Caravan - Waterloo Lily (1972)

Caravan - Waterloo Lily (1972)

Aside from a couple of Caravan compilations and 1 proper studio album, 1970’s “If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You”, I’m a complete Caravan and to be fair, “Canterbury Sound” novice.

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Curve - Come Clean (1998)

Curve - Come Clean (1998)

Take Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine”, give it a bit more edge ala The Prodigy, then add Toni Halliday’s calm but devastating vocals into the mix.

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Damien - The Boy Who Drew Cats (2023)

Damien - The Boy Who Drew Cats (2023)

This stonkingly great 6 Track, mini-album comes from the remnants of the incredible band Low. Led by Alan Sparhawk, and joined by his son Cyrus, this music could not be any further away from Low’s remarkable musical legacy.

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T.Rex - Electric Warrior (1971)

T.Rex - Electric Warrior (1971)

It must be said, grand kids and audio equipment are not in any way compatible. Usually I have just my single black box, NAD C700 amp/streamer, Theophany speakers (woofers and tweeters - which are well protected by metal) and concealed sub, in the lounge.

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GracieHorse - L.A. Shit (2023)

GracieHorse - L.A. Shit (2023)

Sometimes country music can be right up on top of my “this-genre-ain’t-for-me” list, along with some god awful Jazz. While this is most definitely a country album, it doesn’t even come close to making that list.

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Various Artists - English Weather (2017)

Various Artists - English Weather (2017)

Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present English Weather. The autumnal sound of Britain at the turn of the 70’s, looking out through wet wind panes to a new decade with a mixture of melancholy and optimism to what might come next.

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Mako Road - The Great Superintendent {EP} (2018)

Mako Road - The Great Superintendent {EP} (2018)

As Kiwi as Bro! This is a sensational six track EP release from Christchurch-based Mako Road. I first heard this on “A Sonic Youth” podcast (my firm favourite for better-than-decent new and re-discovered music) A band that has truly flown under the radar.

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Ioapok - Oisolün (2023)

Ioapok - Oisolün (2023)

Quite a strange trip this evening. This French outfit play a progressive type of jazz and rock music. Listening ecxlusively on headphones and DAC, its quite an emersive experiece.

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Sublime - Sublime (1996)

Sublime - Sublime (1996)

I know absolutely nothing about Sublime. I always thought they were just another stoner, spliff-toting, skateboard pretenders. How wrong was I.

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Hole - Celebrity Skin (1998)

Hole - Celebrity Skin (1998)

Hole’s second record, 1994’s “Live Through This” remains one of my top album contenders across any genre. While it’s peak grunge, it still has one of the highest, and surely not legal, quotas of hooks possible on a single record.

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Can - Live in Cuxhaven 1976 (2021)

Can - Live in Cuxhaven 1976 (2021)

This recording is as close to improvisational “free” jazz as I’m willing to ever venture. Can never just play their last record, they deconstruct, reconstruct or completely destroy it at every opportunity.

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Cloudboy - Down at the end of the Garden (2001)

Cloudboy - Down at the end of the Garden (2001)

My second and only other RSD purchase was this little gem from Dunedin’s, now long-defunct, Cloudboy. While I didn’t know anything about this record, or the musicians involved, it was a record they were running out of around the country very quickly.

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Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (2005)

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (2005)

Coming up to it’s second decade, this incendiary debut album from London-based Quartet, Bloc Party, is refreshingly “rock”. No fancy keyboards or unnessecary embellishments, this is just a slam of guitars, bass and drums and some vitriolic vocals from Kele Okereke.

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The Stranglers - Feline (1983)

The Stranglers - Feline (1983)

The Stranglers were always outliers, probably before the term was even in the common vernacular. Their first two records were right in the thick of the punk ethos but strangely dissimilar to anything else.

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Echo & The Bunnymen - Siberia (2005)

Echo & The Bunnymen - Siberia (2005)

Unlike the Cure’s later, post 1992’s “Wish” albums, the Bunnymen HAVE continued to make great records. While The Cure re-peddle their magnificent back catalogue, Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant have managed to be creative and sound as fresh as those early days.

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The Who - The Who Sell Out (1967)

The Who - The Who Sell Out (1967)

This 2022 half-speed-mastered, repress of The Who’s 3rd record sounds ridiculously good. Entwistle’s bass guitar especially comes to the fore but there’s amazing staging of all instruments.

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Goldfrapp - Supernature (2006)

Goldfrapp - Supernature (2006)

Another great Alison Goldfrapp/Will Gregory Collaboration. There’s no end to the talent of these two. While nothing will improve on my first exposure, this is one slick record.

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Trees Speak - Mind Maze (2023)

Trees Speak - Mind Maze (2023)

Another all instrumental release from Tuscon’s best avant-garde, neo-psychedelic, Miles Davis Bitches Brew-era protagonists. Absolutely made for vinyl, there’s no other way to replicate and consume their retro-70’s schtick.

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Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain (2000)

Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain (2000)

Wow! This ain’t rock’n’roll, this is an electro-cabaret masterpiece. Tricky prodigy Alison Goldfrapp, croons like Liza Minelli, yodels like Melanie Oesch, and whistles like Roger Whitaker.

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Kirsten Edkins - Art & Soul (2015)

Kirsten Edkins - Art & Soul (2015)

I didn’t know anything about this recording before playing this via Tidal this evening. As the reveiw states “Saxophonist Kirsten Edkins delivers a delightful and charming batch of mainstream jazz with her engaging and exuberant debut Art & Soul.

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Asobi Seksu - Asobi Seksu (2007)

Asobi Seksu - Asobi Seksu (2007)

Fantastic debut from New York-based group Asobi Seksu. While firmly in the noise rock genre, it’s fabulously diverse throughout. On the very first listen there’s a lot to like about this record.

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Lord Huron - Strange Trails (2015)

Lord Huron - Strange Trails (2015)

A very easy choice tonight. When you are out walking and the dog makes a bee line for a young American woman wearing a Lord Huron “Long Lost” T Shirt, there’s a clear message there.

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Luluc - Sculptor (2018)

Luluc - Sculptor (2018)

Here’s yet another fantastic band from Melbourne. Several recent favourites of the last few years have come from this town. Duo Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett have breached their folky ways and delivered a rich, cinematic experience far removed from the traditional acoustic fare.

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Lone Lady - Former Things (2021)

Lone Lady - Former Things (2021)

Time warp, flash back alert. There’s a somewhat wacky (corny even!) minimalistic analogue synth and drum machine vibe happening on this surprisingly catchy recent release.

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XTC - Black Sea (1980)

XTC - Black Sea (1980)

This is another vinyl relic that’s been added to my “Essentials” vinyl collection. This 2019 re-press is NOT the Steven Wilson remaster but the original 1980 pressing.

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Enya - The Very Best Of Enya

Enya - The Very Best Of Enya

Don’t judge me! This is a fabulous chill-out, sonically pleasing, guilty pleasure. All the Enya you’ll ever need on a single release.

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Kimbra - A Reckoning (2023)

Kimbra - A Reckoning (2023)

Just thought I’d dip into a track or two to sample my new laptop/DAC/headphones setup. I never left. That headphone setup is now my new benchmark for the best way to listen to serious music.

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Adam Green & Binki Shapiro (2013)

Adam Green & Binki Shapiro (2013)

Third time lucky. I tried to listen to a couple of CDs from “The Redcross Collection” this evening. That was a painful 6 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back - they were truly hideous.

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Tones On Tail - Everything! (1998)

Tones On Tail - Everything! (1998)

A fantastic post-Bauhaus compilation of Daniel Ash’s side project prior to establishing the equally wonderful Love & Rockets. Like some Ziggy Stardust/Mick Ronson clone, Daniel Ash exudes the combination of squalling guiter slinger and crooning frontman.

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Roger Waters - Amused to Death (1992)

Roger Waters - Amused to Death (1992)

The audiophile vinyl box set of this has just been released. While I’m not at all interested in an analogue version of a digital recording, the high resolution bu-ray version will do me nicely thanks, I did watch a YouTube reveiw by German vinyl guru Michael of 45RPM Audiophile fame.

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Psychic Ills - Hazed Dream (2011)

Psychic Ills - Hazed Dream (2011)

There’s been a recent but gradual (r)evolution in my musical consumption of late, firstly with the introduction of headphones, but now taken to the next level with the purchase of a dedicated headphone DAC.

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XTC - The Big Express (1984)

XTC - The Big Express (1984)

The big news of the day was the passing of guitar maestro and personal hero, Jeff Beck. I chose not to spend the evening playing his music but did play a couple of tracks earlier in the day.

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Alt-J - This Is Yours (2014)

Alt-J - This Is Yours (2014)

I don’t know why I even bother reading reviews on “Pitchfork.com”. Despite being around for more than a decade, Alt-J is a very recent discovery.

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Cure - Wish [2022 Remaster](1992)

Cure - Wish [2022 Remaster](1992)

Fuck Yes!! While there’s some poppy, happy-clappy stuff on this record (incidently, this is the brand new, freshly minted 3CD deluxe edition), there’s still a wonderful, post-“Disintegration”, doom-laden dirge as thick as treacle.

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Bee Gees - 1st (1967)

Bee Gees - 1st (1967)

For some light summer reading, I’m currently plowing through Jeff Apter’s biography of The Bee Gees, “Tragedy: The Sad Ballad of The Gibb Brothers”.

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Angus & Julia Stone - Snow (2017)

Angus & Julia Stone - Snow (2017)

Brother Angus’s stoner, melancholic alter ego, Dope Lemon was my introduction to half of this Aussie duo at least. Adding sister Julia to the equation on 2014’s self-titled “Angus & Julia Stone” pushed the mellow, chilled-out, easy going even further.

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Fishmans - Long Season [Tidal & YouTube] (1996)

Fishmans - Long Season [Tidal & YouTube] (1996)

This amazing recording has been haunting my dreams lately (as well as causing a few offline listening nightmares on my iPhone with the finiky Tidal app) The 34 minute, single track is like nothing you have ever heard, and if you have the patience, has one of the most haunting melodies ever to hit your ears.

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David Bowie - Toy Box (2021)

David Bowie - Toy Box (2021)

As a semi-completist Bowie-phile, I was inspired to acquire this 3CD box of revisited, pre-fame, early recordings. As a school kid in the early 70’s, and before I really knew who David Bowie was, I remember listening to the 1967 record “David Bowie”.

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Violens - Amoral (2010)

Violens - Amoral (2010)

Another $1 CD tonight. I wasn’t completely anamoured with this New York collective at first but I’m really glad I perservered.

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Poor Moon - Poor Moon (2012)

Poor Moon - Poor Moon (2012)

Another random selection from my “Lucky Strike At The Red Cross” collection. This album on the Sub Pop label, turned out to be a side project by Fleet Foxes members Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott.

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Music Monday Mania (2022)

Music Monday Mania (2022)

Another couple of days with a house full of babies equates to a huge reduction in air moving from my speakers.

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Goldie - Timeless (1995)

Goldie - Timeless (1995)

After last night’s fabulous, Afro-centric jazz monster, something equally rich and musical is called for. This drum’n’bass classic from England’s then king of Jungle, has moments of bliss.

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Fazerdaze - Break! (2022)

Fazerdaze - Break! (2022)

I tried; I really did. I had a few things to listen to this afternoon, nothing I physically owned thank goodness, but I quickly became underwhelmed and even irritated with stuff passing as entertainment.

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Pink Mountaintops - Axis Of Evol (2006)

Pink Mountaintops - Axis Of Evol (2006)

Stephen McBean, front man and guitarist of the fabulous Black Mountain, takes a trippy diversion with offshoot band, Pink Mountaintops. Fuzzed-out guitars, a wonderfully swampy, lo-fi production and wonky vocals makes for a real treat.

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Dry Cleaning - Stumpwork (2022)

Dry Cleaning - Stumpwork (2022)

Dry Cleaning’s 2021 debut, “New Long Leg” was up there with my favourite peri-COVID releases. Despite it being a bit more restrained, this new record ups the musical ante significantly.

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Jakob - Solace (2006)

Jakob - Solace (2006)

I’m just reading a great, totally self-depreciating and honest book about Steven Wilson’s perceived failings as a rock star. Ok, it’s agreed, he’s no rock star but he’s a fantastic musician, producer, band leader (of several ensembles) and a complete music nerd.

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Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (2010)

Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (2010)

It’s time to get the Tame Impala back catalogue out. They play live on Saturday 15th at Spark Arena. It’s been a two and a half year wait for a gig originally scheduled for Thursday 16th April, 2020.

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Mercury Rev - Yerself Is Steam (1991)

Mercury Rev - Yerself Is Steam (1991)

I was NOT prepared for this! Even my watch protested about the noise of the first track - screaming out something ‘bout “…exceeding decibels…30 minutes…potential damage…” It wasn’t just the volume; it was the shear harshness of the assault.

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Pink Floyd - Animals (2018 Remix) (1977)

Pink Floyd - Animals (2018 Remix) (1977)

Animals has always been my favourite Pink Floyd record so I’m in two minds about people messing with it. While I do revere the original, I must admit, this 24-bit high resolution remix is significantly subtle is bringing everything to the fore.

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Cari Cari - Anaana (2018)

Cari Cari - Anaana (2018)

Fabulous surf-punk-everything-including-the-kitchen-sink-psych. This is a recently discovered album from duo Stephanie Widmer (vocals, drums, didgeridoo) and Alexander Köck (vocals, guitar) aka Cari Cari.

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Oh Sees - Face Stabber (2019)

Oh Sees - Face Stabber (2019)

Never, ever judge a book, (or any record for that matter), by it’s cover. While most of The Oh Sees album sleeves are butt ugly, the music is anything but.

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Oh Sees - Orc (2017)

Oh Sees - Orc (2017)

The genius of John Dywer never lets up throughout an array of different band monikers, (including Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, Orange County Sound, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, and Oh Sees), and a myriad of fluid genres over the last 25 years.

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Appliance - Manual (1999)

Appliance - Manual (1999)

Not a bad haul this. I got all three Appliance CD’s, including this debut, super dirt cheap at the big red shed during peak multi-format media acquisition days.

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Marlon Williams - My Boy (2022)

Marlon Williams - My Boy (2022)

A courier package arrived from Flying Out Records this afternoon. In that package was a compact disc (aka CD). This also happened to be a brand-new release from the undisputed boy with the silkiest voice in Godzone.

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Cranes - Particles & Waves (2004)

Cranes - Particles & Waves (2004)

OK. I’m being right up front here. Give me actual, physical media over streaming any day. I reached for a randomly chosen CD this evening, put it in my repurposed Oppo Blu-ray transport and immersed myself in its warm, earthy, organic texture and sonic splendor.

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Autechre - Amber (1994)

Autechre - Amber (1994)

This ambient/techno record is startlingly apt for a day of national introspection. This makes a terrific soundtrack as one watches the fairy tale tributes unfold across multiple channels.

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David Sylvian - Gone To Earth (1986)

David Sylvian - Gone To Earth (1986)

A timeless masterpiece from my favourite, post-punk/decommissioned new romantic front man, neo-reclusive avant-jazzasist. Surrounded by extraordinary musicians, Robert Fripp and Bill Nelson included, this remains genre resistant.

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The LA's -The LA's (1990)

The LA's -The LA's (1990)

While it’s all over in just over 35 minutes, there is not one wasted second. What’s remarkable is that this was their only record.

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John Foxx - Metadelic (2013)

John Foxx - Metadelic (2013)

While there were a few fleeting moments sans John Foxx, with Ultravox version 2.0, which followed on after his departure, the original Ultravox was more of a real deal.

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Cornelius - Point (2002)

Cornelius - Point (2002)

If you can find a better sounding CD than this, I’ll eat my entire vinyl collection. I can’t even contemplate why you would ever listen to this on anything other than a CD or via decent streaming media.

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Israel Nash - Israel Nash's Rain Pains (2014)

Israel Nash - Israel Nash's Rain Pains (2014)

The New Zealand-based “A Sonic Youth” podcast just keeps on dishing up truly splendid, under-the-radar, what-the-fuck-is-alternative-music-anyway, musical richness. That’s four absolutely killer references in four episodes.

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Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet On Sky (2012)

Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet On Sky (2012)

This is guitar heaven for alt-rock/dirgey guitar slinger freaks. J. Mascis, as on this album, remains a true shred maestro with his trusty ‘63 Fender Jazzmaster amped up to the hilt.

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Low - The Great Destroyer (2005)

Low - The Great Destroyer (2005)

Another faultless record from these Duluth-based, slow-core pioneering Mormons. (Incidentally, Duluth was also the birth place of one Robert Zimmerman). Recently picked up by Sub Pop records this is a major leap forward in instrumental layering and accessibility.

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Bang Gang - Something Wrong (2003)

Bang Gang - Something Wrong (2003)

The wonderful film “Screaming Masterpiece” introduced me to many great Icelandic musicians. There were many “wow” moments throughout this music documentary and it ultimately led me to this “band” and this astounding record.

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Guru's Jazzmatazz - Vol.2 (1995)

Guru's Jazzmatazz - Vol.2 (1995)

Great 2nd release that merges mainstream Jazz with street cred Hip-Hop and successfully ticks the “really cool” box. While Vol.1 was the bee’s knees, this is still brilliant.

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Beck - Guero (2005)

Beck - Guero (2005)

While it couldn’t possibly top “Odelay”, it is a wonderful potpourri of brilliance. A decade later, his songwriting has matured like a fine wine.

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Stereo MC's - Connected (1992)

Stereo MC's - Connected (1992)

Despite an erroneous apostrophe, the Stereo MC’s produced this stunner absolutely full to the brim with funky rap-infused belters. While the track “Connected” is the best known song, there are 12 other tracks equally as addictive.

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The Spinanes - Manos (1993)

The Spinanes - Manos (1993)

Chicago two piece, Rebecca Gates, guitar and vocals, and Scott Plouf, on drums, make such a wonderful racket together. While it’s inherently a narrow soundstage, the chemistry and synchronicity between the duo is palpable.

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Enigma - MCMXC A.D. (1990)

Enigma - MCMXC A.D. (1990)

The CD strikes back saga continues. I’m truly blown away by a few recent revelations that have now been fully implemented with spectacular results.

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Massive Attack - Heligoland (2010)

Massive Attack - Heligoland (2010)

I’m not sure why this album gets such a bad rap. Ok, it’s probably not The Massive at their peak of popularity but it certainly contains all of the elements that make it a sonically rich, refreshingly experimental and ultimately rewarding listen.

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Venessa Fernandez - Use Me [SACD](2014)

Venessa Fernandez - Use Me [SACD](2014)

OK there’s a bit of a back story to this. On my recent trip to Melbourne, I was adamant I was not going to contravene every carry-on cabin restriction, reinvent creative and discrete storage practices, or put my back out, smuggling hefty vinyl back to New Zealand.

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Blackfield - NYC (2007)

Blackfield - NYC (2007)

Blackfield - Recorded live at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC on 16th March 2007 OK, I’ve decamped all of my boxed up digital media and it’s living and breathing once more.

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Dread Zeppelin - Un-Led-Ed (1990)

Dread Zeppelin - Un-Led-Ed (1990)

I recently re-discovered this wonderful, satire heavy, musically rich, dignity intact record from a few decades back. Despite it’s parody of the almighty and sacred Led Zeppelin, it works so very, very well.

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Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (2022)

Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (2022)

OK, it’s been a good decade since Porcupine Tree shed their seemingly evergreen leaves and ceased to be. Steve Wilson, of course went from strong to stronger and his prolific output continued as a solo artist and wunderkid producer/remaster specialist.

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Led Er Est - The Diver (2012)

Led Er Est - The Diver (2012)

As it says on the cover “an LP recorded in 2011” There’s definitely a tip of the hat to 1980’s goth a La The Cure, Clan Of Xymox, Sisters Of Mercy etc.

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Implosion - Implosion (1988)

Implosion - Implosion (1988)

Back in late May I discovered a fabulous, genre-less, probably more-prog-than-not, largely instrumental rock outfit from Italy. That record was a compilation of great, unreleased music from the mid to late 80’s and an addendum to this, their first and at one point, very rare, under-the-radar release.

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The Mars Volta - Octahedron (2008)

The Mars Volta - Octahedron (2008)

This, the Volta’s fifth record, is their ambient acoustic country folk rock album. It’s as accessible as they ever get but if you think for a moment it’s not a proper The Mars Volta recording you will be completely deluded.

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Morphine - Good (1992)

Morphine - Good (1992)

Some might say that Morphine, a rowdy trio from Boston, are a bit of a one trick pony. Comprising of singer/slide bass player Mark Sandman, Dana Colley on tenor and baritone sax and drummer, Jerome Dupree, it certainly feels “samey” through out.

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Eve Adams - Metal Bird (2021)

Eve Adams - Metal Bird (2021)

This reminds me of the minimalist approach that Melbourne’s Jonnine Standish takes with her duo HTRK . While there’s more experimentation on that wonderful record, the less-is-more ethic taken on this record is similar.

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Trees Speak - Vertigo Of Flaws (2021)

Trees Speak - Vertigo Of Flaws (2021)

Emancipation of the dissonance and temperaments in irrational wavelengths. I really couldn’t have put it better myself. Electronic music, especially post-punk retro became my staple in the early 80’s as I explored the left of mainstream with Cabaret Voltaire, early Ultravox and especially Tangerine Dream the most rewarding.

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Woodenhead - Original And Reimagined (2022)

Woodenhead - Original And Reimagined (2022)

This beyond extraordinary New Zealand film from 2003 definitely wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea (or cup o’ sick!). I’m not even going to attempt to explain it or even recommend it - if you want to know more, check it out here .

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Implosion - Implosion 2020 (2020)

Implosion - Implosion 2020 (2020)

Obscure yet outstanding 80’s Italian outfit that only ever released one solitary, self-titled album back in 1988. This FANTASTIC 2020 Record Store Day record contains 16 previously unreleased tracks from other recordings done between 1983 and 1989.

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Pylon - Razz Tape (1979)

Pylon - Razz Tape (1979)

This cracker of a live session was captured on primitive recording equipment solely for the purposes of garnering interest for potential employment around the local clubs of Athens, Georgia.

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Beak> - >>> (2018)

Beak> - >>> (2018)

Strangeness personified. Intentionally radio unfriendly, Krautrock(y), squelchy, stoner prog. Perfect as a formulaic, poser-pop fly spray, this little gem completely tears up the rule book.

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Houeida Hedfi - Fleuves De L'âme (2021)

Houeida Hedfi - Fleuves De L'âme (2021)

This is beyond categorisation, it just “is”. Without deconstructing things too much, this wonderful recording by Tunisian multi-instrumentalist Houeida Hedfi, combines traditional folk music with an extraordinary array of contemporary genres.

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Ghost Power (2022)

Ghost Power (2022)

This all instrumental, trance-inducing long player from Stereolab’s Tim Gane, while not far removed from the Labs mesmeric soundscapes, is sans his dirty old, reverb-rich, overdriven Jaguar and replaced with an all analogue, knob-twiddling, (over)indulgence.

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Fontaines DC - Skinty Fia (2022)

Fontaines DC - Skinty Fia (2022)

Big, brooding third record from collusive, fellow Dublin City Music College graduates now full time residents of London. They’ve done alright - three shit hot albums in as many years and a bunch of hooky foot stompers.

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Wet Leg - Wet Leg (2022)

Wet Leg - Wet Leg (2022)

This record has been well (over)hyped for the last 6 months or so. But you know what, in my book it lives up to every accolade that’s been thrown at it.

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Boards Of Canada - Twoism (1995)

Boards Of Canada - Twoism (1995)

BOCs first ever recording (limited to just 100 copies), was this generous 38 minute mini-album. Always extremely difficult to find, it was finally repressed by Warp records in 2013 to appease the masses.

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Love - Revisited (1970)

Love - Revisited (1970)

Some of my very best purchases I’ve ever made are sometimes found in the new vinyl, bargain bins of the big mega music shops like JB-Hifi and Real Groovy.

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Caribou - Up In Flames (2003)

Caribou - Up In Flames (2003)

I just loved Dan Snaith’s (Caribou’s sole band member) 2014 record “Our Love” so I couldn’t resist picking up this 2021 repress from a decade earlier.

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Garageland - Last Exit To Garageland (1997)

Garageland - Last Exit To Garageland (1997)

To these ears this is one of the best records that Pavement didn’t make. While you could say that the Flying Nun label mates of this Auckland-based outfit taught the Paves a thing or two, this group are just as effective at playing sloppy, effortless and slightly off kilter pop music like the big boys of the era.

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Motels - Motels (1979)

Motels - Motels (1979)

This record was on high rotation during the late 70’s, early 80’s as punk gave way to the much richer and diverse palate of post-punk/new wave.

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Talk Talk - The Party's Over (1982)

Talk Talk - The Party's Over (1982)

I first encountered the great Mark Hollis and Talk Talk via their third release 1986’s “The Colour Of Spring”. I kind of ignored the previous two records including this one, their 1982 debut.

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Radiohead - Kid A Mnesia (2022)

Radiohead - Kid A Mnesia (2022)

Holy Moley where do you start with this?! While hailed as one of the most important rock recordings of all time when they delivered their revered “OK Computer”, Radiohead went even more left field with these evil twins.

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Khruangbin - Mordechai Remixes (2021)

Khruangbin - Mordechai Remixes (2021)

I don’t always go for remixes, but this band just screams out for the treatment. While the Khruangbin sound takes a very slight step backwards in the mix it’s a den full of very tasty disco bangers this evening.

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Lindsey Buckingham - Lindsey Buckingham (2021)

Lindsey Buckingham - Lindsey Buckingham (2021)

This is a remarkable comeback record for the 72 year old, ex Fleetwood Mac guitar and song writing maestro. Ousted from the band in 2018, probably mostly by his own doing, and battling major health issues, he’s made a record that could sit alongside those BIG Mac records of the mid-70s.

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The Coral - Coral Island (2021)

The Coral - Coral Island (2021)

Merseyside’s, The Coral have never made a duff record in all of their 20 plus years of existent. This new record is another album filled to the brim with greatness.

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Arthur Russell - World Of Echo (1986)

Arthur Russell - World Of Echo (1986)

Nothing prepares the listener for this. It’s Arthur Russell’s only non-collaborative record consisting of cello, voice (somewhere between Boz Scaggs and Nick Drake) and in-studio or live, sounds and textures.

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Alan Vega - After Dark (2021)

Alan Vega - After Dark (2021)

A beautiful, unconventional rockabilly blues record from now departed Suicide co-founder/co-member, Alan Vega. This could quite easily be an old time blues record backed by any number of 70’s era Krautrock bands.

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Ziggy is 50 (1972)

Ziggy is 50 (1972)

I heard “Starman” and “Suffragette City” on the car radio this morning. The realisation soon hit me - Ziggy is 50 years old!

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Pale Saints -  Mrs. Dolphin (1991)

Pale Saints - Mrs. Dolphin (1991)

A recent Record Store Day vinyl compilation of a long lost, Japanese only CD from the long defunct Pale Saints (from Leeds) Pale Saints were often on my playlist back in the 90’s and one of my 4AD staples.

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Fela Kuti - Fela's London Scene (1971)

Fela Kuti - Fela's London Scene (1971)

Another absolute stunner from one of Afrobeat’s finest. This 50th Anniversary Reissue is “coolness” personified. Fela was best mates with Ginger Baker, who apparently, (this is uncredited on the album), helps out on the sublime “Egbe Mio”.

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The Beatles - Help! (1965)

The Beatles - Help! (1965)

This is probably where it all began for me. Still my most important Beatles record. Some gasp that the Beatles records have been remastered from digitals sources.

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David Bowie - Toy (2021)

David Bowie - Toy (2021)

I’m not really sure how I feel about this record - I’m listening to it as I type. This is the first time I’ve heard this since acquiring it as part of the massive “Brilliant Adventure” box.

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Idles - Crawler (2021)

Idles - Crawler (2021)

One of the best opening songs I’ve heard in a long time, “MTT 420 RR”, (literally the vocalist’s own historic car crash), sets the stage for a remarkable journey.

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Poets Of Rhythm - Discern/Define (2001)

Poets Of Rhythm - Discern/Define (2001)

The more I dig into German music of the last 50 or so years, the more I am blown away. This outrageously great funk record sounds like it belongs back in the 70’s but with today’s state-of-the-art production it’s unmistakably contemporary.

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Beach House - Depression Cherry (2015)

Beach House - Depression Cherry (2015)

A very ethereal record from Beach House. Sounding like its big fluffy red cover (I kid you not) this recording is enclosed in a murky haze that keeps the poppy sugar coating that’s trying its hardest to bust out under wraps.

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Grooms - Exit Index (2017)

Grooms - Exit Index (2017)

I’m really not sure what attracted me to this, aside from the beautiful cover, but what a fantastic find. Like a few days lately, I’ve been finding a few unfamiliar tracks and albums via streaming services.

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Neon Neon - Praxis Makes Perfect (2013)

Neon Neon - Praxis Makes Perfect (2013)

One of my pet peeves when buying records is the absence of plastic inner sleeves. Most of the paper inserts, glossy or otherwise, that come with the majority of new records these days, are as good as useless.

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Thee Oh Sees - Smote Reverser (2018)

Thee Oh Sees - Smote Reverser (2018)

One of the greatest finds of this year is this killer record from San Fran’s totally unhinged Thee Oh Sees. Impossible to categorise, to me they fit somewhere between King Gizard and the Wizard Lizard and The Bevis Frond.

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David Bowie - Earthling (1997)

David Bowie - Earthling (1997)

The stunning sonics of this newly pressed vinyl box continues. It’s certainly a box of goodies that just keeps giving. This is another record which I’ve only listened to in parts (“Little Wonder” & “I’m afraid Of Americans”) and most probably not in its entirety in one sitting.

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David Bowie - Buddha Of Suburbia (1995)

David Bowie - Buddha Of Suburbia (1995)

To be honest, this is an album I never really knew existed. Made after “Black Tie White Noise” and around the time of “Outside” to soundtrack a British TV series, it never appeared on my radar at all.

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Janne Schaffer - Katharsis (1976

Janne Schaffer - Katharsis (1976

This mid-70’s gem from Sweden’s own/only guitar-swinger Janne Schaffer, has finally come back home to me. I thank you Martin. Having given 100’s of records away at the turn of the century, I do have ongoing regrets about it.

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Mantronix - In Full Effect (1988)

Mantronix - In Full Effect (1988)

After gifting my old turntable to my daughter Imogen and partner Tim in Wellington, they have now been plunged into the world of pain that is collecting and listening to vinyl.

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Swans - The Seer (2012)

Swans - The Seer (2012)

This is a CD I have always been very reluctant (aka being really frightened) to play. I mean Ray Haliburton’s Allmusic User Review from 2015 proclaims “…if you’re looking for music that is truly horrifying, visceral, epic and absorbing, step right up.

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Kimbra -  Vows (2011)

Kimbra - Vows (2011)

Hamilton-born, Kimbra Johnson is really hard to categorise. There’s simply no doubt about it though, she’s one hell of a talent.

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Mew - Plus Minus (2017)

Mew - Plus Minus (2017)

This Danish band is just extraordinary. Their record, 2005’s “And the Glass Handed Kites” is an epic masterpiece that demands at least a yearly, uninterrupted aural immersion.

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La Luz - La Luz (2021)

La Luz - La Luz (2021)

I LOVED La Luz’s last record, 2018’s “Floating Features”, but while pleasant enough, this new album has upped the production levels and sanded off those rough edges I loved on the previous one.

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Sault - Nine (2021)

Sault - Nine (2021)

Another remarkable, genre non-specific, masterwork from the mysterious UK collective that is Sault. After 99 days following it’s release (June 2021) this record has already been pulled from streaming services completely and will never see a re-pressing.

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La Luz - Floating Features (2018)

La Luz - Floating Features (2018)

Take a bit of Dick Dale, a good chunk of Stereolab and a smidgeon of Nana Mouskouri, shake it all up, remove the men folk, and you have the sensational lady group La Luz.

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Slowdive - Pygmalion (1995)

Slowdive - Pygmalion (1995)

This beautiful album follows the magnificent “Souvlaki”, a record that Brian Eno provided keyboards and treatments. While the Eno ambience wasn’t obvious on that, it’s right to the fore on this.

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HTRK - Rhinestones (2021)

HTRK - Rhinestones (2021)

WOW! I just love this Melbourne duo. This is just beautiful and comes close to trumping my previous experience when first discovering this Aussie treasure.

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Lord Huron - Long Lost (2021)

Lord Huron - Long Lost (2021)

More magnificence from the LA-based band, Lord Huron. With a country-infused soundstage as big the lake they were named after, one of the big five by the way, it’s all very lush and cinematic.

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Darkside - Spiral (2021)

Darkside - Spiral (2021)

I’ve had a bit of a revelation today after a great Shut Up And Listen Session the evening before. Streaming stuff instead of relying on physical media is perfectly OK.

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Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise (2011)

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise (2011)

This is an exquisite, sumptuous recent discovery courtesy of the wonderful Youtube hosted by Michael the German. Michael, who is a truly engaging German man with the most incredible vinyl collection, regularly shares his insights into the best, and often but not always, audiophile vinyl pressings.

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Kin Ping Meh - Kin Ping Meh 2 (1972)

Kin Ping Meh - Kin Ping Meh 2 (1972)

Second album from German band “Kin Ping Meh” (Chinese for “The Golden Lotus”) There’s a definite “The Yes Album” feel to early proceedings with more than a few weird meanderings along the way.

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Fogg - High Testament (2014)

Fogg - High Testament (2014)

A big riffy, completely off-kilter, stoner rock record that sounds as big as Texas. That’s funny, coz these dudes hail from Fort Worth, Texas.

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Belly - Bees (2021)

Belly - Bees (2021)

Awesome B-Sides collection on spectacular “honey” coloured vinyl. Just fantastic to have this. One of my favourite songs of all time on one of my favourite albums of all time, is the wonderful “Not Too Soon”, sung by Tanya Donelly on “The Real Ramona”.

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ESG - Come Away With (1983)

ESG - Come Away With (1983)

Stonkingly brilliant, early-80s, post-punk funk (without the horns) courtesy of the Scroggin Sisters from the Bronx, NY, NY. This is just crazy good.

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HTRK - Venus In Leo (2019)

HTRK - Venus In Leo (2019)

One of my finds of the year, I knew absolutely nothing about HTRK (Hate Rock) or this record, prior to my recent travels to Melbourne.

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Radio Moscow - Brain Cycles (2009)

Radio Moscow - Brain Cycles (2009)

These hairy MFs from Ames, Iowa really know how to kick the barn doors down! While it hints at stoner rock at times, it’s more in the flavour of the heavy side of 70’s electric blues.

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Darkside - Psychic Live (2015)

Darkside - Psychic Live (2015)

Insanely good live performance of Darkside’s brilliant 2013 album “Psychic”, a mind warping, non-genre specific monster of a record. Watching this reminds me of the time that I walked into one my all time, smily face moments of pure musical bliss - Unkle playing live in the “Boiler Room” at The Big Day Out.

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The Strokes - The New Abnormal (2020)

The Strokes - The New Abnormal (2020)

My Melbournian pal, Maurice, who I caught up with in person recently, has been raving about this record ad nauseam. To tone down his incessant admiration somewhat, I thought I’d better buy it on CD.

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Suicide - Cheree (Record Store Day) (2021)

Suicide - Cheree (Record Store Day) (2021)

I was thrilled to get a copy of this very limited Record Store Day release on 10" clear vinyl. It took Alan Vega and Martin Rev, the core of Suicide, more than 30 years to get the recognition they deserved.

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Holger Czukay - Der Osten Ist Rot (1984)

Holger Czukay - Der Osten Ist Rot (1984)

Completely wacko but totally enjoyable forth solo record from co-founder of krautrock band Can. Aside from the first song, “The Photo Song”, (definitely a false start as the “poppiest” song on the album), it’s an unconventional and wild ride across the remaining 10 tracks.

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Rupert Hine - Immunity (1981)

Rupert Hine - Immunity (1981)

One real blessing of spending an extra week in Melbourne, following a 7 day Covid-19 Aussie/NZ travel bubble pause, was spending some quality time trawling the records shops in Melbourne City and Brunswick/Smiths Street in Collingwood.

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Jane Weaver - Loops In The Secret Society (2019)

Jane Weaver - Loops In The Secret Society (2019)

Fantastic double (black) vinyl re-working of Jane Weaver’s 2014 record “The Silver Globe” and 2017’s “Modern Kosmology”. All I can say is my recently purchased Rega MM Fono stage now connected to my upstairs Project Debut and NAD amp is absolutely kicking some serious sonic arse.

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The Beat - Special Beat Service (1983)

The Beat - Special Beat Service (1983)

Known as “The English Beat” in North America to allay any clash and confusion with the American “The Beat”, these dudes were right in the thick of things with other budding SKA bands of the time.

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Sault - 5 (2019)

Sault - 5 (2019)

I finally managed to pick up all four albums by this extraordinary English collective knowh as “Sault”. This is their first record and if the others are even close to this, (and apparently they get even better with each subsequent release) my ears are in for a real treat.

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Jethro Tull - A (1980)

Jethro Tull - A (1980)

Another stonking Tull release that got panned at the time. A first time listen for me but a rockier effort following their folk period “Songs From The Wood”, “Heavy Horses” and “Storm Watch”.

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Moby - Reprise (2021)

Moby - Reprise (2021)

Another beautiful double album picked up over Queens Birthday weekend. This features orchestral treatments of Moby songs (there’s also a lovely reinterpretation of one of my least favorite Bowie songs “Heroes” which I can fully tolerate and appreciate one this).

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Gary Numan - Intruder (2021)

Gary Numan - Intruder (2021)

Gazza just goes from strength to strength. Honestly, I kind of reluctantly bought this new record thinking it’s going to be somewhat disappointing after his astonishing 2017 release “Savage”.

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Jethro Tull - War Child (1974)

Jethro Tull - War Child (1974)

This is a Tull record that was never “in the circle” of their great predecessors - namely “Aqualung”, “Thick As A Brick” and “A Passion Play”, and I missed it completely.

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Gary Human - Tubeway Army Replicas (1979)

Gary Human - Tubeway Army Replicas (1979)

Gazza has always been an outlier/outsider. Diagnosed with Asperger’s his imagination and creativity has actually got the better of him. He’s been more prolific than ever and his latest record “Intruder” is up there’s with his best.

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Various Artists - AK79 (1980)

Various Artists - AK79 (1980)

This fantastic compilation of Auckland punk, circa 1979(ish), is a treat for NZ music historians and rock’n’roll lovers. There’s early iterations of bands that went on to greater fame, and much higher production standards, but their brilliance is well in evidence.

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The Gordons - The Gordons (1982)

The Gordons - The Gordons (1982)

This band is renowned for being the loudest band that ever existed. While my stereo can’t do it justice, extreme volume would let these seven humongous tracks breath/bleed accordingly.

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Midnight Oil - Countdown Album (1983)

Midnight Oil - Countdown Album (1983)

Affectionately known as the “Countdown Album” (let’s face it, it flows off the tongue a lot easier than “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”), this absolute stonker from the Oils is one of the great records of the 80s.

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Can - Future Days (1972)

Can - Future Days (1972)

A remarkably restrained Damo Suzuki “sings” on what would be his final studio recording with this truly amazing German collective. (He went off and married a Jehovah witness apparently).

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Squid - Bright Green Field (2021)

Squid - Bright Green Field (2021)

Another great great record that proves there’s still great great music being made in the world. Highly original, disorientating and unapologetic, it’s a bit of a rollercoaster.

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Can - Delay (1981)

Can - Delay (1981)

These astounding recordings from 1968/1969 is empirical proof that these Germans were just so far ahead of the game. The Stooges, who are often regarded as the granddaddy’s of punk didn’t record their debut until 1969.

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VA - Tim Peaks (2019)

VA - Tim Peaks (2019)

Tim Burgess & Bob Stanley Present Songs For A Late-Night Diner. This very quirky compilation “is a soundtrack for a mythical café in the mythical north” somewhere in England.

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Jane Weaver - The Silver Globe (2014)

Jane Weaver - The Silver Globe (2014)

This record, the first in a trilogy of great Jane Weaver albums, is a real treat. The vocals are as ethereal and fabulous as the noodlely electronics and keyboard embellishments that cocoon each track.

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Lou Reed - New York (1989)

Lou Reed - New York (1989)

Excluding the Velvet Underground years, Transformer, Rock’n’roll Animal, Lou Reed Live, The Blue Mask, Legendary Hearts, Songs For Drella (with John Cale) and Magic And Loss were always my go to Lou Reed records.

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The Beatles - Revolver (1967)

The Beatles - Revolver (1967)

I heard reference to this wonderful record on Radio National today. The cover for Revolver was created by German-born bassist and artist Klaus Voormann , whose birthday it was today.

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Pretty Things - Parachute (1970)

Pretty Things - Parachute (1970)

This record was released in 1970 and was named Rolling Stone’s album of the year ahead of Let It Be by The Beatles, Morrison Hotel by The Doors, After the Gold Rush by Neil Young, Moondance by Van Morrison, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother and Led Zeppelin III.

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Amon Düül II - Yeti (1970)

Amon Düül II - Yeti (1970)

If you really want to kickstart your Krautrock adventures with smoking wheels there’s simply is no better place to start. This is a guitar-driven, all balls out, Meisterstück that is worthy of all accolades.

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Luna - A Sentimental Education (2017)

Luna - A Sentimental Education (2017)

This is the first Luna release in quite some years. (well 13 years if you want to be more precise). Kiwi Dean Wareham’s droll deliver is just perfect as I prepare our “Hello Fresh” construction this evening.

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Suede - The Blue Hour (2018)

Suede - The Blue Hour (2018)

Brett Anderson’s voice is the main instrument I crave for when listening to any Suede record and this is especially the case with his more mellow solo records.

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Giant Sand - Ramp (1991)

Giant Sand - Ramp (1991)

This raunchy grungy even, country-punk recording from the early 90s contains not one but two future Calexico members, Joey Burns and John Convertino.

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Outkast - Speakerboxxx (2003)

Outkast - Speakerboxxx (2003)

I’m listening to part one of Big Boi and Andre 3000’s split-duties-opus “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” this evening - and loving every minute of it.

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Moon Duo - Escape (Expanded Edition)(2010)

Moon Duo - Escape (Expanded Edition)(2010)

Holy fuck this is wonderfully intense. If you can’t handle relentless wall-to-wall jamming look elsewhere. If you’re in the mood for mind expansion and turning your brain to mush, you’ve come to the right place.

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Voom - Hello, Are You There? (2006)

Voom - Hello, Are You There? (2006)

This re-release from 2006 is an astonishing hidden-from-me NZ gem that in my universe-wide musical horizon flew completely under my exceptionally big reflecting telescope.

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Tool - Opiate (1992)

Tool - Opiate (1992)

Maynard James Keenan hit the ground running with his band Tool. This and subsequent records completely shocked the world of metal, grunge and alternative rock.

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Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside (1993)

Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside (1993)

Great live recording of Jason Pierce’s early post Spacemen 3 collective. While it gets off to an unexpectedly noisy start with a barrage of crackles and pops all over the first track, (sometimes I really hate vinyl), but this is soon forgotten as it mainlines itself into my brain.

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Jane Weaver - Flock (2021)

Jane Weaver - Flock (2021)

Don’t you just hate it (for those that bow to the inconvenience of vinyl) when the label on side one is different to side two and there’s no discernable way of knowing which is side A or side B.

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Beck - Odelay (1996)

Beck - Odelay (1996)

There’s still a lot of life left in ye old compact disc. This album is the epitome of digital geek where studio trickery and massive production nearly trumps the incredible songwriting.

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Japan - Quiet Life (1979)

Japan - Quiet Life (1979)

This wasn’t the starting place for me, that was 1981’s “Tin Drum”, but retrospectively the hint of Japan’s sophistication emerges on this transitional record.

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The Bug - London Zoo (2008)

The Bug - London Zoo (2008)

Holy shit this is one intense slab of vinyl that does not relent over its 6 sides. The complete antithesis and double-handed middle finger to rock’s bloated carcass, this is a welcome challenge that rips musical convention to shreds.

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Off The Meds - Off The Meds (2020)

Off The Meds - Off The Meds (2020)

I heard the last 15 minutes of Smithies on RNZ this afternoon. He was raving about this Swedish ensemble’s first long player (or digital equivalent) “Off The Meds” by Off The Meds.

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Fourtet - Beautiful Rewind

Fourtet - Beautiful Rewind

This couldn’t be further along the other end of the continuum than yesterday’s outing with Analogue Africa. It’s probably as close to Ambient as I want to get but has an underlying grime to proceedings.

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New Order - Retro (2002)

New Order - Retro (2002)

I really struggle with New Order these days. Despite this, I can still play Joy Division to death. For me they just haven’t aged well.

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Various Artists - Cafe Exil (2020)

Various Artists - Cafe Exil (2020)

Bob Stanley and Jason Wood present new adventures in European music 1972-1980 Another fantastic ACE compilation this time focusing on an imaginary soundtrack to Bowie and Iggy’s Berlin hangout, Cafe Exil, in the mid-70s.

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Kevin Rowland - My Beauty (1999)

Kevin Rowland - My Beauty (1999)

This universally panned solo record by the Dexy’s Midnight Runner front man is an absolute treasure. The controversial cover probably didn’t help matters but it’s clear the critics weren’t actually listening.

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Barack Obama’s Summer Playlist (Tidal)

Barack Obama’s Summer Playlist (Tidal)

I can’t imagine Trump knowing what music is yet alone having a favourites playlist. If for some reason he did have a slither of musical cognisance the soundtrack of his life over over the last 5 years would be “Send Out The Clowns” on continuous play.

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New Order - Movement (1981)

New Order - Movement (1981)

Just 12 months after the demise of Ian Curtis and Joy Division, New Order (initially “The People’s New Order of Kampuchea”) produced this transitional record to very mixed reviews.

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Sola Rosa - Chasing The Sun (2020)

Sola Rosa - Chasing The Sun (2020)

Andrew Spraggon was once a solo knob twiddler. He was also once a touring member of Dimmer (as revealed on a recent RNZ Music 101 podcast) He’s now the ultimate collaborator.

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Dntel - Life Is Full Of Possibilities (2001)

Dntel - Life Is Full Of Possibilities (2001)

This is totally apt to bring in the new year. Released 20 years ago, this is an album of beautiful ambient soundscapes and textures that’s completely sabotaged and ambushed by the alternative, indie world protagonists.

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Bob Mould - Blue Hearts (2020)

Bob Mould - Blue Hearts (2020)

Bob is very angry! Hunkered down in his bunker while America burns and Trump tries to chip his way out, Bob creates some of the most vitriolic, heart-on-his-sleeve commentary he’s ever recorded.

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Jarv Is... - Beyond The Pale (2020)

Jarv Is... - Beyond The Pale (2020)

I could listen to Jarvis Cocker recite the phone book (do we still get those?) or possibly of more practical application and in keeping with this record, “The Origin Of The Species” The second song “Must I Evolve” is a question I ask myself every day.

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Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar (2012)

Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar (2012)

My mind is mush, any thoughts of being productive went out the window a week ago, it’s survival mode only. Another work do (which was great), good wishes to all and it’s now time to let go completely.

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Elton John - Caribou (1974)

Elton John - Caribou (1974)

Being sandwiched between “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy” doesn’t help. To me, “Caribou” it was just another great Elton John record which I enjoyed as much as the others.

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Sault - 7 (2019)

Sault - 7 (2019)

A punk-funk-soul one-two that leaves you dazed and delighted. That’s the headline. I just love taking risks with music but at the same time I’m quite hesitant when considering my choices.

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Jamie XX - In Colour (2015)

Jamie XX - In Colour (2015)

Jamie Smith (XX) and his main collective The XX, are very hard to define musically. Despite borrowing from many different sources they still seem to be bereft of any definable genre.

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Animal Collective - Feels (2005)

Animal Collective - Feels (2005)

You’ll want to listen to this record sober. Just saying. After returning from one of many end-of-year work dos, and putting this record on - my advice would be to play something a bit more conventional.

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Giant Sand - Glum (1995)

Giant Sand - Glum (1995)

I’ve been saving this. This is Giant Sand’s 10th record. I bought my first, and only prior Giant Sand record, 2015’s “Heartbreak Pass”, a few years ago.

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Jonathan Richman - SA! (2018)

Jonathan Richman - SA! (2018)

Here comes the Martian Martian! Even for Jonathan Richman, this record is totally unexpected, extraordinary and otherworldly. And that is saying a lot about a Jonathan Richman record.

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Grimes - Miss Anthropocene (2020)

Grimes - Miss Anthropocene (2020)

This is a great example of some of the most challenging, original and richly rewarding music being made in 2020. It’s been a feeble, and in many cases, a febrile year for most people.

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Espers - Espers (2004)

Espers - Espers (2004)

At home feeling a bit under the weather today. Not really in the mood for anything too abrasive so reached for some neo psychedelic alt folk music.

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Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams (2012)

Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams (2012)

This pre-loved record has obviously been played to death and there’s a few pops and crackles in evidence. However, it wasn’t until I saw the debris on my stylus that I realised that I needed to do some immediate needle maintenance.

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The Bats - Foothills (2020)

The Bats - Foothills (2020)

This new record by The Bats is like a big warm sneaky hug. As each song meanders along on it’s lackadaisical way, it’s easy to think “what’s happening here?

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Trees - Trees (50th Anniversary

Trees - Trees (50th Anniversary

“Acid Folk, Folk Rock, Freak Folk, Whatever”. This anniversary edition (currently streaming via Tidal) is another revelatory experience from yester year.

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Pylon - Chomp (1983)

Pylon - Chomp (1983)

A big box arrived via courier today. Now here’s something. I ordered this on Friday morning - it arrived mid Monday morning.

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Pylon - Gyrate (1980)

Pylon - Gyrate (1980)

This is actually my very first listen to this highly revered, post punk band from Athens, Georgia (now hasn’t that been in the news lately?

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Iggy Pop - Lust For Life (1977)

Iggy Pop - Lust For Life (1977)

Iggy looks extremely happy on the cover of this record with a grin a mile wide. Why wouldn’t he? He’d just been thrown a great big life line from David Bowie - who co-writ and recorded this and the preceeding “The Idiot”.

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Mansun - Six (1999)

Mansun - Six (1999)

This record never ceases to reveal something new each and every time I take pleasure in listening to it. (Now that’s a bit spooky, I googled a review of the record and found the following echoing my thoughts.

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Trees Speak - Shadow Forms (2020)

Trees Speak - Shadow Forms (2020)

Even though the world has gone completely bonkers, this sounds perfectly out of place and refreshingly unhinged. Heavily influenced by Krautrock, “Bitches Brew” Mile Davis and spooky soundtrack music for non-existent horror movies, it’s a bit disconcerting to say the least.

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Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Press Color (1979)

Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Press Color (1979)

Another fabulous example of late 70s New York No Wave that’s further perpetrated by French invader Lizzy Mercier Descloux. Take some of Serge Gainsbourg’s Afrobeat, combine with Blondie’s disco-inflected punk and Talking Heads’ world music-inspired art pop and you get the drift.

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Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures ( 1979)

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures ( 1979)

I was completely absorbed and inspired to play this following a recent bus commute from Richmond to Nelson. (if I’m honest, the bleakness of this record is warmly welcomed after another day working in that dreadful town they call Richmond!

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Throwing Muses - Sun Racket (2020)

Throwing Muses - Sun Racket (2020)

I just couldn’t resist picking this beauty out of the forever expanding bins of prestige new records at JB-Hifi (at The Hutt) and adding it to my ever increasing haul of vinyl-worthy, North Island souvenirs.

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David Bowie - Let's Dance (1983)

David Bowie - Let's Dance (1983)

If you started your Bowie introduction with this record, that would be a bit unfortunate but palatable at least. It was definitely the beginning of the slide into his own level of mediocrity that lasted the next 10 years.

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Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.1 (2017)

Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.1 (2017)

More dirgey psychedelia from the Wooden Shjips’ trippy guitarist and leader Erik Johnson et al. While it gets a bit samey across several albums, (this is my forth Moon Duo record), it’s exactly the samey that I really like!

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Madlib - Shades Of Blue (2003)

Madlib - Shades Of Blue (2003)

More “Jazz Club”! Madlib invades Blue Note. With unfettered access to the Blue Note catalogue, this record is a mangle of classic jazz that’s completely reinterpreted and re-flavoured.

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Mantronix - The Album (1985)

Mantronix - The Album (1985)

Along with Cabaret Voltaire, who had taken a bit of a right turn mixing menacing electronic textures with funky dance rhythms in the early to mid 80’s, I was totally hooked on the electronic/hip hop mashups of Mantronix.

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ESG - Keep On Moving (2006)

ESG - Keep On Moving (2006)

There’s some truly gut-busting, funky minimalism going on here! It’s dance-punk if you really want to label it. The Scroggin sisters, which hail from The Bronx, which now include a new generation of daughters playing in the group, have been around since the late 70’s.

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Elton John - Elton John (1970)

Elton John - Elton John (1970)

I give Elton’s “Your Song” the same respect as I do for Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. Both fantastic songs released within 6 months of each other, but the albums from which these songs originated were never on my radar until much later.

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Yo La Tengo - There's A Riot Going On (2018)

Yo La Tengo - There's A Riot Going On (2018)

This band couldn’t make a bad album if they tried. Over nearly 30 years, and since 1992’s revelatory “May I Sing With Me”, I have been totally absorbed by their unique and consistently brilliant musical journey.

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Matt Berry - Phantom Birds (2020)

Matt Berry - Phantom Birds (2020)

I must admit, I was expecting a bit more of a sideways move from Mr. Berry. (He of “Frost Of London”, “The Mighty Boosch” and the US version of “What We Do In The Shadows”).

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Slowdive - Souvlaki (1993)

Slowdive - Souvlaki (1993)

A gorgeous mid-nineties dreamy shoegaze record of the highest order. For the unsuspecting, it can be an otherworldly swirl of guitar noise and way-down-in-the-mix vocals, but it’s never short of a spine tingling melody within that dirge.

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The Microphones In 2020 (2020)

The Microphones In 2020 (2020)

Douglas R Hofstadter would have a field day with this one. Hofstadter’s Law states that “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

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Tricky - Maxinquaye (1995)

Tricky - Maxinquaye (1995)

I finally picked a vinyl copy of this mid-90’s trip hop (whatever?) classic today. If ever there was a record that was vinyl-worthy - it’s this one.

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Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura (1995)

Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura (1995)

Along with Low, Pavement and Stereolab, the Tengos have been nothing but consistently great. This record is a wonderful blend of early Velvets and post-Daydream Nation Sonic Youth.

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Linton Kwesi Johnson - Bass Culture (1980)

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Bass Culture (1980)

This is a great relic and snapshot of life in Thatcher’s England. “Inglan is a bitch, there’s no escaping it!” While it is politically and socially charged in places, (Mr Johnson could really getaway with singing about anything), the reggae/dub soundtrack in support of Linton’s wonderful prose is just fabulous!

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Son Lux - Brighter Wounds (2018)

Son Lux - Brighter Wounds (2018)

I hate always playing it safe with music and this certainly takes me well out of my comfort zone. And this record which I’m listening to for the first time since picking it out of a bargain bin, does so in such a welcome and refreshing way.

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Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.2 (2017)

Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.2 (2017)

Another sonic gem from Portland’s Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips) and Sanae Yamada. Some very tasty and oh-so-spacey guitar playing over hooky keyboards and some great drum work from John Jeffrey, elevate this to a thing of mesmeric beauty.

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Viv Albertine - Flesh EP (2010)

Viv Albertine - Flesh EP (2010)

Viv Albertine (once guitarist with The Slits) is my new hero. I’ve just finished reading her brilliant autobiography. (This should be compulsory reading for every man on the planet!

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Public Service Broadcasting (2017)

Public Service Broadcasting (2017)

It’s wet and cold outside this afternoon as this tribute to Welsh miners spins on my turntable. In contrast to the bleakness of the elements, it’s warm and cosy inside as the fire pushes out some serious heat.

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The B-52's (1979)

The B-52's (1979)

This relic from the very late 70’s is as infectious as Covid-19! At just under 40 minutes, there’s not one wasted note.

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Moon Duo - Mazes (2011)

Moon Duo - Mazes (2011)

Guitar-driven, wall-of-fuzz, melodic mayhem courtesy of Wooden Shjips front man Erik Ripley Johnson and non-affiliated keyboard player, Sanae Yamada. This records gives you a great big warm hypnotic hug.

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The Pop Group - Y (1979)

The Pop Group - Y (1979)

The antithesis of “pop” this is as abrasive and challenging as it gets. There’s no hiding. The dog is currently nestled under my legs somewhat disturbed by the dissonance.

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Arthur Russell - The World Of… (2014)

Arthur Russell - The World Of… (2014)

This FANTASTIC remastered 2014 compilation on 3 great slabs of vinyl just sounds well…. FANTASTIC! These 11 tracks, all released as 12” remixes, were clearly made for the dance floors of the late 70’s, early 80’s, but really blur the links between Disco, Classical, Jazz and Dub.

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The Slits - Cut (1979)

The Slits - Cut (1979)

I’m half way through Viv Albertine’s very candid 2014 book “Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys” She was brought into The Slits as the guitar player who had never actually played guitar.

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Electronic - Electronic (Fact 290) (1991)

Electronic - Electronic (Fact 290) (1991)

The Smiths and New Order. Two of the most influential bands of the 80’s. This masterpiece is the bastard offspring of Bernard Sumner and Jonny Marr, two key members of those respective stalwarts of British post punk.

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Santana - Moonflower (1977)

Santana - Moonflower (1977)

OK it’s not a “proper” live album - it’s got studio recordings interspersed with the live stuff - but as a 17 year old totally immersed in guitar hero worship, this thing still stings the synapses.

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The Beths - Jump Rope Gazers (2020)

The Beths - Jump Rope Gazers (2020)

More vinyl I’ve never listened to. It’s great to just buy stuff like in the old days when you only have reference to music choices courtesy of NME, Melody Maker, Sounds and local music rags like Rip It Up.

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Royal Blood - Royal Blood (2014)

Royal Blood - Royal Blood (2014)

It’s hard to believe that this duo from Old Blighty’s Briton can make such a god forsaken racket. Playing just drums and bass, they could cause all sorts of inferiority complexes for many a larger ensemble.

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D'Angelo - Voodoo (2000)

D'Angelo - Voodoo (2000)

The bottom end on this record is quite extraordinary. You do risk serious damage to your viscera and your speakers if you turn that knob too far.

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Cranes - Forever (1994)

Cranes - Forever (1994)

A voice like an angel and a band that plays like the devil incarnate! It’s a beautiful contrast - Elfin meets charging Mastodon.

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Thom Yorke - Anima (2019)

Thom Yorke - Anima (2019)

Another stunner from the Radiohead front man. I loved Radiohead’s last record, A Moon Shaped Pool, and it’s obvious that this is a hangover from those sessions.

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Lambchop - Awcomon (2004)

Lambchop - Awcomon (2004)

Put on as background music this afternoon while tidying the cave, I was also trying to convince myself that when compared with vinyl, CDs sound like shit.

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Cranes - Forever (1993)

Cranes - Forever (1993)

One of the finds of my recent trip to Wellington was this amazing record. Very tastefully remastered, individually numbered and pressed on gold and black vinyl, it is physically, visually and sonically a thing of great beauty.

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Kristin Hersh - Crooked (2010)

Kristin Hersh - Crooked (2010)

I could listen to Kristin Hersh play the bongos while reciting “The Lord’s Prayer”. It would still be mesmerising. To me, she has one of the best and most distinctive voices of all the rock ‘n’ roll women.

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Poliça - When We Stay Alive (2020)

Poliça - When We Stay Alive (2020)

Poliça are a really difficult band* to try and explain or categorise. (* Poliça is really just singer/songwriter Channy Leaneagh and producer Ryan Olson from the larger and just as uncategorisable collective Gayngs).

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Various Artists - Lie To Me (1989)

Various Artists - Lie To Me (1989)

This year, as Jessie from the “Fast Show” would say, I have been mainly eating compilations. In a most cases this makes for more enjoyable and “active” listening sessions as opposed to just recycling old CDs or “safe” vinyl.

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Van Morrison - Common One (1980)

Van Morrison - Common One (1980)

This morning I discovered a wonderful new podcast for the proper music nerd. It’s called “ The Album Years ” and is presented by one of my familiars - Steven Wilson and his close buddy Tim Bowness.

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The Who - Who’s Next (1971)

The Who - Who’s Next (1971)

I’ve always wanted to re-get this on vinyl (I gave my first LP away in the early 2000s) and was seething with jealousy when fellow shut up and listener, brother Ricardo showed me his big blue.

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Califone - Echo Mine (2020)

Califone - Echo Mine (2020)

Aside from a resurgence of vinyl in my world, I’m tending more and more towards playing music via a streaming service or off ripped files on network attached storage devices.

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Julia Jacklin - Crushing (2019)

Julia Jacklin - Crushing (2019)

Since coming out of lockdown, I’ve decided to take a few punts and purchase a bit of vinyl from my local “Family Jewels” record shop on the strength of reputation and Smithies recommendations.

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T.Rex - The Slider (1972)

T.Rex - The Slider (1972)

This is another one of my big influential records I listened to as a bored, shy and self-absorbed 12 year old at my uncle’s house in Palmerston North.

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Kraftwerk - 3-D The Calalogue (2017)

Kraftwerk - 3-D The Calalogue (2017)

RIP Florian Schneider 01010010 01001001 01010000 00100000 01000110 01101100 01101111 01110010 01101001 01100001 01101110 00100000 01010011 01100011 01101000 01101110 01100101 01101001 01100100 01100101 01110010

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Porcupine Tree - Deadwing [DVD-Audio] (2005)

Porcupine Tree - Deadwing [DVD-Audio] (2005)

OK I concede. The only thing better than Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing on vinyl is Porcupine Tree’s Deadwing on Hi-Res DVD-Audio. Renown for his production and high resolution recordings, Steven Wilson does not hold back on this beauty.

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Built To Spill (2006)

Built To Spill (2006)

OK, I’ve never been a big fan of Old Cranky throughout his musical lifespan. With the exception of his early days with CSN&Y, “On The Beach” “Zuma” and “Arc-Weld”, I’ve mainly stayed clear of his guitar and song-writing histrionics.

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The Beatles - Revolver (1966)

The Beatles - Revolver (1966)

This record seems to get a hell of a lot of hyper-praise. I’ve never really singled out albums in the Beatles catalogue to measure or compare against each other but in the case of this particular record, I really can’t see what all the fuss is about.

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Santana - Abraxas (1969)

Santana - Abraxas (1969)

I really forgot I even had this in my record collection when I went hunting for something substantial today. And this remastered gem on Antarctic Ice Shelf-thick vinyl IS truly substantial.

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David Bowie - Outside (1995)

David Bowie - Outside (1995)

I’m actively re-assessing Bowie’s records since 1980’s “Scary Monsters”. I have openly stated my apparent unwillingness to accept there was still genius lurking past “Ashes To Ashes” This isn’t Covid-19 related cabin fever talking either, it’s a genuine regret that I’ve followed the sway of the critics rather than making up my own mind.

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Tool - Fear Inoculum (2020)

Tool - Fear Inoculum (2020)

It’s been full-on 12 hour plus days over a 13 day solid stretch as I rolled up my sleeves and gave all the techy stuff a kick up the pants.

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Monks - Black Monk Time (1966)

Monks - Black Monk Time (1966)

A monumental day today in Godzone as we all prepare to go into lock down. It might be time to trawl through your collection or even, God help us, explore some new music!

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Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha (2008)

Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha (2008)

Super-G’s very last record continues with the high-calibre, riff-heavy pop-rock they are renowned for. Over their six studio albums they have made consistently great and seemingly effortless records that without failure, completely kick arse.

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Zed - Silencer (2001)

Zed - Silencer (2001)

I took a big punt on this one during my weekly Warehouse bin trawl. Dropping from $49 to $29 and a couple of well known tracks, including the anthemic “Renagade Fighter”, convinced me to part with my cash.

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Jenny Morris - Shiver (1989)

Jenny Morris - Shiver (1989)

Lovely late-80’s album from Tokoroa-Born Australian citizen, Jennifer Patricia Morris. While it’s got a definite 80’s production vibe, all of songs stand up really well.

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Tame Impala - The Slow Rush (2020)

Tame Impala - The Slow Rush (2020)

You know what, I’m getting sick of the same old same old. Three albums in and on the fantastic “Currents” Kevin Parker was getting flogged by the sky’s falling brigade for adding squelchy keyboards and turning his back on his guitar fuelled hazy psych.

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Stereolab -Switched On (1992)

Stereolab -Switched On (1992)

This really early collection of singles and EPs that were recorded prior to their first album Peng! shows just how far they haven’t come.

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Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996)

Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996)

This album, their fourth, may have been my very first exposure to the Stereolab collective back in the late 90’s. Many a CD was thrust into my mitts, including this one, as I ventured into Everyman Records.

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Supergrass - I Should Coco (1995)

Supergrass - I Should Coco (1995)

Literally just out of Kindy, these Oxford youngsters thrust themselves into mid-90’s Brit-Pop obsessed England. This debut is surprisingly competent for such tiny tots and remains a highly listenable and classic pop record.

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Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979)

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979)

There’s no getting away from it - Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” is quite good. It’s certainly the Waters and Gilmour show with some killer songs amongst the more operatic/filler stuff.

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Run The Jewels II (2014)

Run The Jewels II (2014)

Just a great big slab of shit-kicking R&B on double teal vinyl to upset the neighbours and add an edge to the Friday night “no work tomorrow” alcohol fueled exhortations.

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Kids See Ghosts (2018)

Kids See Ghosts (2018)

This is a brilliant collaboration between Kid Cudi and Kanye West. While it’s only an 20 minute EP, it does one hell of a lot during those 1200 seconds.

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Torres - Three Futures (2017)

Torres - Three Futures (2017)

This record was a complete impulse buy whilst trawling the JB-Hifi bins in Wellington. I heard mention of Torres via the “Sound Opinions” podcast a while back where she was highly revered by Greg Kot.

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Gruff Rhys - Pang! (2019)

Gruff Rhys - Pang! (2019)

Wowee, we’ve got a right one here! It’s the perfect way to see in the new year. Bereft of any English, this collaboration with South African artist Muzi, is mostly sung in Welsh, with a bit of Zulu thrown in.

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The Who - Hits 50! (2014)

The Who - Hits 50! (2014)

There’s no shortage of Who compilations. For me, this is the big, vinyl-worth one. 21 brilliant tracks covering 50 years, this is the ultimate showcase of their greatest, radio-friendly hits.

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Automatic - Signal (2019)

Automatic - Signal (2019)

Released just a few months ago, this debut record by LA trio “Automatic”, is possibly my find of the year. On non-stop rotation for the last couple of days it’s wormed it’s way into my brain.

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Boston - Boston (1976)

Boston - Boston (1976)

I’m not a proud man. How could I resist this 2016, 40th Anniversary Legacy vinyl picture disc for just $22! I’ve never really bought into the whole picture disc thing but in this case it convinced me enough to buy this record.

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XTC - Skylarking (1986)

XTC - Skylarking (1986)

Is this the perfect pop record? A faultless masterpiece from Swindon’s finest. Aside from the Beatles, I cannot think of another consistently brilliant band.

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Group 1850 - Paradise Now [TIDAL](1969)

Group 1850 - Paradise Now [TIDAL](1969)

I recently spotted a reference to Group 1850 in a recent “Shindig!” magazine. [By the way Shindig! is now on Readly , an incredibly cheap and efficient way of getting access to ALL of your favourite magazines digitally.

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Super Furry Animals - Guerilla (1999)

Super Furry Animals - Guerilla (1999)

A big hefty chunk of vinyl playing at 45rpm, a “hidden” track on side one you play backwards, a pop-up cardboard engineer in the recording studio inside the lavish gatefold cover, and lots of a complete off-kilter, genre-bending tunes/experiments throughout!

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Stereolab - Aluminum Tunes (Switched On Vol3) (1998)

Stereolab - Aluminum Tunes (Switched On Vol3) (1998)

On Tuesday 3rd March 2020, my latest musical obsession, Stereolab are playing at the San Franscisco Bath House in Wellington. As I may have alluded to previously, I’ve been gathering Stereolab’s entire back catalogue on magnificent triple, clear-vinyl reissues.

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Zero 7 - Simple Things (2001)

Zero 7 - Simple Things (2001)

I’ve been looking out for a vinyl version of this treasure for a while now. I happened to find it in Hamilton and this is probably the antithesis of that dump.

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NEU! - NEU! (1972)

NEU! - NEU! (1972)

While the Germans are responsible for the abomination that is the DIN connector they are also responsible for some of the most influential and amazing music on the planet.

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The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour (1982)

The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour (1982)

A glorious racket! They say there were several bands, including Pavement, that ripped off the Fall sound. That’s complete bollocks! Absolutely no one, now and then, sounds like The Fall.

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George Benson - Breezin' (1976)

George Benson - Breezin' (1976)

Certainly “of it’s time” this jazz-lite record still treats the ears. I’m sure I didn’t pay the $6.99 of the sticker price still attached to the disc but got it along with about 15 other DVD-Audio discs on one of my afternoon raids to the Red Shed.

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Die Antwoord - Die Antwoord (2010)

Die Antwoord - Die Antwoord (2010)

Die Antwoord still goes down as one of my most gob smacking live music moments ever. Entering the big Boiler Room dance tent completely cold and expecting nothing, I encountered little pixie Yo Landi Vi$$er in full flight “ah ah ah, I am your butterfly - I need your protection”

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The Flaming Lips - Embryonic (2009)

The Flaming Lips - Embryonic (2009)

The Lips have always been very generous with their non-standard CD releases - if you can find them. Most of their seminal records, including “The Soft Bulletin” “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” and “At War With The Mystics”, are also available with bonus 5.

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Beach House - Teen Dream (2010)

Beach House - Teen Dream (2010)

It’s 6 days since I’ve actually sat down and listened to a full record. Family do take precedence, especially when there’s tiny tots involved, but it is a sacrifice you make never the less.

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Nathan Haines - Shift Left (1994)

Nathan Haines - Shift Left (1994)

Another great haul today. I’ve been eyeing up the vinyl bins at TWH lately ready to pounce. I bought a swag the other day but this Kiwi classic, a 25 Year Anniversary remaster, was still retailing for $49.

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Stereolab - Dots And Loops (1997)

Stereolab - Dots And Loops (1997)

I’ve got a shit load of Stereolab records to work through. 22 sides of beautifully remastered clear vinyl in fact. There’s a new batch of their later catalogue remasters coming soon.

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Jakob - Cale:Drew (2003)

Jakob - Cale:Drew (2003)

One of my greatest live experiences ever was witnessing Jakob play live at some dodgy club in Nelson to an audience of about 10.

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Opeth - In Cauda Venenum [Tidal] (2019)

Opeth - In Cauda Venenum [Tidal] (2019)

I’ve gone walkabout with my iPhone and this is usually now my default for new music. I have definitely changed my original stance on only listening properly on a decent stereo system.

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The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heartclubs Band (1967)