Karl Blau - Dance Positive

With a vibe that is both down-home and whimsical, Blau grafts parts of winsome folk-rock onto lazy jamming blues, vintage rocksteady reggae, high 70's soul harmonies, and ceremonial-sounding flutes in his unpredictable and shifting mixture of elements. FANTASTIC. srsly.

Karl Blau - Dance Positive


Rings - Black Habit

The sister of Animal Collective’s Avey Tare joins First Nation and they become Rings, a female trio good at making melodic noise from very little. Black Habit is filled with mystery, ambience and sprinkles of sorrow. The change of name from First Nation to Rings makes a lot of sense upon listening. Bare instrumentation, layers extremely thin if there at all, and a reliance on echoed, emphatic vocals are all used to encircle you in their delicate, menacing way. Instruments glide past as if cutting the air with razors, leaving a sharp, eerie breeze blowing through your bones. The vocals range from high pitched keening to impassioned choral chanting. A must have for a freak. Like you.

Rings - Black Habit part 1
Rings - Black Habit part 2


Kemialliset Ystävät - s/t

Kemialliset Ystävät (English translation: Chemical Friends) is an ever changing group of free form pilots who have been sending murky audio clouds from their basement in Tampere, Finland to the people of the world since 1995. They work in short, spooling instrumentals, building layers of simple repetitive riffs into laminal mudcakes and weaving ghosts of folk song into huge tunnels of drone. They utilize a wide spectrum of moldy acoustic instruments and almost broken electronics to create their joyful noise but the recording studio in itself might be their single most important instrument. Members of Kemialliset Ystävät are involved with other projects such as The Anaksimandros, Avarus, Islaja, Kiila, Es and Päivänsäde.

Kemialliset Ystävät - s/t


V/A - The Squid and the Whale OST

Noah Baumbach's 2005 film The Squid and the Whale deals with a divorce and its unlikely ramifications in a listless Brooklyn of 1986. You might recognize the heady, detached feel of its soundtrack from Wes Anderson films like Rushmore or Royal Tenenbaums -- Anderson produced this film, and music supervisor Randall Poster worked on all three pictures. But the similarities don't curtail Squid's effectiveness. Folk music and overcast East Coast days are the central themes here, with sleepy British folk from Bert Jansch -- all three of his songs conjure images of cloud blankets and belted cable-knit sweaters -- as well as the aching twine of Kate & Anna McGarrigle's 1975 gem "Heart Like a Wheel." Meanwhile, both "Swimming Song" and "Lullaby" are great examples of how Loudon Wainwright III can sing superficially about happiness while simultaneously trolling the depths of cynicism (a position that could double as the adolescent condition). "Hey You," the cerebral Pink Floyd ballad that plays such a role in the film, appears here in cover form from Dean Wareham; Wareham and frequent collaborator Britta Phillips also wrote two pieces for the film's original score, "Park Slope" and "Family Conference," and both tow the foggy line between dry Luna-ish style and that winsome daze so common to Anderson's (and now Baumbach's) films. It's only a matter of time until one of these guys' soundtracks taps Mission of Burma; The Squid and the Whale doesn't, but it has the almost-next-best-thing in the Feelies' "Let's Go." The Cars' "Drive" continues the East Coast feel, and the title track to Lou Reed's 1978 record Street Hassle finishes the dovetail. An epic, 11-minute New York City portrait, "Street Hassle" is The Squid and the Whale's "A Quick One While He's Away," the classic Who mini-opera that skirted the middle of Rushmore's soundtrack.

V/A - The Squid and the Whale OST


The Lickets - Journey in Caldecott

Released online at pay-your-own prices the same day that Radiohead set In Rainbows loose, Journey in Caldecott is Chicago duo The Lickets’ fourth album. Featuring a transcendental mini-orchestra, Mitch Greer and Rachel Smith deliver a trippy journey through mythical lands and lush sonic forests. After all, Journey in Caldecott is more than just the album title, it’s the entire concept behind this work. This IS a journey, from the opium drenched “Crowd of Pimps in the Rain,” to the unholy temples worshiping the “Rabbit Moon,” ending with the quiet celebration of a quest finished with “The Beekeeper.” Haunting, eerie, and altogether unique, The Lickets pull from numerous influences—at one point sounding like an Old World procession and an Indian throne room the next. With tracks like “Smoking Hippie” and numerous self-references to ‘60s psychedelia, there may be a suggestion that this music is better experienced with the aid of some sort of (ahem) medication, but no such enhancement is needed. This is indeed a mystical trek of an album, one that you’ve never experienced before and never will again. To sample the music, The Lickets even provide a literal journey through Caldecott on their website (it’s sort of like a Victorian Myst), complete with their music as a soundtrack. Take a sample, don’t be afraid to get hooked—all the cool kids are doing it.

The Lickets - Journey in Caldecott part 1
The Lickets - Journey in Caldecott part 2


Raccoo-oo-oon - Is Night People

This was Raccoo-oo-oon's first record (well tape to be more precise) recorded back in 2005, and originally released in an insanely small edition that was unsurprisingly swallowed up by an eager public. The music is an odd mix of shamanic work-outs and tainted indie rock with a slightly catchy rhythm under pinning most tracks. A smearing of tune that wobbles uneasily in the half-light with guitars, drums and choruses that are never too far from the ritualistic. A splattering of quirky/mystical electronics wraps it all up nicely.

Raccoo-oo-oon - Is Night People


Björk - Volta

Björk's 6th studio album is promising to be a ten track eclectic mix of beats & vocal, reflective of Björk's visit to Aceh, one of the hardest hit areas of the 2004 tsunami. It also hits hard on Bjork's anger with what is happening in the world right now. According to her interview with Pitchfork, Bjork admits Volta is a “sort of reaction to the state of the world today.” She explains, “I mean, the human race, we are a tribe, let’s face it, and let’s stop all this religious bullshit. I think everybody, or at least a lot of my friends, are just so exhausted with this whole self-importance of religious people. Just drop it. We’re all fucking animals, so let’s just make some universal tribal beat. We’re pagan. Let’s just march.” Her vision is worth the price of submission.

Björk - Volta

Declare Independence (Live on Jools Holland) - observe the reacTable®, COOLNESS.


White Rainbow - Prism of Eternal Now

Portlander Adam Forkner is White Rainbow. He creates magical musical moments that one must spend time with. No hurry here; he lists his influences as Jon Hassell, La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream and if you know of at least one of those artists, then after listening to these acid waves from Prism Of Eternal Now, you will understand that i-doser is nothing but a joke. Tryp out, people.

White Rainbow - Prism of Eternal Now


Samara Lubelski - Parallel Suns

Casual listeners might initially be tempted to confine Samara Lubelski's music to the category of "freak folk," but the compositions on her fourth album prove she's not about making oddball shit just to sound weird.

New York City-based multi-instrumentalist Lubelski has played with such acts as the Sonora Pine, Hall of Fame, and Thurston Moore, and has engineered recordings by the Fiery Furnaces and Ted Leo. The neo-psychedelic compositions of her solo work have the focus and clarity to rise above trendy categorization, whether they are spritely like "Taste the Candy" or stately such as "Ego Blossoms." Even the instrumental "Meeting of the Sun" holds together beautifully, with its heady intertwining melodies on organ and harpsichord. But it's on elegant songs such as "Have You Seen the Colors" and "Snowy Meadows II" that Lubelski exercises her warm, breathy purr, which has drawn comparisons to Vashti Bunyan and Anne Briggs. To these ears, her music has much in common with former Dream Syndicate bassist and underrated solo artist Kendra Smith.

In addition to the usual rock instruments, Lubelski fills her lush tunes with bells, tambourines, sitar, electric piano, synthesizers, and violin, on which she plays especially haunting multi-tracked melodies on "Born from the Tree." It's heavenly, ethereal, and a little mind-bending. In fact, there's a vaguely medieval undertone, as well as a slightly disorienting mood, in the arrangements on this album that give it the kaleidoscopic feel, if not the essence, of Iron & Wine's gorgeous album The Shepherd's Dog. Really, it's that good.

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Falling Through a Field

One of the best bands in the new generation of early 70's psychedelic pop revival. But this band, in electronic clothing. This is a reissue album from the 2003 released Falling Through a Field. Alien vocoders + Howling moog + Bubble gum rhodes + Twisted woodwinds + Cool beats = HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

BMSR - Falling Through a Field

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotion Trash

Upcoming release of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks. Sounds more Silver Jews-esque than Pavement whereas they choose a style that's more rigid and organized in structure. Malkmus' trademark spontanious voice-pulls is still everywhere. Give it a listen.

Stephen Malkmus & Jicks - Real Emotion Trash


OLAibi - Humming Moon Drip

OLAibi is a five piece band from Osaka featuring members of OOIOO and Boredoms. Their sound has Okinawan traditional influences and incorporates instruments like steel drums and pianica. It's essentially tribal drums and haunting chants so you may expect a vague and trancing music.

OLAibi - Humming Moon Drip

Avey Tare & Kría Brekkan - Pullhair Rubeye

Pullhair Rubeye is the first solo album released by Animal Collective member Avey Tare and his wife, Kría Brekkan (Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, formerly of múm). The album was released on April 24, 2007 in CD, LP, and digital formats. It was recorded with guitars and piano on an eight track in their practice space in Brooklyn and later mixed down on a borrowed two track. This album comes in two releases, the forward playing version and the backwards. This is the original forwarded form. Nice and Warm.