Coming April 12 : Water Damage – ‘In E’ 2XLP

Water Damage – ‘In E’ 2XLP (12XU 157-1_
out April 12, 2024

preorder from Bandcamp
preorder from 12XU

Volume, repetition, volume, repetition, volume and repetition, this is the sonic mantra of Austin, Texas’s Water Damage. On their new record “In E”, Water Damage continues to scorch the earth with walls of punishing sound. It’s no secret that something truly special can happen to the psyche when you are being pummelled with trance inducing drones, you can transcend time, you might laugh, you might cry but hopefully you look inward, letting a calm wash over you with metric tons of distortion. Water Damage are the rare “rock” band that follow in the lineage of artists like Faust, Tony Conrad, Steve Reich and Pärson Sound, one that creates such heavy yet minimalistic audio treasures that not only hit you viscerally but also give space to contemplate on your place in the cosmos. Their longest offering yet, Water Damage hits you with 4 side long tracks of krautpunk ending with a cover of “Ladybird” by Shit & Shine featuring Craig Clouse himself on vocals. Drone until you hear god speak.

– Joe Trainor, Dummy

Engineered by Max Deems at Diseased Tapes Billion Dollar Studio. Mixed by Travis Austin. Mastered and lacquers cut by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering. Art and design by Greg Piwonka.

“Ladybird” written by Shit & Shine.

Water Damage is Mari Maurice, Thor Harris, Jonathan Horne, Nate Cross, George Dishner, Travis Austin, Mike Kanin, Greg Piwonka, Jeff Piwonka and Lonnie “Palmtree” Slack.

Coming March 8 : Love Child – ‘Never Meant To Be : 1988-1993’ 2XLP

photos by Michael Galinsky

Love Child – ‘Never Meant To Be : 1988-1993’ 2XLP (12XU 136-1)
out March 8

preorder from Bandcamp
preorder from 12XU

At the very dawn of the 90s, Love Child’s debut 7” made a splash on the burgeoning scene of shambolic bands and lo-fi recordings. Back then, they were mentioned in the same breath as Pavement, Sebadoh, or Beat Happening. But Love Child’s two great albums and sparkling singles have become the stuff of record collectors, unavailable vis streaming and out of print, until now. Never Meant to Be: 1988-1993 pulls from these releases and some unreleased radio sessions, unearthing a trove of lost gems by a band that could be the best of all of the 90s buried treasures.

Culled from their smashing debut 7-inch, their two full-length albums, another great single and some unreleased radio sets (including a Peel Session), ‘Never Meant To Be’ has catchy hooks, gritty noise, sneakily-deft playing, brainy but blunt lyrics, and lots of other awesome stuff. Love Child were part of lo-fi’s beginnings, but also had the NYC pedigree to absorb predecessors like the Velvet Underground, the Voidoids and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. (Their swirl of brightness, brains, and brawn led Byron Coley to liken them to a fantasy VU made up of Moe Tucker, Doug Yule, and Angus MacLise).

Will Baum started Love Child while a student at Vassar College, bringing on classmates Rebecca Odes and Alan Licht. At first, Baum wrote the majority of the songs, bringing a Modern Lovers-like garage-pop attack to the band’s 19-song whirlwind debut album Okay? (Homestead, 1991) But Odes and Licht contributed songs as well, each with a distinct sonic fingerprint (One fan, Kurt Cobain, allegedly predicted Love Child would become the Fleetwood Mac of the 90’s).

All three members were happy to trade roles and instruments from song to song, but they also had some specific chops. Licht was a bit of a guitar prodigy, having taught himself how to tap like Eddie Van Halen, but versed enough in punk to know simplicity could be just as powerful. Odes’ bellowing bass was equally prominent, and her vocals could veer quickly from sweet to snarling, like Kim Deal or Georgia Hubley with a jagged edge. Take “Asking for It” (taken here from a 1992 Peel Session), whose righteous slam makes it a proto-riot-grrrl anthem.

Not long after Okay?, Baum left, replaced by drummer Brendan O’Malley. Love Child’s sound evolved too, toward a dronier zone not far from the bubbling haze of then-nascent shoegazers like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. On their next album Witchcraft (Homestead, 1992), smart hooks stretched into deeper ruminations, without any loss of brashness. “Stumbling Block” turned a riff into a minimalist mantra, while “Wait and See” took two melodies–one sung by Licht, one by Odes–and weaved them into the band’s most hypnotic moment on record.

Love Child didn’t last long past ‘Witchcraft’, though it’s not 100% sure that they’re fully done (Alan and Rebecca have been rumored to be playing together again). But until that comeback emerges, ‘Never Meant To Be’ should satisfy fans and newcomers for a long time.
– Marc Masters

Coming January 12 : Gerycz Powers Rolin – ‘Activator’


Gerycz Powers Rolin – ‘Activator’ LP (12XU 152-1)

order from Bandcamp
order from 12XU

‘Activator’ is the third installment from the trio of Jayson Gerycz, Jen Powers and Matthew Rolin, who respectively need no introduction writ-large. For anyone observing the American underground in the last decade, whether live, on tour or across various listening formats, these names are attached to the crucial goings-on propelling the Rust Belt and beyond.

Here we find the trio expand their collaborative vernacular across two sides of vinyl starting with the steady strumming of “Entrance”, a paradox of pensive riffing and anxious percussion where Gerycz and Powers meld into a nebulous cluster of shapeshifting staccato and phantom rhythms. Tracks like “Sun Rays” and “Ivory” walk a tightrope between structured songcraft with chord patterns and concise riffs held together by steady cadence, ranging from hand bells to the bombastic, full-kit eruptions Gerycz has perfected over many years. As each piece ascends and unfurls, Powers provides a gentle tessellating from her dulcimer, with each strike landing like raindrops upon shallow puddles. The title track “Activator” displays the full range and might of the trio, highlighting and merging the many facets and abilities each individual brings to the table, forming the singular identity that has made the project so beloved. Starting with slow dulcimer swells, watery bells, and mellow, motorik electric guitar, the track slowly tangles up its own elements and tumbles itself with grace and patient beauty while ascending to an ecstatic explosion of distortion and thunderous drumming before dissolving into an iridescent singing bowl meditation.

“Activator” leaves it all on the table, displaying a perpetual metamorphosis of different modes from improv to song structure, a display of seemingly endless possibilities executed with a nimble prowess that comes from time spent in close collaboration. Over 40+ minutes of transcendent music the trio employs these multitudes of music making approaches while remaining cohesive and articulate, beautiful and mysterious – a rare talent for the artists and a gift for the listener.

– John Elliott

Lewsberg – North American Tour, New Single & New Album

photo by Tommy Ventevog

LEWSBERG will be touring North America for the first time this Autumn, with a 25 show run kicking off September 20 at Brooklyn’s Union Pool. The band’s first-ever trip to these shores includes a September 30 Memphis appearance at the 20th edition of Goner Fest. Full dates below.

Said tour is preceded by Tuesday’s release of early mixes of 2 new Lewsberg songs, “Without A Doubt” and “Communion”, both of which will included on the band’s forthcoming 4th album, ‘Out & About’,  coming this September.

In addition, Lewsberg’s self-titled debut album from 2018 is being reissued in the U.S. by 12XU this July

Lewsberg North American Tour  2023

9/20 – Brooklyn NY, Union Pool w/ Ava Mendoza, Donna Allen
9/21 – Kingston NY, Tubby’s w/ Rider/Horse
9/22 – Philadelphia, Jerry’s on Front w/ Cartoon
9/23 – Wash., DC, Quarry House
9/24 – Chapel Hill, The Cave w/ Three Body Problem
9/26 – Atlanta, The Earl w/ Dippers, Arbor Labor Union
9/27 – Nashville, Drkmttr w/ Dippers
9/28 – Louisville, The Portal w/ Charm School, Palomina
9/30 – Memphis, Gonerfest 20
10/1 – Jackson MS, End of All Music anniversary party
10/3 – New Orleans, TBA
10/4 – Houston, Echoes
10/5 – Austin, Hotel Vegas w/ Water Damage
10/7 – Lawrence KS, The White Schoolhouse
10/9 – Chicago, Sleeping Village w/ CB Radio Gorgeous
10/11 – Indianapolis, State Street Pub w/ Craig Bell & the Dead Man’s Handle, Living Dream
10/12 – Columbus, Cafe Bourbon St. w/ Unholy Two
10/13 – Detroit, Outer Limits Lounge
10/14 – Cleveland, Beachland w/ Obnox, Wrong Places
10/16 – Rochester NY, Lux Lounge w/ Nod
10/17 – Toronto, Tranzac
10/19 – Montreal, Casa del Popolo w/ Chris Forsyth, Helene Barbier
10/20 – Cambridge MA, Middle East Cafe w/ Chris Brokaw, Minibeast
10/21 – TBA
10/22 – Asbury Park NJ, Bond Street Basement

Coming July 14 : Lewsberg – ‘s/t’

On July 14, we’ll be issuing the first US pressing of Lewsberg’s 2018 self-titled debut LP.  You can preorder via Bandcamp or from the 12XU mail order dept.

Recorded at Schenk Studio during the summer of 2017, one or two overdubs at the band’s rehearsal space in Delfshaven.

Produced and mixed by Jan Schenk and Lewsberg.

Mastered by Mikey Young.  Lacquers by Carl Saff, US Pressing at Smashed Plastic, Chicago

Coming June 2 : Weak Signal – ‘War&War’

Weak Signal – ‘War&War’ LP (12XU 148-1)

“Consolation” video – directed by Tran, starring Paul Major

first vinyl edition of NYC trio Weak Signal’s 3rd album, 2022’s ‘War&War’, originally issued digitally by Colonel Records.

“crazily focused & powerful” – Jennifer Kelly, Dusted

“a slyly incendiary collection wracked with rippling tension” – Raven Sings The Blues

“a mesmerizingly morose journey, yet a scenic one too. Just don’t whack it on the turntable when you’re feeling at your most fragile.” – JR Moores, The Quietus

Weak Signal is Sasha Vine, Tran and Mike Bones.

Ryan Sawyer plays additional percussion throughout.
Sarim Al-Rawi plays additional guitar throughout.
Cass McCombs plays guitar on Spooky Feeling.

Produced and Mixed by Jonathan Kreinik at Vitos Fall 2020 and Union Pool Spring 2021
Mastering and lacquers by Carl Saff

‘War And War’ is a novel by László Krasznahorkai

Coming June 2 : Water Damage – ‘2 Songs’

(photos by David Fox)

Water Damage – ‘2 Songs’ (12XU 141-1)
out June 2, 2023

More Water! More Damage! The second proper LP by this Texan juggernaut is even more biggerer than the first, a head-drowning pair of new “reels” (every Water Damage tracks generally take up a reel of tape, hence the “reel ____” song titles) that makes you feel like you’re swimming in a sun-drenched river of sound. Two drummers, two bassists, and tons of vibrating strings are once again a recipe for massive rocking-drone fires.

“Two Songs” has two songs, and they’re kind of the yin/yang of Water Damage: one toned very low, growling and roaring, groaning over a beat, while the other hums high, troubling the treble clef and ringing like a bunch of church bells that don’t want to be in church. They’re more alike than different though, divining momentum from repetition, flying forward by staying in place, climbing a mountain that they’re building as they go.

Enough ink has already been spilled about the previous-band pedigrees of the players in this hurtling collective, and by this point, the past seems way less relevant than the present when it comes to Water Damage’s present-pounding sound. These people know what they’re doing, sure. You don’t need a resume in front of you to figure that out. It’s there in every second of this gigantic, eternal music – in all the strings being bowed, the skins being slammed, the rumbles being rumbled.

You might notice that this time around, Water Damage haven’t just given their tracks reel numbers. They’re also called “Fuck This” and “Fuck That.” I take that as instructional. Whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re fretting about, whatever someone’s trying to use to occupy your attention so you’ll buy something or vote for something or ignore something: Fuck This. Fuck That. Listen to Water Damage. – Marc Masters

Water Damage is Mari Maurice, Thor Harris, Nate Cross, George Dishner, Travis Austin, Mike Kanin, Greg Piwonka, Jeff Piwonka

Engineered by Max Deems at Diseased Tapes Billion Dollar Studios. Mixed by Travis Austin.

Mastered and lacquers cut by Carl Saff. Art and design by Greg Piwonka.

Coming May 5 : Rocket 808 – ‘House Of Jackpots’

(photo by Mike Fickel)

“House Of Jackpots”
video directed by Frostine Shake

Rocket 808’s self-titled debut album came out in late 2019, and luckily, absolutely nothing happened in 2020 to divert the world’s attention away from the release. Combining the primitive analog drum machine of 1970s New York underground icons Suicide with the raw guitar of Link Wray, Rocket 808 blasted rock n’ roll guitar into our new, weirder present. Now Rocket 808 returns with a new LP, ‘House of Jackpots,’ taking up where the previous record left off while adding some new elements to juice things up.

Still channeling Alan Vega, the Cramps, and Duane Eddy influences from the first LP, ‘House of Jackpots’ further explores 1980’s television cop show themes and Ry Cooder film scores. “Punk rock Mike Post” might not be something you knew you needed, until you hear the first cut of the record. Slide guitar gives you your own personal screening of Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas” in your mind’s eye, or imagine if instead of the Barry De Vorzon intro, “Simon & Simon” opened with a trash-rock instrumental instead. Saturated in big-screen iconography whether its surf tunes for 100-foot waves or David Lynch soundtracks for a grimy 1970s Las Vegas strip, ‘House of Jackpots’ takes you out of our current reality that frankly, we all probably want to forget anyway. Covers of 1950s proto-goth Jody Reynolds and reviled eighties electro-rockers Sigue Sigue Sputnik give nods to the obscure rock n’ roll weirdos of the past while dragging them into the future.

Recorded by Grammy-winner Stuart Sikes and mastered by Crypt Record’s Tim Warren, ‘House of Jackpots’ takes electronic punk rock guitar noise into the 22nd century.

Rocket 808 is John Schooley – guitar, drum machines, vocals

Produced by John Schooley
Recorded, engineered and mixed by Stuart Sides at Big Orange
Mastered by Tim Warren. Vinyl lacquers by Carl Saff

stream “House Of Jackpots” / preorder ‘House Of Jackpots’ on LP (Bandcamp / 12XU big cartel)

Out March 24 : Borzoi – ‘Neither The One Nor The Other, But A Mockery Of Both’

photo by Angela Betancourt

This EP was recorded, produced, and mixed incorrectly for seven years by the members of Borzoi. We are legally compelled to state that we ignored 12XU’s advice at every turn. Mastered by Carl Saff.

Thank you Nick, James, Cia, Joe, Carlos, Gerard, Andy, Taylor’s Mom, Taylor’s Dad, Sailor Malan, The 43 Group, Kira Nerys, Wasteman, Leche, Trish, Katelynn, Tweedy & Nick.

This EP is dedicated to the almighty trash bin of an outer god Yog. Your reign will soon be at an end. The Usurper has arisen. He will burn your temples, he will bathe in the blood of your acolytes. You will watch with eternal life as the world forgets your name.

download / purchase cassette

Out January 19 : Chris Brokaw – ‘Live At The Decommisioned Power Plant In Florli, Norway’

In 2018 I was invited to join with the arts group Rimi/Imir in Stavangar, Norway, on a multimedia project called ‘Florida Lowlands’, a blend of music, video, dance and sound. The final piece ended up somewhere between a performance and an installation. I spent a lot of time in Stavangar in 20018-2019 working on the piece. It was a lot of process, and pretty different from anything I’d done before. I thought the final outcome, which really only coalesced at the first performances in Oslo, was great, new, exciting. The architects, a couple named Iver Findlay and Marit Sandsmark, were smart, ambitious, elliptical, hard-working.

In 2022 they invited me to participate in a small festival in Florli, about an hour from Stavangar. It’s only accessible by ferry and there’s not much there. Year round population is about ten people, and it’s most famous for its 4444-step wooden staircase up the side of a mountain, big hiker attraction.

The ‘festival’ turned out to be more like an artists’ retreat, combined with the wedding of Iver and Marit. My involvement was kinda last minute but I was very happy to be there. I met some great artists, experienced some cool and unusual performances; and played 2 solo sets, one electric in this giant decommissioned power plant, and one acoustic in the living room of a cabin. Both were thrilling for me; my new friend Jim Dawson recorded the electric one. This tape is that whole performance. As ‘post covid rejuvenation get togethers’ go this one was pretty great; the tape a good memento to an inspiring weekend. – CB, Cambridge 2023

download / purchase cassette