This Just In: Skiptracing

I slept on the last Mild High Club album, which is a shame not only because I love punny band names, but because the album was damn good. When I heard the follow up was gonna drop, I checked out the promo instantly. Lots of comparisons came to mind – early Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Conan Mockasin, Tame Impala. What’s remarkable about Skiptracing is that while it references the aforementioned and many more, no two songs on the album sound alike. Hell, movements within some of the same tracks don’t even sound alike, but still flow smoothly, like well-written jazz. Apparently there’s a story to the songs, but I’ll need a few more listens to get to that part, especially because it’s tough to not focus on the arrangements. If you appreciate clever complexity within accessible songs, you’ll love Skiptracing, mildly high or not. Don’t forget this week’s in-stock list below – lots of hip-hop and weird stuff!!! -MLE

Mild High Club – Skiptracing LP
Listen: “Homage”
“Mild High Club founder Alexander Brettin grew up playing flute in the school band and majoring in jazz studies in Chicago. In 2012, a visit to Los Angeles allowed him to connect with the Stones Throw crew. Within a year, after passing the early demos of what would become Timeline onto Peanut Butter Wolf, Brettin made the move out west.

‘The difference between Timeline and Skiptracing is detail,’ Brettin said. ‘I was stubborn with the process for Timeline; it took almost three years to let go of it.’ On Timeline, Brettin resorted to vague lyrics so as to highlight the music itself. But for Skiptracing there’s both a heightened thematic aspect as well as more complex musical arrangements encasing it. In Brettin’s estimation, the album’s story arc is that of a ‘private investigator attempting to trace the steps of the sound and the spirit of American music.’

And in investigating the spirit of American music, Mild High Club re-imagine AM radio hits as blasting in from a parallel universe, the sound of early 70s LA in a smog of sativa. If Todd Rundgren was the primary touchstone for Timeline, Brettin and band now look to the wry, trenchant wit of Steely Dan, gazing deep into the dark underbelly of sun-bright L.A. and coming away with catchy songs underpinned by slippery jazz phrasings.

Dig deeper into the lyrics and imagery and that detective story slowly emerges. But it’s no simple whodunit? Instead, think The Long Goodbye, The Late Show, Chinatown, Night Moves or any early 70s inversion of the detective noir genre, where the gumshoe protagonist ultimately winds up investigating himself, navel-gazing so as to solve the ultimate mystery. Skiptracing is Philip Marlowe driving around LA listening to Caetano Veloso or that deleted scene in John Cassavetes’s The Killing of a Chinese Bookie where Cosmo Vitelli reads Cosmic Trigger.

In crafting Skiptracing, Mild High Club have made an album that strikes a balance between the known and unknown aspects of art and creation. While Brettin sought to have complete control over the creation of the previous album, in opening up and allowing these creative variables in, he learned a valuable lesson that lies at the heart of Skiptracing itself: ‘When you wish upon the unknown, you might be surprised by the rewards.’” -Stones Throw

Anti-skating, no skipping – new releases, reissues & restocks…
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders LP
A$AP ROCKY – At Long Last A$AP 2LP*
Aesop Rock – Impossible Kid 2LP
Air – Moon Safari LP, Talkie Walkie LP
Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls LP, Sound & Color 2LP
Alma Afrobeat Ensemble – It’s Time LP*
Alt-J – This Is All Yours 2LP
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black LP, Frank 2LP
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion 2LP
Arcade Fire – Funeral LP
Arvo Part – The Sound Of Arvo Part LP
Atmosphere – God Loves Ugly 2LP
Augustines – This Is Your Life LP*
Badbadnotgood – IV LP
Beastie Boys – Ill Communcation 2LP, Paul’s Boutique LP
Beatles – Abbey Road LP, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mono) LP, Magical Mystery Tour LP, With The Beatles (Mono) LP
Beck – Morning Phase LP
Bernard Hermann – Taxi Driver OST 2LP
Big Star – #1 Record LP
Binary Star – Masters Of The Universe 2LP*
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Babylon By Bus 2LP, Catch A Fire LP
Buena Vista Social Club – S/T 2LP
Case/Lang/Veirs – S/T LP
Cass McCombs – Mangy Love 2LP
Caveman Cult – Savage War Is Destiny LP
Charley Patton – Complete Recorded Works… Vol. 2 LP
City Medicine – Catch Me CS*
Classixx – Faraway Reach LP
D’Angelo – Voodoo 2LP
Daft Punk – Homework 2LP
Danny Brown – XXX 2LP
De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody 2LP*, CD*
Depeche Mode – Violator LP
Dim Past – Wey Yu Ghost CS
DJ Shadow – The Mountain Will Fall 2LP
Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside LP
Elzhi – Lead Poison 2LP
Erykah Badu – Worldwide Underground LP
Etta James – At Last LP
Faith No More – We Care A Lot 2LP
Fever Ray – Fever Ray LP
Flaming Lips – Yoshimi LP
Francoise Hardy – Mon Amie La Rose LP
Frankie Reyes – Boleros Valses y Mas LP
Frank Zappa – Hot Rats LP
Glass Animals – How To Be A Human Being LP*
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach 2LP
Howling Wolf – His Greatest Sides Vol. 1 LP
Iannis Xenakis – La Legende D’Eer LP
J Dilla – Jay Love Japan LP
Jay Dee – Welcome 2 Detroit 2LP
Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail 2LP
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? LP, Axis: Bold As Love LP, Band Of Gypsies LP, Blues 2LP
Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$ 2LP
John Coltrane – Giant Steps LP
Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison LP
Joni Mitchell – Blue LP
Joseph – I’m Alone, No You’re Not LP*
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures LP
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 3LP
Karriem Riggins – ALONE LP
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly 2LP
Kid Cudi – Indicud 3LP, Man On The Moon: The End Of Day 2LP
Kula Shaker – K2.0 LP*
Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill 2LP
Lee Moses – Time and Place LP
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – Press Color 2LP
Madonna – Erotica 2LP
Madvillain – Madvillainy 2LP
Masta Ace – The Falling Season 2LP
Max Romeo – Horror Zone 2LP
McCoy Tyner – Nights Of Ballads & Blues LP
Melvins – Houdini LP, Stag 2LP, Stoner Witch LP, Third Man Live LP
Mercyful Fate – In The Shadows LP*, Time LP*
MF Doom – Operation: Doomsday (Colored) 2LP, Operation: Doomsday (Colored, Alt
Misfits – Collection II LP
Mo’Booty – S/T EP CD
Morbid Angel – Gateways To Annihilation LP
Mulatu Astatke Ft. Fekade Amde Maskal – Ethio Jazz LP
N.W.A. – Greatest Hits 2LP
Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us LP
Needtobreathe – Hard Love LP*
Neil Young – A Letter Home LP, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere LP
Nico – Nico’s Last Concert: Fata Morgana LP
Nicola Conte Presents Presents – Stefania Dipierro: Natural LP*
Nirvana – Nevermind LP
Nouvelle Vague – S/T LP
Otis Redding – Lonely & Blue LP
Outer Space – Chase Across Orion LP*
Outkast – Aquemini 3LP
Pete Shelley – Cinema Music and Wallpaper Sounds LP
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix LP
Pink Floyd- The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn LP
Prince – 1999 2LP, Parade LP*, Purple Rain LP
Quasimoto – Further Adventures Of Lord Quas 2LP, Talkin Shit 7“, Unseen 2LP
Ramones – Ramones Mania LP
Richard Band – From Beyond OST LP
RJD2 – Deadringer 2LP
San Lazaro – La Despedida LP
Sean Price – Songs In The Key Of Price 2LP
Scour – S/T 10”*
Soundgarden – Down On The Upside 2LP*, Louder Than Love LP*
Spitta Andretti (Curren$y) & Alchemist – The Carrolton Heist LP
Stevie Wonder – Music Of My Mind LP
Super Super Blues Band – Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters & Bo Diddley LP
Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings & Food LP
Tame Impala – Lonerism 2LP
The Brothers & Sisters – Dylan’s Gospel LP
The Clash – London Calling 2LP, Sandinista 3LP
The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquette LP
The Detroit Cobras – Life, Love And Leaving LP*, Mink Rat Or Rabbit LP*
The Fugees – The Score 2LP
The Monkees – Forever LP*
The Shins – Third Man Live LP
The Stone Roses – Turns Into Stone 2LP
The Stormmers – Lovers Song LP
Thievery Corporation – Saudade LP, Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi 2LP, The Mirror
Thin Lizzy – Vagabonds Of The Western World LP
This Heat – Deceit LP, S/T LP
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – S/T LP
Treasure Teeth – Transatlantic Consultant/Romantic Impulse CS
Various – All The Breaks Vol. 1 LP
Various – All The Breaks Vol. 2 LP
Various – Ethiopian Soul and Groove Vol. 1 LP
Various – Lost Train Blues LP
Various – Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. 1 2LP
Various – The Rough Guide To Brazilian Jazz LP
Various – Wet Hot American Summer LP
Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground & Nico LP
Wastelands – S/T LP
Watain – The Wild Hunt 2LP*
Wendy Rene – After Laughter Comes Tears 2LP
White Stripes – De Stijl LP, S/T LP, White Blood Cells LP

*Indicates new release or new reissue