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Los Campesinos!

All Hell

    The UK’s first and only emo band Los Campesinos! return with their highly-anticipated seventh album, ‘All Hell’. It is perhaps their most ambitious and assured album yet, whilst simultaneously recalling everything we’ve come to love about LC! over their faultless discography. Recorded between October 2023 and February 2024, it is the first album to be wholly self-produced by band member Tom Bromley (having co-produced previous albums ‘Sick Scenes’ and ‘NO BLUES’). The album is also self-released on the band’s own Heart Swells record label.

    In the band’s words ‘All Hell’ is an album about…
    Drinking for fun and drinking for misery // adult acne // adult friendship // football // death and dying // love and sex // late-stage capitalism // Orpheus // day dreaming // night terrors // the heart as an organ and as a burden // Tears of the Kingdom // the punks on the playlist // increments of time // climate apocalypse // the moon the moon the moon///

    Los Campesinos! have become one of the most important and influential cult acts in the UK since they formed in the mid-2000s. Starting out in the Cardiff indie scene and soundtracking Budweiser adverts, the seven-piece’s musical evolution since then has been slow, steady and remarkable. From the frenzied chaos of debut album ‘Hold On Now, Youngster…’ (2008) through 2010 breakthrough ‘Romance is Boring’ and the self-mythologising of latter day highlights ‘NO BLUES’ (2013) and ‘Sick Scenes’ (2017), their discography is an interconnected web of niche references, big swings and unflinching honesty.

    Making self-professed sleeper hits for weeping dipshits, they’re as influenced by The Beautiful South as they are US emo, with emotional intensity and connection always at the core. Their lyrics are a treasure trove of football references, tales of romantic woe and painfully frank exorcisms, which have been tattooed across hundreds of fans’ bodies and served as comfort and insight during that break-up you had (there’s a reason the band’s tagline is “your ex-girlfriend’s favourite band”).

    Now with the release of ‘All Hell’, Los Camp! approach their third decade as a band more brilliant, more potent and more vital than ever.


    Personal Trainer

    Still Willing

      If you like pop music to keep you on your toes, Amsterdam’s Personal Trainer provide that service fulsomely on their second album. Essentially the project of Willem Smit (working with co-producer/collaborator Casper van der Lans) on record and a band live, Personal Trainer showed a facility for DIY indie-pop exuberance and experiment in sync with 2022’s debut, Big Love Blanket. Now signed to Bella Union, Willem returns re-energised with Still Willing, a multi-faceted album of shining contrasts and spry melodies, bursting arrangements and subliminal sounds, playful lyrics and self-reflection: in short, a pop album executed with dynamism, vim and charm.

      As Willem says, this is a record fuelled by its extremes: sometimes energetic and loud, sometimes quiet and thoughtful, always full of hidden pleasures. “When I listen to the records I make, the main thing I hope is that every time something happens on them, you’re like, ‘Wow.’ I like to be taken by surprise like that on a record, to kind of be thrown around.”

      Those surprises start at the beginning, where ‘Upper Ferntree Gully’ shows a dreamy side to Personal Trainer before choppy, chunky riffs and electronics take over. Meanwhile, Willem’s anchoring imprint is ever-present: he prefers not to dissect his lyrics, but the title nod to his mother’s birthplace in Australia and opening recording of her voice seed a spirit of warmth and intimacy in the record – the personal in Personal Trainer, perhaps.

      In a sharp left-turn, ‘I Can be Your Personal Trainer’ follows with a buoyant swing. The album proceeds with that duality in mind, always Smit’s work yet always fresh, always seeking. In Willem’s description, ‘Cyan’ is “a weird, happy pop track”, chivvied onwards by contributor Nick Bolland’s sax and leavened by vocal contributions from Dutch alt-pop singer Lena Hessels. “With most of this one I was trying to make myself laugh or at least smile,” says Willem. “And then I started to really like it. Somewhere along the process I found something like honesty or something beautiful in it.”

      Elsewhere, there’s strutting rock in ‘Round’ and vulnerability in ‘New Bad Feeling’. ‘Intangible’ issues another gearshift, erupting from a rising synth line into spry indie-funk pop, where Willem’s innate melodic instincts light the way into uncharted territory for Personal Trainer. As Willem explains, “I tried to make a song that is something I wouldn’t normally do and experiment with that. I like how it turned out because it’s also probably one of the first instances where I had the chorus first and the other parts later, which rarely happens.”

      The plangent sensitivity of ‘Testing the Alarm’ adds playful wordplay (“lallygag in shrubbery”) before live favourite ‘You Better Start Scrubbing’ arrives on album in a joyously abrasive blast of no-wave vigour, its glorious shout-along chorus aided by guest vocals from three members of Dutch alt-rock quintet The Klittens. Finally, ‘What Am I Supposed to Say about the People and their Ways’ signs the album off on a wryly humble note, Willem upholding an inquisitive mindset over the modern bleat of “bleeping know-it-alls”.

      Witty, welcoming and winningly melodic, Still Willing is the sound of an instinctive DIY-pop musician favouring think-on-your-feet exploration and intuition over know-it-all premeditation. Willem’s initial intent was to record the album as if live, but he realised that his chemistry with Casper would not be denied. “I felt that we had grown and built a language together. We don’t have to say a lot, but we understand each other well. There was a lot less like trying out stuff and taking stuff away compared to the last one, because it felt like we were on the same wavelength.”

      As for how they work together, says Willem, the songs and sounds are assembled in detailed increments. “I write the songs and record most of the stuff, like kind of the skeleton, and then we record drums together. That’s the first step, most of the time. From there, we build. I don’t know much about compressors or weird effects. But Casper knows a lot about that and is really enthusiastic. If I want some part to work better, he’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, I have an idea for that.’ And there were times when I would say, ‘Do you feel like playing this part?’ And he just plays it.”

      Recorded between home and – says Willem – “places that don’t cost much to record at”, the result is a DIY pop album brimming with ideas and colour. Whereas Big Love Blanket’s experimental sounds included a celery stick snapping, Still Willing features floorboards, doors closing and “no-input mixing”. Alongside Hessels and The Klittens, contributors include drummer Kick Kluiving and (for half of the songs) bassist Ruben van Weegberg, also Willem’s bandmate in the band Canshaker Pi, who numbered Stephen Malkmus among their producers. Most of the percussion comes from Kilian Kayser, and discreet sounds are served by Abel Tuinstra and Otto de Jong.

      Willem is the epicentre of the band, which originated from impromptu and exhilarating live shows featuring ever-shifting members of different local bands sharing a bustling stage. The live line-up has solidified somewhat but Willem still welcomes the contrast with his recorded work: “When I make the record, it’s me calling the shots. But I can’t tell everyone exactly what to do every second when we’re on stage. There’s, like, shakers flying around or instruments being thrown all over the place, so I don’t have the capacity to control that. And that’s really exciting to me.”

      Big Love Blanket harnessed that energy in 10 excitable pop songs, bright and bracing. Acclaim from Steve Lamacq, Marc Riley, Mojo, Clash, DIY Mag and others followed. Support slots with BC Camplight in 2023 were joyfully received, as was a tour for Independent Venues Week with The Klittens and Real Farmer. Personal Trainer have notched up many festival visits, too, including stop-offs at the End of the Road, Wilderness and The Great Escape. In December 2023, an EP featuring the tracks ‘The Feeling’ (all nine minutes of it) and ‘Babyolifantjes’ (translated: baby elephants) also emerged, recorded with a view to capturing the band’s live form. Soon, Smit and his bandmates will showcase that form with summer festivals including Green Man, Deershed, Truck Festival and Lowlands.

      Meanwhile, Still Willing arrives as a fervid expression of Willem’s home-recording and studio methods, tethered to inviting pop instincts and rich with the fertile promise of more to come. Willem doesn’t want to tell you what or how to think about the album but, he says, “It would be awesome if people like it and buy the record, so that I can make another one.” On the strength of Still Willing, he’s fit for the long distance.


      Wunderhorse

      Midas

        “I want it to feel like you’re right there in the room with us.” And in 10 songs and 40 minutes, Wunderhorse capture the raw power and energy that has set them apart as one of the most formidable live acts of recent years. With rugged hooks, unfiltered noise, and fierce melodic sensitivity, ‘Midas’ rips up the script of traditional second albums and establishes the band as an endlessly addictive and rousing generational talent.

        In late 2022, the release of their debut album ‘Cub’ saw singles ‘Purple’ and ‘Leader of the Pack’ dominate radio airwaves. Landmark performances filling Glastonbury’s Woodsies Tent (FKA John Peel Stage) and selling out London’s Kentish Town Forum months in advance were followed by tours with Pixies and Fontaines D.C., signalling the band’s arrival as one of the most prominent and exciting new guitar acts in the UK.

        With Grammy Award-winning producer Craig Silvey (The Rolling Stones, The National, Florence + The Machine) on board for their sophomore record, the band looked to do something different. Their goal – in the very same studio that Nirvana put ‘In Utero’ to tape and PJ Harvey recorded the Mercury Prize-nominated ‘Rid of Me’ – was to push themselves outside of their comfort zones.

        “There’s absolutely no faking on this record,” ends Slater, “it's not supposed to be perfect; it’s supposed to be a snapshot, even if it is a bit of an ugly portrait. That's how it was then, and that's how you're gonna see it.” And it sounds like you’re right there in the room with them.


        Shellac

        To All Trains

          THE BAND
          It’s still: Steve Albini ◊ Guitar. Todd Trainer ◊ Drums. Bob Weston ◊ Bass.

          DATA
          This is Shellac’s sixth studio LP. Recording & Mixing took place at Electrical Audio in Chicago over a bunch of long weekends in November, 2017; October, 2019; September, 2021; and March, 2022. The record was mas-tered by Bob & Steve at Chicago Mastering Service.

          PACKAGING
          LP and CD packaging and artwork are identical (the CD is just smaller). Bob took all the photos; some with a fancy camera and some with a telephone.

          QC
          Audio quality is paramount, as always, with Shellac. The LPs are being manufactured by Green Vinyl Records using an injection molding process. This new process uses 100% recyclable PET (like soda bottles) and is environmentally friendly, containing no PVC or Phthalates. The process also uses 79% less CO2 than conventional hydraulic PVC vinyl presses. The records weigh 180 grams.

          PROMOTION
          Other than the informational sheet you hold in your hand (or virtual hand), this record will have no formal promotion. There will be no advertisements, no press or radio promotion, no e-promotion, no promotional or review copies, no promotional gimmick items, and other-wise no free lunch.

          THE IPODS
          Shellac doesn’t have a website. Maybe we should get one. To All Trains (2AT) will be available on most streaming services and download sites in all your formats, sample rates, and bit depths; all the way up to 96kHz, 24-bit, Hi-Res (Apple Digital Masters compliant).

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: The legendary Shellac release 'To All Trains' under the sad passing of Steve Albini, but the tragedy does little to temper the incendiary heft and bone-breaking weight of Shellac's unmatched energy. Thudding bass guitars and ripped speaker distortion, Snapping snares and pummeling syncopated kick drums. Screaming, unforgettable mayhem, exactly as you'd expect.

          Beth Gibbons

          Lives Outgrown

            Beth Gibbons releases her debut solo album Lives Outgrown on Friday the 17th of May 2024. Featuring 10 beautiful new songs recorded over a period of 10 years, the album was produced by James Ford & Beth Gibbons with additional production by Lee Harris (Talk Talk).

            Lives Outgrown is, by some measure, Beth’s most personal work to date, the result of a period of sustained reflection and change — “lots of goodbyes,” in Beth’s words. Farewells to family, to friends, even to her former self. These are songs from the mid-course of life, when looking ahead no longer yields what it used to, and looking back has a sudden, sharper focus.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: A stunning selection of downbeat-infused instrumentals, woozy psychedelic folk and Gibbons' unmistakeably emotive vocal prowess. It's brilliantly composed, deeply personal and impeccably sequenced. It's a big relief honestly, because this further cements Gibbons as a musical legend in her own right.

            Oasis

            Definitely Maybe - 30th Anniversary Edition

              Oasis’ debut album ‘Definitely Maybe’ celebrates its 30th anniversary this August. The fastest-ever selling debut in the UK on release, this seminal album marked the point when Oasis became a cultural phenomenon. Including the classic singles ‘Supersonic’, ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Cigarettes And Alcohol’, its songs sound as fresh and relevant as they did in 1994. Having sold over 6.9 million copies globally, it also sits as the 2nd most streamed album of the 90’s (following Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? at no.1).

              New 30th anniversary formats released to celebrate this landmark date include a Limited Edition deluxe 4LP and 2CD featuring including the previously unreleased and discarded original recording session from Monnow Valley along with outtakes from Sawmills Studios plus a demo of Sad Song featuring Liam’s vocal - all recently mixed for this release by Noel Gallagher and Callum Marinho.

              LP formats also include a retail exclusive coloured vinyl format – Digsy’s Dinner inspired “Strawberries and cream” pink and white marble 2LP. All versions feature brand new artwork by the original art designer Brian Cannon for Microdot and original sleeve photographer Michael Spencer Jones, plus new sleeve notes.

              Hamish Hawk

              A Firmer Hand - Launch Show Ticket Bundle

                “Writing this album, I opened up my closet, and a skeleton came out.” In a café just around the corner from his Edinburgh flat, Hamish Hawk is contemplating his extraordinary new record, A Firmer Hand. “The thing that links all of the songs is a sense of the unsaid, whether out of guilt, shame, repression, embarrassment, coyness, whatever it might have been. I realised: I am going to say these things, and not all of them are going to make me look good. The album made so many demands, and I just gave myself over to it.”

                At this stage, where only a handful of close associates have heard the finished album, Hawk is still unsure of what the reaction might be from fans, critics, even family. He jokes that A Firmer Hand is the first of his records that his parents might not enjoy. “But the fact that it makes me nervous tells me it was the right thing to do.”

                It takes only a couple of listens to be sure that it was a risk worth taking. And just a couple more to determine that A Firmer Hand is the best and boldest record Hamish Hawk has delivered to date. “It’s a bit of a coming of age record,” he says. And a record for the ages.

                Kneecap Feat. Grian Chatten

                Better Way To Live

                  Fontaines D.C.‘s superconductor frontman Grian Chatten brings a louche and ruffled charm to Kneecap’s relentless and addictive bounce on 'Better Way To Live' - with band mate Tom Coll also joining on drums.

                  On the B-side, we can a frenetic, skittering overhaul from London based mixer/producer genius Sam Interface (More Time Records) who doubles up the tempo, turns up the bass and then lets the whole thing burn bright as the sun.

                  Crack Cloud

                  Red Mile

                    Crack Cloud has always been something beyond a rock band: both profound and grand, vaporous and elusive.

                    The first iteration of Crack Cloud was formed nearly a decade ago as a proxy-rehab outlet on the fringes of Calgary. Over time, two EPs and accompanying visual pieces were produced out of the residence known as Red Mile. By 2017, several members had relocated to Vancouver, working out of harm reduction centers and low-barrier shelters. Sobriety, self-reformation and the idealism of their work further formed an ethos for Crack Cloud. It was during these years that the band produced their astounding 2020 album ‘Pain Olympics’. At once, their vision became expansive, cinematic.

                    Now, ‘Red Mile’ is a bit of a homecoming. Members have returned to Calgary. But Calgary/home has become a liminal space, a place of flux. After a decade of personal and collective growth, what does home even mean? ‘Red Mile’ is, for them, something like samsara: a return and a rebirth.

                    ‘Red Mile’’s sound breathes expansive energy into the circuitous, street bound sonics of Crack Cloud’s prior material. Fizzling synths intertwine with chiming pianos. Songs layer like Russian nesting dolls; one may find a Ramones chorus set within a desolate Western prog soundtrack only to watch it erupt into a joyous anthem. Real-ass guitars — alternately lilting, scuzzy and soaring — ring out across wide sun-bleached spaces. In 2024, the cumulative effect is (in rock instrumentation terms) naturalistic. Any whiff of embalmed nostalgia is absent. Even the close of the album – a winding, alllllmost Jerry Garcia guitar noodle that leads us out of ‘Red Mile’ – is delivered without sentimentality.

                    Principal songwriter Zach Choy’s lyrics are cutting but merciful, with a sharp self awareness that never slides into self-satisfaction. Crack Cloud as artists are critical — and ultimately as forgiving — of themselves as they are the melting world around them. The songs balance an easy charm and cathartic power: affirming life without denying death.

                    Recorded predominantly between the outskirts of Joshua Tree California, and Calgary, Alberta, this record is informed by a bittersweet mélange of old and new. The sprawling, novelistic structures of their previous albums are condensed and sharpened, while maintaining their refusal to delve into superficiality. Through playful melodies and elliptical guitar soliloquy, they deliver a final product of exceptional depth and distinctly unprecious warmth. Crack Cloud have produced a mature, vital work that interrogates the platitudes of the rock-n-roll lifestyle, but ultimately exalts its sacredness.

                    ‘Red Mile’’s de facto thesis statement “The Medium” is itself a rock song meditation: an ode to the form and its practitioners. This genre that — typical, repeatable, corporatized as it can be — somehow still has the power to help us live through life. We see the dusty sentiment of “I love rock and roll” exhumed, taken apart, and stitched back together. It’s a song guided by faith — if the medium helps us proclaim our love today, it’s worth protecting from derision tomorrow. We live in an era where music seems to love hitting its head against the wall. Crack Cloud’s ‘Red Mile’ is the sound — the feeling! — of the bricks giving way.


                    Arab Strap

                    I’m Totally Fine With It - Don’t Give A F**k Anymore

                      Following their critically-acclaimed UK Top 20 album “As Days Get Dark”, Arab Strap return with their 2nd long player for Mogwai’s Rock Action Records with the excellent titled “I’m totally fine with it - don’t give a fuck anymore”. Almost 28 years after their debut, Arab Strap have never sounded more essential, and this new record is a fierce testament to their laser focus on wider horizons. Written and performed exclusively by Malcolm Middleton & Aidan Moffat, and finessed with longtime collaborator Paul Savage, the album furthers the band’s transformation from swooning, slow-core romantics to raging, alt-pop chroniclers.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: A typically massive sounding, visceral blast of indie-adjacent avant-pop and shadowy electronica that's both instantly recognisable as Arab Strap, but furthers their already vast sonic explorations. With the uncompromising wit of Moffat & Middleton shining through every note, this really couldn't have been done by anyone else.

                      Alex Kassian

                      E2-E4 (With Mad Professor Remix)

                      Alex Kassian's extended rendition of E2–E4 promises a 12-minute electronic odyssey, tailor-made for diverse dancefloors from it’s spiritual home Ibiza and beyond. On the flip side, Mad Professor embarks on a club-oriented version excursion, a rare gem in its own right. This reimagining breathes new life into the classic, offering fresh perspectives for music aficionados everywhere. Hot tip for release of the Summer!

                      Ain't

                      Oar / Teething - Piccadilly Exclusive Signed And Numbered Print Edition

                        London five-piece Ain’t announce their debut 7” ‘Oar / Teething’ - due 02 August 2024 on Fear of Missing Out Records. Bringing together the stranger side of ‘90s guitar, post-punk and shoegaze from both sides of the Atlantic, Ain’t expertly toe the line between nostalgia and ingenuity. Debut single “Oar” meditates on the swarming frustrations that stem from losing faith in those in charge. Hanna Darch’s vocals elastic-snap between a darkened, sardonic reverie and a spitting swell, capturing both the self-protection of apathy and an ever-bubbling, eruptive anger. The band’s line-up produces a sonic scowl, piecing together an incandescent hum that borders industrial noise and a lush, slow-pop dreamscape.

                        The Lovely Eggs

                        Eggsistentialism

                          “Eggsistentialism” sees The Lovely Eggs return after a 4 year break since their Number One Independent Selling Album “I am Moron”. During that time they have made their own TV show Eggs TV (featuring Ian McKaye, Stewart Lee, Katie Puckrik, Maxine Peake, David Shrigley and more), dueted with Iggy Pop, played a load of sold-out gigs and festivals and fought a campaign to save Lancaster Music Co-op (a community rehearsal rooms and recording studio where they live).

                          Recorded at home in Lancaster, with production advice from Dave Fridmann, the album was mixed at Tarbox Road Studios, NY with Dave Fridmann and the band.

                          As the title suggests, “Eggsistentialism” explores a much more personal, introspective, and reflective side to The Lovely Eggs world and sees the Eggs explore new sounds and experiment in unventured musical territories.

                          “The new album is really a reflection on what has been happening to us these last couple of years, stewing up in Eggland in our own juices,” explains Holly. “It’s about loss and strength. On this album you’ll hear us at our lowest and most vulnerable. Daily life is hard. Realising everything you grew up with and loved is never coming back, alongside the responsibilities of caring for others is sometimes hard to take. The album is about life and death. Eggsistentialism. It’s about dragging yourself through all the shit to get to the other side.”

                          “It’s a bit of a ‘wilderness years’ album,” continues Holly. “We haven’t released a new record since 2020 and in the meantime, we’ve been here fighting shit and trying to defend a right to a lifestyle that we’ve enjoyed here in this town for the last 30+ years as working musicians who refuse to get a “normal” job and tow the line. It’s about believing in something and not letting go. But that unwillingness to give in ultimately takes its toll. It does start to destroy you and the album is kind of a documentation of that destruction and collapse as well as the strength we’ve got to get through it all. Ultimately, this is a hopeful record about survival.”

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Another soaring punky missive from The Lovely Eggs, rich with melodic choruses and clashing groove. Putting to the world to rights with wry politicism and instantly unforgettable instrumental hooks has always been the Lovely Eggs' bread and butter, but Eggsistentialism is without a doubt the Warburtons Toastie (the absolute best) of the Lovely Eggs' output.

                          Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

                          Your Community Hub

                            Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan's new album, Your Community Hub, compellingly continues his sonic exploration of the New Towns movement. The issues the councillors, planners, and architects set out to solve still resound and echo throughout society.

                            For the latest instalment in this unique project, Gordon Chapman-Fox turns his laser eye to focus on Community and the Community Centres that populated Warrington and Runcorn in order to provide all the facilities people needed within a five minute walk from their home. These planning ideas predated the current discussions of fifteen minute cities by fifty years.

                            Those 50 years have seen a decline in our community centres and services: handy access to a GP or dentist, Post Offices, youth clubs, local shops, banking and much more. Successive governments have undermined and eroded those basic services. The decline in community services has also been matched with a decline in community and shared experiences with a knock-on effect on the population's health and well-being. The disastrous austerity policies imposed over the last 15 years have exacerbated this long, slow reduction in available spaces for people to meet and communicate, with seemingly no recognition of the societal impact that causes. Short-termism at the expense of the community and how we live our lives.

                            Margaret Thatcher's statement that "there is no such thing as society" has been taken as a mission statement by successive Conservative governments who have aimed to remove as much support and communality from the citizens as possible. It continues now, the wrong-headed idea that everyone can be left to fend for themselves.

                            Chapman-Fox's latest album decries the cruelty of where we find ourselves in 2024 and his quiet incandescence about the loss of optimism for what communities should be and could be. It's his most powerful work, and as always, it will deeply resonate with those who tune in to his unique vision and unparalleled productions.

                            As ever, beautifully packaged and designed by Gordon, the album artwork features photographs from the archive of the architect Peter Garvin, which was kindly provided by his son Richard Garvin. The photographs show Peter's work on the Castlefield Community Centre, a sleek modernist structure clad in white ceramic tiles.


                            Back in stock Cover of Alt! by Psychederek.
                            From the psychedelic soaked streets of Stretford and the mind of Lewis Olsen aka Psychederek comes his next Sprechen E.P. as everyone's favourite cosmic cosmonaut returns with ALT! 4 tracks of spaced-out sound collages where electronic & rock music meet in the middle to create an explosion of avant-garde hypnotic rave soundscapes.

                            Title track ALT! has a massive doff of the cap to the driving forces of Krautrock, where Lewis' vocal soars atop stacks of guitars & synths and a solid drumbeat keeps you on track.

                            'Nowhere To Nowhere' breaks out of the gate with a full spin of the private psychedelic reel, a track that seemingly has no beginning, middle or end but which draws you in from the get-go with stacked guitars & synth lines, a thumping one note bass line, snappy percussion, and a totally far out vocal breakdown.

                            'Hapi' is a stunning stripped-back big bag of blissfullness with soaring synths & arp lines buddy up with a heart tugging 4 note key lines & guitar plucks alongside a reverb drenched vocal sound from heaven.
                            Coming across like the soundtrack as you reach the pearly gates whilst also harking back to the true balearic sound of the 70's. There are not enough sunsets in the world would do this justice.

                            What better way to finish things off than with a cover version of what is probably one of THE staples of the acid house 2nd Summer of love era as Psychederek gives the 808 State classic a full psych rework!
                            A fave from his live performances, the Manchester anthem is ripped right up to deliver a swoosh filled assault on the senses where pads, synths, guitars & even more synths all stacked and set firmly to 'wow man!' and kept tightly on track by the sublime drumming of Donald Johnson from A Certain Ratio.




                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Matt says: Already causing a big stir on the local scene with DJs gifted upfront promos. It's all about that cover of "Pacific State" - absolute genius from this wildcard Stretford maverick. Get them orders in quick!

                            Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

                            Loophole

                              62 years of music, loves, losses, long summer days and longer, darker nights are vividly recalled by ‘our greatest living songwriter’, Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band as he plays out flickering scenes from his life on new album, Loophole.

                              12 evocative and autobiographical songs to be accompanied by the written word as Michael Head prepares his memoirs for release with an autobiography with Nine Eight Books. 

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Andy says: Dear Scott's mellower sibling picks up where our record of the year left off, with the stunning Shirl's Ghost, and meanders beautifully through Mick's usual magical worlds before ending on his ages old, but hitherto not recorded, lost classic, Coda. Mick's only gone and smashed it again. As the maestro himself would undoubtedly say: Is Right!

                              Various Artists

                              Down To The Sea & Back: Volume Tres. The Continuing Journey Of The Balearic Beat - Compiled By Balearic Mike & Kelvin Andrews

                                After a 10-year hiatus, Balearic Mike and Kelvin Andrews return to continue the journey of the Balearic Beat with another edition of their distinguished Down To The Sea And Back compilation series, presenting a formidable new set of rare and obscure records.

                                With Vols. 1 and 2, the well loved duo showed us that not only are they serious collectors but chroniclers of a scene, assembling lost gems and unheard marvels into Balearic mythology. Reaping, along the way, accolades such as Piccadilly Records’ Compilation of the Year, and featured on Lauren Laverne’s BBC6 Music show. For Vol. Tres, Mike and Kelvin team up with Copenhagen-based Music For Dreams label – themselves no strangers to the Balearic archives. The compilation features 16 tracks, every selection accompanied by an essential background story in the liner notes of the gatefold vinyl and CD booklet.

                                As fellow comrade and beloved friend Luke Una puts it: “From Greek acid folk, Balearic bossa, outsider pop and electronic chug, to cosmic machine soul, majestic songs, odd numbers, proto-techno new wave to dubbed out 5am technoid, bass buggin deepness and ethereal outer-space Detroit via San Francisco. This album is a story. A story from the heart, with over three decades digging and grafting in the trenches. In a world of faux, pastiche, counterfeit and aggrorhythm fakes, it oozes a wholesome intuitive authenticity. Majestic songs, odd numbers, cosmic dreaming and late night astral travelling as we all hold on together.” 

                                LICE

                                Third Time At The Beach

                                  Formed in Bristol, 4-piece LICE have become one of UK experimental rock’s most inventive and ambitious outliers. Their second album ‘Third Time At The Beach’ – a three-part epic exploring our struggle to better understand the world around us – arrives on the 20th September via AD 93. Darting between minimalism, rock, techno and more, it sends us hurtling us through time and space: featuring a cast of astronauts, cavemen and dinosaurs.

                                  This follows LICE’s internationally acclaimed debut album ‘WASTELAND: What Ails Our People Is Clear’ (2021). Praised as “exciting, alive, packed with musical ideas” by Financial Times and “a welcome lease of life for British avant-rock that plays with expectation at every turn” by CRACK, it also gained radio support across BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 1 and KEXP. The album led LICE to perform at major festivals including Reading & Leeds, Green Man and End Of The Road, embark on an extensive EU tour supporting Sleaford Mods, and tour across the UK & EU.

                                  ‘Third Time At The Beach’’s concept is expressed through three movements. The first (‘Unscrewed’, ‘White Tubes’, ‘Red Fibres’) presents the child being introduced to the world, hammered into shape through prevailing culture, and realising they have reached adulthood with a blinkered understanding of the world. The second (‘To The Basket’, ‘Wrapped In A Sheet’, ‘Scenes From The Desert’, ‘Mown In Circles’) is a disorientating, alien sequence: reevaluating fundamental concepts including money, time, nationhood and language. In the third (‘Fatigued, Confused’, ‘Third Time At The Beach’, ‘The Dance’), the individual embraces these new ideas – granting them a changed understanding of the world, and more agency in the path they take through it.

                                  Everything is always changing in ‘Third Time At The Beach’. The album shifts from lush piano balladry to crushing industrial, and from swampy avant-garde compositions to triumphant rock freakouts. Employing vocal manipulation and field recordings, as well as cutting together studio recordings and home demos, the band produces a spatially elastic, collage-like effect. The album, like the ideas being reached within it, presents a work-in-progress. Lyrically, the record employs a scattershot style to present the experience of learning (or ‘unlearning’). The listener visits ancient civilisations, the Industrial Revolution, outer space and the land of the dinosaurs: encountering mediaeval farmers, silver miners, cavemen, Napoleon and Satan.

                                  Speaking on the record, the band say: “This album’s about trying to understand the world and everything in it: history, science and the way we explain it all to each other. It’s a celebration of feeling confused or intimidated by the processes that shape our lives.”

                                  Of the album’s muscular, agitated lead single ‘Red Fibres’, LICE explain: “This song is about realising you’ve reached adulthood with a blinkered understanding of the world, and feeling confused and frustrated. After visiting some key moments in the history of language, science and the human eye, we arrive at a campsite: where two shipwreck survivors are about to have a fight.”


                                  Jessica Pratt

                                  Here In The Pitch

                                    On her fourth album, west coast artist Jessica Pratt expands the scope of her artistry, placing her sharpest songs to date within an ever-broadening pool of influences including spectral '60s pop, Hollywood psychedelia and bossa nova. Whereas Pratt's 2019 record, Quiet Signs, floated elegantly in the ether, Here in the Pitch is entrenched in more earthen characteristics, as the title suggests, and her craft is emboldened with a newfound gravitas.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: 'Here In The Pitch' takes Jessica Pratt's established sound (brittle folk and slow country balladry) and widens the net into slow hazy pop and soaring widescreen songwriting. Though she's not moved away from the more minimalistic pieces, there are a lot more moments of both jubilance and fear, it's a beautifully crafted and intensely personal creation.

                                    DIIV

                                    Frog In Boiling Water

                                      Produced by Chris Coady and written by DIIV (pronounced Dive), Frog in Boiling Water, the band’s fourth full-length LP is a collection of snapshots that explores the brutal realities of end-stage capitalism and overwhelming technological advance. Across 10 dark and dazzling tracks, DIIV documents the collapse from various angles with unusual sensitivity and depth of purpose while expanding their grand, hypnotic shoegaze, to create a transportive, sensual work of hope, beauty and renewal.

                                      "Musically, we were excited to explore new territory sonically. We collected and cataloged cassette tapes and made tape loops, used samples, weird guitar tunings, crude synthesizers. It’s the least “genre” record we’ve ever made and we’re excited to show everyone the musical world we’ve found."

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Liam says: I know it's only May, but this is most likely going to be my album of the year. Following on from their monumental 2019 album 'Deceiver', 'Frog In Boiling Water' sees DIIV still with their shoes set to gaze mode and it might be even be their best yet. With nods to Sonic Youth, Duster, Slowdive and MBV, 'FIBW' is also DIIV's most lyrically dense as it touches on brutal realities of end-stage capitalism and overwhelming technological advance - plus it sounds absolutely massive! The textures/sonics on here are incredible and the best DIIV have ever sounded, I truly can't recommended this album enough!!!

                                      We're thrilled to announce the latest release from Chris Gialanze, 'Gunna Bee' – a track that has already set dance floors alight and is poised to become the anthem of the year. This standout release, tested and celebrated across multiple venues, festivals & showcases. Accompanying 'Gunna Bee' is ‘So Criminal’ & ‘Tough Cloud’ to complete the EP, striking the perfect balance between Downtempo and Breakbeat vibes. Each song is a testament to Chris's versatility and craftsmanship, promising an auditory journey that's as refreshing as it is exhilarating.

                                      Broadcast

                                      Spell Blanket - Collected Demos 2006-2009

                                        Spell Blanket - Collected Demos 2006-2009 comprises songs and sketches drawn from Trish's extensive archive of 4-track tapes and MiniDiscs. The recordings lay the groundwork for what would have been Broadcast’s fifth album, offering a window into Trish and James’ creative process during the post-Tender Buttons period from 2006-2009.

                                        Photography used in its artwork is by Trish and James and the artwork is designed by Broadcast's long-time collaborator Julian House.

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Barry says: There are few bands who could put out such an extensive collection of demos and sketches and have it be not only a great insight into their creative processes (it is definitely that), but a sonically imperfect but thematically impeccable collection. There's a reason Broadcast are so respected, and this is it.

                                        BIG SPECIAL

                                        POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES

                                          Words are not to be taken for granted. Especially when they’re being bellowed, full blast, by a broad-shouldered poet with the brimstone fire of a preacher and the honesty and wisdom of a layman, over ground-shaking live beats and between anthemic blasts of melody and rousing riffage.

                                          Words matter. History matters. People matter. And BIG SPECIAL matter.

                                          For BIG SPECIAL - Joe Hicklin (vocals) and Callum Moloney (drums) - their sound is one that comes from vital, frustrated young working-class voices that don’t always get heard on the scale they should do. It’s a frustration that comes to the fore through a voice that is at times coarse and raw, but sensitive, desperate and soulful at others. Hicklin's brimstone-fired voice marches from guttural punk barks and serrated spoken word to soaring soul and back again, arriving siphoned from their forebears, crushed under the weight of history, and retooled for a new generation. It’s wrought, raw and angry at a world lacking options, the thinning of the common understanding between the social classes of England, exasperation at repeating cycles, and the feeling that you’re watching your own life unfold from the outside.

                                          These are songs that channel that voice you hear when you look in the mirror and see your true self – fight songs for a world gone wrong.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: A rousing mix of visceral industrial instrumentation, cutting spoken word and pummelling percussion that's rooted in cinematic metal and drone music, but with a melodic leaning and vitriolic drive. It's not a combination we hear together often but works seamlessly here, blending the sound worlds with real skill.

                                          L.B. Dub Corp - "Only the Good Times" - original version & ultra hyped Burial remix.

                                          Cut direct from studio tape master to limited white label vinyl. Taken from the forthcoming album by Luke Slater - “Saturn To Home”, which will be out on Dekmantel later this month.

                                          'For me "Only The Good Times" is a deeply emotional track. It’s one of those tracks that ended up entwined in love and somehow life affirming. My immediate thought was to get Burial to remix it, not only because he is one of the most entrancing producers ever, but also because of our heart felt connection and to get him away from his Playstation for ten seconds. Thank you Arnol, Will and everyone else connecting to the music ♥️' - Luke Slater

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Matt says: After being spoken about in hush tones via the more devoted Burial heads for the last few weeks, we've finally secured copies of the vinyl for your enjoyment! Get those orders in folks as copies are seriously limited.

                                          Jason Boardman's Before I Die are back with a new selection in a relaxed & spectacular fashion.

                                          Introducing KlangKollektor aka Lars Fischer, a solo project by the drummer with the Psychedelic Cumbia band Trak Trak from Nurnberg. This debut release from KlangKollektor has been developing for some time, liberated from Lars' hard drive and mastered by the Franconian Conny Plank - Frank Mollena (Bambi Davidson) the release channels the pioneering spirit of dub and places it in a present context. 

                                          A stellar collection of seven dubwise tracks over 4 sides with a techno and Balearic influence that's been on eagerly awaited by all who caught onto the label head's contagious enthusiasm. 

                                          All synths, programming, pianos, bass, percussion, dub mixing, editing & mixing by Lars Fischer.
                                          Cover image courtesy of renowned German photographer - Thomas Bergner @thomas.bergner
                                          Sleeve Design by Yasmin - Small Press @smallpressstudio
                                          Final Mix and Mastering by Frank Mollena




                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Matt says: Another heartfelt release from BiD. Klangkollektor take King Tubby's to the White Isle / Adriatic via the echo chambers of K&D or the futurist studios of Düsseldorf or Detroit. An intersection of sonic ley lines delivered in a languid, dreamlike state that takes you on a real head trip.

                                          Yannis & The Yaw Feat. Tony Allen

                                          Lagos Paris London EP

                                            In 2016, Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis was offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a two-day session working with the great drummer Tony Allen, who he admired intensely for his influential, multi-genre work with the likes of Fela Kuti, Sébastien Tellier and Jeff Mills.

                                            Heading into a smoke-filled, ‘70s throwback studio in Paris, Yannis had expected them to make a nostalgic Afrobeat record. Yet something very different emerged. As the pair quickly established an intuitive telepathy, the music germinated from jams and loops, its varied touchpoints - rock, funk, jazz, dub and more - were complemented by a unique atmosphere of two cultures and creatives colliding, their expression liberated by making music in and for the moment itself.

                                            Joined by Tony’s regular collaborators Vincent Taeger (percussion, marimba), Vincent Taurelle (keys) and Ludovic Bruni (bass, guitar) that first meeting resulted in a handful of near complete songs, which were further developed during a couple of subsequent sessions. But between scheduling issues and Covid restrictions, the recordings were never completed before Tony passed away in April 2020 at the age of 79.

                                            Yannis felt a deep duty to complete the project, not only as a bittersweet way to honour and celebrate his friend, but also because Tony had been so eager to share these songs with the world. The result is the upcoming five-track EP, ‘Lagos Paris London’, under the Yannis & The Yaw umbrella - a project that he plans to return to in the future for further collaborations with inspiring musicians from across the globe.

                                            ‘Lagos Paris London’ EP is high-spirited, loose-grooved exuberance completed by the complex rhythms and unhurried style of the man who inspired it. It’s a communion with the past that provides an escape in the present day.

                                            The first in a series of mini compilations exploring instrumental dub versions of sought after and long out of print titles from the world of reggae, disco, boogie and house. Many of these versions still contain vocals, snippets here and there drenched in delay or reverb, a style you’ll recognise from many of the Jura Soundsystem edits on the label. The late Glen Adams & Finesse open proceedings with their Island disco cover of Marvin Gaye’s classic, followed on the A2 by a super rare UK boogie / Brit funk mix of Tippa Irie’s ‘Panic Panic’ (shouts to Tippa for personally helping to push through the license) and the A side closes with the 80’s leaning ‘Yes I Do’ from Belgium’s Special Occasion. The first half of the B side comes from Carol Williams with the Special Club Dub mix of ‘Can’t Get Away’, originally a one sided promo only 10” from 1983 complete with spoken word intro from Carol thanking New York’s Metro DJs for their support of the song. The LP closes with a Jura Soundsystem Dubby Edit of La Palace De Beaute’s ‘Sin’ pulling back on the vocal and going heavy on the delay.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: Went criminally under-the-radar first time it was released in 2022. Strangely, volume 2 blew up! I think these five versions are just as hot as that material, so nice that Isle Of Jura have repressed for slow coaches like me who missed it first time round.

                                            Transmission Towers

                                            Transmission One

                                              Aerials live, dials tuned, Transmission Towers broadcasting. On either side of the river Mersey, transcendental communications are traded back and forth. Two late-night revellers, one firing messages filled with music, the other returning them laced with lyrics. The result, a dopamine hit of oddball machine soul, melded with a highlife, Afrofuturist touch. Wonky and murky yet deeply emotional, Transmission One, is a debut album that also marks the first release on Luke Una’s É Soul Cultura label, encompassing expertly the off-kilter atmosphere the label sets to orbit.

                                              A synthesised landscape with a Northern charm, Transmission Towers marry the musical worlds of two artists that last collaborated over a decade ago. 10 years have passed, lives have been led, but a gravitational pull has placed Mark Kyriacou and Eleanor Mante back in each other’s spheres on opposite sides of the city of Liverpool. Energised with a newfound desire to strip it all back to the sounds that influenced their formative years in the late ‘80s and ‘90s - astral travelling, intoxicated on Motor City techno, Black Dog IDM and mystical Sun Ra.

                                              Mark half Irish, half Greek Cypriot, Eleanor half Nigerian, half Ghanian, the music contained within is an alchemy of those roots and the pivotal acts that buried deep into their minds. A cosmic contrast, part machine-made, part distinctly human. Take the opener ‘UP’, an ESG-channelling, sci-fi punk beatdown or the polychromatic hyperspace anthem ‘Roller Skater 23’.

                                              Transportive throughout, you ride the solar waves, pace and emotion ebbing and flowing. Tracks like ‘Go Slow Heart’ and ‘Cosmic Trigger’ step to a slower beat but hit with a punch. The former, a slo-mo blast of celestial tenderness, the latter an otherworldly, chugged-out lunar excursion, micro-dosing on whacked-out Wah Wah and Eleanor’s ethereal vocals. Beaming love letters to space and back, ‘Sparse’ marries the organic with the artificial, pianos and percussion circling around synth pads and broadcasting bleeps.

                                              Elsewhere, vibrations move faster. ‘Mega’ strikes, fusing sonic tribalism with psychedelic swirls, as ‘Everything’ sweeps you up in its extra-terrestrial new wave grip. Synth stabs and basslines fizzing from every angle.

                                              Demos of Transmission Towers music surfaced on Luke Una’s radar, making him stop in his tracks. Something magical was emerging, perfectly aligned with the E Soul guardian’s tastes. Guidance followed, quickly turning into conversations about Transmission One becoming the first release on Luke’s own label.

                                              Escapist and futurist yet grounded and relatable. Transmission One is synthesis meets sentiment with a deep, spine-tingling soul at its core.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Barry says: Luke Una's É Soul Cultura compilations were a big hit in the shop, so it's a delight to be able to celebrate the first release on his eponymous label, from Liverpool's Transmission Towers. Smooth-af street soul and deep, snapping electronic synth lines come together into an LP that's perfect for the dancefloor but just chilled enough to make for a particularly rowdy front-room disco.

                                              Kamasi Washington

                                              Fearless Movement

                                                Washington calls 'Fearless Movement' his dance album. “It’s not literal,” Washington says. “Dance is movement and expression, and in a way it’s the same thing as music - expressing your spirit through your body. That’s what this album is pushing.”

                                                Dance as an embodied form of expression signals a shift in focus for Washington. Where previous albums dealt with cosmic ideas and existential concepts, 'Fearless Movement' focuses in on the everyday, an exploration of life on earth. This change in scope is due in large part to the birth of Washington’s first child a few years ago.

                                                “Being a father means the horizon of your life all of a sudden shows up,” says Washington. “My mortality became more apparent to me, but also my immortality - realizing that my daughter is going to live on and see things that I’m never going to see. I had to become comfortable with this, and that affected the music that I was making.”

                                                The album features Washington’s daughter - who wrote the melody to 'Asha The First' during some of her first experimentations on the piano - as well as a host of collaborators new and old. André 3000 appears on flute, George Clinton lends his voice, as do BJ The Chicago Kid, Inglewood rapper D-Smoke and Taj and Ras Austin of Coast Contra, the twin sons of West Coast legend Ras Kass. Washington further enlisted lifelong friends and collaborators Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Patrice Quinn, Brandon Coleman, DJ Battlecat and more.


                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: The inimitable Kamasi Washington returns for another suite of impeccably crafted jazz missives and includes a host of huge names to boot. If you've heard anything Kamasi's done, you'll know that this is an essential purchase. Epic, beautifully crafted and impeccably presented as ever.

                                                Hinds

                                                Viva Hinds

                                                  Beloved Spanish indie rockers Hinds are back with their utterly triumphant fourth album, VIVA HINDS. Written by the band’s co-founders, co-vocalists, co-guitarists and co-songwriters Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote, it features their first-ever fully Spanish language songs, as well as first collaborations with the likes of Beck and Fontaines D.C.’s GrianChatten. Recorded in rural France, the album was produced by Pete Robertson (Beabadoobee), engineered by the GRAMMY-nominated Tom Roach, and mixed by GRAMMY-winning engineer Caesar Edmunds (The Killers, Wet Leg).

                                                  Shortly after the band made their debut ten years ago, they hit what felt like an insurmountable obstacle – they had to change their name from Deers to Hinds for legal reasons. But, as their fans began to greet them at shows by cheering “¡VIVA HINDS!”, the band soon realized that what initially felt like an ending was actually just the beginning. Fast forward to 2023, and VIVA HINDS was written by Cosials and Perrote after a series of endings. They hit a creative rut after releasing their 2020 album The Prettiest Curse, and their bassist and drummer devastatingly decided to leave the band. They also split with their management team, lost touring revenue due to lockdowns, and were without a label for the first time. But when Perrote and Cosials got together to write again it became clear that their connection, one so special that they call themselves “millionaires in friendship,” would be all they needed to get them through. VIVA HINDS – the most accomplished, sonically adventurous, honest and celebratory record of Hinds’ career – is only the beginning.

                                                  Can

                                                  Live In Aston 1977

                                                    The acclaimed Can live series continues with the release of Live In Aston 1977, available via Mute and Future Days (the new EU label created by Spoon Records).

                                                    The series was overseen by founding member Irmin Schmidt and producer/engineer René Tinner, who delicately worked on restoring the archival recordings to the best quality for current modern technology. This record captures the band’s 1977 performance in Aston and features Schmidt (keyboard & synths), Jaki Liebezeit (drums), Michael Karoli (guitars), Holger Czukay (wave receiver & spec.sounds), plus Rosko Gee (bass), who appears for the first time in the series.

                                                    This release features sleeve notes by former Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock, sharing his first-hand experience of witnessing CAN's live show.

                                                    Live In Aston follows the release of Live In Paris 1973, the first in the series to feature Damo Suzuki’s vocals [“…among the greatest documents of their untouchable alchemy…” – Record Collector 5*]; Live In Brighton 1975 [“Pure dynamite… keep them coming” – MOJO]; Live in Stuttgart 1975, [Uncut’s Reissue of the Year, #2 in MOJO’s Reissues of the Year, #7 in The Wire’s Archive Reissues of the Year plus more]; and Live In Cuxhaven 1976, which again featured heavily in the Reissues of the Year.

                                                    Amyl & The Sniffers

                                                    U Should Not Be Doing That

                                                      Melbourne punks Amyl and the Sniffers return with their first new music in 3 years following their acclaimed sophomore album Comfort to Me. A-Side ‘U Should Not Be Doing That’ sees hints of The Stones' Miss You, a whiff of Detroit garage grit but Amy’s distinct vocals & the Melbourne group's charm is at the heart of this new muscular, Nick Launay-produced groove. 

                                                      The The

                                                      Ensoulment

                                                        The The’s first studio album of new songs in a quarter century!

                                                        The 12 songs on Ensoulment encompasses characteristic topics ranging from love & sex, war & politics, life & death – to the meaning of what it is to be human in the 21st century.

                                                        Singer-songwriter Matt Johnson is joined by long-standing THE THE members James Eller (bass), DC Collard (keyboards), Earl Harvin (drums), and Barrie Cadogan (lead guitar). The album also marks the return of co-producer and engineer Warne Livesey, who previously worked on landmark THE THE albums Infected (1986) and Mind Bomb (1989). Additional performances include Gillian Glover (backing vocals), Terry Edwards (horns), Sonya Cullingford (fiddle) and Danny Cummings (percussion).

                                                        Villagers

                                                        That Golden Time

                                                          Following the kaleidoscopic adventure of Villagers’ fifth album Fever Dreams, award-winning Dublin singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-dramatist Conor O’Brien returns with the intimate inventory, That Golden Time, set for release on May 10th.

                                                          After the band-centred sessions of its predecessor, That Golden Time’s solo-centric core was not forced on O’Brien by lockdown. “For me, That Golden Time has an internalised voice, so much so that I almost found it impossible to let anyone else in,” he says. “It’s probably the most vulnerable album I’ve made. I played and recorded everything in my apartment, and finally, towards the end, invited people in.” Invites went out to, among others, Irish legend Dónal Lunny [Planxty, The Bothy Band] on bouzouki, American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick on violin, and a group of players that O’Brien had first seen performing in a tribute to one of his great loves, Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who added soprano vocal, viola and cello.

                                                          The understated poetry within That Golden Time is effortlessly carried by gorgeous melodies and sublime instrumentation. In “No Drama”, as the narrator pleads for respite from the vicissitudes of life, O’Brien equates an orchestral swell with an appeal for quiet beauty and peace. “Behind That Curtain” is a rare moment of musical discombobulation as a solemn, soulful ballad hands over to a jazzy coda, “It’s the sound of deafening alarm bells inside your head,” remarks O’Brien. Exploring these themes further, there is also a secondary image of a coin on the artwork (an Irish twenty pence piece) to which O’Brien explains: “The types of physical currency change throughout time, but the essential power relationships and bartering principles persevere throughout the cosmetic changes.”

                                                          As the album comes to its conclusion with “Money On The Mind”, we find a moment of serenity with a ray of hope. The very last line, softly crooned, is “My money’s on the mind, truth be told,” a shout-out to the resilience of the human spirit. The moth might be disorientated, but it swerves the flame to live another day.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: Another wonderfully heartfelt selection from Conor O'Brien, with his sweeping instrumentation and perfectly smooth vocals weaving together into modern folk ballads that are as evocative as they are distinctive. Beautifully warm, memorable and deep.

                                                          DEHD

                                                          Poetry

                                                            Dehd kicks off 2024 by announcing their fifth studio album, Poetry, due this May via Fat Possum Records.

                                                            Following the whirlwind success of Dehd’s fourth album Blue Skies and hit single “Bad Love”, they first gathered at Kempf’s off-grid Earthship in Taos, New Mexico where they chopped wood to stay warm and wrote songs during the daylight. They then travelled to a cabin on the Puget Sound to set up their second writing camp where surrounded by chilly waters, time was marked only by the movement of the tides. “Eating, Sleeping, Breathing, Living - our only purpose was to write,” Kempf recalled. This was the first time the band travelled to distinctly notable locations to write and inspire themselves. Leaving Chicago proved to be a watershed moment.

                                                            They finalized the songs that became Poetry back in Chicago in the warehouse they’ve called home for nearly a decade, where they rehearsed and wrote their entire catalogue. Friend and producer Ziyad Asrar, who co-produced all three Whitney albums, co-produced the album alongside the band’s Jason Balla at Palisade Studio.

                                                            Barry Adamson

                                                            Cut To Black

                                                              2024 ushers in a brand new Barry Adamson album entitled, ‘Cut To Black’ The album swaggeringly embraces Adamson’s trademark genre hopping compositions, covering Pop, Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop and Gospel.

                                                              A must for fans of all things Cinematic Soul, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Post Punk, Massive Attack, Unloved and much more

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: There's an element (and not only in the cover) of Film Noire in Adamson's work, with the storytale lyricism and staggered-cool of the instrumentation, but there's also a lot more at play here. There are hints of slow-moving soul and soaring gospel hints woven through Adamson's thoroughly unique indie-rock backdrop, resulting in a varied and entirely singular album.

                                                              Ben Folds Five

                                                              Whatever And Ever Amen - 2024 Reissue

                                                                Whatever and Ever Amen is the sophomore album from alternative rock trio Ben Folds Five. Originally released in 1997, the album features fan favorite songs like "Brick", "Kate", and "Song for the Dumped.”

                                                                Brutal Force

                                                                Dreams For Sale

                                                                Originally released, this soulful gem has maintained its status as a sought-after treasure by DJs and electronic music enthusiasts for years. A favourite of Floating Points, Jeremy Underground and Frederika

                                                                With original copies becoming more and more elusive, and only released on poor quality styrene, the decision to reissue this soulful gem was an easy one.

                                                                Celestial Echo proudly presents the re- issue on a limited edition 7-inch vinyl re- cord, remastered and pressed on heavyweight vinyl for an authentic ana- log experience. This exclusive release is adorned with a striking picture sleeve and redesigned labels, adding a con- temporary touch to this soulful master- piece.

                                                                The Mr K Edits

                                                                Before I Let Go / Hollywood Message

                                                                Mr. K has an amazing knack for knowing what will fill a dancefloor, and it's hard to imagine this pair of tunes causing anything less than a roadblock. On the A-side, he pays tribute to beloved NYC DJ and editor Gail "Sky" King by recreating her extended edit of the Frankie Beverly and Maze sureshot 'Before I Let Go'. The edit arrived a decade after the original surfaced on the best-selling 1981 Live In New Orleans LP, although the track was not actually a concert recording but a new studio track made to fill out the final "D-side" of the release. Alas, the gorgeously danceable funk/soul hybrid was pressed at low quality, the harsh sonic nature meaning it never got the support it truly deserved. It comes here backed by 'Hollywood's Message' from legendary hip-hop pioneer DJ Hollywood, a self-released single from the man who was one of the first to grab the microphone at a jam and rhyme over records. As a backing track for his rhymes, Hollywood took a shortcut and used the renowned 'Love Is The Message' edit created by Mr. K that repeatedly runs the groovy clavinet break from MFSB's tune. Here, Mr. K tightens up the instrumental chant version for its first 7" release, adding a touch of Millie Jackson's 'Now That I Got Your Attention Again' as an intro. Two slices of absolute gold.

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                Matt says: Cult collected by disco & soul heads across the globe, Danny Krivit's Mr. K series dunt show any sign on letting up yet! Latest instalment has the deep soul stylings of Frankie Beverly and Maze plus the wildcard curveball of DJ Hollywood 'rapping' over "Love Is The Message" - a totally new jam for me and worth the entrance fee alone. Megohhh!!

                                                                Musclecars

                                                                Sugar Honey Iced Tea!

                                                                  Sugar Honey Iced Tea! is the highly anticipated debut album from musclecars, set for a May 2024 release on BBE Music. Having already established their presence in the club scene, from the joyous atmosphere of their Coloring Lessons parties to their residency at Nowadays in NYC, and with genre-bending performances worldwide, musclecars are eager to unveil this new world they've intentionally crafted. This forthcoming album comprises 13 tracks that sonically come together to offer a profound lens into the Afro-American experience. Themes range from joy, to loss, intimacy, helplessness, perseverance, and all the facets that lie in between. From the very first tune, musclecars set the tone with an exploration of afro-dystopia, carrying listeners through the entire album whilst creating imaginary futures born out of self-preservation and self-discovery. Through their practice of sonic storytelling, native New Yorkers Brandon Weems and Craig Handfield use this album to speak to the nuances of their daily lives and their environment. Join them on this musical journey as they delve into a collection that captures the essence of the black experience with authenticity, emotion, and rhythm. This album stands as one of their favorite bodies of work in recent memory, and they're so excited to share it with you.


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