MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 4 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of Illegals In Heaven by Blank Realm.
Blank Realm's transformation across the Australian mystic from sprawling spaced out psychotic punk blues, through the startling maverick pop psychedelia of ‘Go Easy’ to the widely acclaimed ‘Grassed Inn’, continues in its unrelenting quest for that quintessential synergy of chiming pop anthems.

Hook-laden throughout they unleash their wild yet tender new album ‘Illegals In Heaven’ which offers up freaked out reflections on life, love and circumstance. As knowing as the Chills or the Pretenders, loner ballads are as gnarled and world weary as Dylan in a cacophony as bruised as Royal Trux yet with the playfulness of Half Japanese.

Recorded and produced with Lawrence English (head of the Room40 label) on a late night at The Plutonium studio in Brisbane, the album sees them on their first foray into a recording studio. While it wasn’t exactly Abbey Road, it truly captures the chaos and majesty of the band’s formidable live shows.
It would be all too easy to say that ‘Illegals In Heaven’ is their finest work to date, but the simple truth is that Blank Realm have been without peers for a trilogy of albums, so it just might be as Sarah huskily intones, "Gold" too.

“Blank Realm are still bent on mixing the diamonds with the rough, and on Grassed Inn that particular swirl is at its most intoxicating.” Pitchfork 8/10

“Balancing the arty with the party to make for a set of danceable, hook-filled songs that bubble and bloom with an almost biological rampancy, shooting out tendrils of strange, snaking melody in every direction like vines enveloping a ruin” Guardian 4*

“A cracking selection of scuzzy, fuzzy psych-rock songs that recall Royal Truax and Sonic Youth” Uncut 8/10

“Blank Realm generate scruffy, VU’s-Sister-Ray-loving grooves, coloured up with blooping synths, and yowling, way-off vocals” Mojo 4* 


FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: A limited pressing of 500 Pink and white marble vinyl exclusive to UK Indies.

Yours, Dreamily, is the debut album by The Arcs, who are Dan Auerbach, Leon Michels, Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, and Nick Movshon. Also featured on the album are Kenny Vaughan, and Mariachi Flor de Toloache. Yours, Dreamily, includes the singles ‘Stay In My Corner’ – about which NPR Music wrote, ‘It's got a slinky, timeless feel, propelled with alluring ease by Auerbach's falsetto and a lush instrumental backdrop befitting The Arcs' roster’ – and ‘Outta My Mind’, ‘A great of slab of loose, catchy, psych-rock blues,’ in the words of the NME. 

The Arcs collaboratively wrote and recorded 13 tracks for Yours, Dreamily, with the musicians playing a large array of roles both vocally and instrumentally. Co-produced by Auerbach and Michels, the album was recorded in roughly two weeks through spontaneous, informal sessions across the country at the Sound Factory in Los Angeles, the Diamond Mine in Queens, Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, and in a lounge room at Electric Lady in Manhattan. Tchad Blake mixed the album on his horse farm in Wales.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Deluxe LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance vinyl, with poster and download card.

Lou Barlow

Brace The Wave

Lou Barlow releases his first solo release in six years, it comes as a follow-up to 2009's Goodnight Unknown and marks the third release under his own name. 

Barlow's extensive and celebrated discography includes releases from Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion, and his first solo endeavour, Sentridoh. Most comfortable writing uncomfortable songs, Brace the Wave finds the songwriter exploring yet another transitional period in his life. Tracks like “Redeemed”," "Wave," and "Moving" employ his early methods of tuning his ukulele down low and writing during the recording process, while album tracks "Lazy" and "C&E" are traditional-style folk songs that he performed live in the studio. The album was recorded in about six days with Justin Pizzoferrato (who also worked on Dinosaur Jr.'s Beyond, Farm, and I Bet on Sky) in Easthampton, MA, which Barlow now calls home after seventeen years in LA.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: Heavyweight virgin vinyl.

The Beta Band

Champion Versions

    Formed in Scotland in 1996, The Beta Band seemed more like a throwback to the cross-pollination suggested by Baggy and turn of the decade Balearica than the lumpy boys-in-bands drudgery of the burgeoning Britpop scene. As such they were welcomed with open arms. They brought a hip-hop and even reggae aesthetic to their downtempo folktronica and groove-based indie. This is the band's debut ep from July 1997. It's also their most famous, due in no small part to its appearance in High Fidelity, specifically the epic "Dry The Rain", which grooves away in its mellow, bobbing style seemingly without  a care in the world. Similarly, but to lesser effect "Dog's Got A Bone" comes across as a mates' party-singalong with a beatbox and harmonica. It was a breath of fresh air at the time and still resonates to this day. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: July 97's debut ep was a breath of fresh air amidst the Britpop bores of the era.

    The Beta Band

    Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos

      Formed in Scotland in 1996, The Beta Band seemed more like a throwback to the cross-pollination suggested by Baggy and turn of the decade Balearica than the lumpy boys-in-bands drudgery of the burgeoning Britpop scene. As such they were welcomed with open arms. They brought a hip-hop and even reggae aesthetic to their downtempo folktronica and melodic indie pop. "Los Amigos del Beta Bandos" was released in July 1998 and was their most mellow, appealingly loose and creative ep yet. In "Dr.Baker" they captured the perfect essence of  lead singer Steve Mason's monkish,  melancholic incantations thus far. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: Massive excitement had built up by the time of this, the Beta Band's third and final ep in July 1998. Many consider these 3 superlative records to be the group at the peak of their powers.

      The Beta Band

      The Patty Patty Sound

        Formed in Scotland in 1996, The Beta Band seemed more like a throwback to the cross-pollination suggested by Baggy and turn of the decade Balearica than the lumpy boys-in-bands drudgery of the burgeoning Britpop scene. As such they were welcomed with open arms. They brought a hip-hop and even reggae influence to their downtempo foltronica and melodic indie grooves. "The Patty Patty Sound"  from March 1998 showcased their more experimental or even indulgent side (the enormously long "Monolith", their "Revolution No.9"?) and at nearly 37 minutes long, could have qualified as a proper long-player!  In contrast, "Inner Meet Me" was  their poppiest effort so far, which in tandom with the neo-psychedelia elsewhere sugested a super creative playfulness  in a band that were quickly becoming press and record shop darlings.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Andy says: Their second ep in March 98 got everyone over excited about the potential for this completely unique bunch of Scottish, groovy psychemeisters.

        The Brian Jonestown Massacre

        Thank God For Mental Illness

          Available on 180 gram yellow coloured vinyl with download code for Sounds Of Confusion. This the first time this title has been available on vinyl .

          At the risk of further belabouring a rather obvious point, with "Thank God For Mental Illness", their third collection of absolutely stunning music in 1996, the Brian Jonestown Massacre parallels the prolific and effortless brilliance of the Rolling Stones at their fevered late-1960s peak; the sheer scope of their achievements is stunning — rarely are bands quite so productive, or quite so consistently amazing. "Thank God" is the BJM's down-and-dirty country-blues outing, all 13-odd tracks supposedly recorded on a single July day at a cost of just $17.36.

          The Clientele

          Alone & Unreal: The Best Of The Clientele

          The Clientele first formed in the early 1990s in the backwoods of suburban Hampshire, playing together as kids at school remote from any kind of music scene, but hypnotized by the magical strangeness of Galaxie 500 and Felt and the psych pop of Love and the Zombies. During a pub conversation the band collectively voted that it was OK to be influenced by Surrealist poetry but not OK to have any shouting or blues guitar solos. From that moment on they put their stamp on a kind of eerie, distanced pure pop, stripped to its essentials and recorded quickly to 4 track analogue tape. These recordings were released as lovingly packaged 7" singles at the tail-end of the 90s, and compiled as the millennium ended into the debut album, 'Suburban Light', now hailed as one of the finest records of that decade.

          From the faded pop art of 'Suburban Light' came a move into the fog with the 2nd LP, 'The Violet Hour', released in 2003. An attempt to create a deeper, more mysterious sound, it was an archetypal Clientele record: hypnotic, self-enclosed, meticulously creating its own world. The Clientele re-invented their music with Strange Geometry (2005) and God Save the Clientele (2007); Brian O'Shaughnessy (My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream) and Mark Nevers produced (Lambchop), and El Records legend Louis Philippe provided typically gorgeous string arrangements. The sound was bigger, brighter, and clearer, MacLean's ringing, classically-influenced guitar style and James Hornsey's melodic bass combining to create a different kind of depth and atmosphere for the newly sparkling songs, which now came complete with crossover appeal; incongruously, one of them even featured in the Keanu Reeves / Sandra Bullock weepie, "The Lake House".

          Released to rave reviews in the UK and the US, their final album 'Bonfires on the Heath' was in a sense a return to the Clientele's roots; the dreamlike suburban landscapes first encountered in the early singles, their trippy sense of menace stronger. Instantly identifiable the clientele sound like no one else - although they are cited as an influence by contemporary bands as diverse as the War on Drugs, Panda Bear and the Fleet Foxes.

          The Clientele release 'Alone & Unreal: The Best Of The Clientele' on Pointy Records. The compilation album features tracks from each of their previous 5 albums plus one new song. Both the LP and CD versions also include a bonus download of 'lost' clientele album 'The Sound Of Young Basingstoke' a previously unreleased live session from an early incarnation of the band.

          Cold Showers

          Matter Of Choice

            Cold Showers, a band formed in Highland Park, California in 2010, fuse the brash power of their shoegaze pedigree with the smokey compulsions of post-punk and no-wave ancestors, they'd fit in well amongst their idols on the Factory or early Rough Trade back catalog, but blend in perfectly amongst the unique foliage found on the Dais Records roster.

            After releasing singles on Mexican Summer and Art Fag, Cold Showers signed with Dais Records and by the late summer of 2012, Dais had released the band’s debut album, Love and Regret, to a storm of industry praise and critical acclaim. After successful tours with bands such as The Soft Moon & Veronica Falls the members decided to take some time off to start crafting new songs in a more pop-oriented direction. These songs started to take form in a handful of singles and live cassette releases on Dais, until the band decided to hunker down in the studio to formalize and cement the tracks found on their new album.

            'Matter Of Choice', their sophomore album, see's the band step up to the plate, with more pop sensibility under their belt, and it's this pervasive pop mode against which Cold Showers cast themselves, without ever fully relinquishing themselves from their signature piston-precision rhythms, and anthem laden synthesizer illuminations that came about within the band’s formation.

            In tandem with the release of 'Matter of Choice', Dais has partnered up with Berlin-based record label, Aufnahme + Wiedergabe, who will be releasing a limited edition 7’’ for the first single from the album entitled 'Plantlife' in late August 2015.

            “…a relentlessly dark record, the same way a Joy Division record is relentlessly dark. It’s a state of mind as much as it is a singular emotion to build something significant around…honest and open and simple (in a good way!). It feels like all these songs could have existed forever.” 
            - The Fader.

            “…creates a level of tension that sustains them far better that any of their peers, or bands that’ve been stripping the bones of a dead music industry, dead dreams, childrens’ choirs and Sundance movie trailers.”
            - Dusted Magazine.

            “I listen to this and all I can think about are starry night skies and motorcycles in the desert and razor blades and smooching hot babes in the bathtub between cigarette puffs and, like, really cool boots and Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys and, honestly, I give this an A-fucking-plus.”
            - Vice.

            Shaun Fleming is a member of Foxygen. The album features Felcia Douglass of Ava Luna and Sam France of Foxygen. In December of 2012, former Disney actor and didgeridoo craftsman Shaun Fleming moved from his hometown of Agora Hills, CA to aManhattan apartment. The move took its toll on Fleming, who soon fell ill with the flu. Fleming holed up in his apartment writing and recording songs everyday, a process that gave birth to the alter-ego Diane Coff­ee, and her first album My Friend Fish.

            My Friend Fish was an album born out of sickness and nostalgia for the sunshine and solitude of California. Sweet, gritty, and full of life, the songs were our first glimpse into Diane's vibrant and pleasantly twisted world. According to Fleming, it was "a documentation of my new east coast existence. My acceptance and embrace of Diane. It's not surprising that after visiting the charming midwest town of Bloomington, IN (home of Foxygen's label) Fleming decided to make yet another spontaneous move.

            "I might just like new surroundings. Naturally the move and the return to a small town got his creative juices flowing again. Just as the move from sunny California to New York inspired a dark album with relatively optimistic lyrics, his move from New York to Bloomington inspired the new album Everybody's a Good Dog, a bright energetic album with relatively dark lyrics. Unlike the production limitations that defined the sound of My Friend Fish (recording drums on an iPhone, using a detuned guitar in lieu of a bass, etc) Everybody's a Good Dog was recorded in proper studios with a full band, horns, and a string ensemble, finally bringing to life Fleming's deep well of talent and ideas.

            The album opens with the dynamic "Spring Breathes", which erupts from sweet acapella into bursts of full band mayhem as Fleming croons about a new love. "Mayflower" with its big brass and Motown swagger is a contender for party jam of the year, while the head-bobbing "GovT" explores "politics involved in the music business, and the struggle to govern and be governed." "Too Much SpaceMan", a psychedelic trip into the eyes of a jaded defense attorney, is followed by "I Dig You Baby" on which Fleming comes unhinged as he channels early New York Dolls. The album closes with the bittersweet "Not That Easy", which finds Fleming coming to terms with the fact that he'll never been an ordinary partner, "I will always be the lover coming home," he says. The album's unstoppable grooves and melodies were written with live performance in mind. When you hear him pouring every bit of his two decades of experience as a performer into these songs, it's clear that Diane Co­ee is not a side project, it's THE project Fleming has been working towards his whole life.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            LP Info: LP features deluxe packaging including embossed text and printed inserts.

            Brian Ellis Group

            Escondido Sessions

              There’s something brewing in Southern California these days, besides the world’s finest Pale Ale and crystal clear surf rolling up the shore along the Interstate 5. Recently there’s been a pour of mindblowing prog-, psych- and free-rock in impeccable form out of San Diego County: Seamlessly merging jazz tendencies and extraordinary jam-abilities with crushing heaviness, electronics and a general out-there-ness. Bands such as Psicomagia, Earthless and Joy has earned SoCal it’s own unique spot on the worldwide map of psychedelia. At the heart of all this, is one young Escondido native, Brian Ellis. A guitar virtuoso in Astra, saxophonist in Psicomagia as well as keys- and synth-wiz. For years he’s been cutting his teeth as a grade A session player in heavyweight funk-outfits such as Egyptian Lover, as well as a studio owner gradually turning into an esteemed recording engineer. It was only a matter of time before he was gonna get his own group of local offbeat heroes in the same room and crank out a spectacular piece of prismatic, electric free-form jazz. And here it is.

              Along with members from Radio Moscow, Corima and Psicomagia, Brian has cooked up two vinyl sides of seriously vital jazz-rock, taking up where Miles Davis, Tony Williams and Donald Byrd left off in the seventies. This music is a far cry from the self-absorbed European free-jazz or academic noodling one is likely to meet at any given jazz festival - no, this music is earthy, like, say, Hendrix at Woodstock, or Miles’ Live Evil - a pinnacle challenge of the past that has never met any really satisfying response from contemporary music. There’s that unique sense of percussive drift that characterized Can’s records in the first half of the seventies - somehow extravagant, yet also subtle at the same time. The warmth of Brian’s sun-dried Rhodes and cosmic Moog-lines intertwine with Patrick Shiroishi’s Coltrane-inspired soprano arabesques. Trevor Mast’s thick bass lines and a multitude of tribalistic percussion keep it together along with a naturalistic crisp-sounding recording. It all adds up to a soulful tour de force of everything that’s great about the current San Diego scene. To be played loudly.

              File next to: Miles Davis, Tortoise, Marion Brown, Joe Henderson, Can, Donald Byrd . 

              Warren Ellis

              Mustang OST

                “Early summer. In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are walking home from school, playing innocently with some boys. The immorality of their play sets off a scandal that has unexpected consequences. The family home is progressively transformed into a prison; instruction in homemaking replaces school and marriages start being arranged. The five sisters who share a common passion for freedom, find ways of getting around the constraints imposed on them.”

                MUSTANG was screened in Cannes this year in part of the Directors’ Fortnight and it would be an understatement to say that it has moved people! This true masterpiece is the first feature film directed by French Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven.

                As an internationally renowned multi-instrumentalist, Australian musician Warren Ellis is the great collaborator of Nick Cave within The Bad Seeds and Grinderman. The duo also has composed many soundtracks together: “The Proposition”, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”, “The Road”, “Lawless” and “Loin des Hommes”, among others.

                “Mustang” is the first soundtrack composed by Warren Ellis as a solo artist.

                3rd album by Berlin's indie weirdos Fenster. Presenting a varied palette of post-psychedelia on this original soundtrack for the movie "Emocean"

                Fenster's Emocean is the soundtrack to an adventure sci-fi film created by and starring the band. The music is a swirling cosmos of richly varied post-psychedelia, transcending the boundaries of reality and traditional pop-records to join the ranks of other genre bending Music Films like Daft Punk's "Interstella 5555" or Prince Rama's "Never Forever". With Emocean, the band utilizes their classic approach to non-traditional percussion and instrumentation, but this time ventures deeper into new territory with funky bass lines (Off The Cahin) complimented by additional instruments like bass clarinet (Memories), flute (Phantasia) and modular synthesizers (Samson's Theme). Emocean is a nuanced and surprising departure from their first two albums. The approach to this record was a more holistic exercise in "collective songwriting" and was resulted from a series of feverish jam sessions. The sounds evoke a broad spectrum of parallel universes - from soothing surfy tidal cliffs to analog synth dungeons, interstellar purple-funk disco-techs, wobbly organ's in houses of worship, acid blues parades and delicate maiden's picking daisies on the moon (Les Fleurs). The most danceable track is definitely Off the Cahin, and Memories is a sun soaked summer jam.

                Produced by Jay Joyce, Too was recorded in Nashville over the span of just two weeks. The 12-song collection of pop-infused garage rock expands on the band’s 2013 self-titled album that put them at the forefront of modern punk music. The new album showcases a band that continues to fine-tune its sonic approach while also highlighting a more introspective and revelatory approach to songwriting. It also marks the first time the band has worked with a producer.

                “We could have made record number one again… but instead we decided to challenge ourselves and admit that we don’t know everything,” said guitarist and lead vocalist Zac Carper. “Up until this point we had recorded everything ourselves, so working with a producer taught us so much. I didn’t want to make a standard rock record. The goal for this album was to think outside the box and I think Jay really helped us do that.”

                Today the band is revealing the first taste of new music from Too via a video for the album’s leading track and first single ‘40oz. On Repeat’. Directed by Ryan Baxley, the must-watch video is a hilarious “Be Kind Rewind” tribute to past music video masterpieces, sure to conjure loving nostalgia for anyone who came of age during the glory years of MTV’s afternoon video countdown show Total Request Live. “In the late 90s and early 2000s, music videos were such a huge deal,” adds Carper. “We decided that instead of making one overly slick music video, we would nod to 15 of our favourite music videos that we grew up with. Everyone in the band threw in their ideas.”

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP Info: Limited deluxe 140 gram black vinyl edition.
                Die-cut logo stencil sleeve.

                The Get Go

                Typically English

                  Steeped in Mod roots, The Get Go are a 3 piece Soul, Blues and Rock band from South East London. Founded by pals, Stuart Farnham {vocals, guitar} and Brian Hall {vocals, bass} and a line up completed by drummer Richard Metcalfe, they make an exhilarating Blues Rock. The kind that would've got the audience in a lather down the Marquee and The Crawdaddy, back in the 60's

                  Limited to just 300 copies.

                  Richard Hawley

                  Heart Of Oak

                    Richard Hawley releases ‘Heart Of Oak’, the first single from his forthcoming new album ‘Hollow Meadows’. Released on 7” vinyl, the single is backed with an exclusive (non-album) brand new song ‘Stars’ (which is amazing!).

                    ‘Heart Of Oak’ is a heartfelt tribute to all the people who’ve influenced and nurtured Hawley throughout his life. One of these, directly referenced in the lyric, “When you sang the Bay Of Biscay/The world drifted away,” is iconic folk singer Norma Waterson, whom Hawley befriended in 2010. Built around an instantaneous, driving riff, ‘Heart Of Oak’ is one of the album’s unbridled rock’n’roll moments, as well as one of the most life-affirming songs Hawley has ever recorded.

                    Helen

                    The Original Faces

                      When I was a child, I spoke to Helen.

                      Helen is a pop group from Oregon. Liz Harris (vocals/lead guitar) AKA GROUPER, Jed Bindeman (drums/tambourine), Scott Simmons (bass/guitar), and Helen (back up vocals).

                      Originally started with the intention of being a thrash band, it turned into something else entirely.The Original Faces was recorded over a period of several years in Portland by the band members, their friends Nick, Chris and, largely, Justin Higgins. Written together, some songs based on Liz and Scottʼs demos. 

                      Hooton Tennis Club

                      P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. P.I.E.R.R.E.

                        ‘P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L.P.I.E.R.R.E.’ - taken from Hooton Tennis Club’s forthcoming debut album ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ - was recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool by Bill Ryder Jones.

                        Featuring the B-side ‘French Crackers’, the single follows the 6Music A-listed single, ‘Kathleen Sat On The Arm Of Her Favourite Chair’ and continues in a similar woozy, hook-laden fashion.

                        Musically melodic, fragile, wonky, witty, poetic and pop (definitely, defiantly pop) the skewed melodies and oddball narratives combine in perfect symbiotic musical harmony, each song a small burst of sunshine to warm the coldest of hearts.

                        Think Teenage Fanclub, Guided By Voices, Randy Newman, Big Star, Silver Jews… but birthed in Northern English towns in the 21st century.

                        Radwan Ghazi Moumneh ret urns wi th a second full-length album from his acclaimed Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) project, conceived and recorded in his dual homes Montréal and Beirut. Known for his production and engineering work with artists as diverse as Matana Roberts (all 3 chapters of her Coin Coin recordings to date), Aids Wolf, Ought, Eric Chenaux and Suuns. Moumneh has been firing on all cylinders over the past few years.

                        He has brought JIMH to mesmerized live audiences in Canada, Europe and the Middle East since the release of his first album in 2013, following many years during which the project was a strictly Montréal-based live/theatrical happening. While JIMH continues to expand to includealarger cast of players for select engagements and commissions, the group is currently animmersive and performative audio-visual duo at its core, with Moumneh responsible for all sound / composition and filmmaker Charles-André Coderre creating 16mm visuals and live projections/installations . Moumneh expands his compositional palette on If He Dies, If If If If If If, exploring new deconstructions and juxtapositions of both traitional and popular Arab musical currents, with an album that oscillates between powerfully emotive vocal tunes and instrumental works that primarily make use of Radwan's expressive acoustic playing on buzuk and zurna as a point of departure.

                        “A daring act brimming with promise.” – Tinymixtapes. 
                        “[JIMH] has a mature and unbridled energy that defies classification, and I cannot recommend it enough.” – A Closer Listen.
                        "Compelling, confounding, deeply moving." – All Music Guide. 


                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        LP Info: 180 gram LP includes art print poster.

                        CD Info: CD In 100% recycled gatefold paperboard jacket.

                        Andrew Kidman

                        Glass Love

                          Andrew Kidman’s Glass Love (2006) serves as an evolution from his first avant-garde surf film, Litmus (1996). Kidman followed the same filmmaking technique from ten years prior: write and record the songs, then set the mise-en-scène to match the rustic, moody, balletic rock. Thanks to Litmus, experimentation in board design had progressed as surfers became more contemplative, questioning, ‘is surfing art or sport?’ Glass Love and its soundtrack highlights this mindset and time period, creating an extra dimension to surfing that is still prevalent today. 

                          In bowling’s hallowed alleys, a strike is the minor miracle of all ten pins falling at once. Back-to-back strikes make a double. Do it a third time and you’ve got yourself a turkey. History will decide which sports metaphor to apply to Mike Krol’s first two records, I Hate Jazz (2011) and Trust Fund (2013). But as needle meets groove on Turkey - Krol’s first record for Merge - there is no ambiguity.

                          A shiny black ball tumbles past the suburban strip malls of a polyestered Wisconsin and veers precariously close to an East Coast gutter before gathering momentum in a physics-defying sprint for the Pacific. California is where the headpin falls—the right velocity, the perfect geometry, the bowler’s intent beautifully realized in a noisy moment of awesome destruction. Mike Krol got his bike stolen and his heart broken. He bailed on graphic-design-as-career. He kept playing drums and guitars, and he kept writing songs about the stuff he hated and the stuff he loved. Leaving Milwaukee for Los Angeles, he took a few years’ worth of wrong turns. But when he showed up at a studio in Sacramento in March 2014, he had his affairs in order. Plug the vocal mic into a guitar amp. Plug the guitar into an overheating box of vacuum tubes. Put the computer in the closet. Roll the tape.

                          “This record will beat you like you owe it money. Flawless and epic unhinged power pop! Mike Krol rules! Don’t be a dope, buy it!” Tom Scharpling (The Best Show).

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP Info: LP is jacket + printed sleeve + newsprint poster insert + album download.

                          CD Info: Digipak with folder.

                          Leatherface

                          Minx

                            Taking their name from the cult classic horror film, 90s underground punk icons, Leatherface, were stalwarts of the UK scene, arriving at a time many thought that brand of brash songwriting had had its day. Gaining attention throughout the UK and with popularity in the US on the horizon with ‘Mush’, ‘Minx’ was released in 1993. Arriving at the peak of their powers it would also be on the brink of their first hiatus. Channelling Stubbs’ love for Joy Division, the new album had a more emotional direction, in contrast to the group’s earlier recordings. Recorded in Stubbs’ home studio, ‘Minx’ came with the addition of their much loved fourth bassist, former Snuff band member Andy Crichton.

                            The album has since been considered a lost classic by the band’s rabid followers. Fully re-mastered, this collection includes extensive liner notes featuring interviews with Frankie, as scribed by The Big Takeover’s Jack Rabid, leaving no stone unturned. The release includes remastered bonus material via download, including a unique cover of ‘Can't Help Falling In Love’ from a limited edition promo 7”, released initially as a limited bonus with the album, along with tracks from the ‘Do the right thing EP’ and ‘Compact and Bijou EP’. The Fire Archive reissues important records from the past, prepared with loving care for existing fans and new audiences. Each release receives special attention to audio and packaging as we strive to provide the definitive version for decades to come.

                            Leatherface

                            Mush

                              “Stubbs was England’s answer to Bob Mould, writing songs with similar sneaky demonstrative impact and stirring pulse” Jack Rabid

                              “The most powerful band in the world” Popmatters / “Leatherface have a penchant for finding melody in a dense forest of cacophonous guitars and punk energy.” Exclaim.


                              Taking their name from the cult classic horror film, 90s underground punk icons, Leatherface, were stalwarts of the UK scene, arriving at a time many thought that brand of brash songwriting had had its day. Re-writing the rule book when it came to punk requisites; passion; angst and power combined with undeniable songwriting and technical prowess. Led by the impassioned and emotive wordsmith Frankie Stubbs, it made them one of the most exhilarating bands of their time. Hailing from the industrial town of Sunderland, Leatherface formed in 1988. With a line-up consisting of Stubbs, guitarist Dickie Hammond, bass player Stuart Schooler and drummer Andrew Laing. Stubbs’ rasping vocals complimented the explosive hooks and thrashing guitars, which quickly became their trademark. Following on from 1989’s ‘Cherry Knowle’, 1990 saw the band sign to Fire and release the fierce and defining, 'Fill Your Boots’. With Stubbs and Hammond beginning to collaborate more on songwriting, it also introduced new bassist Rob Turnball. (Breaking in a new bass player every album would quickly become a trend for the band.) From this album ‘Razor Blades And Aspirin’ and ‘Peasant in Paradise’ would remain in their repertoire for over twenty years. With ‘Fill Your Boots’ proving a success, later that year they would go on to produce the Smokey Joe EP.

                              However it was 1991’s follow-up ‘Mush’ that’s continually been regarded as an absolute punk classic. Teaming up with engineer Paul Tipler (who also worked on Stereolab and Chapterhouse), ‘Mush’ was recorded in Greenhouse Studios in North London (owned by Pat Collier of The Vibrators). Following praise from the music press, they soon found themselves doing John Peel and Mark Radcliffe sessions. Fully re-mastered, this collection includes extensive liner notes featuring interviews with Frankie, as scribed by The Big Takeover’s Jack Rabid, leaving no stone unturned.

                              The release includes remastered bonus material via download, including a unique cover of ‘Message in a bottle’ and ‘Trenchfoot’ from the Not Superstitious 7” and ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and ‘Dreaming’ from the I Want the Moon 7”. 

                              Magic Castles are a five-piece band from Minneapolis MN. Their sound has been described as droney psychedelic pop, combining the organ drenched hazy atmospherics of mid/late 60s with sun-drenched west coast folk-rock. Magic Castles toured with Brian Jonestown Massacre in 2012 and released a beautiful 12″ split single with BJM on Record Store Day spring 2014. Their 2014 sophomore release “Sky Sounds” (‘A’ Recordings) and successful West Coast tours sees the rapidly improving band reaching new heights.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              LP Info: Available on Lilac opaque 180 gram vinyl limited to 1,000 units.

                              Dave McCabe & The Ramifications

                              Church Of Miami

                              Former Zutons frontman Dave McCabe releases ‘Church Of Miami’, the debut album from his new project Dave McCabe & The Ramifications via 1965 Records.

                              Talking about the gestation of the album, Dave explained: “I wanted to do something that wasn’t a guitar record. There’s loads of music I’ve always been into, things like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Human League, more electronic stuff that was totally different to what we’d been doing in The Zutons. I wanted to do my own version of a ‘Grand Theft Auto’ soundtrack basically.”

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Indies Exclusive LP Info: Coloured vinyl LP available exclusively to independent
                              retailers.

                              Described as "powerful yet fragile, devastatingly beautiful and beautifully devastating" by The Founder Magazine, UK-based quartet MIDAS FALL have carved a distinctive and captivating sound, fusing elements of electronica, post-rock, shoegaze and alternative rock with progressive and gothic undertones to create taut, shimmering soundscapes led by the hauntingly melancholic vocals of Elizabeth Heaton. Forged in Edinburgh, Scotland and now based in the north of England, the eclectic collective – founding members Heaton and Rowan Burn (guitar, piano) with Steven Pellatt (drums/percussion/piano) and Chris Holland (bass) – has spent the past year composing the follow-up to their 2013-issued Wilderness full-length.

                              Titled The Menagerie Inside, MIDAS FALL’s third long player was captured live at Red Wall Studios, mastered by Seattle legendary engineer Ed Brooks (Pearl Jam, Caspian, Fleet Foxes et al) and offers up ten sprawling tracks of sonic enormity. From the sorrowing echo of wilting violins in “Counting Colours,” to the emotionally gutting close of “Circus Performer,” the forty-six-minute epic is as heavy sonically as it is cerebrally. An introspective journey through dark and light, The Menagerie Inside is at once graceful, urgent and star-gazingly compelling. Cascading riffs ebb, flow and surge into rich, ethereal piano crescendos, the weight of Heaton’s delicate angelic resonance adding depth to her every echoing word. With The Menagerie Inside, MIDAS FALL manifests a sound and atmosphere that’s organic, emotionally stirring and habitually awe-inspiring, further verifying the strength of their songcraft and musicianship. 

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Ltd LP Info: Limited edition 180-gram vinyl LP some just black vinyl and some in translucent purple with black splatter, both with a free album CD and poster inside.

                              Phaedra´s debut album "The Sea" (2011) received fantastic international reviews in magazines as diverse as The Wire, Uncut, Shindig and Prog, drawing lines to Vashti Bunyan, Elizabeth Fraser and Nico. Chicago Reader said "this is one of the loveliest, most striking albums, unlike anything I´ve heard in years".

                              "Blackwinged Night" is the follow-up, and the second album in a triology, a lyrical and musical cycle with its own mythological structure. From the ethereal folk universe of the debut, "Blackwinged Night" dives into a darker dreampop underworld, where acoustic elements of woodwinds, strings and marimba are mixed with layers of analog synths, bigger drums and darker basslines. Vocals are as crystal clear and haunting as ever, with lyrics circling around themes like creation and collaps, time and falling stars.

                              Phaedra is Ingvild Langgård; singer, composer and artist. Educated from The Academy Of Fine Art in Oslo, she composes music for stage and screen as well as doing art projects with sound, video and installations. In co-operation with choreographer Ingri Fiksdal and scenographer Signe Becker she has made the acclaimed dance performances "Orchard Ballads" and "Night Tripper". "Night Tripper" won the Oslo Award in 2012 and has since been toured extensively in Europe, and had its US premiere in April this year. The Guardian wrote "an extraordinary piece, simple yet powerfully affecting".

                              "Blackwinged Night" is produced by Langgård herself, with contributions from Christian Engfelt, who also mixed the album. There are contributions from Ensemble Neon members Kristine Tjøgersen on clarinet and Yumi Murakami on flute. Last heard on Motorpsycho´s "En Konsert For Folk Flest", Kari Rønnekleiv plays violin and Ole Henrik Moe is on viola. Last but not least, we have Ingvild´s regular band; Gunhild Mathea Olaussen on violin, Jørn Tore Egseth on bass and keyboards and Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen on drums, percussion, marimba and vibraphone. Mastered by legendary Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound

                              Following on from their 6th consecutive number 1 album and taking the counter comment to the album's title track "The Day is My Enemy", The Prodigy release a brand new EP entitled 'The Night is My Friend'. The EP includes album tracks "Get Your Fight On" (Re Eq) and "Rhythm Bomb" feat. Flux Pavilion (Edit), two fresh remixes of album tracks "The Day Is My Enemy" (Caspa) and "Rebel Radio" (René LaVice) and the previously un-released, fan favourite "AWOL".
                              "AWOL" has been a track the band have played live since 2012 but as the album writing and recording process developed the band decided to hold "AWOL" back . Now, after reworking it into a new unheard version they feel it's time to make it available on record, CD single... and cassette!

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              12" Info: Limited edition clear 12" vinyl pressing.

                              Public Image Ltd

                              What The World Needs Now

                              ‘What The World Needs Now…’, is the 10th studio album from legends Public Image Ltd (PiL).

                              Released on CD and double vinyl, the 11-track album follows the huge critical success of 2012's 'This is PiL', the band's first album in 17 years. In winter 2014 PiL returned to Steve Winwood's Wincraft studio in the Cotswolds' to record the new album 'What The World Needs Now…’ Commenting on the album, John Lydon says, "Buy now while stocks last."

                              'What The World Needs Now…’, is self-funded by PiL and released on their own label 'PiL Official' via Cargo UK Distribution. The artwork for the album, partly inspired by Native American Hopi characters, was designed and painted by John Lydon. 

                              Todd Rundgren, Emil Nikolaisen, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm

                              Runddans Remixed - Erol Alkan / Stereolab & The High Llamas / EYE Remixes

                              Todd Rundgren/Emil Nikolaisen/Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's “Runddans" was launched to wide acclaim in May this year. As a companion to the spangled prog of the LP, the trio have invited some of their favourite producers to wade into the multitracks and come up with their own versions. As Todd was doing vocal takes during the initial studio sessions for "Runddans", he claimed he would "try to do "ba-ba's", meaning vocal harmonies, like Stereolab”. It quickly became obvious that both Todd, Emil, Hans-Peter and the label all had a soft spot for Stereolab's gleeful eccentricities, and the connection was made. In remix-response, Stereolab joined their friends The High Llamas, resulting in five minutes of classic lounge bossa bliss! As Erol is a big fan of Mr Rundgren, all parties were interested to hear how he would take this mastodon piece to the dancefloors. Erol delivered the goods and came up with a 10- minute disco epic. In the words of Mixmag: “It’s a joy to hear classic Lindstrom synths manipulated in such fine fashion, putting this rerub up with Erol’s best". Last but not least, Smalltown Supersound turned to renowned psychedelic master EYE from Boredoms. This bleep heavy assemblage of loops, squelches, arps and sonic magic astral projects your keister into the next world, rounding the 12" off to perfection.


                              Salem's Pot

                              Sweeden

                                *REPRESS* 200 COPIES ONLY

                                These are jackets and labels from the first pressing they found while cleaning out the garage. 35 minutes plus, two tracks… oh my, this is for fans of Electric Wizard, Rise Above, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. Dooooom from Scandinavia, pressed onto wax by a label in California… 

                                The School are back with their third album, and it's beautifully fresh, mature and (despite the sad title) brilliantly optimistic. Along with their traditional eight-musician line-up, led by Liz's omnipresent voice, there are three extra musicians this time, helping to create an album with lush instrumentation, and stunning completeness. Opener "Every Day" is a trademark song in every way. Sixties-inspired folk-pop with precious arrangements, delicious choruses, and delicate but brilliant melodies. Elsewhere there are bursts of ye-ye, walls of melody and fascinating brass arrangements. There are echoes of The Supremes and Wilson Pickett but also French pop such as France Gall, and Francois Hardy, plus a dash of Ennio Morricone.

                                “Joan Shelly’s new album ‘Over And Even’ was written in the back of an abandoned beauty parlour on the island of Thessaloniki. The whole thing had something to do with Vashti Bunyan. That’s what Joan told me, but Joan Shelley is a poet, so she makes things up.

                                “[…] That’s Joanie’s jam: songs wide open enough to let the wind blow the curtains around, and solid enough to hang a ton of heartache on. She writes smart, beautiful songs full of poetry, history, mystery and nature. Like all the best sad songs, they will make you cry. Then they will drag you outside and leave you flat on your back, staring up at the stars.

                                “Joan lands on a note like a laser beam on a diamond. Colors fly around the room, and her voice bends between them. People say her voice reminds them of Sandy Denny. It’s more than the vocal range. It’s a quiet power that draws you in.

                                “Maybe ‘Over And Even’ wasn’t written last winter on a Greek island. Maybe these songs were written a hundred years ago in a farm house somewhere in Kentucky. That’s where Joan is from, and that’s where she and guitar player Nathan Salsburg recorded all the basic tracks live.

                                “All the people who played on Joan’s new record - and Daniel Martin Moore who recorded and engineered it - are friends. That comes through somehow in the sound of the album. Will Oldham and Glen Dentinger are genius harmony singers. They leave the perfect amount of space for microscopic shifts in Joan’s voice, without sacrificing their own awesome idiosyncrasies. Nathan Salsburg’s guitar follows every twist of the melody. When the song breaks your heart in two, Nathan is there with a high E-string to sew it back together.

                                “Joan Shelley’s voice flows out like a river. It never travels in a straight line. It follows bends and curves carved by history. We are all lucky just to be swept away, and go with her wherever she’s going.” - Catherine Irwin

                                Shiggajon

                                Sela

                                  The latest addition to El Paraiso Records growing catalog of Impetus series releases, Shiggajon, is a Danish collective based around musicians Mikkel Reher-Lanberg and Nikolai Brix Vartenberg. Much like the music itself the collective is in constant flux, sometimes performing in the form of a small ensemble, other times appearing on stage with as many as 15 persons, depending on the situation.

                                  It's tempting to categorize Shiggajon as a spiritual jazz ensemble, since their music is able to induce a heightened, spiritual euphoria much similar to that of Pharoah Sanders, Don Cherry or Alice Coltrane. But any narrow definition of their sound would be misleading. While there's an element of ritualism present, there's also a post-modern tendency to absorb everything from sufi music to krautrock and contemporary electronic drone. Heavily modulated guitar pedals and processed vocals accompany layers of flutes, strings, bells and percussion as the most natural thing in the world. It's the kind of music that demands openness and surrender. Every time the ensemble performs improvisation is fundamental - it’s a journey into the unknown.

                                  As in John Coltrane's later works, Shiggajon establishes a unity between spirituality and improvisation - they embrace the paradox of seeking elevation and existential affirmation through sounds that occasionally verges on chaos and dread. These two long, multi-layered, cacophonous pieces occasionally come off as slightly abrasive and dissonant, but ultimately the music is a process resulting in joyful catharsis and healing.

                                  Past praise for Shiggajon:
                                  There is something creepy and arcane about the musicianship that unnerves and delights, in a way one might find in the practices of the occult. The result is a sensuous celebration of uncanny and archaic arts. -Foxy Digitalis. 

                                  ...music made with an emphasis on the communal experience and an urge towards the ecstatic, filtered through a post-Noise instinct for volume and white-out drones. Shiggajon's previous live tapes and CD-Rs made room for more overtly psychedelic electronic, but their debut on vinyl sticks closer to the methods of 1960s free jazz, John Coltrane's Ascension sessions being the obvious template for the flatlining cacophony of the set's more intensely sustained moments. Yet you wouldn't really call this free jazz, any more than you would suggest the Danes are trying to communicate the same feverishe, Southern Baptist Christian-inspired devotions that gripped Coltrane....Which isn't to say that this is a hollow forgery. Spiritual significance resides in the ear of the beholder. Ragged energy can plunge any soul that's ready into the light. If Shiggajon's joyous noise gets you there, why fight the feeling? –The Wire.


                                  Silicon is Kody Nielson, a songwriter, producer and visual artist from Auckland, New Zealand, formerly of cult Flying Nun band The Mint Chicks, a group he started with his brother Ruban - now of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

                                  ‘Personal Computer’ is a seductive electronic pop record that pits Nielson’s brilliant soul, funk and disco influenced songwriting against a backdrop of extra-terrestrial noir sonics, calling to mind the varied likes of Flying Lotus, Panda Bear and Portishead in the process.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Indies Exclusive LP Info: Exclusive deluxe LP edition features a bonus 28 page book of original art prints including material from a forthcoming international exhibition by Kody Nielson.

                                  Slaves

                                  Sockets

                                    Hot on the heels of their top ten debut album release “Are You Satisfied?” and winning the ‘Spirit of Punk’ award at this year’s Kerrang! Awards, Slaves release ‘Sockets’, a high octane love song.

                                    Telling the story of a young man helpless at the sight of a beautiful girl, and the girl herself, bored by salivating male attention, Sockets is a three minute sonic assault full off frenetic energy and fast guitars. Already a firm live favourite, Sockets is an alternative Saturday night anthem ! The 7” comes with brand new track, In Dog Years You’re Dead.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Ltd 7" Info: 180g vinyl.

                                    DFA Records are proud to announce the new album from Slim Twig.

                                    ‘Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig’ is to date the most sonically immersive album in Twig’s discography.

                                    Where some records have focused explicitly on sample-based songwriting, while others have been completely live-recorded, the new album arrives at a perfectly produced fusion of fidelities. Twig flirts here with a variety of vibes, most often opting for a three-dimensional approach whereby a warped tape aura is overlaid with colourful laser-cut keyboard and guitar melodies. A fetishization of analogue texture is married to a digital approach.

                                    It's a fuzz-heavy psych-pop fest with hints of early Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. 

                                    Tamaryn’s first two full-lengths (2010’s The Waves and 2012’s Tender New Signs) stood out in a crowd of shoegaze/ethereal revivalists as much for what they were (careful, gorgeous, thrilling tapestries of guitar-based textures) as what they weren’t (simplistic, trendy, disposable signposts made to be broken). With Cranekiss, Tamaryn emerges from her past in a way that’s inviting, warm-blooded, and shockingly direct. She’s made a big record, loaded with samples and synth triggers, the result of long nights grinding it out at the Brooklyn studio Gary’s Electric,on her own and with Weekend’s Shaun Durkan, and producer Jorge Elbrecht (Violens, Lansing-Dreiden).

                                    With Cranekiss her sonic palette has exploded with maniacal abandon, pressed into service of a post-adolescent love letter to all the music that she and her collaborators hold dear, drawing influences from the feelings that fell out of her. Lyrically, this is Tamaryn’s most personal collection of songs to date, and Elbrecht has placed her voice front and center across the entire record. Cranekiss explores dark rock, dance pop, and glistening melancholy with a uniformly commanding presence across it all, in stormy, unsettled brushstrokes that apply pressure behind Tamaryn’s words.

                                    Cranekiss represents a long journey, and a new phase - a blood-red kaleidoscope of desire and late night abandon, a bold step forward.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indie exclusive LP version on high quality virgin black vinyl, includes 24 page booklet with lyrics and photos.

                                    Matt Valentine

                                    Before It’s Gone

                                      Next up on The Great Pop Supplement is the ace new 45 from Matt Valentine- temporarily dropping the MV+EE tag for a solo 45 where he’s joined by the likes of J Mascis, Woods’ Jeremy Earl, Magik Markers’ Pete Nolan and the always great Mick Flower.

                                      “Before It’s Gone” began in earnest back when the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud of 2010 prevented Mick returning to the UK after a stint as part of Matt’s THE GOLDEN ROAD backing band. An intense period of jamming produced the embryo to the track here from which MV then recruited first Pete Nolan (featuring his previously unheralded backing vox savvy) then on visits to Vermont, Jeremy and J to fill it out and slow cook those edges. (The full story is expertly told by MV on the record’s insert…)

                                      Beautiful, killer, stoned out soft psych released in perfect time for tail end of summer as a ltd one time pressing of 500 only. Cool sleeve as ever from the GPS and on tasty white wax….

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Ltd 7" Info: White vinyl pressing of 500 copies only.

                                      The View’s highly anticipated 5th studio album Ropewalk produced by Albert Hammond Jr & Gus Oberg (The Strokes) and mixed by Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend) will be released on Cooking Vinyl.

                                      Says Kyle Falconer of The View “I would say that this record has really taken us out of our comfort zone. It was a huge compliment having Albert & Gus produce the album and we're really excited with the result. I think it's our most inventive album yet, we really opened ourselves up to creative possibilities and thankfully the vision paid off. We can't wait to get out there and play it live..."

                                      Cubical frontman Dan Wilson finally releases his first solo album. It’s a major musical departure from his previous work, with a more introspective and lyrically orientated sound in the classic alt folk tradition of Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave & Nick Lowe. Drawing on the musical talents of producers Kal Ross and long-time Cubical producer Keith Thompson, All Love is Blind walks the fine line between the raw and the refined. This mixture of genres that blend folk, old blues and country along with a little rock n roll, all serve as wonderful settings for Wilson’s debut . The album utilises the evocative and purifying sound of cello and violin to create a perfect backdrop in which Wilson’s voice and lyrical prowess can feature.

                                      Title track “All Love is Blind” is a rich absorbing ode to the futility of love in which the fine production work of Kal Ross comes to the fore, with an intricate use of backing vocals and percussion that work in unison with the strings and Wilson’s vocal to tug at the heart strings. “The Waves” on the other hand is a rumbling whirl of intense brooding and rhythmic convulsion that speaks of a dark world of judgment and is hurried along by the frenetic violin of Rod Leung and the primordial percussion of Cubical rhythmical stalwart Mark Percy. Add to this the backing vocals of Laura Campbell (Mulu/Legends of Flight) and the fine production work of Keith Thompson and what results is a cacophonous track of raw and spellbinding power.

                                      “Lonely Drunk” is a boozy country folk ballad well versed in the tradition of late night crooning and tears in one’s beer. The double bass and then trombone solo of musical genius and theatre composer Andy Frizzell (Wizards of Twiddly) is worth the fee alone and works wonders with Randy Newman and Nick Lowe –esque lyrical introspection that verges on the ridiculous. “5 Nights Long” is raw Wilson, in Cubical mode, beset with jealousy and growling. This rough and ready blues stomp is driven by the wonderful slide playing of Cubical lead guitarist Alex Gavaghan. The penultimate track on the album “Where Did All The Love Go?” is a lullaby best enjoyed with a late night whisky, a gentle and tender piece that mixes the fragile vocal and acoustic guitar of Wilson with the luscious and sorrowful tones of Siofra Ward’s cello. A wonderful way to end such an absorbing journey. More than simply a break up album this is more like a get back together and then break up again album. Try saying that after you’ve had a few.

                                      “Wilson makes Waits sound like Tiny Tim." - THE GUARDIAN. 

                                      Various Artists

                                      Litmus Original Soundtrack

                                        By 1996, surfing was on the upswing in popularity as professional surfers became marketable athletes. The three-fin, high performance, “thruster” shortboard was the tool of choice, lending to a fast-paced slashing style and ultimately a more aggressive “surf and destroy” movement in board culture.

                                        Litmus, Andrew Kidman’s first avant-garde surf film, served as a soulful reaction to the pop-punk progression that dominated the mainstream. Prior to filming, Kidman’s band, The Val Dusty Experiment, recorded a total of thirty-five songs in one day. The outcome of the “one-and-done” sessions was a lo-fi, rustic, experimental rock ‘n’ roll sound, adding a rough-around-the-edges ambiance to the surf scenes that span Ireland, Australia, California, and South Africa. Additional contributions from Yothu Yindi and The Screaming Orphans diversify the score. Litmus was a defining moment in surf filmmaking -- it sparked an open-minded retro-progressive movement as surfers formed a higher consciousness about the types of boards they were riding and why. The Anthology Surf Archive reissues series proudly presents the soundtrack of Litmus, released in tandem with the soundtrack from Kidman’s 2006 follow up, Glass Love, in new form.


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