Mort Garson MOTHER EARTH'S PLANTASIA (AUDIOPHILE EDITION) Before Brian Eno did it, Mort Garson was making discreet music. Julliard-educated and active as a session player in the post-war era, Garson wrote lounge hits, scored the 1969 moon-landing and plush arrangements for Doris Day, and garlanded weeping countrypolitan strings around Glen Campbell's By the Time I Get to Phoenix. In the mid-1970s, a force of nature swept across the continental United States, cutting across all strata of race and class, rooting in our minds, our homes, our culture. It wasn’t The Exorcist, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, or even bell-bottoms, but instead a book called The Secret Life of Plants. The work of occultist / former OSS agent Peter Tompkins and former CIA agent / dowsing enthusiast Christopher Bird, the books shot up the bestseller charts and spread like kudzu across the landscape, becoming a phenomenon. Seemingly overnight, the indoor plant business was in full bloom and photosynthetic eukaryotes of every genus were hanging off walls, lording over bookshelves, and basking on sunny window ledges. The science behind Secret Life was specious: plants can hear our prayers, they’re lie detectors, they’re telepathic, able to predict natural disasters and receive signals from distant galaxies. But that didn’t stop millions from buying and nurturing their new plants. Perhaps the craziest claim of the book was that plants also dug music. And whether you purchased a snake plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, or what have you from Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or bought a Simmons mattress from Sears), you also took home Plantasia, an album recorded especially for them. Subtitled “warm earth music for plants…and the people that love them,” it was full of bucolic, charming, stoner-friendly, decidedly unscientific tunes enacted on the new-fangled device called the Moog. Plants date back from the dawn of time, but apparently they loved the Moog, never mind that the synthesizer had been on the market for just a few years. Most of all, the plants loved the ditties made by composer Mort Garson. Few characters in early electronic music can be both fearless pioneers and cheesy trend-chasers, but Garson embraced both extremes, and has been unheralded as a result. SACRED BONES LP
Charles Webster / Burial The Spell (Burial Mix) [feat. Ingrid Chavez] Dimensions Recordings are very proud to welcome the legendary Charles Webster with the first track from his first major solo album in two decades, 'Decision Time'. This first single 'The Spell' also features a remix from Burial and the vocals of Ingrid Chavez. Operating in house music since the mid '80s, Charles Webster is revered as something like the producer's producer, spoken about in the same breath as Larry Heard or Ron Trent amongst the DJ cognoscenti, releasing music over the years under 30 different pseudonyms with over 500 remixes. After moving to San Francisco in the late nineties, he created an album under the alias Presence entitled 'All Systems Gone'. The "pillowy" sound design of this classic is cited as a key influence on the music of Burial. For this track, Burial has paid a further tribute, contributing a rare remix, additionally to a dub mix from Charles. This track also includes the words of Prince muse Ingrid Chavez. who famously wrote the spoken word poetry in Madonna's 'Justify My Love'. 'Decision Time' is Charles' first major solo record since 2001's 'Born On The 24th July', and features an array of artists from a number of different eras, guises and genres that Charles has been involved with over his career, including Shara Nelson, Terra Deva, Sio, Thandi Draai and Sipho. A new generation of ears are about to discover the influential underground sound of Charles Webster. Dimensions Recordings 12"
Pye Corner Audio Black Mill Tapes (10th Anniversary) Text by Philip Sherburne: In the beginning, there was just a box of tapes and “Fate’s Gentle Hand.” It was the autumn of 2010, and an anonymous figure known only as the Head Technician, an employee of Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services (“Magnetically aligning ferrous particles since 1970”), found himself at an auction in the village of Coldred, pop. 110. He was on the hunt for tobacco pipes when he chanced across a trio of boxes listed in the auction catalog, which described their contents only as “archived magnetic recordings.” The sole bidder, he won the lot, and upon receipt of his purchase took possession of an unspecified number of mouldering cassettes and ¼" reel-to-reel tapes. The collection contained no identifying information save for a single phrase scrawled on each box: “Black Mill Sessions.” And so, armed with razors, eyedroppers, and a bevy of solid-state circuitry, the Head Technician sat down at his machines and got to work. Whether anyone believed it or not, this was the framing device surrounding Pye Corner Audio’s Black Mill Tapes Volume I: Avant Shards, which took the mysterious tactics of artists like Boards of Canada and Burial and raised them exponentially. Much like the narrator of a 19th century novel, the anonymous Head Technician purported merely to be the messenger of secondhand sounds. These were not compositions, we were told; they were tape transfers—“transcriptions” of an unknown author, slathered with hiss and thick with ambiguity. “Some of the tapes displayed an unusual amount of degradation and …an unsettling amount of background noise, whether electrical in nature, or otherwise,” wrote the Head Technician. “I chose to edit around the worst of the unusual break-ups, but some still remain.” It was a good yarn, and the music was better still. Like his contemporaries Demdike Stare and Ghost Box, Pye Corner Audio seemed to be tapping into some hidden energy current, channeling spirits via electrical means. The pioneering transmissions of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop could be detected lurking within the music’s staticky swirl; so could the ominous throb of John Carpenter’s film soundtracks. Drones and flutes commingled with chugging machine beats; miasmic clouds of haunted tone alternated with death disco. It all sounded eerie, otherworldly, possibly occult—yet also, in tracks like the glimmering “We Have Visitors,” accented with a hint of mischief. Over the next few years, Martin Jenkins—for that, after all, was the Head Technician’s name—would go on to release three more volumes of Black Mills Tapes. Among the dozens of releases he has put out since 2010, they remain among the most beloved in his catalog. Those original, digital-only releases—a rarity when they came out—reappeared on cassette, courtesy Seattle’s Further Records, in 2012; in 2012 and 2014, the now-defunct Type label would anthologize all four volumes. Now, 10 years after Avant Shards first appeared, Lapsus collects all four volumes —now remastered— along with a fifth disc of unreleased material and a limited booklet. The musical landscape has changed considerably in the past decade, but what is remarkable about the Black Mills Tapes material is that it hasn’t aged a day; its retro-futurist transmissions sound just as mysteriously compelling as they did the first time around. While they purport to faithfully transcribe the sound of yesterday’s technology, they end up being something more: a record of what we wish the past sounded like—a rickety tape transfer of desire itself, spooled and boxed, just awaiting discovery. Lapsus Records LP Pre-Order
Mount Kimbie Crooks & Lovers (10th Anniversary) In 2010, Mount Kimbie released their debut album, Crooks & Lovers, to widespread acclaim. Perfectly capturing the heady atmosphere of the moment, the album melded the wide-eyed mentality of what had become known as ‘Post-Dubstep’ with an open-minded musical sensibility that produced an instant classic. Ten years later, the album is reissued on Hotflush with a bonus disc of the band’s first ever release. Dom and Kai met whilst at Southbank University, pushed together in a student halls that was previously a mental asylum – where the ceilings were still ridiculously high to stop patients hanging themselves: “a cold, joyless, concrete building – the sort of building where you’d drop a pen and the sound would just go on and on in an echo.” Armed with found sound snips and a siege mentality, on Crooks & Lovers Kai and Dom set about turning London’s ambience into rhythm, its chaos into coherence. Traces of influence remained – the hard-earned spaces of Burial and The Bug vie with the berserk melodrama of Xiu Xiu and Grouper’s sad-eyed glow, D’Angelo’s pervert soul was cleansed in the intimacy of Phil Elvrum’s Microphones, Angelo Badalamenti’s swollen ‘Twin Peaks’ atmospheres found a cradle in Madlib’s lax lope. Sceneless and untethered from etiquette and genre codes, "Crooks & Lovers" floats through dubstep and hip-hop, jazz, techno and ambient, post-rock, UK garage and film scores to startling effect. On this special vinyl edition, the first ever Mount Kimbie transmission, the Maybes EP, is included. Originally released on Hotflush in February 2009 and out of print on vinyl for many years, it’s a crucial snapshot of the band developing their sound. Hotflush LP Pre-Order
Nils Frahm Tripping With Nils Frahm A legendary artist at a legendary location: Tripping with Nils Frahm captures one of the world’s most sought-after live acts performing at one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings. When Nils Frahm kicked off his world tour at Funkhaus Berlin in January 2018 to bring his highly acclaimed studio album All Melody to the stage, an ambitious journey was just to begin: Over the next two years, Frahm played more than 180 sold-out performances, including the Sydney Opera House, LA’s Disney Hall, the Barbican in London, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and several big festival stages around the globe. Yet the stunning setting of Funkhaus Berlin, renowned for its vintage grandeur and outstanding acoustics, and also home to Frahm’s magnificent studio where All Melody was recorded, had occupied a unique place in the artist's heart. In December 2018, Nils Frahm eventually returned to Funkhaus Berlin to host another set of four shows, tickets sold out within hours. Frahm’s friend and film director Benoit Toulemonde — a collaborator since 2011 — captured the concerts on film, only using handheld cameras, and employing techniques he had mastered for the famous concert series La Blogotèque, which featured some of the world’s most popular artists. Tripping with Nils Frahm is an illustration of Nils’s lauded ability as a composer and passionate live artist as well as the enchanting atmosphere of his captivating, and already legendary Funkhaus shows: An extraordinary musical trip – rare and exclusive, close and intimate, bringing a unique concert experience to the screen. "It was about time to document my concerts in picture and sound, trying to freeze a moment of this period where my team and I were nomads, using any method of travel to play yet another show the next day. Maybe tonight is the night where everything works out perfectly and things fall into place? Normally things go wrong with concerts, but by combining our favorite moments of four performances, we were able to achieve what I was trying to do in these two years of touring: getting it right! When you hear the applause on the end of the film you should know that I was smiling happily, being a tad proud and feeling blessed to share these moments with you. Much love, Nils" Erased Tapes CD | LP Pre-Order
The Bug In Blue The Bug aka Kevin Richard Martin, and Berlin based, American producer/vocalist, Dis Fig aka Felicia Chen, refer to their style on the album In Blue as ’Tunnel Sound’. A foggy, melancholic meltdown of narco-dancehall, zoned soul and dread drenched, electronic dub. Almost 2 years of lab exchanges finally led to the deeply sensual pulsations, and lyrical long shadows of In Blue - an album that shares shades of King Midas Sound’s wrecked lovers rock, alongside the bass immersion that The Bug has become infamously known for. So it’s appropriate that Martin should return to Hyperdub, where “Skeng” was initially dropped as a single. And just as Martin took a stylistic swerve on this album, so did Chen. Previously known for experimental noise onslaughts and emotional exorcisms, she herein, opts for threatening intimacy and hushed confessionals, concentrating on bittersweet vocals and seductive surprises that are all the more potent for their inferred narratives and delicate delivery. Mixed entirely during lockdown in Kevin’s new Brussels home, the sense of claustro-fear, escapism and tension is palpable. And with the bewitching croon of Dis Fig, directing the flow, carnality and violence merge under the turbulent, cinematic surface of this hypnotically addictive album. Hyperdub CD | LP
The Orb Abolition Of The Royal Familia - Guillotine Mixes Indies exclusive LP is on 'blue' coloured vinyl. After releasing their outstanding 17th album 'Abolition of The Royal Familia' earlier this year, The Orb are back with further guest appearances on their remix album 'Abolition Of The Royal Familia - Guillotine Mixes' (April 2021). Including mixes from David Harrow, Moody Boyz, Youth, Violeta Vicci, Andy Falconer and more. Cooking Vinyl CD | LP Pre-Order
FALLE NIOKE / Ghost Culture Youkounkoun EP The debut collaborative EP from Falle Nioke & Ghost Culture. Opening the EP is “Barké” – which, in English, means “blessing”. “Where I grew up, we say you have two get blessings from you parents,” explains Falle Nioke. “It is not something money can buy. One of my friends told me he couldn't understand why he was struggling, why he couldn’t succeed in business and why no opportunities were coming his way. “There was an old man listening to us talking who asked, ‘do you have parents?’ My friend said that he did. The man said to go and visit them and when you see them working you must help them. Give them a hand and once you do that you will get a blessing. That is a secret of this life.” PRAH 12"