Various Artists: Christians Catch Hell: Gospel Roots 1976-79

Producer and label owner Henry Stone, who passed away last August at the age of 93, was the kind of mythic record label executive who turns up midway through music biopics, or as the “other guy” in countless photos of famous artists. He regularly shared cognac at his house with James Brown; he recorded a young Ray Charles; he singlehandedly put Miami on the map with his early ’70s label TK Records; and made a star of a worker in his warehouse named Harry Wayne Casey, whose KC & the Sunshine band scored disco hits like “That’s The …read more

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The Spook School: Try to Be Hopeful

Edinburgh quartet the Spook School take their name from another group of four, a late 19th Century sect of the Glasgow School of Art who were given the nickname after the critically unpopular ghostly figures in their work. Later, their style helped inspire Art Nouveau, and thus the underdogs became the influencers. It is an appropriate title for a theatrical indie pop band that embraces life’s misinterpretations and messiness, and their message has never been more apparent than on their sophomore record Try to Be Hopeful. Although it was still a defining theme on their 2013 …read more

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Harmonia / Harmonia & Eno ’76: Complete Works

Digging into the music of Can, Neu!, Cluster, and early Kraftwerk has become a record-collector rite of passage, but during the early ’70s, when these bands were in their most active and exploratory years, very few people knew this music existed. Of the many German bands from the period that would later be called “krautrock”, Harmonia, though ostensibly a “supergroup,” were among the most obscure. Comprised of Dieter Möbius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius of astral synth explorers Cluster and guitarist Michael Rother of Neu!, Harmonia was less a band than a two-year-long Iron John retreat, with electronics …read more

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Archy Marshall: A New Place 2 Drown

Since releasing his first single as Zoo Kid in 2010, the Londoner Archy Marshall has treated his creative output like loose change spilled into couch cushions. He’s released hip-hop mixtapes, ambient instrumentals, and remixes of other acts’ songs; only some of his output has been under the name King Krule, the moniker he settled on for his 2013 debut full-length, meaning it’s flown beneath the radar of casual music fans who were stunned by 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. The work of tracking what he does now has fallen to hardcore faithful, which seems like …read more

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