Vinyl

Neil Young – Harvest

Album Information: Released in 1972 on Reprise Records 2009 reissue, mastered from original analog tapes

Do Make Say Think – Do Make Say Think

Album Information: This album was self-released on CD in 1997 This pressing was released by Constellation Records in 2013 Format: 2xLP, 180g, Includes die-cut sleeve with 4 alternative cover inserts

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Solar Gambling

Album Information: Released in 2009 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions Artwork by Sonny Kay Recorded on the E-Clat Morgue Portable Disaster Unit by Lars Stalfors, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, and Jon Debaun Format: LP, Translucent Yellow, Limited to 750 copies  

Six Organs of Admittance – Asleep on the Floodplains

Pastoral psychfolk from guitar master Ben Chasney. Here his serene acoustic fingerpicking is occasionally accompanied by harmonium drones and trippy guitar overdubs, but overall the album is extremely sparse and meditative.

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld – Never Were the Way She Was

Saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld employ innovative performance techniques, mutating ostinatos and an atmospheric sense of texture to compose minimalist compositions that are as brooding and haunting they are hypnotically beautiful.

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

LPx2, Released in 1975 on Atlantic Records Produced by Jimmy Page Recommended Tracks:A3 – In My Time of Dying, C1 – In the Light, B1 – Houses of the Holy, B2 – Trampled Under Foot, B3- Kashmir

Om – Pilgrimage

Album Information: Released in 2007 on Southern Lord Records Produced by Steve Albini and Om Recorded and mixed by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago, Illinois, June 2007. This Pressing: LP, rust-colored vinyl limited to 1000, includes foldout poster

Kamasi Washington – The Epic

Kamasi Washington and his band The Next Step, pick up where their forefathers and mothers left off by making spiritual jazz that respects the jazz canon without getting stuck in the past. This album ranges from free to groovy to melodic without losing sight of its mission. The inclusion of such a large band, an orchestra, a choir, and even a turntablist allows an infinite, colorful array of tonal and dynamic possibilities. 

Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance

Acoustic-shredder/singer-songwriter ventures out of the jazz-inflected folk-rock territory explored by his last few albums to create something that feels fully himself. Deafman Glance is full of angular left turns, complex structures, airy flutes, jazz detours, and psychedelic atmospheres. A balance of great songwriting, jazz musicianship, and experimental/art-rock tendencies. Recommended to fans of Tortoise’s Standards, Tim Buckley’s Starsailor, and King Crimson’s Red. (Click for full review).

John Abercrombie – Characters

Album Information: Released in 1978 on ECM Records Recorded November 1977 at Talent Studio, Oslo Engineered by Jan Erik Kongshaug Cover by Don Leavitt Produced by Manfred Eicher Format: LP, promo copy Recommended Track: B1 – Ghost Dance

Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

Album Information: Released in 2010 on Drag City Records Produced by Joanna Newsom Arranged & Conducted by Ryan Francesconi Recorded by TJ Doherty, Noah Georgeson, Ryan Francesconi, Dana Gumbiner Mixed by Noah Georgeson & Jim O’Rourke Mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios Format: 3xLP Box Set, includes 12″x12″ lyric booklet with full musician …

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Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

Album Information: Released in 2017 on Sub Pop Records Format: 2xLP on gold and silver vinyl, Deluxe Edition with 4 alternate covers, includes fold-out poster with lyrics/liner notes on back

Bob Dylan – Bringing it All Back Home

The first side features Dylan going electric for the first time, including classics such as She Belongs to Me and Maggie’s Farm. Side 2 features the acoustic storytelling and surrealist lyrics Dylan had been perfecting up to that point.

Gimmer Nicholson – Christopher Idylls

Performed on acoustic guitar and an early delay pedal, Christopher Idylls is a soothing, reflective way to ease into the morning. It fits somewhere between ambient, new age, and American primitive guitar.

Grails – Chalice Hymnal

While each Grails album uses instrumental rock as a means to explore a vast record collection’s worth of influences, none have done so with the subtlety and focus put into each track of this latest offering, allowing us to see the intangible essence of their sound more clearly than ever.

Six Organs of Admittance – Ascent

Taking a detour from his usual loner-droner psych folk style, Ben Chasney enlists former Comets on Fire bandmates to jam some heavy rock burners with a a cosmic amount of electric guitar shredding, evoking Neil Young & Crazy Horse blasting off on a rocket. The new electric energy brought to this album is balanced out by an equal amount of the fingerpicking prog-folk and meditative acoustic ballads that have been developing in his music since the 90’s. While I will always love his more melancholy, nocturnal records that sound like he’s lost in a forest somewhere, I welcome the fiery energy of Ascent.

SZA – Ctrl

Album Information: Released in 2017 on RCA Records

Dave Holland Quartet – Conference of the Birds

While living in London I had an apartment with a small garden. During he summer around 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, just as the day began, Birds would gather here one by one and sing together, each declaring its freedom in song. It is my wish to share the same spirit with other musicians and communicate it to the people. -Dave Holland

David Grubbs – Creep Mission

Album Information: Released in 2017 on Blue Chopsticks Records (Imprint of Drag City Records) Eli Keszler – Drums, Percussion (Tracks 1,2,4) Jan St. Werner – Electronics (1,4) Nate Woolley – Trumpet (1,2,4,6,7) Recorded by Mitch Rackin at the Seaside Lounge, Brooklyn, Jan-Mar 2017 Mastered by Douglas Henderson Cover Art: Albert Oehlen Back Photo: Tom Van …

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Eno, Roedelius, Moebius – After the Heat

Brian Eno and German kosmiche duo Cluster collaborate on a spacey synthesizer album with diverse moods, including peaceful ambient swells, sinister sequencers, industrial drum machine grooves, and suspenseful piano motifs. The release is mostly instrumental but Eno songs sparingly on a couple tracks. The last track features Can’s Holger Czukay playing some pulsing, harmonic bass grooves

Holy Sons – Survivalist Tales

Album Information: Released in 2011 on Partisan Records Produced by Emil Amos Jeff Stuart Saltzman recorded tracks B1, B3, B5 and mixed track A2. Ash Black Buffalo – Synths on A1, B1, B4 and B5 All other instruments by Emil Amos A3 written by The Troggs Recommended Tracks: Slow Days, Look of Pain!, Reckless Liberation

Miroslav Vitous – Magical Shepherd

Czech bassist Miroslav crafts some flashy jazz funk with Herbie Hancock, percussionist Airto Moreira, vocalists Cheryl Grainger & Onike, and rotating drummers James Gadson and Jack DeJohnette (Gadson for the funkier/disco oriented tracks and DeJohnette on the fewer more psychedelic cuts). Thanks to generous synth overdubbing by Miroslav and Herbie, each track is incredibly spacey and great for a headphone listen.

Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Magnetoception

Meditative jazz explorations of space, rhythm and textures inspired by Miles Davis’ ambient jazz pieces, Gnawa ceremonial music of North Africa, the spiritual jazz of Pharoah Sanders and Don Cherry, and the mutating minimalism of Steve Reich.

Click for full review

Death Grips – The Powers that B

This double album set is recommended to anyone looking for extremely primal, complex punk rap with a wide range of influences, including industrial hip-hop, IDM, math rock, noise, and psychedelic rock. Fans of experimental, aggressive hip-hop like Dälek or Public Enemy will probably really dig this, as will fans of math rock for the extremely innovative musicianship and intricate interplay of Death Grips’/Hella’s Zack Hill and Tera Melos’ Nick Reinhart (who plays on 5 of the tracks).

Click further for full review

White Denim – Fits/Exposion

Album Information: Released in 2009 on Downtown Music Exposion originally released in 2008 and is included as a bonus LP Origin: Austin, TX Format: LPx2

Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Album Information: Released in 2002 on Nonesuch Records Produced by Wilco Mixed by Jim O’Rourke Recorded at the Loft, Chicago Format: 180g LPx2, includes CD

Dälek – Endangered Philosophies

Inner Gatefold (Left)Inner Gatefold (Right)Back Cover Vinyl Etching Album Information: Released in 2017 on Ipecac/Deadverse Format: LPx2 with D-side etching Overview After over two decades of challenging the system, questioning minds, and musical boundaries, New Jersey’s Dälek have distilled their diverse and experimental style of hip-hop into their most streamlined release yet. Endangered Philosophies features distorted …

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Slowdive – Soulvaki

Album Information: Originally released in 1993 on Creation Records This pressing was manufactured in 2011 by Music on Vinyl for Sony Music

John Fahey – Volume 1: Blind Joe Death

Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records This album was originally released on 100 copies in 1959, but was re-recorded in 1967 for this issue This album is included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry for being considered culturally significant.

Stereolab – Emperor Tomato Ketchup

Album Information: Originally released in 1996 on Duophonic Records This pressing was released in 2013 on 1972 Records Produced by John McEntire & the Groop Recorded in London and Chicago Format: LPx2

Faust – IV

Album Information: Released in 1973 on Virgin Records Origin: Hamburg, Germany

Shakti – Shakti with John McLaughlin

Shakti means “Creative Intelligence, Beauty & Power” and trust me, these are all in abundance on these devotional jazz ragas. Featuring John McLaughlin joined by a quartet of Indian master musicians, this album is a blissfully uplifting and meditative release.

Shakti – Natural Elements

In this energizing exploration of Hindustani classical music from a jazz perspective, John McLaughlin joins a virtuosic trio of Indian musicians who inspire some of the most impassioned and impressive playing of his career. His acoustic guitar shredding veers close to the bendy sounds of the sitar and fits nicely with the dense web of percussion created by Vikku Vinayakram and Zakir Hussain. Violinist Lakshiminarayana Shankar’s emotive themes and fiery solos make him a perfect foil to McLaughlin.

Do Make Say Think – Goodbye Enemy Airship, The Landlord is Dead

“Recorded in an old wooden barn, this second album is swaddled in twilight autumnal ambiance. While the record is bookended by the band’s awesome psych-rock explosions, much of the material here shows increased referencing of jazz influences (modal horns, brushed percussion) and a more organic deployment of micro-electronics. Raw and polished, visceral and cerebral, the band combines rock and jazz traditions of space music with the ‘instrumental’ potentials of mixing room to present a true gem of a record.” (Press Release)

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead

A psychedelic, transcendent fusion of hip-hop, jazz, prog, and IDM meant to simulate the cosmic experience of death. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Snoop Dogg, and others..,

Mdou Moctar – Sousoume Tamache

Guitar-genius Mdou Moctar visits Portland, Oregon from his home country of Niger to record a hypnotic solo album of desert folk sung in Tamasheq. Most songs consist of intricate fingerstyle acoustic guitar with occasional electric guitar overdubs to accent the melodies.

Jim O’Rourke – The Visitor

A fingerpicking folk odyssey that traverses through passages of delicate piano motifs, tribal drum circles, meditative ambience, celebratory horn arrangements, reverent organ drones, and even a cathartic drum solo, all within a single 40 minute track.

Soft Machine – Volume Two

Soft Machine’s second album is an eclectic suite packed full of whimsical psychedelia, Dadaist detours, complex prog structures and jazz-inspired musicianship.

Jeff Parker – The New Breed

“Classic creative bop melodies and golden era beat memories woven into a vibrant new thread of psychedelic soul jazz”

Charlie Haden – Liberation Music Orchestra

“The music in this album is dedicated to creating a better world; a world without war and killing, without racism, without poverty and exploitation; a world where men of all governments realize the vital importance of life and strive to protect it rather than destroy it. We hope to see a new society of enlightenment and wisdom where creative thought becomes the dominant force in all people’s lives” – Charlie Haden

Samoans – Laika

Progressive alt-rock that prioritizes dynamics and atmosphere over flashy solos or superfluous complexity. Recommended for fans of Oceansize, Deftones, Mogwai, or the last two Isis albums.?

Vinyl Williams – Into

Kaleidoscopic pop driven by round, groovy bass locked in with funky, motorik drumming, all floating through layers of swirling, delayed guitars, shimmering synths, and dreamy vocals. Recommended to anyone looking for a smooth, sugary middle ground between Stereolab, Toro y Moi, and Neu!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Yanqui U.X.O.

Godspeed’s last album before their 10 year hiatus was produced by the legendary Steve Albini, resulting in what might be their heaviest and most direct album to date. Coming off the heels of September 11th, Yanqui U.X.O. seems to be a reaction against the ramped up military-industrial complex and its promotion of fear and xenophobia, as well as protesting Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The back cover even goes as far as connecting each major record label to some type of weapons manufacturer. 

Iron & Wine – Ghost on Ghost

Charming 70’s AM Pop vibes with elaborate string and horn arrangements and a jazzy rhythm section, including the legendary Brian Blade on drums. Great songwriting from Sam Beam, as usual.

Tim Buckley – Blue Afternoon

Blue Afternoon continues the flowing jazz-folk of Tim’s previous release (Happy Sad) while starting to detour into the avant-garde atmospheres that would manifest more fully on his next two albums, Lorca and Starsailor. The songs and lyrics refuse to be boxed into one category as “joyful” or “lonely” or “sad” and instead reflect the intangible multi-dimensionality of feeling.

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

On his Warp Records debut, the eccentric rapper crafts an album of shadowy hip-hop that expresses a unique creative vision. His bipolar, extremely personal lyrics fluctuate from paranoid agoraphobia and self-deprecating reflection to uninhibited hedonism and braggadocios swagger, sometimes in the course of a couple lines. Highly recommended for fans of Busdriver, Aesop Rock and other psychedelic hip-hop artists

Jim O’Rourke – Bad Timing

An introspective, instrumental journey of pastoral fingerstyle guitar, occasionally joined by piano, synth and horn arrangements

David Bowie – Low

Album Information: Released in 1977 by RCA Records. Recorded September-October in 1976 in Hérouville, France and West Berlin, Germany This pressing was released in 2018 and features an amazing re-master Produced by David Bowie, Tony Visconti, and Brian Eno  

Songs: Ohia – The Magnolia Electric Co

“Sometimes it’s hard doing anything”. Somehow Jason Molina knows how to perfectly express what depression feels like without ever succumbing to hopelessness. His music has been a friend and a voice of encouragement when I need it most, reminding me to persist and not beat myself up when I feel unproductive or lazy or unmotivated. “The real truth about it is no one gets it right. The real truth about it is we’re all supposed to try”

Tim Hecker – Harmony in Ultraviolet

A dense fog you can sink into and never want to leave…Glacial, enveloping waves of sound meticulously sculpted from processed organs, piano, and distorted guitar feedback.

Feist – Pleasure

A cohesive, intimate collection of chamber pop songs, ornate with colorful arrangements, lush production, and some bluesy guitar licks.

Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left

Album Information: Released in 1969 by Island Records Recorded between June 1968 and June 1969 at Sound Techniques in London, England Produced by Joe Boyd 2013 Island repress , remastered from high resolution digital sources Recommended Tracks: River Man, Cello Song

Western Skies Motel – Settlers

Somber ambient-folk with layers of delicate, circular fingerpicking and sparse arrangements of droning harmonium, piano, guitar feedback and the occasional chirping crickets. The soft reverb dampens everything like a light drizzle over the American prairie

Jack Rose – Opium Musick

Primitivist acoustic guitar instrumentals in the form of droney ragas, jovial ragtime, and pastoral fingerpicking

J.J. Cale – Naturally

A collection of quality songwriting and unpretentious, rootsy arrangements, featuring the beautiful, heavenly, dreamy “Magnolia”.

Jason Molina – Pyramid Electric Co.

Unlike Molina’s work with Songs: Ohia or Magnolia Electric Co, this sparse, weary record is void of guest musicians or overdubs, leaving his words alone with nothing but a damp bed of reverbed guitar or mournful, sustained piano chords supporting them.

Ryley Walker – Primrose Green

Jazzy Folk-Rock with dynamic songwriting, passionate vocals, and acoustic shredding accompanied by fluid drums, watery vibraphones, distorted keys and groovy upright bass. FFO Astral Weeks, Joni Mitchell, John Martyn, and Tim Buckley

Botany – Deepak Verbera

organic washes of piano and zither, analog synthesizers, wood flutes, saxophone, and the occasional free jazz drums recorded, looped, and manipulated through cassette and reel tape recorders and then masterfully woven into a cosmic tapestry of blissful, meditative drones

Jack DeJohnette – In Movement

The past, present, and future of jazz converge on this progressive new release from the legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette, who’s played on everything from Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew to albums with Keith Jarrett, Alice Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, and numerous other masters since the late 60?s. Joining him are two descendants of the classic John Coltrane Quartet, Ravi Coltrane on tenor and soprano sax and Matthew Garrison (son of Jimmy Garrison) on electric bass and electronics. Rather than dwell in the shadows of their fathers, these two have already developed their own powerful and unique voices which are welcome additions to the jazz lineage.

Omar Rodriguez-López – Xenophanes [Review]

This album is full of energetic, psych-prog maximalism that occasionally settles down into (relatively) slowed down, spacious grooves. I recommend this to fans of The Mars Volta or anyone looking for a manic blend of psych, prog, fusion, punk and latin influences.

Holy Sons – The Fact Facer [Review]

I highly recommend this album to any nocturnal recluses looking for a shadowy singer-songwriter to listen to during their next existential crisis. Emil’s experimental blend of hi- and lo-fi recording methods and tasteful use of psychedelic atmospheres allow his strong songwriting to take precedent, while simultaneously offering plenty of new textures to discover with each subsequent listen. Diverse range of influences include Indian classical, psychedelic rock, drone, folk, dub…the list goes on.

Dead Recipe – Day of Mangoes [Review]

“Day of Mangoes” is overstimulation at it’s finest. Just imagine floating down a river through an unexplored tropical paradise where every corner brings a new array of colorful sounds. Warm synths gliding over clunking piano give way to chorus-drenched highlife guitars strumming over thick synth basslines. Manipulated vocal samples emerge from nowhere and then disappear into radio static just as quickly…RIYL: Animal Collective, King Sunny Ade, & Madlib

John Coltrane – Interstellar Space [Review]

A couple of months before his death in 1967, John Coltrane went into the studio with drummer Rashied Ali to record some of the most free recordings he’s ever made, the freest of free jazz. Perhaps this freeness is due to the absence of other tonal instruments, leaving Coltrane untethered to harmony and 100% free to play whatever raw, unhindered creativity flows through him.

Björk – Vulnicura

Style: Art Pop, Trip-Hop, Experimental Electronic

Vibe: Breakup, Passionate, Heartfelt, Personal, Intense, Futuristic

Musical Qualities: Orchestral, Glitchy, Lush, Digital Beats

[Click for full review]