New Sounds, New Shape, New Look, and of course, the Classics.

Maybe you’ve walked by Ritual lately and seen us with a power saw Cutting up seemingly essential infrastructure, moving things about, scaling shelves, drinking beer and eating pizza although this time the difference is we look like we’ve actually earned it.

What the fuck are these guys up to? Thanks for asking. It’s a new year now, well and 45 days truly into it, but we’ve been too busy to make that announcement. Why? Here’s what we’ve been doing:

We have significantly fewer CDs and significantly more LPs. That’s because we sell way more of the latter in general and thought it would be more worthwhile to devote our limited space to more of that. We think we do it well we think and, hell, we know for sure we do it cheaper than most. Are we “strictly vinyl?” No. You want it on CD? If it exists on that format, we’ll get it for you real fast.

There’s a lot more new titles in and that’s brought about a broader spectrum of what the shop likes, knows and sells. There are certain bands, certain labels, certain groups of musicians at the moment who have grabbed our attention and we’re excited to share with you what we’ve spent the summer listening to, enjoying, chasing up and hunting down. There’s a lot in here right now, so here’s just a few gems:

Midnight Magic – Drop Me a Line: Brooklyn’s 9-piece ensemble Midnight Magic base themselves out of an abandoned Jazz factory in Brooklyn. “The secret love children of Donna Summer and George Clinton,” they make Disco music for 2012, as masterfully retrospective as it is forward-thinking. It’s amazing stuff, and the EP includes a remix by that duo who know remixes best, Holy Ghost!, as well as takes on the original by Steffi and Mano Le Tough on the B-Side.

Des Ark – Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker: Aimee Argote has been a favourite of mine ever since I heard her split 7″ with Bellafea years ago. Her first LP “Loose Lips Sink Ships” (also back in stock) was on non-stop rotation for all of the first six months after I got my hands on a copy, and since then I’ve waited semi-patiently for a follow up. This is it, and it doesn’t disappoint. Her live sets can be anything from full band ragers to her solitarily stomping back and forth un-amplified through a the basements of North America and Europe. This new album seems to capture the energy and honesty of both those extremes, going beyond simply shifting between the two though she actually manages to layer them together to create once again something entirely inimitable and hard-hitting. I love this band.

Peach Melba – Can’t Let Go 12″: I recently wrote about how much I’ve been liking the Juan Maclean LP lately, and a few people seemed willing to take my word for it. We’ve filed just behind it front-man John Maclean’s solo project, Peach Melba. It’s running along the same lines but Maclean seems to redirect the more house-y, repetitive, less accessible ideas into this project. “Can’t Let Go” runs at just over 8 minutes of looped, catchy dance music.

V/A – DFA Records sampler #2 – Given that for me the idea of a sampler brings to mind the endless amount of crappy discs in plastic slips I’ve had to wade through with orders over the past few years, I was a little hesitant about this. Thankfully, though, the New York based label has done it as spot on as everything else they put out into the world. This is 3 discs, housed properly as a box set, compiling the earlier moments of some of the dance/punk/electronic label’s finest. There’s an insane 10 minute track from LCD Soundsystem that builds and builds until it spills out into utter chaos right at the end. The Juan Maclean contributes one hell of a collection of songs. The Rapture are remixed on there as imaginatively as you could expect (Holy Ghost! at it again). Gavin Russom and Delia Gonzalez weigh in with a really great minimal, Krauty tune. The whole thing rules and is a great starting point for anyone wanting to know more about this label. I did. I got it. I’m hooked.

More local/Australian: Fabulous Diamonds, Naked on the Vague, Lakes, Absolute Boys, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, UV Race, Beaches (limited Mexican Summer LP!), Kromosom, Matt Bailey, Geoffrey O’Connor, The Twerps, True Radical Miracle. The Poor People LP is all kinds of awesome. And, yes, we want the Total Control LP as much as you do, we’re on the case.

Things you have seen or will see this summer: Thee Oh Sees (Corner show was one of the best I’ve seen in a bit), Sun Araw, Real Estate, St. Vincent, Tune-Yards, Black Lips, Wild Flag, Ital (also played some killer sets recently). We’ve got it all.

There’s a stack more coming in soon too from 100% Silk, DFA, Italians Do it Better, Wurst Music and Ecstasy Records. And, finally, of course we’ve also still got plenty of what we do best: Bathory and Pelican box sets are both here, the Marduk 7″ set (limited to 666!) is in too, the Sunn O)) Void LP reissue is selling fast, Early Graves, Nails.. our punk and metal sections have grown so big they’ve spilled out into the back room.

Keep an eye on this blog, with three of us to keep it updated now it’s going to be far more active. Plenty more cool stuff coming in.

See you in the shop.

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