These three new records from Thrill Jockey mark probably my favorite releases from them in recent months. First up is “O”, the sprawling new album from electronic music pioneer Markus Popp’s Oval. I say sprawling because the CD version has seventy songs, a feat that could obviously not be captured on a reasonably priced vinyl release, but they have done their best, presenting the first twenty songs (the main meat of the CD version, the other 50 songs are on second the disc) on sides a-c, then seven vinyl-only tracks on the c-side. You also get a coupon to download the entire album in full. As for the music, it’s beautiful…a restrained, organic-sounding effort that puts Oval near master status. It comes in a gorgeous gatefold, was pressed on white vinyl, and is only $17. Visit ThrillJockey.com.
The second new release is “Infinite Love” from Ponytail’s Dustin Wong. You might remember him from a very well-received tape we posted awhile back. For IL, he got deeper than usual, attempting to recreate with a record a psychedelic experience he had. The same beautiful, fragmented pop songs are still here, just with a higher concept, check it out:
For Infinite Love (a reference to a psychedelic experience of Dustin’s), he wanted to focus on the potential of an actual album and the journey from beginning to end. This journey or musical process is increasingly being lost in the digital era, where often the focus is on tracks or collections of tracks. To highlight that journey, Infinite Love is presented as a double album, each with the same opening and different paths to the final codas. It is the listener’s choice which path to take.
The 2xLP starts out with the first half, then sides b & c are each “alternate endings”. The d-side contains an exclusive EP, “Indigo and Crystal”. The package also contains a DVD. All this for only $20, again, at ThrillJockey.com.
The last new record in this batch should be familiar territory for most people around here, a brand new EP from White Hills. “Stolen Stars Left for No One” has three brand-new tracks of blazing psychedelic space rock, each recorded live with no overdubs. It’s limited to 1000 and costs only $12. It will probably sell out fast, so act on it at ThrillJockey.com.