Categories :

Albums

CD$0.99

Soul - Released December 6, 2019 | Numero Group

Country - Released December 6, 2019 | Numero Group

Download not available

House - Released November 26, 2019 | Numero Group

Download not available
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released November 8, 2019 | Numero Group

Hi-Res
HI-RES$11.99
CD$7.99

World - Released November 1, 2019 | Numero Group

Hi-Res

House - Released October 25, 2019 | Numero Group

Download not available
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

R&B - Released September 27, 2019 | Numero Group

Hi-Res
CD$8.99

Pop/Rock - Released September 13, 2019 | Numero Group

Distinctions Best New Reissue
Very few bands lasted as briefly but cast as large a shadow as Indian Summer. The Bay Area emo band was active for the span of a single year between 1993 and 1994, but in that short time they perfectly conveyed a complex mesh of longing, restlessness, and catharsis that encapsulated the turbulent spirit of emo's second wave. The group managed to record only ten songs during their fleeting existence, but their sense of dynamics and the thick, mysterious atmosphere surrounding the music made those ten songs some of the most immediate and intense of their kind. As a result, Indian Summer's discography was passed down in various forms for decades after the band was long dormant. Giving Birth to Thunder follows the incomplete CD-only collection Science 1994, offering a nicely polished presentation of the group's entire studio recordings. The first sound on the record is a scratchy 78 of Bessie Smith's "See If I'll Care" playing in the distance. Just as quietly, tentative notes from a guitar and a muted voice hide in the shadows before the band explodes into a maelstrom of dissonant bass chords and syncopated choppy blasts. The structure calls to mind both Unwound's tense sense of melody and Fugazi's masterfully controlled chaos. Intense dynamic shifts were at the core of Indian Summer's best songs. "Woolworm" again begins with a floating excerpt from the same Bessie Smith song playing in the background as a searching guitar figure and spoken vocals flutter quietly. The entire band comes in at a remarkably low volume, escalating tension until they erupt into massively loud segments that let go of the pain, frustration, and confusion that builds in the quiet parts. This formula repeats in the somber "Orchard" and the explosive "I Think Your Train Is Leaving." Album centerpiece "Touch the Wing of an Angel… Doesn't Mean You Can Fly" is a more involved journey. Mumbled vocals grow to screams from several voices, the band going all out with stabbing dual guitar lines and locked-in drumming. At the original time of release, none of Indian Summer's songs had titles, and their general aesthetic was minimal and sparse. The song titles used on Giving Birth to Thunder were approximated by fans over the years from what lyrics they could make out. This nebulous approach could have read as vague or pretentious on a lesser band, but Indian Summer's ethereal presentation makes more room for the raw passion of their songs to make an impression. Some songs suffer from shoddier production, but the inconsistencies in recording were very much a calling card of early-'90s emo bands on D.I.Y. budgets. Along with West Coast groups on the Gravity Records roster or more obscure Midwestern emo acts like Current and Constantine Sankathi, Indian Summer made up a small but powerful movement in the early '90s. The staying power of these songs is in how driven the band were in their moments of both intensity and restraint. ~ Fred Thomas

House - Released August 16, 2019 | Numero Group

Download not available
HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

House - Released August 16, 2019 | Numero Group

Hi-Res
CD$8.99

Electronic/Dance - Released August 13, 2019 | Numero Group

CD$17.98

Dance - Released July 12, 2019 | Numero Group

CD$1.19

Pop/Rock - Released July 9, 2019 | Numero Group

HI-RES$13.49
CD$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 28, 2019 | Numero Group

Hi-Res
HI-RES$1.79
CD$1.19

Alternative & Indie - Released June 7, 2019 | Numero Group

Hi-Res
CD$1.19

R&B - Released May 17, 2019 | Numero Group

CD$1.19

R&B - Released May 17, 2019 | Numero Group

CD$6.99

Soul - Released April 5, 2019 | Numero Group

CD$1.19

Soul - Released March 29, 2019 | Numero Group

CD$17.98

Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | Numero Group

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
When Duster were recording their space rock mini-epics on wobbly four-track in a makeshift San Jose home studio in the late '90s, it's likely they weren't imagining that their records would someday be fetching exorbitant prices and that a classy reissue label would someday issue a box set. No doubt they were just having fun making music, expressing themselves, and exploring sound for its own sake, but history has a way of taking strange turns, and in 2019 the Numero Group's Capsule Losing Contact was released. The lavishly packaged set gathers the two albums (1998's Stratosphere and 2000's Contemporary Movement) and one EP (1999's 1975) they released for Up Records and adds the Transmission, Flux EP, the Apex, Trance-Like single, and a handful of rare and previously unreleased tracks. The collection finally restores the music of Duster to people who can now afford to own it and every fan of slowcore, lo-fi space rock and unassumingly brilliant indie rock should plunk down their money and get this set. The band (initially the duo of Clay Parton and Canaan Dove Amber, which became a trio when Jason Albertini joined) were making music inspired by all those sounds but somehow separate from them all, or at least they combined them in a way that still sounds unique decades later. The recording techniques are mostly primitive, the sounds unpolished, and the vocals often mumbled, but every song thrums with buried passion and grasps for great ideas just beyond their reach. The early singles are raw expressions of their sound, scratchy and noisy with some shoegaze elements (especially on the song "Orbitron"), and their obsession with space travel already established. Stratosphere is a stunning debut album made up of 17 tracks of lo-fidelity gems that are melancholy and muddy, the songs seemingly rescued from under a couch and haphazardly reconstructed on cheap guitars at half speed. It's a perfect opening shot that served to define their sound in wonderfully understated fashion. The 1975 EP was the first time Albertini joined Parton and Dove, and the trio moved on from the bare esthetics of the album. They added new sounds to the mix like keyboards, drum machines, and more tape effects, while still sounding warped and recorded on a whim. Contemporary Movement was made by the trio as a cohesive unit and it's their most realized and expansive album. Albertini's drumming added a new power to the sound, and the songs also sound polished in comparison to previous works. Still scruffy and weird, but with sharper hooks and more impressive presentation, like a real band instead of a studio project. It's less magical than Stratosphere -- which is nearly perfect in an imperfect way -- but it's still some masterful indie rock. Capsule Losing Contact sounds great, looks amazing, and totally justifies the prices people are asking for the original records. Duster may not have mattered much at the time, but in 2019 they are close to essential. ~ Tim Sendra