Includes bonus 7″ of two Sufjan songs from the Seven Swans sessions that are not available in any other format. Multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens made a couple of records that slipped under the radar before his third, the astoundingly lush post-rock concept album Greetings From Michigan (2003), gained him critical attention and cult status. Seemingly bent on not repeating himself, Stevens scaled down Michigan's grandeur to a minimalist palette for Seven Swans (2004). Where the previous album was instrumentally comparable to Tortoise or Stereolab, Seven Swans is practically lo-fi, based around simply strummed acoustic guitars, banjo, organ, and hushed vocals. It's more akin to laconic Americana troubadours like Will Oldham and Iron & Wine, though no amount of sonic slimming-down can disguise Stevens's knack for crafty arrangements and accessibly quirky songs. Like-minded spirit Daniel Smith of the Danielson Family produced, and other Family members provide accompaniment that's considerably more structured than their own free-wheeling recordings.
The Age of Adz (pronounced Odds) is Sufjan Stevens' first full-length collection of original songs since 2005's conceptual pop opus Illinois. This new album is probably his most unusual, first, for its lack of conceptual underpinnings, and second, for its extensive use of electronics. The album almost entirely eschews the songwriter's former tools of the trade: namely, acoustic instruments that accompany an expansive narrative scope. While the sounds on this record are distinctly "artificial" (drums machines and analog synthesizers reign supreme), the proclamations of the songs are unabashedly visceral, sung loudly, with a backdrop of insistent orchestration. The result is an album that is perhaps more vibrant, more primary, and more explicit than anything Sufjan has done before, incorporating themes that are neither historical nor civic, but rather personal and primal (if even a little juvenile). Love, sex, death, disease, illness, anxiety, and suicide make appearances in an aggressive (and sometimes danceable) tapestry of electronic pop, conveyed with the urgency, immediacy, and anxiety of primary colors.
Regis' Downwards Records. Limited to 300 copies, clear vinyl. First time vinyl pressing from Justin Broadrick's (Godflesh, Jesu, Pale Sketcher) ambient leaning alias Final. Arguably one of his finest moments with Filtering interstellar guitar tones, pristine drone passages, and meditative vocal melodies through layers of frost and fog.
Includes a 12-page lyric and art book. Is the Is Are, the highly-anticipated sophomore release from Brooklyn-based DIIV, is an album years and many personal struggles in the making for it's architect, Zachary Cole Smith. Recorded and mixed in various locations in Brooklyn, it showcases everything you know and love about DIIV, and many things you did not, all with an added nuance and depth. It is a 17-song, double-album statement intended to resonate with its audience in much the same way that Bad Moon Rising or Tago Mago has for Smith himself. An extension and deepening of the musical ideas first expressed on 2012's critically-lauded Oshin, Is the Is Are yields a multiplicity of textures, lyrical themes, and moods. It is a more diverse world than Oshin, with different parameters and ideals. Dark and honest to a fault, the new songs are dynamic, loud, quiet, sad; they are songs that hiss and snarl; songs that, as Smith wrote recently, represent "the real me." Smith’s vocals, too, are much closer to the foreground, layered legibly on top of tidal waves of shimmering guitar and melodic bass weaving in and out, leaving a distinct and indelible imprint.
Having been inspired by everything from experimental electronic music to Danish '80s and '90s pop, to modern hip-hop and R&B to techno and westcoast slow jams, Choir of Young Believers' Jannis Noya Makgrigiannis had made a new, imaginary band in his head called Grasque to reflect those influences. He quickly recorded both "Græske" and "Face Melting" with Aske Zidore, who had also produced Rhine Gold, and when Choir of Young Believers reconvened to tour with Depeche Mode, he wrote a few guitar-based songs to play live. Gradually, he realized all of his new ideas and music could melt together with Choir of Young Believers.The result is an album that is confident and expansive, incorporating an encyclopedia of styles while still maintaining the essential elements of Choir of Young Believers' DNA. It's pop music, put through a kaleidoscopic filter.
PRODUCED BY SIR FRODERICK AND DJ HARRISONART AND LAYOUT BY MITRA
The musical world of Lost Themes II is also a wider one than that of its predecessor. More electric and acoustic guitar help flesh out the songs, still driven by Carpenter's trademark minimal synth. This manifests itself brilliantly in songs like lead single "Distant Dream," which hitches a familiar Carpenterian beat to an expressive drum performance and rides it to a thrilling conclusion. The eerie "Angelâ€™s Asylum" lets an ethereal synth line command the first three-quarters of the song, before turning over the melody to an acoustic guitar, and "Virtual Survivor" delivers a blast of the sci-fi menace that characterized his great scores for films like Assault on Precinct 13 and They Live. Lost Themes II delivers eleven compelling new tracks for which fans can continue to score the movies in their minds.
In February of 2015, Grammy Award-winning band Snarky Puppy recorded Family Dinner Volume Two in front of a live studio audience with guest instrumentalists and vocalists from all over the world. A companion piece to the monumental album, this documentary/concert-film features exclusive candid interviews and acoustic performances from the guest artists. The project is a true testament for showing first-hand how music can be a bridge between diverse cultures from countries from all over the world to create a unifying musical statement for the average listener or the devout music-connoisseur. Double-vinyl LP format includes making-of DVD and complimentary album mp3 download card.
Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde is, simply put, one of the most perfect albums in the history of recorded music regardless of genre. From the lyrical flow of Slimkid3, Bootie Brown, Imani and Fatlip to the cover art by Fuct the project is the embodiment of excellence start to finish. Musically, the foundation of this perfection is the production work of J-Swift. His use of jazz samples, phat beats and live instrumentation had the ultimate effect of “creating their own sonic utopia”, as NME put it. As such it’s more than fitting that Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde be released as an all instrumental outing. Swift’s adventurous use of samples from jazz, R&B, funk, classic rock and more melded with his personal additions of live instrumentation including piano, bass, and Fender Rhodes along with drum arrangements from fellow producer JMD create a lush, jazzy soundscape that works well as a stand alone recording. Though the west coast’s predominant G-Funk sound of the time or the east coast’s conscious kings De La Soul may have sold more records at the time, The Pharcyde and J-Swift’s work on Bizarre Ride has stood the text of time and continues to resonate with fans new and old in a way that few records have or ever will.
Returning after their Last Transmission collaborative album with Melvin Van Peebles, the Heliocentrics finish off their trawl through the vaults of tracks recorded at their old digs – Quatermass Studios – with psychedelic tinged funk and jazz instrumentals Rolling Stone describes as “…sprawling, with percussive patterns that suddenly morph into extraterrestrial sound blasts and opaque, detouring patterns.”
De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest may have been more commercially successful, but the afrocentric, jazz political rap movement and unfadeable Native Tongue Massive started with the Jungle Brothers. Their debut full length “Straight Out the Jungle” opened up many doors that are walked through by today’s artists like Mos Def, Common and even Kanye West. Their taste for jazzy horn samples helped kick-start the entire jazz-rap movement, and their James Brown fixation was one of the first. Plus, the group’s groundbreaking collaboration with legendary house producer Todd Terry, “I’ll House You,” paved the way for numerous hip-house hybrids that shot up the dance and pop charts over the next few years and appeared to be a staple on every East Coast Rap Album from ‘88 until ‘92. The opening track “Straight Out the Jungle” samples the classic Bill Withers drum break as the JB’s tell you where they are coming from. “Black Is Black” (featuring a young Q-Tip) and “Sounds Of The Safari” introduces the pro-black edge, while the sexually subtle classics “Jimbrowski” and “I’m Gonna Do You” are funny, clever and timely. Hard, smart, fun, clever and brilliant, Mike G., Africa Baby Bam and Sammy G may not have realized it but they crafted a classic rap album that stands the test of time. Available here on high grade, loud pressed, double vinyl for the first time ever!
For starters, this platter begins with one of the great intros of all time: “Ladies and gentlemen, there are seven acknowledged wonders of the world. You are about to witness the eighth…” Lodged in a deep groove between the JB’s’ debut LP Food For Thought (1972) and the more complex and at-times political Damn Right, I Am Somebody (from 1974) sits the ridiculously vampy and infectious classic, Doing It To Death. First moving hips and making heads nod in 1973, the James Brown-produced, 5-song album is one big funk lick, broken up into many delicious moving parts. As with pretty much everything produced by the JB’s – led by Fred Wesley with heavy help from a supporting cast that included saxophonist Maceo Parker, guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon “Cheese” Martin and drummer John “Jabo” Starks – all songs began and revolved around a devastating riff. The title track is most certainly guilty-as-charged, as it starts strutting right out of the gate and continues for just over 10 minutes, driven by a guitar lick and MCed by the inimitable James Brown, with soloists stepping up and out while the song chugs on. The other centerpiece of the album is the 8-minute “You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I’ll Be Straight,” whose groove is interestingly teased two times before it arrives in full form. The song title itself is provocative, and the music keeps a stone-cold groove despite the less than cheery undertones. Again driven by an infectious guitar morsel, the breakdowns in this song gave sampling producers and DJs sweet dreams in the ‘80s, and Fred Wesley’s trombone solo rides beautifully over the group’s cries of “We need some money.” Beyond the aforementioned sure-shots, the twitchy “More Peas,” “La Di Da La Di Day” and the much jazzier, solo-heavy “Sucker” round out this incredible album. It’s just another perfect example of how James Brown’s funk machine could stop the world when they hit a groove.
The Fugees were an American Hip Hop group who rose to fame in the mid-1990s. Their repertoire included elements of Hip Hop, Soul and Caribbean music. The members of the group were rapper/singer/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer/producer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel. The group recorded two albums – one of which, The Score from 1996 was a multi-Platinum and Grammy-winning success. In 2007, MTV ranked them the 9th greatest Hip Hop group of all time. Refugee Camp (Bootleg Versions) is a remix album of a song selection from their 1994 debut Blunted On Reality and follow-up The Score, released in 1996. The album features eight tracks, including seven remixes, and one new recording. The album peaked at #127 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
Janelle Monáe - the inimitable, award-winning, songwriter, performer, producer, CoverGirl and avant-garde funkstress - returned in 2013 with her second full-length “emotion picture” and follow-up to her 2010 Grammy-nominated debut The ArchAndroid. Monae used the fertile and powerful experiences of her past as the biggest inspiration in the creation of The Electric Lady. According to Monáe, “I went back to Kansas City after my tour for my debut album The ArchAndroid. And when I looked around me, I decided I wanted to make a raw, revealing album all about my life and the things I’d experienced in my community - about the laughter in the parks, the jams bumping in the cars, the jokes told over kitchen tables, all the life and warmth and struggles I felt there. But I also wanted to figure out how to take Kansas City to the future...like a surreal Parliament album with lyrics by Octavia Butler and album art by Salvador Dali.” As time passed, Monáe found herself increasingly drawn to the stories and experiences of the strong women in her life, and their ability to electrify and inspire individuals to do the right thing. Inspired by her mother and other matriarchs, Monáe began to write lyrics and songs about rebel women who refused to be marginalized and dared to live their life boldly and unapologetically in a distant future. Monáe explains, “When I returned to the studio, I felt I had to do my part. Through my art, I had to help create the woman I wanted to see around me. Incidentally, during concerts, for years I’d been painting this woman’s physique - the silhouette of her hips - I have hundreds of these paintings with the same feminine figure over and over...this glowing Technicolor woman...seen from behind...regal, powerful and electric...My colleagues and friends told me to name this mysterious figure because she seemed to be a totem, a powerful symbol for me. So I named her The Electric Lady, and that’s where the album’s title came from.” As she began the audacious task of following up on her acclaimed debut LP The ArchAndroid - an album that topped critic’s lists in 2010 all over the world - she took along some trusty, brave companions: the original music producers of The ArchAndroid, Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Chuck Lightning of Wondaland Productions. She adds, “This entire project was produced by Wonder & Lightning. We set out to make a soundtrack for the Obama era, something that spoke to the beautiful, majestic and revolutionary times that we’re living in. The musical language we’re speaking now is called ish. In the African-American community, we’ve been turning left-overs (like chitlins) and social depredation (like poverty) into delicacies and fine art for years. So we just set out to turn the rubbish all around us into something beautiful. Ish is the bowtie on the funk.” The Electric Lady sounds like an urgent and dangerous form of dance music, rebel music that forces one to fight, jam, and fall in love. Like on The ArchAndroid, the sonic textures of the album are varied, and the past and present come together to explode and create a mind-blowing future for pop and soul music. For example, wondrous strings reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield and Bernard Herrmann orchestrations abound, Hendrixian guitar solos soar, Outkast-like raps float over punk rock riffs; defiant socially-conscious lyrics extol the virtues of soul-searching and fighting for change, while the funk simply melts your speakers: 808s boom and Prince-like synthesizers squiggle in your earhole, making it veritably impossible to just sit still. Monáe was also inspired and emboldened by her truly amazing collaborators: Roman GianArthur, the wunderkind and Wondaland Arts Society artist-in-residence that, once again, provided the album’s magisterial overture; the soul star Miguel, who crooned his way effortlessly to the stars and helped provide a prime baby-making moment on the lush ballad “Primetime”; Erykah Badu, her self-ascribed “twin,” who used her cosmic grace and poise to help turn the first single “Q.U.E.E.N.” into a female empowerment anthem and a runaway smash; and none other than her lifetime hero, the legendary Prince, who contributed in countless ways, musically, vocally, and most importantly, spiritually. As she worked, Monáe found herself, as always, drawn again into her other love, science fiction, and the exploits of Cindi Mayweather, the heroine of her first EP Metropolis. In fact, the album serves as Suite IV and V of her Metropolis saga, and in this chapter, the android hero Cindi moves from self-realization to self-actualization: from the knowledge and owning of her unique superpowers, to actually using them to better the world around her. Monáe says, “I like to think you can hear me using my superpowers this time. And not just talking or wondering about them. The Electric Lady is like the big action sequence in the third act of an epic film. Every party this album starts, or every baby born because of it, is actually another victory against the Great Divide.”
“‘All I Want Is You’ was the soundtrack of my relationships,” remarked singer Miguel. “‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ is the soundtrack of my life.” Miguel's four-time Grammy- nominated sophomore album Kaleidoscope Dream - which came out in 2012 on the heels of Art Dealer Chic, his self-released series of free EPs - is bigger and more encapsulating, with a scope and sound that pushes past the boundaries of R&B and challenges its listeners.Kaleidoscope Dream is, crucially, the purest distillation to-date of who Miguel is as a person. Unlike most of his R&B brethren, Miguel doesn’t listen to the radio. Instead, he’s jamming Queen and the Rolling Stones. For the first time, the record completely reflects Miguel when out of the limelight. The album represents where he goes, what he does, and the people he hangs out with. Of his lifestyle, Miguel says he "won’t be making it rain. But I probably will be at some bar singing my heart out with a Jack and Coke in my hand. That’s just who I am.”Strategically, instead of thrusting listeners into this brave new world, Miguel decided to build a bridge. The result was "Adorn," the lead single off Kaleidoscope Dream that catapulted to the top of charts garnering Miguel his third No. 1 hit single and a 2013 Grammy win for “Best R&B Song.” The song, which was acknowledged in Rolling Stone’s 2012 “Singles of the Year” list, incorporates radiant harmonies and heavenly backing vocals - undoubtedly the work of the Miguel that his fans have grown to love, including Pop-Rock singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson, who called his “Adorn” Grammy performance “… the sexiest damn thing I’ve ever seen…”during her “Best Pop Vocal Album” acceptance speech. Tracks like "Don't Look Back" and "Use Me," two songs released along with "Adorn" further illustrate that journey. These tracks, with their stacked guitars and crashing drums, blow open the doors on the new Miguel, the one who is daring to meld arena rock and R&B like no one since Prince. This was new territory for Miguel, but one that he's perfectly equipped to handle, as he shows that the soulfulness and purity of his voice is strengthened when he belts out sky-scraping choruses. The tracks also display a Miguel that is exploring the darker sides of sex and romance, in a way that is as dangerous and erotic.With Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel moves into songs that are more open, even soothing. Of “Do You…” and “The Thrill,” Miguel says that the tracks are “very airy. That section of the album just has a free-spirited vibe.” “Kaleidoscope Dream,” the smoldering title track produced by Salaam Remi, explains Miguel from a philosophical standpoint. “I really believe that we all are creating everything that is in front of us,” he says. “So ‘kaleidoscope dream’ is another phrase for your own collage of what it is you want in your life. That is your ‘kaleidoscope dream.’ This album is the representation I’m painting for myself. It’s my ‘kaleidoscope dream.’”
Having graced more “Albums You Must Hear” lists than many other revered long players, Haha Sound is vintage, retro-centric electronic pop that helped to establish Broadcast’s inimitable sound. "Ominous Cloud," for example, is an archetypal Broadcast treasure. Blissful, glowing compositions holding up the vacant melodies of Trish Keenan. "Lunch Hour Pops" is another blast of their idiosyncratic sound which reaches a spiralling climax on closer "Hawk." Poetic lyricism, cinematic instrumentation and a constant undercarriage of life’s darker possibilities.
The instrumentals Hip Hop label CDR-SI has the honor of advertise the new double LP of the successful collections of Hip Hop instrumentals.Now is the turn for OUT KAST. Here an intersting double album containing the most importants cuts and tracks in the trayectory of OUT KAST in instrumental version in a double lp format. This is a essential and powerful weapon for all the Hip Hop creators and DJ's.
'Pull My Hair Back' is the debut album from Jessy Lanza, co-written and co-produced with Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys, It's graceful and erotic without the gratuitous close ups, icey and sensual, sweet without rotting your teeth, emotional but with enough blue glow to pull your heart strings, Jessy's voice flutters through the synths seductively, insistent without the over-singing and grating choruses that plague so much contemporary pop.
Limited Edition of 400 Copies on Dark Green Vinyl! There is simply nothing more welcoming to the ears than a new Emancipator record. Slathered with organic rhythms and dripping with fusion atmospheres, Doug Appling’s (Emancipator) newest creation is once again a freely majestic pilgrimage into the depths of worldly sound. Seven Seas could not be a more appropriate name, as the album could easily fit flawlessly as the soundtrack to an oceanic escapade lasting months, or even years, in exile. The inclusion of electronic elements is no foreign concept to Appling, but nor is it any predominant requirement. Occasional synthesizer beams scan themselves across the sound spectrum being produced. The focal point of each composition, however, remains the pressing organic elements signature to the Emancipator sound. Frequently accompanied by live violin, and more recently a larger arrangement in the form of the Emancipator Ensemble, Appling has shown tirelessly that the presence of live instrumentation is a key component of his vision. Teasing guitar strums and chiming piano keys often introduce the songs of Seven Seas. Each composition emerges out of its organic components. The structures are kept minimal, but steadily moving through constant evolution to maintain the listener’s interest. At the root, these are electronically produced instrumentals, but taking an overall perspective there is truly so much more happening within the confines of the record. Each track is segmented, implementing distinct sections through which its instrumental and production components can highlight themselves and bask in their own, natural beauty. Not only does the release add to the furthering impressive discography of Emancipator, but also that of Appling’s own founded label, Loci Records. The Portland, Oregon label has seen itself home to the releases of numerous artists clearly inspired by Appling’s own musical expeditions, each dipping their personal touches on to their according audio canvases. (Kyle Taylor http://funkadelphia.wordpress.com)
When Donuts came out, on J Dilla's birthday, February 7, 2006, it was with this drawing cover (scribbled up by Jeff Jank). As some years passed, the vinyl was eventually reissued with "the smile" photo cover, and the drawing cover eventually went out of print. Here's the 10th anniversary edition of the album. Drawing cover; new drawing on the back; UV coated sleeve; gatefold with liner notes by Jordan Ferguson, containing an excerpt from his book Donuts 33 1/3 about the making of the album.Donuts began simply enough as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release, and has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist's life. Completed during a year in which J Dilla spent mostly in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Donuts would gain particular poignancy when, only three days after it's release, February 10, 2006, the artist passed away, losing his battle with a rare blood disease. Announced in Fall 2005, the concept of a “rap album without rappers” struck some as minor novelty, but Donuts would prove to transcend the rigid definitions of what a hip-hop album could be. It plays part like a DJ mix, part like a hip-hop beat maker at work, its songs starting and stopping unexpectedly, like someone turning the dial on an imaginary radio station. But it's an unmistakably modern album, and one which perfectly encapsulated the artist's reputation among his peers and fans as a top-rated architect of soulful hip-hop.
Sometimes you just gotta make dreams come true - it’s a big honor for us to realize the first Big Pun posthumous release after 15 years on Vinyl! Features KRS-One, Marley Marl, Kool G Rap, Cormega, Easy Mo Bee & Shaquille O’Neal!! Authorized big Domingo and his Rios family this release reminds us all about the lyricial genius Big Punisher - rounded off with an incredible Cover Artwork!
Sam Griesemer and Jerome Potter aka DJDS (formerly DJ Dodger Stadium) – present their new LP, Stand Up And Speak, on the duo's own LA-based label/collective Body High. From the impassioned immediacy of lead single "You Don't Have To Be Alone" to the club-ready apocalyptic pleas on its title track, Stand Up And Speak takes cues from classic soul/R&B - love, pain, healing, empowerment – giving those themes a modern, electronic reinvention. While DJDS's 2014 debut was steeped in the hypnotic loneliness of LA, Stand Up and Speak is a total thematic counterpoint, capturing a distinctly Californian sense of community and pioneer spirit. Griesemer and Potter hand-picked a truly unique group of musicians to perform on the record, tirelessly combing through Craigslist ads and even putting up paper flyers around town to find musicians that fit the part.
Rant In E-Minor: Variations is Bill Hicks’ most brilliant album in its raw form with no music interludes. The original release was compiled from multiple shows in Austin, Texas and this version is one of those evenings, October 24th, 1993. It contains Hicks’ classic material, never-before-heard bits, and some new twists on some of everyone’s favorites.
One of the most popular instrumental series of all time continues to expand with HISS Foundations. This project is truly one of those records produced solely for the diehard fans of Damu’s How it Should Sound (HISS) Volumes 1 & 2, but might also be a great introduction for newcomers. This 2XLP collection contains more than beats, but seeds of ambition long before the (original) harvest. Straight from the archives, literally salvaged from the original recordings and unedited, never before have these demos been publicly available. One may think they’re well familiar with the sounds, but this is an intimate look into a rather private artist’s sketchbook. In no way should this replace HISS 1 & 2, but instead consider this as a collector’s item.