Pretty much everybody in the northern hemisphere is sick of this winter, with all the snow, ice, rain, much, mayhem, and misery. Fortunately springtime is on its way, but until now, we present records to spend your time with, hidden away, avoiding the mess.

8 Records To Hide In The Cold To

X-TG, "Desertshore"

cover imageBeginning life as a Throbbing Gristle album back in 2007, this cover album of Nico’s Desertshore has had a tumultuous life. Its four parents went through a divorce when Genesis P-Orridge left the group in 2010 before unexpectedly losing Peter Christopherson a month later. Desertshore was Sleazy’s baby but Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have done their best to foster it and give it the chance it deserved. The end results are unsurprisingly mixed, the range of guest vocalists that have replaced P-Orridge are varied in background and skill which has not served the source material well but taken as a whole with its sister albums, The Final Report and ?????? (Faet Narok), this is as good an ending to Throbbing Gristle/X-TG as possible as well as being a fitting tribute to Sleazy and his work.


Jessica Bailiff, "At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky"

cover imageHer first solo full length in over six years, this album leans more into Bailiff's electric guitar and lush atmospherics rather than the more stripped down folk sound.  It has a distinctly current sound, but in a way that triggers memories of the best of early 1990s alternative rock, which was a formative time in my musical development. That’s not to say that Bailiff's more folk inclinations are gone, however:  the hushed, spectral voice and the slow, acoustic lead "Your Ghost is Not Enough" calls to mind the earlier, more folk heavy work, even with its transition into a more electrified conclusion.


Arthur Russell, "Another Thought"

This CD was originally issued on the Point Music label in 1994 to little fanfare, and it quickly went out of print. It was the first posthumous release of the work of Arthur Russell, who died of AIDS in 1992, but significantly pre-figured the resurgence of interest in the artist a decade later. To meet the new demand, it has now been reissued by Philip Glass' Orange Mountain Music label, in an edition nearly identical to the 1992 release. It easily ranks among Russell's best releases, filled with memorable, idiosyncratic songs drawn from the Russell's vast private tape archives.


Main, "Hz"

cover imageHz was initially a series of six EPs, released monthly, then compiled into a six disc box set, and later a two disc compilation.  In my opinion, the then-duo of Robert Hampson and Scott Dawson reached the highest peak in their quest to take the sound of the electric guitar as far as it could go.  Evenly split between astronomical ambient abstraction and a nascent take on post rock, this set was the final one where the duo’s history as Loop was still shining through.  The result is two hours of the best experimental rock and ambient drone in my own personal collection.


Andrew Chalk, "The River That Flows Into the Sands"

After reviewing Vega, I was sure that Andrew Chalk had some new tricks up his sleeve. Albums like Fall in the Wake of a Flawless Landscape and Over the Edges were dynamic by virtue of their tonal range or through the use of multiple layers shifting throughout the record. Vega saw Chalk working with the subconscious, slowly pulling it apart through slow spatial manipulation. Here, Chalk centers his attention on the guitar and develops a series of meditations that gives his music new depth.


Labradford, "Fixed::context"

Similar to the Tortoise and New Year albums, the newest Labradford audio document also heads down the path of re-examining older concepts through current methodology. (And like the New Year, this was also recorded with assistance from Steve Albini in July of 2000 in Chicago.) The trio return to a certain purity of earlier albums with the absence of additional players which colored the last few. 'Fixed::Content' could be the most personal recording a group like Labradford can get while remaining completely instrumental. The album is an exercise in patience, symmetry and impressionistically represents the group as the trio they are.


Natural Snow Buildings, "Night Coercion Into the Company of Wolves"

cover imageAs far as Natural Snow Buildings-related albums go, this sprawling reissue ranks as a pretty monumental and eagerly anticipated event.  Originally released in a crazily limited edition of only 22, this 2008 triple-album is one of the band's most ambitious, yet rarely heard, statements.  Given Mehdi and Solange's tireless evolution over the years, Night Coercion understandably lacks the sophistication and song-craft of their current work, but mostly compensates for those shortcomings with a potent mixture of primal power and sheer massiveness.