LUNA music essentials...

for the week of 07 OCTOBER 2014...
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>Flying Lotus – You're Dead! CD/2xLP+MP3 (Warp)
Youre Dead! is a shamanic pilgrimage into the psychedelic unknown of the infinite afterlife. A sonic, visual and metaphysical fusion of technological innovation and technical virtuosity that amounts to a transcendent, mind-expanding plasm that could only exist between our world and another. The enduring universe of Lotus supporting cast has expanded and evolved to feature in order of appearance, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat, Niki Randa, alongside mind-blowing original artwork by Japanese comic book artist Shintaro Kago. The album isn't about the end, it's really the beginning. It's a celebration of the next experience.
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>Caribou – Our Love CD/LP (Merge)
Our Love is Dan Snaith aka Caribou's most soulful record to date, chock-full of heartfelt lyrics and organic nature that cuts through bubbling synths and blissful euphoria of their synthetic construction. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Snaith said that his "initial impulse was to make something for everybody to listen to," adding, "And that's such a shift for me. There's more of me in the music than there ever has been, for sure. It used to be that I closed the doors, and the only thing that ended up in the music was whatever was spontaneously generated there and then. Now it's much more typical that I'll get to work for a couple hours on something, then I'll take my daughter to a museum with some friends of ours. Everything is happening all at the same time and bottled up together. And I think that's good."
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>Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather CD/LP+MP3 (Paradise Of Bachelors)
"It can take many years and several albums for artists to fully test the limits of their creativity. Guitarist Steve Gunn fits into that category; over the past decade and a half, his records have gravitated slowly from inward-facing reflections built around his hypnotic acoustic guitar work to fleshed-out works that feature a growing cast of musicians.
Way Out Weather marks the completion of Gunn's transformation from a master guitarist into a songwriter who can trust in his own voice and arrangements as much as his spectacular fretwork. He's thrown open the windows and let the light in, as he embraces pristine, lush production that makes guitars sparkle and drums crack." – NPR
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>Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End CD/LP (Republic)
Produced by Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, who previously helmed production on the band s first and third records (
The Blue Album and The Green Album), Everything Will Be Alright In The End is the band's first collection of new material in four years.
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>SBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land CD/2xCD/2xLP (Young Turks)
Album sessions began on Osea Island, a tidal island in an estuary off Essex where the winding coastal road is submerged for 8 in every 12 hours. It was here that SBTRKT began the early stages of the recording process, inviting a host of collaborators to join him record throughout the night free from any distraction the tapes continuously rolled, animation was projected on the walls and every creative impulse was documented. Inspired by this new open method of recording, and ready to focus his newfound ideas into more intense sessions, SBTRKT visited America armed with a wish list of collaborators to track down. It was here he worked with newcomer Raury, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, A$AP Ferg and Emily Kokal from Warpaint. Both CD and vinyl are available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe CD features six bonus tracks, while the limited Deluxe vinyl adds a bonus disc featuring seven extra tracks.
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>Bass Drum Of Death – Rip This CD/LP (Innovative Leisure)
Rip This retains BDoD's trademark sorry-for-partyin swagger while scrapping the crackling hiss and lo-fi fuzz. The result is a record that still relies on an obliterating attack of heavy guitars, danceable hooks, and kinetic drumming, but will appeal as much to Kiss fans as the music freaks and geeks who worship Nuggets.
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>Vashti Bunyan – Heartleap CD (DiCristina Stair Builders)
Nine years after
Lookaftering, her last album of new material, legendary British singer/songwriter Vashti Bunyan returns with a breathtaking new LP. Recorded largely in her home studio, Heartleap is a unique and entrancing collection of ten songs forming what Vashti is adamant will be her final album. Vinyl version due October 7.
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>Ex Hex – Rips CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
"Mary Timony has indie rock O.G. status. She started out in the D.C. punk trio Autoclave, led the great and underrated Helium for most of the '90s, and, most recently, held down co-frontlady duties with Carrie Brownstein in Wild Flag. Timony's new band is Ex Hex, a D.C. trio that plays a simplistic and supremely catchy punk rock take on power-pop. This time around, Timony seems to be doing a sort of Ramones/Cheap Trick hybrid, and it is
awesome." – Stereogum
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>Johnny Marr – Playland CD/LP (New Voodoo)
Sophomore solo album from The Smith's guitarist. "There's a freewheeling vitality to Marr's second solo venture that not only lifts the weight of history but makes a mockery of the musical bed-hopping that's defined his recent output. He had these up his sleeve and was happy to be knobbing around with Modest f##king Mouse?
Playland, true to its name, is exhilarating. After last year's likeable enough The Messenger, this is richer by far: the tunes are plentiful, the production old school and beefy (fat bass, cool synth), the guitar playing, you know, not bad." -- The Skinny
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>Minus The Bear – Lost Loves CD/LP+MP3 (Dangerbird)
Lost Loves is not new. It's not old. It's just a collection of songs that have never had a proper recording, or that we didn't know existed. Well, finally Minus the Bear have given us this package of glorious songs that were recorded during the sessions of Planet Of Ice, Omni, and Infinity Overhead. The album has a strange sense of unity, as the songs aren't clunky, or obviously recorded at different times. The band has a knack for capturing a distinct sound with each album to ensure their listeners won't be disappointed, but with that, every album has some unique qualities. As easy as it is to hear the three different albums, it weirdly flows as if it were recorded all at the same time." – Under The Gun Review
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>Generationals – Alix CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, friends since high school, sought producer Richard Swift to shake things up on this album. Alix materialized as perhaps Generationals' most confident record, full of history and as multiphase as Ted and Grant's friendship. Built up with layer upon layer of rhythmic lines, computer noises, RZA beats, and poppy vocals that sometimes sound like a Janet Jackson/Prince face-off, Alix is everything T&G like about music: old and new, vinyl and YouTube, vocal chord and Microkorg, gathered up and arranged with great care into a good-smelling, subtly sexy, catchy-or-die mish-mosh of sensibilities and time warp senselessness, lightly peppered with that signature Swiftian element, but undeniably Generationals in taste. Available on CD and on green vinyl.
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>Iceage – Plowing Into The Field Of Love CD (Matador)
Channeling the rage and emotion of their tempestuous early releases into finely honed musicianship,
Plowing Into The Field Of Love features piano, mandolin, viola and organ atop Johan Suurballe-Wieth s razor-sharp guitars and the lolloping, synchronized rhythm section of Jacob Tvilling Pless and Dan Kjær Nielsen. The record has a clear, uncompressed sound, and Elias Bender Rønnenfelt s desperate vocals are out front, nakedly accountable for the words. Vinyl version due October 21.
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>Tommy Guerrero – No Man's Land CD (Too Good)
ʼ s music, like his graphic design, is beguilingly simple. He sounds like a guy messing around on his front stoop, and maybe thatʼs exactly what he is doing—but the result will touch you down to your toes. From Mission District punkers to Shibuya-ku hipsters—his melodies dance lightly around your head while the rhythms build under your feet and move your hips. His is soul music, made by a street kid raised on Santana and Bill Withers (with more than a little nod to the Clash and Public Enemy in there, too).
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>The Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles – The Last Transmission 2xCD/LP (Now Again)
Melvin Van Peebles, the filmmaker, musician, author behind the landmark movie
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and the trilogy of Brer Soul albums he released in the ‘70s has teamed with the UK ensemble Heliocentrics to create an interplanetary space/love odyssey told in twelve chapters. CD version includes bonus instrumentals disc.
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>The Juan Maclean – In A Dream CD/2xLP (DFA)
The dance world way too often privileges the new, and not many dance artists write albums as good as
In A Dream, the third full-length album by The Juan MacLean, this far into their career. The Juan MacLean have weathered electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house, and whatever we can call the sound of today. They never feel totally in step with the moment, but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there's always something exciting to say about these guys.
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>NehruvianDOOM – NehruvianDOOM CD/LP (Lex)
NehruvianDOOM is 17-y/o Bishop Nehru's debut album. Produced by Metal Fingers and featuring MF DOOM vocals on several tracks, it's a compact nine track, 30-minute long player. Bishop Nehru's breakthrough mixtapes, released from the age of 15 saw him rhyming over DOOM produced instrumentals. DOOM joined the line of MCs who co-signed the young rapper including heavyweight lyricists Kendrick Lamar and Nas.
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>Peaking Lights – Cosmic Logic CD/LP (Weird World)
The L.A. duo's new album,
Cosmic Logic, was mixed with the assistance of DFA studio engineer Matt Thornley and draws on Jamaican digital dancehall, cosmic Italo, Chicago house and acid house, Afrobeat and Zamrock, early west coast hip-hop and disco boogie.
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>Sinkane – Mean Love CD/LP (DFA)
Mean Love rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. It was recorded at The Rumpus Room in Brooklyn, New York and co-produced with long-time Sinkane collaborator and childhood friend, Greg Lofaro. Mean Love is an emotionally rich and generous soul album with a very welcoming appeal. The restless creative drive of Ahmed Gallab these past few years has led to a true breakthrough moment for the artist, and this album is a true reward for time well spent.
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>Vaselines – V For Vaselines CD/LP+CD (Rosary Music)
"Like Mission Of Burma, Scottish indie-pop faves The Vaselines are on their way to becoming more prolific post-reunion than in their original incarnation, this week announcing their second post-reunion album, and only their third overall, called
V For Vaselines, a 10-track collection preceded by first single ‘One Lost Year.'" – Slicing Up Eyeballs.
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>Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadaman: 20th Anniversary Edition CD/2xCD [Reissue/1993] (UMe)
Underworld's third album (though some might call it their debut) showcased the limitless possibilities of electronic music. Although born out of club culture,
Dubnobass defied the accepted genres of the time - equally suited to the dancefloor and the after party, it was as immersive an experience quaking through bassbins or headphones. Two decades on from its original release, it's unarguable that the album is one of the most influential British electronic records of all time; a signpost for everything from dance music's easy relationship with main stages at festivals to the radio/globe-conquering EDM phenomenon. Available in a variety of editions: Regular, Deluxe, and Super Deluxe. Vinyl version due October 21. Blu-ray audio version due October 27. (Underworld's post-Dubnobass back catalog will also be reissued on October 27.)
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>Bonobo – The North Borders Tour: Live CD/CD+DVD/2xLP (Ninja Tune)
Live album recorded at The Roundhouse in London and Pula Arena, available in Regular and Deluxe editions. Deluxe features expanded packaging with a 70-page hardback book of photographs and stories from members of the band, as well as a bonus DVD featuring glimpses of hi-speed photography.
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>Jackson Browne – Standing In The Breach CD/LP (Inside Recordings)
Jackson's fourteenth studio album is a collection of ten songs, at turns deeply personal and political, exploring love, hope, and defiance in the face of the advancing uncertainties of modern life.
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>Zola Jesus – Taiga CD/LP (Mute)
Nika is the sole singer and songwriter behind Zola Jesus' many creative incarnations. Written on Vashon Island, WA and co-produced in Los Angeles, CA by Dean Hurley,
Taiga is Nika's fourth full-length album release. This album is a transition for Zola Jesus. Masterful layers of composition are bathed in familiar atmospheric vocals, but a new sensibility is deeply present. Taiga is at once challenging and accessible, and is undeniably branded with what Nika terms a piercing ambition.
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>El Michels Affair – Sounding Out The City/Loose Change [Reissue/2005] 2xCD (Truth & Soul)
Upon it's release in 2005 El Michels Affair's debut
Sounding Out The City received some rave reviews and the small deep funk community ate it up, but due to the lack luster promotion and distribution the rest of the world was slow to catch on to the instrumental gems featured on the album, which Michels appropriately labeled as "cinematic soul". This deluxe reissue features the original album remastered as well as some alternate remixes and previously unreleased songs that were recorded during the same period as SOTC on the second disc Loose Change.
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>Belle & Sebastian
– If You're Feeling Sinister [Reissue/1996] LP+MP3 (Matador)
– Tigermilk [Reissue/1997] LP+MP3 (Matador)
– Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant [Reissue/2000] LP+MP3 (Matador)
– Dear Catastrophe Waitress [Reissue/2003] 2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
– The Life Pursuit [Reissue/2006] 2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
– The BBC Sessions [Reissue/2008] 2xLP+MP3 (Matador)
– Write About Love [Reissue/2010] LP+MP3 (Matador)
First round of Belle & Sebastian vinyl reissues - back in print for the first time in years. (
The Boy With The Arab Strap, Push Barman To Open Old Wounds, and The Third Eye Center due November 4.)
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>The Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles – The Last Transmission 2xCD/LP (Now Again)
Melvin Van Peebles, the filmmaker, musician, author behind the landmark movie
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song and the trilogy of Brer Soul albums he released in the ‘70s has teamed with the UK ensemble Heliocentrics to create an interplanetary space/love odyssey told in twelve chapters. CD version includes bonus instrumentals disc.