SATOH, SOMEI From the Depth of Silence, the Orchestral Music of Somei Satoh (Mode) cd 16.98
SATURDAY PEOPLE s/t (Slumberland) cd 13.98
Featuring members of Velocity Girl, The Ropers, Tree Fort Angst and The Castaway Stones. For fans of said groups as well as Biff Bang Pow, Orange Juice, The Grass Roots and The Weather Prophets. Soft, straightforward pop with a blend of '60s soft-rock and '80s folk-pop influences. So very much at home on the sweetie-pop label Slumberland, who time and time again have proven their impeccable taste by releasing such great bands as The Aislers Set.
"Find out " RealAudio clip:
"Working for the Weekend"
SATWA s/t (Time-Lag) cd 15.98
Probably the best description of the music on this first-time-reissued Brazilian '70s acoustic acid-folk rarity comes in the form of a picture, that's right there on the sleeve -- a drawing on the back cover depicting two naked hippies sitting crosslegged with guitar and sitar. And, they have wings. Winged hippies. One's set of wings is butterfly-like, while the other is sorta batwinged, demonic. And both make sense, as the music is light and pretty enough for the butterfly one but also serious and sad enough for a guy cursed with batwings to play. On this, their eponymous and only album (a private press LP originally released in 1973), the Satwa duo unfurl delicate psychedelic rainforest folk ragas, super pretty, mellow and meandering maaaaaan. These tracks are largely instrumental, but there's are occassionally some wispy vocals wandering high (indeed) over the sparkling string play. And a lil' fuzz guitar makes the mix too. Utterly beautiful stuff. It's kind of a South American, decades-past version of Jewelled Antler faves Ivytree or Skygreen Leopards... If we didn't know any better, we'd suspect Glenn Donaldson had a hand in it. But Glenn's too young, doesn't speak Portuguese, and also doesn't have wings. This cd version comes in a mini-LP style sleeve... lovingly packaged, lovely music.
"Can I Be Satwa" MPEG Stream:
SATWA s/t (Time-Lag) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Also now on vinyl... Probably the best description of the music on this first-time-reissued Brazilian '70s acoustic acid-folk rarity comes in the form of a picture, that's right there on the sleeve -- a drawing on the back cover depicting two naked hippies sitting crosslegged with guitar and sitar. And, they have wings. Winged hippies. One's set of wings is butterfly-like, while the other is sorta batwinged, demonic. And both make sense, as the music is light and pretty enough for the butterfly one but also serious and sad enough for a guy cursed with batwings to play. On this, their eponymous and only album (a private press LP originally released in 1973), the Satwa duo unfurl delicate psychedelic rainforest folk ragas, super pretty, mellow and meandering maaaaaan. These tracks are largely instrumental, but there's are occassionally some wispy vocals wandering high (indeed) over the sparkling string play. And a lil' fuzz guitar makes the mix too. Utterly beautiful stuff. It's kind of a South American, decades-past version of Jewelled Antler faves Ivytree or Skygreen Leopards... If we didn't know any better, we'd suspect Glenn Donaldson had a hand in it. But Glenn's too young, doesn't speak Portuguese, and also doesn't have wings. Cd version comes in a mini-LP style sleeve, the LP on 180 gram vinyl in a heavy duty sleeve. Lovingly packaged, lovely music.
"Can I Be Satwa" MPEG Stream:
SATYRICON Dark Medieval Times (Moonfog) cd 12.98
Now reissued and available again, this is the very very first black metal record (!) that I (Andee) ever bought, along with Cradle Of Filth's The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh, and upon my very first listen was immediately converted to the dark side. The circumstances of my introduction certainly helped. There are plenty of ways to be introduced to new music, getting a mix tape, having a friend play it for you, hearing it on the radio, whatever, but my introduction to black metal was a little different. And a whole lot better if you ask me. There was a cool punk rock collective record store here in SF years ago (Epicenter, now long gone). I used to work at the thrift store downstairs, so like any self respecting record nerd, I spent all my free time upstairs listening, browsing, shopping, hanging out. There was a woman who worked there who was a punk rock / metalhead dream come true. Super tall, lots of spikes and leather and denim, waist length dyed dreadlocks, earrings, noserings, huge black boots, tattoos, and on top of all that she was totally drop dead gorgeous. Almost like a super model dressed up as a metalhead. And as you might imagine she seemed absolutely and totally unapproachable. Well, one day, she started talking to me, handed me this disc and the Cradle Of Filth and insisted that I'd dig 'em. Not sure why she thought I would or how she may have known, but it hardly mattered, she was talking to me, and there was no way I was not going to walk up to the counter with her and leave proudly clutching those discs. Thankfully, I did in fact love both of them, and like I mentioned, I immediately became obsessed with black metal. My mysterious black metal angel drifted off and disappeared, but my love of black metal stuck. Hard to imagine not being blown away by this record, Satyricon's debut, a gloriously dense, snarling black buzz, with plenty of loping Viking flecked riffage, haunting folky acoustic breaks, blasting double kick, howled guttural vocals. Coming long before the super polished black tech of Satyricon's later records, this is raw and furious, the production is lo-fi but still super thick and heavy, lots of reverb, lots and lots of buzz and fuzz, perfectly situated between the ultra complex blasts of Emperor and Mayhem and the plodding hypnotic buzz of Burzum. It's plenty weird too, huge too-loud keyboard swells, haunting angelic vocals, buzzing sing songy riffs, but already even way back then, you could hear the hints of Satyricon's future as black metal masters, so heavy and strangely catchy, weird and warped, but totally grim and utterly black.
"Walk The Path Of Sorrow" MPEG Stream:
"Dark Medieval Times"
SATYRICON Intermezzo II (Nuclear Blast) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A four-song teaser to Rebel Extravaganza full-length. Much in the tradition of their Meggido ep, Norwegian black metal masters Satyricon veer off into left field a bit with a new song, a remix of an old song, a cover (a weirdly futuristic version of old school Brazilian thrashers Sarcafago's "INRI"), and an electronic-ambient experimental track.
SATYRICON Megiddo (Moonfog) cdep 13.98
Satyricon are one of the more advanced Norwegian black metal bands around, and this four song ep is a worthy addition to their catalog...you get a live recording, a re-recording, and a Motorhead (!) cover, but the highlight is the techno (!!) remix of "The Dawn Of A New Age" from their last masterpiece, the Nemesis Divina album. And it's not at all lame, in fact, it might be the way to introduce your friends in the baggy pants to the joy of corpsepaint.
SATYRICON Nemesis Divina (Century Media) cd 14.98
One of the best, most influential, most perfectly grim and black, most brutal, and most importantly one of our -favorite- black metal records EVER! Easily the bands finest moment. When anyone asks us to recommend the most essential black metal releases EVER, this record vies for the top spot along with Burzum's Filosefem, Emperor's In The Nightside Eclipse, Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Darkthronee's Transylvanian Hunger and Immortal's Blizzard Beasts. Pretty seriously daunting company for sure, but depending on our mood, a lot of the time Nemesis Divina easily bumps the others out of the top spot. From the all time classic "Mother North", quite possibly THE catchiest black metal songs ever, to the barely audible sscccching! of a sword being unsheathed about 3 minutes into the first song, to the fucking awesome band photos, this record is tough to beat. Any of the above mentioned records would be perfect introductions into the grim world of black metal, but somehow, Nemesis Divina seems like the perfect secret weapon, the record that even a non-metalhead would hear and be forced to bow down to the dark lord. So fucking great!
SATYRICON Now, Diabolical (Century Media) cd 14.98
That title sounds like an advertising line. New, improved... now, diabolical! The weird thing is, Norwegian black metal originators Satyricon (thee big shots, along with Darkthrone, Emperor, Mayhem, Immortal and a handful of others) have ALWAYS been plenty diabolical. If they'd called the album Now, Rockin' that would maybe make more sense, as this disc takes the midtempo blackened rock sound of tracks like "Fuel For Hatred" from their previous effort Volcano even further into "I just burned down a church, but I want my MTV" territory. Maybe the title IS an advertising line, trying to reassure old school fans that they haven't lost their way on the left-hand path. Well, it's true that the relatively melodic, headbanging catchiness of many of these tracks isn't perhaps what people expect from grim Nordic black metal warriors like Satyricon -- but we're not complaining. Further curveballs include a horn section on one track, clean (guest) vocals on another. But rest assured, the Grover growl and Slayerizing guitar riffs of Satyr, as well as Frost's muscular drum battery, are also all in full effect, and Snorre Ruch of Thorns appears besides, so it's no drastic break from their past, though it's certainly Volcano to which this sounds the most akin. You can go listen to Frost's other (excellent) band 1349 if true, pure blazing blackened grimnity is all you desire, but we're enjoying Now, Diabolical's dire, gloomy rock n' roll apocalypse just fine at the moment!! Includes bonus track and (unfortunately, cheesy MTV style) video clip.
"Now, Diabolical" MPEG Stream:
SATYRICON Rebel Extravaganza (Nuclear Blast) cd 14.98
One of Norway's premier black metal bands shows even the likes of Emperor who's boss with this amazing new disc. Eschewing their previous sword-wielding medieval fixation for a focus on the grit and horror of modern urban nightmare, these guys have crafted a dizzyingly intense, heavy, and always surprising masterpiece. They hint at the industrial/electronica weirdness of label-mates Dodheimsgard (or contempories Ulver & Arcturus) without totally going that route - they keep it metal, they keep it black, they keep it Satyricon. But it's somehow more twisted and filthy than before (yes, filthy, as in the songs "Filthgrinder" and "Rhapsody In Filth"). Genius. NB new domestic version tacks on the Intermezzo II ep as a bonus.
SATYRICON Ten Horns Ten Diadems (Moonfog) cd 14.98
It's a tough call, but I think I can safely say that Satyricon is definitely our #1 favorite black metal band. Burzum's Filosefem or Emperor's In The Nightside Eclipse or Dissection's Storm Of The Light's Bane are certainly contenders for best black metal records ever, and there are hundreds of other mindblowing bands/records, but as far as consistancy and brutality and originality and forward thinkingness and sheer kick ass-ness, Satyricon leads the pack. After ten years and nary a false step, Satyricon continue to reign supreme. This commemorative box celebrates Satyricon's first decade in grand fashion compiling a greatest hits, with a song from their upcoming full length album Volcano to whet our appetites. Greatest hits are always a risk, and aren't always the way to go in terms of an introduction to a band, and Ten Horns is no different. If you were to buy only one Satyricon record, we would have to insist on the unsurpassed Nemesis Divina, a record that even non-metalheads here at AQ are proud to have in their collections. An frosty epic of grandiose, ultra complex and ultra brutal black metal. Melodies are pummelled with furious blast beats and walls of furious guitars. Two of that album's best tracks are included here including the classic "Mother North"! As are two tracks from their last record, the brilliantly titled Rebel Extravaganza, which is good enough to almost be Nemesis Divina pt. 2. Also included are some older tracks from their debut Dark Medieval Times and their less well known second record The Shadowthrone, more primitive and buzzing, but definitely hinting at the greatness to come. The big selling points though are the two exclusive tracks, "Serpent's Rise" exclusively for this compilation, and "Repined Bastard Nation" from their forthcoming Volcano record. The new direction is exciting, hinting at a slower doomier direction. We can't wait. Packaged in a fancy box, with an equally fancy digipak inside and a booklet of lyrics and exclusive photos past and present. As well as super cheesy centerfold of a dirty girl in a bikini, laying amidst all the Satyricon collectibles. Dumb! So if you're only ever gonna buy one Satyricon record, make it Nemesis Divina, but if you want a great overview of their recorded output, or you are a completist and need the exclusive track, or you can't wait and need a sneak peak of the new record, then you can't go wrong with this collection. SUPER LIMITED. So if you want one, ACT FAST!
"Mother North" RealAudio clip:
"Serpent's Rise" RealAudio clip:
"Repined Bastrad Nation"
SATYRICON The Shadowthrone (Moonfog) cd 12.98
Not sure why but Satyricon's second allbum, The Shadowthrone, originally released in 1994, is the one Satyricon record that always seems to be overlooked, which is a shame as it is most definitely one of the defining moments in Norwegian black metal. It could very well be that it was the transitional record, the sophmore slump, following hot on the heels of Dark Medieval Times, Satyricon's amazing debut, and right before Nemesis Divina, arguably one of the best black metal records ever. Thus positioned it's easy to overlook, but at the same time, it's the record where Satyricon were shifting from raw grim blackness, to a whole 'nother level. So in some ways it's the most interesting, a confusional mix of the ultra raw brutality of their debut and the dense complexity that was to come. The Shadowthrone is classic Norwegian black metal, buzzing and thrashing, mostly a seasick midtempo lurch, but occasionaly bursting into a buzzing lightning fast blur. The production is still thick and fuzzy, the riffs hover in a thick morass of reverb, with vocals that are totally grim and demonic as well as insane drumming courtesy of Frost who was already a fucking monster behind the kit. Like the records released on either side of it, The Shadowthrone is full of killer riffs, strangely catchy hooks, droney folky interludes, and some of the best black metal songs ever. Satyricon at this point were still drifting sonically betwixt the buzz and drone of Burzum and the technical blackness of Emperor (definitely not a bad place to be), but the Shadowthrone took them one step closer to their epochal release, 1996's Nemesis Divina. And even though Nemesis Divina is most definitely the bands defining moment, it would be a shame to let that record's reputation overshadow what is, on its own merits, a totally amazing and absolute classic black metal record. The Shadowthrone also boasts some killer cover art as well as the best barcode ever (you'll just have to buy it to see!).
"Hvite Krists Dod" MPEG Stream:
"In The Mist By The Hills"
SATYRICON Volcano (Capitol Norway) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Yes! The new Satyricon! Black metal fans rejoice! Satyr and Frost are back with another slab of cold twisted grimness to rock you. Actually, we've had copies of this import disc for several weeks now, but held off on listing it 'cause we were hoping that a domestic release was imminent. But, alas, that does not seem to be the case. Now that these Norwegian gods are on a big major label over in Europe, there's some corporate bullshit preventing an indie from putting out "Volcano" over here. So, it's only available as an expensive import for the foreseeable future. However, we assure you that it's well worth the extra $$$ you'll pay! Satyricon have long been one of our favorite Nordic metal bands, maybe our number one fave, and "Volcano" only builds upon the artistry of their previous masterpiece "Rebel Extravaganza". This doomy, dark and violent disc is full of the usual Satyricon surprises. Voivod-dense, industrial prog-metal soundscapes built upon Frost's brutal drum battery and Satyr's throat-torn vox, precise and massive guitar riffing, and sci-fi synths. The totally rockin', almost Killing Joke-ish punk headbanger "Fuel For Hatred". Guest vocals on several tracks from Bjork-esque Norwegian electronica diva Anja Garbarek. A disc-closing, fourteen-minute epic of heaviness called "Black Lava" which boasts the amazing line: "Autumn in the air, the smell of black metal 1990-95"! Aside from the somewhat un-thrilling cover art (a snake's head), and that they allowed the label to change the album's title from the eccentric spelling "Vulcano" to the mundane "Volcano", these guys can do no wrong. NB. we've only got five of these, and it might be a while before we can get more, so please don't cry if we tell you they're all gone already...
"Angstridden" RealAudio clip:
"Fuel For Hatred"
SATYRICON Volcano (Columbia / Red Ink) cd 14.98
If you didn't already get the import version of this, the most recent slab of cold twisted black metal grimness from Norwegian black metal gods Satyricon, when it came out back in 2002, now at last it has been released domestically and should not be overlooked. Indeed, serious fans might want to get it AGAIN 'cause this version includes a bonus video track that the import did not. Satyricon have long been one of our favorite Nordic metal bands, maybe our number one fave, and Volcano only builds upon the artistry of their previous masterpiece Rebel Extravaganza. This doomy, dark and violent disc is full of the usual Satyricon surprises. Voivod-dense, industrial prog-metal soundscapes built upon Frost's brutal drum battery and Satyr's throat-torn vox, precise and massive guitar riffing, and sci-fi synths. The totally rockin', almost Killing Joke-ish punk headbanger "Fuel For Hatred". Guest vocals on several tracks from Bjork-esque Norwegian electronica diva Anja Garbarek. A disc-closing, fourteen-minute epic of heaviness called "Black Lava" which boasts the amazing line: "Autumn in the air, the smell of black metal 1990-95"! Aside from the somewhat un-thrilling cover art (a snake's head), and that they allowed the label to change the album's title from the eccentric spelling "Vulcano" to the mundane "Volcano", these guys can do no wrong.
"Angstridden" MPEG Stream:
"Fuel For Hatred"
SAUL, DANNY Balance ep (self-released) cd-r 8.98
We've just received two terrific self-released cd-rs by this solo artist from across the pond -- History+3 and this one! First impressions of Danny Saul's music stir a traditional folk singer/songwriter stance, but delving deeper you become aware that there's more layers to his songs. Each one moves through subtle mood shifts and occasionally some startling dissonance. Alternately intimate and expansive, he captures a nice counterbalance between bristling electric guitars and slow smooth minimal piano strokes. Definitely check out the title track and the final one "Tracks". Great stuff! Fans of Badly Drawn Boy and Arab Strap, don't miss!
"Balance" MPEG Stream:
SAUL, DANNY History + 3 (self-released) cd-r 8.98
We've just received two terrific self-released cd-rs by this solo artist from across the pond -- Balance and this one which includes a fine cover of Jandek's "I'm Ready"! First impressions of Danny Saul's music stir a traditional folk singer/songwriter stance, but delving deeper you become aware that there's more layers to his songs. Each one moves through subtle mood shifts and occasionally some startling dissonance. Alternately intimate and expansive, he captures a nice counterbalance between tremolo'd electric guitars and warm picked acoustic guitars. Great stuff! Fans of Badly Drawn Boy and Arab Strap, don't miss!
"History" MPEG Stream:
SAULE Sentimental Journey (Sub Rosa) cd 16.98
This is the stuff we like! Slow moving vinyl crackle and click, achingly pretty. Droning melodiously, hum and repetition beautifully employed, this conjures a mood of reverie and melancholic bliss. Saule is the name used by Belgian composer Xavier Garcia Bardon for his turntable-based works, and this Sub Rosa cd is his debut release. The first thing we were reminded of when we heard this was Philip Jeck. You know how much we love that British looper of scratchy old vinyl, right? Like Jeck, Saule also finds music in the grooves of old records -- that is, in the sound of the needle on wax, as well as what's more commonly considered a record's musical 'content'. And like Jeck he's a careful listener, rather than a hyperkinetic whipwhipwhap dj. Futhermore, both Saule and Jeck use multiple turntables to elaborate an aesthetic enamored of dusty, glacially-paced drones. But although they have much in common, Saule isn't merely just another Jeck. No, Saule is more like Jeck crossed with a post-rock band! But there's no 'band', just Saule's prepared records, three turntables, a microphone, mixer, and "headphones (for feedback)". With Philip Jeck, the mesmerizing, crackling loops can be their own reward, but Saule will provide some rock-like resolution as well, as with the sudden burst of distortion that heralds the addition of a sampled, broken drum break toward the end of track one, "Hola". Especially when you get to "Lido", the third of three long tracks that comprise Sentimental Journey, you'll hear this post-rock thing we're talking about. Codeine mixed with Radian comes to mind. "Lido" was apparently originally conceived as a soundtrack to an independent film, stills from which enliven the cd packaging. And it, like the other tracks here, has a cinematic quality, though it might well overwhelm any visuals. This disc is a stellar example of 'turntablism' in a non-hip-hop context -- as we said, it's more like instrumental post rock instead, although we're sure DJ Shadow fans will like this! We suggest playing it loud, which will be especially effective when track three swells into something grand that Godspeed could never match.
"Hola" MPEG Stream:
SAUTER, JIM / DON DIETRICH / THURSTON MOORE Barefoot In The Head (Forced Exposure) cd 13.98
The 1988 collaboration between the two noise-saxophone titans of the legendary improv outfit Borbetomagus and well-known Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore. Classic squall, now on a domestic cd.
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Box Set (Mobilization) 4cd 54.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The beautifully packaged boxset of all of the recent Savage Republic reissues ("Tragic Figures," "Ceremonial," "Jamahiriya," and "Customs") has of course been designed by former-Savage Republic member Bruce Licher and his reknowned Independent Project Press and is a bargain if you plan on buying all four.
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Ceremonial + Trudge (Mobilization) cd 14.98
Upon the release of the "Ceremonial" album and the "Trudge" ep in the mid-'80s, Savage Republic underwent a number of personnel changes which altered the group's sound from the primitive, percussion heavy art-punk found on "Tragic Figures" toward a far more expansive sound that has often been cited by Godspeed You Black Emperor! as one of their influences. Drawing heavily upon Turkish and Greek musical traditions, Savage Republic played quickening, repeated rock grooves that begin stoically out of quiet spaces and accelerated with soaring guitar solos into climatic crescendos. While descriptively this may sound much like the aforementioned GSYBE!, Savage Republic's production techniques were much rougher, at times sounding like early Joy Division. Similarly, Savage Republic's conceptual agenda always lacked the socially conscious overtones of that of GSYBE! Instead, Savage Republic triumphantly claimed something of a nomadic, masculine space reflected in the best of Burning Man culture. And fortunately, with the recordings found on this disc Savage Republic mostly did away with the vocals that somewhat hampered the success of their previous "Tragic Figures" LP. Again, beautifully packaged by Bruce Licher and Independent Project Press.
"Trek" RealAudio clip:
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Customs (Mobilization) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "Customs" was the final studio album from Savage Republic, recorded under considerable duress in Greece during an ill-fated 1988 tour in which all of their gear was confiscated by Greek customs! Thus, "Customs" was recorded entirely on borrowed equipment. The resulting album is not dissimilar to the usual Savage Republic sound of expansive songs that build up through the increasingly aggressive riffs of "monotone" guitars, but has been augmented with a handful of traditional Greek instruments such as hand drums and bouzouki. And, as a potentially useful piece of trivia, you might want to know that this album features Savage Republic's "Birds of Pork," which for years has been the preamble played before each and every Neurosis live show!
"Birds of Pork"
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Jamahiriya Democratique (Mobilization) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Since Savage Republic dissolved in the late '80s, most of its members went onto other projects, with Bruce Licher and Robert Loveless forming Scenic, Ethan Port working with Scot Jenerik in F-Space, and Thom Furhmann founding the amazing but shortlived Autumn Fair (a re-issue of which is due soon). "Jamahiriya Democratique" is Savage Republic's fourth album, exhibiting many of the traits that would later be so pronounced in these various post-breakup projects (especially Scenic). There is much less emphasis upon Savage Republic's trademarked junk-yard / punk-as-fuck percussion, but they continue in their post-punk translations of Greek / Arabic motifs, with more of a production polish (which runs close to the dreamy sound of Bill Laswell's neo-prog professionalism). Vocals, absent on "Ceremonial", make a few returns, but aren't terribly annoying and are also off-set by a couple of instrumental versions (i.e. "Viva La Rock 'n' Roll" which may be Savage Republic's best song, does much better as an instrumental track). Certainly, those of you who love Scenic's big sky expansiveness and Godspeed You Black Emperor!-esque guitar crescendos should check out the "Jamahiriya Democratique."
"So it Is Written" RealAudio clip:
"Tabula Rasa" RealAudio clip:
"Viva La Rock 'n' Roll (Instrumental)"
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Recordings From Live Performance, 1981-1983 (Independent Project Records) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Right on the heels of a reunion tour (reunited after 13 years), Savage Republic offers us this collection of live recordings, dating back to their first live performance as Africa Corps in May, 1981. The legends that surround the band all state that they were much better live than they were in the studio; for on stage, a punk energy came to the forefront in the massive bass ploddings, slashing guitars, and junk-yard percussion. This collection, while clearly lacking in fidelity, proves the point that Savage Republic was certainly a kick-ass live band. Most of the material present also appeared on their debut "Tragic Figures" album, with a couple of previously unreleased / undocumented tracks. As I've never thought that Savage Republic's lyrics and vocals were particularly strong, they are fortunately few and far between in these live performances. The majority of the words are spoken as between song banter highlighted by the announcement that "Every band's gotta have a surf song!" Their's being the incendiary instrumental "Ivory Coast."
"The Ivory Coast"
SAVAGE REPUBLIC Tragic Figures (Mobilization) cd 14.98
Savage Republic was one of Los Angeles' leading art-punk bands, fusing gritty post-Joy Division basslines, slashing guitars with occasional Arabic cadences, and a massive clatter of dense percussion at times worthy of comparisons to Test Dept. or Einsturzende Neubauten. Yet, Savage Republic always maintained a much closer relationship to the simple structuralism of punk, layering all of their percussive energy into complex articulations of a simple 4/4 beat. Originally called Africa Corps, Savage Republic recorded their 1982 debut "Tragic Figures" while its members were attending art school at UCLA. The resulting album is a vibrant cross section of LA's punk scene from the early '80s, slipping between dark, yet subtle Factory-ish songs to aggressive percussion assaults worthy of a Mad Max soundtrack (before Tina Turner, of course). While at their best, Savage Republic were a force to be reckoned with, these reissues force us to recall that vocals were never their strong point, wavering from a Steve Albini -like nasal delivery to a Lee Ving-ish throaty scream. The band's Bruce Licher has since gone on to form the acclaimed Independent Projects Press, developing a unique, celebrated style of beautifully letterpressed packaging, of course utilized for these new Savage Republic reissues on Scot Jenerik's Mobilization label. This disc features all of the tracks from previous CD editions, including the proper recordings from "Tragic Figures," the "Film Noir" 7" and a couple of alternate versions.
"When All Else Fails" RealAudio clip:
"Ivory Coast" RealAudio clip:
SAVATH & SAVALAS Apropa't (Warp) cd 16.98
SAVATH & SAVALAS Manana (Warp) cd 8.98
Sometimes it takes incredibly stressful interpersonal band relationships to make really wonderful music. Perhaps this is an example. Acclaimed hip-hop producer Scott Herren, aka Prefuse 73, claims that he and singer Eva Puyuelo Muns will no longer work together beyond this release. That's really too bad, cause it's truly a cool and beautiful ep. Manana exposes their shared passion for early '70s Brazilian psych, simple production techniques, sad melodies as found in Spanish folk music and edginess and attitude in Afro/Cuban/Puerto Rican/NYC fusions. Bright and juicy Catalan sounds fill-out the abstract electronic recontextualization, creating a successful sonic collaboration, at least musicly so. Let's hope they can make amends and create some more hazy explorations of Catalan singing in this electronic manifestation. Meanwhile, Manana is a glistening beauty for us to treasure!
"Interludio Inconcreto" MPEG Stream:
SAVES THE DAY Stay What You Are (Vagrant Records) cd 14.98
Anthemic indie-rock on the Get-Up Kids label. LA sing-along-songsters rock in the dynamic power-chord tradition of Get Up Kids, the Anniversary and The Stereo. Since when did punk rock get so bubblegum? (Not to mention a suspiciously glossy website where they brag about working with a producer who has worked with Beck.) However, this is a fine kickass pop record. Check out the song clip -- the hook is addictive.
SAVIOURS Crucifire (Level Plane) cd 13.98
Here's the debut full length from these local long hairies, whom quite possibly you've headbanged to already, live and in person -- most recently we saw 'em opening for The Sword at Slim's. Those from outside the Bay Area might know 'em from their previous ep release on Level Plane, or from their inclusion on Kemado's Invaders comp celebrating up-n-coming heavy psych and metal bands. Moreso even than The Sword, these guys were fully representin' the metal side of that roster. Furthermore, the Saviours' style of metal, make that METAL, definitely has one foot in the gutter, one fist in the gold... in other words, a big old school '80s influence. But this ain't no Motley Crue party rock. It's extremely HEAVY with kinda punk, shouty singing, which makes sense since they guys come out of the East Bay hardcore scene (though one of 'em also plays bass with smartass stoner rawk gods Drunk Horse). Works well for us. Plenty of fierce, chugging riffage, endlessly galloping, the band a mighty metal steed indeed. Imagine the heavy likes of High On Fire, Floor, or 16, but way more METALLIC(A). Or indie retro-metallers Early Man, with all their NWOBHM and Bay Area thrash influences, getting truly mean and ugly and throwing down big time. And we should mention: awesome drummer!
"Christhunt" MPEG Stream:
"Exalter Of Thorns"
SAVIOURS Warship (Level-Plane) cd ep 8.98
SAWADA, JYOJI Enfant Terrible (Sonore) cd 14.98
Apparently, a concept record about the children of the future and the terrible legacy we are leaving to them on this planet, with children's voices, jazz guitar, electronics, gamelan, record crackle, field recordings, etc. Japanese musician Sawada is kind of a "kitchen sink" style composer, heavily utilizing the sampler and the studio, but all his sounds are quite beautiful and/or intriguing. While this might MEAN more to those who speak either Japanese or French, Sawada's music has plenty of charm on its own, without the context the narration provides. Some may remember his excellent and mysterious Base of Fiction cd from 1994, which was similiar but more "rock" (with members of underground Japanese bands like the Ruins joining in).
SAWAGUCHI, MIKI Big Boobs (Alchemy) cd 21.00
Other than stating the obvious (you have to see the album cover), I have no idea why Miki Sawaguchi gave this album the title "Big Boobs"... Musically, she goes all over the place, starting off with some schlocky excessively produced Japanese pop that sounds like a studio band trying to fuse Madness with Link Wray. Then she sings over a lengthy Hijokaidan-like guitar/effects noise attack (the album's high point), followed by an strange, sorta-funny a capella version of "Oh, Lord Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz." The album is wrapped up by some Ramones-like three chord thug rock, and back to the schlock pop that opened the album. There's a guy in the booklet who is wearing a Burzum t-shirt, but that seems insignificant next to all of the topless photos of Miki Sawaguchi. Still don't know what to make of it -- is this some study into the variety of musical exports of Japan? The only thing for certain is the title's accuracy.
SAWAGUCHI, MIKI / JOJO HIROSHIGE / MASAMI AKITA / MASAHIKO OHNO Uterus and Human (Alchemy) cd 21.00
Another new Alchemy title that we've imported from Japan, this one kind of an all-star Japanoise fest featuring noise guitarist Jojo (Alchemy boss and Hijokaidan mastermind), vocalist Miki Sawaguchi (of dubious "Big Boobs" fame), Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) on Macintosh computer, and Masahiko Ohno of noisicians Solmania playing one of his self-built electric guitar monsters (he's also responsible for the lovely graphic design, as he is for most all equally-keen looking Alchemy releases). Naoko Otani plays live drums. Three tracks, one "remix" (I think that's Merzbow's role with his Macintosh), one studio, one live. All pretty great, ranging from rumbling foghorn soundcapes with delicate female spoken vocals, to churning noise accompanied by Yoko Ono-inspired shrieking.
SAWAKO Hum (12K) cd 14.98
Tokyo artist Sawako crafts her delicate, minimal ambient soundscapes from interwoven slivers of piano, voices, field recordings among other things. The results are ultra ethereal and soothing. She would fit very well in either the Mort Aux Vaches or 20' to 2000 series. Hum also features additional instrumental contributions from Taylor Deupree, Aoki Hayato and Kenneth Kirschner. For fans of Deupree, William Basinski, Oval, Colleen and Pan Sonic.
"Patchworked Blanket" MPEG Stream:
"Incense Of Voice"
SAWAKOT Omnibus (Community Library) cd 12.98
Omnibus is a gorgeous collage of donated sound. Various contributors (Polmo Polpo, Tu'M, Hypo, Yuichiro Fujimoto, Birds in Tokyo and more) each presented various bits and pieces of sound: songs, found recordings, misplaced melodies, snippets of vocals, little chunks of rhythm, all of which were twisted and tangled and stretched and smeared into a gorgeous droney soundscape. The resulting pieces seemingly bear no relation to the original sounds. Instead, they managed to be pretty cohesive suite of soft shimmery sort-of-songs, all cobbled together from looped hiccupping warbles, damaged music box melodies, tape hiss, lo-fi recording detritus, detuned guitars, muted percussive thump, skittery shuffle, blooping bleeping video game sounds, skipping cds, little bursts of some disco-y techno chopped up and reassembled, and loads more impossible to pick out source sounds. But the final product really is more than the sum of its parts. A deliriously dreamy weird and wonderful world of sound.
"O R G" MPEG Stream:
"Aykmin" MPEG Stream:
SAWS s/t (InTone) cd 14.98
SAWYER, PHIL Childhood's End (Guerssen Records) cd 21.00
No, this is not some outsider electronic record based on Arthur C. Clarke's dark tale of alien invasion (although that would be rad, wouldn't it?). No, this is actually an extremely rare psych-folk record from Down Under originally released in 1971. How rare? Well, a recent eBay seller was asking $700 dollars for this. Whoa! A bit country-tinged with some really great songwriting, this remind us of a more electric Gordon Lightfoot (whom we love!). We believe this is Phil Sawyer's only release, and even this album is not very well known outside high-caliber record collector circles, which is a shame because it's really good. Looking for some psych-dappled singer-songwriter fare in the vein of Graham Nash, Gary Higgins or the abovementioned Mr. Lightfoot? Look no further. Awesome!
"Nightbirds" MPEG Stream:
"Stranger in The Street"
SAY BOK GWAI s/t (Monkey King Records) cd 9.98
SC.ALL Live @ Silk City (Scarcelight) cd-r 4.98
SCALA Beauty Nowhere (Touch) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ex-Seefeel members. For fans of Too Pure, and yes, this is the full-length. Fuzz, distortion, and a cool techno version of "Heart of Glass" that makes those who recognize it run to the counter to ask 'who IS this?'
SCALA Beauty Nowhere (Touch) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ex-Seefeel members. For fans of Too Pure, and yes, this is the full-length. Fuzz, distortion, and a cool techno version of "Heart of Glass" that makes those who recognize it run to the counter to ask 'who IS this?'
SCALA Compass Heart (Touch) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Their previous album Beauty Nowhere was a furious incarnation of belligerent electronica / noise almost sounding like Leichenschrie era SPK with a female vocalist. Here Scala (whose members feature the talented remnants of the once great Seefeel - Sarah Peacock and Daren Fletcher - as well as Locust's Mark Van Hoen) have greated a darker, more sublime album of leftfield electronica with a surprisingly silky atmosphere lingering around the processed guitars and subdued breakbeats... not too far from the last Tricky album.
SCANNER 20' to 2000: August (Noton/Raster) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've reached the eighth installment in Raster's monthly countdown to 2000, and this time it's Robin Rimbaud's turn. His contribution is a minimal array of pulses, blips and beats (nothing too surprising in that discription, now is there?). Very much a headphone listen--keep away from noisy machines.
SCANNER Sulphur (Sub Rosa) cd 15.98
From the liner notes: "The Scanner series of recordings features the intercepted conversations of unsuspecting talkers, edited into minimalist musical settings as if they were instruments." Robin Rimbaud is Scanner, recorded live in London, March 1995.
SCANNER/SHEA/MAIN Live Sessions - Paris June 1996 (Sub Rosa) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. David Shea, Robin Rimbaud, and Robert Hampson follow up their live in London disc with another from the French capitol.
SCARE DEM The Album (Felony) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. When we asked our reggae distributor for recent AQ-staff fave Ward 21, his response was a baffled "uh, yeah, sure we've got those" but when we asked about the Scare Dem records he just laughed and asked whether we were going to start selling crack. I guess Scare Dem Crew have a reputation as being Jamaica's dancehall bad boys, the progenitors of 'gangstah dancehall' possibly. Scare Dem Crew had achieved a certain amount of clout in Jamaica through several singles and session work for other stars before releasing their debut full-length album "Scared From the Crypt" in 1999 (so we're a little behind the times, call us Rip Van Winkle why don'tcha.) Featuring the vocal talents of Elephant Man, Harry Toddler and Nitty Kutchie -- all of whom have had fairly successful careers on their own since. Though "Scared From the Crypt" was apparently their first full length release, "The Album" also released in 1999 is a complete mystery in that it seems to not exist, even on the group's managerial agency's website. It's definitely the original crew and features a cameo by long time collaborator Bounty Killer, a song in which Nitty Kutchie's vocal part was recorded via phone call. The lyrics lack the insane inspired charm of Ward 21 and the Crew seems obsessively bent out of shape in their fear of "batty boys" (gays) and have not one, but four songs and a skit devoted to the subject. But if you can get past their dipshit insecurities concerning sexuality, the production on the album is generally above average with lots of edgy rhythms, pounding bass, and aggressive -- hot potato voice -- toasting to annoy the shit out of your neighbors while you chew up two by fours 'til your gums bleed.
"Big Gun Pop Out" RealAudio clip:
"Be A Shotta"
SCARE DEM CREW Scared From the Crypt (TVT) cd 17.98
It's funny, until just now -- and we've had this album floating around the reggae section for a few weeks already -- I didn't know that the picture of the Crew on the cover is supposed to be taken in a graveyard. You'd think with an album title like "Scared From the Crypt" I would have put dos y dos together, but the execution of the photo itself makes the group look as though they're lounging around in the garden of someone's plantation style estate. Flowering shrubs aside, the crew are dressed up in brightly colored smoking jackets. Hardly scary. The Scare Dem Crew seems to struggle with their identity as tough guys, which is maybe why they have to have several anti-batty boy (gay men) songs on every album. On both albums they have a song devoted to the importance of men not dressing like women, but then choose to have their photos taken wearing jackets stolen from Jimmy Buffet's reject pile. The most hilarious slip on their part though is using the rhythm track from Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" to back up their "Girls Dem Want We", which actually works pretty well all things considered. Most of the tracks on this album are pretty weak though, lots of bouncy beats with Carnival whistle hits and crappy attempts at crooning. The best song ironically enough is the above mentioned "collaboration" with Soft Cell. Also quite nice is the opening track "Dis Scare Dem" which features Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" as its backbone. For a limited time we have some of these in stock at 10.98 if you're interested, but once they're gone the price will revert back to 17.98.
"Dis Scare Dem" RealAudio clip:
"Shotta" RealAudio clip:
"Girls Dem Want We"
SCARFACE The Last Of A Dying Breed (Rap A Lot) cd 17.98
SCARNELLA s/t (Smells Like Records) cd 12.98
Working apart from the Geraldine Fibbers, Carla Bozulich and AQ-favourite guitarist Nels Cline team up as Scarnella. Slow building intense walls of droning guitar strum not unlike late period Swans and lilting ballads that wouldn't be out of place in a German cabaret.
SCATTER Surprisin Sing, Stupendous Love (Cenotaph Audio) cd 14.98
This very interestingly, artfully packaged disc is stickered with the information that the debut from Scatter includes a member of Scottish NYC-wavers Franz Ferdinand. And while at least of few of us here at Aquarius really like Franz Ferdinand, that fact is much less relevant to the sound of Scatter than that the nine member Scatter also includes percussionist Alexander Neilson in their ranks, who we only recently were introduced to via Neilson's excellent collaborative cd with AQ fave Richard Youngs, Ourselves. And Scatter indeed proves to be in line with the experimentation of Youngs and others in the UK free-folk underground. On Surprisin Sing, Stupendous Love, you'll find Scatter appropriately enough scattering their music with elements drawn from such diverse traditions as folk music and free jazz. There's some sweet female vocals, softly melodic *and* plenty of abstract, jazz oriented group blowing. Both Appalachia and Sun Ra are referenced. Less dense than delicate, but definitely lively and lovely. We think this is on roughly the same wavelength as the likes of A Silver Mount Zion, Vibracathedral Orchestra, and Black Forest / Black Sea, though sounding mostly unlike any of those.
"Nationa Magic" MPEG Stream:
"Alternations Of Pasture And Urban Conurban"
SCATTERED PAGES Lazy Are The Skeletons (Three Ring Records) cd 14.98
... but lazy are not the Scattered Pages! The new full length from these three troubadours from Houston, TX comes swiftly on the heels of their fine cdep This Is Where The Story Ends, and even in that short time the band has evolved and fleshed out their sound tenfold. Their not so secret weapon is the combined songwriting force of Kurt Coburn and Brandon Hancock, both have proven themselves to be quite the richly imaginative storytelling lyricists and crafty songsmiths. Many of the songs here reminded us quite a bit of The Hidden Cameras or Belle And Sebastian, but more rootsy folk inclined. An engaging listen.
"Alice To Wonderland" MPEG Stream:
"I Was Never Someone In Love"