|JAMES ORR COMPLEX – Chori’s Bundle(BING042)One of Scotland’s greatest guitarists ever, Chris Mack’s compositions are reminiscent of Bert Jansch in their stylistic brilliance and instrumental complexity. This record is licensed from Mogwai’s label, Rock Action Records, out of Glasgow.SONS AND DAUGHTERS – Love the Cup(BING041)Glasgow’s latest sensations, Sons & Daughters, tour the vast terrain of raucous and sly classic country, mixing in traditional Scottish folk along the way. The result will please Lee Hazlewood / Nancy Sinatra fans as much as those who worship Johnny Cash.
1 MILE NORTH – Minor Shadows (BING039)
The happy middle-ground 1 Mile North occupies combines the warmth and humanity of analog sounds (made by a variety of synthesizers and guitar) with the innovative subtleties of electronic composition. “Minor Shadows” – the group’s second record – finds a new plateau for ambient music, never forgetting the need for melody amidst the experimentation.
WORKMAN, HAWKSLEY – The Delicious Wolves (BING038)
Hawksley’s second record and a total full-production stunner which had Esquire (that’s right, Esquire! Well, the UK Esquire) calling it “extravagantly glamorous and epic, a dazzling collision of Bowie and Broadway where there’s always real heart beneath the flash.” This is the UK version of the album, which features two bonus tracks and three amazing videos which he made for the singles.
DWINELL, MARK – Nonloc (BING037)
The debut album by Bright front man, Mark Dwinell. Borne from improvisation, and sounding like a minimal orchestra in the vein of Philip Glass or Steve Reich, Dwinell’s compositions concentrate on the organic aspects of repetition, unfolding in revolving circles of mind expansion.
MORPHEW, JASON – Duke Of Arkansas (BING036)
Joined by a full backing band, including the woman who sang The Jeffersons theme song, Jason Morphew’s third record realized the full production potential of his songs. Tracks like “Lipstick Stains” and “Sex!” could even be called insta-classics, if such a classification did indeed exist.
CROWLEY, ADRIAN – A Strange Kind (BING035)
A reissue of the small initial pressing from 1999, A Strange Kind has been remastered and now comes with a video for the track “Trilogy.” Even though it was his first record, Adrian’s talent was fully realized, with sparse, sad songs evoking colorful imagery thanks to his affecting lyrics.
COMETS ON FIRE – Field Recordings From the Sun (BING034)
What West Coast Psychedelia has been and where it’s headed. Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance and Tim Green of The Fucking Champs play along to the melee.
LANDING – Seasons (BING033)
The third album from Connecticut’s prolific Landing, Seasons continues their glorious space rock explorations with an emphasis on melody and songs. Their shimmering beauty has never articulated itself so well.
CROWLEY, ADRIAN – When You Are Here You Are Family (BING032)
Recorded by Steve Albini, When You Are Here You Are Family highlights Crowley’s somber tone with lush
cello accompaniment to his deep-voiced ballads.
MIRZA – Last Clouds (BING031)
In addition to reprinting Mirza’s first EP, Last Clouds collects some of what could be the wildest psych rock recordings the band ever made.
SPINY ANTEATERS, THE – Well Laid Plans (BING030)
Four years in the making, Well Laid Plans is more tune-driven than Last Supper while still capturing the band’s embrace of all that is off-kilter.
WEEKS, GREG – Awake Like Asleep (BING028)
If a prog-folk album were playing in the woods, would fans of the genre still do all they can to search it out? Is anything more beautiful than uncommon orchestration – mellotron, Moog, XXX – played in minimal compositions? These questions, and other impoderables like them, run through my head as I listen to Greg’s incredible record.
MORPHEW, JASON – Not For the Faint Of Heart! (BING027)
Mostly acoustic songs, mostly on the downtempo side of the emotional spectrum, Morphew’s lyrics nail every notion of love’s follies with precision.
WORKMAN, HAWKSLEY – For Him and the Girls (BING026)
Workman plays everything here, creating music which rivals a young David Bowie and Tim Buckley. He’s been hailed by Mojo, GQ and The Globe and Mail for his great vocal talent and songwriting originality.
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE – The Manifestation 12″ (BING025)
Six Organs combines furious acoustic guitar playing with chiming sounds and hushed vocals to make this tribute to the sun. This is a beautifully constructed one-sided, clear vinyl LP, with a sun etching on the other side, so, of course, it was limited to 500 copies.
BRIGHT – Full Negative (or) Breaks (BING024)
Their most cohesive, engaging and melodically inspired work – an eclectic mix of macho guitar-driven improvs, minimalist pop-vocal song structures, and spacious instrumental arrangements. Double LP comes with addition 35 minute CDEP, The Miller Fantasies.
BLEK INK – Blek Ink (BING022)
Pop songs by way of dissonance and abstraction. Icelander Paul Lydon’s voice is a gentle presence amoungst clamourous guitars, chimes and keyboards. In the musical sphere of Tower Recordings and Alastair Galbraith, with incongruous musical passages coming together like they were always meant to collide.
YOURS TRULY – Domesticated (BING021)
Linda Smith, known for releases on Harriet on Feel Good All Over, teams up with Paul Baroody to make modern new wave brilliance. It’s like every great eighties song you never heard but knew was out there.
YUME BITSU – Yume Bitsu (BING020)
K Records superstars present six long tracks of lulling guitar lines and sparse harmonized vocals. Epic, grandeur anthems of intensity.
WEEKS, GREG – Fire In the Arms Of the Sun (BING018)
Hushed vocals over fingerpicked acoustic guitar, along with creepy keyboard touches. Not in any VW commercials.
MONAURAL – Monitor Interference (BING016C)
Space rock and spacious electronics, with real insruments undercutting the usual studio artifice. One of the mainstays of the late nineties Detroit Space Rock scene.
YUME BITSU – Giant Surface Music Falling To Earth Like Jewels From the Sky (BING016)
Reissue of Yume Bitsu’s beautiful first album from 1998. The songs go longform in spaciousness and dreamliness, taking a step beyond dream pop simplicity and stomping in the psychedelic romper room of Tangerine Dream’s Zeit, Roy Montgomery’s most transcendent work, and My Bloody Valentine (when they knew how to use a guitar.)
RECEPTIONISTS, THE – The Last Letter (BING015)
Ponderously clever folk pop simplicity, recalling The Raincoats and The Shaggs in its cleverness and charm. Three Vassar girls sing vocal harmonies in their dorm room with accordian, guitar, toy piano, piccolo and maracas.
SPINY ANTEATERS, THE – The Last Supper (BING014)
Former Kranky artists present a concept album of feedback ballads, melodic noise, tape splices and pretty songs.
BRIGHT – PLYMOUTH ROCK b/w SUPERSTRINGS, NOVA 7″ (BING012)
Some of the strongest examples from Bright’s four-track recordings.
JUNEAU – Juneau (BING011)
Two guitars and drums play something in the realm between Bardo Pond, Dead C and Ash Ra Temple. Includes members of Sunburned Hand of the Man.
BRIGHT – Albatross Guest House (BING010)
A compilation of the band’s four-track recordings through the years. Many songs capture at-the-moment intensity that will cause Krautrock fans to rejoice.
WEAK MOMENTS, THE – The Weak Moments (BING009)
The only album The Weak Moments released, aiming towards pop songs forged out of noise.
MORPHEW, JASON – Transparent (BING008)
Brooding country songs, combining tradition and innovation. Transparent covers an array of material, from solo guitar and piano numbers, to full-band accompaniment (provided by the band Holiday) to duets (with Claudia Gonson, of The Magnetic Fields).
ULTRASOUND – Analogic DBL LP (BING007)
A massive record of minimal droning sounds, with each side meant to be played at a different part of the day.
BRIGHT – Bright (BING006)
Amerikrautpop at its finest. Bright’s debut record is a startling example of just what can be achieved when a rock band improvises in the studio towards the goal of creating melodic songs. “Mugged” was recorded just hours after one of them was robbed at gunpoint! So many stories…
ALGER HISS – Settings For Nudes (BING005)
The first record by New York’s stunning Alger Hiss, a band which combines the intensity of prime primal Swans with the precision of Big Black.
WINDY & CARL – Portal (BING004)
The duo’s first album, a rerelease of the original cassette, with about a half hour of additional material on it. The stunning and influencial beginning of what became defined (at least in the press) as the Detroit Space Rock scene.
Various Artists – Follow the Bouncing Ball (BING003)
Mostly downtempo compilation featuring Bardo Pond, Jessamine, Joel RL Phelps, Simon Joyner, Spent, Receptionists and more.
RECEPTIONISTS, THE – The Memo EP (BING002)
The band’s first release of six songs recorded in Jen and Larissa’s dorm room. All but “Drinking Fountain” appear on The Last Letter.
SALTEEN – Green Light/Roommates b/w Part 7″ (BING001)
Not to be confused with the Canadian band, and, upon hearing it, not to be confused with Codeine or Galaxie 500.
COMETS ON FIRE – Comets On Fire
The band’s Alternative Tentacles CD rerelease of the out-of-print first LP, with some bonus tracks and more Echoplex than you can shake a trippin’ hippie at.
LANDING – Passages Through CD (KLP146)
The band’s first K Record, and a beautiful marriage between their abstract improvisational stuff and their melody-based songs.
YUME BITSU – Golden Vessyl of Sound CD (KLP137)
The band’s most varied record, trying out electronic beats and sound effects with remarkable success. The future of psychedelia.
YUME BITSU – Auspicious Winds CD (KLP121)
A swirling and majestic record. For me, the best song is “The Wedding Procession” – a slow-build composition that rides the intensity meter straight through.
[[[[VVRSSNN]]]]/GREG WEEKS – Quiet Weather Singles Series 7″ (SO)
Part of the Quiet Weather Singles Series, Adam from Yume Bitsu and Greg Weeks both offer up two otherwise unreleased tracks on creamy pink colored vinyl.