July 26, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-07-25

* Takemitsu, Hindemith, et al.: Five Pieces (Duo Gazzana) (ECM CD)
* Luening/Ussachevsky, et al.: Early Modulations: Vintage Volts (Caipirinha CD)
* Miles Davis: The Bootleg Series Vol.4: At Newport 1955-1975 (d.3-4) (Columbia Legacy 4CD)
* John Coltrane: Live Trane: The European Tours (d.1-3) (Pablo 8CD)
* Jeanne Lee & Ran Blake: The Legendary Duets (RCA/Bluebird CD)
* Weather Report: Sweetnighter (Columbia LP)
* Ray Anderson: Harrisburg Half Life (Moers LP)
* David Schnitter: Thundering (Muse LP)
* Wayne Johnson Trio: Grasshopper (ITI LP)
* John Scofield: Electric Outlet (Gramavision LP)
* Recoil: Pardon My Fantasy (Pausa LP)
* Dino Saluzzi: Vanidad de los Andes (ECM CD)
* Rich Corpolongo/Doug Lofstrom/Paul Wertico: Spontaneous Composition (Spoco LP)
* Josh Sinton, Dominic Lash, Ingrid Laubrock, et al.: Signal Gain (OutNow CD)
* V/A: Native North America Vol.1: Aboriginal Folk, Rock & Country 1966-1985 (Light in the Attic 3LP)
* Bola Sete: Ocean: Solo Guitar Vol.1 (Takoma LP)
* Jerry Garcia Band: Garcia Live Vol.2: Greek Theatre, 8/5/90 (ATO 2HDCD)
* Comus: First Utterance (Dawn/Get Back LP+EP)
* Amazing Blondel: Fantasia Lindum (Island LP)
* Deep Purple: Made In Japan (Warner Bros. 2LP)
* Kevin Ayers: Yes, We Have No Mananas (ABC LP)
* Gentle Giant: Civilian (Columbia LP)
* Curved Air: Airconditioning (Warner Bros. LP)
* Curved Air: Phantasmagoria (Warner Bros. LP)
* Nektar: Remember The Future (Passport LP)
* Kayak: See See The Sun (Harvest LP)
* Kayak: Royal Bed Bouncer (Janus LP)
* Michael Hoenig: Departure From The Northern Wasteland (Warner Bros. LP)
* Heldon: Stand By (Cuneiform CD)
* David Sylvian: Secrets of the Beehive (Virgin LP)
* BORIS: Noise (Sargent House 2LP)
* Agalloch: The Serpent & The Sphere (Profound Lore CD)
* Grails: The Burden of Hope (Neurot/PSM LP)
* Grails: Redlight (Neurot/PSM LP)
* Locrian: Return To Anihilation (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Locrian: Infinite Dissolution (Relapse LP)
* Pelican: Forever Becoming (Southern Lord 2-45RPM LP)
* Pallbearer: 2010 Demo (Twenty Buck Spin 12”)
* Wild Nothing: Nocturne (Captured Tracks CD)
* Padang Food Tigers: Running My Habits Clean (Bathetic CS)



At the end of Electric Eden (Faber, 2010), the magisterial survey of the UK psych/folk scene of the 1960s and ‘70s, author Rob Young gamely attempts to trace the thread of folk music influences through the post-hippie decades, finding traces of Albion in such unlikely places as Aphex Twin and Radiohead. Of course, “folktronica” is something of a worldwide phenomenon—but the distinctly British “visionary music” Young describes in his book continues to be produced to this day, if obscured by the whims of fashion and commerce.

Padang Food Tigers is one such group that fits the paradigm. The London-based duo of Spencer Grady and Stephen Lewis combine their guitars, banjos, harmonicas and other acoustic instruments with evocative field recordings and other bits of audio ephemera to create bucolic pastorals, hallucinatory visions of a lost Eden. But they are no throwbacks; eschewing vocals as well as other idiomatic displays of “authenticity,” Padang Food Tigers conjure up thoroughly modern soundscapes.

The latest Padang Food Tigers EP, Running My Habits Clean, was released in 2014 as part of the cassette-only “Dynasty At Ghost Town” series on Bathetic Records and neatly captures what they are all about. “Calyx Malpractice Suit” features some wistful trumpet over ringing banjos while “Nurturing Of A Definite Hush” lives up to its title: gentle strumming and percussive scrapes bathed in a dusky atmosphere of found sounds and thick, delicious reverb. “Salacious Bee Amputee,” a lo-fi snippet of laconic banjo and murmuring children, serves as a prelude to the title track, a subtly nuanced tour de force. With its countrified double-stops and string bends layered over hazily modulating harmonies, “Running My Habits Clean” seems to summon up a mythical, rural past amidst our technological, urbanized present.

Or maybe I am just so enamored of Young’s book (which I read just recently) that I can’t help but hear this music through that lens. And perhaps Padang Food Tigers would be offended by my casting them with the dreaded “folkies.” But I mean it as a compliment. The more I listen to Running My Habits Clean, the more I want to track down the rest of their discography. Highly recommended!

July 20, 2015

Paylist Week of 2015-07-18

* Miles Davis: The Bootleg Series Vol.4: At Newport 1955-1975 (Columbia/Legacy 4CD)
* Max Roach: Chattahoochee Red (Columbia LP)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Oblique (Blue Note CD)
* V/A: Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music (Universal 2CD)
* John Renbourn: Sir John A Lot Of… (Transatlantic/Lost Lake Arts LP)
* John Renbourn: The Lady And The Unicorn (Transatlantic/Reprise LP)
* The Strawbs: The Best of Strawbs (A&M 2LP)
* Steeleye Span: Below The Salt (Chrysalis LP)
* Tim Buckley: Tim Buckley (Elektra/Rhino Handmade 2CD)
* Tim Buckley: Tim Buckley (Elektra LP)
* Gentle Giant: Interview (Capitol LP)
* Yutaka: Yutaka (Alfa LP)
* Stomu Yamashta/Steve Winwood/Michael Shrieve: Go (Island LP)
* Stomu Yamashta’s Go: Go Too (Island LP)
* V/A: Have A Nice Decade: The ‘70s Pop Culture Box (selections) (Rhino 7CD)
* V/A: All Day Thumbsucker Revisited (Blue Thumb 2CD)
* Michael Brook with Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois: Hybrid (Editions EG LP)
* Bill Laswell, et al.: Divination: Distill (Sub Meta 2CD)
* Bill Laswell & Laraaji: Divination: Sacrifice (Meta CD)
* Jordan De La Sierra: Valentine Eleven (Global Pacific LP)
* Paul Speer: Collection 983: Spectral Voyages (Catero LP)
* Spencer Brewer: Shadow Dancer (Willow Rose LP)
* Free Parking: Disguise/Delimit (Bandelism LP)
* The Waterboys: This Is The Sea (Island LP)
* The dBs: The Sound of Music (I.R.S. LP)
* Let’s Active: Cypress (I.R.S. LP)
* Wally Badarou: Echoes (Island LP)
* Daft Punk: Random Access Memory (Columbia 2LP)
* Usnea: Random Cosmic Violence (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly (Interscope CD)



I was expecting the next volume of the Miles Davis Bootleg Series would follow the chronological progression of the previous three and move on to 1971 and feature some of the several European radio broadcasts available from that spectacular tour. Well, we get that, at least in part, with a set from Dietikon, Switzerland from October 22, 1971 --  but only as part of a larger conceit: Miles at the Newport Jazz Festival, whether it was held in Rhode Island, New York, or overseas.

Spread across four CDs, we get Miles's historic first "comeback" from 1955; a performance from the Kind of Blue band from 1958; two spellbinding sets from the "Second Great Quintet" from 1966 and '67; the Bitches Brew live premiere from 1969; the aforementioned Dietikon show from 1971; a lengthy show from loud, electric guitar-driven 1973 band in Berlin; and, finally, a mere fragment from Avery Fisher Hall in July 1975, his last before disappearing into a shadowy retirement. It's a fascinating overview of how Miles's music changed so radically over those twenty years, from hard bop to avant-funk-rock and beyond. 

Some of this stuff has been previously released, but over three hours has never been heard in such stunning sound quality, making this a must-have for every Miles Davis head. I still wouldn't mind seeing a "Europe 1971" box for Volume 5 -- maybe even including a DVD again like Volumes 1 and 2. I know there's got to be killer footage out there from that tour. Whatever it is, I can't wait!

July 14, 2015

Playlist 2015-07-11

* Dutillieux/Lutoslawski: Cello Concertos (Orch. de Paris/Rostropovich) (Angel LP)
* Varèse: Deserts, Hyperprism, etc. (Simonovich/Debost) (Angel LP)
* Andrew Hill: Mosaic Select (d.2) (Mosaic 3CD)
* Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition: Audio Visualscapes (Impulse!/GRP 2LP)
* Shakti: Shakti With John McLaughlin (Columbia LP)
* Stanley Clarke: Journey To Love (Nemperor LP)
* Ktil Bjornstad/David Darling/Terje Rypdal/Jon Christensen: The Sea (ECM CD)
* Ralph Towner/Wolfgang Muthspiel/Slava Grigoryan: Travel Guide (ECM CD)
* Marcin Wisilewski: Trio (ECM CD)
* Ches Smith & These Arches: Hammered (Clean Feed CD)
* Kamasi Washington: The Epic (d.2-3) (Brainfeeder 3CD)
* Unconscious Collective: Unconscious Collective (Tofu Carnage 2-45RPM LP)
* Unconscious Collective: Pleistocene Moon (Tofu Carnage 2LP)
* A Taste of Honey: Another Taste (Capitol LP)
* Peter Lang: The Thing At The Nursery Window (Takoma LP)
* Grateful Dead: Dave’s Picks Vol.14: NYC 3/26/72 (selections) (GDP/Rhino 3+1HDCD)
* Tim Buckley: Happy Sad (Elektra LP)
* Carole King: Tapestry (Ode/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Ultimate Spinach: Ultimate Spinach (MGM LP)
* Spirit: Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus (Epic LP)
* Jade Warrior: Waves (Island LP)
* Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary Music (Eden/Universal 2CD)
* The Pentangle: Basket of Light (Reprise LP)
* Alan Stivell: Renaissance of the Celtic Harp (Philips LP)
* Marcos Valle: Marcos Valle (Odeon/Light in the Attic LP)
* Marcos Valle: Garra (Odeon/Light in the Attic LP)
* Marcos Valle: Previsão do Tempo (Odeon/Light in the Attic LP)
* Todd Rundgren: Runt (Apex LP)
* Utopia: Ra (Bearsville/CBS-Japan LP)
* Ricked Wicky: King Heavy Metal (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Ricked Wicky: Jargon of Clones/Quite Worthy (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Ricked Wicky: Tomfoole Terrific/Dissonance (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Dumb Numbers: Dumb Numbers (Joyful Noise LP)
* Pig Destroyer: Mass & Volume (Relapse EP)
* Padang Food Tigers: Running My Habits Clean (Bathetic C)



None -- but I did make another YouTube Vinyl Community video the other day, if you're interested:

July 5, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-07-04

* Buxtehude: Seven Sonatas, Op.1 (Holloway/ter Linden/Mortensen) (NAXOS CD)
* Stockhausen: Hymnen (WDR) (DG 2LP)
* Morton Subotnick: The Wild Bull (Nonesuch LP)
* Eric Siday: The Ultra Sonic Perception (Dual Planet LP)
* Eric Siday: Sounds of Now (Dual Planet LP)
* McCoy Tyner: Trident (Milestone LP)
* McCoy Tyner: Atlantis (Milestone 2LP)
* Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny: Beyond The Missouri Sky (Verve CD)
* Tony Williams Lifetime: Ego (Polydor LP)
* New Tony Williams Lifetime: Believe It (Columbia LP)
* Leroy Jenkins: Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival of America (Tomato LP)
* Cecil Taylor: Air (Candid CD)
* Dorothy Ashby: Afro-Harping (Cadet/Verve CD)
* Jay Richford & Gary Stevan: Feelings (Carsello/Golden Pavilion LP)
* John McLaughlin With The One Truth Band: Electric Dreams (Columbia LP)
* Collin Walcott: Cloud Dance (ECM LP)
* Denny Heines: Every Island (Silver Wave LP)
* Free Flight: Soaring (Palo Alto Jazz LP)
* Iasos: Inter-Dimensional Music Through Iasos (Unity LP)
* Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Blowfly 3CD)
* John Fahey & His Orchestra: After The Ball (Reprise LP)
* The Pentangle: Cruel Sister (Reprise LP)
* The Pentangle: Solomon’s Seal (Reprise LP)
* John Renbourn: Faro Annie (Reprise LP)
* Bert Jansch: Heartbreak (Hannibal LP)
* Shelby Lynne: I Am Shelby Lynne (Rounder CD)
* Shelby Lynne: I Can’t Imagine (Rounder CD)
* Tomorrow: Tomorrow (Parlophone LP)
* The Gods: Genesis (Parlophone LP)
* Rainbow Ffolly: Sallies Fforth (Parlophone LP)
* Tim Buckley: Blue Afternoon (Straight/Warner Bros. LP)
* Tim Buckley: Starsailor (Straight/Warner Bros. LP)
* Tim Buckley: Greetings From L.A. (Straight/Warner Bros. LP)
* Roy Harper: HQ (Harvest LP)
* Goblin: Goblin Rebirth (Relapse LP)
* Klaatu: Klaatu (Capitol LP)
* Japan: Tin Drum (Virgin LP)
* Japan: Exorcizing Ghosts (Virgin 2LP)
* X: 4th of July/Positively 4th Street (Elektra 7”)
* Die Kreuzen: Cows and Beer (Beer City 7”EP)
* Die Kreuzen: Gone Away/Different Ways (Touch & Go 7”)
* Die Kreuzen: Pink Flag/Land of Treason (Touch & Go 7”)
* Die Kreuzen: Century Days (Touch & Go LP)
* Guided By Voices: Do The Collapse (TVT CD)
* Opeth: Watershed (Roadrunner 2LP)
* Agalloch: Of Stone, Wind, & Pillor (Dammerung Arts EP)
* Syd Arthur: On And On (Harvest LP)
* Syd Arthur: Sound Mirror (Harvest LP)
* Ecstatic Vision: Sonic Praise (Relapse LP)



As y'all know, I brought a ton of vinyl records back with me from Colorado -- which meant a lot of time spent cleaning and spinning this week.

I've had my Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine for over twenty years now, and have been tweaking my procedures ever since. After all, it is my belief that a record can never be too clean. This time, I tried a new fluid in my arsenal of solutions: Plus Enzyme Cleaner from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.

I had gotten fairly good results with the Nitty Gritty fluids, but some records remained unreasonably noisy and, sometimes the needle would jump the groove, even though  there were no scratches visible on the surface of the vinyl. So, I decided to see if this would help.

Unlike most fluids, the enzyme solution is allowed to sit on the record for up to five minutes before vacuuming off (followed by a round of Mobile Fidelity Pure Record Rinse). Much to my amazement, crackles and pops disappeared and formerly skippy records played back flawlessly. This treatment also worked miracles on problematic new pressings. Hooray!

Those of you with vacuum-based record cleaning machines really should check out the Plus Enzyme Cleaner. It could turn your trash into treasure!