Sublime Frequencies, the influential Seattle label run by Hisham Mayet and Sun City Girls bassist Alan Bishop, has made a name for itself over the years by culling obscure recordings from around the world and then dropping dependably great compilations for us music nerds to enjoy. One 2008 release in particular, 1970’s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground, promptly sold out on vinyl and was never reprinted… until now! As a digipak CD. Perfect for the car stereo, or your Discman from 1996.
But let’s focus on the music, right? This rare compilation collects some of the most prescient Algerian Raï 45s in one place. In the early 1970s, Raï began to develop on the country’s Northwest Coast, where a young scene was crafting a new, experimental take on classic Algerian styles. Sent underground and censored by the government, these Raï pioneers are still relatively unknown to this day… until now! Spread the word, guys, cause this is one digipak you won’t wanna miss out on. It even features a booklet with photos and historical liner notes. If you read these notes, you’ll learn that “the Godfather of the modern Raï sound” is none other than Messaoud Bellemou, whose group L’Orchestre Bellemou reworked traditional Algerian music with newfangled instruments like the trumpet. 1970s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground is out now on CD, and the full tracklist can be found below. My personal favorite is “I’m Still Getting Drunk… Still.”
1970s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground tracklist:
01. Li Maandouche l’Auto [He, Who Doesn’t Own a Car]
02. Mazal Nesker Mazal [I’m Still Getting Drunk… Still]
03. Touedar Aakli [My Reason Is Lost]
04. Lah Lah Ya S’habi [My God! My God! My Friends!]
05. Dayha Oulabes [I’ll Marry Her Wheter They Like It or Not…]
06. Malagre Tout [Despite Everything]
07. El Fermlia [The Nurse]
08. Ana Dellai [I Cuddle Myself]
• Sublime Frequencies: http://www.sublimefrequencies.com
It is with a heavy heart and great sorrow we have to let you know that Dick Wagner has left this world. Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life. His creativity and passion will live on forever in the legacy he has left for us, in his music and his words. We have so much of him to celebrate. Dick was prolific not only in the tangible realm of what we can see and hear but in the boundless energy of his spirit, which will never die. He was a fighter, but in the end his body couldn’t keep up with his spirit, and so he lays to rest. Dick said in 2013, “Love is in the air. Breathe deep.” Take Dick’s advice into your own hearts, and notice all of the beauty in the world, even when it seems cruel and unfair.
Desert Dreams Records & the Family of Dick Wagner
• Dick Wagner: http://www.wagnermusic.com
Hyperdub continues to be the best 10-year-old around, announces third anniversary comp feat. Burial, Dean & Inga, Laurel Halo, Fatima Al Qadiri, and more
Children — the youngins, if you will — can be so desperate for attention sometimes. You can’t get a moment’s peace before one intrudes with their shrill, breathless voice to say something of little-to-no value. They’re incessant, incorrigible. But look, they’re just youngins, they’ll learn to keep their mouth shut like the rest of us one day! For now, all you can do is be calm and patient, showing the bare minimum of interest, an absentminded nod or an “uh huh,” because, let’s face it, they don’t know the difference anyway. And that’s fine I suppose, but wouldn’t it be great if more 10-year-olds were like Hyperdub?
You see, this year marks the label’s 10th birthday, and instead of demanding an iPad and an Adventure Time cake, Hyperdub decided to be a good little youngin and repay its fans with a celebratory series of four compilations. The first was a collection of the label’s more dancefloor-ready music: the grime, the footwork, the booty-shakers. The second showcased their twisted R&B tendencies. And now Hyperdub has announced its third anniversary compilation, Hyperdub 10.3, which will be released on September 22 and focus on the label’s brand of “atmospheric beatless moments” and “downcast ambience.” Like the other compilations, it features a mix of old and new material from the likes of Kode9, Dean Blunt, Inga Copeland, Burial, Lee Gamble, Cooly G, Fatima Al Qadiri, Laurel Halo, and more. So maybe youngins everywhere should learn by example. Because let’s be real, the world doesn’t need more macaroni pictures. It needs more spaced-out electronic music.
Hyperdub 10.3 tracklist:
01. Burial – In McDonalds
02. Dean Blunt – Urban
03. Kode9 & the Spaceape – Hole in the Sky
04. Inga Copeland – I Am Your Ambient Wife
05. Kode9 – Pink Sham Pain Down The Drain
06. Laurel Halo – Melt
07. The Bug – Siren
08. Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland – Untitled 13
09. Walton – City of God
10. King Midas Sound – Blue
11. Lee Gamble – DSM
12. Cooly G – Mind
13. Burial – Night Bus
14. Ikonika – Completion V.3
15. Darkstar – Ostkreuz
16. Fhloston Paradigm – Liloos Seduction
17. Ikonika – Time/Speed
18. DJ Earl – Hexgonic Sound
19. Cooly G – Trying
20. Laurel Halo – Wow
21. Fatima Al Qadiri – Shanxi
22. DVA – Reach the Devil
23. Jeremy Greenspan feat Borys – Gage
• Hyperdub: http://www.hyperdub.net
You guys! Zola Jesus has launched a fashion line! Either that, or she disappeared mysteriously after staying in a reputedly haunted cabin owned by Karl Lagerfeld and now someone has pieced together some tantalizing clues based on found footage from a hi-def video camera recovered nearby! It’s kinda hard to tell. Oh, the video is a teaser for her upcoming tour in support of her upcoming album, Taiga? Okay, yes, it’s all making sense now.
When we first reported the release of Taiga about a month ago, details were scant, but now we’ve got a tracklisting and a whole slew of tour dates. You can check out the fleeting, ephemeral half-minute of teaser trailer beauty below. Taiga comes out October 7 via Mute.
02. Dangerous Days
05. Go (Blank Sea)
09. Long Way Down
11. It’s Not Over
10.08.14 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo’s
10.09.14 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey
10.16.14 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
10.17.14 - Washington, DC - Hirshhorn Museum
10.19.14 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
10.29.14 - Bristol, UK - Colston Hall
10.30.14 - Leeds, UK - Belgrave Music Hall
10.31.14 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
11.01.14 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Cathedral - Columns
11.04.14 - Paris, France - Badaboum
11.05.14 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
11.06.14 - St Gallen, Switzerland - Palace
11.07.14 - Geneva, Switzerland - l’Usine
11.08.14 - Reims, France - La Cartonnerie
11.10.14 - Köln, Germany - Gebäude 9
11.11.14 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain
11.12.14 - Hamburg, Germany - Uebel and Gefährlich
11.13.14 - Frankfurt, Germany - Zoom
11.14.14 - Brussels, Belgium - La Nuit Botanique
11.15.14 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
11.18.14 - London, UK - KOKO
• Zola Jesus:
Sloan, who were quite possibly already the most democratic rock band in the world, have stepped things up a notch with the announcement of their 11th studio album Commonwealth, due September 9 via Yep Roc. Instead of sharing songwriting duties among themselves in an advanced meritocracy system, Commonwealth will be a double album where each member of the group handles the sonic vision and songwriting duties for each side of the record. Sounds like a utopian vision of power-pop to me!
The stompy first single “Keep Swinging (Downtown)” has recently worked its way onto the internet and can be listened to below:
Upon first checking out the tracklist below, I really thought Andrew must be slacking off, but it turns out that his side, which closes out Commonwealth, is an 18-minute pop suite. Sloan, being the hardworking dudes they are, have also declared imminent plans to tour North America, most likely visiting every state and province and spending an equal amount of time in each district.
Diamond Side (Jay):
01. We’ve Come This Far
02. You’ve Got A Lot On Your Mind
03. Three Sisters
05. Neither Here Nor There
Heart Side (Chris):
06. Carried Away
07. So Far So Good
08. Get Out
09. Misty’s Beside Herself
10. You Don’t Need Excuses To Be Good
Shamrock Side (Patrick):
11. 13 (Under A Bad Sign)
12. Take It Easy
13. What’s Inside
14. Keep Swinging (Downtown)
Spade Side (Andrew):
15. Forty-Eight Portraits
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the new 50 Shades of Grey trailer! Oh, no, wait, it’s just a teaser for Pharmakon’s new album, Bestial Burden, in all its breathy glory.
Margaret Chardiet a.k.a Pharmakon worked on the album while bedridden following a major, organ-removing surgery that caused her to cancel a string of tour dates last year.
“After seeing internal photographs taken during the surgery, I became hyperaware of the complex network of systems just beneath the skin,” she said, “any of which were liable to fail or falter at any time.” She explored this idea — the separation of mind and body, and consciousness and control — and wrote the lyrics and music on her sickbed. Song titles like “Autoimmune” and “Body Betrays Itself” further convey the concept of a body at war with itself, and the blood-red-soaked teaser video for the album represents the minutes before Chardiet’s trip to the hospital.
Bestial Burden tracklist:
02. Intent or Instinct
03. Body Betrays Itself
04. Primitive Struggle
06. Bestial Burden
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com
A Frankie Rose by any other name is frankly not quite the same, is it? Ba-dum-bum! So, why not get thee to the West Coast this fall? If you already live there, you’re lucky for bajillions of reasons (burritos! tacos! burritos!) and if not, well, it’s always a good idea to road trip there, or just go there to find yourself, maaaan.
It’s only summer now, so don’t give me the whole “but I’m too broke” trip. You have multiple months to scheme, plot, bank-rob, sell organs on the black market… whatever it takes. Anything for Frankie! Catch up on her last album, Herein Wild, and then get over there!
Frankie Rose tour dates:
11.01.14 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
11.02.14 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg
11.04.14 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
11.06.14 - Portland, OR - Bunk Bar
11.07.14 - Vancouver, BC - The Fox Cabaret
11.08.14 - Seattle, WA - Barboza
Hardcore dudes Title Fight obtain Paris Hilton’s endorsement and sign to Anti- (order not indicative of importance)
There are two things I’ve given up hope of ever understanding:
1) Sub-genres of hardcore music
2) Kids these days
Case in point: Title Fight, who are a melodic hardcore (or maybe post-hardcore or possibly just hardcore) band from Kingston, Pennsylvania who have been kicking around some subset of the hardcore scene since 2003, which in hardcore years is a very long time. Whatever you want to call it, Title Fight play loud music with drums and guitars and screaming; it sounds great and that’s enough for me.
It turns out that it’s also enough for Anti- Records, who have signed Title Fight to their label for the release of their third album, which the band is currently recording with their long-time producer Will Yip. As a label, Anti- sure are hedging their bets with a roster that already includes Tom Waits, Wilco, Tinariwen and Simian Mobile Disco. Which goes to prove the above made point that good music knows no genre, I suppose.
I still maintain that I’ll never understand kids these days, though. Have a look at the video below, which Title Fight posted to the web to announce their signing to Anti-. Is that Paris Hilton? Is it possible that she’s actually saying “Title Fight”? If you slow down the video does it become any more compelling? Does anyone actually even care what Paris Hilton endorses these days?
Stay tuned for album dates and details and in the meantime go wild in a jump-off-things-in-youthful-abandon type of way at an upcoming Title Fight show.
09.06.14 - Riot Fest, Toronto, ON
09.12.14 - Humboldt Park, Chicago, IL (supporting Jane’s Addiction)
Mexican Summer releases 7-inch by Coral Cross, new project/absurdly-named genre of music by Jorge Elbrecht (Haunted Graffiti, Lansing-Dreiden)
“Choral thrash.” Sure, you could call your music that. It’s pretty much the metalgothest thing you could say, short of, like, “sad iron fetus weeping blood-thrash.” But I mean, if you’re Jorge Elbrecht, a fella who’s made glorious and lovely contributions to Lansing-Dreiden, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and Violens, and who is now releasing a killer new 7-inch under the name Coral Cross, you can kinda do what you want. You can check out “The Coldest Steel Across Your Face Slides” here:
Available August 12 in the US and September 1 in the UK and Europe, Coral Cross - 001 is coming out via our friends at Mexican Summer. Elbrecht’s got some kinda crazy tour with Jimi Hey (BI, All Night Radio), Lev Weinstein (Krallice), and visual artist Max Hooper Schneider coming up in August that’s billed as a “one-time audio-visual presentation of the project.” So… PowerPoints? Elbrecht will hold the laser pointer and Schneider will ensure that only the very FINEST in clip art will be inserted into the slides. How fucking choral thrash is THAT?
• Mexican Summer: http://www.mexicansummer.com
Sell your dreams (buy tickets)! The Pop Group to reissue We Are Time, release rarities comp, and tour the UK this fall
English post-punk legends The Pop Group have announced a fall tour of the UK. They will be playing their 1980 album We Are Time in full, which they will also reissue in a from-the-original-tapes remaster. Additionally, the English quartet will include some more rarities and unreleased material in the reissue, compiled under the title Cabinet of Curiosities. And just in case you were about to berate them for their blatant commercialism, keep in mind that the tour is also meant to support the Campaign Against Arms Trade initiative, so save your hating for more deserving targets.
Formed in the late 1970s, the band released an epochal triptych (1979’s Y, 1980’s For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? and We Are Time) before breaking up in 1981. Later, their vocalist and leader Mark Stewart embarked on a solo career that fused dub with noise, sampling, electronic music, and even hip-hop, coming up with groundbreaking — albeit criminally overlooked — LPs like Learning to Cope with Cowardice (1983) and Metatron (1990), which are more than due a reappraisal. The Pop Group reunited in 2010 and have been touring ever since, announcing (already a couple of years ago) a yet-to-be-released new album; the Cabinet of Curiosities anthology is thus far the closest we’ve got to hearing new material by the Bristol quartet.
Despite lacking the popularity of contemporary acts like Joy Division, Wire, The Fall, Public Image Ltd, or even Gang of Four — this is the band’s first ever tour of the UK — The Pop Group have been influential in their mixture of punk, free jazz, and disco grooves, a cocktail fueled by politically charged lyrics and a belligerent ethos. Indeed, throughout their three-and-a-half decades of existence, they’ve managed to pick-up some illustrious fans: Nick Cave pretty much admitted to conceiving The Birthday Party after watching The Pop Group perform, freshly arrived in London. More recently, St. Vincent covered one of The Pop Group’s best-known songs on US television, later weaving the track into her touring setlist.
Tickets for The Pop Group’s first-ever tour of the UK are out now through the band’s website. The We Are Time reissue and the Cabinet of Curiosities compilation are out on October 20, via Freaks Are Us.
10.20.14 - Edinburgh, UK - Voodoo Rooms
10.21.14 - Nottingham, UK - Bodega Social Club
10.22.14 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla
10.23.14 - Bristol, UK - Anson Rooms
10.24.14 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
10.25.14 - Brighton, UK - Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
10.26.14 - London, UK - Islington Assembly Hall
• The Pop Group: http://www.thepopgroup.net