avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone


Genre pick of the week Cover of Come On Die Young - Deluxe Edition by Mogwai.
‘Come On Die Young’ was - and remains - a hugely accomplished, elegant and important album, setting a benchmark for the fierce intelligence that would characterise Mogwai’s future body of work.

The reissue of ‘Come On Die Young’ - fifteen years after it originally hit the shelves - recognises the vital role this album played in Chemikal Underground’s development as the label approaches its 20th anniversary in 2015.

This deluxe edition of ‘Come On Die Young’ has been painstakingly put together by the band and label, unearthing more than an hour of bonus material.

Previously unreleased takes from early Chem19 sessions of ‘Waltz For Aidan’, ‘Christmas Steps’, ‘Rollerball’ and ‘7-25’, which featured on ‘Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait’.

Seven remixed and remastered album tracks from CAVA sessions pre-dating the final Tarbox recording sessions.

Two previously unreleased tracks - ‘Satchel Panzer’ and ‘Spoon Test’.

Rarities ‘Nick Drake’, ‘Hugh Dallas’ and the three track ‘Travels In Constants’ EP.

The original, previously unreleased version of ‘Helps Both Ways’.

Aerial M

Aerial M

    Back in 1997, David Pajo was a little over a half decade removed from the future sensation known as Slint.

    Their second album had been released in 1991 when the band themselves were already defunct. During the next five years, David worked with Palace Brothers, King Kong, Tortoise, The For Carnation and Stereolab. During that period the idea of his own music was slowly simmering, building flavour like a good rage. He and former Slint-ite Britt Walford had discussed a band called M - the significance lying in the letter’s position in the middle of the alphabet. A single under that name was released on Palace Records in 1996 and upon hearing it there was no doubt that this was one of the Slint boys.

    Drag City were big fans of Tweez and offered Dave a deal he couldn’t refuse - if he made a record, they’d put it out. The rest is not only history but somewhat out of print. · David changed the name to Aerial M and made an LP and two singles, then changed the name to Papa M and made a couple of double albums, an EP and five or six singles. At the time of those singles, he joined another band and then another and another and… no more Papa M. There were two Pajo records in 2005 and 2006 and, since then, nothing else along these lines. And so, Aerial M and Papa M things have slowly gone out of print.

    Now seems like a perfect time to re-inject Aerial M into the world’s music veins and the ‘Aerial M’ album presents an initial step in what was a hot ten-year evolution of sounds and songmaking.


    Record Player CR8005A - Cruiser (Tweed)

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      Einsturzende Neubauten

      Alles Wieder Offen

        Neubauten's new release "Alles Wieder Offen" ("All open again") is released on their own Potomak label. Working outside the usual confines of the record industry, Neubauten recorded this album in their own studio funded by pre-payment by a world-wide network of subscribing supporters via their website It is possibly Einstürzende Neubauten's most fully and perfectly realized album yet. Alexander Hacke's bass has never sounded warmer, Jochen Arbeit's guitar more graceful, the metal of Rudolf Moser and the percussion of N.U. Unruh more unsettling and diverse. Blixa Bargeld's vocals are mercurial and powerful.

        Reissue of Einstürzende Neubauten's seventh album from 1996 "Ende Neu" (Ending New), one of the most important turning points in the band's history, not only because of the important musical developments but also the resultant changes in band members. Although the four composers leafed through their archives of the industrialization of modern music for this album, Einstürzende Neubauten's compositions were never before as harmonious and lyrical as on "Ende Neu". "Stella Maris", a ballad performed in duet by Blixa Bargeld and Meret Becker accompanied by opulent string instruments, is probably the best known song that resulted from this re-orientation. Probably the most sensational evolution of Einstürzende Neubauten since their debut "Kollaps" in 1980, "Ende Neu" is now reissued on the band's Potomak label with reworked artwork and enhanced by bonus material.

        Einsturzende Neubauten

        Funf Auf Der Nach Oben Offenen Richterskala

          Vinyl reissue of their 1987 album.

          Einsturzende Neubauten

          Halber Mensch

            Vinyl reissue of their 1985 album.

            Einsturzende Neubauten

            Haus Der Luge

              Vinyl reissue of their 1989 album.

              Einsturzende Neubauten

              Silence Is Sexy

              Re-issue of the band's 2000 album, formerly available via Mute Records and now on the band's own label.

              After 20 years together, Einsturzende Neubauten had changed. Gone was the purgatorial clamour of old. In its place are textures and dark humour. Gone, too, was the brittle anger. On Silence Is Sexy, Blixa Bargeld is laconically louche, with a love for subtleties. The title track of album is an unbending, confusing spiral of sound--voices chanting, music forbidden, sometimes as sweet as trickling honey. "Zampano" is more familiar to old school fans, but "Sonnenbarke" invokes the boisterous atmosphere of ghostly beer halls while "Musentango" is self-descriptive. Sometimes chilling, sometimes life-affirming, never dull, Silence Is Sexy is a turbulent document of the times--much like Neubauten's beloved Berlin.


              2xLtd LP Info: Vinyl re-issue of the album originally released in 2000. This double album contains the track Pelikanol”, first available as a bonus track with the 2000 release of the album and now for the first time available on vinyl.

              Einsturzende Neubauten

              Zeichnungen Des Patienten OT

                Vinyl reissue of their 1983 album.

                For Fans of: HTRK, Tim Hecker, Tamaryn.

                “Melt Into Nothing” is Ensemble Economique’s most lucid seance to date. The prolific Humboldt County musician has stripped layers off of his trademark haze but retained the beautiful desolation that’s earned him a rabid fanbase. The solo project of former Starving Weirdos member Brian Pyle, Ensemble Economique has crossed a land bridge from apocryphal world music and dusty soundtracks to gauzy 4AD-style atmospherics. Trellises of guitar embolden Pyle’s whispered, threadbare lyrics.

                On “Hey Baby”, the itinerant tone feels like an update on Neil Young’s stark and beautiful soundtrack for Jarmusch’s “Dead Man”. “Melt Into Nothing”, like that beautiful film music, evokes the great American expanse. Field recordings slip in and out of the mix. On “Fade for Miles”, Pyle’s adroit effects and backwards tape manipulation make the long trail on his vocals fade into waves on a rocky beach. Pyle combines minor-key organ and spacious string synths on “Never Gonna Die”, recalling the grey grace of the releases on Factory’s gothic cousin, Benelux. Thunder accentuates the dubbed-out machine drum programming as Pyle’s dulcet tenor floats in storm clouds.

                The full-length also features contributions from Toronto artist DenMother and Parisian artist Sophia Hamadi, also of dark-wave Opale. This music is not excessively dark or severe. Rather, the record explores the internal dialogue of solitary walks. “Melt Into Nothing” is for making sense of humanity in nature’s unforgiving face. Ensemble Economique has made his most accessible record yet, but the complex emotion behind these tracks remains resonant and ultimately mysterious.

                It can’t be easy gathering 28 of Northern Europe’s finest jazz and improvising musicians in one place at the same time, which is why Sweden’s Fire! Orchestra has been one of the continent’s best kept secrets so far. After playing rare shows a handful of times a year, this incredible mass ensemble is getting ready to unleash its full power with Enter, its first studio recording. This isn’t jazz: this is Nordic dynamite. Fire! originated as the trio of Swedish improv masters Mats Gusfasson (sax), Johan Berthling (bass) and Andreas Werliin (drums). None of them are what you could call jazz purists; they all play in many different groups and contexts, including The Thing (Gustafsson), experimental folk-electronica outfit Tape (Berthling), and skewed pop unit Wildbirds And Peacedrums (Werliin).
                Around 2011 the idea sprang up to expand a massive orchestra around the core trio, featuring the cream of Scandinavian jazz, improvisation and avant rock players and vocalists.

                Key contributions come from keyboardists Sten Sandell, trumpeter Goran Kajfes (Oddjob, Subtropic Arkestra, Nordic Music Prize winner 2012), drummers Raymond Strid (GUSH, Barry Guy, Martin Küchen Ensemble) and Johan Holmegard (Dungen, The Amazing), guitarist David Stackenäs, electronicist Joachim Nordwall (Skull Defekts, iDEAL Records) and Fender Rhodes player Martin Hederos (Soundtrack Of Our Lives), to name just a few. Adding a crucial, soulful presence are the three vocalists Mariam Wallentin (Wildbirds And Peacedrums), Ethiopian born singer Sofie Jernberg and Simon Ohlsson (Silverbullit). But Fire! Orchestra is a collective effort, with Gustafsson directing a tight, disciplined ensemble that enjoys its moments let off the leash.

                Following last year’s live debut Exit (Rune Grammofon), Enter is Fire! Orchestra’s first time in the studio, and might surprise you with its slow, treacly funk dynamics, running through a kaleidoscope of moods, rhythms, textures and dynamics. Muscular rock rhythms flesh out texts written by singer Mariam Wallentin, inspired by the legendary free jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee, and sung in soured blues moans by the Orchestra’s three-headed vocal team. Recalling the righteous big band jazz of the late 60s by figures such as Charlie Haden, Sun Ra, Mike Westbrook and Chris McGregor, there are also echoes of Matana Roberts’s recent jazz tapestries and the steamy psych-funk of Brightblack Morning Light. Part Two opens on a groove ripped from The Beatles’ psychedelic classic ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. Using collective riffing at its finest, this is an epic suite that undergoes constant scene-shifts between relentlessly building rhythms, rising in emotional intensity as the furnace is stoked.

                Enter is about following your instincts, having the courage to step forwards into the unknown when the door is open. Death might be an exit, but it’s also an entrance – to a new, unimaginable state of being. The music acts out this cyclical pattern of living and dying, entering and exiting, and the finale winds down to the same reflective, introspective keyboard motif as it started with. You’ve got to enter to exit. Keep looking straight into the light.

                Michael Flower & Neil Campbell

                Wharf Cat

                  Second outing on Golden Lab for the pairing of Michael Flower & Neil Campbell (following a limited, instant sell-out double cassette in 2011). Best known for helping to establish the entire British underground psychedelic noise/drone scene as members of legendary unit Vibracathedral Orchestra, they are today, quite rightly, two of its most lauded proponents. This release - a beautifully packaged CD/7"/book set with stunning silk screened print work by Manchester artist Lucy Jones - pays reverence to that fact. The music was recorded spontaneously at live shows at Leeds' Wharf Chambers and Hebden Bridge's Trades Club, as well as at Michael Flower's home, and it demonstrates a more mellow, major scale bliss out version of the Sister-Ray-inspired endless web of intricate psychedelia that appeared on their previous release. It is, needless to say, utterly without peer.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  CD & 7" Info: Full-length CD + 7" single + silk screened art book by illustrator Lucy Jones. Limited to 250 copies.


                  The Wirral's enigmatic Forest Swords make a textured, gauzy music as indebted to the Liverpool region's rich musical heritage as it is the windswept-yet-beautiful coastal environment from which it was born. The result is something completely organic, sounding like a mix of Mogwai's more luscious soundscapes, Burial's sample strewn claustrophobia, with touches of Ennio Morricone's legendary reverbed guitar soundtracks.

                  Debut release "Dagger Paths" is eight tracks of slow release Satori and soulful ambiance marred with chasmic guitars and dread soaked percussion. "Hoylake Misst" - named after the one of the peninsula's river-facing towns - is a thick, chanting clifftop epic and a ghostly cover of Aaliyah’s "If Your Girl Only Knew" threatens to get funky. Closer "The Light" is the record’s most radiant moment - hazy, offbeat and littered with errant strings. It's clear Forest Swords' influences are as wide and varied as the landscape his music is created in. The record's clattering dub, thunderous grooves and cavernous guitar licks rub shoulders with R'n'B shuffles, primitive drumming and heady drones to create music that sounds as weighty and chilling as it is triumphant and thrilling.

                  "Dagger Paths" includes remastered versions of the acclaimed out-of-print cassette singles "Miarches" and "Glory Gongs", tracks from March’s US LP release on Olde English Spelling Bee and both sides of No Pain In Pop’s "Rattling Cage" 7” single in August.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Darryl says: Take the pop minimalism of the XX and add massive shards of treated guitar noises, metallic percussion, occasional vocals plus a huge throbbing dubby-swamp groove, and you get one superb album. Immense!!

                  The Faust Studio is situated in a spacious factory building right on the bank of the Danube river. Here, 2670km past of the river’s mouth at the Black Sea, the current seems relatively weak, however past accounts of severe flooding are enough to dispel any doubts of its power. One can spend hours staring out from the studio’s wood-panelled windows at the current, pondering the fact that you never observe the same water twice Jochen Irmler and Jaki Liebzeit met in the town of Scheer last July to prepare for an upcoming concert at the slaughterhouse in Sigmaringen as well as for a subsequent appearance in the Kammerspiele in Munich. However, they quickly decided to stop rehearsing and instead record FLUT - an album that regroups six improvisations between organ and percussion.

                  FLUT adds another chapter to Irmler’s collaborations, which aim to explore, whenever possible, the hidden potential that lies dormant in the clash between prepared organ and drums. The series includes previously-published collaborations with Gudrun Gut (programmed beats), with FM Einheit’s percussive bass-string playing, and with Christian Wolfarth’s uncategorizable drumming, pushing the limits of harmony and tuning to ever more complex results. A special energy is released through the clash between Irmler, one of Krautrock’s main driving forces ever since his work with Faust, and his sparring partner Jaki Liebezeit, the living legend from Can, whose unrivalled hypnotic drumming has earned him a reputation as one of the most avant-garde percussionists, and as a human drum machine. Says Jochen Irmler: "I started jamming with Jaki as a means to play the organ very differently. On one hand he challenged me, on the other we shared an almost ESP-like non-verbal communication. A new horizon had opened up (before us)."

                  One hears elements of this statement in the piece "Sempiternity" and in the subsequent "Washing Over Me", where organist and drummer create a synergy greater than its parts; a trio rather than a duo seem to be at work. The effect is partly conjured by Irmler’s touch; his distorted right-hand melodies often sound like electric guitar, while his left hand finds unusual ways to elicit organ-like chord structures. Irmler’s relentless sonic clusters crash spectacularly against Jaki Liebzeit’s drums. Always stoic at their core, Liebzeit’s rhythms are struck with playful outbursts of groove, especially on the cymbals. Here we see a minimalist with an extremely controlled love of collisions at work. Repetition and its minute refinements are transferred with great discipline in a stream of consciousness that both sets the stage and upstages his opponent. "We play without notes. In places where notation systems do not exist, the rhythm holds a much more dominant role in music, for example as is the case in Africa. Here people make music differently than those who think in terms of notes and bars. Musical bars are like prison bars. Playing without notes means that you must play repetitively, and repetition is rhythm. At the same time repetition does not really exist here, because you never (quite) play the same thing (twice)." (Jaki Liebzeit) Through three consecutive days of noon-to-night sessions in July 2013, Irmler and Liebzeit recorded a hypnotic maelstrom of an album. They contemplated the Danube between takes, and felt the sun sink daily over their endless improvisations. Always another stream, never the same river.

                  Gnod and Michael Holland's Ono Tesla imprint continues to bring more out-there and unique sounds, conjured up from the witch's cauldron that is Islington Mill. Although Lightning Glove are from the Czech Republic, it's undeniable that this sound falls perfectly into the post-rave-industrial ethos from which the label, and most of the music emanating from 'the Mill resides. "Brave New World" kicks things off with a firm favourite with myself (Matt) - huge air raid sirens! Can't go wrong with a bit of siren action, and over this they spread a collage of reverb-heavy ghostly artifacts, similar in vain to LA Vampires first LP with Zola Jesus but much more aggressive and demonic. Sounds fragmented and distorted through the very essence of space time and delivered by some evil spirit cyberpunk. "Dream On (Ketamin God)" strips things back to something resembling New York's dark-wave scene or perhaps Suicide if he'd had the opportunity to consume the drugs in which the song is named after. The tranquilizer element cannot be ignored, with lonnnng delays and grainy sounds characterizing this haunting piece. "Highway To Nowhere" is about as 'dancefloor' as the A-side gets, with big squelchy bass notes coinciding with a broken post-grime / industrial beat while the nasty ass front man does more of his idiosyncratic, Mark E Smith-inspired gratings. "Europe" allows waves and waves of electrostatic hum and buzz through the noise gates, sweeping sine tones and clattering drums joining the melee for a celebration of discord. "Go Away" is another evil ballad, comprising of a sharp sawtooth and the vocalist's frightening meanderings before "When I Shut My Eyes" closes off with an almost legible dance groove. A tangible 4/4 and light, airy hats lull us into a false sense of security before more pitch-black vocal abuse attacks with dark strings and ricocheting percussion hits as wingmen, not to mention the piercing monosynth melodies. The whole EP plays like Atari Teenage Riot on an OD-inducing level of opiates; essential for anyone with a penchant for dark-wave, industrial punk, cybernetic goth or electronic noise. And another piece of Manchester's complex musical jigsaw.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Matt says: There's a reason why Islington Mill and the current Manc / Salford scene's been getting so much press recently: it's because they simply DO NOT GIVE A F**K. Michael Holland and Paddy throw caution to the wind with this masterpiece of musical marmite. Love it or hate it you gotta give credit to the balls-out nature of this label. Historical.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd 12" Info: Wrap-around risograph sleeve designed by Michael Holland, mastered by Stephen Bishop. Strictly limited.



                    John Hegre: Guitar Kjetil D Brandsdal: Bass Jan Christian Lauritzen: Drums.

                    “Although heavy they have a deftness of touch most bands playing this style of music lack. There is subtleness at work during their long song workouts and an almost jazz perspective to some of their low-end rumblings which means they are never less than exciting to hear.” (Supersonic Festival) After an extended hiatus, NOXAGT return with two new LPs - both on Stavanger-based screen printing/record company DRID MACHINE.

                    BRUTAGE is the band's fourth album and the first to feature John Hegre (also of Jazzkammer) on guitar. John’s guitar work is predominantly textural -providing an intense, yet soothing counterpoint to the brutal rhythm section. The album contains four lengthy tracks which are a natural continuation on the band’s penchant for repetition and heaviness. As with all previous NOXAGT albums, the album cover features a photograph by world-renowned photographer Torbjørn Rødland.


                    Collection 1

                      John Hegre: Guitar Kjetil D Brandsdal: Bass Jan Christian Lauritzen: Drums. “Although heavy they have a deftness of touch most bands playing this style of music lack. There is subtleness at work during their long song workouts and an almost jazz perspective to some of their low-end rumblings which means they are never less than exciting to hear.” (Supersonic Festival) After an extended hiatus, NOXAGT return with two new LPs - both on Stavanger-based screen printing/record company DRID MACHINE.

                      COLLECTION 1 is a compilation of unreleased material from 2001-2004. The band then consisted of Nils Erga on viola alongside the current rhythm section. COLLECTION 1 contains tracks from the first, unreleased NOXAGT album recorded in 2001. It also includes a live recording featuring producer Billy Anderson on vocals, a track from a 2004 Peel Session and much more. The LP comes in a 4-colour screen printed cover and the LP itself is split black/clear vinyl.


                      Reed Bombus LFO

                        Next up on Deep Distance following mighty 12s from Umberto and Tim Gane’s new project, Cavern of Anti-Matter, comes this incredible full length from Brussels based duo RAZEN.

                        Five extraordinary pieces from the duo of Brecht Ameel and Kim Delcour, who express their fascination for and knowledge of the unique timbral and drone characteristics of their chosen string and wind instruments in improvised, instinctive music that mixes pre-industrial, spectral and ethnic dreamtones with trance and medieval mysticism.

                        Frequently collaborating with other musicians, RAZEN is known for playing intensely focused live shows. The duo have so far released albums on the Kraak label and across a variety of acclaimed international tape labels. Deep Distance felt this set (dedicated to Conrad Schnitzler) deserved the vinyl treatment and delve their toes once again into the revered Belgian underground having released killer full lengths from the likes of Kohn and Hellvete to name just two…

                        The LP not only sounds incredible but looks just beautiful too- a gorgeous picture disc with hand numbered sticker art. A pressing of 300 sure to sell out double quick….

                        Remember Remember

                        Forgetting The Present

                        Brand new studio album from Remember Remember, following on from their Scottish Album Of The Year shortlisted ‘The Quickening’ (2011).

                        "Forgetting The Present shares all the essential DNA of its precursors; thick waves of emotive guitars, piano and synth are punctuated by lovely melodic through-lines and delicate trickles at the top end that, in their fragility, make the big sounds even bigger. But each element feels more in-synch than ever before, from the chilly, Tubular Bells-referencing flow of opener “Blabbermouth” to the final strains of echoing electronics on “Frozen Frenzy”, the distant but soothing lullaby that closes the album." - Best Of Line Fit.

                        Recorded in Glasgow at Castle Of Doom Studios by Tony Doogan (Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, The Pastels, The Delgados, Super Furry Animals) and mastered at Abbey Road by Frank Arkwright (Mogwai, Johnny Marr, Rudimental, Arcade Fire), ‘Forgetting The Present’ will be released on CD, heavy pressed gatefold double LP and digital download via Mogwai’s Rock Action Records label.

                        To Rococo Rot have carved an identifiable niche for themselves, and one which has crossed a variety of styles; neither wholly in the realms of ambient or pure electronics. The late 1990s albums of Veiculo and The Amateur View brought their fundamental and innovative landscapes of sound to the fore, whilst 2001’s collaboration with I-Sound, Music is a Hungry Ghost, showed their ability to blend disparate influences into something wonderfully cohesive. Remixed by Four Tet and Daniel Miller and heralded by the likes of Modeselektor, their influence extends as far as their unique approach deserves.

                        Returning to City Slang in 2014 for their first full-length since 2010’s Speculation (released on Domino) and their eighth album in total, Instrument is a landmark record for the electronic trio from Berlin. The serenely soft melodies of No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay adorn three tracks (‘Many Descriptions’, ‘Classify’ and ‘The Longest Escalator in the World’), offering up a new perspective. As much a progression as a refresher course for older material, it is arguably their most refined record so far.

                        Lindsay’s laid-back and unhurried words lend themselves perfectly to the aesthetic of To Rococo Rot whilst pulling them through to an unfamiliar and occasionally pop-based space. Though melodies have always been a big part of their sound, the inclusion of a human voice is a distinctive modification. It sits perfectly within the warm timbres created by Lippok, Lippok and Schneider.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        LP Info: Comes with a free 5 track bonus disc while stocks last.

                        CD Info: Comes with a free 5 track bonus disc while stocks last.

                        Matthew Young

                        Recurring Dreams

                          Matthew Young’s genre-bending, acclaimed 1986 release ‘Traveler’s Advisory’ reappeared as a reissue on Drag City / Yoga in 2010 and quickly sold out. We now return to Young’s first effort, ‘Recurring Dreams’, dating back to 1981 and the apex of the Eno / Berlin schools’ influence over myriad American followers. Young created eight EMS / Rhodes pieces solo, subtly weaving in variable-speed Revox manipulation of traditional rock instrumentation with the lightest of touches.

                          As anyone who has heard ‘Traveler’s Advisory’ already knows, Matthew Young could never be a mere imitator. What all too often amounted to predictable shtick in the field of early 80s home electronica, Young made personal, delicate, discreet and discrete. Wordlessly illustrating its titles - ‘Version, Inversion’, ‘The Forest Of Lilacs’ and ‘Mistral’ (a strong, cold, north westerly wind), Young conjures vivid, progressive tones of the unknown.

                          ‘Recurring Dreams’ requires repeat listenings to fully reveal its Bonsai-like qualities. Fans of Erik Satie, JD Emmanuel, private-issue new age or the more placid side of minimal synth should take note of this one.

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