Last week was an intense week, in an unprecedented year, and we hope that this bit of news might bring a little lightness to your day: JNR and Helvetia (formed by Jason Albertini in 2005) announce new LP This Devastating Map, out Friday, August 7, 2020.
While Duster (co-founded by Albertini) dwells in a broken down space station lost to the cosmos, Helvetiaʼs sound is decidedly more earthbound: guitars sparkle and soar beyond their means with hushed vocals transcribing aching personal struggles. This Devastating Map is full of unlikely hooks and odd shapes that desire repeat listening
VIP VINYL is limited to 350 hand-numbered copies pressed on Black/Milky Clear with Pink Splatter vinyl.
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - April 30 2020
We are pleased to present May's 2020 White Label Series selection Extra, F R double Eas chosen by Bobb Bruno.
Extra F R double E (May 01, 2020)
Forward to Mono
The End of Summer
The Medley I Warned You About
Do You Know What You’re Saying, Eddie?
Over and Overdub
From Me to the World
Free in Time
“I'm so excited to see F R double E finally on vinyl! I've seen Extra play so many incredible shows here in Los Angeles and have enjoyed this album for many years. It sounds like a lost gem from the heyday of vinyl and now it can be enjoyed by all on the proper format. Thank you Adam Harding and Joyful Noise for inviting me to be a part of this great series and lastly to Jim Mills for making such great music. Cheers!”
- Bobb Bruno
We are sold out of our subscriptions for this year, so we encourage you to follow Extra and buy from the artist! BANDCAMP / FACEBOOK / WEBSITE
If you are a White Label Subscriber, check the White Label Digital Downloads page to grab the digital:
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - April 29 2020
Greetings from quarantine!
We are very excited to announce that the legendary musician, producer, and Shimmy-Disc label founder KRAMER will be our 2020 Artist in Residence!
This 2020 Artist in Residence is unique among past years in that we are not just choosing a composer/performer, we are instead choosing someone who works with and through other artists. As a producer and label-head, Kramer has cultivated incredible art in a way that very few human beings ever have. Especially in these dark times, we think that his communal approach to creating art is vital.
Over the last four decades, Kramer has produced/performed/cultivated work from the likes of Daniel Johnston, Low, Will Oldham, Butthole Surfers, Sufjan Stevens, Bongwater, John Zorn, Jad Fair/Half Japanese, Galaxie 500, Luna, Danielson, Urge Overkill, Pussy Galore, King Missile, and even Gwar...
Here are some details on everything included in this year's residency: *
Box Set includes 5 limited edition 12" vinyl records, pressed on deluxe colored vinyl.
Features music from 5 distinct musical projects, each created/curated by Kramer.
Top-loading printed box also includes unique art-print, signed by Kramer.
Co-released with the legendary Shimmy-Disc Records.
These 5 titles contained in the Box Set the will be the first 5 albums released by Kramer's reborn label.
Each LP is being mixed on the historic Universal Audio 610 console that was used by Brian Wilson to create Smile, and the Pet Sounds stereo mixes, among other classic albums.
Digital delivery includes monthly email updates from Kramer, each containing new digital audio from his various projects, complete with digital downloads in lossless WAV + AIFF + MP3.
Your purchase not only supports JNR and Kramer, but also supports countless bands who will benefit from the re-emergence of Shimmy-Disc (one of the most important and fiercely adventurous labels of all time)
Joyful Noise's Artist In Residence series grants prolific artists space to stretch out, in the form of a year-long subscription style body of work. Joyful Noise works with the artist creating material throughout the year, periodically releasing projects digitally, culminating in an extensive physical box set. Previous artist participants include Deerhoof, Thor Harris, Rob Crow, Tim Kinsella, and Jad Fair.
Get to know Kramer
In a career spanning four decades, Kramer has positioned himself as one of the defining figures in post-punk music, while establishing Shimmy-Disc as one of the most influential independent labels of late 20th Century music. As part of Kramer’s residency with Joyful Noise Recordings, he’ll be creating a 5 LP box set and relaunching the Shimmy-Disc label, which has been dormant for over twenty years.
Kramer’s work in music covers a vast spectrum of sound, unified only by an unwavering commitment to experimentation and collaboration. Even a straight telling of Kramer’s bio reads like a wild tall tale. He’s toured as a member of The Fugs, and Butthole Surfers. He’s played bass for GG Allin, and live mixed Sun Ra. Kramer has produced records for dozens of artists, including Daniel Johnston, White Zombie, and Low. Through Shimmy-Disc, Kramer released albums from a fascinating roster of artists that includes Ween, gore metal heroes Gwar, King Missile, and Japan’s noise rock masters the Boredoms. There’s perhaps no other living figure with a greater connection to outsider music than Kramer.
While Kramer has operated successfully in the extreme margins of music, he’s also demonstrated an equal mastery of pop music, producing influential recordings from artists like Galaxie 500 and Will Oldham. Kramer even scored a bonafide hit in 1994, handling production duties for Urge Overkill’s take on Neil Diamonds’ "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon.” That song was featured on Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction soundtrack, and climbed up to a #59 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Kramer first rose to prominence in the late 1970s performing with New York Gong, a side-project connected to ex-Soft Machine guitarist Daevid Allen’s prog rock warhorse Gong. The 1980s saw Kramer co-founding a number of significant groups, including Shockabilly, Bongwater, and Captain Howdy, a collaboration with famed magician Penn Jillette. But the creation of the Shimmy-Disc label in 1987 would prove to be one of Kramer’s most enduring projects. With Shimmy-Disc, Kramer coalesced his varied talents as a producer, curator, and musician into one inextricably linked whole. In the words of Joyful Noise Recordings’ founder Karl Hofstetter, “his label became his art medium.”
“I tried to release stuff no one else wanted to release,” Kramer says of his work with Shimmy-Disc. “I decided that I just wasn't going to stand for seeing all this great music I was producing languish unreleased, passing into obscurity and nothingness right before my very eyes. I knew that there would never be anything I could do about a work of art falling into obscurity, but I could certainly rise to the occasion and challenge the specter of nothingness by starting a record company and releasing the music myself, on vinyl. At least then it wouldn't be nothing. There had to be the opportunity, at least, to listen, or not listen. So I started Shimmy-Disc.”
Hofstetter considers Kramer’s talent for production as one of the artist’s most potent skills. “Kramer is a visionary. He sees greatness in other artists, and he draws that out of them in a really special way.” Kramer views his work as a producer in almost spiritual terms. “It's all about love,” he shares. “Producing, if it can be reduced to a single-word definition, is giving. And one cannot possibly give one's all, without love. I freely admit that if there's no love, I’m not going to do my best work. Daniel Johnston knew that, and so do I, thanks in great part to him. Working beside great artists changes you. I could make a list of them that goes back over forty years. I'm 61 now. I haven't forgotten a moment of it. Nothing is lost. Time wears us down, concealing us from our selves. It's the artist's job to reveal himself, or herself, to find where the gold is buried. It’s producer's job to help the artist dig it up.”
Kramer’s residency with Joyful Noise Recordings will incorporate all aspects of his creative expression. “I’m devoting the entirety of 2020 to the Artist-In-Residence series for Joyful Noise Recordings,” Kramer explains. “I’ll be focusing on my work as an artist and collaborator, precisely as I did when Shimmy-Disc was operational in the ‘80s and ’90s.”
The bulk of Kramer’s work for the Artist-In-Residence series will revolve around the creation of a 5 LP box set. While some details for the box set collection have yet to be worked out, Kramer provided an overview of the first project. “The first LP in the box set is Let It Come Down, a collaboration between myself and vocalist Xan Tyler. I’d been hearing Xan's voice in my dreams for decades, so you can imagine the shock I experienced when I first heard her voice while awake. I invited her to work with me on an LP of songs I'd been working on for a long, long time.”
Kramer emphasized that production for the box set will utilize a historic piece of studio gear. “Each LP is being mixed on the same Universal Audio 610 console that Brian Wilson created Smile, and the Pet Sounds stereo remixes on. This is the same console from Bill Putnam's United Western Recorders on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood that drew hundreds of the greatest artists of the ‘60s to its doors. Love’s Forever Changes was recorded and mixed on this console. This is an opportunity unlike any I've ever had before. It's also a god-like ideal for my re-entry into the analog realm, which is where Shimmy-Disc began in 1987; with tape machines and vinyl LPs. It's thrilling to be back in the land of vacuum tubes and vintage analog circuitry, on the same console that gave birth to some of our most precious musical memories. It really is like being born again.” There’s no doubt that 2020 is a strange year to launch a project of this scale - or really, any project at all. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly all aspects of our daily lives. But for Kramer, the drive to create remains a paramount element of the human experience. “Make Art, make Love, die. With or without this virus, this is what we do. It's all we can do.”
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - April 02 2020
White Label Series - April 2020
We are pleased to present April's 2020 White Label Series selection Weasel Walter, Curses as chosen by Lydia Lunch.
Weasel Walter - Curses (April 01, 2020)
1. Curse Against Humanity - 20:39 2. Cursed In Eternity - 20:06
"Weasel Walter has released hundreds of recordings, played thousands of shows, worked with an unbelievably diverse array of musicians and refuses the confines of any one genre of music always bringing a ferocious intensity to whatever format he deems to create in. With Curses, a solo recording, he expands the boundaries he refuses to abide by once more... Mysterious, spooky. sexy. One for the ladies? Perhaps...if they like the idea that what waits in the basement ...waits patiently for them. Curses plays like a musical teaser to a creepy drive-in stalker film from a time and place that can not be named. As words alone fail to express the vast musical terrain this master has traversed, a simple paragraph alone will not describe the visions the listener may experience when seduced into the lush interior of this unique release."
—Lydia Lunch, Curator
If you are a White Label Subscriber, check the White Label Digital Downloads page to grab the digital:
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - March 25 2020
Good news: Deerhoof will be providing the soundtrack to the apocalypse! The band's new album, Future Teenage Cave Artists, is coming May 29, and is now available for pre-order.
Borne of self-isolation and deprivation, Future Teenage Cave Artists is about resilience and the persistence of hope in a future beyond any reasonable justification for it. It's a strange world we find ourselves in today, and it's clear that Deerhoof has been considering these apocalyptic possibilities of societal collapse for a long while... Deerhoof always seems to be ahead of the curve.
Today we are releasing the album’s first two singles—the title track and “The Loved One”– to give you the first taste of the complex cocktail of emotions that make up this remarkable record. The album is available on Blood Vinyl, CD, Cassette, Digital, and VIP Limited Edition Vinyl (limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on Blood & Bone colored vinyl, which includes a secret 5" lathe-cut bonus record.)
VIP Edition, limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on Blood & Bone colored vinyl. Each copy includes a secret 5" lathe-cut record, containing unique unreleased audio [no two records are alike].
Lyric Video for "Future Teenage Cave Artists", directed by Ryan Hover & Allison Durst
Full Album Description, by Benjamin Piekut:
"Deerhoof is a weapon loaded with the future." - Agustín Fernández Mallo, Spanish physicist and writer
Normal is never coming back. Whether by a collective dismantling or sheer collapse, our old illusions are being hollowed out. Over the past couple of years, Deerhoof has been asking themselves if there was any music they could create that expressed how the rapidly changing future might actually feel. The finished product, Future Teenage Cave Artists, finds Deerhoof in a revolutionary mood, but also haunted by memories of a lost world and every failed attempt to save it. People already cut loose from the system, already surviving with new ways of life—these hopeful heroes are Deerhoof’s inspiration. These are the Future Teenage Cave Artists.
Faithful listeners will recognize a certain alienated but transformational figure who shows up in Deerhoof songs going back to their earliest days. Take the narrator of “The Perfect Me” from 2007’s Friend Opportunity: an orphaned but eager soul attempting to entice other wounded wanderers who might lack a home, a clan, a family, a history. But on Future Teenage Cave Artists our protagonist is threatened by terror lurking around every corner. Add to that the fact that our “cast-off queen,” our “maniac,” our “terrible daughter” are watching themselves get orphaned in real time by an older generation in power that would rather see life on Earth destroyed than give up archaic systems of capital.
Like a lot of the inimitable music they have released over the last quarter-century, the Deerhoof of Future Teenage Cave Artists (Satomi Matsuzaki on bass and vocals, Ed Rodriguez and John Dieterich on guitars, and Greg Saunier on drums, vocals and piano) stitches together fragments of R&B and classic rock and transforms them into a new language of revolution, forgoing verse-chorus structures for dream logic and blind intuition. But what makes this album different is its intimacy—the blues riffs and slide guitars are joined by soft, rickety pianos and whispered three-part harmonies.
In this sense, FTCA inverts the formula of Deerhoof’s last album, Mountain Moves, which invited a wide community of collaborators to band together in an open celebration of solidarity. The new one, on the other hand, is borne of self-isolation and deprivation. It’s the sound of a sparkling, manic musical intelligence being disconnected from a nourishing public and devouring itself inside its own cocoon: a desperate lunge at metamorphosis.
At times FTCA indeed sounds as if the band has retreated to the caves, recording with unreliable electricity and insecure food supplies. Guitar pedals malfunction mid-take, reverbs chop off mid-tail, drum fills collapse mid-phrase. Some musical moments, as gorgeous and touching as anything Deerhoof has ever written, stop short for no apparent reason, giving way to queasy smudges of sound. Many of the instruments and voices were recorded with nothing more than the built-in mic of a laptop. Harsh splices make no effort to hide the seams. Hard panning leaves many of these imperfections weirdly naked in the mix.
In this way FTCA joins a storied lineage of pop records that expose the insular and reclusive nature of recording itself. Like Let It Be, There's a Riot Goin' On, or Sister Lovers, this record is its own “making-of.” Absence is a central character in the drama. For every heartwarming melody or pile-up of parade drums or shard of loopy guitar noise, there is musical acknowledgement of the toll that a constant threat of cataclysm takes on mental health. This is a sonic and lyric funeral for a way of life that is never coming back—an afterparty, back when the doomsday clock hit midnight. There are raucous toasts to the departed in high style, as sassy and spasmodic as anything they've done—see Side A; there are moments of profound sadness, maximally small, descending into madness, shrieking with loss—see Side B. All funerals remind us that life goes on, somehow.
In that time after the end times, it’s not only the food systems, energy systems, and political systems that will have to be rebuilt. Myths, stories, and rituals we use to make sense of the world are up for revision, too. Might not agile networks of mutual aid be our best example of civilization, and our makeshift DIY basement shows be the real high art? One answer might be found in the two-and-a-half decades that this improbable combination of personalities and backgrounds we call Deerhoof has spent on stage, cultivating quick-wittedness and improvisation. This is a record about resilience and the persistence of hope in a future beyond any reasonable justification for it. Like so many young people today, Deerhoof seems to be already living in that future.
Deerhoof Future Teenage Cave Artists By: Benjamin Piekut
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - March 25 2020
"In November 2016, shocked and devastated by the election of President Apocalypse Fuckface, a group of us sought normalcy, distraction, and community the best we could, in a recording studio. These songs were written and recorded quick—all within just a couple days— with minimal overdubs, a minimal slogan approach to lyrics, and the idea of finally cranking out the simple “guitar rock” record my various industry partners had been nudging me to do for the previous 20 years. The final track, “The Decline of Ballooning” is a counterpoint—a cover I’d been wanting to do for years by our late friend Brian Torrey-Scott, co-written with Sam Wagster. The record got lost in the clutter of all of our busy schedules and greater priorities, but now that the world is suddenly shuttered, no time like the present, eh? What a group here! Hope you enjoy Monster Mash Variations!" – Tim Kinsella
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - March 16 2020
Tropical Fuck Storm, Suburbiopia b/w This Perfect Day
Ahead of their North American tour (UPDATE: **THIS TOUR HAS BEEN POSTPONED**), Melbourne’s Tropical Fuck Storm has announced their new limited edition 7", Suburbiopia b/w This Perfect Day, out April 3rd!
This 7" is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on double mint green vinyl, and includes high quality digital downloads in MP3, AIFF & WAV. A-side "Suburbiopia" is a lo-fi, disco-scuzz, dance smash, with lead vocals from the band’s Fiona Kitschin feat guest drums and synths by Sean Powell (Surfbort), Amy Taylor (Amyl and The Sniffers) and Dan Kelly.
B-side track “This Perfect Day” is credited to the collaboration known as sNIFFsURFsTORM (ALSO feat. Amy Taylor & Sean Powell) covering Aussie punk legends, The Saints.
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - March 12 2020
Today we'd like to introduce to you, one of the weirder projects we've been working on: Toshi Kasai - Plan D
The legendary recording engineer & producer, Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Big Business), has enlisted the best drummers in the world for his "source material", thus making Plan D one of the most unique projects in modern music.
From his LA studio, Toshi created a complex drum-triggering system which is the catalyst for Plan D. He then spent the last several years luring drummers into his Sound of Sirens studio, letting them go nuts behind the kit. Meanwhile, Toshi has been behind the board, capturing the signal from each drum hit, and sending that signal to a variety of analog synthesizers. The result is some of the craziest sounding prog-like instrumental music you're likely to ever hear.
Plan D is an ongoing project, with four different EPs being released throughout 2020. The first 12" EP (& part 1 in the series) is "SW" and ships in April with the digital download sent instantly. Part 1 features the following drummers:
Dale Crover (Melvins, Redd Kross, Nirvana, Hew Time) Coady Willis (Big Business, Melvins, The Murder City Devils, Hew Time) Clem Burke (Blondie, Eurythmics) Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden) Joe Plummer (Mister Heavenly, Cold War Kids, The Shins, Hew Time) Paul Christensen (Qui, hepa.Titus) Troy Zeigler (Serj Tankian, Juliette Lewis, Buckethead)
More amazing drummers will be featured in the successive volumes of Plan D.
We know this might be a difficult project to wrap your head around, so HERE is a video that'll explain things better than we can with words.
Together with Toshi Kasai, we will release four different 12" EPs as Plan D throughout 2020.
'Part 1 (SW)' ships in April, (includes instant digital download) or you can preorder all 4 EPs (SW, NE, SE, NW) as a discounted bundle.
Each EP is limited to just 300 hand-numbered copies on gem colored vinyl & features artwork by MackieOsborne, with all four parts forming one complete "treasuremap".
Written By Joyful Noise Recordings - March 05 2020
We are pleased to present this month's White Label Series pick - Ambulances 'Frankie Bacon's Blue, Blue Heart' - selected for the 2020 White Label Series by none other than Shimmy-Disc founder, musician, and record producer, KRAMER.
"i wanted to do something to make my mother happy, but she'd been dead 15 years. I wanted to do something that might make my daughter want to speak to me again after nearly a full year of deafening radio silence. i wanted to give something meaningful to someone, somewhere, somehow, christ. and if i couldn't do something that was gonna change the world for sure, the least i could do was to make sure that one day, the music created by two aging squires from the Kingdom of Fife who call themselves AMBULANCES would someday, somehow, be heard on Vinyl. take a sad song, and make it better. And thanks to the Joyful Noise Recordings' 2020 White Label Series, that day has finally come. i dig a pygmy, by charles hawtrey and the deaf aids. phase one..."
Fantasize Your Ghost is the stunning and muscular follow-up to their 2018 debut Parts. Following intensive tours with acts like Wilco, Iron & Wine, Twin Peaks, and more, Fantasize Your Ghost is the direct result of the band spending more time on the road than in Chicago. It’s deeply concerned with questions of the self, the future, and what home means when you're traveling all the time.
Though Parts showcased their wildly burgeoning influences and talents, Fantasize Your Ghost captures the astounding magnetism and ferocity of their live show. Anyone who has seen Ohmme live over the past couple years can attest – they're fuckin' incredible performers. Check out their NPR Tiny Desk Concert for a taste. At times they reference simpler times, like summertime hotdogs and wandering the city, and in others, they are explosive, dystopian dance rockers. It encapsulates the thrilling and sometimes terrifying joy of moving forward even if you don't know where you're going.
This is a record of strength, of best friends believing in each other. Unapologetic and brave, they're really coming into their own in the studio. Fantasize Your Ghost is produced by Chris Cohen, who has helped the band sound more purposeful, more subtle, and more comfortable.
The VIP Edition is limited to 400 copies on the orange, pink, and cream tri-color vinyl you see below. Also included is a bonus flexi-disc featuring a David Bowie cover! Also available "Spectral Blue" Vinyl, CD, & Digital.