LUNA music essentials...

for the week of 16 SEPTEMBER 2014...
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>My Brightest Diamond – This Is My Hand CD/LP+MP3 (Asthmatic Kitty)
This Is My Hand is a journey beyond the composition of music. "I had this 'back-to-basics' moment of reading how humans were making sounds before we were using words," says Shara. Produced by Shara herself and keyboardist Zac Rae, This Is My Hand is a bold chapter in the unfurling MBD story. Its exploration of music and its rhythmic urgency escort Shara's chamber-music aesthetic out of the chamber and back into the dance hall and rock bar.
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>Allah-Lahs – Worship The Sun CD/LP (Innovative Leisure)
Worship The Sun expands the sound established by the Allah-Lahs' maiden effort, honing their fusion of West Coast garage rock, Latin percussion and electric folk. The album is richly textured and timeless as a Southern California beach break, evocative of L.A.'s storied past full of beatniks, artists, surfers, nomads, remnants of a bygone Sunset Strip, golden tans and cosmic sunsets.
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>This Will Destroy You – Another Language CD/2xLP+MP3 (Secretly Canadian)
Since 2004, This Will Destroy You has been forging some of the world's most brutal, dynamic, and precariously visceral instrumental rock. In addition to a vigorous tour schedule, their celebrated discography and critically renowned soundtrack work for feature films and documentaries have earned them a sizable and fervent international following
. Another Language, TWDY's fourth full length LP, marks their euphonious return from a prolonged vacuous dark period that threatened to break both the band and the members themselves.
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>Lia Ices – Ices CD/LP (Jagjaguwar)
Ices is a celebration of flight, levity, and the conviction that you can leave earth. Flight became a metaphor for the ignition of the imagination. The process created a lightness in me, a freedom and positive energy that I¹d never before felt or explored."
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>James – La Petite Mort CD/2xLP (BMG Rights Management)
La Petite Mort, the band's first album in four years, is about death. No surprise there. The title translates to English as 'The Little Death' and there's a Day Of The Dead skull in profile on the cover. Tim Booth recently lost his mother and a close friend, giving the lyrics some extra weight, naturally. Sometimes the music goes along the same path and at other times it does not. La Petite Mort finds James at a crossroads, but it's not the kind of crossroads that presents new opportunities and game-changers. It's a crossroads that asks the band and its fans if the James formula really suits their every approach. Because for subject matter so introspective, there's not much subtlety to the music inside of La Petite Mort." – Pop Matters
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>Shintaro Sakamoto – Let's Dance Raw CD/LP (Other Music)
Sakamoto a lap steel guitar and learned how to play the instrument just prior to writing and recording
Let's Dance Raw, and it enriches the post-apocalyptic exotica on these ten songs, fusing together the bright and breezy shimmer of Hawaiian slack-key hula melodies, the dusty shuffle of southwestern desert blues, and the space-age bachelor-pad music of postwar suburban dreamers. The result is an album that revisits the soundtracks of musical escapism made popular in postwar American and Japanese cultures—and deftly updates them. It's all anchored by deep, jazzy grooves straight out of a '70s AM radio broadcast, and peppered with flourishes of Brazilian and Latin percussion throughout.
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>Shellac – Dude Incredible CD/LP (Touch & Go)
This is Shellac's fifth LP. Recording took place sporadically over the past few years at Steve's Electrical Audio studios in Chicago. The record was mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road. There is no comma in
Dude Incredible; like Sir Duke or King Friday, for example QC Audio quality is paramount, as always, with Shellac. The LP was mastered entirely in the analog domain, using the DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) process. The LPs are being manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, using their HQ-180 system. The pressings are 180gm audiophile quality.
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>Engineers – Always Returning CD (Kscope)
"Now a trio and counting electronic producer Ulrich Schnauss (who joined the band prior to In Praise) among their numbers, Engineers still play loud and lovely music, but it would be inaccurate to simply call them a shoegaze band.
Always Returning opening track 'Bless This Painter' is more interested in percussive trances, while 'Drive Your Car' floats effortlessly, with synths and vocals that pair together like an Air track." – Stereogum
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>Marco Benevento – Swift CD/LP (The Royal Potato Family)
Marco Benevento is used to doing things for himself. Since launching his solo career six years ago, Benevento has co-founded the label that releases his music, The Royal Potato Family, and built the studio, Fred Short Sound, where he works whenever he s not on the road. He's written, arranged and played his largely instrumental anthems, leading a band from behind his customized piano and a tiny armada of drum-machines and sequencers, keyboards and pedals. But until Benevento set out to complete his fifth solo album, he'd never sung his own songs, a strange omission for music that s so often been lyrical. That changes decisively, assuredly, triumphantly on
Swift, the boldest and most bracing album of Benevento's career.
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>Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – Juice CD/LP (Indirecto)
Juice combines the group's signature grooves with a newfound lyrical melodicism over a program of original compositions and four covers including a powerful hymn-like version of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and a dizzying dub deconstruction of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love." Throughout, Juice showcases the quartet's dynamic interplay and razor-sharp improvisational acumen.