
    Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • The Puppet Master The Puppet Master Quick View

    $39.99
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    The Puppet Master

    An underground icon and purveyor of all things dark and mysterious, KING DIAMOND and his cohorts continue to terrorize humanity with their latest and most extreme album to date, The Puppet Master. This gruesome tale set to take place in 18th century Budapest, Hungary involving a puppet show and many fascinating characters. One cold night in December the main character known as Unfortunate Man goes down to see a Christmas puppet show and after the show he is standing outside and sees a young woman. He is strangely drawn to this young woman, Victoria, almost as if one of the puppet's ghosts is sitting on his shoulder whispering in his ear to go and kiss the girl. The two get along immediately due to their fascination with the puppet show and end up going out. About a year later everything is going very good until one night Victoria heads down to the puppet show by herself and never returns. The Unfortunate Man goes down to the puppet show to investigate and sees the Puppet Master's wife leaving with a wheel barrel and follows her only to see her murder a homeless man and put his body in the cart. From here the story twists and turns as it takes you through the horrific tale of the Unfortunate Man, Victoria, The Puppet Master, his wife, the puppets and the events leading to the climactic end of the story.


    As King describes it this album is going to make the hairs stand up on the back of listeners neck. The rules of censorship are being thrown out the window...this is going to be the rawest story/album we have ever done. King was also quick to point out that if you are into horror; you're definitely going to get it with this album! The Puppet Master is sure to be considered one of King's goriest and most extreme stories yet!

    1. Midnight
    2. The Puppet Master
    3. Magic
    4. Emerencia
    5. Blue Eyes
    6. The Ritual
    7. No More Me
    8. Blood to Walk
    9. Darkness
    10. So Sad
    11. Christmas
    12. Living Dead
    King Diamond
    $39.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
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    Santa Cruz

    Reared on a hefty diet of 80's glam rock Americana á la Guns N' Roses and such, Santa Cruz are a rock 'n' roll sensation, who, despite their very young age have hosted numerous rock clubs of their own in their native Hellsinki Rock City, scoring hordes of stark-raving-mad fans and reaping attention and endorsements from peers and media alike. The German rock magazine Stalker even recommends it to their readers that they plan their Finnish vacations around Santa Cruz's tour dates.
    If there ever was a band that looks completely out of place in their hometown, it would have to be Santa Cruz. Whereas contemplating suicide in a snowdrift, drunk out of one's skull, comes naturally for the inherently dark and brooding Finns, something as sunny, positive and unlawfully h-h-h-hot as Santa Cruz shouldn't probably be even possible on these semi-Arctic ice-ridden shores! It's just that tracks like "High on You" with its shimmering harmonies, rabidly energetic "Let's Get the Party Started" and "Aiming High" which probably possesses the sickest guitar riff in Finnish rock and metal this side of 1986, will prove to you, the Santa Cruz brand of rock 'n' roll works like an intravenous shot of Adrenaline! The top-notch songwriting and guitar chops from Hell will leave your jaws ajar and with Archie's unbridled yelps, at times you'd be willing to bet your cojones that it's the ghost of Bill Bailey singing - no small feat considering that Mr. Bailey is still very much alive! No wonder the Santa Cruz gigs are infamous of getting a wee bit unhinged at times!


    Without further ado, let's round it out with the endorsement of a guy who knows what the f**k he's talking about: "Never mind that they are young, 'cuz the matter of the fact is, that Santa Cruz definitely sticks out from all these retro hair metal bands running around nowadays. Not only do they have the attitude and the looks, but most importantly they sure as hell know how to play and the songs along with the awesome guitar playing pretty much makes me wanna bang my head in two pieces when I see them play live. And after all that's what it's all about. End of fucking story!!!" -Alexi Laiho / CHILDREN OF BODOM

    1. Bonafide Heroes
    2. Velvet Rope
    3. My Remedy
    4. 6(66) Feet Under
    5. Bye Bye Babylon
    6. We Are The Ones To Fall
    7. Wasted & Wounded
    8. Let Them Burn
    9. Vagabonds (Sing With Me)
    10. Can You Feel The Rain
    Santa Cruz
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Pop Crimes Pop Crimes Quick View

    $17.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Pop Crimes

    Rowland S. Howard started playing in teenage bands in late
    70s Melbourne. Whilst still a callow youth he wrote "Shivers," an
    undisputed classic, (quietly ignoring the fact that Rowland perhaps
    doesn't see it that way and approaches the song as if it was written
    by someone else). The song was recorded by his band The Boys Next
    Door who mutated into the Birthday Party and then relocated to
    Europe to wage a guerrilla campaign against the trivialities of the
    80s, until they turned their fire upon themselves and disintegrated
    mid-decade.


    Whilst his former associates have moved on to weekend colour
    supplement acceptability, Rowland has commonly been perceived
    as the banished wastrel prince... exiled to a squalid garret on the
    colder edges of the kingdom, accompanied only by his dreams and
    inclinations. His demeanour (pale, gaunt, stick thin, sickly, dark
    humoured, fatalistic) has perhaps inadvertently added far too much
    credence to this interpretation of events. The shadow of this myth
    has seemingly obscured the sheer volume of his creativity and the
    singularity of his musical vision.


    Always respected by his peers, a scan through Rowland's
    catalogue of work sees him allied with the likes of Lydia Lunch,
    Thurston Moore, Wim Wenders, Barry Adamson, The Gun Club, Nikki
    Sudden, the Beasts Of Bourbon, the Hungry Ghosts and HTRK.
    Rowland's own ensemble These Immortal Souls gun their engines
    in the ill-lit background and the legacy of his work with The Birthday
    Party scores the skin of successive generations of musicians and
    fans.


    But it's a history Rowland would gleefully put a match to. With or
    without it Rowland S. Howard would make tense, beautiful music,
    would deliver us his personal vision of the world, would create Pop
    Crimes.


    Long-time faithful friends Mick Harvey (who played with Rowland
    for over 30 years), JP Shilo (Hungry Ghosts) and producer Lindsay
    Gravina make for a formidable backline. Out front the guitar playing
    couldn't be any one else but Rowland S Howard and his weary,
    almost journalistic vocal delivery dispassionately sits amidst the
    sweaty panic of the music, adding to the ill ease.


    The band lurch in to Pop Crimes as if dragging a rain soaked body
    across a muddy field. The ghosts of Lee Hazlewood, Snatch, Sergio
    Leone, The Shangri-Las and nameless guys from a never known chain
    gang watch on. Within the first few breaths Rowland references
    Stalin, Calvary and genocide, whilst razoring guitar lines the current
    crop of post-punk revisionists could only fantasize about.


    "Shut Me Down" is Rowland at his most romantic, though
    inevitably it's shot through with loss and longing. If only Dusty
    Springfield were alive to revel in its drama. Talk Talk's 'Life's What
    You Make It' is re-imagined as if it had risen from the grind of a
    Detroit auto plant's assembly line. '(I Know) A Girl Called Johnny'
    sees Jonnine D from HTRK sidle up to the microphone for a duet
    that will melt even the coldest of hearts. It's a glorious missing link
    between the New York girl group sound and the street smarts of
    Suicide. Townes Van Zandt's "Nothin" is given a chilling tenement
    building transformation. "Wayward Man" has the band wailing like
    alarm sirens before Rowland emerges at his most contemplative
    with the gorgeous, fragile build of "Ave Maria." Final track "The
    Golden Age Of Bloodshed" takes the album out on a swaggering,
    swashbuckling epic, with salvation slipping through the narrator's
    fingers.

    1. (I Know) A Girl Called Jonny
    2. Shut Me Down
    3. Life's What You Make It
    4. Pop Crimes
    5. Nothin '
    6. Wayward Man
    7. Ave Maria
    8. The Golden Age Of Bloodshed
    Rowland S. Howard
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Little Death Shaker Little Death Shaker Quick View

    $19.99
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    Little Death Shaker

    Stripped of all noise influences and focusing on straight-up songs, Little Death Shaker is a record evocative of late nights and dusty parking lots, long drives and boozy hookups. This is the work of a dude who's spent his youth and young manhood on tour and it comes through in both the music and the lyrics. Where Castanets' lyrics gave us Ray Carver-ian fragments and it's-what-you-leave-out-that-counts minimalism, here we see Raposa back from the battleground with stories to tell.



    This is the most lyric-heavy Raposa's been and it's also the most playful and humorous, and you get the feeling some of these songs would be the ones that would go down best near 2am at some weird sports bar dive in southeast Alabama/Iowa/Mississippi. (We can just see some big biker dude/fallen NASCAR star/Gary Busey lookalike sitting back-to-bar, Bud in hand, having a good-natured laugh over the punchline from Some of My Friends or the WTF premise of the Dan Reeder penned You'll Never Surf Again.)



    The record begins with fighting spirit. Allegiance comes on with a punch of electric guitar and Raposa singing I woke up feeling/bold as shit. It's his rowdiest and most confident song to date, a real knockabout that'll take you by surprise if you're used to Castanets. Up next the title track verges on Queen (Flash Gordon soundtrack?) and Some of My Friends is a barnburner with the ghosts old Sun Studios players holding court.



    Highlights are many. The dark-as-Skoal interstate roller Whippoorwill, the slowly ramping Some Kind of Fool, which rolls easy and pretty with backup vocals from Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent before building to a shitkicking rock 'n' roll peak where we find Raposa delivering some of his best and most racy lyrics, singing the very un-indie-rock, I could spend this good money wherever I care to/taste all the honies that I choose /lay myself down beside anyone's flower/all alive in the morning with the dew. It's a song about libertine freedom and heartbreak ignored and taking the bull by the horns and being, well, kind of a bastard.



    More highlights: Castanets collaborator Talia Gordon taking main vocals on You're Not Standing Like You Used To (Kate Wolf); the after-afterhours minor chord jam Stateline, Little Death Shaker's most ruckus track of all, a late-night spent trapped in the stripclub/rig cab/country bar/tour van/your own damn head. At 10 minutes it's a tale of drugs and wayward love, a real red-lit kind of aloneness, backed by a legit live crawl, with high and ghostly organ and distorted vocals crackling like a bad CB connection.



    With Meridian, Raposa and Houck bring back the vibe of Some Kind of Fool and take it on a humid trip through the deepest South, gators in the water, snakes in the sand, a stormhead looming over the sun-dappled river. When Raposa sings oh honey here comes the storm you can just FEEL the weather breaking.



    One of this record's real charms is you can close your eyes and see these 13 tracks played live; you can see the drummer leaning over his kit with his brushes (and sunglasses on?), the backup singers standing around the mic, beers in hand, eyes closed, swaying side to side, the lights crisscrossing the stage. Meridian is no different. You can see this band. You can see these people playing together, and in a world of records that bands can't duplicate live, it's crazy-refreshing!



    The album's closer, Allegiance 2, brings backlongtime Castanets collaborator Bridgit Jacobsen (nÉe Decook) for a hushed and barely-there apology. Oh lord be kind to me/after all these devils I have kissed. As a prayer, a shrug, and an exhausted offering, it's a fitting way to end an album so concerned with sin and vice. It's also a fitting end-introduction to this new band. So meet Raymond Byron and the White Freighters and their record Little Death Shaker. Here's to the new!

    1. Allegiance

    2. Little Death Shaker

    3. Some of My Friends

    4. Turnpike/Bedsheet

    5. You'll Never Surf Again

    6. Don't That Lake Just Shine

    7. Whippoorwill

    8. A Little More Credit

    9. Some Kind of Fool

    10. You're Not Standing Like You Used To

    11. Stateline

    12. Meridian, MS

    13. Allegiance 2
    Raymond Byron And The White Freighter
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • East Coasting (Pure Pleasure) East Coasting (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
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    x

    East Coasting (Pure Pleasure)

    Charles Mingus is usually known for his wild, soulful and avant-garde compositions. East Coasting is mellow by comparison, but it still cooks on a musical level. The Mingus touches are there; the trombone, drummer Danny Richmond and of course the dark emotional undercurrent looms large, too. The personnel are all Mingus regulars, except for pianist Bill Evans, who would not be described as 'soulful' in the traditional sense, but his introverted and sensitive style works well with Mingus's music. His playing on West Coast Ghost (the album's stand-out track) and Celia are two examples of Evans' ability to understand an artist's musical vision and play accordingly in his own beautifully original style.East Coasting sounds like the prototypical 1950s jazz recording. It's something one would hear in an attic converted to a bedroom where an artist or lonely soul might live. It's what a lot of people might believe Jazz would or should sound like. Highly recommended to Jazz lovers and perhaps more importantly to young people who have just been blown away by Kerouac's novel On The Road and have become interested in exploring Jazz. East Coasting will allow them to get a taste of lost creative America.



    Musicians:



    • Charles Mingus (bass)

    • Clarence Shaw (trumpet)

    • Jimmy Knepper (trombone)

    • Shafi Hadi (tenor saxophone, alto saxophone)

    • Bill Evans (piano)

    • Dannie Richmond (drums)




    Recording: August 1957 in New York City




    About Pure Pleasure



    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, Pure Pleasure 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 existent 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 emphasize that Pure Pleasure 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 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 and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. Memories Of You
    2. East Coasting
    3. West Coast Ghost
    4. Celia
    5. Conversation
    6. Fifty-First Street Blues
    Charles Mingus
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Stravinsky - Petruchka (Speakers Corner) Stravinsky - Petruchka (Speakers Corner) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Stravinsky - Petruchka (Speakers Corner)

    Petrushka was born of Stravinsky's vision of a long-haired musician hammering indiscriminately at the piano keys and engaging in a furious contest with the orchestra which »answers with vehement protests and acoustic fisticuffs«. As was the case with The Rite of Spring and The Firebird, Sergei Diaghilev and his Russian ballet had their share in ensuring that the 'burlesque' in four scenes would be suitable for the stage.
    The clown-doll Petrushka revels in his spiteful teasing and pranks at the Shrovetide fair.


    The orchestra contributes swirling dance figures, blaring brass and scurrying strings to his high-spirited clownery - but then the Moor enters and dances with the Ballerina, arousing jealousy in Petrushka. Although the clown-doll does not survive this bitter-sweet story, he triumphs at the end, his ghost mocking the crowd at the fair.
    This highly inventive music combines folksong, popular music and the waltz, all bound together by exhilating rhythms which are often taken to thunderous extremes. With its outstanding sound, this recording is a must-have in any Stravinsky collection.


    Recording: May 1959 at the Northrop Memorial Auditorium, Minnesota, USA, by C.R. Fine
    Production: Wilma Cozart-Fine and Clair Van Ausdall


    Musicians:



    • Antal Dorati (conductor)

    • Igor Stravinsky (composer)

    • The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra



    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. Petrouchka - Burlesque Scenes In Four Tableaux - The Shrovetide Fair; Russian Dance
    2. Petrouchka - Burlesque Scenes In Four Tableaux - In Petrouchka's Room
    3. Petrouchka - Burlesque Scenes In Four Tableaux - In The Moor's Room; Dance Of The Ballerina And The Moor
    4. Petrouchka - Burlesque Scenes In Four Tableaux - Grand Carnival - Dance Of Gypsies, Coachmen And Grooms; The Maskers; Death Of Petrouchka
    Stravinsky
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Patches (Pure Pleasure) Patches (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Patches (Pure Pleasure)

    Clarence Carter's first major-hit album remains a must-own record, holding up extraordinarily well across four decades. Carter's singing possesses an immediacy and emotional impact that is as striking today as it was in 1970, and displays a vast range as well. The title track is the best-known song here, though It's All in Your Mind was also a hit later in the year, and I Can't Leave Your Love Alone and Your Love Lifted Me could easily have joined it and topped the pop charts as well. Carter even provides a bracing authentic gospel approach to the then-new Beatles song Let It Be, taking the song back to the roots whence Paul McCartney drew his inspiration. He also assumes a more pop-oriented persona on Till I Can't Take It Anymore, on which Carter starts to sound a bit like Elvis Presley, while on It's All in Your Mind he seems to invoke the ghost of Sam Cooke. On his own C.C. Blues, Carter's bluesiest persona emerges, his crunchy guitar playing off beautifully against a soaring horn section and Clayton Ivey's piano, and he returns to a soul sound for the finale, the soaring Getting the Bills (But No Merchandise).



    Musicians:



    • Clarence Carter (vocals, guitar)

    • Ronnie Eades (bassoon)

    • Aaron Varnell, Harvey Thompson (tenor saxophone)

    • Jack Peck (trumpet)

    • Albert Lowe Jr. (guitar)
    • Clayton Ivey (keyboard)

    • Bob Wray (bass)

    • Cornell McFadden (drums)

    • Charles Chalmers, Donna Rhodes (vocal)



    Recording: Sonny Limbo & Rick Hall

    Production: Rick Hall



    About Pure Pleasure



    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, Pure Pleasure 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 existent 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 emphasize that Pure Pleasure 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 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 and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

    1. Willie And Laura Mae Jones
    2. Say Man
    3. I'm Just A Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin')
    4. Let It Be
    5. I Can't Leave You Love Alone
    6. Your Love Lifted Me
    7. Till I Can't Take Anymore
    8. Patches
    9. It's All In Your Mind
    10. Changes
    11. C. C. Blues
    12. Getting The Bills (But No Merchandise)
    Clarence Carter
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Circles Circles Quick View

    $17.99
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    Circles

    In the years since [Soul Coughing's] 1999 breakup, [Mike Doughty] has re-emerged as a top-notch singer-songwriter, seemingly eager to shed the ghosts of his past. So ultimately, it was a nice surprise when, earlier this year, he announced he was going to do an album of re-imagined versions of tracks he originally recorded with Soul Coughing. If you've listened to any one of the band's albums, you probably can understand why there has been a little cult following built behind their work.


    On "Circles Super Bon Bon " Doughty reclaims the songs and, most likely, delivers them in ways he had originally imagined. In interviews, he has discussed how he would have to fight for songs to sound a certain way. Sometimes, he would have to concede. So one could look at this album as a revisionist exercise. How his former bandmates feel about this is unknown. But, the big surprise is he actually improves and/or nicely compliments the vast majority of these cuts.


    Much of the record is given more of a pop sheen than one probably would expect. The effect works. Sure, some of the songs were hits in their original form (like "Super Bon Bon" and "Circles," for instance) but the collection's revelatory moments generally stem from the songs that didn't get airplay.


    "The Idiot Kings," in its original form, had a brooding, heavy, driving quality. The version here is infinitely brighter, thanks to a choice key change and a well-used drum loop.


    "True Dreams of Wichita" was originally an upright-bass driven lament. In its new form, it loses no intensity while it ends up sounding like a more complete cousin to Primitive Radio Gods' 1996 hit, "Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand."


    In fact, the album on the whole seems celebratory. Doughty is aiming these songs at an audience willing to dance. "How Many Cans" and "Sleepless," which were originally both slow-building, almost meditative dirges packed with an underlying sense of menace, now bounce around with newly reinforced backbones.


    This album demonstrates that Soul Coughing really should've had more hits and Doughty deserves respect as one of his generation's keenest songwriters. While Doughty, himself, was probably exorcising personal demons by re-imagining these songs, in the process, he has given them a second life.


    Any fan of Soul Coughing should find this album, at the very least, to be a fascinating companion-piece to the original takes. In this surprising move, Doughty does his legacy proud. While some favorites may have not made the track list, this album, nevertheless, is a reminder of these songs' lasting endurance. This is Doughty's well-earned victory lap.


    Allan Raible (ABC News Music)

    1. Sleepless
    2. How Many Cans
    3. True Dreams of Wichita
    4. Super Bon Bon
    5. Mr. Bitterness
    6. The Idiot Kings
    7. Monster Man
    8. Maybe I'll Come Down
    9. Unmarked Helicopters
    10. So Far I Have Not Found the Science
    11. I Miss the Girl
    12. Circles
    13. St. Louise Is Listening
    Mike Doughty
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Beulah Beulah Quick View

    $18.99
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    Beulah

    Beulah. It's a small, complicated word with a tangle of meanings.


    It's the title of John Paul White's new album, his first in nearly a decade, a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it's a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.


    Beulah is also a White family nickname. "It's a term of endearment around our house," White explains, "like you would call someone 'Honey.' My dad used to call my little sister Beulah, and I call my daughter Beulah. It's something I've always been around."


    Beulah is also something much loftier. For the poet and painter William Blake, Beulah was a place deep in the collective spiritual unconscious. "I won't pretend to be the smartest guy in the world," says White, "but I dig a lot of what he's written. Beulah was a place you could go in your dreams. You could go there in meditation, to relax and heal and center B photo credit: Allister Ann 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D yourself. It wasn't a place you could stay, but you came back to the world in a better state."


    And perhaps the music on this album originated in that "pleasant lovely Shadow where no dispute can come." According to White, the songs came to him unbidden-and not entirely welcome. "When these songs started popping into my head, I had been home for a while and I was perfectly happy. I wasn't looking for songs. I didn't know whether any would pop back in my head again, and I was honestly okay with that. I'm a very happy father and husband, and I love where I live. I love working with artists for a label that I think is doing good work."


    Far from the grind and glamour of Nashville-where he worked for years as a working songwriter before stepping into the spotlight himself-White settled in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a wellspring of gritty Southern rock and soul since the 1960s. Together with Alabama Shakes keyboard player Ben Tanner and Shoals native Will Trapp, he founded and runs Single Lock Records, a local indie label that has released records by some of the Yellowhammer State's finest, including Dylan LeBlanc, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and legendary songwriter and keyboard player Donnie Fritts. The label is based in a small ranch house a stone's throw from White's own home, which would come in handy when those songs started invading his head.


    "Honestly, I tried to avoid them, but then I realized the only way I was going to get rid of them was if I wrote them down. I got my phone out and I'd sing these little bits of melody, then put it away and move on. But eventually I got to a place where it was a roar in my head, and that pissed me off." Due to his experiences as a gun-for-hire in Nashville, White was reluctant to romanticize the creative process, to turn it into a spiritual pursuit. "Then one day I told my wife I think I'm going to go write a song. She was as surprised as I was. I went and wrote probably eight songs in three days. It was like turning on a faucet."


    Most artists would kill for such a downpour, but White was wary of the consequences. He knew that writing songs would lead to recording them, which would result in releasing them, and that means touring and leaving home for weeks at a time. "As soon as I write a song, I start thinking what other people might think of it. I've talked to friends about this: What is it about us that makes us do that? Why can't I just sit on my back porch and sing these songs out into the ether? I don't have an answer for it yet, but I think it's just part of who I am. I need that reaction. I need to feel like I'm moving someone in a good way or in a bad way. I need to feel like there's a connection."


    White threw himself into the project, no longer the reluctant songwriter but a craftsman determined to make the best album possible-to do these songs justice. He cut several songs at the renowned FAME Studios in his hometown, where Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Allmans, the Osmonds, Bobbie Gentry, Arthur Conley, and Clarence Carter recorded some of their most popular hits.


    One product of those sessions is "What's So," which introduces itself by way of a fire-andbrimstone riff, as heavy as a guilty conscience-the kind of riff you wouldn't be surprised to hear on a Sabbath album. But White's vocals are gritty and soulful, a product of the Shoals, almost preacherly as he sings about earthly and eternal damnation: "Sell your damn soul or get 119 west 57th street, penthouse north, new york, ny 10019 t 212.741.1000 www.sacksco.com SACKS A CO. N D right with the man, keep treading water as long as you can," he exhorts the listener. "But before you do, you must understand that you don't get above your raisin'." It's the heaviest moment on the record, perhaps the darkest in White's career.


    At the other end of the spectrum is "The Martyr," one of the catchiest tunes White has ever penned. The spryness of the melody imagines Elliott Smith wandering the banks of the Tennessee River, yet the song is shot through with a pervasive melancholy as White wrestles with his own demons. "Keep falling on your sword, sink down a little more," he sings over a dexterous acoustic guitar theme. This is not, however, a song about some unnamed person, but rather a pained self-diagnosis: "These are the wounds that I will not let heal, the ones that I deserve and seem so real." White knows he's playing the martyr, but he leaves the song hauntingly open-ended, as though he isn't sure what to do with this epiphany beyond putting it in a song.


    The rest of Beulah was recorded in the Single Lock offices/studio near White's home. "I can be more relaxed about the process. We can all just sit there and talk about records or baseball without feeling like someone's standing over our shoulders. That's a big deal to me, not to feel pressured. And I'm only about twenty yards away from home, so I can walk over and throw a baseball with my kids or make dinner with my wife."


    Some of the quieter-but no less intense-songs on Beulah were created in that environment, including the ominously erotic opener "Black Leaf" and the Southern gothic love song "Make You Cry." As he worked, a distinctive and intriguing aesthetic began to grow clearer and clearer, one based in austere arrangements and plaintive moods. These are songs with empty spaces in them, dark corners that could hold ghosts or worse. "There were certain moments when Ben and I would finish up a song, listen back to it, and think how in the world did we get here. But that's just what the songs ask for. These are the sounds in my head. This is the sound of me thinking and living and breathing and doing."


    Once White had everything assembled and sequenced, it was time to give the album a title, to wrap everything up for the listener. Beulah stuck-not only because of family history or Blake, but because White realized that making music was his own trip to Beulah. "If you had to sum up what music is for most people in this world, it's that. It's that escape. It's that refuge. You go there and you come back and you use that to help you with your life. You always have that as a place to go."

    1. Black Leaf
    2. What's So
    3. The Once And Future Queen
    4. Make You Cry
    5. Fight For You
    6. Hope I Die
    7. I've Been Over This Before (Feat. The Secret Sisters)
    8. The Martyr
    9. Hate The Way You Love Me
    10. I'll Get Even
    John Paul White
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Room 29 Room 29 Quick View

    $24.99
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    Room 29

    Compelling new Deutsche Grammophon album Room 29, a unique collaboration between Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales, asks what the ghosts of Hollywood's golden age can tell us about how we came to be where we are today.


    Standing at the west end of Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, the Chateau Marmont hotel has seen many a famous and infamous guest pass through its doors since it opened in 1929. A 2012 stay in one of its second-floor rooms inspired British lyricist and singer Jarvis Cocker to look into its history and led to this collaborative project with multi-faceted Canadian pianist and composer Chilly Gonzales. Room 29, a 21st-century song cycle, is set for release on Deutsche Grammophon Gonzales' score and Cocker's lyrics conjure up the lives of some of Room 29's previous occupants, as well as shining a light on the glittering fantasy and often bleak reality of Hollywood.


    "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont," noted Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures, in 1939. Jarvis Cocker was intrigued by the hotel's links to the history of the film industry. He found the key to creativity in the fact that Room 29 contained a baby-grand piano. What if it could "sing" of the life stories and events it had witnessed? The idea also ignited Chilly Gonzales's imagination, and both artists embarked on a three-year journey of artistic discovery, unearthing details about guests such as Jean Harlow, Mark Twain's daughter Clara, and Los Angeles mobster Meyer Cohen, alias "Mickey the Haberdasher". As well as dramatizing some of those stories, their songs capture both the essential loneliness of the hotel room and the ways in which moving images have "moved" people in ways they don't quite understand. Gonzales and Cocker have drawn on the 19th-century model of the song cycle for a structure capable of containing the broad sweep of emotions and states of mind elicited by the real and imaginary dramas of one unusual hotel suite. Room 29 emerges as the metaphor for a place within each of us, home to our deepest desires and fantasies.


    Since moving to Germany in the late 1990s, Chilly Gonzales has pursued a breathtaking range of musical projects, spanning everything from rap and experimental rock to hip hop and Satie-inspired minimalism. The classically trained pianist collaborated with the Kaiser Quartett on his last solo album, Chambers, attracting critical acclaim to its neo-Romantic reflections on chamber music in the age of pop. The Hamburg-based string quartet plays a prominent part in Room 29, providing a sonorous tonal complement to Gonzales' piano writing and accompanying Jarvis Cocker's vocals. Lead singer and primary lyricist of Pulp for over 30 years, on and off, Cocker has also released two solo albums, and developed a successful broadcasting career, presenting both Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 4's Wireless Nights.

    1. Room 29
    2. Marmont Overture
    3. Tearjerker
    4. Interlude 1 - Hotel Stationery
    5. Clara
    6. Bombshell
    7. Belle Boy
    8. Howard Hughes Under the Microscope
    9. SalomÉ
    10. Interlude 2 - 5 Hours a Day
    11. Daddy, You're Not Watching Me
    12. The Other Side
    13. The Tearjerker Returns
    14. A Trick of the Light
    15. Room 29 (Reprise)
    16. Ice Cream As Main Course
    Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Last Stand The Last Stand Quick View

    $28.99
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    The Last Stand

    If you have any doubts, please update your books now: our favourite Swedish war machine SABATON are on their way to the absolute top of the heavy metal world.


    Need some evidence? As we speak, these platinum selling, Falun-based heavy metal heroes are headlining some of the biggest European festivals through fires and flames and playing massive stadium concerts in front of tens of thousands of enthusiastic fans with legendary comrades, such as IRON MAIDEN and SCORPIONS. In August SABATON will once again command the troops on the holy grounds of Rockstad Falun Festival - aka Sabaton Open Air - when the band hosts their own three day festival - closing the last day with an explosive performance. Then, later this year, SABATON's sight will be directed at the USA, where the band is a doing huge tour and also performing at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest Festival in California, alongside BLACK SABBATH, SLIPKNOT and others.


    However, this is just the beginning: when the winter arrives, SABATON will unleash their prestigious live power upon the whole of Europe. No mercy will be given and all guns will be blazing, when this tireless killing machine will blow out sold-out arenas to another dimension. During this tour, named "The Last Tour", SABATON's support comes from German metal legend ACCEPT.


    What? The last tour of SABATON? No, not really, as the band's worldwide war plans are already marching years ahead.


    The title of this massive, to say the least, world tour comes from SABATON's latest masterpiece "The Last Stand". The new record, which will be unleashed to the masses in August by the world's most powerful heavy metal label Nuclear Blast Records, is simply a perfect addition to SABATON's discography, which already contains some of the most heroic heavy metal known to man.


    "We have done a majestic record and we couldn't be happier with it. Is 'The Last Stand' SABATON's strongest album to date? Well, time will tell us that, but one thing is 100 % guaranteed: on the record, there are lots of songs that will go down in SABATON's own hall of fame, says the band founder and bassist PÄr Sundström.


    "'The Last Stand' contains all the elements that our fans could ask for, adds the band's main composer and singer Joakim BrodÉn. "The new record tells a victorious tale of SABATON in 2016, and even further. Lots of fresh ideas and unprecedented magic can be heard on these new tunes - for example, check out bagpipe and Hammond driven major key song 'Blood Of Bannockburn'. We have never done anything like that before.


    "At the same time, our legions of diehard fans will be pleased to observe some echoes from our older works: such as relentless heavy metal of 'Primo Victoria' (2005), catchy flavours of 'The Art Of War' (2008) and deep epicness of 'Carolux Rex' (2012). 'The Last Stand' contains all of these elements - and lots more!


    If the previous record, straightforward heavy metal assault "Heroes", showed the unstoppable power of SABATON's eloquent line-up, huge-sounding "The Last Stand" conquers whole new kingdoms. The band's apparent sixth member, HYPOCRISY / PAIN mastermind and renowned producer Peter TÄgtgren (LINDEMANN, DIMMU BORGIR, CHILDREN OF BODOM among others), grasped everything out of BrodÉn, Sundström, drummer Hannes Van Dahl and guitarists Thobbe Englund and Chris Rörland. The result? Innovative guitar solos and razorsharp riffs, pounding drum patters, catchier than catchy choruses and haunting melodies - and the list goes on Well, let's put it this way: if SABATON used to sound intense, bombastic and invincible, this time they sound absurdly intense, bombastic and invincible.


    The lyrics have always been a very important part of SABATON's art. Thanks to their classic metal anthems, such as 'Ghost Division', 'Uprising', 'Soldier Of 3 Armies', 'No Bullets Fly' and '40:1, SABATON has achieved superstar status in countries like Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Germany. Poland, however, signifies "something else for these guys: SABATON's members have been adopted as Poland's honorary citizens and the band's biggest show ever happened in Przystanek Woodstock Festival in front of half a million fans.


    "Regarding new lyrical themes, there were several possibilities this time, but when we came up with the idea about the famous last stands on battlefields and other historical places, that was it - we didn't have to look any further, tells BrodÉn.


    "The previous album's heroic stories about fighting and surviving were a perfect match for SABATON, but these new tales may be even more interesting to our devoted fans. The lyrics are based on very interesting historical episodes and they will open a whole new world for the friends of our band, insists Sundström.


    SABATON have reached their unshaken position as heavy metal's AAA-torchbearer after releasing ingenious studio recordings and playing endless amount of unforgettable live shows. "The Last Stand" is another unquestionable and bulletproof evidence of SABATON's top class abilities and it will be followed by the band's most gigantic world tour to date.

    1. Sparta
    2. Last Dying Breath
    3. Blood Of Bannockburn
    4. Diary Of An Unknown Soldier
    5. The Lost Battalion
    6. Rorke's Drift
    7. The Last Stand
    8. Hill 3234
    9. Shiroyama
    10. Winged Hussars
    11. The Last Battle
    12. Camouflage
    13. All Guns Blazing
    Sabaton
    $28.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Sorceress (Black Vinyl) Quick View

    $29.99
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    Sorceress (Black Vinyl)

    Pressed On Black Vinyl


    There are few bands that can or will match Sweden's Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and, most importantly, crafted 12 stunningly beautiful, become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that's shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They'll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they're only getting better.


    Opeth's new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album's opener "Persephone" to "The Wilde Flowers" and "Strange Brew" to the album's counterpart title tracks "Sorceress" and "Sorceress II", Opeth's twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colours mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly. Sorceress is, by definition, moored in Åkerfeldt's impressive record collection-his one true vice-but, as always, there's more invention than appropriation at play.


    "This time around I didn't think about what I wanted to do," Åkerfeldt reveals. "I was forced to write. But once I started, it was easy. This record, like the last record, didn't take long to write. Like five or six months. The thoughts behind this record developed as I was writing. The only thing I was thinking about with this record was to write that songs didn't musically connect. I made sure if I had a song that was new sounding for this record, I'd make the next song completely different. I think the songs are very different from one another. It's very diverse."


    Certainly, every Opeth record has had diversity. In 1995, Orchid reset the rules of death metal. Six years later, Blackwater Park hit the high note for musicality in a genre generally devoid of it. Damnation, in 2003, was the work of a band determined to upend the norm. Five years after that, Watershed closed Opeth's chapter on death metal by visiting its darkest corners and holding its native brutality aloft. And in 2014, Pale Communion officially bridged the progressive music gap by twisting the intrepid sounds of '60s, '70s, and '80s into contemporary brilliance. So, really, what's so different about Sorceress?


    "My music taste got a little wider," grins Åkerfeldt. "I started listening to jazz. I bought a lot of Coltrane records. I never really thought Coltrane would be for me because I like 'dinner jazz.' I like comfortable, soft, nice, and lovely jazz. Like Miles Davis' '50s stuff. Porgy and Bess, for example. I guess Dave Brubeck fits in there, too. So, that's the only new influx of musical inspiration for me. Other than that, I've been buying the same type of records I always have. Prog, symphonic rock, singer/songwriter, metal, hard rock But there wasn't anything that set me off like The Zombies or Scott Walker. Nothing got me going this time."


    Actually, that's not entirely true. Åkerfeldt's always mining for progressive gold. Good, rare music is particularly good at getting his motor running. He found double-gold in one-off Italian outfit Il Paese dei Balocchi and Bobak, Jons, Malone's ultra-obscure Motherlight album. To wit, get Åkerfeldt talking about either and he's all too pleased to discuss the finer points of Il Paese dei Balocchi's string-based darkness or how he fan-boyed Malone via email to get the famed British orchestrator and one-time Iron Maiden producer to contribute to Sorceress.


    "I absolutely love Il Paese dei Balocchi," Åkerfeldt professes. "They did one album. It's insanely good. It has everything I love about progressive rock in it. This album is so orchestrated and epic. It's got lots of string sections. It's very moody, dark, and sad. It's a mystery they didn't do any more. As for Will Malone, he did the strings and stuff for the Sabbath records-Sabotage and Never Say Die! But now he does strings for pop artists like Joss Stone, The Verve, Depeche Mode. I looked him up, mostly because he was the house engineer for Morgan Studios in the '60s. He was also in a few bands. Like Orange Bicycle and played on the Motherlight album. He also had a solo record, which is also amazing and superbly rare. It's orchestral. The bulk of it is strings. It's kind of like Nick Drake."


    Åkerfeldt's quick to point out, however, his newfound progressive music loves didn't directly inspire him to write Sorceress. The majority of the album was penned in Opeth's rehearsal space, where, nestled comfortably in a corner, a computer, a keyboard, and a microphone sit ready for the next Opeth epic. It isn't plush, but it's exactly the type of environment the frontman needs to focus his creative self into song.


    "When I'm in a writing mode, I have tunnel vision," says Åkerfeldt. "I have a really good work ethic. I go down to the studio everyday early in the morning and I work. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's much easier now, too. I write complete demos. I sequence the songs in the order I want them to be on the record. I do mixing. I do overdubs. Once I'm done, I give copies to the guys so they can listen to the album. They practice to it on their own. When it's time to go into the studio, everybody does their own thing. It obviously works."


    For Sorceress, Opeth returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The experience was so positive and historical-the countryside studio was also home to pivotal Budgie, Queen, Rush, Judas Priest, and Mike Oldfield recordings-there really was no other option for Opeth and crew. Rockfield Studios or bust! The studio, with Dalgety yet again in tow, provided the necessary isolation, the right bucolic atmosphere, the best gear, and three square meals a day for Sorceress to come out the other end spitting fire. All in 12 bittersweet days, too.


    "There was a time when I came out of our recordings a wreck," Åkerfeldt bemoans. "But now I come out with a wish. I wish it wouldn't have gone so quickly. There's emptiness after I leave the studio. I love writing and recording in the studio. It's lovely at Rockfield. It's in the sticks. It's got horses and cows. There's lots of sheep in Wales. But the studio is just a studio. It's so beautiful there. So quiet. It's a residential studio as well, so we live there while we're recording. We have chefs for us, too. So, we can just be there, playing, recording, and hanging out."


    If life is like a Peter Max poster, the lyrics to Sorceress aren't. There's color, but they've been treated, corrupted, and befouled. That is to say, they're much darker. Some of bleak lyrical tones stem from Åkerfeldt's personal life-and are thusly contorted beyond recognition-while others touch grimly on topics like love and what happens to people on the other side of it. In fact, some of the lyrical ideas are similar to what was happening on Blackwater Park.


    "I made sure to write good lyrics," Åkerfeldt laughs. "This sounds very old-fashioned black metal to say, but the lyrics are misanthropic. It's not a concept record, so there's no theme running through the record. Most of the record deals with love. The negative aspects of love. The jealously, the bitterness, the paranoia, and the mind games of love. So, it's a love record. Love songs. Love can be like a disease or a spell."


    Luckily, for Åkerfeldt and crew-bassist Martín MÉndez, drummer Martin Axenrot, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg-the lineup doesn't have to deal with Sorceress' main theme. They've been together since Heritage was completed, and according to Åkerfeldt he's not been in a better band situation before. Not since Orchid. Not since Still Life. Not since Ghost Reveries.


    "It's the best band situation I've ever had. Fans will look at our eras and have their favorite lineup, but this is the best. Even the happiest days of the first and second lineups aren't comparable to what I have now. We never fight. It's like a good work team. We know each other professionally and personally. As much as we're a band, we're also friends. We hang out when we're not doing Opeth."


    A core team is a good thing, when Opeth's credibility is in full view of fans and critics. Åkerfeldt's very aware of what the masses have had to say about Opeth since Watershed. While some disliked the musical shift on Heritage, most have applauded it. They've come to expect something new from Opeth. True to form, Sorceress will give long-time fans and weary critics reason to re-think Opeth and what it takes to be musically fearless.


    "I hope they'll like the record," posits Åkerfeldt. "I can only talk from my perspective and taste here, but we offer diversity that's not really present in the scene today. Whatever genre. We've always been a special band. We've gotten a lot of shit for being different. We still do. Our time will come, I think. It comes down to perseverance. It comes down to not giving up or giving in to public opinion. Music is about doing your own thing or going your own way."

    1. Persephone
    2. Sorceress
    3. The Wilde Flowers
    4. Will O The Wisp
    5. Chrysalis
    6. Sorceress 2
    7. The Seventh Sojourn
    8. Strange Brew
    9. A Fleeting Glance
    10. Era
    11. Persephone (Slight Return)
    12. The Ward
    13. Spring MCMLXXIV
    Opeth
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
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