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The Apotheosis of VaVaVoom by Ashtray Navigations

Ashtray Navigations

The Apotheosis of VaVaVoom
Vhf

Third VHF dispatch from the mighty and prolific Ashtray Navigations, following 2020’s mega and extremely popular Imaginary Greatest Hits package. The curiously titled The Apotheosis of VaVaVoom is one of Phil Todd & Melanie O’Dubhshlaine’s most direct and rocking packages, with mucho ripping lead guitar action backed by some absolutely fun bubbling synth and drum grooves. “Irons Three” kicks off with wicked wah’d out leads, followed by the subdued ambience of “Tasteful Grey Putting” and “Appropros Tower” and a segue into the driving “Hinges on the Clapometer.” Side 2’s opening combo of “Slush Puppy Window” and “Avatar Down The Highway” sounds like a head on collision between Terje Rypdal and Tangerine Dream on a dark bender, with laser guitar over a bed of tumbling electronics and tiny noises. The closing “Crack Another Bloodcapsule” is one of Ashtray Nav’s all time best, like a lost krautrock classic jam with a driving rhythm from guest drummer Alex Neilson. On limited green vinyl.

LP $19.00

11/25/2022 783881015614 

VHF 156 


MP3 $7.99

11/25/2022 783881015614 

VHF 156 


FLAC $8.99

11/25/2022 783881015614 

VHF 156 


Evening Measures by Gangloff, Mike

Gangloff, Mike

Evening Measures
Vhf

First solo LP in a decade from long-time Pelt/Black Twigs/Eight Point Star leader, presenting a remarkable program of solo Hardanger and octave fiddle music. Evening Measures is a bold and unique statement, a direct and disarming individual expression of a musician’s inner thoughts and inspirations. Like some of Mike’s work in other projects, this ricochets back and forth across the line between the most traditional and the most “out” music, blending drone, melody, and the pure tactile sensation of acoustic string music into a personal sound. A set of all-original compositions (save the traditional “Wild Geese Chase”), Mike’s playing is languorous and expressive, with the sympathetic strings of the Hardanger-style instrument ringing out on some cuts like multiple players. The album touches on a variety of styles, keeping things fresh for the entire playing time. “The Other Side of Catawba” is a deeply psychedelic and immersive cloud of hovering string sound, reminiscent of some of Pelt’s more gentle explorations. “New River Suite” (some of which appeared in group versions by Eight Point Star on a PBS documentary about Appalachia’s New River) is a keening set of themes that have the memorable melodies of established traditional repertoire but are all completely new. “Wild Geese Chase” is a rugged and wild slash through a well-known fiddle standard. “Halfway From Shawsville” rounds things out with a lovely tribute to Mike’s Virginia town.

LP $19.00

11/25/2022 783881015713 

VHF 157 


MP3 $7.99

11/25/2022 783881015713 

VHF 157 


FLAC $8.99

11/25/2022 783881015713 

VHF 157 


The Flower-Corsano Duo, the world’s best and only drums / Japan banjo duo return to VHF for their first album since 2009’s monumental The Four Aims. Mick Flower (Vibracathedral Orchestra) and Chris Corsano (frequently seen with Bill Orcutt, Joe McPhee, and other luminaries) work an area that’s not really jazz, not really anything—a stream of endlessly mutating free sound, a unique mind-merge between Corsano’s nimble drums and percussion and Flower’s amplified Japan banjo (also known as a Shahi Baaja, a type of electric Indian zither with both fretted / keyed and drone strings). Flower cuts a highly original line, playing neither “leads” nor making drone-music. Less amplified here than on the more “heavy” The Four Aims, the strings ring out with distinct clarity in short snippets of melody and a canvas of pleasing electric sound. Corsano’s bag is to charm out a flow of thoughtful percussion engagement, rolling around on his kit, continually varying his attack and approach in conversational free-jazz style. The Halcyon is a precious addition to a tiny discography, a fortunate event even in today’s world of small press overabundance. Thanks guys!

LP $17.50

02/18/2022 783881015515 

VHF 155 


MP3 $9.90

02/18/2022 783881015515 

VHF 155 


FLAC $11.99

02/18/2022 783881015515 

VHF 155 


Fourth Density by O'Sullivan, Daniel

O'Sullivan, Daniel

Fourth Density
Vhf

Second in a series of three records of Library Music miniatures from composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan (Æthenor, Ulver, This Is Not This Heat, etc) following 2020’s Electric Māyā. For heads, the term “Library Music” in 2021 might evoke dodgy Italian gray market LPs and crate-diggers hunting for “funky breaks”—but London’s venerable KPM Music is working with groundbreakers like O’Sullivan to open up new avenues for composers to experiment with. Fourth Density’s fifteen tracks include several beguiling instrumental beauties, including the Ashra-like “Astral Survivor” and the drifty “Faster Than Light.” Mixed in with the instrumental are almost-pop gems like the hypnotic “Orgone Attenuation” and “Head In The Belfry,” both with guest vocals from Astrud Steeholder. Like the other volumes, this is in a beautiful jacket designed by O’Sullivan and Turner Prize-nominee Mark Titchner and pressed on aesthetically complimentary blue vinyl.

LP $17.50

09/24/2021 783881015119 

VHF 151 


MP3 $9.90

09/24/2021 783881015119 

 


FLAC $11.99

09/24/2021 783881015119 

 


Remarkable debut album by new Cosmic-Appalachian string band, birthed from the same Virginia firmament that has brought forth Pelt, Jack Rose, Black Twig Pickers, and Spiral Joy Band. Led by Mike Gangloff’s droning fiddle and Matt Peyton’s fingerpicked guitar, Eight Point Star mines the modal traditions of both old-time Appalachia and far-out drone music to produce beautiful tunes that are equal parts memorable and psychedelic. Side A starts with the gentle guitar and fiddle duet of “Winchester’s Dream” before segueing into the loping “Waiting on the Band,” where the subliminal pulse of Tim Thornton’s upright bass animates the music until the lengthy lock-groove repetition of “The Interloper.” Closing the side, “Flowerthrower” and “Mount-Calvary Peacock” have a vibe reminiscent of Popol Vuh’s mid-’70s masterpieces, combining sawing fiddle and melodic guitar with simple and haunting chord structures. Side B is bookended by two country-blues influenced numbers, with Peyton’s boisterous vocal and guitar and Isak Howell’s harp leading the upbeat “Brand New Shirt” and the elegiac “Weeping Cherry Cry.” In between the two vocal features are a segued mini-epic of moods, including an expanded group lineup collapsing midway through “A Water Panther Speaks” into an eerie soundscape of singing bowls and distant gong sounds as dark as the night in remotest Virginia.

LP $17.50

07/30/2021 783881015416 

VHF 154 


MP3 $7.99

07/30/2021 783881015416 

VHF 154 


FLAC $8.99

07/30/2021 783881015416 

VHF 154 


Friend's Peace by Black Twig Pickers

Black Twig Pickers

Friend's Peace
Vhf

Following a series of records with Thrill Jockey (including the sensational Seasonal Hire with Steve Gunn), the Black Twig Pickers return to the VHF mothership to continue their charming and original take on old time and Appalachian-inspired string band sounds. Together since 2001, and a continuous presence in the music’s true home of Southwest Virginia, the Twigs represent the actively working evolution of the traditions—learning songs from other locals, playing dances at the Floyd Country Store, etc—without retro-artifice or nostalgia. The ragged-but-right performances and recording (and Sally Ann Morgan’s perfect cover design) sit at the ideal intersection of DIY / “underground” and local string-sound values. On Friend’s Peace, the band travels a range of styles, from the lovely harmony on the trad-classic “Moonshiner” to the racing fiddle / guitar / banjo on the “Money Musk” medley. Mixed in with the traditional songs are several perfectly-placed original tunes, including Mike Gangloff’s keening “Cara’s Waltz” and Isak Howell’s solo guitar spotlight on “Barnswallow.”

LP $17.50

04/02/2021 783881015317 

VHF 153 


MP3 $9.90

04/02/2021 783881015317 

VHF 153 


FLAC $11.99

04/02/2021 783881015317 

VHF 153 


Electric Māyā: Dream Flotsam And Astral Hinterlands by O'Sullivan, Daniel

O'Sullivan, Daniel

Electric Māyā: Dream Flotsam And Astral Hinterlands
Vhf

First in a series of three records of library music miniatures from composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan (Æthenor, Ulver, This is Not This Heat, etc). For heads, the term “library music” in 2020 might evoke dodgy Italian gray market LPs and crate diggers hunting for “funky breaks”—but London’s venerable KPM Music is working with groundbreakers like O’Sullivan to open up new avenues for composers to experiment. Electric Māyā includes eighteen gems, beautifully arranged and recorded specifically for the challenge of the short form. These are fully realized tunes, not just clips from the middle of some jam to be used on late night TV. The obvious touchstones here are Eno’s On Land and Music For Films, but O’Sullivcan’s touch on multiple instruments and knack for melody extend the music far beyond mere atmospherics. There are plenty of drifty segments, each rendered fully realized—a timely reminder that a well-made drone or bit of ambience can set its spell in two or three minutes rather than thirty. In a beautiful jacket designed by O’Sullivan and Turner Prize-nominee Mark Titchner.

LP $17.50

11/27/2020 783881015010 

VHF 150 


MP3 $9.90

10/23/2020 783881015010 

VHF 150 


FLAC $11.99

10/23/2020 783881015010 

VHF 150 


Greatest Imaginary Hits by Ashtray Navigations

Ashtray Navigations

Greatest Imaginary Hits
Vhf

27th Anniversary set for the multi-dimensional midlands-crew, led by Phil Todd and Melanie O’Dubhslaine. Nearly six hours of cosmic, psychedelic, mind-boggling sounds, featuring a newly recorded LP plus four max-length CDs curated by AshNav connoisseurs Rob Hayler, Henry Rollins, Pete Coward, and Neil Campbell. The CDs are drawn from the band’s massive back catalog of mostly small run / private releases, covering activity dating back to 1994. Mining a deep well of thousand-yard stare psychedelia, Ashtray Navigations possess of one of the most exciting outré music catalogs of the contemporary era, matching the classics from any era in originality and straight-up bonkers fun. This epic release includes a full range of hypnotic jams, including sequencer-led cosmic workouts, drifty ambience, and a heavy dose of Phil Todd’s ripping, laser guitar leads. The gatefold LP also includes pithy liner notes from Matt Valentine, Henry Rollins, Jon Dale, and more.  “Phil. Well I am glad you’re finally back from your place in Monaco and getting to work. The pictures of you with the polo mallet and the horses you sent were impressive, sure but when you sell yourself as an artist type and then are seen cavorting with those over tanned Euro trustfunders, it is alienating to your audience. You are, however, the only person I have ever met who has actually cavorted and that’s why you will always be a mid-level god to me.”   —Henry Rollins

MP3 $14.99

07/24/2020 783881014815 

VHF 148 


FLAC $15.99

07/24/2020 783881014815 

VHF 148 


fpo $29.00

07/24/2020 783881014815 

 


Ein Klein Nein by Youngs, Richard

Youngs, Richard

Ein Klein Nein
Vhf

Mysterious and minimal instrumental album by Richard Youngs, dreamt at home and recorded quickly in Glasgow’s Green Door Studio. Centered on a single piano chord and bare snare strikes, Youngs builds a haunting atmosphere in four episodes, featuring his guitar, organ, harmonica, and voice. The reductive and hypnotic approach here recalls his early classics like Advent and Festival. Another essential work from the prolific and truly unique musician. Creator of nearly one hundred albums, Richard Youngs somehow continues to find ways to surprise listeners. Even in these dark, dark ages where everyone knows everything, Youngs finds new creative ways—recording albums of accessible “rock” and folk music for the overground Glass and O Genesis labels, playing high-concept disco in the critically acclaimed AMOR; and releasing an extensive and bewildering series of albums where he plays all instruments with his feet!

LP $17.50

07/24/2020 783881014914 

VHF 149 


MP3 $7.99

07/24/2020 783881014914 

VHF 149 


FLAC $8.99

07/24/2020 783881014914 

VHF 149 


Debut collaboration between these like-minded English underground titans, perfectly mixing the long-form pop eccentricities of Grumbling Fur with the free electric sound of Astral Social Club to produce four epic and memorable tracks. The music is dense and layered, with hidden hooks, haunting vocals, unidentifiable electronic shuddering, delicate ambience, etc. Challenging but completely accessible and beautiful stuff. After a brief vocal declaration of purpose, “Back To The Egg” rides a motorik pulse ala Harmonia or Kraftwerk for ten hypnotic minutes. “Three Years Apart” pulses gently in a burbling cloud, reminding that along with crafting song gems, Grumbling Fur has collaborated with noted avant-composer / performer Charlemagne Palestine. “Ozone Antifreeze Intelligence” layers electronics over a haunting piano and vocal melody, framed by subliminal fuzz guitar. “Toejam Boxdrum” closes the album with an uproarious polyrhythm hidden by more layers of soft-focus electro-fizz, gradually giving way to thick bass riffs and tremelo’d interjections.

LP $19.00

06/07/2019 783881014716 

VHF 147 


MP3 $7.99

06/07/2019 783881014716 

VHF 147 


FLAC $8.99

06/07/2019 783881014716 

VHF 147 


Debut album by the New Zealand duo of Bruce Russell (Dead C, Handful Of Dust, etc) and Luke Wood. Visceral Realists is a high-concept commentary on the state of vinyl, analogue recording, music culture, art, etc. A 45-rpm bullet of short bursts of free electric sound, the music here is tactile and rough but not “noise music.” Russell and Wood play over loops of scratchy records, with their guitars and electronics surging to get over the wall. Russell’s guitar sound from his vintage transistor amp and anti-style is instantly recognizable from countless classic Dead C sides, but the tracks are more painterly than recent DC epics—these are celebratory vignettes of thoughts—singles, if you will. Originally made as an unfindable edition of twenty by Wood’s Ilam Press label to accompany an exhibit of NZ lathe-cut records, this new edition is beautifully packaged in a debossed and letterpress printed sleeve designed by Wood and printed by Stumptown in Portland. Two color risographs printed by Wood in NZ are tipped onto the jacket, and an additional two inserts provide revelatory notes by Russell and glam shots of the instruments that made the sounds. Also includes download slip.  “There’s more information encoded in an old record than in a new one. Every crack, every pop, a tree ring of recovered time. A life-time. Time again for life. Like the revenants, come from the grave warm; and once again walking. But still just blood in a bag. The glow of the vacuum at the...

LP $19.00

06/07/2019 783881014617 

VHF 146 


MP3 $7.99

06/07/2019 783881014617 

VHF 146 


FLAC $8.99

06/07/2019 783881014617 

VHF 146 


Purge And Swell/The Lost Decade by Wingtip Sloat

Wingtip Sloat

Purge And Swell/The Lost Decade
Vhf

Wingtip Sloat’s slashing and arty post-punk sounds weirdly contemporary these days, so what better news than to have their first new music in almost twenty years! Purge And Swell is a 12-inch 45 RPM mini LP with ten new tracks, and is accompanied by a 76-minute bonus CD Lost Decade with thirty-one additional tracks. The 12-inch includes plenty of the trebly guitar blare and low-fi charm immediately familiar from the group’s classic early ’90s singles, backstopping winning and memorable tunes like “Stars Bailed Out” and “Gizzard Jett.” The bonus CD includes bric-a-brac from the Sloat rehearsal room, with found poetry, perfect ninety-second rockers (the DC-specific “Cruisin’ The Ellipse”), confusing instrumental detours, and winsome covers of Eno, Dylan, Wire, Belle & Sebastian and more.

LP+CD $19.00

09/28/2018 783881014310 

VHF 143 


MP3 $9.90

09/28/2018 783881014310 

VHF 143 


FLAC $11.99

09/28/2018 783881014310 

VHF 143 


In Search Of Spaces by Flying Saucer Attack

Flying Saucer Attack

In Search Of Spaces
Vhf

First ever reissue and first time on vinyl for this unique Flying Saucer Attack live album, expanded with additional material and a new side four mix from Jim O’Rourke. Produced in collaboration with Dave Pearce / FSA and Bruce Russell (compiler of the original CD release for his Corpus Hermeticum label), featuring new artwork by Bruce Russell as well.  While rightly known for the folk-influenced songs and spacey instrumentals of their proper albums, the briefly active live version of FSA unexpectedly delivered a blistering wave of electric sound. Recorded at various shows in 1994, In Search Of Spaces heaves with long passages of feedback guitar racket, broken up by sections of surging rock music. The live band focused almost exclusively on visceral, trebly guitar noise—which, while always a key element in their sound, was greeted by audiences with total mystification (and often disapproval). Following a few brief attempts to settle a lineup and play songs from their records, Dave Pearce / FSA abandoned live performance altogether, leaving behind this album (and the barely available P. A. Blues CDR) as the sole document of his in-person delivery.  Originally compiled and released in 1996, this reissue adds several minutes of music back to the original program that had been edited out by FSA for being “too rock.” For side four, Jim O’Rourke revisited the original 1994 live tapes and has made a spooky and brooding new mix of music exclusive to this release.

2XLP $24.00

12/01/2017 783881014518 

VHF 145 


MP3 $9.90

12/01/2017 783881014518 

VHF 145 


FLAC $11.99

12/01/2017 783881014518 

VHF 145 


The debut release by The Slowest Lift (Sophie Cooper and Julian Bradley) presents a new chapter in the long-running tradition of radical English music duos. Originally formed via a commission from the Supernormal Festival, Cooper (an accomplished solo performer and collaborator) and Bradley (from frequent VHF delinquents Vibracathedral Orchestra) play a kind of gentle post-industrial psychedelia, with Cooper’s lovely vocals floating over a collage of live and electronic performances. The songs are a blend of straightforward performance and eccentric bricolage, with rude electronic interjections sitting comfortably alongside delicate guitar and keyboard melodies. Zoviet France-like low-fi atmospherics compete with Cooper’s voice for air on tracks like “Crystal Fracture” and “Hi From The Skyline Swim,” while the duo’s surprising cover of Duran Duran’s “The Chauffeur” deep on side two sneaks in perfectly, a mini-pop music drama reimagined as pure hallucination.

LP $17.50

12/01/2017 783881014419 

VHF 144 


MP3 $7.99

12/01/2017 783881014419 

VHF 144 


FLAC $8.99

12/01/2017 783881014419 

VHF 144 


Opium Musick by Rose, Jack

Rose, Jack

Opium Musick
Vhf

Part of a collaboration with Jack Rose’s estate and Three Lobed Records to restore all of his LPs to print, VHF presents new vinyl editions of the celebrated guitarist’s first three solo albums, newly cut by John Golden Mastering from the original source material. Originally issued on LP by Eclipse Records between 2002-04, these releases chart an eclectic, more experimental approach left behind as his technique and compositions became more refined and deliberate on later works like Kensington Blues. Recorded and originally released in 2003, Opium Musick is an eclectic collection with pieces for 12-string (the percussive and dark “Black Pearls”), 6-string, and lap guitar. The lovely raga-ish “Yaman Blues” features Mike Gangloff (Pelt, Black Twig Pickers) on tanpura, and echoes the extended modal work on Pelt’s contemporaneous Pearls From The River. The near-ragtime of “Linden Ave Stomp” showcases Glenn Jones on his vintage Gibson in a jumping duet with Rose’s lap steel. “Linden Ave” charted a path that Rose would determinedly pursue—short ragtime and old-time influenced pieces (originals and classics), with all phrasing worked out to a perfectionist standard. The lovely “Mountaintop Lamento” was memorably used in Catherine Pancake’s film about coal mining in Appalachia, Black Diamonds: Mountaintop Removal and the Fight for Coalfield Justice.  “In the year and half between Red Horse, White Mule and Opium Musick Mr. Rose spent the majority of his time honing his Ragtime and Jass skills. He met Dr. Chattanooga Red soon after recording his first LP and he revealed the secrets...

LP $17.50

09/23/2016 783881014211 

 


MP3 $3.96

09/16/2016 783881014211 

VHF 142 


Red Horse, White Mule by Rose, Jack

Rose, Jack

Red Horse, White Mule
Vhf

Part of a collaboration with Jack Rose’s estate and Three Lobed Records to restore all of his LPs to print, VHF presents new vinyl editions of the celebrated guitarist’s first three solo albums, newly cut by John Golden Mastering from the original source material. Originally issued on LP by Eclipse Records between 2002-04, these releases chart an eclectic, more experimental approach left behind as his technique and compositions became more refined and deliberate on later works like Kensington Blues. Rose’s 2002 solo debut Red Horse, White Mule was a bit of an outlier in the underground gestalt at the time, coming just before the wave of releases from the new generation of Takoma- / Fahey-inspired players. Strictly a solo affair, Red Horse balances the epic, side-long raga of “Red Horse” against a second side of shorter pieces, including the ragged slide style of “The Colonel’s Blues.” The compositions and performances incorporate the new and the classic with a rough-hewn charm.  “Rose’s personalized and disparate criteria awaken feelings of both rapture and tragedy on the scale of that which must have been felt by the newly-wed anthropologist who drove Kiowa Indian guests out of his Oklahoma residence with Victrola discs of Amelita Galli-Curci in order to go to bed with his bride or the child who, on hearing Bugs Bunny sing Queen Liluokalani’s dirge “Aloha Oe,” quarantined himself in the clothes hamper until such time that the United States withdraws from Hawai’i.” —Kisan Nagai, blues scholar, on Red Horse, White...

LP $17.50

09/23/2016 783881014112 

 


Hazel is the fifth record from Æthenor, the group of eclectic travelers that includes Stephen O’Malley (SunnO))), KTL), Daniel O’Sullivan (Ulver, This is Not This Heat, Grumbling Fur, etc), Kristoffer Rygg (Ulver), and Steve Noble (Brötzmann Trio, N.E.W.). Together they bring their considerable pedigrees into play with unexpected and original results. Contradicting expectations of a massive blow-out of sound, everyone plays with remarkable, effective restraint. Atmospheric and layered, this latest release features bits and pieces of identifiable rock-moves peeking out from under a thick blanket of hard-to-identify drift.Based on live recordings made on a lengthy tour of Italy in 2010, Hazel has been extensively edited and supplemented, but without losing the elemental sound of a group playing live together. Though there’s plenty of weird ambient sound to be heard, this isn’t a soundeffects / “pedalboard” record. Like the previous En Form for Bla, Noble’s drums anchor the music with spare and considered playing, sometimes lashing out with abstract punctuation, and other times laying out a Can-like groove. O’Malley’s guitar is also restrained, providing a bed for O’Sullivan’s constantly morphing Rhodes, synths and electronic effects. Kristoffer Rygg contributes a rousing vocal incantation to “Ermanna” and peppers the mix with ghostly modular details. Æthenor’s catalog continues to be not like anything else out there right now. Sleeve designed by Stephen O’Malley.

LP $17.50

08/26/2016 783881014013 

VHF 140 


CD $12.00

08/26/2016 783881014020 

VHF 140 CD 


MP3 $9.90

08/26/2016 783881014020 

 


FLAC $11.99

08/26/2016 783881014020 

 


Rec Blast Motorbike by Vibracathedral Orchestra

Vibracathedral Orchestra

Rec Blast Motorbike
Vhf

The mighty “classic” lineup of the Vibracathedral Orchestra returns with their first new music in many years. Here the quintet of Michael Flower, Neil Campbell, Bridget Hayden, Adam Davenport and Julian Bradley (joined by raconteur John Godbert) feature in a set of upbeat tracks that put the group’s radical instrumental strategies into a package of full-on rock action. Recorded live using a binaural head system, the sound is nicely ragged in a you-are-there way, with scouring guitars and bleeping electronics riding atop the band’s signature grooves. As with some of the band’s other records, there’s more than a hint of the early Velvet Underground spirit in these ten tracks. If you wish that Cale and Reed would have been more of an instrumental band, here it is.

LP $16.00

08/21/2015 783881013917 

VHF 139 


MP3 $9.90

08/21/2015 783881013917 

 


FLAC $11.99

08/21/2015 783881013917 

 


A Shimmering Replica by Ashtray Navigations

Ashtray Navigations

A Shimmering Replica
Vhf

This first-ever VHF release by the 21-years-running Ashtray Navigations brings one more core piece of the UK freakout underground back to the mothership. With a discography that boggles even the most ardent Discogs user and an on-point WTF graphic sensibility, Ash Nav fits perfectly into the extremely fertile and prolific scene that has produced titans like Sunroof! and Vibracathedral Orchestra. On this generous 100-minute package, Phil Todd and Melanie O’Dubshlaine essay a kind of guitar-and-electronics exotica with burbling rhythms, Heldon-like laser guitar leads, field recordings, synth racket, etc. The totally fun take on Les Baxter’s all-time classic “Quiet Village” (here wittily retitled “Quite Village”) is a good example of the explorer spirit at work. Considering the amount of unhinged psychedelic fuzzwah lead damage laid out across this thing, it’s arguably the most effusive guitar heroics record of the genre, hopefully inspiring a new generation of young rockers out there to get on the bus.

LP+CD $17.50

07/24/2015 783881013818 

VHF 138 


MP3 $9.90

07/24/2015 783881013818 

 


FLAC $11.99

07/24/2015 783881013818 

 


Astro Love & Infinite Kisses by Kawabata, Makoto

Kawabata, Makoto

Astro Love & Infinite Kisses
Vhf

Kawabata Makoto emerges from a period of relative quiet with his first widely available solo release in several years, the blockbuster Krautrock-flavored Astro Love & Infinite Kisses. This lovely and impressionistic record showcases the other side of Makoto’s outrageous works with Acid Mothers Temple. Taking cues from classics of the genre like Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra and Steve Hillage’s Rainbow Dome Musick, “Dos Nurages” is the album’s centerpiece, a 41-minute hypnotic epic, with echoplex’d guitar anchoring a stream of expertly done glissando. The title track is a darker drone in the tradition of Kawabata’s Inui series of releases for VHF. “Woman From Dream Island” closes the record with a thick buzz of tamboura overlaid with trippy backwards guitar, before giving way to a gentle, finger-picked acoustic coda.

2XLP $20.25

07/24/2015 783881013313 

VHF 133 


MP3 $9.90

07/24/2015 783881013313 

 


FLAC $11.99

07/24/2015 783881013313 

 


No Fans Compendium by Youngs, Richard

Youngs, Richard

No Fans Compendium
Vhf

No Fans Compendium is a deluxe, limited-edition seven-disc set of Richard Youngs’s recordings for his long-running private No Fans label. Five CDs are the artist’s personal selection from his No Fans releases, all of which were issued in tiny editions (20-50 copies) and only available for sale at his rare shows or at Glasgow’s now-defunct Volcanic Tongue shop. In addition, Youngs has included two full discs of material previously unavailable in any form: a recording from 1989 predating his earliest widely known work, and a new recording from late 2014.  Unbeatable as a survey of Youngs’s career, everything here is of equal quality to his over-the-counter releases. In keeping with his penchant for unpredictable stylistic mashups and reinventions, there are folky laments, achingly beautiful “songs,” tape collage, rude prog noise, minimalist experiments, multi-tracked vocals, etc. Each disc is housed in an individual card folio with artwork repurposed from the original releases.

7XCD $40.00

04/14/2015 783881013726 

VHF 137 


MP3 $24.99

04/14/2015 783881013726 

 


FLAC $29.99

04/14/2015 783881013726 

 


Fountain Transmitter Medications by Astral Social Club

Astral Social Club

Fountain Transmitter Medications
Vhf

A boggling and super-fun 100+ minutes from Neil Campbell’s Astral Social Club, Fountain Transmitter Medications delivers the head-on collision of classic UK electronic styles, electric grit and the future.  The LP starts with a set of tight chuggers, the high-end racket of “Infinity Thug” ripping through the speakers before closing the side with the loping “Grisly Terroir.” Side two is comprised of the 20-minute epic “Diamonds in the Dreich,” a mid-tempo journey of Throbbing Gristle-ish lurch-pulse and disembodied voices, giving way after ten minutes to an organ-interlude which accelerates into a full-on rock jam loaded with scathing guitar slashing. It’s unlike anything else in the Astral Social Club catalog.  The CD (“side three”) offers three lengthy explorations of key facets of the overall Astral Social concept, where Campbell really stretches out and lets the tape run—the rushing sound effects and buried rock of “Sun Still God,” the bristling electric juddering of “Erotic Meditation,” and the blown-out space-rock (!) of “Squeegee Anthem #3.”

LP+CD $16.00

10/14/2014 783881013610 

VHF 136 


MP3 $9.90

10/14/2014 783881013610 

 


FLAC $11.99

10/14/2014 783881013610 

 


Sings The Blues by Usui, H.

Usui, H.

Sings The Blues
Vhf

Solo darkness from remarkably pedigreed but rarely recorded Japanese legend Hiroyuki Usui (Ghost, Fushitsusha, L, Marble Sheep, A-Musik, August Born, etc.), Sings the Blues is raw and gripping, like a darker version of his all-time classic folk-psych work Holy Letters (VHF).  Performed by Usui alone on voice, guitar, banjo, bass, steel guitar and cornet, the music is blunt and rough around the edges—a Tonight’s the Night-like offhandedness that increases the feeling of existential seriousness. Like Holy Letters, most of these tracks are undeniably “blues,” but there’s nary a familiar progression or guitar phrase. Vocals are a whisper, accompanied by simple guitar or banjo. Clever overdubs add to a few of the tracks—untutored (but just right) blats of cornet here, some electronic static there.  If you like Loren Connors, Simon Finn, Jandek, Kan Mikami, Six Organs, etc., this is for you. Pressed in a limited edition, the vinyl includes a CD version of the album as well.

LP+CD $16.00

05/27/2014 783881013511 

VHF 135 


MP3 $9.90

05/27/2014 783881013511 

 


FLAC $11.99

05/27/2014 783881013511 

 


Tributes & Diatribes is the lovely second set of tracks from the entirely unusual duo of Jesse Sparhawk (38-string lever harp) and Eric Carbonara (22-string upright Chaturangui guitar, banjo, nylon string guitar).  The four tracks here are restrained and unhurried, letting the elegant string flow breathe and build over each cut. Like on their debut Sixty Strings (also on VHF), there’s plenty of virtuosity, but it’s not showy and crass. These guys are more mood-builders (deep, cosmic, meditative) than doodlers. Even though Tributes & Diatribes is immediately graspable by those of us who like “our kind” of music, it really doesn’t sound like anyone else—a rare achievement.  Along with the main dialogue between the two players, the arrangements are filled out with percussion by Peterson Goodwyn, giving some of the tracks an overt groove that cuts against the spiraling string notes. Beautiful.

CD $13.00

03/04/2014 783881013429 

VHF 134 


MP3 $3.96

03/04/2014 783881013429 

 


FLAC $4.99

03/04/2014 783881013429 

 


Like Sunburned Snowflakes by Turnquist, Alexander

Turnquist, Alexander

Like Sunburned Snowflakes
Vhf

The limited-edition Like Sunburned Snowflakes features five tracks in Alexander Turnquist’s unique style, using only plucked harmonics on a 12-string. With this seemingly narrow palate of sounds, the guitarist crafts sparkling waves of notes, employing the minimalist sensibilities that have informed his more recent work (e.g. his 2011 album Hallway of Mirrors) on a smaller scale. Arguably “new age,” the EP is not drifty or ambient—it’s more Reich and Riley than Windham Hill. The harmonics are frequently struck hard and in complex patterns.  Like Sunburned Snowflakes is another intriguing experiment from one of the most forward thinking solo players out there, whose recordings are completely devoid of the folk / Americana spirit so imbued in the genre.  “My fascination with harmonics on an acoustic guitar started as a child; from before I ever started playing I was drawn towards the warm sounds that I heard people play in brief moments. So I’ve had the idea for a very long time, that idea being to make an entire solo guitar recording just employing my left hand to the harmonics up and down the neck and alternating picking patterns with the right. I feel like it gives the instrument a tonal color that doesn’t necessarily feel at first listen like a 12-string acoustic guitar. —Alexander Turnquist

12" $12.00

10/16/2012 783881013214 

VHF 132 


MP3 $4.95

10/16/2012 783881013214 

 


Feral marks the return of Matthew Bower’s Sunroof! (in the guise of Black Sun Roof), for their first recording in five years. Quiet since 2007’s blistering Panzer Division Lou Reed, the group delivers a more introspective set here, reaching back to the fuzzy, spacey sounds of releases like the epic double-CD Bliss. Among the drifting sonic washes, there’s the crude, Dead C-like riffing of “Lions + Peonies” and the lock-grooved tremolo of “Son of the Blue Wolf” (referencing previous triumphs like Cloudz).  Bower says: “I have a problem with the term ‘psychedelia’ [and its] negative associations of a ‘hippie’ falseness. Nevertheless, my arte is, I know, deeply psychedelic in a true sense, a kind of synaesthesisia, a scrambling, an overload that seeks Samadhi in its primal gush, that will reconnect one with the all, or rather, a ‘black psychedelia,’ substituting the elective current, for ‘all’....” In addition to the all-new tracks on the LP, the package also includes a bonus CD featuring a Bower-curated overview of his work. Many of the tracks on the 75-min Zebra Blood CD are from scarce or out-of-print recordings, including “Austrian Shade” from an impossible-to-find Total seven-inch. Also included is the epic and exclusive new track “Spirit Animal Danzig.”

LP+CD $16.00

11/27/2012 783881013115 

VHF 131 


MP3 $14.99

10/16/2012 783881013115 

 


VHF presents a public service reissue of this impossibly rare and choice title in the Vibracathedral Orchestra oeuvre, originally issued by the band in 2004 in an edition of 250. Featuring the “classic” lineup (Mick Flower, Neil Campbell, Bridget Hayden, Adam Davenport, Julian Bradley) that made Queen of Guess and Dabbling With Gravity and Who You Are, this self-titled double takes a wild ride through the inner-workings of VCO’s stream of consciousness. Many of the tracks (selected from research and development jams) cut in abruptly, continuing the informal, expansive vibe of the band’s other self-released items. The thick blanket of signature drone-fog is never far away, anchoring tunes that veer from early Velvets-style rock jammers (“Thrift”) to swirling electronic mystery (“Clear”). On side three, “Gist” builds up a looping, guitar-led rhythm like a lost AR & Machines track, sharing the same side with the pulsing “Flötz,” which rides a taut electro-pulse bolstered by group small percussion. This lengthy two-disc album concludes with the almost side-long “Minkey,” featuring the full complement of VCO sound signatures in one big, hallucinatory swirl. Exclusive to this release is a 35-minute DVD of three live performances selected by Flower. A rare chance to see some cinema verité of the group in action, the performances here (shot in the UK in 2005 and 2007) are all on the rocking side, with furious drumming and guitar strangling. Perhaps best of all is Flower and Campbell’s optional audio commentary track (!) on “Wisdom T,” providing some insight on...

2XLP+DVD $19.50

07/03/2012 783881012712 

VHF 127 


MP3 $9.90

06/26/2012 783881012712 

 


Grass Above My Head by Nugent, Cian

Nugent, Cian

Grass Above My Head
Vhf

Cian Nugent’s lovely follow-up to 2011’s much acclaimed Doubles album presents two short solo acoustic turns—one original, and one Black Flag cover.  “Grass Above My Head” is a wistful, fingerpicked, South Dublin coastal lovesick blues. In contrast to the two ambitiously complex side-long tracks on Doubles, “Grass” is simple and elegant, full of just-so chord changes that make all the right references to the genre classics.  In contrast, the truly unusual assault on Black Flag’s “My War” is a knot of edgy picking, starting with an abstracted take on Greg Ginn’s naggingly dissonant intro and rapidly moving into a hypnotic variant that suggests an entirely different kind of blues than the A-side. Truly one of the weirdest (and best) Flag covers of all time.

7" $6.00

05/01/2012  

VHF 130 


MP3 $1.98

05/01/2012 783881013078 

 


Carved Into Roses / Infinityland / Singles by Skullflower

Skullflower

Carved Into Roses / Infinityland / Singles
Vhf

Recorded together and originally conceived as a double-CD back in the dark ages of 1995, Carved Into Roses and Infinityland find the transitioning from the heavy riffs of Skullflower’s early days to a more free-form sound that continues to drive Matthew Bower’s many guises (Total, Sunroof!, Hototogisu, Mirag, etc.) to this day. The revamped lineup of Bower, Stuart Dennison, Russell Smith (of UK scuzz legend Terminal Cheesecake) and Phillip Best whacks away at both styles simultaneously, with lumbering hooks meeting rainbows of coruscating feedback. Both records start with lengthy, two-chord modal jams, anchored by the guest organ of Simon Wickham-Smith. “Pipe Dream” and “The Idiotsburgh Address” sport structures that wouldn’t have been out of place on a 1960s Pharoah Sanders album, but with the spiraling sound of Bower and Smith’s guitars tearing up the sound bed. The two-guitar / no-bass configuration sounds at times like a UK version of The Dead C. “White Fang’s” slashing riff and Michael Morley-style vocal are a tip of the hat to the New Zealand band’s (essentially contemporaneous) key works. Elsewhere, the classic drone and low-end menace of “Abraxas” and “Blood Orange,” the galloping drum signatures on “Metallurgical King” and the live mayhem midway thru Carved make it clear that this was a real working outfit that laid down a distinct statement of purpose and identity on these two records. The Singles disc collects both sides (over 50 minutes) of the four 7-inch records that were released around the same time and made largely by...

3XCD $19.50

11/08/2011 783881012828 

VHF 128 


MP3 $17.99

11/08/2011 783881012828 

 


Doubles, the first widely available release by Irish guitarist Cian Nugent, showcases a major talent in the audacious setting of two side-long epics. Clearly inspired by the Takoma classics and the recent generation of greats (Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, etc.), Nugent delivers a pair of perfectly formed takes on the classic steel-string sound, one (mostly) unaccompanied, the other an expertly arranged full-band throw-down.  “Peaks and Troughs” is a slow-building solo piece in the style of Fahey’s “Fare Forward Voyagers,” with each part perfectly connected to the previous. Nugent has ample technique, but the virtuosity here is all in service of the mood and the build-up. His guitar has a darker, more intimate sound than many current players, without the brittle ring common to fingerstyle. The emergence of a deep drone after fifteen minutes shakes up the track, like a swarm of bees spilling out of the speakers. In contrast, “Sixes and Sevens” is a percolating jam in the style of Jim O’Rourke’s classic Bad Timing LP, with Nugent’s steel-string riding an inventive wave of drums, organ, viola, woodwinds and brass in an ambitious, filmic masterpiece. The main tune of the song is instantly memorable, building momentum before a subdued interlude that resets things for an elegant, orchestrated finish.

LP $13.00

06/14/2011 783881012514 

VHF 125 


CD $12.00

06/14/2011 783881012521 

VHF 125 CD 


MP3 $9.90

06/14/2011 783881012521 

 


Sixty Strings is an album of two epic duets by Eric Carbonara (22-string upright Chaturangui guitar) and Jesse Sparhawk (38-string lever harp). While Carbonara has studied Chaturangui extensively with Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya in Kolkata, and Sparhawk was classically trained by major figures of the harp world in his formative years, the music here is their own—not a mashup of quasi-orientalism and conservatory bloodlessness. Both side-long tracks lay out a spacious framework, with the two players supporting simple but elegant melodies that recall Brüder des Schattens-era Popol Vuh and various modal / devotional styles. While the sound of the Chaturangui’s sympathetic strings provides a constant electric blanket of comfort, Carbonara’s playing is concise and restrained, forgoing the kind of melismatic ornamentation that is a stylistic tic of much Indian-inspired music. Sparhawk, whose expert playing adds much to Fern Knight’s complex orchestrations, steps out and extends his instrument using various techniques: fingerpicking guitar-like patterns that interlock with Carbonara, and using sharply struck attacks at the upper register for a piano-like effect. On “The Entwined Twin,” the dry crack of a snare drum (played by Julius Masri) enters after a few minutes, ratcheting up the urgency and adding an unexpected texture to the proceedings. The excellent recording captures both instruments in detail with close-up, intimate feel.

LP $13.00

05/17/2011 783881012910 

VHF 129 


CD $12.00

05/17/2011 783881012927 

VHF 129 CD 


MP3 $9.90

05/17/2011 783881012927 

 


Hallway Of Mirrors by Turnquist, Alexander

Turnquist, Alexander

Hallway Of Mirrors
Vhf

On Hallway of Mirrors, young New York-based guitarist / composer Alexander Turnquist continues to forge his own radical style: a resonant and enveloping acoustic sound, full of beautiful harmonic overtone interplay, all instruments sustained.  Turnquist’s guitar approach revolves around a prodigious right-hand technique and a minimalist slant on composition that separates him from the retro-styling endemic to most current acoustic guitar music. Hallway of Mirrors uses much of the tonal palate from its precursor As the Twilight Crane Dreams in Color—dense twelve-string finger-picking with vibraphone and piano carrying much of the melody. On Hallway, the pieces are more concise with the added sweep of Christopher Tignor’s elegant violin punctuating Turnquist’s harmonics-laden forward motion and Matthew O’Koren’s immaculate vibraphone (played with both mallets and bow). The additional instrumentation, inspired in part by Steve Reich’s “Music for Eighteen Musicians,” provides an added focus in the music, signifying each change in tone and timbre.  Recorded on analog tape using traditional automatic double-tracking stereo mix techniques by engineers Henry Hirsch and Bram Tobey, the sound has an elegant soft focus that highlights Turnquist’s strong and sharp performance. The centerpiece of the album, the sixteen-minute “Waiting at the Departure Gate,” makes a sly nod in tribute to fellow VHF artist Jack Rose, who all too briefly explored similar techniques on his classic “Black Pearls.” A truly uplifting and emotional listening experience.

LP $13.00

05/17/2011 783881012613 

VHF 126 


CD $12.00

05/17/2011 783881012620 

VHF 126 CD 


MP3 $9.90

05/17/2011 783881012620 

 


En Form For Bla by Aethenor

Aethenor

En Form For Bla
Vhf

Aethenor is comprised of Stephen O'Malley (Sunn0))), KTL), Daniel O'Sullivan (Ulver, Mothlite, Guapo), Kristoffer Rygg (Ulver) and Steve Noble (N.E.W., Company, etc.). En Form For Bla documents the continued evolution of this unlikely collective, a collision of players from various avant, improv, metal, and "other" threads who together make a unique and arresting sound. Documenting three gigs in Oslo recorded in 2010, the album is deep and weird, with liquid sounds juddering around the occasionally identifiable percussion or Rhodes motif. In the evolution from a side project / studio group to a frequently working live act, Aethenor kept their sound intact, taking the musique-concrete-style transitions and "what's that sound" ethos of their three previous efforts directly to the stage. Noble, having spent a couple of decades playing drums with Derek Bailey and other well-known UK improvisers, moves the music along subtly, keeping much of the focus on the burbling sound mass. O'Malley's guitar, an instrument of extreme viscera in Sunn0))), is used with restraint, providing occasional low menace but mostly mixing it up with O'Sullivan's thematic lines and Rygg's sound treatments. The overall effect is atmospheric rather than sedate--something like a modern, small group version of Miles Davis' classic "He Loved Him Madly" or Nurse with Wound's Spiral Insana. Other than perhaps Supersilent, no one else is working this sonic vocabulary today. Designed by O'Malley, the deluxe double-LP version is pressed on white vinyl and packaged with printed inner sleeves; the CD is in a card folio. Aethenor will continue to tour...

CD $12.00

01/18/2011 783881012422 

VHF 124 CD 


2XLP $19.50

01/18/2011 738810124158 

VHF 124 


MP3 $6.93

01/18/2011 783881012422 

 


Castings is the third VHF release of lovely psych/folk by East Coast quartet Fern Knight, written, arranged and performed with their trademark quality and verve. Somewhat less fastidious than 2008's exquisitely arranged Fern Knight CD, Castings has a warm, analog feel, with looser and louder performances. Led as always by Margaret Ayre's voice, guitar and cello, the group stretches out on rockier fare like "The Poisoner," growling with fuzz, while leaving plenty of room for softer moments of beautiful clarity. There are "jammy" moments here, but everything is expertly sized and placed, with not a moment wasted on doodles. The centerpiece of Castings is Fern Knight's treatment of the epic King Crimson doom classic "Epitaph." Trading their own cello and violin for the original's signature mellotron, the group channels the vibe of the original while making it their own. Ayre's cool and understated vocal plays it straight where less assured players and performers would make a bombastic mess. As on the self-titled CD, Jesse Sparhawk's harp and James Wolf's violin provide the heart of the sound, allowing the band to mold classic genre forms into a unique, singular style.

LP $16.00

11/09/2010 783881012217 

VHF 122 


CD $12.00

11/09/2010 783881012224 

VHF 122 


MP3 $8.91

11/09/2010 783881012224 

 


20 Years celebrates two decades of music from Richard Youngs and Simon Wickham-Smith, featuring four previously unreleased albums. The set includes the first new vinyl from the pair in almost 15 years, plus three other projects (presented here on CD) that were all completed and intended for release by the duo in the '90s, but fell by the wayside for various reasons. 20 Years, the newly recorded LP, is one of the heaviest, most uncompromising records of the duo's long career. It consists of eight electro-acoustic reworkings of their first (unreleased) recording from 1987, and is a blistering set of tracks as wild and weird as anything they've ever done. The SMIRR CD features four epic instrumentals in the vein of classics such as LAKE and Asthma and Diabetes, flowing with extended grandeur, mixing drone and eccentric instrumentation in the duo's immediately identifiable style. Songphase's ten simple, lovely tunes are a reminder of their considerable "trad" songwriting and performing prowess. While Youngs has worked in this style on his solo efforts, hearing Wickham-Smith match him track for track is a revelation. "Dream Song" is among the former's most moving pieces. Finally, LIVE!!! is a head-scratcher of an album, recorded live in-studio in full-on Dadaist style--extended clavinet mania, Casio jams and plenty of outre expression. This set is packaged in a gatefold jacket with essays by David Keenan, Neil Campbell, Marc Masters and Jon Dale and an extended interview with Youngs and Wickham-Smith. The CDs are housed in a custom-bindered insert...

LP+3XCD $29.00

07/20/2010 783881010916 

VHF 109 LP 


MP3 $24.99

07/20/2010 783881010916 

 


The ever-mysterious Vibracathedral Orchestra returns from another relatively quiet period with an uncompromising set of outre jams on a trio of limited-edition LPs. Slightly reorganized around a line-up of stalwarts Mick Flower and Adam Davenport with frequent collaborators John Godbert (Total) and John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man), the band here stretches way, way out over these six sides. Joka Baya offers up a set of shorter pieces on the A-side in a high-fidelity style that contrasts the dark, smoky sound of the rest of the tracks. The percussive grooves are overlaid with Sunroof!-like shimmer, stabbing electric leads, gentle acoustic rain, and droning organ peeking through at opportune moments. The roaring side-long epic on the flip is a droning, phasing slice of psychedelia with Moloney's drums battering the tape in between long stretches of humming stasis.

LP $13.00

02/02/2010 783881011913 

VHF 119 


MP3 $9.90

02/02/2010 783881011913 

 


The ever-mysterious Vibracathedral Orchestra returns from another relatively quiet period with an uncompromising set of outre jams on a trio of limited-edition LPs. Slightly reorganized around a line-up of stalwarts Mick Flower and Adam Davenport with frequent collaborators John Godbert (Total) and John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man), the band here stretches way, way out over these six sides. Smoke Song's more gentle exposition starts with Davenport's santoor (a type of hammered dulcimer) leading the band into a lengthy mid-tempo groove on "Smoke Song," followed on the second half of the side by the short, quiet "Cholita Maria." The second side's 17-minute "Get It?" lays down the tremolo and phase in a manner reminiscent of the best Spacemen 3 comedowns, taking a pulse and riding it into organ- and percussion-fueled bliss.

LP $13.00

02/02/2010 783881012118 

VHF 121 


MP3 $9.90

02/02/2010 783881012118 

 


The ever-mysterious Vibracathedral Orchestra returns from another relatively quiet period with an uncompromising set of outre jams on a trio of limited-edition LPs. Slightly reorganized around a line-up of stalwarts Mick Flower and Adam Davenport with frequent collaborators John Godbert (Total) and John Moloney (Sunburned Hand of the Man), the band here stretches way, way out over these six sides. The Secret Base starts up at full throttle, straight into a raw-sounding live outing, with Flower's overdriven guitar occupying the same sonic space that gives his Japan banjo / shaahi baaja workouts with Chris Corsano their urgency. The sound is dark and rough, almost Xpressway-like in its claustrophobic atmosphere. The percolating krautrock stylings of "If You Can't Smoke 'Em" chugs along hypnotically for over 13 minutes to close out the side. The entire B-side's 20+ minutes are devoted to the clanging free sound of "Eyes of Wood," where gamelan-like metal percussion dominates the proceedings.

LP $13.00

02/02/2010 783881012019 

VHF 120 


MP3 $9.90

02/02/2010 783881012019 

 


This raw and rocking collaboration between Jack Rose and The Black Twigs features some of the most swinging, hard-hitting string music waxed in many a decade. Rose's solo playing has always had a tough edge, with his prodigious technique often employed to drop right-hand bombs. His use of a thumbpick originates from years of duets with Twig Mike Gangloff, struggling to make his guitar heard over Gangloff's crashing banjo. The front line of Rose and Gangloff's strings are joined by Isak Howell's no-nonsense guitar and harmonica and Nate Bowles' variety of expert percussion. The four lock together with a sure-footedness honed by frequent touring and a singularity of intent to rock. Gangloff takes the vocals, howling out standards like "Little Sadie" firmly in the old-time tradition--without reserve. A few of the tracks here are updates of Rose & Family classics, with the group turning the stately "Kensington Blues" upbeat and issuing an assured take on "Bright Sunny South," first recorded by Pelt (with Rose and Gangloff) back in 2001 on their gonzo classic double-disc Ayahuasca.  

CD $12.00

07/14/2009 783881011623 

VHF 116 


MP3 $9.90

07/14/2009  

 


As The Twilight Crane Dreams In Color by Turnquist, Alexander

Turnquist, Alexander

As The Twilight Crane Dreams In Color
Vhf

As the Twilight Crane Dreams in Color is the second full-length from New York-based guitarist Alexander Turnquist, who defies expectations with a set of hypnotic epics that owe more to classic minimalism than current notions of solo guitar.  Forgoing most of the extended techniques of his debut, Turnquist lays down a thick blanket of 12-string that sets up persistent, loop-like patterns in the music. Simple and lovely strings, piano, and percussion provide the melody, carrying most of the movement in the pieces. Turnquist uses extraordinary control and restraint--the orchestrations are as reductionist as possible, with no cringe-inducing "string drama" or unnecessary virtuosity. An almost-monomaniacal tremolo thrum of the guitar dominates the album, but there is a lengthy ambient breakdown that occurs mid-way through the 18-minute "The REM Cycle - Dream Phase" that is a thing of elliptical and drifting beauty.  As the Twilight Crane Dreams in Color is a bold statement even in the context of the frequent micro-parsing of styles in the sub-underground--there's really not much else out there like it.

CD $12.00

07/14/2009 783881011821 

VHF 118 


MP3 $9.99

07/14/2009