Spare analogue tracks from Kevin Harrison – work that's relatively early in the cassette culture world of electronics, and which makes for a nice link between more widely-circulated singles of the time! Some of the tunes have a nicely rhythmic pulse, peppered with noise – almost like late Throbbing Gristle, or solo Chris & Cosey – while others maybe recall more of the tuneful territory of Young Marble Giants, but with a more obscure sort of charm, and a more abstract approach overall! The collection is a great reminder that we still have so much to discover from this period – so much music that was created almost in secret, at a time when the bigger groups were getting all the glory. Titles include "All Night Long", "Chase The Dragon", "Cantonese Detective Agency", "Cyclotron", "Water", "Flicker", "Melodica Melodica", "People In Space", and "Free Float". LP, Vinyl record album
The tremendous debut of The Mekons – a very different group at this stage than the well-loved act that has graced the Chicago scene for years! Instead, The Mekons resonate with a quality that really shows their link to the same Leeds scene that spawned Gang Of Four – and, if the gods were just, this album would have gotten the same sort of exposure and enthusiasm as that group's Entertainment – as The Mekons have a fantastic blend of punk, jagged rhythms, and wit – the last of which is maybe summed up by the cover and title, which is the group's play on the old idea of an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters being able to write Shakespeare! The songs are wonderful – a great counterpart to their first few singles on the Fast Product compilation – and titles include "Join Us In The Countryside", "Like Spoons No More", "After 6", "Watch The Film", "I Saw You Dance", "Lonely & Wet", and "Dan Dare". LP, Vinyl record album
Searing work from The Avengers – one of the first, and one of the best female-fronted punk bands on the US scene – and maybe the greatest group to come from San Francisco during the early punk years too! All three tracks are great – at that level that makes The Avengers rival the greatest UK work of the period – short, sharp, and totally to the point – perfect in every possible punk rock way! 7-inch, Vinyl record
Bert Jansch —
Bert Jansch ... LP Transatlantic/SuperiorViaduct, 1965. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
Mindblowing music – an album of simple structure, but incredible power – and a record that prefaces so many other sounds to come! The set just features the young Bert Jansch on vocals and guitar – years before his presence in Pentangle – but working with such a complex array of influences and elements that we could spend pages just trying to unpack all that's going on in his work! Yet he also delivers the whole thing with an amazingly understated quality – one that's easygoing, open-handed, and completely un-self-conscious of its genius – so that the whole thing hardly telegraphs its interweaving of jazz, blues, and folk – its sense of ancient and modern – and the way that it can touch so many different scenes at once. Titles include "Needle Of Death", "Smokey River", "Finches", "I Have No Time", "Strolling Down The Highway", "Do You Hear Me Now", "Casbah", and "Alice's Wonderland". LP, Vinyl record album
One of the greatest albums ever from UK genius Bert Jansch – cut as a solo set at a time when his fame was rising with the group Pentangle, and somewhat overlooked at the time! Yet all these many years later, we'd rank this one right up alongside important records of the period by Nick Drake – even though Jansch has a style that's completely his own – a bit ancient at times, somewhat bluesy on his guitar inflections, and set to this amazing voice that makes even the simplest lyric come across with a spooky sort of edge. Instrumentation is relatively spare – mostly Bert on guitar, joined by occasional players who include jazzman Ray Warleigh on alto and flute, and Duffy Power on harmonica – shaded in by producer Shel Talmy in ways that remind us of the lighter folksy numbers on the Donovan productions by Mickie Most. Titles include "The Bright New Year", "Tree Song", "Poison", "Wishing Well", "Blues", "I Am Lonely", and "Come Sing Me A Happy Song To Prove We Can All Get Along The Lumpy Bumpy Long & Dusty Road". LP, Vinyl record album
Continuing genius from the great Bert Jansch – the singer/songwriter's second album, and one of his most sublime records ever! The album's got an up-close, personal vibe – mostly just Bert's vocals and acoustic guitar, a bit like the earliest albums by Bob Dylan – and like Dylan, Jansch has this approach that's completely his own – very much schooled in older 20th century traditions, but focused on finding a new way forward – with a mix of melodic and harmonic elements that flow from his guitar with effortless ease, and are matched by some beautifully pointed vocals by a singer who sounds unlike anyone else. At times, the tunes have a quality that's almost hypnotic – a bit of a John Fahey vibe in the progressions, but a bit warmer – and titles include "Tinker's Blues", "It Don't Bother Me", "Harvest Your Thoughts Of Love", "Lucky Thirteen", "As The Day Grows Longer Now", "So Long", "900 Miles", and "Ring A Ding Blues". LP, Vinyl record album
Bert Jansch —
Jack Orion ... LP Transatlantic/SuperiorViaduct, 1966. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
A huge leap forward for the mighty Bert Jansch – and a record that's somehow even more amazing than the ones that came before! Bert's maybe even more introspective here, but also on a personal journey that takes him down musical paths that seem broader than before – almost echoing a wider range of influences on his guitar performance, yet in a way that still comes across with a uniquely pointed vibe. There's some occasional shift in the instrumentation, too – as Jansch plays banjo on the leadoff track, but with the same chilling currents as his sublime acoustic guitar – and John Renbourn joins on second guitar for a number of tracks, prefacing the pair's collaboration to come. And as with all of Jansch's genius material at this point, there's a quality that's both ancient and modern, timeless and uniquely tied to its moment – flowering beautifully on tunes that include "Jack Orion", "The Waggoner's Lad", "Nottamun Town", "Black Water Side", "Pretty Polly", and "The Gardner". LP, Vinyl record album
Bert Jansch —
Rosemary Lane ... LP Reprise/SuperiorViaduct, 1971. New Copy (reissue)...
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Tremendous work from Bert Jansch – an album that shows how much he'd evolved in just a few short years – both as a singer and as a musician, and as a completely unique talent on his own! The record has an instantly timeless feel – that mix of ancient inspiration and new freedoms unlocked by the small group of important UK folk musicians of which Jansch was a part – and the format has Bert really going back to the basics of his debut, with just vocals and guitar – but delivered with this incredible new presence that's very different than his work of the mid 60s! There's so many dark, subtle elements going on here – both in the guitar lines and the singing – it might be possible to initially overlook the genius of the record, which keeps on giving and giving for years, over many repeated listenings. Titles include "Tell Me What Is True Love", "A Dream A Dream A Dream", "Sarabanda", "Bird Song", "Sylvie", "Silly Woman", "Nobody's Bar", and "Allman". LP, Vinyl record album
Joe McPhee —
Nation Time ... LP CJ Records/SuperiorViaduct, 1970. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
Wild early work from avant jazz genius Joe McPhee – and a set that's actually pretty darn funky too! This rare indie release features 3 long tracks – two of which were recorded live, with a tight combo that includes a very funky drummer! The album kicks off with the hard wailing "Nation Time", which begins with a shout from Joe, and which rolls into a vamping modal groove (almost Pharoah Sanders-ish) filled with spiritual tenor work from McPhee, and some nice electric piano that sounds very off-kilter – funky, but unusual too. Next up is "Shakey Jake", an excellent 13 minute funk number – with bubbling organ, vamping rhythms, and a nice extended jazz dance groove – one of the rare tunes that has kept the album at the top of collectors' lists for years! And last up is "Scorpio's Dance", a pretty raw and somber track, with a nice open-ended loft jazz quality – balancing things out with a bit of avant energy. LP, Vinyl record album
Great work from Ennio Morricone – a moody soundtrack to an obscure 1972 thriller starring Kirk Douglas – scored by the maestro with some especially inventive touches! Morricone's exploring his use of space quite a bit in this one – opening up the sound slowly, and patiently – so that you can really hear and concentrate on all the unusual sounds he creates – some almost as experimental as his work with Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova, others more in that warmly musical quality you'd know from other soundtracks. The sekectuins are filled with passages of sounds and silence that interweave into each other nicely - and the album's notable for the use of some odd noise effects, too – like strange clickings and scrapings, which are balanced with the album's moodier orchestral scoring. One of Morricone's more subtle scores, and filled with some very memorable moments – on titles that include "18 Pari", "A Florinda", "Colpo Parallelo", "Un Tempo Infinito", and "L'Incarico". LP, Vinyl record album
The title certainly gets it right – as Spacemen 3 were legally-registered heroin addicts in the UK at the time of this recording – very unusual in the years before heroin chic of the 90s! The set came out after the group's first few landmark records, but actually features earlier demo material recorded in 1986 – really wonderful sounds that are a great change from the tighter direction the group were taking as the 90s moved on – as these sides still have them very much awash in fuzz, and probably pretty fuzzed-out themselves! Sonic Boom provides loads of wonderfully trippy guitar feedback, and the group's a quartet here – with guitar, bass, and percussion – on titles that include "Come Down Easy", "That's Just Fine", "Mary Anne", "Sound Of Confusion", "A-Men", and "Losing Touch With My Mind". LP, Vinyl record album
Marion Brown —
Three For Shepp ... LP Impulse/SuperiorViaduct, 1966. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
An unbelievable recording! As Archie Shepp made his first album for Impulse a tribute to Coltrane, Marion Brown made his a tribute to Shepp – a wonderful lineage of avant talent in the 60s, stated boldly here, given Brown's amazing talent on the record! The album's filled with hard, soulful playing that goes out, but never too far – like Shepp in his best sixties moments – and Brown's working with a great lineup of players that includes Grachan Moncur on trombone, Beaver Harris on drums, and Stanley Cowell on piano! The tunes include three Marion Brown originals on side one, plus three tracks by Shepp on side two. "Spooks" alone will leave you loving this album for years to come – and other tracks include "West India", "Delicado", "New Blue", and "Fortunato". A brilliant blend of 60s "new thing" playing and 70s underground jazz! LP, Vinyl record album
(First-ever vinyl reissue – in a heavy gatefold cover, like the original!)
Alice Coltrane —
Lord Of Lords ... LP Impulse/SuperiorViaduct, 1972. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)...
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Beautifully high concept work from Alice Coltrane – the kind of record you'd use to announce the arrival of a new king – or lord, for that matter! The record features Coltrane at the head of a large group of string players – creating a full, rich sound that serves as the backdrop for the core group of musicians – a trio that features Alice on piano, organ, and harp, plus Charlie Haden on bass and Ben Riley on drums and percussion. The tracks are long, and at times very dark – extremely powerful in their sound, and with a sense of hope, life, and majesty that's extremely inspiring! Titles include "Sri Rama Ohnedaruth", "The Firebird", "Lord of Lords", and "Going Home". LP, Vinyl record album
Ellen Fullman —
In The Sea ... LP SuperiorViaduct, 1987. New Copy 2LP (reissue)...
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Ellen Fullman works here on her own unique "long string" instrument – a piece that's maybe part sculpture, like the work of Harry Bertoia – but which has a very different feel overall! The long strings resonate in a really amazing way – and are often played in a way that really sustains the sound and tone – sometimes by Fullman solo, sometimes with one or three associates – all with this quality that almost sounds like a room-size sitar, at least at those moments when sitar strings are more resonant than plucked! The result is music that's unlike anything else we've ever heard, and which is incredibly beautiful – on four long tracks, titled "In The Sea", "Staggered Stasis", "Work For Four Players & 90 Strings", and "Work For Two". LP, Vinyl record album
Minimalist brilliance from Jon Gibson – a composer/musician who worked with some of the greats of his generation, and also made some wonderful music on his own! This package features music recorded in and around New York in the mid 70s, often recorded by Kurt Munkacsi, the engineer who made Phillip Glass' recordings sound so great – and the performances range from solo works on piano, organ, and solo soprano sax – to group performances with musicians who include Arthur Russell on cello, Barbara Benary on violin, and Julius Eastman on piano. All works are beautifully minimal and cyclical – and titles include "Equal Distribution", "Solo For Saxophone", "Melody IV", "Song 1", "Melody", and "Song 2". LP, Vinyl record album
William Hooker —
Is Eternal Life ... LP Reality Unit Concepts/SuperiorViaduct, 1976. New Copy 2LP Gatefold (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
A rare treasure from the loft jazz years of the New York scene – an early session led by drummer William Hooker – with very open, improvised tracks featuring a shifting lineup that includes work on tenor by both David Murray and David S Ware! In truth, the concept of "lineup" is a bit small – as two tracks are just Hooker on solo drums, percussion, and vocals; one more is a long duet with Ware's tenor; another a trio with Les Goodson and Hasaan Dawkins on reeds and percussion; and the last is a trio outing with Murray and bassist Mark Miller – all very long, soulful numbers that never indulge too much in the freedom allowed, but really make the most of the space in the process. Titles include "Drum Form", "Soy", "Above & Beyond", and "Passages". LP, Vinyl record album
A masterpiece from Spacemen 3 – maybe one of the greatest psychedelic albums of all time – and one that we'd rank right up there with giants from the late 60s, and all those lesser-known acts that always seem to get rediscovered over the years! There's a definite 80s quality to the production, but there's also a timeless approach here that really sets the trio apart from so many of their contemporaries who'd reach for fuzz and echo, yet end up sounding completely dated just a few years later. Everything seems set to "rumble" – the Vox Starstreamer, the Fender Jaguar, the Telecaster, Rickenbacker, and other vintage instruments that made this drum-less record so wonderful right at the core – and although the vocals are part of the package too, it's really the guitars that do all the singing here. Titles include "Come Down Softly To My Soul", "How Does It Feel", "Let Me Down Gently", "Lord Can You Hear Me", "Suicide", "Honey", and "I Believe It". LP, Vinyl record album
Suicide ... LP Red Star/SuperiorViaduct, 1976. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
Frankie, Frankie – OW! Take a broken-down synth, some crazy vocals, and a rich sense of imagination – and you've got one of the seminal groups of the New York scene of the early punk years. Suicide were a key bridge between earlier prog underground sounds and the art-rock punk styles that were coming out of New York in the late 70s – and one that was in a space that was completely their own – and still is, after all the decades since the release of this record! With this one landmark album, the band completely dismantled the cold German prog synth of groups like Kraftwerk, La Dusseldorf, and Tangerine Dream – and created a wild sound of spare anguish that brought a whole new dimension to punk rock. The album has got to be one of the top 50 "must have" rock records of all time – and titles include the cuts "Ghost Rider", "Rocket USA", "Johnny", "Frankie Teardrop", "Che", and "Cheree". LP, Vinyl record album
A second album of sorts from Suicide – but one that came out a long four years after their seminal debut, at a time when all of the groups that Suicide had influenced had grown up on their own to fill up the underground! Yet the duo of Martin Rev and Alan Vega are still way ahead of the pack here – and even production by Ric Ocasek can't smooth their edges or dampen their madness, or bog them down in any sort of new wave cliches! Instead, it just feels like they've upgraded their electronics a bit, and maybe put a slight bit of care into the recording of Vega's vocals – without messing with the mix too much. Titles include "Harlem", "Be Bop Kid", "Diamonds Fur Coat Champagne", "Fast Money Music", "Sweetheart", "Mr Ray", and "Shadazz". LP, Vinyl record album
(Recent reissue on Superior Viaduct, still in the shrink.)