On The Turntable

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    Nick Cave

    Nick Cave :: Ghosteen

    An absolutely stunning interpretation of grief and loss from one of our greatest living artists. Alongside Warren Ellis and the Bad Seeds, Nick Cave paints a vibrant, dreamlike atmosphere, haunting and uplifting. Cave’s trademark bravado is replaced by a father’s honest strength, his soul laid completely bare.

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    Alice Coltrane

    Alice Coltrane :: Berkley, 1972

    However you hear this recently uncovered bootleg, you gotta hear it (perhaps over on YouTube?). A major addition to the Alice Coltrane canon, it features the pioneering musician and her incredible band (Charlie Haden on bass, Ben Riley on drums, Aashish Khan on sarod, Pranesh Khan on tabla and Bobby W. on tamboura and percussion) journeying fearlessly across the astral plane. Beautiful, scary and transcendent…a total fucking trip, to say the least.

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    Gong Gong Gong

    Gong Gong Gong :: Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏 (幽霊リズム)

    On their debut album, cross-continental guitar and bass duo Gong Gong Gong 工工工 draw on the buzzy rock ‘n’ roll bedrock of Bo Diddley and mesmerizing solos of West African desert blues. As Tom Ng sings in Cantonese, they twist up American musical traditions and set them ablaze like Bill Orcutt, Henry Flynt, or 75 Dollar Bill. Pulsing beats appear in the spaces left inside the duo’s drumless sound, expanding into vast and enveloping territories that sound like a desert rave after sundown.

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    Damon Locks/Black Ensemble

    Damon Locks/Black Ensemble :: Where the Future Unfolds

    Another essential release via International Anthem, this time from Damon Locks and the Black Monument Ensemble. Recorded live at the Garfield Park Botanical Conservatory on the West Side of Chicago, Where Future Unfolds stitches together beautiful singing and skilled musicianship with gritty electronic samples and powerful recordings from the Civil Rights Era. Locks and his spiritual ensemble’s thoughtful meditation on systemic oppression and inequality presents a resiliently optimistic vision for tomorrow.

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    Beverly Glenn-Copeland

    Beverly Glenn-Copeland :: Primal Prayer

    Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s reissues have been the stuff of magic, from 1986’s minimalist electronic masterpiece, Keyboard Fantasies, to this year’s repressing of his little known, self-released 2004 long-player, Primal Prayer, originally released under the moniker Phynix. It’s a dramatic and heady work, one of pure musical fusion and life-affirming imagination. Opening track “La Vita” (Italian for “the life”) is otherworldly: something like Johnnie Frierson’s fiery gospel fused with The Fifth Element’s diva Plavalaguna. A breathtaking performance that continues to retroactively solidify Glenn’s singular talent and vision.

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    Arthur Russell

    Arthur Russell :: Iowa Dream

    Assembled from Russell’s unfathomably deep archive, Iowa Dream collects nineteen tracks of freewheeling Buddhist bubblegum that affirm the singer-songwriter-composer’s multi-varied talents and singular voice. It’s all here: cornfield country crooning, downtown minimalism, heart-on-sleeve new wave, and aspirational mysticism. As such, Iowa Dream is one of the most consistently thrilling and possibly most holistic of Russell’s posthumous releases organized by his partner Tom Lee and Steve Knutson of Audika Records, the label dedicated to Russel’s legacy.

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    Peter Ivers

    Peter Ivers :: Becoming Peter Ivers

    The music of Peter Ivers runs like a frontage road alongside the highway of the last half of the 20th century’s popular music. Before his tragic and mysterious death, Ivers at various points: counted Muddy Waters, Van Dyke Parks, and the frantic John Belushi as associates; wrote songs for Diana Ross, the Pointer Sisters; penned “In Heaven (The Lady In the Radiator Song)” from David Lynch’s 1977 art house masterpiece Eraserhead; hosted a public access show New Wave Theatre, which was broadcast as part of Nite Flight on the USA Network; and shared states with John Cale, the New York Dolls, and Fleetwood Mac. Tellingly, these recordings, gathered by RVNG Intl., serve as a kind of greatest unheard hits collection, their skewed logic both delightful and odd.

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    Rich Ruth

    Rich Ruth :: Calming Signals

    Calming Signals is not the sort of LP that most would expect from Nashville, TN. You don’t often hear massive swells of droning synthesizers and improvised woodwinds wafting out of the Music City. Rich Ruth’s latest is as refreshing as it is surprising; a soul-cleansing take on Komische Musik and spiritual jazz.

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Shopping :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

For their latest, All Or Nothing, Shopping worked with producer Nick Sylvester to amp up the hedonism and beef up their often skeletal songs. In this interview we talked about the band’s new sleeker, synth-augmented sound, the balance of individual autonomy and group voice and why nobody in Shopping wants to be compared to your standard “starter-pack” of post-punk bands.

Dave Whitaker and the Three Generation Rainbow

When a 20-year-old hippie-punk going by the name Sunfrog found his way from Detroit to the Nevada Test Site in 1988 to protest nuclear weapons, he did not anticipate meeting a Beat legend and Rainbow warrior like Diamond Dave Whitaker — the man responsible for introducing a young Bob Dylan to both Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and Woody Guthrie’s Bound For Glory…

Dawn Patrol :: Little Wings

With a coastline of 840 some odd miles in California, it should come as no surprise that many of the artists we revere at Aquarium Drunkard seek refuge and inspiration in the Pacific blue with a surfboard underfoot. Enter new column devoted to the surf: Dawn Patrol. First on the list – Kyle Field aka Little Wings.

Leo Takami :: Unknown

Tokyo-based composer and guitarist Leo Takami’s new album, Felis Catus and Silence, sees release next month via Unseen Worlds. An enthusiastically imaginative blend of new age sounds, Takami shapes Windham Hill-inspired guitar compositions with elements of jazz, minimalism, classical music, Japanese gagaku, and ambient textures.

Neil Young :: Mexico

It’s looking more and more likely that Neil Young will release Homegrown in early 2020. Of course, it’s easy to be skeptical—Neil has been teasing this long-lost 1975 masterpiece for the past decade at least. But there appears to be a test pressing, which is promising! First, a little background from some of the key players.