9/23/22 New Releases At Mills Record Company
Ali Farka Touré trekked the world, bringing his beloved Malian music to the masses. Dubbed “the African John Lee Hooker,” one could hear strong connections between the two; both employed a bluesy style of play with gritty textures that elicit calm and fury in equal measure. While the influence of Black blues music prevailed, Touré created a West African blend of 'desert blues' that garnered Grammy awards and widespread reverence.
Though he transcended in 2006, Ali’s musical legacy lives on through his son, Vieux aka “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” an accomplished guitarist and champion of Malian music in his own right. On Ali, his collaborative album with Khruangbin, Vieux pays homage to his father by recreating some of his most resonant work, putting new twists on it while maintaining the original’s integrity. The result is a rightful ode to a legend.
Ali isn’t just a greatest hits compilation. It’s a lullaby, a remembrance of Ali's life through known highlights and B-sides from his catalog. It is a testament to what happens when creativity is approached through open arms and open hearts. “To me, music is magic, it is spontaneous, it is the energy between people,” Vieux says. “I think Khruangbin understands this very well.”
The genesis of the album dates back to 2019, when Khruangbin, coming off their breakthrough album Con Todo el Mundo, was beginning to play to bigger crowds. The record was finished in 2021, as a global pandemic shuttered businesses and forced us to take stock of what Earth was becoming. Indirectly, Ali captures this as a moment of peace within a raging storm, a conversation between past and present without allegiance to suffering. Now, given Khruangbin’s reach as a unit with legions of fans (including the likes of Jay-Z and Paul McCartney), they’re poised to bring Malian music to broader groups of listeners.
Dirt, the critically acclaimed and 5x Platinum certified, studio album from Alice In Chains is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The album, which features some of the band's biggest hits including "Them Bones," "Would?," and "Rooster," is now available on vinyl for the first time as a 2-LP with remastered audio.
Vinyl: $45.99 Buy
ABBA’s all-time best-selling album is now available as a limited-edition Picture Disc 2 LP for the very first time, featuring 19 timeless hits such as “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia.” Pressed on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl which features classic ABBA graphics on the design, the discs are housed in a die-cut gatefold sleeve.
Limited Edition - Gatefold 180-gram vinyl. A Night at the Opera is the fourth studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 21 November 1975 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Queen, it was reportedly the most expensive album ever recorded at the time of its release.
Queen were straining at the boundaries of hard rock and heavy metal on Sheer Heart Attack, but they broke down all the barricades on A Night at the Opera, a self-consciously ridiculous and overblown hard rock masterpiece. Using the multi-layered guitars of its predecessor as a foundation, A Night at the Opera encompasses metal ("Death on Two Legs," "Sweet Lady"), pop (the lovely, shimmering "You're My Best Friend"), campy British music hall ("Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon," "Seaside Rendezvous"), and mystical prog rock ("'39," "The Prophet's Song"), eventually bringing it all together on the pseudo-operatic "Bohemian Rhapsody." In short, it's a lot like Queen's own version of Led Zeppelin IV, but where Zep find dark menace in bombast, Queen celebrate their own pomposity. No one in the band takes anything too seriously, otherwise the arrangements wouldn't be as ludicrously exaggerated as they are. But the appeal -- and the influence -- of A Night at the Opera is in its detailed, meticulous productions. It's prog rock with a sense of humor as well as dynamics, and Queen never bettered their approach anywhere else.
Queen: Freddie Mercury (vocals, piano); Brian May (guitar, harp, ukulele, background vocals); John Deacon (electric piano, acoustic & electric basses); Roger Taylor (percussion, background vocals).
Recorded at Sarm Studios, Roundhouse Studios, Olympic Studios, Scorpio Studios, Landsdowne Studios, London, England and Rockfield Studios, Wales.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock
- Limited Edition Import (UK)
- Heavyweight, 180 Gram black vinyl
- Embossed Gatefold Jacket
- Half-Speed Mastered
Queen - A Night At The Opera (Limited Edition Import, Remastered, Embossed Gatefold, 180 Gram) (LP)
“God” figures in the new album from Philadelphia, PA based Alex Giannascoli's LP’s title, its first song, and multiple of its thirteen tracks thereafter, not as a concrete religious entity but as a sign for a generalized sense of faith (in something, anything) that fortifies Giannascoli, or the characters he voices, amid the songs’ often fraught situations. Beyond the ambient inspiration of pop, Giannascoli has been drawn in recent years to artists who balance the public and hermetic, the oblique and the intimate, and who present faith more as a shared social language than religious doctrine. As with his previous records, Giannascoli wrote and demoed these songs by himself, at home; but, for the sake of both new tones and “a routine that was outside of my apartment,” he asked some half-dozen engineers to help him produce the “best” recording quality, whatever that meant. The result is an album more dynamic than ever in its sonic palette.
Omnium Gatherum’s sprawling 16 tracks of gonzoid prog jams, dizzying pop nuggets, rubber-legged hip-hop odysseys and passages of pure thrash-metal abandon offer plenty for Gizzard fans and neophytes alike to chew on. Typically, Gizzard albums pursue a single theme or style – but part of the thrill of O.G. for the group was the opportunity to present new ideas without committing the entire album to just one. It’s both the perfect entry point for newcomers, and a solid treat for the faithful. Indie Exclusive “Lucky Dip” Random Color 2 LP.
From the first bass note within the driving drum beat you can tell something is different about the new record from Nikki Lane. The backbeat feels like a gutsy strut while the lead guitar feels like a revved up engine shifting gears. Denim & Diamonds comes out firing, spit shining the cowboy boots and tossing on a jean jacket. Produced by Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Denim & Diamonds has the Highway Queen embracing a more rock-oriented sound while still maintaining the heartfelt outlaw country sound she has developed across her previous three releases. Denim & Diamonds still has the fuck-off flare of which Nikki has come to be known. Her stylized, story-telling lyrics are all there as well as her catchy country hooks. The outlaw country sound is now balanced out with a gritty guitar and a machine gun snare that echoes the sound of 70’s rock. Nikki Lane has made a record that sounds new and old. Familiar and surprising. She embraces where she has come from, (“First High”, “Born Tough”) the lessons learned along the way, (“Good Enough”, “Try Harder”) all while doing things her way, (“Denim & Diamonds”, “Black Widow”).
FKA twigs’ highly anticipated mixtape CAPRISONGS is now on vinyl. The mixtape documents twigs’ “journey back to myself through my amazing collaborators and friends.” and showcases an evolution and expansion for this prolific artist who continues to thoughtfully push at the edges of her art. “CAPRISONGS… it’s bronzer in the sink, alco pop on the side, a cherry lolly, apple juice when you’re thirsty, friends in the park, your favourite person, that one sentence somebody said to you that changed everything, a club pre-game, your bestie who is always late but brings the most to the party, meeting a friend at the airport, just togetherness.” – FKA twigs. CAPRISONGS features collaborations with Pa Salieu (on “honda,”), Daniel Caesar (“careless”), Rema (“jealousy”), Jorja Smith and Unknown T (“darjeeling”), DYSTOPIA (“which way”) and Shygirl (“papi bones”) in addition to the previously released single “tears in the club”, which saw twigs teaming up with The Weeknd for her biggest track to date.
160g LP (pressed at Smashed Plastic in Chicago), in a Heavyweight Reverse-Board LP Jacket, with Insert Sheet, OBI Strip, and Poly-Lined Innersleeve.
In These Times is the new album by Chicago-based percussionist, producer and composer Makaya McCraven. This is the album McCraven’s been trying to make since he started making records – and his patience, ambition and persistence have yielded an appropriately career-defining body of work. With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators – including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill – the music was recorded in 5 different studios and 4 live performance spaces while McCraven engaged in extensive post-production work at home. the 11 song suite was created over 7+ years, as McCraven strived to design a highly personal but broadly communicable fusion of odd-meter compositions from his working songbook with orchestral, large ensemble arrangements and the edit-heavy “organic beat music” that he’s honed over a growing body of production-craft.
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ first acoustic album, Changeup, features chart-toppers like “Bad Reputation” and “Crimson and Clover,” as well as deeper cuts, stripped down and reimagined. Changeup showcases Joan’s signature, blistering sound with an immediacy that allows listeners to delve into the lyrics in a completely new way. The 20-track, double vinyl set, is at once intimate while capturing all the ferocity and menace that Joan Jett is known for.
Through the writing of these songs and the making of this music, I found my way back to the world around me – a way to reach nature and the people I love and care about. This record is a sensory exploration that allowed for a connection to a consciousness that I was searching for. Through the resonance of sound and a beaten up old piano I bought in Camden Market while living in a city I had no intention of staying in, I found acceptance and a way of healing.” Beth Orton describes Weather Alive, her most personal album to date, as “a collaboration with time – of someone struggling to make sense. And in that struggle, something beautiful got made.” For Orton, music re-emerged in the past several years as a tethering force, even when her own life felt more tumultuous than ever. After wrestling with mysterious health issues for years, she turned a major corner in 2014 when at long last she received a correct diagnosis and was able to begin managing her condition with medication. However, Orton found this newfound clarity almost as disempowering as the mystery of her inexplicable illness because it waylaid her sense of self, and when strange occurrences persisted, she was only able to process them through long periods of making music at the upright piano installed in a shed in her garden. These sessions in solitude turned into the eight-track Weather Alive, the first album Orton has self-produced in her 30-year career. The piano spoke to Orton, holding an emotional resonance she wasn’t able to explore with guitar. Indeed, the first notes of the album-opening title track usher the listener into an expansive, emotive and dream-like world of sound with little precedence in Orton’s prior work, and through the writing of these songs and the making of this music, Orton found her way back to the world around her. Orton’s close collaborators on Weather Alive include Tom Skinner (Sons of Kemet, The Smile) on drums and Tom Herbert on bass, with additional players adding nuance and color to the music: Shahzad Ismaily on guitar, drums, harmonica, bass and Moog, Sam Beste on vibraphone, Francine Perry on synths, and Alabaster dePlume on saxophone.
Vinyl: $31.98 Buy
Alhaji Waziri Oshomah — known to his fans in southern Nigeria as the Oyoyo King, the Godfather of Afemai Music, the Etsako Super Star — is the originator of a form of Muslim highlife that fuses local folk styles with pan-Nigerian highlife and Western pop. A devout Muslim and an exemplar of religious piety in his community, Waziri has recorded more than 100 albums over the course of his decades-long career. To this day, he continues to perform to adoring audiences who regard him as the greatest entertainer in Edo State. This September, Luaka Bop brings you the best of Waziri’s illustrious career as the third installment of their critically acclaimed World Spirituality series.
MP3 Album: $9.99 Download