On The Turntable

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    Chet Sounds

    Chet Sounds :: Changes Happen To Everyone, Everywhere

    Performed, produced, and mixed by the Australian-based Chet Tucker in a shipping container on his family’s property in the Sutherland Shire, the album takes a lo-fi glossy and groove-laden trip across 70s-am pop, yacht rock, private press outsider folk, library funk, and Rundgren-esque psychedelia.

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    Floral Portrait

    Floral Portrait :: S/T

    The self-titled debut from Floral Portrait is a rich tapestry of cozy psychedelic pop. The project is a collaboration of Athens, Georgia-based duo Jason Bronson and Jacob Chisenhall, as well as a substantial number of collaborators and session musicians. Recorded over four years at his Athens studio The Glow, producer Jesse Mangum lauds the project as “the most ambitious record I’ve ever worked on”.

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    Itasca :: Imitation of War

    “My past albums feel like growth experiences, but with this album I’ve gotten to a place where I still feel like it’s me, now, and we recorded it two years ago.”

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    Cowboy Sadness

    Cowboy Sadness :: Selected Jambient Works, Vol. 1

    Cowboy Sadness is comprised of guitarist Peter Silberman of The Antlers, drummer Nicholas Principe of Port St. Willow, and keyboardist David Moore of Bing & Ruth. I can’t shake the feeling that this is, at least in part, a piss-take. Cowboy Sadness is a hilariously on-the-nose name for an ambient country project, and an implicit skewering of a genre that sometimes gets a little cheerless in its high lonesome drift. Titling their debut Selected Jambient Works, Vol. 1 makes it, somehow, even funnier.

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    Jim Marlowe

    Jim Marlowe :: Mirror Green Rotor In Profile

    Taking some time away from the aural revelation of Equipment Pointed Ankh, Louisville’s Jim Marlowe comes out swinging on his second solo record. Mirror Green Rotor in Profile is a groove machine that covers serious ground over the course of a mere 30 minutes. Following a long tradition of experimentalism, the artist flourishes the annals of the Avant-inclined with a series of astrally-tinged excursions in face-value beauty.

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    Penza Penza

    Penza Penza :: Electricolorized

    Electricolorized is a decidedly slinkier affair than its stomping predecessor, Neanderthal Rock. Panfilov still scribbles with his sub-basement guitar fuzz, but elements of easy listening, 60s French chanson, Joe Meek sound effects and tasteful David Axelrod-style jazz-funk are slipping into the mix. Still, Penza’s ultra-tight rhythm section never ceases to bounce.

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    Ryan Davis & the Roadhouse Band

    Ryan Davis & the Roadhouse Band :: Dancing on the Edge

    Ryan Davis is tipping his beer to a world in moral and constitutional decline. Ruminating shortcomings, both inward and out, that seem to have settled into the standard, the Louisville-based journeyman defiantly declares he and his crew “the new vigilantes of the two-drink minimum” on “Free from the Guillotine,” the dryly pugnacious opener to Ryan Davis & the Roadhouse Band’s Dancing on the Edge, the latest and perhaps greatest notch in the storied songwriter’s belt.

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    Brigitte Fontaine

    Brigitte Fontaine :: Comme a la Radio

    In the zone where idiosyncrasies collide, intuition is key. Everything is ripe for failure, but if navigated correctly even the most unsuspecting of unions can bear fruit. This happens to be the exact frontier explored by Brigitte Fontaine with Comme a la Radio. Notably, Fontaine is not subjected to the rigid and precise studio ensembles known to most chanson connoisseurs, but rather walks among free jazz titans—the Art Ensemble of Chicago. On top of this, Fontaine has teamed up with Areski Belkacem on this maiden voyage of a collaboration which endures to this day.

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High Llamas :: Sister Friends

From the opening keys to the bouncy, echoing synths: indeed, the High Llamas are back with their immediate, radiating brand of orchestral lounge music. The last time we checked in with the prolific Sean O’Hagan, he referenced a parallel to the career trajectory of Robert Wyatt to describe his own creative tear of late. Perhaps recalling Mary Hansen’s vocals on Llamas tracks of yesteryear, the swaying new single “Sister Friends” features English pop singer Rae Morris taking lead vocals in a lush, jazzy duet.

Transmissions :: Laetitia Sadier

This week on the show: a conversation with Laetitia Sadier. As the main vocalist of Stereolab, her spacey voice shines as the human core in that project’s motorik and dense avant-pop, a blend of electronic music, krautrock, space age lounge sounds, and much more. Her latest is called Rooting for Love, and she joins us to discuss the collective and the individual, and the radical potentiality of love.

Jazz Ragas For Restless Times

At this year’s NYC Winter Jazzfest, the dominant forms veered into New Age and ambient territory: abstract, pretty, burbling along in loose conglomerations of synths and “organic” instrumentation. And maybe jazz comingling with New Age sensibilities is exactly the antidote we need for today’s troubling times.

Dean McPhee :: Astral Gold

English guitarist Dean McPhee has spent more than a decade now patiently carving out a singular niche for himself. That patience has paid off — there’s really no one else who can create (and sustain) the darkly seductive mood that’s embedded within his work. Astral Gold, McPhee’s first album since 2021, continues to mine that same rich vein, with his luminous, electrified tones spiraling out over steadily looping undercurrents and uncanny percussive accents.

Linda Smith :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Linda Smith started recording cassettes at home in the late 1980s, painstakingly writing out simple parts for voice, guitar, bass and percussion, laying them down on a four-track, dubbing them onto cassettes and selling them by mail order to a handful of admirers—many of them also DIY musicians. ow, following its 2021 compilation Till Another Time: 1988-1996, Captured Tracks has reissued Smith’s two exquisite mid-1990s cassette recordings, Nothing Else Matters and I So Liked Spring.

Aquarium Drunkard Book Club :: Chapter 28

Welcome back to the stacks. It’s Aquarium Drunkard’s Book Club, our monthly gathering of recent (or not so recent) recommended reading. In this month’s stack: the communal effort that has made up NYC’s varied music scenes over the decades, Thurston Moore’s epic memoir, Haruki Murakami, the poetry of Oswell Blakeston and the hallucinatory, existential odyssey that is The Apple in the Dark.

Organic Pulse Ensemble :: Zither Suite

Those recurring zither glissandi sound like toybox miniatures of Alice Coltrane’s celestial harp. But interestingly, while the opening “Zither Suite” commences with a clutch of spiritual jazz signifiers—a lovely, tentative bass melody, warm piano chords, rain stick clatter, some hand drums, and a searching flute solo—the track takes a sharp turn around the three-minute mark.

Nora Brown :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Nora Brown has been playing old time music since she was six years old. She came up in the folk scene surrounding the Jalopy Theatre, the headquarters of traditional music in New York City. Gearing up for a European tour this spring, she spoke with AD about the banjo, the vibes of old time music, listening to your elders.

Weather Report :: Internationales Musikforum, Ossiach, Austria (July 1971)

Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala referred to tapes from 1968-70 as “primal Dead.” And while I know Jerry was never a fan of this sort of music (he dismissed the first wave of fusion as “state-of-the-art music-school music,”) I’m going to go ahead and call this show a slab of “primal Weather Report.” In fact, this is as a primal as it gets, being, by all accounts, the band’s earliest recorded performance.

Real Estate :: Daniel

It’s an ironclad law at this point, a logical theorem: every Real Estate record is good, and every Real Estate sounds like Real Estate, because Real Estate is good. But Daniel, their latest, is a wonder in more ways than one.

Ruth Goller :: SKYLLUMINA

Ruth Goller first toyed with detuned bass lines, chiming harmonics, and swells of choral vocals on her 2021 debut, Skylla. For its sequel, SKYLLUMINA she’s joined by a squadron of drummers. On opener “Below my skin,” Sons of Kemet/The Smile’s Tom Skinner somersaults around the tubs, echo effects trailing his tumbling brushed fills. Much of the album remains in this mystical, nearly ambient space, such as “She was my own she was myself” featuring Goller’s International Anthem labelmate Bex Burch.

Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

During his 2020 live album Axiom, Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (formerly known as Christian Scott aTunde) states that he and his band are “reevaluating what we’re playing and why.” The result of that process can be heard on 2023’s Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning. Dedicated to his grandfather Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr. of the Guardians of the Flame and his uncle, renowned saxophonist Big Chief Donald Harrison Jr. of the Congo Square Nation, the songs on are a change of direction for Chief Adjuah in terms of both sound and subject matter.