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Artist: HALA STRANA
Title: s/t
Format: LP
Label: Desastre
Country: Switzerland
Price: $29.00
"Desastre present the first vinyl issue of Hala Stranas debut self-titled album, originally released in 2003. Hala Strana is a summation of Steven R. Smiths interest in the traditional folk musics of central and eastern Europe. By incorporating the melodies, scales, and instrumentation of the village music from areas such as Croatia, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Poland, Steven has pushed his music into yet another new territory. This is not ethnological preservation, but a starting point. In the same manner from which the band transformed the sounds of early Americana into their own brand of timeless music, Hala Strana has abstracted these melodies and turned them into something uniquely their own. Like his previous solo work, Hala Stranas richly layered sounds are carefully placed but have a spontaneous feel. Instruments like gourd guitar, clay flowerpots, harmonium, accordion, glockenspiel, violin, and even bottles find their way into the mix. Performed on an array of atypical instruments, the songs, all instrumentals, have a magnificent sweep and grandeur but also a Baroque sense of storytelling and commanding, sometimes mournful, introspection, a tension that persistently creates a mood of captivating dislocation. Hala Strana consistently locates the source of their esoteric power, the part that suggests specific cultural heritages. The brilliance of the album lies in where those evocations lead, to what ends they are taken -- luxurious, complicated cities of the imagination, landscapes at once tangible and unknowable. This marks the first vinyl reissue of Hala Strana. All elements from the original CD artwork have been used for the vinyl edition. The cover art is a detail from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) but the Hala Strana writing have been hand-made by Mathieu Tilly (Druidhigh Visuals), who is also Frances drummer and the co-owner of the Standard In-Fi label. Tilly provided the new LP layout and insert (and the logo of Desastre label)." - Desastre.

Artist: UP-TIGHT
Title: s/t
Format: LP
Label: Desastre
Country: Switzerland
Price: $28.00
"Up-Tight are a three-piece psych group based in Hamamatsu, Japan with a history dating back to 1992 has released around 10 records. Up-Tights current line-up (2016) is original members T. Aoki (vocal & guitar) T. Ogata (bass) and T. Shirahata (drums). The ghosts of The Velvet Underground, Les Rallizes Dénudés and Amon Düül loom large over their personal feedback song-destruction universe. This LP is the first re-issue of their original CD-R-only release in Japan in 1999 in a very limited edition of 100 copies. It has been remastered in Berlin from original recordings and presented here in an edition of 300. Here is what David Keenan (Wire magazine) thought about this first CD-R released in 1999 : "Up-Tight are a noxious young trio from south Tokyo, all acolytes of the legendary Japanese psych group Les Rallizes Dénudés, who augment their sound with crushing, Sabbath-styled dynamics, earsplitting acid leads and beautiful Velvets-inspired ballads... Song structures are mostly kept loose, allowing for lots of noisy improvisation. Generally the album is anchored by heavy riffs. Just when you thought youd got to grips with Tokyos paradigm destroying psych scene, this one hits like a sucker punch." All songs are five to ten minutes long, varying from very melodic ballads to psychedelic journeys. The album ends with an epic track, "無題", which is an 18 minutes tour-de-force, that takes you to another dimension as if the Velvet Undergrounds "Sister Ray" would have a child with Acid Mothers Temple, while listening to Amon Düül under codeine. Up-Tight are from the generation that emerged with the madness of the Tokyo 90s and the P.S.F Records scene. Close to Acid Mothers Temple (the two bands recorded an album together), Up-Tight has a unique sound and is one of the most important underground reference in the Japan psychedelic scene." - Desastre.

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