synthwave . electro-pop . alt-R&B . minimal wave


Genre pick of the week Cover of Animals by Not Waving.
Diagonal kick off 2016 with a hotly anticipated album by Alessio Natalizia’s Not Waving project. It follows his probationary 12” 'Get Serious' and can be seen as a first quarter report on the fluctuations in London’s computer acid and wave-pop sectors.

Under lax time constraints, the London-based Italian artist has authored Not Waving’s most versatile LP to date - an unruly yet emotive bender taking in ‘floor-mauling 'New Beta' and endearingly beery post-industrial synth music.

'Animals' harnesses the wanderlust of Natalizia’s spate of self-released albums and records for Ecstatic and Emotional Response but dials up the wildness, spitting out a careering sequence of tracks that feel as warped, deep-raved and giddy as a night out in the city they were forged. These are tunes - no, songs - for post-work smash-ups, weekenders and sore commutes. And make no mistake, although 'Animals' occasionally bites hard at the business end of the ‘floor, this is Diagonal’s most POP record yet, with Natalizia’s songwriting sensibility conjuring moments of tenderness and beauty to offset the manic strobe lighting and droppin’ sweat.

Album opener 'Believe' is one such moment, a twisting synth workout that bounces along over rock-ist live toms. The tie is loosened on 'Head Body', as Not Waving unleashes a raging kosmic EBM showpiece that morphs across 6 sprawling minutes. Next up is '24' - the album ‘hit’ that’s been delighting [or destroying] dancefloors across Europe for almost a year now; here the trews are off and all - and you can see Front 242 and Ancient Methods tattooed across the artist’s butt.

The shunting 'Gutsy' and whopping industrial stress-test 'Work Talk' buckle down like mutant Powell cuts, whereas 'I Know I Know I Know' and the thrashing EBM-pop of 'Face Attack' run The Sound of Belgium through a distinctly Diagonal filter - all smart edits and unruly arrangements.

'Animals’' great strength, though, lies in how Natalizia marries the clammy peaks of contemporary club music with oddly emotive runs into acidic Canterbury pop, as on 'Tomorrow We Will Kill You', and cyborg despair - see 'Punch' - before things reach a fittingly bittersweet conclusion with 'They Cannot Be Replaced'. In short, this is Not Waving committing some of his most sophisticated songwriting to wax, and finding an entirely appropriate home for his own distinctive sound.

London-based singer and composer Gwilym Gold releases a special two-track EP of acoustic versions taken from his new 2015 album ‘A Paradise’.

Recorded live at Doug Aitken’s Station To Station event and pressed by The Vinyl Factory Press, the 12” features stripped back versions of ‘Greener World’ and ‘Evergreen’, exposing Gold’s spectral, melancholy sound to the elements.

Released in a limited edition of 300, ‘Greener World’ is packaged with artwork inspired by Kevin Bray’s official video.

The Vinyl Factory partnered with American multimedia artist Doug Aitken and the Barbican to bring the acclaimed Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening to the UK for a month-long, building-wide, art intervention in summer 2015.

For the duration of the event, which featured residencies, installations, live performances, workshops, screenings and more, The Vinyl Factory hosted The Vinyl Factory Recording Studio, providing a space for musicians and artists to experiment and improvise with their music. Gold recorded his two acoustic versions within this studio over the course of two days. These recordings were then pressed into a vinyl edition on The Vinyl Factory Press, our on-site manufacturing plant that was showcased at the Barbican exhibition.

Engineered and mixed by Justin Stanley.

“Leaving you spellbound in its androgynous vocal delivery, Spider King’s Animals is a haunting children’s march that paralyses me with each listen”
Cedric Bixler Zavala (Mars Volta/Antemasque)

An unknown pleasure torn out of Manchester’s lost DIY manual, this overqualified / underexposed post-punk pop pillar cast an almost invisible undetected web across the history of Manchester’s inner-city music scene which has trapped body parts of The Mothmen, Martin Hannett, Gerry And The Holograms, John Cooper Clarke, The Blue Orchids, Naffi Sandwich (The Naffis) and The Fates in its glue.

As a central mast to 1970s / 80s Manchester’s “deserted” DIY era, spanning angular jazz funk, punk and sarcastic synth pop, Spider King has also played huge parts in Manchester’s honorary adoption of The Velvet Underground’s Nico (as her lead guitarist), fronted Martin Hannett’s first ever band and inhabits a key roll in the careers of Sad Cafe, Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias, Paul Young and AC/DC’s Mancunian debut. With dozens of self-penned songs, unreleased demos and two of the best collectable Manc punk funk 45s to grace collectors want lists it’s almost unbelievable (almost tragic) that Mike King never released a full length album… until now.

Shot To Pieces is one of the most elusive jagged pieces of the North West’s punk funk puzzle. Recorded sporadically between 1979 and 1983 with a cast of characters from the Rabid/Absurd label family, such as behind the scenes synth wielder John Scott from Gerry And The Holograms, and producers like Laurie Latham (The Blockheads) it’s plain to see why 2016′s current music climate is the perfect time for the Spider King’s lost music to resurface. Commonly recognised by stalwarts of the era’s mutating punk/alt/indie genre as “the one that got away”, Spider King is the archetypal artist’s artist as well as the outsider’s outsider and the hardest working man in no-business who is now attracting a whole new audience of champions from bloggers, vinyl nerds and well respected contemporary musicians with his appearances on mix-tapes and various artist compilations. On hearing this essential release you could argue that these lost “spider-grams” are more relevant now than they were when those arachnophobic A&R men shooed him away over 3 decades ago. For those who ain’t afraid to get bitten say hello to the Spider King.

Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue - Be With Records Edition

Tame Impala: “I’ve got a whole album waiting for Kylie Minogue…I have, like, seven songs ready.”

Tri Angle Records: “Wow! you’re reissuing all my favourite albums!!”

Balearic Mike: “Wow! Brave move. I am a MASSIVE Kylie fan - as are all right-thinking people.”

Originally released in 1994, 'Kylie Minogue' represents the fun 90s pop acts had in absorbing an increasingly diverse range of influences - from house and ambient to Balearic and R&B. Beloved by perfect pop fans, this is Kylie’s most sought-after record; finding a decent copy on vinyl will set you back well over £150.

Signposting another left turn in Be With’s ‘baffling roster’ (Pitchfork), we proudly present this album’s first ever vinyl reissue as a deluxe special edition, limited to just 500 copies. Righting the wrongs of its initial release, the album now stretches out over two pieces of 180gram vinyl and is presented in a sumptuous gatefold jacket, allowing the iconic Rankin portraits of an empowered, self-aware pop star room to breathe.

After phenomenal chart success in the late 80s and early 90s with the PWL hit factory, Kylie desired greater artistic freedom and critical credibility. Her move to dance music label deConstruction, and its commendable hands-off attitude, marked this profound shift In thinking and enabled the singer to make the album she really wanted. Indeed, Kylie Minogue is a sophisticated collection of stylish songs that elegantly reference new jack swing, R&B ballads, ambient pop and piano house.

String-drenched epic “Confide In Me” (produced by acclaimed dance duo Brothers in Rhythm) confidently sets the tone whilst “Surrender”, a seductive sunset slow jam, unwittingly anticipates the voguish Balearic pop of the past decade. Jazzy pop-R&B groovers keep things moving but it’s the masterful “Put Yourself In My Place” - in all its understated melancholy - that stops listeners in their tracks. Widely regarded as her finest downtempo moment, the monster single recalled late 80s American R&B but, having never received a proper vinyl release, its inclusion here is worth the price of admission alone.

Further orchestral ballads, subtly cinematic pieces and minor key house tracks (with the involvement of the Pet Shop Boys and acid house stalwarts Farley & Heller) serve to complete an assured collage of accessible yet resolutely eclectic ‘perfect pop’.

MssingNo first came to prominence in 2013 with the release of his debut ‘MssingNo’ EP on Goon Club Allstars. The EP immediately sent a seismic shock through the underground electronic music scene, especially EP track ‘XE2’ which became one of the year’s defining anthems and was named FACT magazine’s ‘track of the year’. Now, following a series of remixes of the likes of Cashmere Cat & Ariana Grande and Shura, plus collaborations with artists such as Katy B (on her forthcoming 'Honey' album), MssingNo releases his follow up to the ‘MssingNo’ EP

Available on 12”, the ‘Fones’ EP is released on XL Recordings - a label based within a stone's throw of MssingNo’s Ladbroke Grove home studio - and features four tracks that showcase MssingNo’s crystalline hybrid of R&B and rave. Overflowing with trademark anthemic, ultra-melodic hooks, the ‘Fones’ EP is a further pointer towards MssingNo’s bright future. One track - Inta - was first featured on XL Recordings’ 2015 'XL Chapter VI' compilation album, while ‘Scope’ was premiered earlier this week by Radio 1’s Annie Mac.

‘The ‘Fones’ EP also sees XL continuing to reconnect with the spirit of the label’s early days. XL’s initial reputation was built around a series of underground, club-focused, outsider rave 12”s from the likes of The Prodigy, SL2, Awesome 3 and Jonny L. Recent releases have seen the likes of Zomby, Special Request and Hugo Massien harnessing that spirit and bringing it right up to date.


City Bag - Manchester

    These old school style, shoulder bags with nu-skool logo on front flap (classic logo on reverse) are sturdy, multi-purpose and very desirable! Made from shower proof 210 denier PVC, they are single compartment bag with an adjustable shoulder strap and velcro closure. The Manchester version comes in 'Hacienda' style grey and yellow.

    Yellow Magic Orchestra

    Technodelic - Clear Vinyl Edition

    180 gram audiophile vinyl
    8-page booklet
    PVC protective sleeve
    First pressing of 1000 numbered copies on transparent vinyl

    1981 was a groundbreaking year for the music industry. By releasing 'BGM' and 'Technodelic' in one year, YMO made a shift happen in pop music. YMO introduced a new way of using samples and loops by cutting sound bites into fragments and reprogramming them with newly available computer technology.

    'Technodelic' is far more experimental than previous albums, and at the same time their 5th album is more minimalistic and full of funk and soul. YMO remained remarkably adept at inventing new ways of looking at compositions and creating a whole new music scene at the same time: dance.

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