Feature ·

[August 28, 2007] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Each week, we preview a handful of notable albums scheduled to hit the shelves, plus offer a full list of the current new releases.



Aesop Rock

None Shall Pass

Definitive Jux/World's Fair Label Group

Hard to believe it has been four years since emcee/producer Aesop Rock last released a proper full-length (Bazooka Tooth). Yet he remained in light with the help of several tangential projects, notably scoring music for short films (skater and artist Jeremy Fish's Fishtales and the McSweeney's-sponsored Walleyball) and contributing a forty-five-minute continuous body of music to Nike's Original Run series. And patience pays off. With his fifth album, expect more self-reflection and staccato deliveries from undie rap's dream-date. Production is split mostly between Blockhead and Aesop Rock, and peers like Cage, El-P, Breezly Brewin', and even John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats) stop by to lend a hand. Hit up MySpace to stream the whole shebang. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.aesoprock.net

Label: http://www.definitivejux.net/jukies/aesop_rock

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/aesoprockwins 

Angels of Light

We Are Him

Young God

In the annals of American musical geniuses who haven't gotten the widespread accolades they're due, Michael Gira is a mighty figure. He was a major force behind the mega-influential band Swans. Since that band's end, he's had a strong hand in the rise of "freak folk" through his label, Young God. Fellow Young God recording artists Akron/Family served as Gira's backing band on this album. Other guests on We Are Him include journeyman drummer Bill Rieflin (Ministry, R.E.M.), Gira's Swans cohort Christopher Hahn, Julia Kent (one of Antony's Johnsons), Steve Mosis of Lambic, and Larkin Grimm. This is Angels of Light's fifth full-length. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.myspace.com/theangelsoflight

Label: http://www.younggodrecords.com 

Jorge Ben

Forca Bruta [reissue]

Dusty Groove America 

Chicago-based record store Dusty Groove, a long-time force in the mail -order and online-store rare-groove market, recently expanded into record distribution. The company initiated this effort by reissuing several hard-to-find yet highly appropriate and coveted records, like Melvin Jackson's Funky Skull and Dorothy Ashby's overlooked oddity The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby, on CD for the first time. Thankfully, Dusty Groove continues its effort with this 1970 masterpiece by Brazilian star Jorge Ben. The album features one of Ben's famed collaboration with Trio Mocoto, as they experiment with what would become the wildly popular samba-soul style of music. The record may not be the best starting point for new fans, but the reissue makes available a truly necessary musical artifact. ~Dan Nishimoto


Aluminum Lake

Drag City

Concentrick is a side project masterminded by Tim Green, a member of noise-rock outfit the Fucking Champs, and Aluminum Lake is his fourth full-length, and first for Drag City, under that name. Green was previously a member of seminal Washington, D.C., band Nation of Ulysses, and he also runs his own studio, Louder, where he has helped shape albums from the likes of the Melvins, Bratmobile, and Joanna Newsom. Green tones the loudness down a bit with Concentrick, taking the projects sound into more ambient, Eno territory. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://thefuckingchamps.com/enterconcentrick.html

Label: http://www.dragcity.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/therealconcentrick 

The Howling Hex


Drag City

'Tis a big week for Drag City. Not only is the label unleashing the new album from Concentrick, it also has a new full-length from the Howling Hex, the current project of Royal Trux icon Neil Michael Hagerty. At only thirty-three minutes long, XI is the musical equivalent of the hundred-meter dash, but it's also the first Howling Hex album Hagerty has recorded with a full backing band in the studio. That means it also might just be the most coherent work he's done while not one-half of Royal Trux (even at its most "consistent," on Accelerator and Pound for Pound). ~Lee Fullington and John Zeiss



Band: http://http://www.howlinghex.com/

Label: http://http://www.dragcity.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/thehowlinghex

Emily King

East Side Story


She's got youth, she's got pipes, and she's got songs that say "Buck the System." Hard to hate, but twenty-one-year-old singer-songwriter Emily King has already put in her work. Born in cosmo New York City to a pair of jazz singers, she started singing at an early age and began hustling for work at age sixteen. Since meeting producer Chucky Thompson (Bad Boy, particularly Biggie's "One More Chance" and "Big Poppa"), she has traveled the familiar path to a major-label deal and album. Yet in spite of the looks, talent and connections, King would be a (refreshing) surprise hit: to use the parlance of the day, "She's the truth." ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.emilykingonline.com

Label: http://www.jrecords.com/ecard/emilyking

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/emilykingmusic 

Raekwon presents . . . Ice Water

Polluted Water


Damn, Rae, weren't you supposed to be working on an album? Instead you started fucking with the funk, stressing all that hard dope and bling shit. Now you're subjecting us to another "weed carrier collective" joint? On the really real, your team added some meat to your underrated Lex Diamond Story and sound positively backpacker-friendly on the things-dun-changed anthem "Hip-Hop Tribute." Watch as the tension builds for the main event. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.icewatermusic.com

Label: http://www.babygrande.com

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/raekwon 




A band self-titling an album is usually a sign that the music you're going to get in said record is going to be pretty straightforward. Such is reportedly the case with New York noise trio Liars' fourth album. Early buzz has pegged the album as much less experimental than 2004's They Were Wrong, So We Drowned and last year's Drum's Not Dead. Expect more traditional rock moves, such as vocals pushed up in the mix and wailing guitar solos. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://liarsliarsliars.com/

Label: http://www.mute.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/liarsliarsliars


Beat Konducta Vols. 3-4: Beat Konducta in India

Stones Throw

Look, girl, I know he's your man: that you'd bare his children, carry his stash, arrange his Netflix cue, and cook falafel in this heat for him. But you know what this is all about: choppy sample, stutter step, stutter step, stutter step (summarized as non-quantized beat), choppy sample, screeching vocal loop, horn stab, and weed reference. All of which means: more breaks, disco, rock 'n' roll! ~Dan Nishimoto


Artist: http://www.stonesthrow.com/madlib

New Buffalo

Somewhere, anywhere

Arts and Crafts

Add New Buffalo to the list of female singer-songwriters who perform under assumed band names (see also: recent releases from St. Vincent and Tiny Vipers). This is the second full-length from Melbourne-based Sally Seltmann under that moniker. Seltmann, who co-wrote "1234" for Feist's Let It Die, recorded and produced the album herself in a small coastal Australian town, and she wrote the record's songs on a piano that has been in her family for more than a century. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.newbuffalo.net/

Label: http://www.arts-crafts.ca/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/newbuffalomusic

"Cheer Me Up Thank You" video: http://www.prefixmag.com/blog/video-new-buffalo-cheer-me-up-thank-you/6896

No Age

Weirdo Rippers

Fat Cat

Here's an album that happens to prove how pointless "official release dates" are in our digital age. The songs on Weirdo Rippers originally appeared on vinyl releases that came out on different labels last year, and many of the tracks have been available online for quite a while. So should you still spend your hard-earned money on the album? If you like noise punk you should. Randy Randall and Dean Spunt practice art-rock in more than just the musical sense: They're involved with the Los Angeles fringe-art scene and have a hand in running the venue the Smell. Weirdo Rippers consists of short bursts of songs, ranging from the surf-rock-on-speed sounds of "Boy Void," to the Ride/Husker Du-like space rock of "Every Artist Needs a Tragedy," to the jagged, lo-fi indie of "Everybody's Down" and "Neck Escaper." ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.myspace.com/nonoage

Label: http://fat-cat.co.uk/

Northern State

Can I Have This Pen?


Strong Island, stand up! Sixth-borough native Gabby Glaser kicked off summer 2007 with her solo debut (Gimme Splash, in June), and now tag-trio Northern State arrive with its third drop to cap off the season. The group no longer sings on behalf of the Columbia Records machine, instead going independent with Mike Patton's quirks 'r' us Ipecac. Producers Chuck Brody (Shitake Monkey) and Adrock (Beastie Boys) join the proceedings, but expect more of the group's knuckles-up, chic(k)-friendly choons to cap off another summer. ~Dan Nishimoto



Band: http://www.northernstate.net

Label: http://www.ipecac.com

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/northernstate 

Sly & the Family Stone

Greatest Hits


Epic/Legacy appropriately caps off a year of Sly & the Family Stone reissues with the band's original 1970 Greatest Hits compilation. While the reissue includes no uncovered bonus tracks, simply new mastering and additional liner notes (by Aidin Vaziri), the record remains a fascinating document of the group's popularity. It collects chart-topping hits from a short period of time (1968-70) in the genre- and race-bending group's career. And it also features two non-album hit singles, "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." Released just after the group's star turn at Woodstock, this collection functioned as both a way to tide fans over until the next album (1971's masterpiece There's a Riot Goin' On), as well as testify on behalf of the group's place in history. ~Dan Nishimoto

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.

Editors - Show Review (The Pontiac Garage, Hollywood) Battles Show Review (Studio B, Brooklyn)
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