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Brokeback – Illinois River Valley Blues

Thrill Jockey

Brokeback - Illinois River Valley BluesDoug McCombs must be the busiest man in Chicago. Not content with the amorphous beast that is Tortoise, playing bass with Eleventh Dream Day, releasing the Pullman records and undertaking various collaborations, particularly that with David Daniell, he also has what could be considered his own project, Brokeback.

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Julie’s Haircut – Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin

Rocket

Julie's Haircut - Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon TwinJulie’s Haircut has been turning any preconceptions about the idea of Italian music on their heads for the best part of twenty years. I remember catching them with Sonic Boom in Bristol some ten years or so ago, and the record they released together at the time expanded minimal psychedelic guitar repetition in two different directions.

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Ulan Bator – Stereolith

Bureau B

Ulan Bator - StereolithAmaury Cambuzat started Ulan Bator twenty-four years ago and after eleven albums and numerous collaborations with the likes of Faust and Michael Gira, their twelfth LP finds the band stripped down to Amaury, augmented by two Italian players on bass and drums/sax.

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The Feelies – In Between

Bar/None

The Feelies - In BetweenForty years after forming, it is nice to welcome back The Feelies with their sixth studio album in all that time and the second since they reconvened in 2008. The band, which still contains founding members Bill Million and Glenn Mercer (who are still writing together), have not really changed their formula too much since 1978.

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The Moomins – Graeme Miller And Steve Shill’s Unreleased Soundtrack

Finders Keepers

The Moomins - Graeme Miller & Steve Shill's Unreleased SoundtrackThe opening sentence of Andy Votel‘s sleevenotes for the long awaited Moomins soundtrack is just about the most perfect phrase to describe this record, so here it is for your delectation:

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Le Ton Mité – Passé Composé Futur Conditionnel

Crammed Discs http://www.crammed.be/Imagine sitting in a bar and engaging with a tan, weathered stranger who starts showing you photographs of places you are never likely to visit; some vibrant, some serene, a group of faces here, a glorious sunset, buildings, oceans.

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Conrad Schnitzler – Filmmusik 2

Bureau B

Conrad Schnitzler - Filmmusik 2Conrad Schnitzler, early member of both Tangerine Dream and Kluster, must have found both of those oppressive bands too formulaic and stifling. By 1975, he had struck out on his own, producing music for films that had yet to be released or even made.

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Christine Ott – Tabu OST

Gizeh

Christine Ott - Tabu OSTBack in 1931, FW Murnau, director of the Expressionist classics Nosferatu and Faust amongst others was directing a docu-drama in the South Sea Islands about forbidden love between two young islanders. After filming and just before the preview, he died in a vehicle accident and the film, although winning an Oscar, was lost to the sands of time.

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The Argonauts – Here Come The Argonauts!

Accretions

The Argonauts - Here Come The Argonauts!The Argonauts are a four-piece underground supergroup of sorts, surfing out of Japan with this high octane album of instrumental jams that shows all the players, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards to be in excellent form.

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Oriental Sunshine – Dedicated To The Bird We Love

Round 2

Oriental Sunshine - Dedicated To The Bird We LoveOriental Sunshine‘s sole album, Dedicated To The Bird We Love is one of those treats that come along rarely in our musical travels. A psychedelic folk album recorded in Norway in 1969 with a surprising Eastern influence, it received a release from Philips back in the day but sold poorly and sadly, the band spilt not long after, releasing nothing more.

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Mike Wexler – Syntropy

three:four Mike Wexler - Syntropy This is Mike Wexler‘s third album, originally recorded in 2013/4 and thankfully receiving a belated release through the lovely people at three:four. It has the feel of being magically recorded in some sunlit glade hidden far from view; and as it it transpires, it was recorded in rural Vermont, the studio lurking in a wood there and that image pervades the whole album.

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Moebius – Musik Für Metropolis

Bureau B Moebius - Musik Für MetropolisBack in 2012, Dieter Moebius was asked to score Fritz Lang‘s Metropolis and for that purpose produced some pre-arranged tracks to be played during the film which along with some live improvisation would suit the film as he saw it. One imagines that this would have been a roaring success, and therefore he had intended to prepare a recorded album of the results.

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Rothko – A Young Fist Curled Around A Cinder For A Wager

Trace

Rothko - A Young Fist Curled Around A Cinder For A WagerIt has been nearly twenty years since we first marvelled at the extraordinary sounds and textures that three gents could elicit from bass guitars. Catching them in support of Appliance was a revelation and following Mark Beazley‘s mercurial career has been both fascinating and frustrating. I haven’t heard much since the Stateless solo album, but 2016 saw the delivery of not one but two albums.

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Check Out – Check Out

Hornschaft

Check OutBack in 2014, two guys spent one day recording music for a 10″ record in an old school in Nowa Hut to accompany a hardback book of photographs. The result of photographer Giordano Simoncini and musician Alessandro Incorvaia‘s labours, hand-numbered and limited to 500, I hold in my hands and it is a thing of beauty.

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John Cale – Fragments Of A Rainy Season

Double Six / Domino

John Cale - Fragments Of A Rainy SeasonThis is a very welcome reissue of John Cale‘s 1992 solo live album and on listening to it again, I am struck by various things. We know him so well as producer — The Stooges, Nico, Jonathan Richman, Patti Smith, etc — and as a collaborator (Lou Reed, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Spedding, LaMonte Young, etc), but what this album shows us is just what a fine songwriter and solo performer he really is.

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