Greetings from Tokyo!
Here's a playlist with a slection of tracks from some of the releases mentioned to give you a little taster as you read:
Missing the shop and the ritual of putting out the new releases this week, but am thankfully able to keep updated via the magic of modern streaming technology. In fact I'm hearing all these records before you lot are, unless you're keen enough to be up at 3:30am GMT for your latest dopamine dip courtesy of Mark Kozelek..!
The Dinked Edition canon continues to strengthen and expand, and today is no exception with their version of the new Toy album, Happy In The Hollow. Pressed on transparent vinyl with alternate colour-flipped artwork plus a bonus 7", we're very pleased to be one of the few handpicked shops to be stocking it. They have a habit of selling out quick so get your skates on if you want one!
Pulsating Suicide-esque drum machines, distorted downstroked bass hooks and spiritual jazz sax lines, out of the ether comes Writhing Squares! Made up of Philadelphia's Kevin Nickles and Daniel Provenzano (the latter being the bassist for STP fave's Purling Hiss and Rosali!!) and released by Trouble In Mind, this is a motorik cosmic-rock trip not to miss the space shuttle for.
Another new name to me that's taking a highlight spot today is Sarah Louise, on Thrill Jockey. Ahh OK, realtime realisation that she's part of the amazing duo House and Land, who I first came across from their contribution to the gorgeous Hired Hands tribute album. For this solo effort she applies her impressive Appalachian inspired guitar chops to a more effects heavy, soundscape-leaning work, love the stuttering loops on 'Swarming at the Threshold' in particular.
William Tyler again refuses to disappoint with his burstingly bright new journey to sunny California, Goes West. Of course his acoustic guitar wizardry takes centre stage as usual but there's a whole underpinning of beautiful and subtle arrangement and performance going on underneath; synth, organ, omnichord and some beautiful electric guitar contributions from Meg Duffy of Hand Habits and Bill Frisell lift this album into something extra special.
Meg Duffy's also played guitar for Mr. Kevin Morby, who's enlisted Peaking Lights man Aaron Coyes to remix the title track of his debut LP Harlem River for it's 5 year anniversary. There's a great driving dub version and an extended mix of the original on here too, after he played an hour long version at a benefit concert last month.
This is getting loooooong I told you there was a lot to talk about!!!
Tim Presley's White Fence fully delivers on the singles with his brand of weirdo pop, but unexpectedly ends on a fantastic two part 16 minute Colleen-esque sequencer drift!
Swervedriver show us how to make a reformation worthwhile with a very worthy addition to their back catalogue!
Sneaks sneaks out of her bedroom and into the club, moving away from the lo-fi post punk of her previous work to a banger filled hip hop and pop oriented record!
James Holden soundtracks political documentary A Cambodian Spring with a heap of enthralling dread-filled drones dappled with glimmers of hopeful synths beaming through the canopy!
Synth-heavy-psych noise rock big business from Gum Takes Tooth on Rocket Recordings! Some serious drum pounding!
We've got you fully insured for all your contemporary compositional needs: Nils Frahm puts another satellite into orbit around his All Melody personal recording studio planet with Encores 2, while Tomas Nordmark takes inspiration from both pioneering American minimalism and ancient Scandinavian hymns on Eternal Worlds.
If you're after some pure evil voices in your head look no further than Black To Comm's Seven Horses For Seven Kings, lord oh lord what a violent and intense work of pure sound art. Need to get my head fully immersed in it over time but straight away this is a strikingly sinister beast.
From Nigeria we've got afro-funk goodness from Heads Funk Band alter egos Akwassa and Juju grooves from Sir Shina Peters, reissued by Strut.
Mr Bongo shine a light on the beautiful self titled record by Togolese singer Akofa Akoussah, some really moving French language jazz blues tracks on here, check 'Ramer Sans Rame'.
From South America we've got Venezuelan experimental electronics, Marcos Valle's Azimuth backed Previsao Do Tempo and the classic debut from Os Mutantes.
Antena essentially draw their pistols almost a decade quicker than Stereolab on Camino Del Sol, reissued by Numero, Richard Pinhas pushes synthesiser glaciers across arctic oceans on his first post Heldon solo album Iceland back in print thanks to Superior Viaduct, and Dominique Guiot crosses the spectrum of Prog, Library and Synth music on L'Univers De La Mer.
No shortage of always inspiring female electronic pioneers, with rereleases from Pauline Oliveros and Eliane Radigue.
Soundtrack wise if you can't get enough of last week's OST for Jodorowsky's Tusk on Finders Keepers, check out this release of the documentary on the director's unsuccessful sci-fi adaptation odyssey. Death Waltz as always pull through with a vital horror score from the undisputed champions Goblin, for an Italian horror film about a taxidermist's twisted methods of coping with grief.
Soul Jazz keep up the great work with their Black Man's Pride series, but the compilation I'm most pleased to have in the shop is Light In The Attic's Even A Tree Can Shed Tears. This song off it is so beautiful, perfectly reflects the sense of absolute wonder and content I feel being here in Japan.
Shout outs to Superdeluxe and Jim O'Rourke for the gigs, Big Love Records in Harajuku and Soot from Brisbane for being the best!!