Fugazi: First Demo


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From the label:
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“In early January 1988 and after only ten shows, Fugazi decided to go into Inner Ear Studio to see what their music sounded like on tape. Despite the fact that Ian, Joe, and Brendan had been playing together for nearly a year, it was still early days for the band. Guy had only been a full member of Fugazi for a few months and only sang lead on one song (“Break-In.”). It would be nearly another year before he would start playing guitar with the band. At that time, the studio was still located in the basement of engineer Don Zientara’s family house. It was a familiar space as almost all of the members of Fugazi had recorded there with their previous bands (Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Deadline, Insurrection, Rites of Spring, Skewbald, Embrace, and One Last Wish). Joey Picuri (aka Joey P), who would later become one of Fugazi’s longtime sound engineers, joined the band for the initial tracking. The sessions only lasted a couple of days, but tour dates and indecision about the tape would delay the final mix for another two months. Though the band was at first pleased with the results, it soon became clear that this tape would remain a demo as new songs were being written and the older songs were evolving and changing shape while the band was out on tour. It was decided that the session would be passed out free as cassette copies, with the band actively encouraging people to share the recording. In the spring, Fugazi went out on its first U.S. tour and a few weeks after returning from the road they went back to Inner Ear to record what would become their debut Dischord release, the self-titled 7-song 12″ EP. The only song from the demo session that was formally released was “In Defense of Humans”, which appeared on the State of the Union compilation in 1989. Now, some 26 years later, Dischord is releasing the entire first demo including the one song (“Turn Off Your Guns”) that wasn’t included on the original cassette. This release also coincides with the completion of the initial round of uploads to the Fugazi Live Series website. Launched in 2011, the site lists and details all of Fugazi’s 1000+ performances and makes available close to 900 concert recordings that were documented by the band and by the public, as well as countless flyers, ticket stubs, posters, and photographs. After two years of work, all of the recordings in the band’s archive are finally posted.”
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First Demo is out now on Dischord Records; listen to “Merchandise” below.
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Tallesen: Stills Lit Through

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From the label:
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“Hailing from the Hudson Valley of New York, Tallesen – born Cayman Johnson – describes Stills Lit Through as a response to the “continuous flexibility of the physical setting by the additive of sound,” a reference to his joyful erasure of the distinction between music and experience. The twelve songs of Stills conjure an eidolon of melodies painted with watercolor brushstrokes both calm (“Glenticast”) and frenetic (“Emmel”). To our ears, this closely characterizes Johnson’s work as a visual artist. The collection when taken as a whole is wonderfully consistent. We hear echoes of Autechre’s corporal maneuvers (bass as lead voice, plasticity of foreground vs. background), but, if you dig out the provenance of Johnson’s nom de plum, you really start to understand how the melodic through-lines of the record operate on a more illustrative level. What appears to you as a macro-level core ‘feeling’ about the record is illusively varied, consisting of insanely lush song nodes that subtly and endlessly rotate and shift. It is a music that is both ultra beautiful (“Strike Silver, Love Green”) and invested in a core belief dealing with the materiality of musical sound itself (“Plasticized Fsa”). It’s not the house in which melodies are stored, it’s the crypt of inspiration from which melodies emerge from. Rhythmically, Stills encourages ephemera towards the creation of a seductively creaky, silvery universe with an unreliable sense of gravity. The result is hallucinatory in that the album comprehensively experiences like volumes among volumes of thigs change, but in half-speed.  “The music is saturated with information for it to remain flexible to its surroundings,” describes Cayman, an ode to feeling “ambiance with a modern degree of attention.””
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Stills Lit Through is out now on Software; check out “Emmel” below.
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Raspberry Bulbs: Privacy

From the press release:

“Privacy is the new album by Raspberry Bulbs, the invention of visual artist and musician Marco del Rio who, under the guise of He Who Crushes Teeth, co-founded Bone Awl – one of the most distinguished black metal projects ever to come out of the USA. Their second full-length offering for Blackest Ever Black, following 2013’s Deformed WorshipPrivacy is a defence of the anti-social, the secretive, and the inward-looking; a call to resist the contemporary obsession with “connection”, exhibitionism and peer approval, and to claw back ownership of the self. It’s only then that the real battles begin. Privacy arrives barely a year after its predecessor, but it’s a markedly more developed and far-reaching album. Songs of excoriating intensity once again form the basis of the work – the no-frills 4-track recording capturing all the violence and nuance of del Rio’s vocals, of the dual guitar rapport, and the machine-gun rhythm section – but this time they’re interspersed with eerie electronic miniatures, instrumental pieces that suggest unseen worlds, malign energies, forces beyond our comprehension and control. This aura of the uncanny is no accident. Though it’s practically impossible to describe Raspberry Bulbs’ music without mentioning punk or metal, the band’s most important influences are not musical, but literary: in particular the “weird fiction” of Lovecraft, Machen, Chambers et al. Privacy certainly has far more to do with this esoteric lineage than it does with contemporary punk or metal cultures. Indeed, the spirit of “weird fiction” runs not just through this album but through all del Rio’s prior projects, and even his root influences – explicit Lovecraftian references abound, after all, in everything from The Fall to Rudimentary Peni to Morbid Angel. Privacy, then, is perhaps best understood as an entry into this cross-discipline canon of the “Weird” – a genre concerned with transformation, sacrifice, forbidden knowledge and fate. In rejecting the outside world and turning inwards to face “the boundless and hideous unknown”, Raspberry Bulbs have delivered their defining statement.”
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Privacy is out now on Blackest Ever Black; listen to “Light Surrounds Me” below.
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Andy Stott: Faith In Strangers


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From NPR:
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“For the better part of the ’00s, Manchester electronic producer Andy Stott shuffled through variations across the techno spectrum in numerous singles: tech-house, minimal, dub and more. But in between his 2006 debut and his 2011 EP We Stay Together, Stott’s aesthetic (from the cover art to the tracks within) cohered into something far darker and gloomier. His beats slowed to a crawl and began to lumber, the atmosphere surrounding them foreboding; Stott’s production shift was akin to a welterweight suddenly gaining 50 pounds of muscle and punching as a heavyweight. His follow-up EP, Passed Me By, was equally pummeling. But just when it seemed like Stott’s productions would remain in “cement mixer” mode, a figure from his past informed 2012′s Luxury Problems. Stott had reached out to Alison Skidmore, his old piano teacher, to ask if she would contribute vocals to the album. Her breathy, operatic voice added a glint of light to the darkness, and the resulting set of songs formed a beguiling mixture of grace and brutality. That collaboration continues to evolve and find new nuances on Faith In Strangers, which shows Stott alternating between the ethereal and viscous sludge. “Time Away” is a slow and shifting drone that could double as a foghorn. It’s almost nine minutes into the album before a beat begins to thud and noise overtakes “Violence,” but Stott wraps Skidmore’s whisper around it just as quickly. Throughout the album, he contrasts between extremes, and in the eight-minute “An Oath,” he expertly balances her wordless vocals, a skittering beat and ambience that conjures images of an abandoned steel factory at night. Faith In Strangers also shows that Stott is no longer beholden to techno’s relentless four-on-the-floor beat. Plenty of drifting moments pop up on the album, as well as songs like “Science And Industry,” with its sped-up beat recalling a Casio “samba” preset gone haywire. At other times, electro beats are set at half-speed. A gentle, skittering drum runs through the title track, while the album’s most menacing beat, “Damage,” is also one of Stott’s trickiest, a drum-and-bass break that tips into the red. In the album-closing ambient drift of “Missing,” glitching electronics and eeriness prevail. Here, Skidmore’s gorgeous vocals work similarly to Julee Cruise’s voice on the Twin Peaks soundtrack, with a timbre that suggests beauty while also accentuating the dread just beneath the surface.”
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Faith In Strangers is out now on Modern Love; listen to “Violence” below.
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Ariel Pink: pom pom

CAD-3440
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From the label:
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“Across its 17 tracks and 69 minutes, pom pom is unfiltered Ariel Pink, the Pied Piper of the absurd, with infectious tales of romance, murder, frog princes and Jell-O. The record sees the Los Angeles native strike it out alone, returning to the solo moniker he has adopted well over a decade ago when cementing his name as a king of pop perversion (“Although this is the first *solo* record credited to my name, it is by far the least *solo* record I have ever recorded” Pink explains). From demented kiddie tune collaborations with the legendary psych producer and pop prankster Kim Fowley (songs like “Jell-O” and “Plastic Raincoats In The Pig Parade” were written with Fowley in his hospital room during his recent battle with cancer), to beatific, windswept pop (“Put Your Number In My Phone”, “Dayzed Inn Daydreams”), scuzz-punk face-melters (“Goth Bomb”, “Negativ Ed”), and carnival dub psychedelia (“Dinosaur Carebears”), pom pom is Ariel Pink’s magnum opus.”
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pom pom is out now on 4AD; check out “Picture Me Gone” and “Black Ballerina” below.
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Parkay Quarts: Content Nausea

Parquet Courts Announce New Album Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts, Share
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From Pitchfork:
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“Earlier this year, Parquet Courts released their great third album Sunbathing Animal. Now they’re releasing another long-player, and it’s coming out (like the band’s Tally All the Things That You Broke EP from last year) under the name Parkay Quarts. It’s called Content Nausea, and it features the below track, “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth”. The album was mostly made by Andrew Savage and Austin Brown with help from Jackie-O Motherfucker’s Jef Brown (saxophone) and Eaters’ Bob Jones (fiddle). It was recorded, mixed, and mastered in two weeks on a four-track tape machine. It features a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking”.”
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Content Nausea is out now via What’s Your Rupture?
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Mitski: Bury Me At Makeout Creek

Stream Mitski Bury Me At Makeout Creek
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From Impose:
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“”At the age of 23 … I’m starting to learn I may never be free,” sings Mitski matter-of-factly on “Drunk Walk Home”, the seventh song on her masterful new record Bury Me At Makeout Creek. “But though I may never be free, fuck you and your money! I’m tired of your money,” she continues over a stomping, marching-band beat headed towards some place presumably quite dark. On paper it might sound like just another anti-capitalist post-punk screed, but on record it’s more affecting, simultaneously confrontational and curious, pissed but vulnerable. The song ends in a patch of wailing and whistling distorted guitar noise that sounds like a mass of screaming voices, the most aggressive moment on the album. That “Drunk Walk Home” differs so dramatically from the rest of Bury Me isn’t a surprise. The entire record seamlessly covers a vast spectrum of sounds so rarely covered in such a cohesive way: crunchy noise-pop, sweet-sung indie rock, spacious key crescendos. “Texas Rezkinoff” starts out as stripped-down acoustic ballad that turns on itself half-way in, with pounding bass drums and walls of fuzz. “I Don’t Smoke” is another centerpiece; under slow-moving extra-noisy guitars and muffled drum machine beats it includes the buried exclamation, “I am stronger than you give me credit for!” It’s one of the most powerful and devastating moments of Bury Me, a record full of non-stop moments of power and devastation.”
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Bury Me At Makeout Creek is out now on Double Double Whammy; stream it in full below.
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Sacred Bones double: Cult Of Youth and Dream Police

Final Days   Hypnotized
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From the label:
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“For their third full-length for Sacred Bones, Cult of Youth have delved deeper into their style of punk-influenced psychedelic neofolk and created a self- described “post-industrial Pet Sounds.” Using acoustic and electronic instruments, found sounds and an extensive tribal rhythm section, Cult of Youth have put it all out on the table and left us with their magnum opus. The band has returned with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and an all-new lineup. Sean Ragon, once the project’s lone member, is now flanked by Jasper McGandy on bass and Christian Kount on electric guitar (both of whom were members of seminal Sacred Bones band The Hunt). Cory Flannigan on drums and Paige Flash on cello complete the five-piece. The end result is Cult of Youth as they were always meant to sound. The contributions of the new members are evident on every track on Final Days, from the anthemic “Empty Faction” to the gorgeous album closer “Roses.” Final Days is the culmination of everything Cult of Youth has been moving towards the past seven years — post-industrial, post-punk, and post-enlightenment.(Addendum: Real human bones were used on this recording and a portion of the lyrics were written in jail.)”
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“In the summer of 2013, The Men had just come home from five straight months of touring; for Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro, the desire to create was still strong, so they did what they used to do when they first started the band — they started jamming. Although the production began using the most conservative rock n’ roll devices, Chiericozzi suggested adding drum machine to the song “Pouring Rain,” and everything changed. Over the next six months, the two Men and their collaborator Kyle Keays-Hagerman spent countless hours reshaping every song, constructing them from nothing. They obsessed over every tone, every part. They’d spend an entire day on one snare crack. The album slowly plumed into a cloud of future primitive psychedelia bursting with glimmering electronics and cinematic, vibrato storytelling. The result of that process is Hypnotized: something borne from The Men, but free of it. It was mixed the weekend after Tomorrow’s Hits was released, and then Perro and Chiericozzi were off again.”
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Final Days and Hypnotized are out now via Sacred Bones.

Migos: Rich Ni**a Timeline


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From Hot New Hip Hop:
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“If you’ll allow us take this Migos vs. Beatles thing a bit further, the Atlanta trio’s new tape, Rich Nigga Timeline, is their Hard Day’s Night — that is, their third big release. Preceded by Young Rich Niggas (their Please Please Me) and No Label II (With The Beatles), their new mixtape comes shortly after their debut film, Bando, dropped. As The Beatles’ third LP also came with an accompanying film, it’s safe to say the parallels between the groups are nothing short of uncanny. Their second tape of 2014 dropped last week brings together production from Mario, Zaytoven, Murda Beatz, Deko, Swift Bangs, TM 88, DJ Durel, Phenom Da Don, Cheese Beatz, Cassius Jay, Dee Money and Stackboytwuan. Download it here.”
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Torn Hawk: Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time

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From the label:
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“Over the past couple of years, producer and video artist Luke Wyatt has unfurled a serial tapestry of content arguing for a reconciliation of aesthetic irony with compositional sincerity and emotional vulnerability. Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time is Wyatt’s most recent full-length statement as Torn Hawk, and marks the onset of a more emotionally manipulative and sonically confident direction. It’s difficult to neatly categorize Wyatt’s genre-refracting productions; the nuts & bolts of Let’s Cry’s eight tracks are built from live guitar, drum machines, junky synths, and layers of acid-washed samples, which Wyatt smears into a cohesive whole that transcends the banality and thrift-store dustiness of each, the result being a series of heart-tuggingly confessional watercolors, framed with cinderblocks and distressed leather. In the foreground of each track, Wyatt’s guitar moves between the shag carpet meditations of Manuel Göttsching, the digital delay jangle-grid of The Chameleons, the sunstroke saturation of Medicine, and the modal wankery of Tom Verlaine. Throw in the unabashed melodrama of something a sax might do on a Don Henley hit, and you get a better idea of Torn Hawk’s sensibility. As its title suggests, Let’s Cry grapples with the duality of internal conflict and persona construction. It’s a theme that also ties in with Wyatt’s aesthetic interest in “parodying toughness”. In his visual presentation, Wyatt often presents a South Florida machismo in tandem with a vulnerable, self-help softness. It’s this kind of playfully sincere doubling that Wyatt thrives on; he is committed to making music that pumps you up and tugs at your heart stuff – he is making music for you to work out and weep to.”
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Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time is out now via Mexican Summer; listen to “I’m Flexible” below.
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