On The Turntable: Performing Ferret Band June 21 2017
Originally released out of the UK on the band's own Pig Productions label in 1981, Performing Ferret Band's sole LP finally sees a proper reissue in its entirety. This record stands alone as perhaps the finest self-released vinyl full-length to emerge from the golden era of the late '70s/early '80s UK DIY movement. It certainly best exemplifies that primal porridge of rock, folk and experimental dole-queue-inspired genius – utilizing the lowest-tech instrumentation by default, which defines the DIY genre to this day.
The Ferrets LP uses a bare-bones electrified approach to create a spare, arid sound that draws the listener in with a sort of trembling anticipation akin to reading the next page of a stranger's diary. There is also that dash of daft music hall humor that runs deeply through much of the best British music of the last half-century. The band themselves credit influences from Captain Beefheart and The Velvet Underground.
This album fully deserves its legendary cult status, and this reissue should properly elevate the band's rep up there with fellow travelers such as The Desperate Bicycles, Television Personalities and The Good Missionaries. Mark E. Smith was apparently an enthusiastic fan as well, which is the toughest-earned recommendation one could hope to receive.
Limited edition of 500 copies includes insert with the band's story, photos and memorabilia.
On The Turntable: Yoko Ono June 19 2017
In the early '70s Yoko Ono was at the height of her musical powers, yet still maligned by post-Beatles controversies. Defying her critics, she created three albums of visionary beauty.
Fly, Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling The Space feature scorching primitive blues, motorik grooves and haunting ballads. The perfect marriage of Fluxus strategies and Ono's singular voice that exemplifies the power, resilience and utter cool of one of the most unique figures in music.
Out of print on vinyl for decades, it is great to see these essential records available again.
On The Turntable: Charlemagne Palestine June 12 2017
Since the 1960s, Charlemagne Palestine has been one of the seminal figures of American minimalism. His works for piano, voice, electronics and carillon remain vital performance-driven compositions through hypnotic chant and trance-inducing tones.
In 1974 Ileana Sonnabend commissioned the composer to create an album in celebration of the opening of her Soho gallery, and Palestine embarked on a series of recordings at Swarthmore College.
Now, over 40 years later, Alga Marghen presents Arpeggiated Bosendorfer + Falsetto Voice for the first time.
On The Turntable: Keiji Haino's Watashi Dake? June 07 2017
Since the late '70s Keiji Haino has stood as figurehead for Japan's improv community, as black-clad psychedelic shaman with his signature incendiary guitar work and impassioned vocalizations.
Haino's debut album Watashi Dake?, originally released in 1981 on the legendary Pinakotheca label, was first heard by only a select few in Japan and far fewer overseas. Original copies have become impossibly rare and highly sought after the world over.
Black Editions' reissue, featuring metallic gold and silver artwork, is the first time that this avant-garde classic has been available on vinyl since its initial release.
On The Turntable: Stax Records June 02 2017
Founded in the late 1950s, Stax Records is synonymous with Southern soul music. Among the many artists who scored hits on Stax during the '60s were Rufus and Carla Thomas, Booker T. & The MGs, Sam & Dave, Albert King and Otis Redding.
Stax Records is critical in American music history as it’s one of the most popular soul labels of all time – second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, stripped-down music.
In celebrating their sixth decade, Stax has reprised their relationship with Atlantic Records to reissue many of these treasured albums from their acclaimed catalogue.
Upcoming Event: Jim Jocoy Book Signing May 19 2017
Celebrating the release of Jim Jocoy's latest book, Order Of Appearance (published by TBW Books), Stranded hosts this special event with the photographer who will be signing books and talking about the late '70s SF underground music scene.
"The eye of Jim Jocoy finds beauty in the wild. His photography is always in service to the magic of the devious iconoclast, exhibiting dignity to the outriders." – Thurston Moore
Sunday June 11th, 3pm
Free and all ages!
1055 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
On The Turntable: Swans' Great Annihilator May 19 2017
In 1995, Swans concluded a chapter to their storied career with The Great Annihilator. Throughout the '90s, Swans brought a baroque density to their constant crescendos of noise, riff and drone through a series of albums that culminated in this particular album. Two years after the release of this album, the band ceased activities for close to fifteen years.
The signature, militant goose step rhythms remain as punishing as ever, subjected to an all-encompassing swarm of buzz-saw guitar, bass and keyboard drones. The interlocking vocals of Michael Gira and Jarboe adeptly counter the jagged fury of the multiple guitar arsenals. For the 2017 reissue, The Great Annihilator has been entirely remastered from recently discovered unmastered session mixes.
Gira describes the discovery as "a revelation of great sonic effect."
Terry Riley is easily one of our all-time favorite composers. It's with great excitement that some of his exquisite '70s recordings are made available again on vinyl.
Persian Surgery Dervishes, originally released on Shandar in 1972, is (rightfully so) one of the most sought-after records in his catalogue. This double LP features improvisations for solo electric organ, steeped in North Indian classical tradition, yet coming from a majestic world all Riley's own. Absolutely essential.
"Music is my spiritual path. It's my way of finding out who I am." – Terry Riley
On The Turntable: Can Singles May 15 2017
The Singles is a newly minted, triple LP anthology that traces Can's esteemed history through all of their singles released between 1967 and 1990.
Beloved songs such as "Vitamin C," "Mushroom" and "She Brings The Rain" are featured alongside the more obscure tracks such as "Silent Night" and "Turtles Have Short Legs." The latter was released in 1971 (from the Tago Mago sessions) and never appeared on a studio album.
Once again, Can reaffirm their status as one of the greatest Kosmische bands.
On The Turntable: Alice Coltrane May 01 2017
The transcendent music of Alice Coltrane resonates deeper with each passing year. Through impressive releases on the Impulse! label in the late '60s and '70s, Coltrane has become one of the key figures in spiritually-aligned jazz. Even ten years after her death in 2007, Alice's legacy has retained its vital life-force largely because her music is informed by an elusive devotional mystique, which only grew stronger when the pianist/harpist retired to her Ashram outside of Los Angeles in the late '70s.
Luaka Bop's new series World Spirituality Classics focuses on this later period of Coltrane's work. The first title in the series – culled from cassettes recorded between 1982 and 1995 and originally only sold direct through the Ashram – immerses the listener instantly in the communal vibe mid-ritual. Ever-quickening clouds of jubilant group chants, hand-claps and warm synthesizers gradually unfold into Vedic hymns and soulful harmonies.
The real revelation here is Alice's solo voice, as this is the first time that she sings in her recorded catalogue. Coltrane's hypnotic vocalizations are at once understated and held back, yet insistent and passionate. While mostly featuring later compositions, the record also includes an incredible revisiting of her best known piece, "Journey In Satchidananda," which starts off as a long processional and slowly opens up into a beautifully sonorous chorus.
Alice Coltrane's music is steeped in both gospel and Hindu traditions, but transmitted as if beamed from outer space. Ecstatic music, indeed.
On The Turntable: Eremite April 14 2017
On the turntable this week, we have a couple of great records from our friends at Eremite.
The latest from Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, Simultonality strips from minimalism any sheen of academic sterility and returns it to the source, delivered by a furious motorik beat.
Then we got Byron Morris & Gerald Wise's Unity, a private-press free jazz LP recorded in 1969 at Howard University, which features Byard Lancaster. It's already sold out at the distributor, so you better act fast.
On The Turntable: Flying Saucer Attack March 17 2017
Dave Pearce began his adventures in homespun shoegaze / drone-rock releases back in 1993 under the moniker Flying Saucer Attack with a series of releases on his own FSA Records, based out of Bristol, England.
The eponymous record is alternately titled "Rural Psychedelia" given that charmed epithet graced the back cover of the album. Pearce and company alternate between two complementary songwriting strategies. The more explosive and intense tracks build around the primordial post-VU drone-rock minimalism with surges of Jesus And Mary Chain blasts of noise that punctuate the chorus or a chord change. The iconic "My Dreaming Hill" and the outstanding cover the Suede's "The Drowners" belong to this camp of cracked art-drone-pop genius. In their more exploratory guise, FSA will set forth long drifts of tranced-out feedback and cavernous guitar drone with hypnotic rhythms that look back to the transcendent works of Amon Duul's first hippie incarnation and the Popol Vuh soundtracks. In fact two of these tracks give direct nods in the instrumental tracks "Popol Vuh 1" and "Popol Vuh 2." Still sounds so goddamn good after all these years.
Distance was first compiled back in 1994 as a collection of five tracks from the first three FSA singles with three tracks recorded during those same sessions. Those early self-published singles had quickly gone out of print, making this a necessity. These tracks follow the same dual track course laid down on the first record, with ungrounded echoplex bleariness set next to noise pop liberated through blown out Xpressway grit and shambolic radioluminescence. The punk throttle basslines that Rachel Brook gives to the FSA probably don't get due credit for providing the urgency for tracks like "Standing Stone" and "Soaring High," but these two tracks in particular highlight her influence on the FSA sound. It's still Pearce's chiming hypno-drone guitar that is center stage, dripping with a deep British folk melancholy that has been hot-wired and fried through a drugged-out noise not even Spacemen 3 had dreamed of.
First-time domestic release of these stellar albums on vinyl.
On The Turntable: The Morning Glory December 20 2016
The Morning Glory have a backstory that is almost too good: three teenagers from The Bronx and Harlem in that heady year of 1966, a mafia associate named Salvatore and an ill-timed heroin bust. It's the kind of quintessentially New York tale that could easily have been a plot point left on the cutting room floor of Scorsese's Mean Streets. Of course, none of this would be anything more than a good yarn to spin if the music didn't pass muster. Fortunately for us, it does.
Check out our review right here.
December Newsletter December 12 2016
So many cool records in the shop right now ... We got the new Kleenex / LiLiPUT double LP comp, The Caretaker's latest album, guitarist Rob Noyes' debut on Poon Village (with cover by Raymond Pettibon), totally essential reissues of Slapp Happy, Mor Thiam and Tommy Jay and an archival release of Harry Bertoia's glistening sound sculptures.
Also, don't forget to pre-order our Ennio Morricone LP. First 500 copies on color vinyl (mail-order exclusive).
Check here for more reviews and restocks.
On The Turntable: Autechre October 24 2016
Autechre is the pioneering experimental electronic duo of Sean Booth and Rob Brown who began their illustrious career of algorithmic abstraction as teenagers in their hometown of Manchester in the late '80s. Hip hop, acid trax, breakdancing, hardcore techno and Miami bass were equal influences for these precocious lads.
After a couple of false starts in the early '90s, Autechre emerged fully-formed as a dynamic presence for the nascent Warp Records. At this time, Warp championed the supple techno and acid breakbeat portent of Tricky Disco, Sweet Exorcist, LFO and Nightmares On Wax. The 1992 compilation Artificial Intelligence was the first introduction to many of the artists who would become the icons of abstract electronic music throughout the late '90s and into the new millennium. Richard James / Aphex Twin, Alex Patterson of The Orb, and Richie Hawtin all appeared on this compilation alongside Autechre, albeit under different guises.
With UK dance machine churning out compilations of faceless techno and acid house, Artificial Intelligence was markedly different in its radical pursuit of an electronic signature that didn't necessarily have to align with the dancefloor. The infamous genre descriptor Intelligent Dance Music came directly from this compilation marked by darkly playful experiments and cerebral riddles. Autechre, like Aphex Twin, distanced themselves from the IDM tag, yet Autechre were at the center of this research and development – producing one of the few bodies of work from the era that easily stands the test of time.
Across Incunabula, Amber, and Tri Repetae, Autechre tangle the vectors of dissonance, rhythmic eccentricities and cybernetic ambience with in unpredictably brilliant and uncompromisingly complex avenues.
Check out our reviews right here.
New Reviews: Yoko Ono, Joanna Brouk And More October 10 2016
We're super excited about the Yoko Ono reissue project on Secretly Canadian. The series kicks off with three important albums – featuring Ono's inimitable voice – that have been out-of-print for far too long.
Plus, this week we listed some of our favorite LPs from inventive musicians/composers who just so happen to also be women (because let's face it, men often get too much credit) including Daniela Casa, Eliane Radigue, Grouper, Cate Le Bon, Alice Coltrane, Ellen Fullman, Joanna Brouk, Puce Mary and Circuit Des Yeux. Too many records to choose from!
On The Turntable: Sublime Frequencies October 04 2016
This week we're featuring one of our favorite labels of global esoterica.
Sublime Frequencies began in 2003 under the curatorial helm of Alan Bishop and Hisham Mayet (along with a team of like-minded investigators) to celebrate cultural forms little known in the Western world.
If it wasn't for Sublime Frequencies, much of this amazing music may have otherwise been buried.
Long live Sublime Frequencies!
Check out our reviews right here.
On The Turntable: Jack Rose September 19 2016
This week we're psyched to highlight the long-awaited Jack Rose reissue series.
Rose created a prolific body of work before tragically passing away in 2009. Pivotal in reviving the introspective folk-blues-raga meditations of the Fahey school, Rose would reframe the solo guitar legacy for new audiences with his powerfully soulful performances.
Thankfully, VHF and Three Lobed have done a great service in reissuing these gems on vinyl.
Check out our reviews right here.
Oakland Store Moving September 15 2016
We're excited to announce that our Oakland store is moving! We found the perfect spot located off of Piedmont Avenue – right next door to our friends at Issues. Our new address will be 14 Glen Avenue in Oakland.
Our current Oakland location (4929 Telegraph) is open through Tuesday September 27th.
Stranded Oakland will then re-open on Saturday October 1st at our new East Bay digs.
The shop in SF will be open regular hours during the move.
New Reviews: Nick Cave, Roy Montgomery And More September 09 2016
A lil late getting this out today ... Like everyone else we were at the Nick Cave movie last night. It's beautifully shot and extremely touching. If you haven't checked it out, we highly recommended seeing it. We reviewed the record below, which came out today and is amazing.
This week our friends at Grapefruit sent us a promo of the upcoming Roy Montgomery box. It's epic so we wrote an appropriately sized review. Roy never ceases to amaze ... Also this week, we reviewed the latest Cass McCombs album – new label and another great record. Can't stop spinning this one in the shop.
Enjoy the reviews. Keep on listening!
Hello from San Francisco August 09 2016
We are excited to announce that Stranded has opened a new storefront in the former location of Aquarius Records. Stranded is the retail arm of the archival label Superior Viaduct. Some of our releases include Suicide, The Fall, Tony Conrad, Devo, Charles Mingus, Alice Coltrane and many more.
Those of you who have been regular AQ customers will be happy to know that the same folks who helped run this SF institution for many years are still here – behind the counter and laptops.
The new shop brings with it a fresh coat of paint, custom-made furniture, a lot of new and used records and a re-designed website. Continuing in AQ's tradition, we're going to review as many titles each week as possible.
You can expect a weekly email that features releases we love and upcoming titles you can pre-order.
So please make yourselves comfortable, check out the site, and let us know what you think.
Grand Opening Weekend July 30 2016
John Olson (Wolf Eyes) reading from Life Is A Rip Off and then ripping solo improv sax.