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Torn Light Records
356 Ludlow Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220
513-873-6995

Monday - Saturday
11:00AM - 8:00PM

Sunday
11:00AM - 5:00PM

Cleo’s Staff Picks

Scroll down to read an archive of Cleo’s staff pick write-ups.

  • Charli XCX – Crash
    $22.00 | Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Eulogy for late 90’s/early 00’s pop music.” – Cleo Raging power for the 21st century. Brilliant sound and production. Untouchable hooks and melodies. [...]

  • Rites Of Spring – End On End
    $18.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “I don’t really care about punk or emo music outside of this record, but god,,,,,,this record” – Cleo BACK IN STOCK!!! 1984 was a […]

  • Coil – Musick To Play In the Dark 2
    $33.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “The second half of Coil’s album of moon music is much more somber than the first. Perfect soundtrack to zone out to at 2am. […]

  • Katherine Dunn – Attic
    $15.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Dunn’s masterpiece about a disaffected woman trapped in jail for a crime she didn’t commit, Attic reads nothing like Geek Love and is true […]

  • Brion Gysin – Permutations
    $20.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “One of the ultimates in psychedelic writing & concrete poetry. No one matches Gysin.” – Cleo The first collection of the Beat mentor’s [...]

  • Jack Spicer – After Lorca
    $15.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Jack Spicer ‘translates’ and rewrites a selection of Lorca poems, often creating a hybrid mix of both. Anyone that says that poetry is overly […]

  • Andrea Dworkin – Last Days At Hot Slit
    $18.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “The only writings you’ll need from this controversial feminist figure. Dworkin’s writing is often overlooked because of some of her more extreme stances, but [...]

  • Samuel R. Delany – Dhalgren
    $21.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “An avant-garde sci-fi classic, I’ve never been so simultaneously angry & enamored with a book as I have with Dhalgren.” – Cleo In one […]

  • Katherine Dunn – Geek Love
    $18.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Classic dysfunctional family novel. Heartbreaking, bizarre & darkly funny. Arturo is one of the best written characters in fiction.” – Cleo Here [...]

  • Steve Finbow – The Mindshaft
    $20.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “A daring collage of a place & time that doesn’t exist anymore. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” – Cleo Perfect bound. 254 pp. […]

  • Michael McDowell – Toplin
    $17.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Absolutely insane black comedy existential horror. Like Eraserhead but simultaneously bleaker & funnier.” – Cleo DEATH IN THE FAMILY BUT COME [...]

  • James Purdy – In A Shallow Grave
    $15.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “James Purdy is one of the most underrated american writers of the last 100 years. His writing is grotesque, funny and heartbreaking, often in […]

  • Ryu Murakami – Piercing
    $15.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Equal parts disturbing & funny, an intense masterpiece” – Cleo Kawashima Masayuki is a successful graphic designer living in Tokyo with his [...]

  • Robert Gluck – Margery Kempe
    $16.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “A masterpiece of autofiction. Century spanning religious lust & obsession.” – Cleo Lust, religious zeal, and heartache come together in this [...]

  • David Wojnarowicz – Weight of the Earth
    $17.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Transcriptions of the audio-journals of one of the most important artists/writers of the 80’s Downtown New York scene. Equally bleak, charming & [...]

  • Jenny Hval – Girls Against God
    $20.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Mystical feminist theory meets body horror meets exploration of gender roles in black metal/Norway. A suffocatingly angry and dreadful atmosphere pervades this [...]

  • The Nihilist Spasm Band – Vol. 2
    $22.00 | Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “The greatest band in the whole world” – Cleo 2016 CD remaster of original release by Music Gallery Editions, 1978. Recorded live at the […]

  • Cindytalk – Wappinschaw
    $19.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Cindytalk’s Wappinschaw stands at a wild intersection between dreampop and industrial and manages the dichotomy extremely well. It’s also hard not to love an [...]

  • Facit – Beach Music
    $28.00 | , Add To Cart

    The debut fullength from Facit after a few years of silence. Often working as a duo consisting of Joakim Karlsson and Mai Nestor, Facit released a couple of fantastic EPs […]

  • Blod – Missvaxt
    $26.00 | , Add To Cart

    Blod is the solo project of Gustaf Dicksson (Enhet För Fri Musik, Oroskällan), a prolific and crucial figure in the Swedish Underground scene radiating out of Gothenburg and centered around […]

  • Kelly Moran / Prurient – Chain Reaction At Dusk
    $28.00 | , Add To Cart

    Originally initiated for the Merzbow, Kelly Moran, Prurient USA tour (representing three generations of heavy electronics), this archival recording is finally released as Chain Reaction At Dusk. [...]

  • Alvin Lucier – Music On A Long Thin Wire
    $13.00 | Add To Cart

    1992 release. First released on Lovely Music in 1980. A 50-foot length of taut wire passes through the poles of a large magnet and is driven by an oscillator; the […]

  • V/A – New Forces (NF103) CD
    $10.00 | , Add To Cart

    In celebration of the 10th anniversary of New Forces we assembled a compilation CD featuring all-new tracks from 12 New Forces affiliated acts. A snapshot of the sorts of artists […]

  • Robert Ashley – Automatic Writing
    $23.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Falling asleep to Automatic Writing, having a nightmare during Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon, waking back up to She Was A Visitor and going about […]

  • Cromagnon – Cave Rock
    $24.00 | , Add To Cart

    2013 reissue; originally released in 1969. Also known as Orgasm, this 1969 album has long been hailed as an underground classic. Included in Spin’s 2013 list “The Top 100 Alternative [...]

  • The Chills – Submarine Bells
    $40.00 | , Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Perfect bummer pop to ease into fall” – Cleo The Chills’ second album from 1990 is their much-praised major label debut. A rich tapestry […]

  • Blue (Derek Jarman) – blu ray
    $20.00 | Add To Cart

    What our staff has to say: “Hardest movie i’ve ever watched.” – Cleo In his final—and most daring—cinematic statement, Derek Jarman the romantic meets Jarman the [...]

  • Dome – 3
    $22.00 | , Add To Cart

    A true example of a band’s side project overtaking the original, Dome splintered off from post-punk legends Wire. While Dome’s first two albums toy with a minimalistic synthrock [...]

Human Rights

“Absolutely massive tome of cutting edge ‘science-fiction’ novellas & essays. A must have for any lover of transgressive writing. Has an equally essential bibliography of classic science-fiction texts to continue falling down the rabbithole”

Steve Finbow, The Mindshaft

“A daring collage of a place & time that doesn’t exist anymore. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”

Brion Gysin, Permutations

“One of the ultimates in psychedelic writing & concrete poetry. No one matches Gysin”

Michael McDowell, Toplin

“Absolutely insane black comedy existential horror. Like Eraserhead but simultaneously bleaker & funnier.”

Katherine Dunn, Attic

“Dunn’s masterpiece about a disaffected woman trapped in jail for a crime she didn’t commit, Attic reads nothing like Geek Love and is true testament to Dunn’s abilities as a writer”

Charli XCX, Crash

“Eulogy for late 90’s/early 00’s pop music.”

Rites of Spring, End on End

“I don’t really care about punk or emo music outside of this record, but god,,,,,,this record”

Katherine Dunn, Geek Love

“Classic dysfunctional family novel. Heartbreaking, bizarre & darkly funny. Arturo is one of the best written characters in fiction.”

Coil, Musick to Play in the Dark 2

“The second half of Coil’s album of moon music is much more somber than the first. Perfect soundtrack to zone out to at 2am. Batwings might be Coil’s finest moment”

Santa Sangre

“Forget El Top. Forget Holy Mountain. Jodorowsky’s magic realist horror satire of giallo movies is his true masterpiece”

Dan Graham, Theatre

“RIP Dan Graham. Nice facsimile reissue of an early artist book by Graham, documenting early performances. Essential for anyone looking to dive into the work of this criminally undersung artist”

J.G Ballard, Conversations

“A collection of key interviews with the ever-prescient writer & social theorist. My hot J.G Ballard take is that his interviews are the best thing he wrote.”

Jack Spicer, After Lorca

“Jack Spicer ‘translates’ and rewrites a selection of Lorca poems, often creating a hybrid mix of both. Anyone that says that poetry is overly serious or can’t be playful should take note”

Flora-Yin Wong, Liturgy

“A stunning book that delves deep into how we process and understand traditions, holiness & superstition. Unlike anything i’ve ever read.”

Constance DeJong, Modern Love

“An essential reissue of this autofiction classic.”

Dave Gilden, Texas Chainsaw Dopefiend

“American noise at it’s best and most raw. True caveman electronics.”

Andrea Dworkin, Last Days at Hot Slit

“The only writings you’ll need from this controversial feminist figure. Dworkin’s writing is often overlooked because of some of her more extreme stances, but her collagelike essays are emotive and transgressive in ways that few of her contemporaries ever were. It’s a comparison that i’m sure she’d loathe, but elements of her work remind me of Peter Sotos in their rawness. The introduction to this volume is also well worth it.”

Ryu Murakami, Piercing

“Equal parts disturbing & funny, an intense masterpiece”

Samuel R Delany, Dhalgren

“An avant-garde sci-fi classic, I’ve never been so simultaneously angry & enamored with a book as I have with Dhalgren.”

James Purdy, In a Shallow Grave

“James Purdy is one of the most underrated american writers of the last 100 years. His writing is grotesque, funny and heartbreaking, often in the same sentence. In A Shallow Grave shows Purdy in top form. I don’t want to spoil any of the twists and turns, but as I set the book down, I had to step outside to catch my breath. RIYL: the early films of John Waters, Denis Johnson, Flannery O’Connor, a gentle empty feeling”

Robert Ashley, Automatic Writing

“Falling asleep to Automatic Writing, having a nightmare during Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon, waking back up to She Was A Visitor and going about my day.”

Robert Gluck, Margery Kempe

“A masterpiece of autofiction. Century spanning religious lust & obsession.”

David Wojnarowicz, Weight of the Earth

“Transcriptions of the audio-journals of one of the most important artists/writers of the 80’s Downtown New York scene. Equally bleak, charming & rambling.”

Jean Baudrillard, America

“A fractured and poetic analysis of America in the 80’s that feels almost like science fiction”

Jenny Hval, Girls Against God

“Mystical feminist theory meets body horror meets exploration of gender roles in black metal/Norway. A suffocatingly angry and dreadful atmosphere pervades this book. Truly unlike anything else you could read.”

VA, Live in Los Angeles: A Small Mercies Compilation

“Spooky Action At A Distance.”

John Cale, The Academy in Peril

“The only classical/rock fusion album that works”

Richard Pinhas, Chronolyse

“The best sci-fi synthwave there could be.”

The Velvet Underground, VU

“Best record with a song talking about the weather in Alaska”

The Body, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood

“Grips you and won’t let go”

Sarah Mary Chadwick, Me and Ennui Are Friends Baby

“RIYL: Joanna Newsom’s piano tracks, bummers

The Nihilist Spasm Band, Vol. 2

“The greatest band in the whole world”

Richard Ramirez, Volume 1

“Ramirez’s best work has always been the work recorded under his own name, and this boxset proves this time and time again with each disc. Truly an essential compilation of noise from the master.”

Crazy Doberman, “Everyone is Rolling Down a Hill” or “The Journey to the Center of Some Arcane Mystery and the Entanglements of the Vines and Veins of the Cosmic and Unwieldy Millieu Encountered in the Midst of That Endeavor”

“Warped electronics, reeds & improvisations that recall 70’s trip classics like Can & electric era Miles”

Aaron Dilloway/Jeph Jerman, Casual Collisions

“Noise at its most minimalist & unsettling.”

Blue (Derek Jarman)

“Hardest movie i’ve ever watched.”

The Chills, Submarine Bells

“Perfect bummer pop to ease into fall”

Cindytalk, Wappinschaw

“Cindytalk’s Wappinschaw stands at a wild intersection between dreampop and industrial and manages the dichotomy extremely well. It’s also hard not to love an album that cites Bashō and Sade Abe as influences.”

Faust, S/T

“The first Faust record still hits the hardest. The warped sample of All You Need Is Love is still just as startling. Absolute best”

Joe Potts, Daily Planet

“Uniquely nauseating and disquieting early photocopy/xerox art by the mastermind behind Airway”

K&S, Vex Palladium

“Enveloping and pulsating noise at its most Byronic and baroque”


  October 8, 2021  |  Staff Picks