Amoeblog

New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Ghost

Posted by Amoebite, October 27, 2015 12:46pm | Post a Comment

Ghost What's In My Bag? at Amoeba Hollywood

Swedish heavy metal band Ghost are known for their theatrical appearance onstage and their anonymity offstage. Fronted by Papa Emeritus, an "anti-Pope" figure in skull makeup and cardinal robes, and backed by masked members who call themselves Nameless Ghouls, the band formed in 2006. Their debut full-length came in 2010 with the release of Opus Eponymous.

Ghost MeloriaThe followup came in 2013 with Infestissumam, which generated controversy when it was recorded in Nashville, TN, due to the album's satanic lyrical content. Ghost's third album, Meliora, was released in August 2015 and debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart. You can watch Ghost make their U.S. television debut this Friday, October 30 with a live performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

In support of Meliora, Ghost recently performed a special acoustic set at Amoeba Hollywood. Over 700 fans showed up for the free show and a lucky 300 were also able to meet the band and get the new record signed. Check out the video below featuring some of the amazing, loyal fans who turned up early for the in-store performance. A Nameless Ghoul from Ghost took some time to talk with our What's in My Bag? crew about some of his favorite albums by KISS and Candlemass, and give us some insight into the black metal concepts in Ghost.

Continue reading...

Best of a Rapid Decade: One per year plus a few too good to not mention...

Posted by Mark Beaver, January 6, 2010 04:00pm | Post a Comment

In recently trying to fill in a friend on what I'd spent the last year or two listening to, I realized that my personal taste tends to gravitate towards some element of either Folk form (any hint of hill-folk finger-pickin' or Ozark/Appalachian melancholy and I'm in), Psychedelia or the tendency to extend a theme for a good long jam (a category in which I include a lot of the Jazz that I like), or just a great, funky groove.

With those qualifiers in place, the following is a year by year review of the last decade which somehow got past me with out noticing it. I mean, really?!! 2010?!!!  I didn't see it coming: 

2000: Album of the Year

Air's enjoyable and wacky Moon Safari had been on the decks for a couple years before they contracted for the soundtrack to Sofia Coppolla's Virgin Suicides. The resultant score is absolutely sublime and marked the French electronauts as contenders to watch.

For myself, it was the defining sound of the millennium's new year.
















Shelby Lynne released a killer country-soul gem, I Am Shelby Lynne, that echoed early material from the likes of Bonnie Raitt. Thinking that it was a brilliant debut from a talented 32yo unknown, I was eventually shocked to find that it was her 6th album. I listened to it for months.




Radiohead's Kid A stood out from the pack as probably my most listened to album of 2000.  It wasn't quite another OK Computer, but I was still high on them and the layers of rock guitar, electronica and Thom Yorke's signature vocal style kept me happy for another year.



Susumu Yokota was dropped on my radar by friends who just know what I like. Sakura, on the LEAF label, is on par with much of that label's releases: smooth, almost glacial electronica. In this case, lots of processed guitar and drum patterns building small, contemplative, melodic pieces. Yokota followed this beauty with an even stronger release in 2002, The Boy and the Tree.




2001: Album of the Year

2001 gave me the one title that I still obsess most about to this day.  It's an odd and singular slab of vinyl by The
Microphones
called The Glow Pt. 2. I have a hard time convincing others of its sheer greatness, but I've brought a few fellow travelers on board.

Led by Washington based Phil Elvrum, who now records under the moniker Mt. Eerie, The Glow is a many-faceted gem of lo-fi songwriting of shocking focus and clarity. Elvrum never lets anything play long enough to bore, and he has, album by album, become a master of atmosphere: layering found sounds, both natural and man-made, across his troubled, gentle songs. This is definitely an album that plays better alone and with headphones, but man! Easily in my Top 5 albums of the decade!





I was totally locked-in with White Stripes and the full-blown media blitz around White Blood Cells. I still think that it holds up as an amazing document from a great year from a great band at their peak. "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," is still a great song, as is "Fell in Love With a Girl," and the surprisingly sweet and affecting "We're Going To Be Friends."




2002: Album of the Year

I think that it would be hard not to admit that Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was the album of the year for 2002. All of the drama around the album allegedly being "passed on" by their label and its subsequent extreme on-line success was just too good of a story to not propel this really very, very good album into legendary status. It belongs there.

















2002 also gave us new highs from long-time staples Beck and The Flaming Lips. Both Beck and the Lips are fairly chameleonic entities. They change styles like people change babies. Beck sounded like he'd been bingeing on Gordon Lightfoot on his release, Sea Change, but the sound fit him well and, to date, it's the only Beck I own.



The Flaming Lips remade themselves from hard-driving psychedelic (damaged) warriors into mystic prophets of the multi-layered freakout. I loved Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots from the opening chords.




The sleeper of the year was Cliff Martinez' electronic score for Steven Soderbergh's remake of SolarisBattestar Galactica fans may recognize some of it as it reappeared in spots on the recent TV series. Not unlike an electronic gamelan. Hypnotic and absolutely beautiful.




Though associated thru her husband, Phil Wandscher, with the band Whiskeytown, Jesse Sykes is a phenomenon all her own. Her pacing, her smoky, almost male vocal tones and her haunting original songs have made her one of my top artists of the decade. As killer as Reckless Burning was in 2002, her albums only got better as the decade progressed. Definitely check out 2007's Like, Love, Lust and the Open Halls of the Soul (Barsuk).



Led by Will Oldham's brother, Ned Oldham, Anomoanon (rhymes with "phenomenon") brought all of their talents into focus for their 5th release, Asleep Many Years In The Wood. Sometimes described as a less-meandering Grateful Dead, or a slightly happier take on Crazy Horse, I loved, loved, loved this album and truly, every time I played it, somebody said something to the effect of, "this is awesome, what is it?"





2003: Album of the Year

I didn't pay any attention to Songs:Ohia until 2003, when their Magnolia Electric Co. (a name the band would subsequently be known by) appeared and blew my mind. Rootsy, haunting, alternately rocking or introspective, Jason Molina's self-driven project was my listen of the year.

Also released as a limited 2CD version that includes a disc of the whole album from beginning to end, done by Molina, solo, with just his guitar for company, on the last night that he occupied his apartment. Any of the band tracks that might not seem focused on the first studio disc come into high-relief thru Molina's solo treatment.










Bonnie Prince Billy (aka Palace, Palace Bro.s, Will Oldham) released his best album to date in 2002. Fully produced with strings, backing vocals and the whole kaboodle, it's a near-perfect album. Lots of his trademark Appalachian whine, but fleshed out. Every song a winner. You will see more of Oldham as you read on: he is my choice for Musician of the Decade.




A thick scotch brogue and traditional Scottish ballads or songs that certainly sound like traditional Scottish ballads (murder ballads or otherwise) mist up from the grooves on Alasdair Roberts' Farewell Sorrow. From the band Appendix Out, and signed to Drag City under the urging of Will Oldham, Roberts makes a softly paced trad-folk that's incredibly easy to listen to.



William Basinski found some old reel-to-reels that he had made back in the 80's, and, in the process of trying to transfer them to digital, noticed that the CrO2 was just falling off the tapes like powder. He looped the reels and let them play until they faded into silence. The results, his Disintegration Loops, are some of the most haunting recordings you will ever hear.





Hala Strana is fronted by the Jewelled Antler Collective member Steven R. Smith. You can hear him play amazing guitar on his own recordings and in the bands Thuja, Mirza and Ulaan Khol. Hala Strana takes all of his fuzzed and smeared guitar artistry and applies it toward treatments of themes from Eastern European folk music. Killer!


 

2004: Album of the Year

In all fairness, Dungen had been in the collective hipster consciousness for a good year or more when Ta Det Lugnt hit the shelves, but this was the slbum that set off the full-blown craze.

Everything I like is here: Scandinavian folk forms, psychedelia and some great extended grooves.

I just wish I knew what they were saying...
















The band Espers hails from the Philadelphia area, but their sound is all British Isles circa 1969. There is very little that definitely marks them as being a new-millennium-era band, but I don't mind that in the least. If everyone looked backwards at what came before them as solidly and craftfully as this accomplished combo does, the world would be a more beautiful place. And their albums are all as good as this, if not better.




2004 marked the debut recording, Milk-Eyed Mender, from classically-trained harpist/composer Joanna Newsom. Her troubling voice turned many to flight, as Allmusic described it, "somehere between a child and a crone." I loved it just because of that untrained Appalachian-scented cry. Her songs are intricate and heartfelt, like teaching songs for children about the most painful things they've yet to face.



Ghost albums are always a crap-shoot, but 2004 gave us one of the real gems in Hypnotic Underworld. Though there are no bad Ghost albums, some don't have the pacing one would like, or that complete album feel. Hypnotoc Underworld unfolds of a piece: great songs, great jams, great playing. Everything, in fact, that a collective of Japanese neo-hippies can bring. The best of theirs since 1996's Lama Rabi Rabi.





2005: Album of the Year

Okkervil River is another group that had bubbled along for years, arguably producing even stronger albums than Black Sheep Boy before I stumbled upon them. Nevertheless, I hooked into Black Sheep Boy and didn't let go for weeks.

The title track is a Tim Hardin cover, paced and folky like the original, but the rest of the album thrums like young punkers that are having a hard time fitting into the confines of "songwriting."

That very tension makes it all work.










Many Allison Goldfrapp fans will point to her self-titled band's 2000 debut, Felt Mountain, as the best of her output so far, but I found it all a bit too James Bond-y, torchy and tried. With Black Cherry, she lays it all out for the dancefloor and contends for the sexiest chanteuse of the decade. The title track, the grinding "The Train," and "Strict Machine" are some the most voluptuous dance tracks in years.






They may not have the most original sound on the block, echoing Red House Painters, Jay Farrar, Early Day Miners, and even straying close to Handsome Family, but Great Lake Swimmers sure know their way around a beautiful tune. Banjo, guitar, strings and brushed drums add up to sadcore at its prettiest.




Once the freak-folk began searching for her whereabouts, we knew it wouldn't be long before a new album (after a 35-year hiatus) emerged from British folk legend Vashti Bunyan. Lookaftering sounds like she recorded it a year after her last, the legendarily gorgeous Just Another Diamond Day from 1970. Well worth the wait.






At some point I'm going to have to admit that all I want is a cabin in the woods and a jug of moonshine because that's the sound that kills me. Phosphorescent is basically a one-person (Matthew Houck out of Athens, GA) band plus friends. On Aw Come Aw Wry, they make a decidedly Will Oldham-y sort of sound, though a bit heavier on the hoedown and religious revival. And who can resist a CD that ends with 19 minutes of rain recorded from a rural Georgia porch?





2006: Album of the Year/Album & Artist of the Decade

I've been a fan of Will Odham's through all of his incarnations, but nothing prepared me for The Letting Go. Recorded in Iceland with major contributions from Dawn McCarthy from the folky Faun Fables, the album is a major document of a truly gifted and eccentric songwriter at a real peak.

McCarthy's vocal arrangements are to be credited with a lot of the album's sparse power, but the songs are just really, really excellent.

Listen to the "little birdy" refrain that leads out of "Cursed Sleep." It has echoes of Charles Ives' vocal arrangements on Shaker themes. Fragile, backwoods songs as heard on a lost and broken coast out in the middle of the Atlantic...




Again, here's a piece that stirs the ghost of Charles Ives. Joanna Newsom returns with her second album, and it's a much more ambitious effort that her first collection of songs: only five songs that average out at about 11 minutes each. Van Dyke Parks is on board to help the arrangements in a sort of torch-passing of the American song-cycle form. It's a masterpiece, and a close contender for album of the decade.




I am a reluctant fan of the freak-folk. I don't like how dangerously close Devendra Banhart's vocals stray to those of T.Rex, especially since I'm not a fan of T.Rex's vocals, either. So, when a Banhart-associated project landed in my lap, I was slow to respond. Luckily, I did, and found something much less freak-folk and much more focused and complete. Vetiver's To Find Me Gone is large patches of musical extensions, slightly ambient psychedelic, held together with stitches of fine songwriting. Check "I Know No Pardon" and "You May Be Blue."



Juana Molina...what the hell?! Argentinian singer who makes confoundingly creative albums so varied and layered with ideas that I have to guess she's just plain nuts. Son is her 4th and, for me, her most out. It stands like The Dreaming amongst Kate Bush's catalogue. The stops are pulled out and the sheer insane musicality of it all tumbles out. Hold onto your hat.





I had pegged the Liars, after their debut album, They Threw Us All In A Trench..., as Fall wannabees. Interesting choice, I thought. Lots of the kids are copying the old-folks, but I haven't heard them attempting the Fall, yet. Their sophomore effort, 2004's They Were Wrong, So We Drowned was so god-awful that I thought I was done. Then they went even crazier. Drum's Not Dead and 2007's Liars are amazing albums, and I have no idea what they are doing.



2007: Album of the Year

It was a hard pick between Iron & Wine's The Shepherd's Dog and Panda Bear's Person Pitch, but in the end I was just so proud of Iron & Wine that I picked them as the best of the year.

After years of finely done, but ultimately a bit soft, boring and just incomplete music, I was pleasantly surprised by this full album of great songs, dynamics and jam that made me think that leader Samuel Beam had gone on a major Lindsay Buckingham kick and gleaned all the best things from the craftsman of Fleetwood Mac's pop gems. Feel the Tusk!








Person Pitch by Panda Bear (a project lead by Animal Collective's Noah Lennox) was presented to me as something I was supposed to either dislike or be confused by. Confused, yes, but I loved it. It was like the Beach Boys, who I never liked, suddenly made sense. These are the sounds inside Brian Wilson's head.





Are the tones that Adam Forkner utilizes on White Rainbow's Prism of Eternal Now really healing? They certainly healed my great drone deficiency. Forkner did similarly great work in his previous band Yume Bitsu, and it's good to see he hasn't lost any chops. Satisfies where Stars of the Lid only tease.




From the same Scottish collective that brought us King Creosote, K.T. Tunstall and Alasdair Roberts, James Yorkston writes beautiful, lilting ballads that churn along with strings, brushed drums, harmonica, mandolins and the like. Year of the Leopard is a great companion for a rainy day, of which, unfortunately, Los Angeles has way too few.





There are times in listening to the albums of Norwegian jazz pianist Tord Gustavsen that one might think that he has abandoned the project, or just forgotten to play. Then the trio takes its next step forward and all of that silence makes breathtaking sense. Being There is his best to date and well worth some time spent in its company.




2008: Album of the Year 

Unlike a lot of the full-blown crazes of the last decade, I really liked how the Bon Iver phenomenon manifested. Not very different from the pacing of the album For Emma... itself, it bubbled along by word-of-mouth as more and more people really took stock of what they were listening to.

Justin Vernon's voice is unbelievably soulful without straying into the territory of "Soul Music." He uses vocoder without straying into irony or 80's nostalgia. It's so reservedly experimental that it never becomes "Art Rock." For Emma, Forever Ago is a felt and artful and crafted album, and it deserves all the praise its been given.








This is the cover of the LP version of Build An Ark's Dawn album. It's a great album cover. Luckily, what I found on listening is an astounding album of spiritual jazz featuring Phil Ranelin, Dwight Trible (arguably one of the greatest living jazz vocalists), Carlos Nino and Adam Rudolph, among a host of others. One can draw a line directly from the Impulse recordings of John and Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders to this project's spirit. Heartful and real.





Former Pavement guy Stephen Malkmus got it all working for Real Emotional Trash. He's obviously loving playing his guitar and the extensions on the title track, "Hopscotch Willie," and "Elmo Delmo" show it. His lyrics are as often nonsensical as not, but we never complained when the Ramones sang "Gabba Gabba Hey."





Featuring members that have all cut their teeth over the years with the likes of Earlimart, Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion, Everest peaked the curiosity and attention of Neil Young, who signed them to his Vapor label and took them as openers on two tours. They write great folk and psychedelia-tinged songs like "Rebel in the Roses" and "Black Covers." Can't wait for the next, hopefully appearing sometime in 2010.





I never thought that I would respond to anything so redolent of Bob Dylan as Swede Kristian Matsson's solo venture, The Tallest Man On Earth. However, it's really surprising and really, really good. Just him and guitar (or dobro) and a pocketful of forward-driving folk songs that stand up and shake you by the lapels.






Just when you think there can't be any more good songs in Will Oldham, he lays out another gem. Every time I hear Lie Down In The Light again I just shake my head. How can it be so friggin' good?

Yet another reason why I grant him the title of Musician of the Decade.






2009: Album of the Year

All the pre-hype on this record had it billed as "their black-metal album." Well, black-metal it's not, but the record is flavored with it.

Phil Elvrum (formerly frontman for the aforementioned The Microphones), mixes up a brew that smokes with ambient, field recordings, low-breathed musings and full black-metal assault. It all adds up and ends up being surprisingly human and vulnerable and bare.

I understand those that can't get behind Mt. Eerie, but Im not going to join them. I think they are one of the few groups today that sound ONLY like themselves.









First of all, Dinosaur Jr. finally got themselves a good album cover. Really, they have had some of the worst of all time in their long 22 years of music-making. On top of that, Farm is a great album. Like on the previously mentioned Stephen Malkmus LP,  the Dinos are obviously really enjoying the act of playing rock-n-roll. A folky, Neil Young-y tinge has seeped in over the years and their songs are better for it. Arguably the best of their long career!






Like Espers, Marissa Nadler's music is hard to pin into the 21st century. Using 60's and 70's British Folk as a springboard, she lets her own songs slightly unwind. Organ, guitar, lap steel and percussion build a reserved psychedelic ambience around her thin reed of a voice. Little Hells is her 4th album in 5 years and she grows with every release. Keep an eye on her.

       
          
 

Get Your Medieval Rocks Off with Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh's Overloaded Ark

Posted by Kells, September 29, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment
 
The last time Helena Espvall (of Espers) and Masaki Batoh (of Ghost) got together to create an album the end result resembled the kind of sound-tapestry two people of like-minded musical musings might weave over an ocean of space and time. Their first record (self-titled on Drag City) generated a quiet excitement from those of us at Amoeba familiar with the "new folk" weirdness of Espers and the psych-rock wyrdness of Ghost and seemed a sound-marriage of sorts where faded-about-the-edges Scandinavian tunes and other haunting works, both borrowed and original, mingled freely on relic-esque instruments. Nothing there suggests the kind of epic, blast-from-the-distant-past sonic onslaught of Overloaded Ark, Espvall and Batoh's second release on Drag City and the latest source of a new take on a very, very old favorite song. 

Overloaded Ark's opening track, titled "Little Blue Dragon," is a better known by the name of the merry dance it was originally composed for way back in 14th century Naples: the saltarello. It is played in a very fast triple-meter and named after its leading leap-step, in Italian, saltare. Of course, the composer credit for this song goes to the ubiquitous Anoymous who rules the bulk of any Early Music bin selections, but a version of the song, aptly titled "Saltarello," was made famous by that eclectic, neoclassical Australian band better known as Dead Can Dance (and if you've ever been to a Renaissance Faire or a Goth gathering where "dark" world music fits the rotation then I'll bet you a flagon of mead you've heard it before). Another version of the song, performed by Corvus Corax --- an outrageously outfitted German band who champion medieval music and authentic instruments, seems to share the same vein Espvall and Batoh tapped to give their "Little Blue Dragon" life. Espvall and Batoh's take on the Black Death era romp pounds out a feverish pace with traditional instrumentation at the forefront and electrified psychedelic meanderings fleshing out the background. It's really the perfect sort of aural "pants-ing" I felt I needed as a listener expecting to hear an extension of Espvall and Batoh's past works, only to be blown away with their new attitude. 



Overall the album is an enjoyable melange that combines haunted, free-roaming rhythmic jaunts (very much in the style of Ghost -- see above), dense meditative journeys by caravan (on "Overloaded Ark" and "Until Tomorrow"), sweet Swedish folk sustains revisiting the daydream feeling of their previous effort ("Vem Kan Selga"), a classically beautiful yet brief cello interlude by Espvall ("Pro Peccatis Suae Gentis / Nun Fa"), a delicate, music box-like ditty sung in French whispers ("Tourdion") and a cover of a Silvio Rodriguez tune, "Sueño Con Serpientes" played with the same ethereal, not-your-mom's-folk-record tones that made me fall instantly for Espvall and Batoh's pairings in the past. On the final track, "Sham no Umi," both artists sing a repeated refrain in Japanese-- "yoake mae no umi made" ("until the ocean before the dawn") -- while warm waves of instrumental echoes in guitars, pianos, strings and electric rays seem to embrace them. Given that so much of this record seems as though it could be filed under "heavy" in more ways that one, I love that the last note it lingers on resonates hopefully. I feel uplifted by it and ultimately it makes me want to return to side A and start the voyage all over again. I predict that this'll be the among the witchy records playing while I assemble my Hallowe'en costume this year.

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 05/23/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, May 17, 2009 07:21pm | Post a Comment
 

New Electro/Techno 12"s Coming this Weekend:
 
Ghost - FREEDOM OF THOUGHT EP #1 12" BNB046
UK hip hop producer GHOST drops this dope as hell 5 track EP mixing 2 rap tracks and 3 beat driven instrumental head nodders that fans of NINJA TUNE, DJ SHADOW, RJD2 and the like will dig. One rap cut is a brand new remix of DJ IQ's "ELEVATE" feat JEHST on vocals. Don't sleep.
 
Tiga - SHOES 12" DIFB1216T 
First single from his forthcoming LP is a delicious slice of non conformist pop feat a mystery female guest and prod by SOULWAX! Killer mixes from MR OIZO and GREEN VELVET take this superstar DJ / fashion icon into the pop stratosphere. Not to be missed indeed.
 
Deborah Jordan - NOTHING LASTS 7" FM013
 
Future Beat Investigators - LOUDER 12" RAF048
 
Ghost - BASIC INSTINCT (NATURAL SELF) 12" BNB027
 
Ghost - LET EM KNOW 12" BNB017
 
Ghost - SELDOM SEEN OFTEN HEARD DLP BNB025LP
 
Kazahaya - REMEMBER HIP HOP 12" BNB047
 
Medusa Edits - REFLECTION SERIES #4 12" ME004
 
Linkwood - PRIME NUMBERS 3 12" PN03
 
Arcadion - FLY VISION 12" DC104
 
Castle Of Freaks - BEEN A LONG TIME 12" WMR004
 
Busta Rhymes Vs J Credible - REMIXES 12" WMR003 
 
Coolhurst - BAMBA GAS COIN 12" NANA001
 
Depeche Mode - WRONG - CASPA RMX 12" 12BONG40
 
Ebony Bones - THE MUZIK 7" SBESTSX72
 
Emperor Machine - KANANANA 12" DC96
 
Evil Nine - ICICLES 12" MAPA049
 
Exile - STAY TUNED EP 12" PLG81
 
Feature Cast - ONE STEP RE-EDIT 7" DP004
 
Friendly Fires - JUMP IN THE POOL RMX 12" XLT439
 
Jazzanova - I CAN SEE (TELEPATICOS) 12" WPBH001
 
Lily Allen - NOT FAIR (PIC DISC) 7" REG153
 
Little Dragon - TWICE REMIX EP 12" PFG123
 
Parallels - ULTRALIGHT EP 12" TINAE017
 
Phoenix - LISTZOMANIA 12" VVR703076
 
TV On The Radio - DANCING CHOOSE RMXS 12" BAD2837
 
Telonius - LIKE WHAT (GLIMMERS RMX) 12" GOMMADT001
 
Various - KUNG FU SUPER SOUNDS LP DWVR002
 
Acid Circus - V SNARES 12” TTT23



New House/Disco 12"s Coming this Weekend:

Demis - DEMIS DLP 6153776
Classics like "I DIG YOU" were blasted from MANCUSO's LOFT and LARRY's PARADISE GARAGE. After twenty years under the radar this soul-disco don drops an album full of blues and soul. A voice that is unforgettable, and painfully true. Limited edition collectible double vinyl pressing.
 
Chicken Lips - ROBOT EYES 12" LPS001 
The debut on the band's own imprint LIPSERVICE under the guise ZEEFUNGK-- but we're not fooled. It's CHICKEN LIPS. 3 tracks of dirty house mixed with liberal doses of electro, funk and disco. Incls the STEVE KOTEY edit of "FEAST OF FREAKS" and synthy groover "ROBOT LIPS." Smokin'. Lots of props from PETE HERBERT, ASHLEY BEEDLE, GERD, and more.

Arthur Russell - INTERPRETATION 2009 12" EMINDS010
 
Automats - GUARDIAN ANGEL EP 12" PLIMSOLL001
 
Shoes - MY NAME IS BOHANNON 12" SHOES009
 
Cabin Fever - CABIN FEVER TRACKS VOL.5 12" RKDS006
 
DJ Enne - IMPATIENT MAN EP 12" NANG03
 
DJ Enne - PLEASANT SURPRISE 12" SNS031
 
Manuel Tur - WILL BE MINE 12" FR121
 
Soulparlor - BACK UP TRAIN-RECLOOSE 12" RAF046
 
Steve Kotey & Max Essa - EP PART 2 12" EMINDS011
 
Worst Case Scenario - HOT BEEF 12" REKIDS038
 
Adam Port - BOOGIE BASS 12" SOUVENIR017
 
Argy - DAY TWO-MARTINEZ BROS & DJ DUKE 12" TD02
 
Blackjoy - BLACKJOY'S DISCO JAM 12" JOY001
 
Chicken Lips - WHITE DWARF-20:20 RMX 12" ADTS002
 
Cobblestone Jazz - TRAFFIC JAM EP 12" WAG048
 
Cosmic Boogie - SPACE MACHINE 12" CB01
 
Crazy P - STOP SPACE RETURN RMX'S #1 12" CRAZYP003
 
DJ Wild - CON ESTRELLAS-KABALE REMIX 12" SWS002
 
Data - ONE IN A MILLION 12" EOS022
 
Delicate Genius - THE DELICATE GENIUS 12" HITS004
 
Disco Deviance - #8 OUT IN THE STICKS 12" DD008
 
Dub Pistols - BACK TO DAYLIGHT 7" SBEST73
 
Jesse Rose - TOUCH MY HORN-CROOKERS 12" DSD022
 
Kelvin K - BASEMENT VIBES EP 12" LMD024
 
Motor City Drum Ensemble - LONELY ONE 12" VIS174
 
Slam - POSITIVE EDUCATION REMIXES 12" SOMA264
 
Slam - CITY DESTROYER 12" PARAGRAPH001
 
Sunburst Band - OUR LIVES ARE SHAPED 12" ZEDD12110
 
Tensnake - IN THE END 12" RB015
 
Todd Terry - CHECK THIS OUT 2009 12" INHR056
 
Various - BEST OF CODEK 12" CPV0800
 
Wasted Chicago Youth - MARS OR BUST 12" TSPORK044
 
Will Saul - IN & OUT (I:CUBE REMIXES) 12" SIMPLE0938
 
Fred Everything & Oliver D. - RETRO VISION D VOL. # 1 12” AMENT11038
 
Jay Tripwire - 8 CHANNEL INDIGO (TOUANE) 12” RNFN05
 
40 Thieves - BEATS IN SPACE EP 12” RONGDJ6
 
Abe Duque - FOLLOWING MY HEART 12” ADR063
 
Moodymann - MOODYMANN VOL. 3 12” MMVOL3
 
Osunlade vs. Phil Collins - IN THE AIR TONIGHT 12” JS011


New Dubstep/Jungle 12"s Coming this Weekend:
 
Caspa - EVERYBODY'S TALKING... 3LP FABLP005
One of the leading producers of dubstep finally releases his debut album, EVERYBODY'S TALKING NOBODY'S LISTENING. The LP features 6 tracks from the CD: "RIOT POWDER," "VICTORIA'S SECRET" (w/ D1), "LOW BLOW," "RAT A TAT TAT" (w/ DYNAMITE MC), "DISCO JAWS" (w/ BEEZY), & "BACK TO '93."
 
N-Type - DARK MATTER 12" ACRE010 
BLACK ACRE RECORDS comes stronger than ever with a new single from N-TYPE (who mixed the still discussed DUBSTEP ALLSTARS VOL. 5). Dark, almost spooky melodies hover over a rumbling bassline on this infectious cut. "HP SAUCE" is a halfstep riddim with lazer bass & ultra low-end.
 
Bassnectar - ART OF REVOLUTION 12" AM001
 
Actress - GHOSTS HAVE A HEAVEN 12" PN06
 
Black Sun Empire - INVASION 12" SOTE002
 
Calibre - SHELFLIFE VOL. 2 4LP SIGLP004
 
Caspa - AVE IT VOL.2 D12" SUBSOL004
 
Cluekid - SOUL VIBE 12" SJR21112
 
Falty DL - TO LONDON 12" RAMP018
 
Zomby - THE LIE 12" RAMP015
 
Joker - DO IT 12" KAP003
 
Joker - HOLLY BROOK PARK 12" KAP001
 
Rogue State - OPPORTUNITY 12" ARG024
 
Rufige Kru - EVER WANTED 12" METH078
 
Tunnidge - HIGHER FORCES 12" BOKA019
 
Untold - I CAN'T STOP THIS FEELING 12" HES008
 
Various Production vs. Pumajaw - BUDS 7" BLAZE45167
 
Various Production - EUROPEAN EP 12" VARS001
 
Vicious Circle - HAVANA 12" SBOY021
 
System - NEAR MISS (PIC DISC) 12" SBOY013P 

Something Old, Something New: Helena Espvall & Masaki Batoh's self-titled CD/LP out now on Drag City!

Posted by Kells, September 18, 2008 12:39pm | Post a Comment

 

When I first learned that Masaki Batoh, enigmatic frontman of the wondrously magical avant-psych band Ghost, and Swedish-born Helena Espvall, vocalist, guitarist and cellist of the equally magical folk-rock outfit Espers, were to release a record of their collaborative efforts, a wave of excitement swept me out of my shoes and into a frenzy of inspired musings that lead to an impulse purchase of a bottle of Framboise Lambic. After many repeat listenings of Helena Espvall & Masaki Batoh, their simply self-titled releaseI can safely say that not only does the record pair well with the sweet, frothy drink, but also complements those early Halloween  decoration displays that are beginning to pop up all over town. The record and the drink spurred a flip through my battered old D&D Monster’s Compendium which led me to conjure a mental picture of a romantic tapestry woven by two modern day minstrels who, after recognizing their great esteem for one another, slipped away from their bands’ respective gypsy caravans silently in the night, running away together to the far reaches of the northern wilderness, making beautiful music together all the way. 

Of course, my tastes for picturesque exaggeration and raspberry tinged ale have likely overrun the reality that is quite reasonably the result of a season spent jamming by two proficient multi-instrumentalists who, in riffing on each others folky sensibilities, managed to produce a collection of seriously pretty, mysterious rambles. 

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