Feature ·

[June 19, 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.



Acid Mothers Temple

Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo

Ace Fu

This is one prolific Japanese psych-rock collective -- the band just released Crystal Pyramid Rainbow Under the Stars at the end of May. Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo is Acid Mothers Temple's third album for Ace Fu and "twenty-something-th in general," according to the label. The album is an hour-plus slow-burning take on the traditional Daimoku Buddhist chant that gives it its title, utilizing diverse instrumentation including glockenspiel, hurdy-gurdy, sarangi, and tambura. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.acidmothers.com/

Label: http://www.acefu.com/ 

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

The Aliens

Astronomy for Dogs

Pet Rock/EMI

The Aliens is the latest project by ex-Beta Band members John Maclean and Robin Jones. The band is rounded out by Gordon Anderson, who was briefly a Beta at the band's inception and may be better known under the moniker Lone Pigeon, which he's been using to make music for a while now. The Beta Band never really seemed to garner as much attention in the States as it did in the members' native Scotland, so it will be interesting to see what fate befalls the Aliens on this side of the Atlantic. Although similar, opener "Setting Sun" is not a cover of the Chemical Brothers' classic of the same name. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://thealiens.musicblog.co.uk/

Label: http://www.emigroup.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/thealiens1  




The ladies of Amiina first made a name for themselves as the backing orchestra for fellow Icelandic artistes Sigur Ros. Now they're becoming known as "that band that plays a lot of wacky instruments." Like drinking glasses. Seriously. Kurr, an Icelandic word meaning "cooing," is the group's debut album. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.amiina.com/

Label: http://www.everrecords.com/

Audio: http://www.everrecords.com/  

Arthur and Yu

In Camera

Hardly Art

Arthur and Yu get the nice honor of having the first album to be released by Sub Pop spin-off Hardly Art. Like a lot of other indie kids with tricky names, Arthur and Yu is a duo that contains no members named either Arthur or Yu. Instead, the twofer comprises Grant Olsen and Sonya Westcott. Olsen and Westcott, who were among the many collaborators on Dntel's Dumb Luck (released by Sub Pop in April), cite the Velvet Underground and Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra as hallmarks for their sound, so fans of Dean and Britta should find plenty to love here. The duo must have a soft spot for Neil Young as well, given the name of the first song to be released off In Camera (see the MP3 link below). ~John Zeiss



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

Label: http://www.hardlyart.com/

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

"Come to View (Song for Neil Young)" MP3: http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/come_to_view.mp3  



Stones Throw

As if the Tortoise boys don't have enough to do with their main post-rock outfit and various other side projects, three of them have gone ahead and formed Bumps. That trio would be drummer extraordinaire John McEntire and instrumentalists Dan Bitney and John Herndon. The album is being released on Stones Throw, the L.A.-based hip-hop label run by Peanut Butter Wolf. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.stonesthrow.com/bumps/

Label: http://www.stonesthrow.com/

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

The Cinematic Orchestra

Ma Fleur


The close relationship between the moving image and music has scarcely escaped Jason Swinscoe. The founder and head of the aptly named Cinematic Orchestra, Swinscoe often uses film and visual narrative as a guideline for composing music. Though his explorations have not resulted in the most dynamic or innovative music, his projects (conventional terms such as "album" or "song" do not fully describe Cinematic Orchestra's work) demonstrate the importance of complete context; after performing a newly commissioned score for Dziga Vertov's landmark silent film, Man with a Movie Camera, the group received a ten-minute standing ovation. Continuing to explore artistic process, Swinscoe collaborated with a screenwriter on his fifth album, Ma Fleur. The two traded song and script ideas over several months, gradually molding a "score" to an unmade film that promises to be one of the group's most narrative-driven works to date. Continuing the spirit of collaboration, guests were also invited to lay down vocals; of note, Fontella Bass (the magnificent voice behind "Rescue Me" and past Art Ensemble of Chicago collaborator), in spite of a recent stroke, reprises her previous Orchestra contribution. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.cinematicorchestra.com/

Label: http://www.dominorecordco.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/thecinematicorchestra1  




Digitalism is the European dance duo signed to Astralwerks that isn't Air. The label describes Digitalism thusly: "If Franz Ferdinand make rock music that girls could dance to, Digitalism make electronic music that everyone can rock out to." Ismail Tuefekci and Jens Moelle, who hale from Hamburg, Germany, have done recent remix work for the likes of the Klaxons, the Futureheads, and Tom Vek. Idealism is their first full-length. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.thedigitalism.com/

Label: http://www.astralwerks.com/

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

"Pogo" video: http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/astralwerks/digitalism/digialism_pogo_hi.asx  


The Daily News

Soul Thought

Considering Donnie's pedigree, you could easily think the young man had been born with a soultastic silver spoon in his mouth. As a child growing up in Atlanta, he was immersed in strong gospel vocal traditions and attended church with his late cousin Marvin Gaye. As a burgeoning artist, he was bred out of Atlanta's fertile soul scene, the same that developed India.arie and Joi; that same connection also helped give him his first major-record-label attention. However, as he demonstrated on his 2002 debut, The Colored Section, Donnie is one of the rare artists to live up to his prestigious upbringing. An astonishing mixture of raw, old-school shouts, new-school smoothness, and funky songwriting chops, Donnie proved a worthy candidate to lead a new generation of soul. Finally, he follows up that auspicious debut with the topically focused The Daily News. Once again, Donnie turns to his elders (veterans from Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson's and Stevie Wonder's bands) for support. More important, he embraces the unapologetic activist spirit of the '70s and explores/explodes current social ills, from child molestation to the U.S. government's disaffection with citizens of color. ~Dan Nishimoto



Artist: http://www.myspace.com/donniemusic 


The Sun

Temporary Residence

When Kieran Hebden's not making music as Four Tet or collaborating with some other high-profile artist, he's apparently getting back together with his influential first band. Such is the case with Fridge. The band is a trio with drummer Sam Jeffers and bassist Adem Ilhan (who releases records under his own first name) joining Hebden. Fridge's most recent release was 2001's Happiness. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.brainwashed.com/fridge

Label: http://www.temporaryresidence.com/

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

"Eyelids" MP3: http://www.temporaryresidence.com/mp3s/fridge_eyelids.mp3  

Jennifer Gentle

The Midnight Room

Sub Pop

There's actually not much gentle about Jennifer Gentle. The Italian band plays jarring psych rock that sounds like it would've been the perfect soundtrack for the short-lived HBO series Carnivale. This is the band's second album for Seattle's Sub Pop. It was recorded solely by band member Marco Fasolo, who fleshes out Jennifer Gentle with fellow musicians when the group plays live. Here's a note on the album directly from the label: "Marco wrote, performed, and produced the entire new album alone in his Ectoplasmic Studio, a rambling old house lost in the foggy plains of Northern Italy, infamous for its previous owner's suicide by rifle." Enough said. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.jennifergentle.it/

Label: http://www.subpop.com/

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

"Electric Princes" MP3: http://www.subpop.com/assets/audio/3294.mp3  

The Ghost Is Dancing

The Darkest Spark

Sonic Unyon

Canadian? Check. A sprawling collective with many members? Check. Therefore, a whole bunch of hipness right now? Check. Gimmicky or no, the Ghost Is Dancing makes some pretty fine music on its debut. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.theghostisdancing.com/

Label (with album stream): http://www.sonicunyon.com/ecards/suncd115/index.html

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

Lightning Dust

Lightning Dust


Can lightning really cause dust? I always thought it caused glass if it struck sand. Regardless, Joshua Wells and Amber Webber of Black Mountain have struck up Lightning Dust as a side project. On their debut, the music takes on a lighter, simpler approach than the soaring space rock of their main band. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.lightningdust.com/

Label: http://www.jagjaguwar.com/

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

"Listened On" MP3: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/jag/listenedon.mp3 


Inventions for the New Season

Temporary Residence       

From single-minded prolific artists like Rob Crow and Cex to a reunited Fridge (also releasing a new album this week) to drone-rock bands like Explosions in the Sky and the Drift, Temporary Residence brings it on a pretty regular basis. The new album from Maserati is another jewel in the label's crown. This is the band's first new album in four years. The label sites Pink Floyd, Krautrock, and action-film scores as hallmarks for the album's sound, and I'd add Trans Am to that list. On Inventions, drummer Gerhardt Fuchs joins the band; he's also manned the skins for the likes of !!! and LCD Soundsystem. ~John Zeiss



Band: http://www.ihaveadagger.net/

Label: http://www.temporaryresidence.com/

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

"The World Outside" MP3: http://www.temporaryresidence.com/mp3s/maserati_theworldoutside.mp3

16 Volt: Fullblackhabit (Metropolis)
Acid Mothers Temple: Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo (Ace Fu)
The Aliens: Astronomy for Dogs (EMI)
Amiina: Kurr (Ever)
Art Brut: It's a Bit Complicated (Downtown)
Artanker Convoy: Cozy Endings (The Social Registry)
Arthur & Yu: In Camera 
Begushkin: Nightly Things (Locust)
Besieged: Atlantis (Blood & Ink)
Boom Bip: Sacchrilege EP (Lex)
Bumps: Bumps (Stones Throw)
Burning Brides: Hang Love 
Chrisette Michele: I Am (Def Jam)
Chromeo: Fancy Footwork (Vice)
CPC Gangbangs: Mutilation Nation (Swami)
David Vandervelde: Nothin' No (Secretly Canadian)
Digitalism: Idealism (Astralwerks)
Dimitri from Paris: Cocktail Disco [LP, Pt. A] (BBE)
Donnie: The Daily News (SoulThought Entertainment)
Ellen Allien: Fabric 34 (Fabric)
Fridge: Sun (Temporary Residence)
The Hackensaw Boys: Look Out (Nettwerk)
The Hentchmen/Jack White: Hentch Forth Five 
Glorior Belli: Manifesting the Raging Beast (Southern Lord)
Huey: Notebook Paper (Jive)
Jennifer Gentle: Midnight Room (Sub Pop)
Joe Shithead Keithley: Band of Rebels (Sudden Death)
John Lennon: Very Best of John Lennon (Capitol)
Kenna: Make Sure They See My Face (Interscope)
Kenny Burrell: 75th Birthday Bash Live! (Blue Note)
Kinky: Rarities (Sonic360)
Kool & The Gang: Forever Gold (St. Clair)
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo: Wanted: Dead or Alive (Traffic Ent.)
Lifehouse: Who We Are (Geffen)
Lil Boosie: Bad Azz Mixtape, Vol. 2 (BCD Music Group)
The Lovetones: Axiom (Tee Pee)
Mandy Moore: Wild Hope (Firm Music)
Maps: We Can Create (Mute U.S.)
Maserati: Inventions for the New Season (Temporary Residence)
Master Ace: Take a Look Around (Traffic Ent.)
matt pond PA: If You Want Blood (Altitude)
Memphis: Little Place in the Wilderness (Arts & Crafts)
Minus Story: My Ion Truss (Jagjaguwar)
Misha: Teardrop Sweetheart (Tomlab)
Nouvelle Vague: New Wave (District 6)
Oxbow: Narcotic Story (Hydrahead)
Papa Roach: Paramour Sessions (Geffen)
Poison Pen: Pick Your Poison: The Mark of the East (Spire Candidate)
The Polyphonic Spree: Fragile Army (TVT)
Raheem Jamal: Boombox (Brick)
Robert Forster/Grant McLennan: Intermission: The Best of the Solo Recordings 1990 (Beggars Banquet)
Rondo Brothers: Seven Minutes to Midnight 
Savath + Savalas: Golden Pollen (Anti)
Shop Boyz: Rockstar Mentality (Republic)
Sir Richard Bishop: While My Guitar Violently Bleeds (Locust)
Specimen: Electric Ballroom (Metropolis)
Stateless: Stateless (K7)
Tomahawk: Anonymous (Ipecac)
Total Science: Breakbeat Science: Exercise 6 (Breakbeat Science)
Tragedy Khadafi: Death of Tragedy (Traffic Ent.)
Two Gallants: Scenery of Farewell (Saddle Creek)
Van Morrison: The Best of Van Morrison Volume 3 (Manhattan/EMI)
Various Artists: Chrome Children, Vol. 2 (Stones Throw)
Velvet Revolver: Melody & Tyranny (Sony / Bmg Import)
Videohippos: Unbeast the Leash (Monitor)
Von Spar: Von Spar (Tomlab)
Von Südenfed: Tromatic Reflexxions (Domino)
The White Stripes: Icky Thump (Warner Bros.)
Xavier Rudd: White Moth (Anti)
Yarrows: Plum (Empyrean)

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

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