OFFICIAL RSD 2018 release. Reissue; 34th anniversary edition, originally release in 1984 by Durium Records. Mannequin Records present a reissue of Personal Computer from the avant-garde Italian-born producer Doris Norton, release in a trilogy with Norton Computer For Peace (1983) and Artificial Intelligence (1985). Apple’s first music “endorsement” and Roland affiliate, Doris Norton is one of the most important women pioneer in the use of synths and in the early electro/computer music. Norton is the wife of Antonio Bartoccetti, progressive rock guitarist, and mother of the musician and techno producer Rexanthony. As a teenager, she was drawn to medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, not to mention quantum physics, differential equations, organic chemistry, the experimentalism of John Cage, and animated movie soundtracks. Her love for modules and circuits found expression through the waves of an old harmonium, the frequencies of a MiniMoog, a Roland System 100M, a Roland System 700, and the ARP 2500/2600. In 1980, Norton began her solo career by recording at Fontana Studio 7, the Milan studio of the composer and musician Tito Fontana, resulting in the electronic opera Under Ground. Norton became more prolific, continuing her adventures in experimental electronics and computer music with Parapsycho (1981), Raptus (1981), Nortoncomputerforpeace (1983), Personal Computer (1984) — whose album cover prominently features Apple’s colored logo — and Artificial Intelligence (1985). While the beat-oriented style of Norton’s music aligns her with such fellow global-travelers as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk, her championing of the personal computer as a tool for self-sufficient musical creativity also connects her to more artsy musicians such as Pietro Grossi, Laurie Spiegel, and The League of Automatic Music Composers. Norton’s predilection for the bright, glossy timbres of early digital instruments also recalls Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader’s bizarre 1982 one-off Erdenklang. Later, her talent and expertise attracted the attention of IBM, who in 1986 named her as an official consultant. Already the reigning queen of the Italian electronic scene, she recorded two CDs for IBM: Automatic Feeling (1986) and The Double Side Of The Science (1990). Influenced by her son, the musician and producer Rexanthony, Norton brought her fascination with the early days of techno into the 1990s, when she released three volumes of Techno Shock on Italian trance/hardcore label Sound Of The Bomb. While her music remains largely out-of-print and inaccessible, Norton’s early records have recently begun to receive the inevitable rediscovery treatment.
RSD 2018 release. Reissue; 35th anniversary edition. Mannequin Records present a reissue of Doris Norton’s Norton Computer For Peace, or Nortoncomputerforpeace, originally released on Durium Records in 1983. This is a part of a trilogy of reissues from the avant-garde Italian-born producer, released alongside Personal Computer (MNQ 120LP, 1984) and Artificial Intelligence (1985). Apple’s first music “endorsement” and Roland affiliate, Doris Norton is one of the most important women pioneer in the use of synths and in the early electro/computer music. Norton is the wife of Antonio Bartoccetti, progressive rock guitarist, and mother of the musician and techno producer Rexanthony. As a teenager, she was drawn to medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, not to mention quantum physics, differential equations, organic chemistry, the experimentalism of John Cage, and animated movie soundtracks. Her love for modules and circuits found expression through the waves of an old harmonium, the frequencies of a MiniMoog, a Roland System 100M, a Roland System 700, and the ARP 2500/2600. In 1980, Norton began her solo career by recording at Fontana Studio 7, the Milan studio of the composer and musician Tito Fontana, resulting in the electronic opera Under Ground. Norton became more prolific, continuing her adventures in experimental electronics and computer music with Parapsycho (1981), Raptus (1981), Nortoncomputerforpeace (1983), Personal Computer (1984) — whose album cover prominently features Apple’s colored logo — and Artificial Intelligence (1985). Third studio album, Nortoncomputerforpeace involved Doris Norton, Antonius Rex, and Rudy Luksch (hardware engineer). “Don’t Shoot At Animals” was used as original soundtrack for the RAI TV program Rumore Di Fondo directed by Umberto Marino.
Galvanising our ongoing commitment to the lost music of the Czech New Wave cinema movement from the late 1960s and 1970s, Finders Keepers Records follow up our series of previously unreleased music to Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders, Daisies, Saxana and The Little Mermaid with a short series of soundtracks for films by the country’s master of the macabre and the nation’s first point of call for freakish fairytales and hallucinogenic horror, Mr. Juraj Herz.
Regarded as the final ever film of the Czech New Wave, Juraj Herz’s Morgiana (alongside Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders) was made after the Prague Spring during Czech cinema’s most scrutinised censorship era, deep in the throws of communism. Spearheading a micro-cosmic sub-genre of horror fantasy or scary/fairytales alongside Karel Kachyňa’s Malá Mořská Víla (The Little Mermaid), these directors built a handful of subversive, flamboyant and experimental new films based around classical communist approved surrealist literature; sidestepping creative compromise and uniting some of the leading lights of the FAMU founded film movement for the last time. Both musical scores courtesy of Luboš Fišer unite Valerie and Morgiana; sharing doppelgänger production and compositional ideas presented by Finders Keepers Records for the first time ever outside of the original context of the film.
It is easy to hear why the music for both films could easily be confused as part of the same score, or as very close twin sisters, having been recorded just 18 months apart in 1970 and 1972. Revealing tiny shards of identical melodic phrasing, the Morgiana score visits darker hallucinogenic corners for this tale of two sisters seen through the perspective of giallo-esque “cat’s eye” camera work (filmed by Jaroslav Kučera) revealing poison induced hysteria fuelled by sibling rivalry and desperately twisted jealousy. Adopting his mysteriously macabre musical persona, the versatile Fišer interweaves chimes, harps and harpsichord with echoing flutes, lutes and piano, applying his signature orchestral tension and experimental percussion traits in the form of treated pianos, vibra-slaps, tape samples of striking matches and spring reverbs to this oblique heady selection.
Revered in similar esteem to that of Czech film legend Zdeněk Liška, Fišer’s unreleased filmography of forward-thinking Czech scores is slowly reaching a wider global audience through his first ever dedicated commercial soundtrack releases which should, in time, win him the same votes of confidence that we now award the likes of Komeda, Korzyński, Roubaix and Nicolai, amongst other European soundtrack luminaries.
Finding the perfect axis between the likes of Goblin, Roubaix, Barry and Sorgini this bloodthirsty entrée to our Bruno Nicolai and Edwige Fenech series delivers a vinyl debut for the music of this lesser-known beat driven Sergio Martino Giallo horror. A real treat for the patient Euro VHS fans and the library collector alike this varied vinyl compact OST finally spreads its wings.
As the third instalment of a devoted series of vinyl releases focussing on Italian composer Bruno Nicolai’s soundtrack music to the films of Edwige Fenech, Finders Keepers serve this bloody hors d’oeuvres of 4 tracks from the 1971 Sergio Martino Poe inspired Italian thriller Your Vice Is A Locked Door And Only I Have The Key.
This limited pressed 7″ EP opens up with one of the composer’s greatest Giallo theme tunes from his recorded golden era containing all of those characteristic traits as previously heard on our De Sade and Conte Dracula releases. Previously only available in edited form as the lead track of the much sought-after but commercially unavailable Rendez Vous library LP, Finders Keepers have paired our loyalty to both the Euro horror video collectors as well as the vinyl detectives to bring you something unique and truly coveted from italian shock cinema’s vibrant plumage.
Bass driven, beat laden with deranged psychedelic symphonies (finding the perfect axis between the likes of Goblin, Roubaix and Barry) this four track instalment also combines other melodic pastoral harpsichord and clavinet motifs echoing Nicolai’s work with Morricone for films like Lizard In A Woman’s Skin to make this compact forerunner the perfect rounded release for a long overdue vinyl debut.
Political post-punk trio This Heat dissolved at a turbulent time in the UK. Margaret “The Iron Lady” Thatcher was in power, and her budget-cutting, ultra-conservative influence was felt strongly in–among many other places–the cultural melting pot of Brixton, South London, where This Heat had their origins. Dusting himself off after the collapse of the band in 1982, guitarist/vocalist Charles Bullen united with Julius Samuel to form Lifetones and embraced the sounds of the local West Indian community to fuse reggae flavor to the kind of propulsive, rhythmic, and experimental music made by This Heat.
Deceit, This Heat’s 1981 album, had seen them work with David Cunningham, who had already helped mesh dub reggae with new wave pop on The Flying Lizards’ 1979 single, “Money (That’s What I Want Want).” Even so, For A Reason was a great leap, one that created a strange, unsettling mood as Bullen’s multi-tracked, chant-like vocals met dub beats and Krautrock-informed repetition. Where Deceit dealt with the nuclear threat, For A Reason was less reactionary, even quoting Bob Marley in its lyrics: “you love the life you live, you live the life you love.”
Containing 6 songs in total, the album was recorded at Cold Storage studio and released on Bullen’s own Tone Of Life Records. It has become a sought-after collector’s item that changes hands for hundreds of dollars a time. As a solo artist, Bullen was not prolific–it was 15 years until, in 1998, he released Internal Clock under the name Circadian Rhythms–but like the rest of his band, he has enjoyed a long, enriching career in unending pursuit of new sounds.
Even though This Heat had no commercial success to follow up on, For A Reason was an album created with no intention of hitting the charts. Reissued on Light In The Attic, Lifetones’ single album retains a timeless quality and perhaps–on tracks such as “Good Side”–a futuristic sound that nobody else ever caught up to.
The remains of the vessel weren’t removed for several days. I walked down with my father to peer inside the boat cabin. Maps, coffee cups and clothing were strewn around inside. “I remember looking only briefly, wilted by the feeling that I was violating some remnant of this man’s presence by witnessing the evidence of its failure. Later I read a story about him in the paper. It was impossible to know what had happened. The boat had never crashed or capsized. He had simply slipped off somehow, and the boat, like a riderless horse, eventually came back home.” The narrative somehow enhances the songs – an achingly beautiful combination of forlorn, reverb-drenched lullabies draped in a veil of isolation reminding us of a more damaged Mark Kozelek, and indeed the classic 4AD sound with which Grouper has been compared so many times in the past.
By the time you reach the closing track ‘Living Room’, however, you come to the realisation that despite her best efforts to obscure her songs, Harris might just be one of the most gifted songwriters of her generation. An incredible album – possibly her finest yet.
Opening track ‘Disengaged’ offers a segue from the cloudy, amorphous Grouper output of old and this current strain of more easily deciphered writing: it’s a mass of mesmerising magnetic hiss and soft noise, with a voice cloaked in lo-fi haze somewhere at the back. Soon after, Harris’ guitar and voice emerge, reverberant and phantom-like, and yet comprehensible.
If previously you’ve struggled to make out Grouper lyrics, and wondered what’s going on beneath that veneer of musty, degraded audio, ‘Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping’ offers you a way in. Those dense recording techniques have become a unique production signature and it’s virtually impossible to separate Liz Harris’ creative identity from that uniquely ghostly sound of hers, but now it feels like a conduit to her songs rather than a barrier. There are echoes of her earliest work on the album too, as on the wordless, partially acappella atmospherics of ‘Wind & Snow’, but the overall impression left by this album is one of inspired creative renewal, and the unveiling of a songwriting talent that’s previously been content to dwell in shadows and deflect attention with smoke and mirrors.
A real milestone release for Harris, and a definite high point for the rejuvenated Type label, we’ve been unable to stop listening to this incredible album for weeks – it’s an absolute must.
John Coltrane transformed the inner architecture of jazz throughout the mid-1950s and 1960s and long after his premature death at age 40 in 1967. No other American musician could be said to be at the spiritual center of the ’60s musical universe as Trane influenced Albert Ayler, La Monte Young, Jimi Hendrix and everybody in between.
Cosmic Music, originally self-released by Alice Coltrane in 1968 and later issued by Impulse!, features two tracks (“Manifestation” and “Rev. King”) by John Coltrane’s legendary final quintet that were recorded in San Francisco on February 2nd, 1966 and two more (“Lord Help Me To Be” and “The Sun”) from Alice Coltrane’s very first session as a bandleader, recorded six months after her husband’s passing.
“Manifestation” opens with the group already in mid-flight: Trane’s fierce tenor leads the way with Pharoah Sanders’ blistering sax and Alice’s powerful chords hearing his call. On “Rev. King,” Trane introduces a lyrical theme and then the composition erupts into fiery incantations, while Jimmy Garrison’s bass throbs alongside the propulsive, gravity-defying drumming of Rashied Ali.
Foreshadowing her majestic debut, A Monastic Trio, “Lord Help Me To Be” brings Alice’s celestial piano playing and inspired improvisations to the foreground with Sanders, Garrison and drummer Ben Riley rumbling in tow. “The Sun,” a meditative ballad with subtle urgency, perfectly closes the album’s contemplative circle.
As John Coltrane recites on the final track, “May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation.”
This first-time vinyl reissue has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes.
It’s only appropriate that Solaris, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s psychological sci-fi classic from 1972, contains an equally original and mind-bending score. Solaris explores the inadequacies of time and memory on an enigmatic planet below a derelict space station. To reinforce the film’s chilling setting, Tarkovsky commissioned composer Eduard Artemiev to construct an electronic soundscape reflecting planet Solaris’ amorphous and mysterious surface; Artemiev rose to the challenge with a prophetic work that defies the era’s technological limitations while evoking unparalleled emotional responses even today.
Artemiev’s score – centered around variations on Bach’s “Chorale Prelude in F-Minor,” a somber piece for solo organ – sounds majestic alongside dissonant crescendos and formless, ambient tracks. Armed with the massive ANS synthesizer (aptly named after Russian occultist Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, who pioneered thought behind the synesthesiatic effects of music), Artemiev drafted sine waves on glass plates for the machine to interpret. The only prototype of the ANS was destroyed shortly after the Solaris soundtrack was recorded. Luckily this artifact of transcendent composition married with technological innovation endures as a masterpiece of early electronic music.
Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time official release of Artemiev’s original soundtrack for the film (not to be confused with the previously available re-recording of the music). Recommended for fans of Cluster, Iannis Xenakis and Louis and Bebe Barron’s Forbidden Planet.
“Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer/lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ’70s with three classic LPs — Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries — that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. 1973’s Sulle Corde Di Aries is the third chapter in Battiato’s foray into esoteric pop. While the artist would venture further out into avant-garde terrain on subsequent releases, his early records enjoy a lyrical and playful spirit — eschewing traditional, song-based composition in favor of kosmische voyages. On Sulle Corde Di Aries, Battiato guides the labyrinthine structural changes and majestic tones to evolve gradually over four electroacoustic suites. ‘Sequenze e Frequenze,’ the album’s side-long centerpiece, blooms in a polyphony of organic pulses reminiscent of the vibrant keyboard minimalism of Terry Riley’s A Rainbow In Curved Air and the rhythmic interconnectedness of Can’s Ege Bamyasi. While Fetusand Pollution are often considered his masterpieces, Sulle Corde Di Aries remains a hidden gem in Battiato’s catalogue. With more of a cohesive album-feel than the previous records, Sulle Corde Di Ariesslows the pace to take in the sweeping scope of otherworldly sounds and soulful harmonies. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Sulle Corde Di Aries on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.”
“Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer/lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ’70s with three classic LPs — Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries — that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. Pollution from 1972 is the captivating follow-up to Fetus. Like its predecessor, the album features Baroque textures, motorik rhythms, weird tape effects and Battiato’s perfectly oblique vocals. Upon hearing Pollution, Frank Zappa joyfully proclaimed it ‘genius.’ While Battiato’s core group of collaborators remains largely the same as on his debut, this phenomenal band (joined by an eighteen-year-old Roberto Cacciapaglia on keys) appears even more in the foreground on Pollution. Out of the Ash Ra Tempel-like riffs and urgent guitar strumming emerge hypnotic grooves and cinematic flourishes, suggesting a futuristic meeting point between Stereolab and Ennio Morricone. Dedicated to the Centro Internazionale Studi Magnetici, Pollution touches on themes of environmental catastrophe. Futurist allusions seep in through eccentric lyrics (at times sung backwards) about hydraulics, magnetic fields, etc., yet listeners don’t need to speak the artist’s language to grasp his melancholy vision. With Pollution, Battiato solidifies not only his cult figure status, but also many of his forward-thinking ideas on rock ‘n’ roll. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Pollution on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.”
Omaggio ad Einstein has a special place among the many albums of electronic music composed by Piero Umiliani. In this homage to the German physicist, Umiliani subverts the rules of space and time in music and creates an album with 23 compositions, all of them less than two minutes long, instead of following the traditional 7-10 tracks usually present in an LP. This is an original and experimental album, with a peculiar and epic catchiness, tied to Piero Umiliani’s masterful use of synthesizers and great experience in the field of soundtracks. The themes of Omaggio ad Einstein take us to sidereal spaces, wandering across the universe with their clear sounds and wonderfully creative titles (“The Celestial Vault,” “Nuclear Valkyries,” “Galactic Abyss”…). This is the first reissue of this album, which was originally released in 1976 by Umiliani’s Omicron label.
Overdrive present a reissue of Moggi’s (aka Piero Umiliani) Double Face, a hard-to-find Italian library record, originally released in 1981. The A side is Umiliani’s compositions performed by a traditional string orchestra. The tracks have been synthesized for side B, exclusively by electronic instruments. At this point, the music becomes futuristic and brilliant. 180 gram vinyl.
Music From Memory’s final compilation of 2017 sees the release of the double album 1 By 1, which brings together the works of American experimental musician Geoffrey Landers. During a period spanning from 1979 to 1987, this Denver, Colorado based multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer, and engineer conceived several solo albums. Only two of these, The Ever Decimal Pulse (1982) and Habitual Features (1983) along with the single Breedlove (1984) were ever released on vinyl. Being heavily involved in the local industrial/punk/new wave scene and wanting to create a recording studio “available to record artists regardless of their financial circumstances” Landers set up The Packing House Studio in 1981. This analog 8-track recording facility was located in a former slaughterhouse in the stockyards of Denver and was a place of significant activity for the next three years with the studio releasing recordings from numerous artists, most notably Allen Ginsberg. It was here that Geoffrey Landers also started his own aptly named Cauhaus label. Indicative of the underground/DIY culture, “Cauhaus” was a subsidiary of a label called Local Anaesthetics which was started as an in-store label by independent Denver record store Wax Trax. Typically Cauhaus releases were only pressed up in small quantities and independently distributed, making Lander’s music essentially elusive to a wide audience. After relocating in 1984 to an art district of Denver Landers opened the “Cauhaus Institute of Recording” studio where he continued to produce music for soundtracks, art, and multi-media projects for the next three years, after which Landers stepped out of the music industry entirely. He currently creates and exhibits mixed-media glass art. Throughout the twenty tracks of 1 By 1, of which six previously appeared on CD only, Music From Memory are submerged into a wide diversity of musical approaches from Geoffrey Landers. From the proto-house track “Logarithms” and the heart breaking new-wave boogie/funk of “Say You’ll Say So”, to the more contemplative pieces such as the oriental-inspired “Nisei” and the drenched in sunshine dub/reggae track “Mack”, Landers shies away from musical expectations again and again; searching continually for innovative and new forms of expression.
Following 2016’s compilation of archival recordings by Suso Saiz titled Odisea (MFM 009CD/LP), Music From Memory mark their 20th release with an album of new works by the Spanish electronic music pioneer. Recorded in Madrid between January and February 2016, this is Suso Saiz’s first release of new music in nearly ten years. Titled Rainworks, this double LP release was originally part of a commission from a Canary Islands water company. The first ideas for the compositions developed from a documentary that Suso had seen suggesting the possibility of water molecules having their own memory. As Suso himself explains, he became fascinated with the possibility of an eternal being, changing its cyclical condition from solid to gaseous state, travelling through and between the Earth and the Sky, as a witness and keeper of the true history of Earth and Mankind. Suso, his son Emil Saiz, and pianist Raph Killhertz set out to explore this metaphysical process of cyclical movement through music in Rainworks. Developing from the original commissioned tracks into a much more elaborate project, the album’s process became something of a mystical journey, drawing on aspects of minimalism and modernism. The music is also embedded in textured natural soundscapes and spoken word passages which were recorded and processed by Suso himself. Despite having the immediacy of an improvised piece, Rainworks was in entirely composed by Suso. Whilst on one hand it appears very much as an electronic album there are in fact many acoustic elements to the recording. A resonant piano (a grand piano re-amplified using its resonant box and harp to generate effects) as well as guitars (with simple effects) are played in Suso’s inimitable hypnotic way, slowly drawing the listener into a transportive state or lucid dream.