Saåad – New Helicon (Hands In The Dark)
Pure fucking magic right here. Ever since that 3-way collab with Saåad, EUS, and Postdrome from a few years back, I’ve been keeping an eye on all of those guys, and everything they’ve done has been stellar, and Deep/Float, Saåad’s vinyl debut, is no different. Truly magnificent dark drone that soars and heaves, bittersweet & melancholic doesn’t even crack the surface here, this penetrates deep in the core of your soul and shows you things you didn’t know you could feel, steady and slow moving but it feels like every passing moment is a climax, the point just before you can’t take it anymore and the world collapses under the weight of life, both minimal and overwhelming, this is utterly fucking gorgeous and will bring even the strongest to tears. These two Toulouse dudes are at the top of the drone chain with this one. Out next month, only 300 copies, you can do this.
Me at The Record Exchange, my number one. Credit: my pal Amy
I’ve been doing a bit of research, looking for some of the coolest record shops in America. Reason being, I’m planning a cross country road trip at some unknown point in the future and I’d like to hit up some sweet record shops along the way. The problem is I only know what’s around me, and anytime I see a “best of” or whatever it’s always bloated with places like Amoeba in LA or Shangri-La in Memphis. Not that I’m not interested in those places, I most certainly am, but I’m more looking for the smaller, weirder shops, like Stormy Records in Dearborn, MI or the newly minted Hanson Records in Oberlin, OH. I know about those places because they’re run by artists I’m a fan on, so they’re already on my radar. So here’s where you come in!
First off, this isn’t just about me looking for places to hit up. I actually thought it’d be a good idea to have a list like this, maybe something other people could make use of. So I’m not asking you to omit places like Amoeba. If that’s your favorite place to dig for records, awesome, include it and let us know why. But you know, the weirder the better, that’s the general goal of this, to let other people know about the little places, the holes in walls.
No rules here. There’s no required fields (you don’t even need to share why you like it). You can add however many stores you like (but one at a time please). Don’t worry about duplicates (knowing a shitton of people love Redscroll in CT would be awesome). They don’t have to be in the US. There’s no deadline. The responses will be publicly viewable, and depending on how it goes, I might do something with the data afterwards.
Here’s a spreadsheet of the responses.
The upcoming Saåad record is a fuckin doozy. Keep an eye out.
AGB Radio 2014/03/24
/Background music/ John Chantler – For Nuno (from Automatic Music, Volume II)
Ignatz & Harris Newman – I Will Bring You Buzzard Meat (from Bring You Buzzard Meat)
Ricardo Donoso – Affirmation (Paul Jebanasam Remix) (from Iron/Verse Remixes)
The Skull Defekts – King Of Misinformation (from Dances In Dreams Of The Known Unknown)
Jackie McDowell – Golden Fields (From Baptisia)
Love Cult Take Druss – Death Forever (from Yr Problems)
Pan Sonic – 7’06” (from Oksastus)
Angelo Harmsworth – Bulb II (from Fluxus Rainbow)
Bo Anders Persson – Invention I (from Love Is Here To Stay)
Symbol – Tracer (from Online Architecture)
D/P/I – WATCHYR.BACK3 (from 08.DD.15)
Talons’ – Part 2 (from MIDI Pillow)
Russell Haswell – Incalculable Harm (from 37 Minute Workout)
Tate Eskew – Egaster (from Oldowan)
Jóhann Jóhannsson – It’s Not Your Fault (from McCanick)
Diane Cluck – Heartloose (from Boneset)
Moss Garden – Strange Terrain (from In The Silence Of The Subconscious)
M. Sage – Red Dwarf In E (from Ceiling (Acoutic))
Saåad – Giant Mouth (from Deep/Float)
Jackie McDowell – Apogee And Perigee (Hairy Spider Legs)
Inez Lightfoot is no more. But the powerful alchemist behind Inez Lightfoot, Jackie McDowell, continues on with her regular name, definitely something a lot of artists seem to be doing lately. Not judging or anything, just observing. For posterity’s sake. You know. Anyway, Baptisia is McDowell’s first record under this name, and it’s a fuckin winner. It’s some sort of folk drone pop that’s heavy on the strange & mystic and steeped with buzzing organ hum, which instantly makes me weak in the knees. This has a deep Zomes vibe, especially after that last record with Hanna Olivegren spicing things up with vocals, and I fucking love Zomes so McDowell is already batting a thousand. This record is just a total fuckin burner, with her beautifully distinct voice, singing somber songs rooted in the pagan world, an occasional acoustic guitar, violin, or drum machine, and a dash of field recordings, together creating a haunting atmosphere out of otherworldly tantras, McDowell’s role is enchanting shaman, conjuring hypnotizing sounds that you’d hear while lost in the woods, the drone set to infinity and McDowell floating along with it in perfect harmony, this is a beautiful fuckin record, weird & magical in all the right ways, and it fits in perfectly with Hairy Spider Legs’ oeuvre. Comes out next month, preorders are up so put yours in now and don’t worry about missing out.
Joshua Bonnetta – Strange Lines And Distances trailer (Experimedia Films)
Yes, you read that right. Experimedia Films! And yeah, that’s why there’s a trailer instead of a streaming song. But there’s an album cover too? Yep. Stay with me here for a moment. Get this, Strange Lines And Distances is a record… AND a movie. 2 in 1! It’s what the art world calls “audio/visual.” Joshua Bonnetta created an a/v installation that’s been shown around the world and Experimedia started a film off-shoot to bring this beautiful beast to the public. There’s a DVD (with optional Blu-Ray add-on) of the 16mm film and an LP with an extended version of the score (as well as digital downloads for both audio & video), and it includes an in-depth write up by Jeffrey Sconce that starts out “There will never be a digital ghost.” The whole thing is fucking amazing, and I haven’t even gotten to the content yet.
Story time! Guglielmo Marconi was the first dude to broadcast a radio transmission across the Atlantic (between Cornwall and Newfoundland). Also, he believed that sound waves never completely disappear but rather fade out over time, and if technology was advanced enough, with the right tools you could pick up sound waves from centuries past. Strange Lines And Distances is directly inspired by this belief and Marconi’s transmissions.
Bonnetta’s work here is both thematically fascinating and aesthetically gorgeous. The video has 2 channels, it’s split down the middle with footage from both of the original transmission sites in Cornwall and Newfoundland, it’s a half hour of perfectly paired complementary images of snails & reeds, webs & leaves, clouds & trees. The visuals stand on their own as truly captivating, capturing the micro & macro magic of our planet. The sound part dives even deeper into the mystery of Marconi’s world, finding the most subtle interplay between field recordings, radio transmissions, and electronic sonics, moving through a world of delicate precision and deafening static, getting rolled over by waves of heaven, overwhelming & majestic, next to the silence of being the only person around, hearing your heart beat in tandem with the natural drone of the world, slow & resigned. This is easily one of the most incredible releases so far this year. The record alone is some of the best drone around, and the video is downright masterful, but together, and so exquisitely packaged by Experimedia Films, the whole thing is just absolutely fucking perfect.
Grue – Casualty Of The Psychic Wars (Eternal Death)
There’s not a ton of black metal bands in the Boston area, lots of other metal/hardcore stuff, but for the most part it’s not black enough for my tastes, so when one comes my way, obviously I’m gonna rep em. Enter Grue, who as far as I know, have only put out one release, a split with Word Of Unmaking, prior to this debut full length. That split was good stuff but they fuckin bring it on Casualty Of The Psychic Wars, fast & furious wreckage that’s clean and surprisingly well produced for something that could have easily been another demo lost in the void. These dudes tear shit up, starting out non-fucking-stop, then scaling back to a slow doomed middle and bringing it back to full fledged chaos by the end, it’s cold, brutal, and bleak as hell. And yeah since they’re from Boston a little hardcore seeps in, and while I’m really not into that sorta thing, Grue truly make it work, the vocalist not taking the usual screechy demon/cookie monster route and instead just letting loose a beastly yell, lyrically diving into HP Lovecraft territory, and getting kinda weird instrument-wise, with maybe some synths or something, not sure, definitely not your run of the mill black metal, they manage to show off their inspirations & influences, taking cues from death metal, post black metal, and whatever else without sounding like a generic hodge-podge of watered down misanthropy, they fucking own it, and they’ve only got one full length under their belt. Just you wait.
Birds Of Passage kinda caught me off guard. That record is gorgeous.
AGB Radio 2014-03-17
/Background music/ Death And Vanilla – Untitled 2 (from Vampyr)
Alex Cobb – Marine Layer (from Marigold And Cable)
Sophie Hutchings & Peter Hollo – Closing In (from 15 Shades Of White)
Wasnt Wisnt – Glossolalia (from Steel Cut)
Alpine Decline – Mid-Level Functionary In A Criminal Syndicate (from Go Big Shadow City)
Contort Yourself – Snowed In (from The New Record By Contort Yourself)
Radar Men From The Moon – Reverie (from Strange Wave Galore)
Bolder – Extraterrestrial Deactivity (from Hostile Environment)
Elder Basin – VII (from Plagueweavers)
The Unquiet Grave – Running Towards The Money (from Whispers In The Wind)
Derek Rogers – Dis-in-gen-u-ous (from The House Is A Block)
Black Unicorn – Lowland Observatory (from Traced Landscapes)
Perfect Shapes – The Wake (from Planar)
Jack Dice – Kerosene (from Sip Paint)
Matt Christensen – Blame The World (from Coma Gears)
Birds Of Passage – Belle De Jour (from This Kindly Slumber)
Guardian Alien – Mirage (from Spiritual Emergency)
A.M. – Helioscope (from Dragonfly)
Eliane Radigue – Maquette (from Opus 17)
Gordon Ashworth – Desperate And Indebted (Orindal)
You might not recognize the name Gordon Ashworth because this is his first record under his own name but I can almost guarantee you already know him. He’s recorded as Concern, Oscillating Innards, CAEN, etc, he’s also in the band Knelt Rote, and a bunch of others. So yeah, busy dude, he ain’t new to the scene, and S.T.L.A. makes that readily apparent because HOLY SHIT this record is fucking amazing. He takes a wholly unique approach to folk drone, bringing together his arsenal of talent to blend lush digitalism with tender acoustic keys & strings, in just under 40 minutes he’s able to conjure an entire world of sound teeming with life, mini portraits via field recordings, transcendence out of emotional piano, soft Tesla static and minimal tonal drift, a beautiful banjo singing with heartache, the boundaries are non-existent and Ashworth reins everything together with precision, old Americana & musique concrète alongside blurred drone & modern classical, everything all at once and pared down to the barest intimate impression of reality. Not gonna lie, I was pretty fuckin bummed when Ashworth drew the shades on Concern a couple years ago, but S.T.L.A. heals that wound and goes way beyond what I had hoped for, this record is utterly fantastic, gorgeous in every way. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a sucker for banjos, especially banjo drone, I mean forget about it I’m a fuckin goner, but trying to get past that, this is easily one of the best goddamn records I’ve heard in a long time. For real. Only 300 copies pressed up, so stream some samples then get your pre-order on now and lock it in.
Aires – Orgânico II – Monolítico (Enough)
I’m usually pretty out of the loop with netlabel releases and the seemingly endless amount of stuff on archive.org, but this one snuck by & stuck out and goddamn we’re all the better for it. Aires is a dude out of Lisbon and this is his debut, or at least the debut as Aires. Truly magnificent work here, blending field recordings, shoegaze, and the almighty drone to send you soaring above the storm clouds and into the heart of the sun, this is a slow burning blissful beast, taking its time unraveling the many layers of din & clamor, light airy shimmer capped with dark melancholic tension, an imminent evil that never shows its face, heavy on the digital FX, panning, bursting, & scratching, tons of texture that eventually explodes on the last track, overwhelming with waves of euphoric static washing over, dense & absolutely fucking gorgeous, a heavy fabric billowing under mighty winds, pure emotions run rampant, and it’s over before you can catch your breath. Excellent fucking sounds on this record, definitely a dude to keep an eye on. And don’t forget, this is free and you can take your pick of where to download it.
Ak’chamel, The Giver Of Illness – Cancer Eclipsed The Sun (
Null Religion Centipede Farm)
See, this is why I keep this AGB thing going, shit like this record right here. The Giver Of Illness hit me up out of the blue with this tape and with a name like Fucking With Spirits I figured it’d be pretty cool. Well yeah, pretty cool is accurate, but pretty fucking rad as hell is more like it. Ak’chamel calls out some seriously weird ritualistic cult jams that aim to connect with the Nightosphere by way of midnight smoke chants, all manner of beasts hypnotized and speaking in tongues while plinking away on a broken spike fiddle, pounding a ratty drum, and droning on whatever noisemaker they can find, meandering and absolutely fucked, lo-fi doesn’t even begin to describe this stuff, it’s dank as hell with deep warble & crackle sounding like it was recovered from a tape found melting on orange embers, moments of lucidity are nowhere to be found, this is crazy hallucinatory shit that only asks you let go of your preconceptions and just fuckin go with it, let the shamans lead, they’ll show you the Dark Party, and you’ll never want to leave. This is currently free* on Bandcamp (along with a bunch of other Ak’chamel stuff) but it’ll be tape-ified by
Null Religion Centipede Farm very soon.
Inventions! New K’an!! New Mike Shiflet!!!
AGB Radio 2014/03/10
/Background music/ Bobby BeauSoleil – Lucifer Rising, Pt. V (from The Lucifer Rising Suite)
Inventions – Peaceable Child (from Inventions)
K’an – Zero (from Mutation II: Textures)
Siavash Amini – The Violet Hour (from Till Human Voices Wake Us)
Good Willsmith – If Anything Happens To Me, My Password Is Lady Lass (from The Honeymoon Workbook)
Black Hat – Imaginary Friends (from Thought Of Two)
Kwes – Hives (from Ilp)
Mike Shiflet – Folding (from Unfolding)
Robin Allender – An Uneven Lie (from Foxes In The Foyer)
Ryan Huber – Track 5 (from Abiff’s Gaze)
Salvatore Farina – Fireflies (from Light-Like)
Holly Herndon – Solo Voice (from Chorus)
Oren Ambarchi – I (from Amulet)
Claypipe – Forlorn Hope (from A Daylight Blessing)
Former Selves – Move Freely (All Wishing) (from Sunyata)
Tara Jane O’Neil – Bellow Below As Above (from Where Shine New Lights)
Haf Haf – Hybrid (from Notch)
Benoît Pioulard – Homily (Cock & Swan Remix) (from Hymnal Remixes)
Faures – Asthenospheric Movement I (Home Normal)
Faures is a new project bringing together René Margraff (aka Pillowdiver), Samuel Landry (aka Le Berger), and Fuzz Lee (aka Elintseeker), all three of them being totally righteous droners on their own, each from a different continent, and together forming up like a motherfuckin Drone-tron, unstoppable with their perfect mellowtones. Continental Drift was inspired by this quote from Hans Cloos in regards to continents & tectonics, “It let them float and drift, break apart and converge. Where they broke away, cracks, rifts, trenches remain; where they collided, ranges of folded mountains appear.” And Faures spun the quote to instead reference sound, letting loose a massive & delicate record of shifting glacial air, breaking open vents to unleash monumental walls of bliss and then filtering out the overwhelming static to leave you with a subtle soft ambient that’s deeply intimate and full of emotion, inaudible clicks intertwined with layered minimalism, resonant piano, and mournful strings, this is some divine head-filling drone that soothes all forms of beast, Home Normal proving yet again to be one of the most reliable sources for drone records of the highest fucking quality.
Black Hat – Portrait In Fluorescent Light (Hausu Mountain)
With only a couple killer EPs to his name (on Debacle and Field Hymns), Black Hat drops this fucking ridiculous full length on the Hausu and people better start payin attention now. This dude jams some dark techno drone that drowns out the rest of the watered down stuff in the genre. Thought Of Two could easily have come out on Modern Love, it’s got the sprawling ambient vibe that drones with the best of em, soaring through deep space headed for the edge of the universe and glimpsing the other side of life, and beautifully textured foundations that set the scene for a mixed bag of rad rhythms, occasionally woozy & blissful, but mostly just alien industrial grooves that are murky as fuck and damn near perfect, this is the most premium shit, definitely a high point in the scene right now. Only 100 copies of this beast were pressed to white vinyl and they’re almost completely gone already, even though it was officially released yesterday, but if you miss out on the white vinyl, there’s plenty of CDs to go around. UPDATE: Plenty of black vinyl was pressed up too. My bad!
Claypipe – Shed Your Clothes And Feel The Sun (MIE)
Claypipe is not a new band (although new to me, thanks MIE!), it’s the output of renowned New Zealanders Antony Milton & Clayton Noone and this is their seventh record, so if you’ve heard either of their work or heard anything from Milton’s PseudoArcana label, then you might know what you’re getting yourself into here and have probably already started looking for a copy to cherish in your arms forever. This record is the most perfect blend of drone & pop you could imagine, à la Benoit Pioulard’s recent stuff, although A Daylight Blessing is much more warbled & fuzzy, stretched out drones & easy going chords wrapped up in gauze and soaking in the sun, everything is muffled under decayed hissing tape, turning the blissful & serene into something just a hair unsettling, the shimmer jangle propped up on a sobering melancholy, distant vocals echoing down canyons with a soft scattering of sounds teeming with life, an absolutely beautiful and enchanting record, only 300 copies pressed up by MIE and officially out as of yesterday, so get a move on.
Had to balance out last week’s birthday pop fest with this dark & heavy shit.
AGB Radio 2014/03/03
/Background music/ Leucosis – Anaesthesia (from Leucosis)
Vindensång – Within The Womb Of Creation (from Alpha)
Grue – Casualty Of The Psychic Wars (from Casualty Of The Psychic Wars)
Unru – Ich Bin Der Hexenmeister (from Demo MMXIII)
Cult Of Fire – संहार रक्त काली (from मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान)
Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Komm Zuruek Zu Mir (from Piano Nights)
Virile Games – Nailed To The Living Heart Of Heaven (from Wounded Laurel)
Geryon – De Profundis (from Geryon)
Mizmor – VII – Epistemological Rupture (from Hell / Mizmor Split)
Plack Blague – Beg To Blague (from EVIL)
Sunn O))) & Ulver – Western Horn (from Terrestrials)
Mondkopf – Hadès II (from Hadès)
Burnt Skull – Sewer Birth (from Sewer Birth)
Predatory Light – Changing Skins (from MMXIV)
Koenraad Ecker – Decline (from Ill Fares The Land)
Nadja – Mouths (from Queller)