MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 9 Nov

Genre pick of the week Cover of Elastic Days by J Mascis.
Near the end of Reagan's first term, the Western Massachusetts Hardcore scene coughed up an insanely shaped chunk called Dinosaur. Comprised of WMHC vets, the trio was a miasmic tornado of guitar noise, bad attitude and near-subliminal pop-based-shape-shifting. Through their existence, Dinosaur (amended to Dinosaur Jr. for legal reasons) defined a very specific, very aggressive set of oblique song-based responses to what was going on. Their one constant was the scalp-fryingly loud guitar and deeply buried vocals of J Mascis.

A couple of years before they ended their reign, J cut a solo album called Martin + Me. Recorded live and acoustic, the record allowed the bones of J's songs to be totally visible for the first time. Fans were surprised to hear how melodically elegant these compositions were, even if J still seemed interested in swallowing some of the words that most folks would have sung. Since then, through the reformation of the original Dinosaur Jr lineup in 2005, J has recorded solo albums now and then. And those album, Sings + Chant for AMMA (2005), Several Shades of Why (2011) and Tied to a Star (2014) had all delivered incredible sets of songs presented with a minimum of bombast and a surfeit of cool. Like its predecessors, Elastic Days was recorded at J's own Bisquiteen studio. Mascis does almost all his own stunts, although Ken Miauri (who also appeared on Tied to a Star) plays keyboards and there are a few guest vocal spots. These include old mates Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), and Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion, etc.), as well as the newly added voice of Zoë Randell (Luluc)  among others. But the show is mostly J's and J's alone. He laughs when I tell him I'm surprised by how melodic his vocals seem to have gotten. Asked if that was intentional, he says, “No. I took some singing lessons and do vocal warm-ups now, but that was mostly just to keep from blowing out my vocal cords when Dino started touring again. The biggest difference with this record might have to do with the drums. I'd just got a new drum set I was really excited about. I don't have too many drum outlets at the moment, so I played a lot more drums than I'd originally planned. I just kept playing. [laughs] I'd play the acoustic guitar parts then head right to the drums.”

There is plenty of drumming on the dozen songs on Elastic Days. But for those expecting the hallucinatory overload of Dinosaur Jr's live attack, the gentleness of the approach here will draw easy comparisons to Neil Young's binary approach to working solo versus working with Crazy Horse. This is a lazy man's shorthand, but it still rings true. Elastic Days brims with great moments. Epic hooks that snare you in surprisingly subtle ways, guitar textures that slide against each other like old lovers, and structures that range from a neo-power-ballad (“Web So Dense”) to jazzily-canted West Coasty post-psych (“Give It Off”) to a track that subliminally recalls the keyboard approach of Scott Thurston-era Stooges (“Drop Me”). The album plays out with a combination of holism and variety that is certain to set many brains ablaze. J says he'll be taking this album on the road later in the year. He'll be playing by himself, but unlike other solo tours he says he'll be standing up this time. “I used to just sit down and build a little fort around myself -- amps, music stands, drinks stands, all that stuff. But I just realized it sounds better if the amps are higher up because I'm so used to playing with stacks. So I'll stand this time.” I ask if it's not pretty weird to stand alone on a big stage. “Yeah,” he says. “But it's weird sitting down too.” Ha. Good point. One needs to be elastic. In all things. - Byron Coley


STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: One of the more tender outings from J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr fame, 'Elastic Days' beautifully encompasses a wide variety of J Mascis' leanings including folk, Americana and classic rock to brilliant effect. Heart-wrenching in places but ultimately optimistic, this is yet another display of how versatile and talented this man is. Superb.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: limited indies only 'Loser Edition' crystal clear with a purple swirl!

Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore

Ghost Forests

    Musical conversations between Meg Baird (Espers) and Mary Lattimore are intimate, fluid, effortless and spontaneous. They’re filled with the euphoria of creation and, at times, they articulate hard truths and tangled emotions with an ease only trusted friends can manage. The songs alternate between extended ethereal instrumental excursions, gauzy and dreamy pop, blown-out Bull of the Woods heavy haze, and modern re-imaginations of epic traditional balladry all while touching on the strange and otherworldly places between these stations.

    Bibio

    Phantom Brickworks (IV & V)

    Last year, around this time, Bibio released his first 'Ambient' outing for quite some time (2013's 'Silver Wilkinson' arguably contained the last vestiges of the ambience present in the early works, Vignetting The Compost, Ambivalence Avenue and Fi being the most notable examples of this crackly, distant approach) in 'Phantom Brickworks'. 

    Now, 12 months later, we're treated to a duo of candle-lit piano instrumentals. Heart-warmingly diffident and undeniably hypnotic, 'IV' builds from a crackly delayed piano flicker, slowly circumnutating into a band-passed cascade of tape echo and reverberating echoes. Through repetition, the emanating glow of familiarity gives way to a fractured and dissonant hum, closing out what could have been months of euphoric hypnosis before we flip over onto it's canonical follow-up, 'V'. 

    This one starts where the last left off, pulling a melodic turn out of a slowly warping wave of static, gradually intoducing melodic suggestions and instantly providing context for the featureless blanket of static. In many ways, this is the more direct of the pieces, with twinkling pianos overlaid on top of one another, hinting at the more arrhythmic diversions from his early work, but hidden behind a largely blank musical landscape in the opening few minutes. 

    It's the repetition that does all the work here, providing a thematic counterpoint to the constantly changing ambient backdrop and providing ample cover for the slowly morphing elliptical melodies.  

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Beautifully understated but gorgeous plaintive instrumentals here, hidden under a blanket of lightly churning pads and warping static. Frail piano and typical Bibio counterpoint fill out the sonic spectrum, as meditative as it is beautiful. Top stuff.

    BOYGENIUS (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, And Lucy Dacus)

    BOYGENIUS EP

      Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus formed boygenius after booking a tour together, but the trio had subconsciously been in the works for longer than that. Through a series of tours and performances together, and chance encounters that led to friendships – including Bridgers’ and Dacus’ first in-person meeting backstage at a Philadelphia festival, greenroom hangouts that felt instantly comfortable and compatible, a couple of long email chains and even a secret handshake between Baker and Dacus – the lyrically and musically arresting singer-songwriters and kindred spirits got to know each other on their own terms.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Darryl says: A wonderful folky flecked EP from the amazing combined talents of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus.

      Reissue of this now classic Chromatics' 12" - "Shadow" 12". Originally on ultra clear vinyl dipped in emerald green, this time round it’s half clear, half white. Originally released digitally in 2015, the six track EP showcases five (count em!) different version of lead track, backed with "White Light" (no relation to the Velvet's track of the same name... - ed).
      The cinematic qualities of the track are obvious, emphaized through the cleverly titled 'End Credits' and seeing the same refrains, hooks and motifs repeated throughout the various takes. It's dreamy, yearning, melancholic and swathed in emotion - a sure fire hit for IDIB mob then! Back in stock once again and looking dazzling - don't miss out!


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 12" Info: Ultra clear vinyl dipped in magenta.

      12" Info: Pressed on half white, half clear vinyl.

      Civic

      Those Who No

        Shortly after their debut, Melbourne's CIVIC return with their sophomore EP “THOSE WHO NO’ - a fatalistic slab of power pop for the modern set. Recorded on a stint in Geelong, with Billy Gardner (living eyes / ausmuteants / Anti Fade) once again at the helm, ‘THOSE WHO NO’ acts as a counter point to the gutter rock classicism and urban decay romantics of ‘NEW VIETNAM’, and shifts it’s focus towards genre experimentation, bleaker insular realities and modern personal warfare.

        Over four tracks Jim McCullough, Lewis Hodgson, Darcy Grigg, Roland Hlavka and David Forcier dance on the knife’s edge of mythology versus the mundane - an against all odds desperation that flirts with the anthemic yet only stokes the flames. Mid 70s glam and rock n roll tropes are pummelled beyond recognition referencing the past but predominantly pointing to the future. There are forces at work here and CIVIC aren’t a band merely content to play to their strengths - they are a true sum of their parts who get their kicks testing their limitations. (Ben Hepworth).

        “The Light Is Leaving Us All” is the new album from Current 93, everyone’s favourite Hallucinatory Cuneiform SuperGroup. Three years in Her Making and Shaping, “The Light Is Leaving Us All” Spells WithIn Her 11 tracks. The 12” vinyl edition Skips Out in a gatefold sleeve, with an accompanying insert containing all lyrics and credits.

        The CD edition PickNicks Along in a gatefold digipak, again with an accompanying insert containing all lyrics and credits. C93 are possibly probably certainly perhaps: Alasdair Roberts, Aloma Ruiz Boada, Andrew Liles, Ben Chasny, David Tibet, Michael J. York, Ossian Brown, Reinier van Houdt, Rita Knuistingh Neven, and Thomas Ligotti. And Remember Remember—Your Future Cartoon Is As Soft As The Tarot!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Indies only coloured vinyl version

        Dead Can Dance

        Dionysus

          From their inception in 1981, Australian duo Dead Can Dance have long been intrigued by European folk traditions, not solely in musical terms but also by secular, religious and the spiritual practises. Taking its inspiration from this backdrop and shaped as Brendan Perry explored the long and established spring and harvest festivals that originated from the Dionysus religious practices, a journey that brings to the fore, the rites and rituals that are still practised to the present day.

          Two years in the making, Perry has amassed an array of folk instrumentation and as often heard on previous albums takes inspiration from across the world, tracks evolve less like songs more akin to fragments of the cohesive whole. Dionysus follows a familiar path, witness to field recordings, that includes chanting, beehives from New Zealand, bird calls from Latin America and a Swiss goatherd. The aim in Perry’s mind is to not just invoke the atmosphere and symbolic reference points but to highlight that music can be found everywhere in some form or other.

          The album consists of two acts across seven movements that represent the different facets of the Dionysus myth and his cult and takes the musical form of an oratorio, which has informed both spiritual and secular pieces of music as far back in history as the early 16th century. Retaining a prevalent hold on contemporary paganism in Europe, the voices used on these movements are imagined as communities celebrating, in communion with each other at times, chanting and call and response – the various voices are present to convey emotion beyond the boundaries of language itself.

          Although taking its main inspiration from the Dionysus story, the album’s artwork resonates with links to rituals depicting a mask made by the Huizhou of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico – famed for their beadwork and yarn paintings, whilst also partaking in peyote as a sacred rite and ritual for the purposes of healing and mind expansion – this is at heart of Dionysus, a celebration of not just humanity but humanity working hand in hand with nature with respect and appreciation.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe format is on exclusive heavyweight transparent purple 12” vinyl, accompanied by a CD and deluxe 16-page 12” x 12” hardback picture book with padded cover.

          Death From Above 1979

          Heads Up

            Death From Above’s 2002 debut EP Heads Up is a noise rock micro-opus that focuses its bratty punk ire toward the downtown Toronto nightlife and social scene where the duo plotted behind a screen of gobo-lit cigarette smoke. With one foot in suburban hardcore, and the other on the dance floors of Mod Nights and Garage Rock rave-ups, Death From Above’s critique is as much self-loathing as social commentary. Originally released in limited quantities via Ache Records, Heads Up is now available on vinyl from singer/drummer Sebastien’s own Ancient Fashion Records for the first time in over a decade. Manufactured in Detroit by Third Man Pressing for maximum fidelity

            The Detroit Cobras

            Tied & True

              One of the earliest groups to emerge from the Detroit garage rock scene, The Detroit Cobras developed a reputation as the Midwest's finest (and most distinctive) cover band - while the band members devoted themselves to performing other people's material rather than recycling established hits, The Detroit Cobras dug deep into the well of vintage R&B and primitive rock & roll sides, building an individual identity out of lost classics from the past which they modified to fit their swaggering aural personality.

              Originally released in April 2007, with ‘Tried & True’ The Detroit Cobras practically created a new genre for themselves, delivering the sonic goods to back up some seriously supernatural soulful vocal gifts. Stretching out in the studio like never before and including contributions from top line players like Greg Cartwright, the Cobras created a versatile and formidable wall of Spector sound.

              The Detroit Cobras

              Baby

                One of the earliest groups to emerge from the Detroit garage rock scene, The Detroit Cobras developed a reputation as the Midwest's finest (and most distinctive) cover band - while the band members devoted themselves to performing other people's material rather than recycling established hits, The Detroit Cobras dug deep into the well of vintage R&B and primitive rock & roll sides, building an individual identity out of lost classics from the past which they modified to fit their swaggering aural personality.

                ‘Baby’ is the third studio album by The Detroit Cobras. It was originally released in November 2004. It features 12 covers of R&B obscurities and one original song, ‘Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)’.

                J Fernandez

                Occasional Din

                  Occasional Din is a sunny shoebox diorama for the eternal pessimist. Over the past decade, songs by Chicago artist J Fernandez have appeared like unexpected gifts, each time invoking a holiday we didn't realize existed. Like all good holidays, his songs are imbued with a mythical energy, full of curious moods, charmed settings and the timelessness of a familiar moment. J Fernandez started as the eponymous home recording project of Arkansas born Justin Fernandez, who came to Chicago in 2008 to work for map company Rand McNally.

                  After three EPs, his 2015 debut LP, Many Levels of Laughter, attracted high praise from the music press – including 8/10s from UNCUT and NME, plus end of year nods from Under The Radar and Brooklyn Vegan, who called it “one of 2015’s most underrated albums”. That year also saw him share the stage with the likes of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Alvvays, Mitski, and Ezra Furman. Fernandez is a hunter of what is lost and a seeker for that which is forgotten, spending his free time photographing missing gloves which have been split from their other half, or scouring the Craigslist collectibles section for treasures otherwise consigned to oblivion. He celebrates the mundane, allowing it to permeate his music and its surrounding ephemera - the album’s minimal artwork is even designed to look like packaging, more like a candy bar or box of cigarettes than an album cover.

                  Fernandez starts skeletons of songs with an organ and a Casio drum machine. Through endless revisions and tweaks, he builds and rebuilds each into complex arrangements. With Occasional Din, he mines the sound of the past; drawing influences from vintage Italian pop and soundtrack composers like Bruno Nicolai, Alessandro Alessandroni, and Mina, as well as their American contemporaries like The Free Design and Margo Guryan. 

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Amber coloured vinyl.

                  Fleet Foxes

                  First Collection 2006-2009

                  First Collection 2006-2009 is a special limited edition collection to mark the 10th year anniversary of Fleet Foxes’ debut album

                  The collection comprises content spanning the early days of the group’s career, including the eponymous debut album, as well as the Sun Giant EP, The Fleet Foxes EP, and a compilation of B-sides & Rarities.

                  Available on limited edition 4-disc vinyl, as well as CD, the release also includes an extensive booklet featuring show flyers, lyrics, and artwork from the period.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: It really would be hard to overstate how important the first Fleet Foxes album was to the world of indie music, and here we get it packaged along with a stunning duo of EP's and some decidedly album-worthy 'Outtakes', with a big booklet of linear notes, artworks and lyrics. Top collection.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Box Set Info: Limited x4 disc vinyl:
                  Eponymous debut album.
                  2006’s rare self-released The First EP, never widely commercially available or previously on vinyl.
                  2008’s Sun Giant EP.
                  B-sides & Rarities.
                  Extensive, deluxe booklet.

                  Gestures

                  Funny Games

                    Stockholm garage punk tio Gestures return with their eagerly anticipated debut album Funny Games, the band’s most accomplished work today. After self-releasing the debut EP Shattered Mind in 2016, which was later picked up by Stockholm garage rock institution Push My Buttons (Holograms, Viagra Boys) for a vinyl release, Gestures signed with PNKSLM Recordings (ShitKid, Les Big Byrd, HOLY etc) for the release of the Bad Taste EP in November 2016. Shortly after the band lost their drummer but vocalist/guitarist Sick Vic and bassist Don Jovi quickly re-grouped and set to working on their debut LP, which was written and recorded during the spring of 2017. A major step forward the band is leaving behind the lo-fi murkiness of their earlier releases in favour of a more confident garage rock sound, moving from quick fire garage punk to heavier and more menacing mo-ments, bringing to mind the likes of Jay Reatard, Carbonas and Bass Drum of Death. One of Scandinavia’s finest live bands, Gestures have been the go-to support pick for touring bands such as Moaning, Demon’s Claws, Uranium Club and Girls Names.

                    Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers

                    Bought To Rot

                      14 tracks spanning Laura Jane Grace's fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance, and reconciling everything in the end, Bought to Rot stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date.

                      Inspired in large part by Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Petty was when he created his solo debut masterpiece. In light of his recent passing, Grace was motivated to pay homage to one of her lifelong heroes.

                      Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers are Laura Jane Grace, Atom Willard, and Marc Jacob Hudson. Grace is a musician, author, and activist best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Willard, also of Against Me!, is a drummer who has played in iconic punk bands such as Rocket from the Crypt, Social Distortion, and The Offspring. Devouring Mothers bassist Hudson is a recordist and mixer at Rancho Recordo, a recording studio and creative space in the woods of Michigan, and the sound engineer for Against Me

                      Mick Harvey & Christopher Richard Barker

                      The Fall And Rise Of Edgar Bourchier And The Horrors Of War

                      The Fall And Rise Of Edgar Bourchier And The Horrors Of War examines the work of a long forgotten World War I poet, Edgar Bourchier, through his poetry as put to music in a concept album. Its release coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, on 11 November 2018.

                      The works of this long forgotten war poet arrive in 2018 indirectly from the trenches of the Western Front. The wider narrative takes us from Bourchier’s birth in Warwickshire in 1893 through to his final school days and then his pointless death at Passchendaele in 1917, aged only 24. It continues by virtue of the poetry being posthumously published in 1918, adapted into song via a proposed cabaret treatment influenced by the Weimar Republic, through to an Olympia Press reprint of the poems in the 1960s, and then onward into the late 80s when The Moon Lepers translated his words into song. In 2018, Bourchier’s words were revived when the author Christopher Richard Barker approached Mick Harvey to ask if he could help him recreate the scores that had been discovered for the unrealised cabaret show. Happily, Harvey’s interest was piqued.

                      The route was indirect though, not just because of the twists and turns in the story of Edgar Bourchier and his poetry, but also because Bourchier’s entire backstory and poetry was constructed by Christopher Richard Barker, an author who initially created the character while working on his novel, The Melancholy Haunting Of Nicholas Parkes.

                      Barker paused from this venture to approach Harvey to ask for his expertise with arranging and recording the scores. In response, a 15-track album was written by Harvey and Barker to give life to an incredibly powerful fictional narrative.

                      Created as a concept album describing the horror of war, the project seamlessly brings the fictional poetry to life via myriad possibilities of how a forgotten WW1 soldier’s story might open up and continue to be relevant to new generations – from a barely read initial publication of the poetry that came tantalisingly close to being adapted for Weimar era cabaret with the help of German artist, Otto Dix (‘The Kindness of Ravens’, ‘Further Down the Line’, ‘Softly Spoken Bill’, through to the 60s, when Mick Jagger was apparently photographed with a copy of the reprint published by the Parisian underground publishing house which then led to the poetry being discovered by a new generation (‘Listen in the Twilight Breeze’, ‘Poor Poor Surgeon Tim’); then onward to subsequent interpretations of the work by the fictional 80s band, The Moon Lepers on ‘The Expressionist Tell #2’ and ‘Corpse 564’; before finally culminating in the creation of three new pieces by Barker and Harvey (‘I am the Messenger’, ‘The Eternal Black Darkness of my Death’, ‘Lost Bastard Son of War’).

                      In addition to Mick Harvey and Christopher Richard Barker, the album features contributions from J.P. Shilo, a long time collaborator of Harvey’s and Jade Imagine, Simon Breed and Alain Johannes as guest vocalists. The album was recorded primarily in Melbourne, Australia with some additional vocal recordings in the UK and LA.


                      Darren Hayman

                      Thankful Villages Vol. 3

                        Thankful Villages Volume 3 is the final instalment of Darren Hayman’s epic study of rural British life. A ‘Thankful Village’ is one where every soldier returned alive from the Great War. Darren has visited all 54 of these villages and made a sound recording, painting and film in each one.

                        Thankful Villages doesn’t concern itself exclusively with the War, however. It is an exploration of rural communities, including collected stories, interviews, folk songs, soundscapes, field recordings and new original songs. The record takes the form of a fantastical radio show as Darren unearths lost human stories from hidden rural idylls. Since the dissolution of his first band, Hefner, Darren Hayman’s work has increasingly explored location and history. Thankful Villages Volume 3 is the beautiful and poignant culmination of this process; tiny, human vignettes plucked from Britain’s blanket of green. 


                        The Helio Sequence

                        Keep Your Eyes Ahead (10th Anniversary Deluxe Reissue)

                          This reissue celebrates the tenth anniversary of The Helio Sequence’s landmark album Keep Your Eyes Ahead with a full remaster of the original album, plus a second album of demos, alternate versions, and outtakes from the same era.After 3 albums and ten years of touring and recording, The Helio Sequence (Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel) recorded their most dynamic, extraordinary album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead. Keep Your Eyes Ahead married the Portland duo’s signature layered keyboards and impossibly big guitars with crisp songwriting and a relatively minimalist approach. The finger picking on “Shed Your Love” is backed by exquisite strings and ambient noise, but Summers’s serene, self-assured delivery remains front and center. While songs from the band’s early releases spanned up to 7 minutes, even the longest, lushest, catchiest track on Keep Your Eyes Ahead (fiery anthem “Hallelujah”) clocks in at 4 and a half minutes, evidence of just how refined their craft had become. Vocals were recorded spontaneously in bedroom closets and living rooms, which may explain the haunting urgency you hear in Brandon’s voice, especially on the driving title track.

                          Produced by the band, Keep Your Eyes Ahead confirms in The Helio Sequence an energy and a range that continues to defy narrow categorization. Unapologetic pop and folk meld seamlessly to create songs that are bigger, more epic and polished than anything they’ve ever done. Keep Your Eyes Ahead is the sound of a band and a decade-old partnership that’s been invigorated. And that’s exactly how the songs will make you feel: invigorated.
                           


                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xColoured LP Info: LOSER edition on blue vinyl.

                          2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Indifferent Dance Centre

                          Flight & Pursuit

                          More stunning archival UK post-punk from Ransom Note sub-label Outer Reaches The B-side track is definitely for those of you who felt the recent Lifetones & This Heat reissues.

                          The second release for the laeb, "Flight & Pursuit" is another overlooked revelation of provincial post-punk, this time by Indifferent Dance Centre: afour-piece from Chichester, a quiet Cathedral city in West Sussex. The group consisted of Lizzy Dowling (vocals / lyrics), Christopher Binns (guitar), Ashley Barrett (bass) and Douglas Barrett (drums / guitar & bass when required)

                          Without, as Dowling declared, ‘Martin Hannett, Paul Morley, Postcard or Factory’ to lend credibility to their venture and without the means to splash out on studio time, this was a line-up that came together on one Sunday in August 1981 at their local Lavant Village Hall to capture "Flight & Pursuit" and "Release", two recordings of beguiling, impeccably restrained, reclusive music that possess a discretely epiphanic and timeless quality.

                          In their expression of a self-contained world they reveal a group that rests within the same self-made, economical and rarefied continuum as the Marine Girls, Young Marble Giants, AC Marias, Anna Domino and The Raincoats. Indeed, it’s not hard to imagine both "Flight & Pursuit" and "Release" holding their own on something like the epochal Cherry Red compilation "Pillows & Prayers" released a year or so later. In many ways they could’ve improved it. However, beyond points of comparison and in speaking of greater significances they stake their own claim.

                          Both "Flight & Pursuit" & "Release" were made in the midst of a ‘happy chaos’, on a day which IDC recount as one where demands for ‘more echo!’, the sound of whirring black effects boxes – courtesy of their producer Alan Williams - and of offhand laughter all ran across one another. Recorded live in only a few takes they both indicate a level of modesty, candour, independence and intuition that proved to be the defining traits of both the music IDC made and the outlook they adopted. With only "Flight & Pursuit" compiled on the Hyped To Death CD compilation "Messthetics #108: South Coast D.I.Y. '77-81" back in 2011 the original 7” vinyl has begun to command inflated prices in the usual places. With this reissue on Outer Reaches that state of play is thankfully redressed. As it goes the "Flight & Pursuit’ 7” was the only physical release they put out into the world on their own appropriately named Recluse label. Nevertheless as a solitary piece of output, it’s a stunning accomplishment that has only improved with time. One record is all they needed.


                          Repressed by Because Music, “10 Remixes” features a slightly puzzling 12 killer interpretations of Les Nregresses Vertes classics by Massive Attack, Gangstarr, William Orbit , Clive Martin, Kwanzaa Posse, Norman Cook etc.
                          Following the reissues of their 4 albums on vinyl earlier this year, French band and pioneers of the fusion of World and Alternative music Les Négresses Vertes continues to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first album “Mlah” with a new re-issue of their album “10 Remixes”. There's tonnes of fun to be had over the four sides, with top remixes from trip hop pioneers Massive Attack, Big Beat behemoth Norman Cook (appearing here in daft-dub fashion) and Gangstarr are doing it for me.


                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                          Lowtide

                          Southern Mind - Inc. Ulrich Schnauss, Josefin Ohrn, Vive La Void, Lost Horizons And Black Cab Remixes

                            Following the release of their critically acclaimed album Southern Mind in February this year, Melbourne’s Lowtide return with Southern Mind Remixed. A project born out of a boundless knowledge and joint love for the unique and experimental, this is yet another progression for Lowtide. With Ulrich Schnauss, Vive La Void (Sanae Yamada/Moon Duo), Josefin Ohrn and The Liberation, Lost Horizons and Black Cab taking the controls on a largely guitar-based album The Southern Mind Remixed EP is out on an extremely limited hot pink 12”.

                            Melbourne’s Lowtide’s first began to crystallise into existence in 2009 and the current line-up includes guitarist Gabriel Lewis, bassist/vocalist Lucy Buckeridge, drummer Anton Jakovljevic and guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Cole. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2014, which truly defined Lowtide’s sound and was met with critical acclaim with Fairfax writing of the album, “There is a synthesis of aural texture and melodic sensibility that is so compelling it verges on hypnotic”.

                            In 2017, Lowtide’s self-titled debut, alongside their ‘Julia/Spring’ 7", was released internationally via London label Opposite Number, and went on to feature in Rough Trade’s ‘Best Albums of 2016’. The band has since embarked on national and European tours, been nominated for The AMP (Australian Music Prize), received international support via BBC 6 Music, KCRW & more and played multiple festivals including NZ’s Camp A Low Hum and the recent End Of The Road Festival in the UK. 

                            This year saw the band release their much-anticipated second album, Southern Mind, via Opposite Number and Rice Is Nice and was premiered in it’s entirety by Henry Rollins on KCRW. The album was recorded at The Aviary Studios in Victoria in the winter of 2017 and is what the band describe as an organic progression from their previous releases. With fleshed out lyrical motifs and a custom 6 string bass in the mix to enrich Lowtide’s signature layers of melody, Southern Mind has seen widespread applause throughout the dream pop community and to many corners of the globe.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd 12" Info: Limited edition hot pink vinyl.

                            Magic Potion

                            Endless Graffiti

                              The Swedish quartet Magic Potion are back with their long-awaited second album Endless Graffiti, the fol-low-up to their acclaimed debut LP Pink Gum from 2016 and the debut EP Melt from 2015. After first appearing with the “Deep Web” single in early 2015 the band quickly garnered attention from music publications around the world such as Noisey, The FADER, NYLON, The Line of Best Fit and SPIN with their laid-back indie rock sound. Following the release of Pink Gum the band toured around Scandinavia and Europe, mixing headline tours with support slots for the likes of Chastity Belt, before retreating to their Stockholm studio to work on their second record. Endless Graffiti retains the band’s trademark sound while finding the quartet both expand-ing their sonic palette and upping their songwriting game, arriving at what will undoubtedly be one of 2018’s strongest indie rock releases.

                              Dan Mangan

                              More Or Less

                                "More Or Less" is Dan Mangan’s fifth album. His new music is about witnessing birth, and in some ways rebirth. It’s about feeling disconnected from a popular identity and becoming acclimated to a new one. It’s about raising kids in a turbulent world. It’s about unanswerable questions and kindness and friendship and fear.

                                Dan Mangan worked with some incredible people who have made many of his favorite albums. In between recording sessions, he’d listen to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Nick Drake’s Pink Moon.

                                In short, his album is: more sparse. Less meticulous. More kids. Less time. More direct. Less metaphor. More discovery. Less youth. More warmth. Less chaos.


                                NYC’s The Men have made a name for themselves as wayfaring musicians, constantly evolving and eluding their listeners. Before they were genre-hopping through country, post-punk, noise rock, and more, they were applying that experimental nature within the more confined space of punk. Within that genre they were wildly adventurous, playing noise shows, hardcore shows, rock shows, and switching up the instrumentation as they saw fit, while always operating within a general punk ethos. Their first demo was a hand-dubbed and spray-painted run of 32 copies, half of which worked, and their first shows were at New York dives like Tommy’s Tavern, Matchless, and Don Pedro (all of which have been shut down).

                                That hand-dubbed demo kicked off a furious run of creative output from 2008 to 2011, much of which is now collected on the new compilation, Hated. The songs on Hated are pulled from a variety of sources — the debut demo tape, a split with Nomos, a 7", a 12" EP, and a slew of unreleased demos, outtakes, and live recordings. These songs show the huge range and potential of a band still in its infancy, when they were just beginning to blaze the path they’re still on to this day.

                                The core value of the original incarnation of The Men was work ethic. The band became a lifestyle for original members Chris Hansell, Mark Perro, and Nick Chiericozzi, with Hansell even living off unemployment checks to dedicate his time to the project. The three of them would jam and obsess over music together over all else.

                                For those who were at those early NYC shows, Hated will be a welcome reminder of a glorious time in the underground. For those who weren’t, it’s a chance to experience The Men as the locals did, and to get a glimpse of a Brooklyn DIY scene that doesn’t really exist anymore, at least not in the same way. And for diehard fans of the band, it’s a reminder of how much they’ve evolved, and how much more evolution they still have to go.


                                “The act of making this record has felt truly exotic for me by way of its minimalism,” says Liela Moss of her debut solo album. Released via Bella Union, ‘My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth’ more than lives up to Moss’s promise of fresh, bold adventure.

                                Sonically spare yet sumptuous in its emotions, elemental power and expansive melodies, the record is a richly felt, vividly-realised trip into the interior from the Duke Spirit singer.

                                A serene-to-stormy series of deep dream-pop meditations on devotion and selfhood, creativity and parenthood, it treats unknown territory not as something to fear but as a seed-bed of possibility.

                                The eighth album from Muse, ‘Simulation Theory’, features eleven tracks and was produced by the band, along with several award-winning producers, including Rich Costey, Mike Elizondo, Shellback and Timbaland.

                                ‘Simulation Theory’ follows ‘Drones’, released in 2015. Since then the internationally acclaimed three piece: Matt Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme, have toured extensively, taking the ground breaking ‘Drones World Tour’ to fans across the globe. 

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Deluxe CD Info: As Standard CD plus:
                                Algorithm (Alternate Reality Version)
                                The Dark Side (Alternate Reality Version)
                                Propaganda (Acoustic)
                                Something Human (Acoustic)
                                Dig Down (Acoustic Gospel Version)

                                OHHMS

                                Exist

                                  OHHMS come crashing through the Doom gates with their sophomore album 'Exist'. Heavy prog recorded in the spirit of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and The Mars Volta. After rising a sonic tempest with their widely praised debut full-length ‘The Fool’ last year, UK’s breakthrough progressive metal act Ohhms keep conquering uncharted territories with their new album ‘Exist’. Wielding the flag of Animal Rights and Conservation as a casus belli against global injustice and ignorance, the Canterbury five piece deliver their deepest, most immersive music piece to date. Over the span of four songs, Ohhms prove they are more than great post-metal and doom providers, by crafting a gripping record which backbone subtly calls to mind albums from the finest of 70s prog such as Pink Floyd, Rush or Genesis


                                  Papir

                                  Papir (Reissue)

                                    Before releasing a string of albums on the El Paraiso label and hitting upon their trademark sound of soft, warm and even jazz-tinged psychedelic rock, Papir released their first and perhaps most experimental record to the world in a limited pressing of only 250 copies. Even in their early days, the Copenhagen trio Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen, Nicklas Sørensen and Christian Becher Clausen were virtuosos in their art of hypnotizing rock, and their debut record is a testament to the group’s early devotion to krautrock. Incorporating haunting, industrial sounds, keyboards and otherworldly guitar sounds into their tapestry of sound, Papir gives a glimpse into the band’s early days where a certain weird joy in experimentation was palatable.

                                    Hints of the blissful psychedelia the band is now known for shine through in intervals, only to collide against beeps and loops, submerging and emerging while unexpected sounds assail the listener. Papir is a beautiful and highly unique record in the band’s catalog that will be appreciated by the band’s current fans as well as krautrock enthusiasts. Papir’s first studio album is a powerful statement that established the band immediately as one of the most creative psychedelic forces in the European scene. Stickman Records is reissuing the record for the first time on vinyl since 2010.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: 180 gram neon yellow vinyl including download code.

                                    After four years, Berlin-via-Bolton dance producer Planningtorock, aka Jam Rostron, returns to DFA with "Powerhouse". The album is a personal reflection, told via an avant-pop musical narrative that serves as a path to making peace with their family, hometown, and the ever-changing nature of identity. Written and recorded across Berlin, London, New York and Los Angeles,  ‘Powerhouse’ comes couched in the precision-tooled synths that have become Rostron’s signature, though critics and fans will hear a subtle, ear worm-y shift in style here: from the Noughties US R&B swagger of ‘Transome’ and the bubbling old school 90s house of ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’ and ‘Non Binary Femme’, to the funky, flute-laced ‘Much To Touch’ (the only track on ‘Powerhouse’ to feature a co-producer, long-time friend and collaborator Olof Dreijer of The Knife). Ultimately, ‘Powerhouse’ is a celebration of liberation, a groove-filled record that sees Rostron consolidating power both personal and artistic.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Public Memory

                                    Demolition

                                      Solo project of Robert Toher who was the creator of ERAAS. Covered by Quietus,Pitchfork, NME, Stereogum, Earmilk, The 405, Clash, BBC Radio, Clash and more…. Public Memory is a mixture of damaged and dubbed-out percussion, unfurling synths and sparse sampling - all strung together by producer Robert Toher's spectral tenor. The project's sophomore LP, Demolition follows 2017's Veil of Counsel EP and 2016's Wuthering Drum LP with cinematic fortitude. While Public Memory's prominent krautrock and trip-hop rhythms are represented here, Demolition explores a greater range of tempos and an expanse of alien emotions with layers of electronic drums, live drums, Korg synths and samples from nature. Themes of rebirth and reflection imbue the album's atmosphere, rich in tape delay, spring reverb, and textures that conjure a sci fi and supernatural narrative.

                                      Opener "The Line" sets the album in motion with a driving energy and introspective unease, as if estranged from the world it was created in. A meditation on impending collapse, "Red Rainbow" begins with an arpeggiated melody that hints at a sense of dread. Like the darkness of night descends, the track unfolds with haunting atmospherics and howling synths, finishing with an unexpected climax that ominously builds until at last it falls apart, quickly, softly, without incident. The slowtempoed "Aegis" reflects on the banal reality of love lost, with shuffling rhythms, lingering inflections and a growling synth at its core. Toher's adept use of space and tension articulates the world of Demolition as eerie, emotive, and above all, narcotic. Each track is an existential procession. "Turning out the lights on your illusion," Toher sings to close the album, accepting that change is an inescapable condition of being. 

                                      Delving deeper into his creative well, Jordan has delivered a record that continues to push personal and societal boundaries, a visionary journey through groove based soul, jazz and hip-hop with hints of psychedelia and afro percussive rhythms. Written and recorded in his new adopted home of London, Cloak is a scintillating and timeless debut drawing influence and inspiration from the discovery of meditation, the separation from ego and a personal conversation with self.

                                      With guest appearances from fellow Australian's Remi. and Ngaiire - and a feature cameo by the sublime Richard Spaven on Toko - Cloak will take you down the rabbit hole as Rakei expertly navigates explosive new boundaries, where colour and sound collide.

                                      A raw and rare talent, Jordan Rakei today releases his debut album 'Cloak' via Soul Has No Tempo and 4101 Records . Recently completing UK tours with Hiatus Kaiyote and Jamie Woon - including a sold-out show at London's O₂ Arena with the latter - the Brisbane native, London-based musician, producer, singer and songwriter, with a Disclosure credit to his name is making waves at home and abroad, his refreshing, modern take on jazz and hip-hop influenced soul resonating globally.

                                      After a successful run of shows across Australia and New Zealand in February, Rakei has set his sights on the release of his debut album. 'Cloak' is a thirteen-track LP, featuring special guests, REMI, Ngaiireand Richard Spaven. Previous album previews, “Talk To Me” and "Blame It On The Youth" are blissful journeys into the rhythmic elements of Afro-Beat and Jazz, exploring new boundaries that will delight new and old fans.



                                      Rays

                                      You Can Get There From Here

                                        Oakland band Rays return with their second album, You Can Get There From Here, their first release since their eponymous Trouble In Mind debut in 2016. You Can Get There From Here represents a turning point for the band, angling their scrappy, post-punk fury into a more refined & melodic pop sensibility, drawing inspiration from UK DIY pop & punk like Dolly Mixture, Cleaners From Venus & Television Personalities. Songs like "Fallen Stars" & "The Garden" temper their sonic crunch ever so slightly, relying more on the harmonic wallop of a solid hook than the sheer volume of guitars.

                                        This is urgent, chiming guitar pop that clangs with a sonorous melancholy & a ramshackle grace. Rays can still lay it down with the rest of 'em; tunes like "Subway" & "Work of Art" shuffle & stumble forward, skirting chaos in a flurry of strums, recalling antipodean groups like UV Race or Dick Diver who cull inspiration from idiosyncratic UK greats like Mark E. Smith or Robyn Hitchcock. The new album finds the core group of Stanley Martinez, Eva Hannan, Troy Hewitt & Alexa Pantalone augmented by new member & keyboardist Britta Leijonflycht, whose synth flourishes add melodic embellishments, sonic heft or psychedelic swirl where needed. 

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited red vinyl version

                                        The Saxophones began as the solo project of Erenkov - a project that was loosely started over a decade ago but gained full momentum and dedication in recent years - he wanted to bring in some primitive drum and percussion playing and couldn’t think of anyone more suited than his wife. “I wanted to share the band with her,” he says. “Plus, I would be devastated if I had to leave for weeks at a time to tour without her.”

                                        The songs which make up the debut album were formed and written during a period in which the pair were living on a boat during a very wet winter in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Much of the music was written over rainy mornings on acoustic guitar inside the cabin of our boat and outside of the city in a little guesthouse in Pt. Reyes,” he reflects. It was then recorded in Portland over 10 days, the recording was an intense and occasionally tense process.

                                        Taking inspiration from 1950s exotica and Hawaiian albums (Edhen Abhez, Buddy Fo, and Martin Denny), 1970s outsider Italian songwriter Vittorio Impiglia, and a host of third-stream and West coast jazz records, the result is a unique offering.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl.

                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                        Coloured LP 2 Info: Repress on blue vinyl.

                                        The Scientists

                                        The Scientists EP - Reissue

                                          Snarling Aussie punk from the the western burnout paradise of Perth. Recorded in 1980 and issued on the short-lived White Rider label, “Last Night” arrived just before The Scientists abandoned their power pop hooks and went on an unhinged swamp-grunge tear. Replicated down to the tiniest detail, The Scientists E.P.has been remastered from the original analog tapes and presented in a heavy weight picture sleeve. 

                                          Sea Pinks

                                          Rockpool Blue

                                            Rockpool Blue is the seventh album by Sea Pinks, Belfast's finest purveyors of bittersweet guitar pop since 2010. At 28 minutes, it's a short record about the pressure of taking on adult responsibilities when you still feel like a kid, and about the unexpected joy that can come from embracing that. Throughout, the band shrug off the ambivalence that has often characterised their best work for what turns out to be their most cohesive, outward looking and ultimately positive set of songs to date. The record was recorded in four days staggered over a six month period from October 2017 to April 2018 at Belfast's Start Together, with engineer Ben McAuley.

                                            Singer and guitarist Neil Brogan also took on bass duties this time around when longtime bassist Steven Henry amicably left the band ahead of recording. Brogan and drummer Davey Agnew recorded more than twice the number of tracks that eventually made it onto the album, before paring it down to the eight songs that best related, resulting in a tight, focused set. The lush opening swell of Watermelon Sugar (Alcohol) sets the tone. An impressionistic swirl of verse soon lurches into uncertainty, before soaring off into wordless, blissful abandon. The title track follows with a huge chorus invoking geo thermal forces, offset by a loping, dreamy post punk guitar line. Bioluminescence is a three minute burst of power pop, lit up by an effervescent riff and the affirmative refrain "I found a way". Side one closes with Dumb Angel, a song about overriding the impulse to self doubt, underlined by another big chorus "You're better than all that". Grown Up Kids opens side two with a tongue in cheek critique of buy to let baby boomers and the legacy they are leaving for their children.

                                            A Man in My Condition calls out patriarchal abuse of power masking male insecurity, while Versions of You returns to the dumbstruck wonder of Watermelon Sugar, a song about human potential basking in a late surge of swirling delays. The Apple is the perfect bittersweet closer, a song about embracing your station in life, wherever and whomever that may be. "I've always thought each Sea Pinks record was the last when we were making it, but this time it definitely feels like an ending of sorts" says Brogan "Maybe that's just of us doing albums in studios, we'll see how this one goes.

                                            Shit & Shine

                                            Bad Vibes

                                              Trapped in a nightmarish psychic landscape midway between the bars of Austin and the bass-bins of Berghain, Shit and Shine are back for the attack, volleying forth across the consciousness with a delirious voyage into the nether. ‘Bad Vibes’ is a singularly appropriate moniker for a collection of audial explorations that dauntlessly set off down labyrinthine mind-maps to oblivion, all the while with an Acid-House-style smile plastered on their face. Shit And Shine, a beast under the wayward ownership of Texan transgressor Craig Clouse has - over the course of the last fourteen or so years and thirty plus releases on labels as disparate as Riot Season, Editions Mego, Diagonal and Load - proven itself capable of morphing into new, terrifying and destructive shapes seemingly of its own volition, in a manner not altogether unlike the alien protagonist of John Carpenter’s The Thing.

                                              This fourth release for Rocket however is a culmination of everything Clouse has lurched towards thus far, infusing the monomaniacal mindset of techno and house with the caligulan mania of The Butthole Surfers, as skeletal techno, sample-strewn collages, kraut-fried repetition and dementoid electronic scree are heedlessly thrown into a blender with tantalising and terrifying results. Fresh from yet another demolition derby between high trash and the lowest avant-garde, ‘Bad Vibes’ is the sound of the Shit and Shine jalopy rocketing way beyond the speed limit on the lineage of the lysergic. Frankly, you’d better either get on board or get well out of the way. Darkening the corners of the dancefloor it’s a synthetic horror-thriller soundtrack in the Escher-on-ludes catacombs of a neverending comedown, while remaining entirely accessible” 

                                              Vera Sola

                                              Shades

                                                A family of spiritualists, writers and performers generations deep; a home haunted by legends of literature and music; personal upheaval and a sense of being unseated in time: these are the origins of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vera Sola. With an ethereal voice providing the foundation for a haunting body of song, her timeless sound and enthralling stage presence draws an unlikely connection between Vera Lynn and Vera Hall; the grande dame of British music hall and the Depression-era Alabamian singer of work-songs and spirituals.

                                                As a child she played classical piano, later guitar and bass, learning more by instinct than instruction. An obsessive reader and writer, she’d forever written poetry and been fascinated by wordplay, falling in love at a young age with Russian literature and the work of Dylan Thomas, James Joyce and William Faulkner. All this, along with a career as a stage and voice actor—combined with years of touring in Elvis Perkins’ band— would serve as a launching point for Vera Sola. But it wasn’t until early 2017, when she booked time at Native Sound Studio in St. Louis, that she began to experiment with the idea of recording her own material. She hadn’t even shared her music with her closest friends and family, let alone recorded anything of her own. Even then, despite a lineage and lifetime of public performance, she felt a barrier blocking off her voice.

                                                Writing and playing came easily, but singing her own songs presented a different challenge. One she couldn’t explain and couldn’t quite shake. That would all change. Just before she was to travel to St. Louis, a series of life-altering events marked a radical shift that reframed her relationship to her music. With everything she’d known to be true now unraveled, along with it vanished the fear that had prevented her from translating the sound in her blood into song. Entering the studio, she abandoned plans to bring in other musicians. She decided instead to make the album entirely alone, picking up instruments she had never played before, drawing from them the internal music that had for so long gone unexpressed. She recorded using anything at hand. Bones and breaking glass, chains and filing cabinets, hammers and two-by-fours. Countless moving parts meticulously layered and arranged. And that old fear now cast off brought new abilities, a change in her voice, including an otherworldly vibrato.

                                                She’d become a vessel, capable of channeling at once her innermost self and yet something entirely beyond her. What emerged from the sessions was her debut album, SHADES, a collection of ten finely-honed and immaculately-rendered ballads. Poems and stories delivered in a mannered but casually dismissive style–-full of sorrow, yet arch and wry. Songs of the present that conjure the past. Accounts of women and their ghosts: echoes of memories that just won’t quit; of relationships over or current but fleeting; of the extinction of species; the violent capture of a feminine landscape and the spirits that stick around long after; messengers from the other side. 

                                                Spiritualized

                                                Fucked Up Inside

                                                  Following the quickly sold out limited edition milky clear coloured vinyl that was exclusively released for Record Store Day 2018 Glass Redux are pleased to announce a new vinyl pressing of Spiritualized’s “Fucked Up Inside”. This LP is pressed on heavyweight 180 gram audiophile black vinyl. Re-mastered by John Rivers at Woodbine Studios especially for vinyl release. Heavyweight 180 gram vinyl LP in an embossed and hot foil finished sleeve.

                                                  ‘Fucked Up Inside’ consists of live recordings made by Spiritualized at the Crest Theatre in San Diego and the Hollywood Palladium in L.A. on the nights of 19th and 21st November 1992 on the North American ‘Rollercoaster’ tour with the Jesus and Mary Chain and Curve. Released as a live album in 1993; the title is taken from a lyric on one of the songs featured on the album; ‘Medication’. Originally only available via mail order the Glass Redux LP faithfully re-creates the original sleeve design; the guitar effects pedals embossed and foil blocked. Recorded live in California, November 1992

                                                  Stephen Steinbrink

                                                  Utopia Teased

                                                    Stunned with grief in the months following the Ghost Ship fire, Oakland-based Stephen Steinbrink ate LSD daily, bought a synthesizer, and locked himself in his shipping container studio, refusing to sleep for days as he wrote and recorded what would become Utopia Teased, as a means of working through his overwhelming feelings of cynicism and loss.

                                                    Recorded in between stints touring as a member of Dear Nora, and then as a touring member of Girlpool, Utopia Teased is Stephen Steinbrink's followup to his critically acclaimed 2016 album Anagrams. Unlike the pristine production of Anagrams, on Utopia Teased Steinbrink embraces the rough edges, as he shifts his focus from the craft of production to the art of processing and capturing his experiences with honesty. He explains, “I was driving the preamps a little too hard, mixing down to tape, bouncing back to the computer, and repeating the process over and over again. I wanted it to reflect how fried my brain felt at the time, totally pulverized. The songs just poured out of me, it hardly felt like work to make them up. It was like turing on a spigot. I don’t write often, maybe once or twice a year, but when I do, a lot comes out..”

                                                    “Empty Vessel” and “Maximum Sunlight” both sung from perspective of residents of Tonopah, Nevada, were written to accompany a book about the town, by Steinbrink's friend Meagan Day. The sparse imagery on “Empty Vessel,” ostensibly about a semi-transient lock-picking truck driver, feels at least semi-autobiographical as Steinbrink sings “You're 31, you don't believe in anything…If you don't stop moving you'll never get hurt.” His evocative lyrics continue to intrigue on “Maximum Sunlight” as he sings “Sleeping through the night in the drained pool / I said I love you to a fool” from the perspective of a 30-year-old alcoholic ATV enthusiast.

                                                    Much of his outlook on life is captured on the elegiac waltz “Zappa Dream,” (originally written and recorded by his friend Rosie Steffy) on which he sings, “Dreams are so fucked up / Even the really good ones…Would it be such a bad thing / To be finished with living?...Everyone preserves a myth / Guards it like a bone / You see it in your lover's eyes / But never in your own…There is a magic on this earth / In cats and clouds and cars / For everything that you call "real" / Was once the dust of stars / Yeah you have been a river rock / And a drop of rain / And with any bit of luck / You'll be those things again / Are you in love with your life or a dream / Or just overwhelmed/ Wondering what this could possibly mean?” At the close of the, too-little-too-late acoustic narrative “Mom”, guest vocalist Melina Duterte of Jay Som joins him in conjuring a memory of listening to extraterrestrial radio, drifting asleep in a suburban Phoenix Wal-Mart parking lot. The album’s heartbreaking closer “I’m Never Changing Who You Are” continues Steinbrink’s recollection of his adolescence, asking an unnamed family member “Will you try to love more than you did?” while soberly accepting his reality.

                                                    In an interview with North of the Internet, Steinbrink recalled a video he came across on his phone, which was taken the day after the fire, “It sent me spiraling and thinking, it’s almost been a year. Nothing really felt actual those weeks, and I could only only react to the future at a remove because the horror of everything was inescapably tying me to the present. The idea of doing laundry or driving across the bridge to San Francisco to work was too abstract, so I just didn’t do it. I hardly did anything. Two days after the fire I woke up, walked to P.’s porch and sat there for hours alone and cried without a jacket on until the sun started going down. Geese were flying across power lines at dusk and I took a video of them on my phone. I imagined one of the birds was my friend.” In the same interview, he goes on to share some insight provided by a friend he reached out to when trying to finalize the album: “Finishing the thing puts a limit around something that comes from an infinite well; this is uncomfortable.” True.


                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Ltd LP Info: LP is 180g Heavyweight Vinyl + Comes With Download Code.

                                                    CD Info: CD is Jewel Case With Pull Out Booklet Poster.

                                                    Stereolab

                                                    Peng!

                                                      ‘Peng!’ is the band’s 1992 debut album. 

                                                      Often noted as being one of the most influential and original bands of the 90s, Stereolab were formed by Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier in London in 1990 and released 13 studio albums, 15 EPs and numerous singles. Simon Reynolds commented in Rolling Stone that the group’s early records form “an endlessly seductive body of work that sounds always the same, always different.”

                                                      Theirs is a rich, overflowing palette, readily able to blur the gulf between Os Mutantes and the BBC Radiophonic Orchestra; merge Krzysztof Komeda with the Velvet Underground, Francoise Hardy with Neu! and Burt Bacharach with Esquivel. A deluxe blend, in other words, with ingredients plucked assiduously from pop’s coolest outposts: 50’s lounge, Rive Gauche chanson, Brazilian tropicalia, North American art rock, East European film music, Krautrock. hi-fi test recordings, mood music and more. Somehow they distil these apparently incongruent components into an ageless exotica that is all their own.

                                                      Stereolab

                                                      The Groop Played Space Age Batchelor Pad Music

                                                         ‘The Groop Played Space Age Batchelor Pad Music’ is an 8-track mini album, released in 1993.

                                                        Often noted as being one of the most influential and original bands of the 90s, Stereolab were formed by Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier in London in 1990 and released 13 studio albums, 15 EPs and numerous singles. Simon Reynolds commented in Rolling Stone that the group’s early records form “an endlessly seductive body of work that sounds always the same, always different.”

                                                        Theirs is a rich, overflowing palette, readily able to blur the gulf between Os Mutantes and the BBC Radiophonic Orchestra; merge Krzysztof Komeda with the Velvet Underground, Francoise Hardy with Neu! and Burt Bacharach with Esquivel. A deluxe blend, in other words, with ingredients plucked assiduously from pop’s coolest outposts: 50’s lounge, Rive Gauche chanson, Brazilian tropicalia, North American art rock, East European film music, Krautrock. hi-fi test recordings, mood music and more. Somehow they distil these apparently incongruent components into an ageless exotica that is all their own.

                                                        As some of you may or may not know, for the past few years, as a holiday tradition, Sufjan has embarked on an extraordinary experiment to record an annual Christmas EP. It started in 2001, the year of Epiphanies, and continued onward (skipping only 2004), culminating into an odd and idiosyncratic catalog of music that has only existed in the Asthmatic Kitty archives (and on a number of file sharing sites). The recording process took place every December, for one week, usually at home, provoking collaborations with friends, roommates, and musical peers. Armed with a Reader's Digest Christmas Songbook (and a mug of hot cider) Sufjan & friends concocted a musical fruit cake year after year, implementing every musical instrument they could find lying around the house: banjo, oboe, Casiotone, wood flute, a buzzy guitar, hand claps, sleigh bells, Hammond organ, and some tree tinsel. Did we mention sleigh bells? It doesn't take much to capture that Creepy Christmas Feeling, does it? Recorded, mixed and mastered at home, the EPs themselves were often assembled in the kitchen, stapled together, and sent out with stickers and stamps to loved ones across the globe, year after year. Recording traditional favourites alongside unique originals, Sufjan has, over the course of five years, constructed an odd, impressive, and compelling collection of Christmas hits (and some misses) that will either warm your heart or make you throw up eggnog all over the bath mat (depending on your constitution). Asthmatic Kitty now releases ALL of the material (newly mixed and mastered) in one generous box set.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        5xLP Box Set Info: 5 LP box set.

                                                        Straight Arrows

                                                        On Top

                                                          Overflowing with unbridled energy, you’d be forgiven for thinking On Top was the band’s debut album, but the third record for the Sydney quartet sounds as vital and as exciting as ever. Having spent years touring their incendiary live show around Australia and the world, Straight Arrows have honed their fresh, reverb-laden, fuzzed out, psychedelic punk sound into pointed perfection with On Top. From the frantic buzzsaw of “Nothing To Me”, to the break-beat groove of “21st Century”, to the tender outsider folk of “Dead Weight”, to the mind-melting psych-out that is “Buried Again”, this is the sound of a band that isn’t short on ideas and isn’t afraid to push the envelope of what people expect a Straight Arrows record to be.

                                                          “Nothing's more boring than a bunch of the same guitar bullshit over and over again. We’ve taken the guitar bullshit, made it occasionally a little faster, and sometimes even a little slower too,” says vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter Owen Penglis with a cheeky grin.

                                                          Clearly he and his bandmates have cast a wider sonic net this time around, largely influenced by Penglis’ love of crate digging and his vast musical knowledge of the detritus of pop culture’s past. “Over the writing of this thing I was listening to a lot of 60s and 70s private press LPs from the USA, weird bubblegum, private press 45s from Australia, and a whole heap of 60s Jamaican rocksteady singles. Al (Grigg guitar/vocals) reckons 'Gun Man' sounds a little rocksteady-ish, but I think he’s wrong and it’d be embarrassing for a bunch of Australians to attempt these sounds.”

                                                          Much like everything else they’ve done, On Top was completely created on their own terms. Produced and mixed by Penglis himself, the album seems to be more direct than the band’s previous efforts, bringing a clarity to their sound without losing any of the ramshackle charm that has earnt Straight Arrows a worldwide cult following. This aural evolution is something that has happened more by chance than by any conscious choice. “As a group of gifted amateurs it sometimes happens that through repetition and long tours we've improved at our craft, despite our best efforts to the contrary,” laughs Penglis.

                                                          On Top is the riveting next episode in the ongoing Straight Arrows saga.“The first album is It’s Happening, the second is Rising, so it only makes sense by this point that we'd eventually make it On Top!!” says Penglis. “Plus it’s WAY more flattering than 'Peaked'.”

                                                          Sun Kil Moon

                                                          This Is My Dinner

                                                            This Is My Dinner was written during Sun Kil Moon’s November 2017 European tour. The album was recorded November 18, 2017 at TAPF Studio in Copenhagen and December 7, 8, 9, 2017 at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco. The album includes versions of AC/DC’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer,” The Partridge Family’s “Come On Get Happy,” and John Connolly’s “Chapter 87 of He” set to music. Musicians include Tony Scherr, Jim White, Scott McPherson, Ben Boye, Ramon Fermin, Chris Connolly and special guest Jordan Cook.

                                                            The Telescopes

                                                            Early Studio Recordings

                                                              At last! THE TELESCOPES first four EPs are compiled in order to reissue their studio recordings 1989-1990. Not only that but they have been remastered in order to achieve the deserved sound of this legendary British band leading the late 80s and early 90s shoegaze and melodic noise alongside The Jesus And Mary Chain among others.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Ltd LP Info: 150 grams vinyl, 500 copies only.

                                                              Throw Down Bones

                                                              Two

                                                                Italy’s Throw Down Bones are something of an enigma in the experimental underground. Since the release of their highly-praised 2015 self-titled album, they’ve picked up a notorious reputation on the European live circuit for their pulverising, constantly-mutating live shows. In a review of the debut, album listeners were told to “make no mistake, this is dance music” and that may have been true back then but now, back with their second album titled Two, the band have taken that to a whole new extreme. Ditching the hypnotic coldwave tendencies of their earlier work for an all-out sonic assault of industrial four-to-the-floor rhythms and screeching acid house.

                                                                Two is due for release via Fuzz Club Records on October 26th and see’s the band deal in floor-shaking industrial techno-post-punk occasionally steeped in a euphoric acid-house sheen. Where the old Throw Down Bones was better suited for intimate venues and psych fests (of which they were a frequent staple, from Liverpool to Eindhoven and everywhere in between), this new evolution sees them turn their eyes to the most underground techno clubs and the sleaziest warehouse venues. Imagine Death In Vegas, Factory Floor and Aphex Twin jamming in a room together and you might come close but Throw Down Bones would be reluctant to point to any ‘influences’. For them, their corrosive industrial workouts are simply the product of their environment and attitudes, as opposed to who they’re listening to at any given moment.

                                                                Tokyo Police Club

                                                                TPC

                                                                  If the universe had tilted the tiniest bit, there would be no TPC—the not-quite self-titled fourth (and best) Tokyo Police Club album.

                                                                  By 2016, singer-bassist and chief songwriter Dave Monks had settled into life in New York City; he made a solo record and did some co-writing. Drummer Greg Alsop was living and working in L.A. Keyboard player Graham Wright and guitarist Josh Hook remained in the band’s native Canada. Tokyo Police Club created songs via e-mail, thinking they had enough natural chemistry and experience to make that setup work. But eventually, the lack of friction meant there was less musical spark, and it dawned on everybody that the end was near. There was resignation, not anger, when Wright, Alsop, and Hook told Monks they were done with the band. They didn’t expect him to disagree.

                                                                  Touts

                                                                  Analysis Paralysis

                                                                    Despite only releasing their debut single Sold Out last year, Touts have already caused something of a stir on the UK indie scene, after playing a series of high profile support slots with Liam Gallagher, Kasabian and Paul Weller. The band also completed a hugely successful, frenetic whirlwind of a debut headline tour, ‘the electric shock excitement of a band on fire’ (Louder Than War) where they took their politically-charged punk songs across the UK, to rapturous feedback. They now bring us their latest 4 track EP.

                                                                    UT

                                                                    Early Live Life

                                                                      Early Live Life is a compilation of some of UT's best live performances from 1979–1985, spanning their origins in New York City to their migration to London in late 1981. The UT reissue campaign began on November 17, 2017 with the release of the UT EP and the Confidential 12", on Vinyl and CD. Upcoming reissues in 2019 include their studio albums Conviction, In Gut’s House and Griller. Remastered at Wolf Studios by Dominique Brethes, vinyl cut by Noel Summerville. The live tracks jump out of the vinyl with some verve, as visceral now as they were Live back in the 80s. This is searing no-wave power in the live setting, originally released in 1987 by BLAST FIRST records.



                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                      The Wave Pictures return with the promised second album of the year, Look Inside Your Heart - a warm, joyous record celebrating friendship, happiness and drunken party times. Like the first album they released this year, the more contemplative Brushes With Happiness, this one was recorded late at night whilst inebriated back at the tiny Booze Cube Studio in Stoke Newington, live to reel-to-reel tape with no computers of any kind. The album is peppered with giggles and chatter, which adds a sense of spontaneity and place.

                                                                      As singer and guitarist Dave Tattersall explains: ”Look Inside Your Heart is intended as a rallying cry in the war against the machines; while a computer may have beaten world-champion human being Lee Sedol at Go, a machine could never have made music as joyful, spontaneous, happy, poetic, broken and rambunctious as this. Look Inside Your Heart is a bullet in the face of all pop-poseurs and robot wannabes, a die-hard continuation of the vulnerable rebel tradition of rock and roll music, a vibrant work of outsider art and a masterpiece of electric folk.”

                                                                      Twenty years after forming in Wymeswold, Leicestershire as teenagers, The Wave Pictures have gone on to be one of the UK’s most prolific and beloved bands. Fond of classic rock, jazz and blues, they are also one of the most accomplished, with Tattersall’s guitar solos becoming the stuff of legend. They have collaborated with varying bright stars of the musical firmament, such as last year’s rock’n’roll surf-garage-rock project with Charles Watson from Slow Club, as new band The Surfing Magazines, or their ongoing partnership with ex-Herman Dune member Stanley Brinks, or the very close partnership with Billy Childish for 2015’s Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon. 


                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Barry says: I can't listen to the Wave Pictures nowadays without thinking of a friend of mine (he LOVED them), and they were similar in many ways. Understated but intelligent, filled with stories but hesitant to tell them for fear of coming off bolshy (they are both anything but). The Wave Pictures remain as relevant today as they ever did, writing superb songs and stooping slightly for fear of being noticed... i've not seen him for a while, but i'd imagine that Graf's trajectory is not far off that. Long live them both.

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Raspberry coloured vinyl.

                                                                      The Wedding Present

                                                                      Huw Stephens Sessions

                                                                        Four classic covers recorded for ‘One Music with Huw Stephens’ 19th July 2006

                                                                        “The release of The Wedding Present sessions done for our programme over the years is something of an honour. In the great tradition of the Peel/Selwood releases on the Strange Fruit label this record proves that even without John the BBC can still be a place where great bands can continue to grow and be creative… amongst friends.”

                                                                        Whenyoung

                                                                        Given Up EP

                                                                          Following their recent singles ‘Heaven on Earth’ and their cover of the Cranberries classic ‘Dreams’, Limerick’s finest indie-poppers Whenyoung have announced their new EP ‘Given Up’ to be released through Virgin EMI.

                                                                          The title track itself is a perfect example of the band’s sound. Underpinned by a driving, Pixies-esque bassline and chiming guitars, it’s mix of gritty alt-rock edge with a shimmering chorus showcases just how special the band’s song writing is. In the band’s own words, “Given Up was written after a series of late nights and self-inflicted misdirection. The central message is to take your life by the reins and create your own future.”

                                                                          The EP will be released on 10” blue vinyl, continuing the primary colours trilogy following on from their debut 7”s.

                                                                          2018 has already been a landmark year for the young band. It’s seen them perform in Dublin as part of Shane Mcgowan's 60th birthday celebration alongside the likes Nick Cave and Sinead O'Connor. They’ve also supported the likes of Dream Wife, Declan McKenna, The Vaccines and Peace.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd 10" Info: Limited blue vinyl 10"

                                                                          Strut present an exclusive new compilation curated by Optimo’s JD Twitch, ‘Kreaturen Der Nacht’, bringing together classics, rarities and oddities from Germany’s original post-punk and DIY scene.

                                                                          1979 to 1984 was an era of particular artistic upheaval in Germany as strong subculture scenes formed in many German cities. Emphasis was placed on expression rather than technical perfection, artistic impact rather than skill. DIY self-organisation prevailed with the establishment of small record labels and independently produced records and cassettes. Bands experimented across genres and consciously abandoned the English-speaking mainstream with German band names and lyrics. “Although we had a small underground scene, it was very vibrant,” explains Gudrun Gut of Malaria! “Bands like Die Haut, my first band Mania D., Malaria!... we organised gigs ourselves or friends would open a gallery and have bands playing. We hung around together in a handful of clubs like Risiko or Dschungel and went to gigs at SO36. West Germany had other regional scenes too: Düsseldorf and Köln around Der Plan and the Ata Tak label and there was the Hamburg side with Abwärts. Germany didn’t have a real music industry like the US or England back then."

                                                                          This new collection is a personal selection from JD Twitch, built over years of playing the tracks in club sets. “It is not designed to tell a definitive story of what was going on in Germany in this era,” he explains. “Rather, it is simply an arbitrary collection of records I adore from a specific era with a specific attitude that hopefully together sum up some of the musical undercurrents in Germany at that time.”

                                                                          The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the period along with extensive interviews with artists including Beate Bartel (Mania D.), Christoph Dreher (Die Haut), Michael Hirsch (P1/E) and Thomas Voburka (Weltklang). All tracks are remastered by The Carvery with artwork by Optimo’s in-house design man Andrew Beltran.


                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Patrick says: Those ever reliable folks at Strut enlist the curatorial skills of Optimo selector JD Twitch for a 16 track trip into the angular world of NDW. A distinctly German hybrid of post punk, synthpop, dub and tape experiments, the NDW scene burned bright at the dawn of the 80s, and this flawless set presents that unique sound at its most expressive.

                                                                          In the heyday of low-budget television and scrappy genre filmmaking, producers who needed a soundtrack for their commercial entertainments could reach for a selection of library music: LPs of stock recordings whose contents fit any mood required. Though at the time, the use of such records was mostly a cost-cutting manoeuvre for productions that couldn’t afford to hire their own composer, the industry soon took on its own life: library publishers became major financial successes, and much of the work they released was truly extraordinary. In fact, many of these anonymous or pseudonymous scores-on-demand were crafted by the some of the greatest musical minds of the late 20th century - expert musicians and innovative composers who reveled in the freedoms offered, paradoxically, by this most corporate of fields.

                                                                          "Unusual Sounds" is a deep dive into a musical universe that has, until now, been accessible only to producers and record collectors; a celebration of this strange industry and an examination of its unique place at the nexus of art and commerce. The perfect companion to the David Hollander curated book "Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music" (out now on Anthology Editions), these 20 tracks, encapsulate the niche and fascinating subculture of library music. Genres were spliced, conventions dispensed with, and oftentimes hybrid music of astonishing complexity was produced. Elements of rock, jazz, soul, even twentieth-century avant-garde composition were all utilized, and no stone was left unturned. As a result, some of the best library music defies all categorization, reflecting the individualistic quirks and artistry of the various musicians who made it. This compilation includes compositions by Brainticket founder Joel Vandroogenbroeck, KPM Allstars John Cameron and Keith Mansfield, Montenegrin-born composer Janko Nilović, and the Italian film composer Stefano Torossi amongst others. David Hollander is a producer, music supervisor, writer and collector living in Texas. A lifelong record collector, his library music collection is considered by many to be one of the finest of its kind in the world.



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