Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron & Fred Squire, "Lost Wisdom"

Phil Elverum's precise insights into the human condition have never sounded better than on these duets with Julie Doiron. Her guitarist, Fred Squire, also helps to make a record that is meticulous, profound, stark, and truly beautiful.
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  11437 Hits

"Auteur Labels: Les Disques du Crepuscule 1980 - 1985"

This lovely snapshot in LTM's Auteur Labels series focuses on the cult label which, despite sprouting out of Brussels, released such artists as Durutti Column, Anna Domino, Bill Nelson, Michael Nyman, Tuxedomoon, and (former Skids vocalist) Richard Jobson.
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  10848 Hits

Robbie Basho, "Bonn ist Supreme"

Almost 23 years after his death, Robbie Basho's cosmic approach to steel-string guitar is the stuff of legend. On this 1980 live recording, Basho's exciting and perplexing playing is sometimes punctuated by his delightfully unfashionable and extraordinarily full-throttle singing.
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  11252 Hits

The Gubernatorial Candidates, "No Remainder"

Here's a self-released EP from a duo delivering on the promise of their self-titled debut. The title track, which could teach Milan Kundera a trick or two about how to deal with philosophical questions in a populist style, has made my musical year.
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  9104 Hits

Chef Menteur, "The Answer's in Forgetting"

Chef Menteur’s second full length retains the sense of a group setting obscure crossword clues while working out what their equipment will do. The sound is deeper and tighter but doesn’t completely abandon post-space-drone- audio-collage.
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  22054 Hits

Karl Blau, "Nature's Got Away"

In the past Karl Blau has been inspired by A.A. Milne. On Nature’s Got Away he conjures up a fabulous landscape somewhere between dreams and wakefulness. This unfussy yet 3D music seems almost theatrical in an era where 1.5 dimensions are too often the norm.
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  22750 Hits

DJ Spooky, "Sound Unbound"

DJ Spooky's brand of audio-collage transcends his labors as archaeologist and cuckoo. With dozens of sound sources including Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Raymond Scott, Sun Ra, and Morton Subotnick, this companion to his Sound Unbound book balances theory with swinging music.
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  9697 Hits

Olafur Arnalds, "Eulogy for Evolution"

21 year old Olafur Arnalds wrote some of this debut when he was 15. His controlled pieces for piano, strings, and occasional electronics will have fans of Max Richter and Johann Johannsson as happy as dreaming dogs having their bellies tickled.
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  20009 Hits

Lucky Dragons, "Dream Island Laughing Language"

Released in both CD and 12” vinyl formats, with five bonus cuts on the CD, Dream Island Laughing Language has a happy homemade intensity blending sounds gleaned from natural instruments such as bells, bowls, flutes, mini- dulcimer, mbira, hands, rubber bands, as well as those derived from cassettes and computers.
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  7214 Hits

Mogwai, "Young Team"

Mogwai's re-mastered debut is an intoxicating mix of repetition, slowly emerging tunes, and violent crescendos. When we add in their use of conversational voices, dark humor, and a penchant for anonymity they resemble (at the risk of sacrilege) early-mid period Pink Floyd.
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  8350 Hits

Amolvacy, "Ho Ho Kus"

Amolvancy's clear vinyl album and sleeve is reminiscent of the movie poster for The Day of The Locust. The music is shrill, cathartic, erudite and primitive: sort of like beating kittens to death with a copy of a French literature anthology.
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  11208 Hits

Jade Stone & Luv, "Mosaics: Pieces of Stone"

Whoever decided not to run a limited reissue of this album on 8-Track should be flogged to death by hot chicks in hot pants using hot fuzzy dice. Jade Stone's 1977 self-release looks like it was born in a bargain bin but sounds well weird. It's hard to decide if it's a minor classic or obnoxious nonsense.
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  20172 Hits

"Living is Hard: West African Music in Britain 1927-1929"

First in a series from Honest Jon's trawl through more than 150,000 78 rpm records stored in the EMI archive in Hayes. Originally exported to Africa, these musical letters home are exotic songs of pragmatism, resignation, warning and defiance.  
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  10353 Hits

The Stranger, "Bleaklow"

Another V/VM alter-ego uses analog and digital sources to create vivid impressions of a specific landscape of Northern England. The mood is akin to a wet cold late-winter trek across the harshly beautiful terrain and the rare prettier music captures precious moments when the sun breaks through.
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  11979 Hits

Sun City Girls, "You're Never Alone With A Cigarette" (Singles Volume 1)

Back in 1988 the intention was to sequence these mainly instrumental tracks for release amidst the mostly vocal pieces from the same session. Had that happened, then Sun City Girls' best known release Torch of the Mystics would have been the rarest of beasts: a consistently excellent double album.
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  11247 Hits

Mariachi Azteca Principal, "The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland National Anthem #2"

This delightful vinyl single celebrates the occasion of the inauguration of The Embassy of The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland in Mexico City on 30 August, 2002. It is a perfect demonstration that few things are more serious than well-spun yarns and few things unravel as amusingly as seriousness.
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  10085 Hits

Bread Love and Dreams, "The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon..."

This slice of progressive folk music from the summer of 1970 is a charming recording by the duo of David McNiven and Angie Rew augmented by a rhythm section of Danny Thompson and Terry Cox, on loan from Pentangle. What's so funny about youthful possibility and childhood memory?
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  11436 Hits

Alessandra Celletti, "Way Out"

Alessandra Celletti has previously interpreted Glass, Gurdjieff and Satie with her splendidly vivid piano style. This third album of dramatic original material adds vocals and drums on some pieces and, incidentally, reminds me why I listen to music.
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  12076 Hits

The Breeders, "Mountain Battles"

Mountain Battles sounded like a superficial hodgepodge with few promising moments. Desperately seeking positives, I sought a suitable listening venue and found one with a Breeders fan: my hairdresser.
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  6805 Hits

The Vernon Elliot Ensemble,"Ivor the Engine/Pogles Wood"

The Trunk label rescues from extinction Vernon Elliot's composition for two 1960s children's TV shows: the charming Ivor The Engine and the decidedly surreal Pogles Wood.
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  11810 Hits