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    Yoshinori Hayashi

    On The Turntable

    Yoshinori Hayashi :: Ambivalence

    Is this electronic music? Is it samba? Is it jazz? Is it classical minimalism? It’s hard to say what, exactly, is happening on Ambivalence, but it’s one of the most intriguing and beguiling records of the year. At times, Hayashi comes across as a Henry Flynt figure, blurring the line between process and composition.

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    Maki Asakawa

    On The Turntable

    Maki Asakawa :: Gogo 午後

    Night music. Japanese chanteuse and composer Maki Asakawa’s career spanned three decades, experimenting with the forms of jazz, folk, blues and pop. And while adept at all of the aforementioned, the artist was at her most interesting when she worked her own hybrid of sound. And in the case of standards, she often elevated the original material to new heights in mood, tone and texture.

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    Makaya McCraven

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    Makaya McCraven :: Universal Beings

    Makaya McCraven does one thing, and he does it extremely well: he edits. On his third release in the past two years, the Chicago drummer and producer recorded live improvisations with stars of the London, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles jazz scene, then processed them all into mostly unplayable soundscapes of beats, horns, and grooves – preserving both the sanctity of live improv and that of computer music at the same time. Universal Beings is his sharpest release yet, proving McCraven’s ear for sonic detail and erasing any speculation that the scenes pushing jazz forward at the moment might be more interested in competing than cooperating.

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    Aqueduct Ensemble

    On The Turntable

    Aqueduct Ensemble :: Improvisations On An Apricot

    Some beautiful/beguiling sounds. This one is kinda like a classic ECM LP that’s been chopped, screwed, glitched and dubbed out. It goes beyond being a gimmick, though – Improvisations On An Apricot is an immersive listen, filled with rich tones and enveloping ambiance. There are gentle, peaceful vibes throughout, but it never turns into sonic wallpaper; there’s something new, fresh and weird happening from moment to moment. 

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    Peel Dream Magazine

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    Peel Dream Magazine :: Modern Meta Physic

    One of the more true inheritors of the mantle of Stereolab to emerge in some time, this debut album from Joe Stevens under his Peel Dream Magazine name (note the John Peel reference) was significant enough to gather the interest of Slumberland Records. In a year full of great albums packed with great individual songs, Modern Meta Physic is an album of an evolving mood, spending its 40 minute run time putting you in a place that is as much a creation of some abstract sense of past as it is a channeling of the present.

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    CAVE

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    CAVE :: Allways

    Chicago’s Cave have always been masters of rhythm — and Allways is perhaps their most locomotive collection yet. When the beat kicks in on the creamy opening track “The Juan” you can practically see the disco lights. Whether Cave is mining beats from Jaki Liebezeit or James Brown or Fela Kuti, it’s always a total blast, driven by the absolutely locked-in combo of drummer Rex McMurry and bassist Dan Browning. A neverendless groove.

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    Ditto

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    Ditto :: In Human Terms

    An experimental minimalist from the Texas hill country, Charles Ditto self-released In Human Terms on his own label in 1987. He calls it “nootropic deconstructed pop minimalism,” and it slots nicely with the spacey ambient worlds of Michele Mercure, Pauline Anna Strom, and Savant. Picture round shapes floating through a light fog and you’re in the right astral territory.

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    Deerhunter

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    Deerhunter :: Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

    The return of Deerhunter. Co-produced by Cate Le Bon. First taste:  “Death in Midsummer”.

The Cure: Apeldoorn, Netherlands 1980

Captured while on tour mid-summer in Europe, we find a nascent, if not potent, form of the group — one both informed by and contributing to the conversation of post-punk. Touring in support of their recently released Seventeen Seconds lp, this was the Cure in transition, having recently augmented its core with the addition of Simon Gallup (bass) and Matthieu Hartley (synths). Whereas the group’s sound, and presentation, would soon morph and evolve, this VHS rip finds them perfectly suspended in Dutch time. […]

The Lagniappe Sessions :: Steve Gunn

Gunn’s first Lagniappe session found him taking on the melancholic art-pop of the Smiths. For his second, he decamped to Gold Diggers recording studio in East Hollywood to record a cover of his frequent collaborator Michael Chapman’s “Among the Trees” (Gunn produced Chapman’s forthcoming True North) and the Misfit’s “Astro Zombies,” which swaps out the B-movie punk fury of the original for bleak folk. […]

Harlem :: The AD Interview

Harlem always felt less like “garage rock” and more like a yard sale: strewn out in the driveway, “as is” stickers, handwritten signs down the street announcing “yard sale, this Saturday” still up the following […]

Kudzu Wish

The story of Kudzu Wish is the kind of great indie-rock tale that, in a movie, would have ended with some great, mammoth success. Instead, it’s something much sweeter, much more moving, and now, 14 […]

The Rats :: In A Desperate Red

Fred and Toody Cole are predominantly cited for their contributions to the DIY aesthetic—and for good reason, considering how they were basically pressing records themselves in the woods outside Portland for many years—but there’s another […]

The Aquarium Drunkard Show

Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard every Wednesday at 7pm PST with encore broadcasts on-demand via the SIRIUS/XM app.

This week: Vintage psychedelic music spanning the continent of Africa, new ambient textures via Germany, some ECM favorites and more. […]

Gloria Barnes :: Old Before My Time

A closer look at one of our favorite titles from last year, Gloria Barnes’ Uptown is a super rare gem of killer 70s funk and soul. As the original pressing goes for over 3k on Discogs, it was mighty gracious of Ohio’s Colemine Records to dig this one out of obscurity (but hurry up, they’ve only got 5 copies left). Barnes hailed from Harlem, and for this record – her only known recorded document – she’s backed […]

Joy Guerrilla :: Skyline

Influences: Headhunters-era Herbie Hancock, George Duke, esoteric European prog — all with an assist from elements of modern electronic music. Written, arranged, recorded and produced with as much analog gear as possible, this is LA’s […]