Released in 1967 on Capitol Records Format: LP, includes cut outs
The apocalyptic chamber-folk of Bethpage soundtracks multiple chapters of cryptic storytelling, mixing one’s darkest thoughts with religious imagery and allegory through banjo sing-alongs and haunting spoken word passages. The heavy climaxes are whirlwinds of bombastic drums, driving bass, fiddle, clarinet, and banjo that often recall the communal chamber-punk of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. While many tracks feel seeped in shadow and darkness, a heavenly light occasionally floods in through some truly serene and beautiful passages.
Released in 2005 on Constellation Records Format: LPx2, etching on D-side
Originally released in 1969 on Mercury Records 2011 Drag City Pressing Format: LP
“Human hearts and pain should never be separate, then they wouldn’t tear themselves apart both trying to fit”. The first album under the Magnolia Electric Co. name touches on the loneliness and depression of much of Jason Molina’s work, but it also contains a fair amount of the hope, light, and perseverance one needs in times of struggle. The musicians here were recorded live in a room by the great Steve Albini, featuring slide guitar, fiddle, and beautiful vocal harmonies from Molina’s band members. With its mix of melancholy Americana, country-tinged rock, and stripped back folk, What Comes After the Blues feels like a continuation of Neil Young’s great ditch trilogy.
Released in 1999 on Warner Bros Original [PIAS] Pressing Format: LPx2, including bonus tracks not on CD version
Originally released in 2009 on Relapse Records 2013 Pressing Format: LPx2
Released in 2013 on Matador Records Format: LPx2, 45rpm
Released in 2012 on Brainfeeder Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2001 on Definitive Jux Original Pressing Format: LPx2
Released in 1964 on Columbia Records Recorded in 1963 Format: LP
Originally released in 1964 on Blue Note Records 2009 Music Matters audiophile pressing Format: LPx2, 45rpm
Originally released in 2003 on Thrill Jockey Records 2017 pressing Format: LP
Released in 2014 on Southern Lord Recordings Format: LP
Released in 1966 on Parlophone Records 1973 UK Pressing Format: LP
Originally released in 1966 on Capitol Records 1980 Mono pressing Format: LP
Released in 1970 on Island Records UK Pressing Format: LP
Released in 1990 on Mantra Recorded live in 1973 2019 RSD Pressing
Released in 2001 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 2005 on P.W. Elverum & Sun 2015 Pressing, re-mixed and re-designed Format: LP, white vinyl
Released in 1970 on Curtom Records (distributed by Buddha Records) Format: LP
On his latest, producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Bibio blends serene folk pop, lush instrumentation, pastoral guitar instrumentals, nature field recordings, Walt Whitman-esque lyrics and beat-oriented grooves into the perfectly crafted springtime album. Ribbons feels like daydreaming in a garden or out in the woods under a tree or by a trickling stream.
Released in 2008 on End Sounds Format: LPx2, 180g 2014 repress on orange vinyl Limited to 1000
Warm, mellow Scottish folk with lyrics that border spiritual, philosophical, and fantasy themes. The arrangements are a bit stripped down from their lush psychedelia of previous releases, but still feature a good amount of sitar, organ, Irish harp, and violin to add some color to the vocals and acoustic guitar-centric songwriting.
The Order of Things takes you on a strange journey, starting off with a long ambient song built around field recordings, light acoustic guitar and some weird drones in the background. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of experimental post-rock, drone, or music that doesn’t like to be easily categorized.
The Books’ music is simultaneously funny, innovative, catchy and enlightening. They use found sound and spoken word mixed with innovative recording techniques and acoustic instruments to create beautiful sound-collages that somehow create unity between all these disparate sources, as if they were all meant to be together. Everything these guys do, solo or together, is absolute genius.
Released in 1970 on Atlantic Records Format: LP
Released in 1969 on Atlantic Format: LP Pressing quality: While this album is a masterpiece, these early pressings/masters sound a…
Progressive Cool Jazz with thematic structural development, and ECM-Style reverbed production. Recommended track: Ark La Tex
Released in 1991 on Touch and Go Records 2000’s pressing Format: LP
Released in 2016 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 1971 on Harvest Records Format: LP
Released in 2014 on Innovative Leisure Format: LPx2
These transcendent drone meditations will envelop you in a dark blanket of fuzzy guitars and blooming synthesizers.
Released in 2000 on Eclipse Records Format: LP
Released in 2004 on Constellation Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2009 on Thrill Jockey Records Format: LP
Released in 2007 on Warp Records Format: LPx2
Originally released in 1999 on Chemikal Underground 2014 Deluxe Pressing Format: LPx4 box set, includes poster
Originally released in 1972 on United Artists Unofficial Pressing Format: LP, Translucent green vinyl
Released in 1986 on Virgin Records Format: LP
Released on Elektra in 1968 Format: LP Track Notes A1 – Jobs Tears (Uplifting, Morning, Spiritual) “Stranger than that we’re alive”…
Originally released in 2001 on Capital Records 2008 Pressing Format: 10″x2
Released in 1971 on Elektra Records Format: LPx2
Eucalyptus is a beautiful, enveloping excursion of aquatic psych-folk characterized by flowing, hallucinogenic instrumentation, atmospheric production, nature field recordings, and ghostly background vocals from one of my favorite singers, Angel Deradoorian. Avey Tare’s introspective and intimate lyrics mix psychedelic revelations, reminiscing, surreal imagery, and nature/water themes, often leading to profound realizations of a very personal sense of spirituality. The lush orchestrations are arranged by the amazing and unique violist Eyvind Kang, which include woodwinds, horns, strings, and pedal steel slide guitar from Susan Alcorn.
For fans of Animal Collective’s “Campfire Songs” and the slow portions of “Feels”.
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Released in 1971 on United Artists Records Original US Pressing Format: LPx2
Released in 2003 on Asthmatic Kitty Records Format: LPx2
Originally released in 1980 on Piano Records 2016 Light in the Attic Repress Format: LP, 45rpm on side A, any…
Released in 2007 on The Leaf Label Format: LPx3, 45rpm
Released in 2008 on Kranky Format: LPx2
Released in 2004 on Domino Records Format: LPx2
Ryley Walker’s virtuosic fingerpicking and intricate folk-rock songwriting vibe heavily with a backing band of Chicagoan jazz musicians, including upright bass, drums, Rhodes and electric guitar. The first LP of this release is a studio album of jazzy folk rock songs for fans of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks or Tim Buckley’s Happy Sad, while the Bonus Lp of this “Deep Cuts edition” is a 40 min live improvisation on one of the album cuts that probably beats anything on the studio LP. It’s rad to be able hear both the concise, song-centric studio side and the loose jammy side of this exciting artist in the same release.
On their second LP, Henry Cow weaves together elements of eerie chamber music, free improvisation, and deconstructed prog to create something that seems like the missing link between the Canterbury jazz-rock of Soft Machine and Gong and the dissonant avant-rock of This Heat.
Released in 1983 on ECM Format: LP
Originally released in 1977 on Clocktower Records Later pressing
Originally released in 1969 on Liberty Records 2014 pressing on Purple Pyramid Format: LP, pink/blue swirl vinyl Includes Poster
Released in 2014 on Sargent House Format: LPx2, marbled grey vinyl
Released in 2013 on Warp Records Format: LPx2
Self-released in 2013 Format: LP, includes CD
Featuring some of Chicago’s finest musicians and founding members of the AACM, (Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Richard Davis, Wadada Leo Smith, and Steve McCall), this 36 minute spontaneous composition doesn’t focus on soloing or instrumental technicality or rambunctious improvisIng, but creating and progressing an initially suspenseful, mysterious mood through focused, cohesive movements, with new sounds, moods, and melodies around every corner. Most of the musicians here play multiple instruments to sustain a versatile color palette.
“Functionally, the duet situation gives the greatest possibilities for establishing an affinity relationship with another musician on a one to one basis. This is especially true if the more open-ended forms where an improvisation is directly affected by both musicians on an equal plane” – Anthony Braxton
Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Originally released under the title Brown Rice in 1975 1977 pressing on Horizon Records Format: LP
Originally released in 1967 on Elektra 2012 Rhino Pressing, cut from original analogue masters Format: LP
Originally released in 1971 on United Artists Records Unofficial pressing on purple and brown marbled vinyl Format: LPx2
Released in 1998 on Drag City Format: LP
Originally released in 1974 on Spoon 2014 Mute Pressing Format: LP
Exuma’s first album is a powerful and ritualistic masterpiece of spiritual folk from the Bahamas. Exuma, the Obeah Man, is a master storyteller and preacher, sharing visions, myths, and prayers. His expressive, soulful voice takes on many tones as he delivers his musical sermons, from smooth to raspy, soft to confident. A group of singers, percussionists, whistlers, and toads join him and his acoustic guitar, making me imagine them all circled around a large fire in communal worship and grateful that they let us listeners in on it.
Released in 2009 on Drag City Format: LP Recorded by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago, March 2009
Released in 2013 by Drag City Format: LPx2 Front and back cover by Michal Mozolewski Inner gatefold drawing by Simon…
Released in 1961 on Impulse Records Format: LP
Released on Capitol Records in 1969 2000 Pressing Format: LP
Released in 2014 on Drag City Format: LPx2, 45rpm
Released in 1974 on Virgin Records Format: LP
Released in 1977 on ECM Records Format: LP, white label promo
Originally released in 1972 on Brain Records 2010 Grönland Pressing Format: LP, White Vinyl
Released in 2012 on Invada Records Format: LPx2, orange vinyl Limited to 500 copies
Released in 2007 on Temporary Residence Format: LPx2, etching on D-side
Released in 1967 on Columbia Records Format: LP
Released in 1970 on Harvest Records 2014 Pressing Format: LP
Released in 1973 on A&M Records Format: LP
Releases in 1983 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 2006 on Warp Records 2012 Pressing Format: LPx2, 180g, 45rpm
On experimental musician/author/professor David Grubb’s first album as singer-songwriter, he synthesizes technical bluegrass banjo and fingerstyle acoustic guitar playing with imaginative arrangements, abrupt stylistic shifts, philosophical questioning lyrics, improvisation, drones, and an eclectic cast of musicians, including drummer John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake), bassist Josh Abrams (Natural Information Society), and drone violinist Tony Conrad.
Originally released in 1991 on Polydor 2011 pressing on Ba Da Bing Records Format: LP
Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 1966 on Impulse Records Original Pressing
Originally released in 1999 on Temporary Residence 2016 expanded edition
Released in 2011 on Blackest Rainbow Format: LPx2, 180g Ltd. to 750 copies
Released in 2007 on Eclipse Records Format: LP Includes 12″x24″ insert
Originally released in 1993 on Duophonic Records This pressing was released in 2012 on 1972 Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2009 on Graveface Records Format: LPx2, Stoughton Foil Sleeve Includes 24″x24″ poster RSD 2010 Pressing
Released in 1971 on Reprise Records Format: LP White label promo copy
Doug McComb’s first album as Brokeback is imbued with pastoral Impressionism, experimentalism, and a sense of Zen contentment. The record is mostly centered around his Bass VI, a short-scale bass with six strings that is trebly enough to function in both guitar and bass roles. This versatile instrument is usually wet with chorus and reverb that sculpt a fluid, aquatic tone to complement the slow, tranquil melodies. Outside of some solo pieces Doug is joined by a variety of accompaniment including lap steel guitar, synth, upright bass, Rhodes, vocals from Mary Hansen, and light percussion provided by producer/Tortoise bandmate John McEntire. This is a record that can be appreciated from a passive impressionistic standpoint, as well as under the microscopic attention of an engaged ear. (Follow link for full review)
Recommended for fans of Tortoise or Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti Western soundtracks
Released in 1996 on Happy Go Lucky Format: 12″ EP
Originally released in 1979 on Piano Records 2016 Modern Classics pressing on Light I’m the Attic Records Format: LP, includes…