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Remastered for vinyl and reissued for the first time in over a decade, Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 1, 2, & 3 is a massive evolutionary step in the established Grails sound and is shrouded in change and pain. The somewhat clinical studio sound and recording style with which they had established a tremendous following has been replaced with a much more free and conceptual recording style. This method liberated the group in the studio and these recordings feel much more open, heavy, and psychedelic. This sound has always existed within Grails, but it was here that it became their identity.
Remastered for vinyl and reissued for the first time in nearly a decade, Take Refuge In Clean Living sees Grails pulling back their already wide lens on multiple sonic horizons. Opening with a nod to Syd Barret's Pink Floyd (Piper at the Gates of Dawn) Take Refuge In Clean Living begins with morse code and drops into one of the heaviest slowburn grooves in the Grails canon. Sounding something like Hawkwind and Ravi Shankar scoring Blade Runner, it's lysergic and earthy for Grails in a new way. The rest of the record moves from blissful Eno-inspired ambience, to epic Morricone rock hymns, to an unexpected take on a Ventures tune that returns the listener to the very beginnings of instrumental rock music. The touring incarnation of Grails in 2006 and 2007 included good friend and drummer Ben Nugent, allowing Emil Amos to switch to 3rd guitar for the band's live instrumentation. The DNA of this guitar-heavy line-up allowed for new kinds of arrangements and bigger melodies. In early 2007, the then-5-pieceentered Steven Lobdell's (Faust) Audible Alchemy studio to document the new songs written with this augmented ensemble. The band is defined by exploration and they've created a template for themselves where any style or method can be ingested to reap legitimate rewards. Take Refuge In Clean Living rightly suggested that Grails wouldn't run out of ideas.
Following up their hugely acclaimed debut, Thought For Food, The Lemon of Pink was the album that cemented the Books as a pioneering musical force. It would become their biggest-selling album (a feat usurped only by the recently released The Way Out), and still stands as perhaps the most beloved album in the Books’ unfailingly brilliant catalog. As with the recently reissued Thought For Food, The Lemon of Pink is repackaged with dazzling new artwork and expanded to include lyrics for every song for the first time ever. Carefully and thoughtfully remastered from the original mixes by Zammuto at his new studio outside his home in Vermont, The Lemon of Pinknow boasts a warmth and clarity that surprisingly reveals an increased harmonic depth.
Beneath the cold water glow, Talk Amongst the Trees is a soundtrack for exploring the surface of your own ocean, slow moving like the sand that runs through your fingers, and incandescent like the most unique creatures of the sea. Lacking most recognizable instrumentation (save the guitar mantra, "Taken"), Talk Amongst the Trees is an album that exists in its own fantastic landscape. Making no attempt to compete with the world outside, it drags you inside your own subconscious, allowing sentimental thoughts and memories to pile up on themselves. As the hour-long journey progresses, details fall away until nothing remains but a warm, colorless, but intimately personal, abyss. We're not sure how he does it, but once again Eluvium creates a new and beautiful feeling. Originally released on CD and Digital formats only, Talk Amongst the Trees was eventually available on vinyl exclusively as part of the Life Through Bombardment Vol. 1 box set. With that set long out of print, we are delighted to finally reissue this stunning album on vinyl. Remastered for vinyl by Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering, this limited-edition 2xLP set is packaged in a full-color wide-spine jacket with dual heavyweight full-color inner sleeves.
Originally released on CD and Digital formats only, Copia was eventually available on vinyl exclusively as part of the Life Through Bombardment Vol. 1 box set. With that set long out of print – and Copia celebrating its 10-year anniversary – we are finally giving this landmark album the vinyl reissue that it unquestionably deserves. Remastered for vinyl by Francesco Donadello at Calyx Mastering in Berlin, this deluxe 2xLP set is packaged in a full-color wide-spine jacket with dual heavyweight full-color inner sleeves.
When multi-instrumentalists and sound enthusiasts Paul de Jong and Nick Zammuto first came together as The Books they certainly could not have foreseen their 2002 debut, Thought For Food, becoming such a beloved genre-defying masterpiece, an album that rests firmly on countless Top 100 Albums of the Decade lists. Filled with endearing and enduring songs, the Books revisit their wide-eyed beginnings with this remastered Thought For Food, repackaged with all-new artwork and expanded to include lyrics for every song for the first time ever. Carefully and thoughtfully remastered from the original mixes by Zammuto at his new studio outside his home in Vermont, TFF now boasts a warmth and clarity that surprisingly reveals an increased harmonic depth. Having combined and refined their compositional and recording processes over the course of four albums, addressing the technical limitations of these earlier recordings offers the chance to marry the technical, musical and emotional aspects of these songs in a way like never before. To be sure, the differences are subtle, but for a band who have transformed minutiae into modern art, that subtlety is downright sublime. "A quiet triumph - one unlike anything I've ever heard before." - Pitchfork 9.0 / Top 200 Albums of the Decade
When multi-instrumentalists and sound enthusiasts Paul de Jong and Nick Zammuto first came together as The Books they certainly could not have foreseen their 2002 debut album, Thought For Food, marking the beginning of a celebrated career that has spawned four genre-defying masterworks across a decade, collecting countless Albums of the Decade accolades. Their third album, 2005's Lost and Safe, maintained the Books' reputation as a pioneering musical force, even as they flirted with traditional song structures more than ever before. It would go on to be named Album of the Year by the highly influential music magazine The Wire. Lost and Safe is repackaged here with dazzling new artwork and expanded to include lyrics for every song. Carefully and thoughtfully remastered from the original mixes by Zammuto at his new studio outside his home in Vermont, Lost and Safe now boasts an increased warmth and clarity that reveals new details with repeated listens. To be sure, the differences are subtle, but for a band who have transformed minutiae into modern art, that subtlety is downright sublime.
MONO are a band driven by intangible conflicts. Their albums have found inspiration in the inescapable coexistence of love and loss, faith and hopelessness, light and darkness. Fittingly, their new album, Requiem For Hell, incorporates all of those conflicts into the one universal inevitability in life: Birth, and death. Requiem For Hell finds MONO returning to longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Albini. After MONO and Albini's band, Shellac, toured Japan together last year, they realized how much they missed the (often wordless) creative dialogue they shared during the making of many of their most memorable albums – beginning with Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky... (2004) and culminating with Hymn To Immortal Wind (2009). The rebirth of the Albini collaboration for Requiem For Hell also coincided with the birth of a close friend's first child, whose actual in utero heartbeat serves as the foundation for the aptly named "Ely's Heartbeat." For MONO, it all felt so right, so inevitable. Requiem For Hell is undeniably heavier and scarier than most of MONO's output to this point – hear the dizzying 18-minute title track for example – but it also carries some of their most sublime moments. This dichotomy is how one band’s obsession with conflict has manifested itself into one of underground music's simultaneously quietest and loudest catalogs.
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Cognitive dissonance is, at this point, an everyday part of modern society. The difference between belief and reality is blurrier than ever, and there is often sufficient manipulation to both so as to make the distinction intentionally unclear. The source of those manipulations can either be external, or deceptively internal. False Readings On is the new album from renowned experimental composer, Eluvium. Its creation was originally inspired by themes of cognitive dissonance in modern society. By its conclusion it had become a mirror rather than a magnifying glass, evolving into an hour-long meditation on self-doubt, anxiety, and separation from one's self. There is an emotional lucidity and melodic ingenuity to Eluvium's music that has made him increasingly stand out from the sea of ambient artists that his earlier albums no doubt helped inspire. Sounding like an orchestra ceaselessly performing even as it sinks beneath an ocean of distortions and tape noise – with the occasional operatic voice piercing the surface – False Readings On is assuredly the most daring, dynamic, and distinct album of his luminous career.
Recorded in 1982 and eventually released in 2009 on CD via William Basinski's own 2062 label, 92982 has become one of Basinski's most celebrated works. Finally available on vinyl for the first time, the album has been remastered from the original master tapes, and packaged in an exquisite custom die-cut package with interchangeable heavyweight inner sleeves featuring previously unpublished artwork and photographs from 1982. "You can't help but wonder why this music, recorded so long ago, is only just surfacing. Was the world not ready for WIlliam Basinski in 1982, or was WIlliam Basinski simply not ready to hand himself over to an audience at that point? Whatever the reasoning, we're certainly reaping the benefits of the influential ambient composer's stockpile, and 92982 proves to be a real highlight in his output of recent years. Despite the minimalist essence of Basinski's oeuvre there's a pronounced sense of variety, diversity and depth at work in these four tracks, with each taking on its own specific persona. Essential." - Boomkat
Atomic, the new album by Scottish experimental rock legends Mogwai, is composed of reworked versions of the music recorded for the soundtrack to director Mark Cousins' acclaimed documentary Atomic: Living In Dread and Promise, which first aired on BBC Four last summer. Constructed entirely of archive film, Atomic is an impressionistic kaleidoscope of the horrors of our nuclear times - protest marches, Cold War sabre-rattling, Chernobyl and Fukishima - but also the sublime beauty of the atomic world, and how x-rays and MRI scans have improved human lives. Mogwai's soundtrack encapsulates the nightmare of the nuclear age, but its dreamlike qualities too. It is the latest in the band's series of impressive soundtracks and scores,following acclaimed albums Les Revenants (The Returned) and Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite says: "The Atomic soundtrack is one of the most intense and fulfilling projects we've taken on as a band. Ever since we went to Hiroshima to play and visited the peacepark this has been a subject very close to us. The end results, both the film score and the record are pieces I'm extremely proud of."