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Black Honey

Black Honey - 2023 Reissue

    Reissue of Black Honey’s self titled debut EP originally released in 2014

    TRACK LISTING

    1. The Taste
    2. Sleep Forever
    3. Teenager
    4. Bloodlust

    Keeley Forsyth

    Limbs

      Keeley Forsyth’s 2020 debut album found an elemental voice ringing out from beneath the rubble. Understated but devastating, Debris' success led to a transformation as the songs were brought to the stage. An innate performer, Forsyth found herself channelling something she hadn’t yet fully come to understand, and it was here that the voice found on Debris began to probe outwards and discover a physical form. It’s a form that fully takes shape on her second album Limbs.

      Anyone who saw Forsyth perform in the brief window after Debris was released and before shows ground to a halt can testify to the show’s power. In pin-drop silence, enraptured audiences watched as Forsyth inhabited a new body. No stranger to portraying characters in her career as an actor, this was something different.

      Limbs is a record of reckoning with that change. After the initial purge of Debris, those feelings of trauma and fear remain but there’s also a life to live. “Save me from the chair where sadness lies,” she sings on opener ‘Fires’, wrestling the need to be creative within the routine of daily life. Where Debris was composed and recorded in close proximity to instrumentalist and arranger Matthew Bourne, Limbs deploys a more expansive palette. With Forsyth at the centre, collaborator Ross Downes acts as another limb, remotely producing the pulses and drones which feed back into the voice. Bourne this time is enlisted to “Bring some of the soil of Debris” into Limbs. The result is clearer and more spacious. If Debris sounded like it was buried under the earth - Forsyth’s voice repressed and breathless - Limbs brings some of that live presence. 


      TRACK LISTING

      1. A1. Fires
      2. A2. Bring Me Water
      3. A3. Limbs
      4. A4. Land Animal
      5. B1. Blindfolded
      6. B2. Wash
      7. B3. Silence
      8. B4. I Stand Alone

      Above 24 year-old Sae Heum Han’s desk hangs a blue and white crochet crucifix given to him by his grandmother. This object doubles as the artwork for "Serenade", Han’s second mini album as mmph. Separate from any religious connotations, the crucifix represents love, loss and hope - themes mmph explores on the release.

      "Serenade" follows his debut "Dear God", which was released on Tri Angle earlier this year. Since the release of "Dear God", mmph has worked on his own evolving sound while also producing new music for the likes of David Byrne, serpentwithfeet and Lauren Auder. Classically trained since childhood, Han attended Berklee College of Music to study cello before shifting his concentration towards electronic production & sound design, a pivot that resulted in the birth of this project, mmph.

      mmph’s compositions exist at the intersection of analogue classical music arrangement and forward thinking electronic sound production. While "Dear God" processed the way in which certain personal tragedies had eclipsed Han’s personal love affair with music, "Serenade" evokes a newfound expressive romanticism utilizing a broader palate of orchestral and electronic sounds.

      Melodically focused, orchestrally informed and rhythmically driven, each of "Serenade’s" five songs utilize a different classical trope to create Wagnerian suites in miniature. "Minuet" is a stately dance in triple time (performance), "Tragedy" is a play (death), "Elegy" is a mourning poem (death) and "Serenade" is a courtship song often played in the open air (love).

      Fusing synths choirs, arpeggiated (sometimes plucked) strings and steel string guitars, mmph creates a sense of extraordinary melodrama that feels more at home against the romantic backdrop of a Turner seaside cliff than a college student’s basement. Against these romantic landscapes, the baroquefeeling mini-operas of mmph’s "Serenade" comes to life. 


      TRACK LISTING

      Minuet
      Tragedy
      Woodlawn
      Elegy
      Serenade

      Nadia Reid

      Out Of My Province

        No one ever got anywhere by standing still. As an artist, you must move to grow. It’s a sentiment Nadia Reid knows well. Leaving her beloved New Zealand for America to record her third album with strangers, what she didn’t expect was a family awaiting her; teaming up with Spacebomb, her evocative travel tales push explorations of love, personal growth and deep reflection beyond boundaries she ever thought possible.

        Out of My Province further marks Nadia’s wildly expanding trajectory, this time from outside her comfort zone. Nadia packed up for Spacebomb studios in Richmond, Virginia with long-term “musical rock” and guitarist Sam Taylor. They were joined by joined by the Spacebomb house band - Cameron Ralston (electric and upright bass), Brian Wolfe (drums) Daniel Clarke (organ, piano, and keys), and producer Trey Pollard, who would arrange strings, horns, piano and Rhodes to give the album a depth in sound Nadia had always imagined. “As an artist, progression is key. I want to always be changing, pushing boundaries, to feel growth. It’s good for us,” Reid says.

        “Out of My Province is definitely a travelling album; they are road songs,” tells Nadia, written during a period of intensive touring following the release of her critically acclaimed LP, Preservation. “I felt inspired while I was moving and playing most nights. Sometimes good. Sometimes hard – there was this term I came up with called ‘digging for gold’ where some nights, you’d need to dig deeper for that feeling. During that time I felt really alive and useful.”

        Completed back home in her hometown of Dunedin, first single “Best Thing” is a "song is about relationships, childhood and nostalgia. It is about intimate love and about the love between a mother and a daughter." The video was directed by Charlotte Evans and shot on film in locations around her neighbourhood including Tunnel Beach, the Railway Station and Botanic Gardens, starting at 6 AM in wintertime. "Dunedin is full of places that will flaw you with its natural beauty." reveals Reid, whose new songs act like postcards back to Port Chalmers.

        The album takes its title from an interview with one of Nadia’s favourite New Zealand authors, the late Janet Frame, in which the interviewer asks if she has considered the supposition that she is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, to which Frame uncomfortably replies, "That question doesn't reach me. It's out of my province." Explains Nadia, “I was so moved by her response for some reason. I am enamoured by her books. I can re-read them at any time and take such comfort from them. So ever since... out of my province. That phrase has never left me.”


        TRACK LISTING

        01. All Of My Love
        02. High & Lonely
        03. Oh Canada
        04. Heart To Ride
        05. Other Side Of The Wheel
        06. Best Thing
        07. I Don’t Wanna Take Anything From You
        08. The Future
        09. Who Is Protecting Me
        10. Get The Devil Out

        Pip Blom

        Welcome Break

          There are approximately a great deal and very many ‘Welcome Breaks’ scattered throughout the sprawling motorways of the UK.

          Now, regardless of whether that statement’s true or not… when life’s become a series of long-stretches and welcomed breaks, it’s to no avail that sometimes all it takes to alleviate spirits is the simplest, of experiential indulgences.

          Be it the buzz of an overly exhausted tour van, or the green light and smell of sausage rolls in the near Beaconsfield distance... inspiration can be found in the funniest corners of this place we call home; and it’s in the heart of day-to-day simplicities and sprawling services, that we gladly receive Amsterdam’s beamy-grinned, indie-pop powerhouse Pip Blom, back into lives.

          Following an extensive touring schedule which saw the Dutch 4-piece roam over field, oceans, and Glastonbury’s John Peel stage following the release of their debut record ‘Boat’, any such cool-cat would be forgiven for wanting to kick back, and indulge in some very appreciated, time off.
          As is often the way, such timely-abandon cannot be said for Pip Blom however, who immediately began to gather up all her soaked-up inspirations taken from the road, and manifest a re-energised sense of self, and ritualistic songwriting.

          Cosying down in a room of her parents’ house (which she shares with her brother and fellow bandmate Tender Blom), Pip, a self-confessed “fan of deadlines”, set aside three months to write twenty songs- sixteen of which
          were to become demos for the band to structure and flesh out, once in the studio together.

          It’s at this stage in our indie-fairy-tale that things start to get ever so 2020. Whilst the world was suddenly put on hold as a result of Covid-19, Pip Blom, who’d made plans to return to their favourite ‘Big Jelly Studios’ in Ramsgate, England, were suddenly faced with a very sticky, kind of dilemma. “We’d scheduled to go into the studio in September but summer started moving and there were a couple of countries not allowed to go to the UK anymore... a week before we had to go, the Netherlands was one of those countries”- notes Pip.

          Sentimentalities, and pre-established friendships (by way of Grammy award-winning engineer Caesar Edmunds) took president, and the decision was made to pack up their gear and a variety of board games and exercise equipment, all in preparation of a fourteen-day quarantine faced upon arrival in the UK.

          In total, three weeks were spent recording what would become the groups sophomore release; a Al Harle engineered love-affair which was self produced entirely by the band and culminated in a legally intimate, fully seated album play-back, to six, of Ramsgate’s most chorus-savvy and ‘in the-know’ residents.

          Getting out of their hometown and into an environment which removed all notions of “normality” or personal space, was an atmospheric godsend in terms of motivation; an act which encouraged Pip Blom to re-adjust and buckle down as a unit again, after spending so long in mandatory isolation.
          Much like the danceable-realism of Pip’s beloved Parquet Courts, the key to an album well done, is the balancing act of fine-production, and capturing that core live-essence we all miss. “We always play one live track three times and after we then build that track in the studio” says Pip, assembling together amalgamated “live-energies” in order to produce a capsule of environmental-satisfaction, that can be appreciated during any time of day, or life’s little moments.

          Actively seeking out moments of creative-authenticity, be it via a slightly out-of-tune guitar or proudly-fuzzed vocals, Pip Blom take us back full circle and introduce us to their ‘Welcome Break’- an eleven-track release which resonates with about as much decisive allure as it’s ‘Boat’ precursor, but this time with a bit more contemporary chaos to boot.

          Where ‘Boat’ reckoned as a fresh-faced, yet gloriously fearless game changer, ‘Welcome Break’ is the self-assured older sibling who, with an additional year or two behind themselves, isn’t afraid to speak out, take lead, and instigate a liberated revolution-come-bliss-out.

          Lead single’s ‘Keep It Together’ and ‘You Don’t Want This’ are glistening masterclasses in feel-good chorus- the very kind of coming-of-age relatability where a soul would want to let down their hair, stick their arm out the window of their best friends car and roll with the motions in a rapture of soundtracked euphoria, and jangled adventure.

          Unhinging genre in our instant-access era of musical snoot, no-one does an enthused-chorus quite like Pip Blom yet much can be said for this gang being far from one-trick-ponies.

          Anthemic drifters ‘Different Tune’ and ‘It Should Have Been Fun’ are slow building, amplified highlights. Carrying all the weight of convicted fearlessness on their shoulders, Pip Blom unhinge pre-disposed expectations of crafted alternative like graduates straight outta Kim Deal’s school of rock, whilst closing number ‘Trouble In Paradise’, sets the tone for what will only be the ultimate, set-list once gigs resume again.

          With Pip Blom, no mood is untouched nor sense of renewal left behind. The trick to it all? As Pip reveals: “I just really like catchy songs and I feel like that’s something we try to do. I’d classify it as being sentimental – it’s not sugar-happy Pop.... more like ‘Titanic’ pop songs...”

          For those of us missing the buzzed adrenaline of communal music exploration, the idea of escapism in cramped and sweaty crevices can seem quite lifeless. If it's a sense of community you’re after then look no further than ‘Pip Blom Backstage’.

          Streaming goodness 24/7 as a fan-centric loyalty app, ‘Pip Blom Backstage’ gives access to exclusive news, premium content, and, a chat box for the Pip Blom Backstage community; further cementing Pip Blom as undeniable pals for life as fan-clips, spotify playlists and even a cooking lesson from bassist Darek Mercks, are all made available from the VIP lounge of your own back-pocket.

          In conclusion, there're actually thirty-five ‘Welcome Break’ pit stops a weary traveller can make in a lifetime spent on the M1, and it’s associates. Whilst the road’s presently a little less travelled, Pip Blom’s ‘Welcome Break’ is adamantly nothing to do with the present state of affairs. In fact, it doesn’t have anything to do with much at all and that’s the way they like it.
          ‘Welcome Break’ is but two nouns of which when placed together in context, ring confidently with prowess, intent, and a radiant true-spirit - much like Pip Blom herself. 


          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Both thoroughly melodic and swimming with that airy haze we've come to expect from this Dutch outfit, but with moments of distorted heft and crashing post-punk groove, the new one from Pip Blom is every bit the essential purchase. Ram-packed with hooks and brilliantly produced, it's definitely their most accomplished work to date.

          TRACK LISTING

          1 You Don't Want This
          2 12
          3 It Should Have Been Fun
          4 Keep It Together
          5 Different Tune
          6 I Know I’m Not Easy To Like
          7 Faces
          8 I Love The City
          9 Easy
          10 Holiday
          11 Trouble In Paradise

          Various Artists

          Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds Of Japan 1980-1988

            Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds of Japan 1980–1988 hovers vibe–wise between two distinct poles within Light In The Attic’s acclaimed Japan Archival Series—Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980–1990 and Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1976–1986. All three albums showcase recordings produced during Japan’s soaring bubble economy of the 1980s, an era in which aesthetic visions and consumerism merged. Music echoed the nation’s prosperity and with financial abundance came the luxury to dream.

            Sonically, Somewhere Between mines the midpoint between Kankyō Ongaku’s sparkling atmospherics and Pacific Breeze’s metropolitan boogie. The compilation encompasses ambient pop, underground electronics, liminal minimalism and shadow sounds—all descriptors emphasizing the hazy nature of the nebula. Out–of–focus rhythms wear ethereal accoutrements, ballads are shrouded in static, and angular drums snake skyward on transcendent tones. From the Avant–minimalism of Mkwaju Ensemble and Yoshio Ojima, to the leftfield techno-pop of Mishio Ogawa and Noriko Miyamoto (featuring members of YMO), and highlights from the groundbreaking Osaka underground label Vanity Records, these are blurry constellations defying collective categorization.

            These tracks also exist in a space of transition when the major label grip on the Japanese recording market began to give way to the escalation of independents. Thanks to the idyllic economic climate and innovations in domestically–manufactured music gear, creators on the edges were empowered to focus on satisfying their artistic visions in the open headspace of home studios. While labels like Warner Music and Nippon Columbia explored new sounds through traditional channels, it was possible for Vanity, Balcony and other indie labels, not to mention self–released artists like Ojima and Naoki Asai, to publish their work via affordable media such as cassettes, 7" vinyl, and flexi–discs.

            Expertly curated by Yosuke Kitazawa and Mark “Frosty” McNeill (dublab), Somewhere Between is a collection of music, much of it released for the first time outside Japan, that is bound more by energetic vibration than shared history, genre or scene. They are the sounds of transition and searching—a celebration of the freedom found in floating.


            TRACK LISTING

            Noriko Miyamoto - Arrows & Eyes
            Mishio Ogawa - Hikari No Ito Kin No Ito
            Yoshio Ojima - Days Man
            Mkwaju Ensemble - Tira-Rin
            R.N.A-ORGANISM - WEIMAR 22
            Naoki Asai - Yakan Hikou
            Takami Hasegawa - Koneko To Watashi
            Mammy - Mizu No Naka No Himitsu
            Dip In The Pool - Hasu No Enishi
            Wha Ha Ha - Akatere
            D-Day - Sweet Sultan
            Perfect Mother - Dark Disco-Da·Da·Da·Da·Run
            Neo Museum - Area
            Sonoko - Wedding With God (À Nijinski)

            Teeth Of The Sea

            Wraith

              When London’s Teeth Of The Sea set about recording their fifth album, there seemed to be more than just the familiar spectres of the band’s collective and overactive imagination at their disposal - the unruly morass of ‘80s horror and sci-fi movies, industrial ballast, 2000AD terror, ‘70s-damaged experimental brinksmanship and atmospheric grandeur that they’d somehow conspire to sculpt into coherent structures - instead, these ghostly interruptions - or wraiths - were of a distinctly otherworldly nature. In Soup Studios, located in the liminal zone of East India Dock on the Thames under the auspices of Giles Barrett, all such influences contributed to form a collection of tracks that represented a fearsome and transporting marriage of the ferocious and the melancholic.

              Alchemised trash, kitchen-sink surrealism, out-of-order intensity and ritualistic overtones collides and colluded into a monstrous hybrid - this was a world where Tetsuo-The Iron Man would happily share space with Judee Sill, and where the acid guitars of Helios Creed would happily conspire with the Acid Rock of Rhythm Device. Meanwhile, Erol Alkan helped sculpt a mixture of mariachi elegy and electro euphoria at his Phantasy Sound studios, whilst Valentina Magaletti (Tomaga/Raime), Chloe Herington (Knifeworld/Valve) and Katharine Gifford (Snowpony/ Stereolab) also willingly entered the fray to assist this unholy assemblage of inspiration, irreverence and otherworldly infiltration. Who knows where these voices and visions arrived from, yet we can only hope the resulting sounds help them gain safe passage into the beyond. Ladies and gentlemen, pray silence for the Wraith. 

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Never ones to shy away from a bit of a change in pace, Teeth Of The Sea take this opportunity to skilfully weave their way towards haunted minimalism, foreboding instrumentation and eastern melodicism all at once. Beautifully sparse in places and as heavy as you could imagine in others while maintaining their impeccable euphoric edge, TOTS have never sounded so relevant. A superb, hypnotic journey.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. I’d Rather, Jack
              2. Hiraeth
              3. Our Love Can Destroy This Whole Fucking World
              4. Burn Of The Shieling
              5. Fortean Steed  
              6. VISITOR
              7. Her Wraith
              8. Gladiators Ready

              Gemma Cullingford

              Tongue Tied

                ‘Tongue Tied’ is the sophomore album from Gemma Cullingford (Sink Ya Teeth). Written and produced from Gemma's humble home studio in Norfolk, ‘Tongue Tied’ blends many styles of electronica from 70's experimental and new wave, early 80's electro, acid house and techno to noughties electro clash, topped with her own vocal style to produce a unique and fresh sound. It explores relationships and the different emotions they can bring, from paranoia, yearning and helplessness to lust, shyness and just downright wanting to dance.

                ‘Tongue Tied’ is a progressive follow up to her debut ‘Let Me Speak’ which garnered support from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Amy Lame, Nemone, Chris Hawkins, Jamz Supernova, John Kennedy and James Endeacott, plus glowing reviews in Mojo, Uncut and Electronic Sound.

                For the cover artwork on ‘Tongue Tied’, Gemma has collaborated with visual artist Kelda Storm who shares Gemma's love for bright, contrasting neon colours and minimal bold designs. She uses the iconography of feminine lips across her work as a symbol of speech and voice.

                RIYL: Sink Ya Teeth, Lonelady, A Certain Ratio.

                TRACK LISTING

                Side A
                1. Accessory
                2. Tongue Tied
                3. Bass Face
                4. Holding Dreams
                5. Mechanical
                Side B
                6. New Day
                7. No Fail
                8. Chronicle Of Sound
                9. Red Room
                10. Daisy

                Johnny Jewel

                Home - OST

                  Another soundtrack from the IDIB camp, this time for Fien Troch's 'Home'. The first side features a number of feels-heavy synthy outings, kicking things off with 'Magazine'. Starting subtly enough with gently phasing guitar line, almost instantly augmented with an ethereal vocal, shimmering and echoing over the top, before launching into neon synths and snappy Linn drums, lending an aura of melacholic introspection, but remaining driven enough to keep things upbeat. 

                  'The Magician' goes a little further down the Italo wormhole with a throbbing single-note synth riff being joined by clattering reverbed percussion and swirling lead lines, keeping true to the upbeat neature of this first half, but expanding things into slightly more dancefloor territory before taking it back into ambient territory with free-roaming LFO'd oscillator swells and delayed melodic stabs. 

                  It's when we flip over that we see the other side of the record both literally and figuratively, with the Linn Drums being traded out for a twenty bag and a massive stack of oscillators, all working together into a crescentic drone, both beautiful and haunting. 'Home' is heavy on the pads, swirling and swelling into a heart-aching cacophony of tentative hope and brittle euphoria. 

                  And so it continues, 'Remorse' takes things a little more slowly, with infrequent bass drums and reticent mid-heavy synths taking centre-stage like the 9-minute intro to a Pink-Floyd outtake, brilliantly engrossing, and feeling decidedly more brief than it's four and a half minutes. 'Endless' is not in fact endless at all, but feels like it easily could be with the chilling introduction of some gloriously dusty Rhodes keys, lending melody and a perfect amount of forward motion into an otherwise completely laid-back backdrop. 


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