MAGIC MIX

STAFF PICKS

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I Am Easy To Find is the band’s eighth studio album and the follow-up to 2017’s GRAMMY®-award winning release Sleep Well Beast. A companion short film with the same name will also be released with music by The National and inspired by the album. The film was directed by Academy Award-nominated director Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Beginners), and starring Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander. Mills, along with the band, is credited as co-producer of the album, which was mostly recorded at Long Pond, Hudson Valley, NY with additional sessions in Paris, Berlin, Cincinnati, Austin, Dublin, Brooklyn and more far flung locations. The album features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Lisa Hannigan, Mina Tindle and more.

I Am Easy to Find is a 24-minute film by Mills starring Alicia Vikander, and a 68-minute album by the National. The former is not the video for the latter; the latter is not the soundtrack to the former. The two projects are, as Mills calls them, “Playfully hostile siblings that love to steal from each other”—they share music and words and DNA and impulses and a vision about what it means to be human in 2019, but don’t necessarily need one another. The movie was composed like a piece of music; the music was assembled like a film, by a film director. The frontman and natural focal point was deliberately and dramatically sidestaged in favour of a variety of female voices, nearly all of whom have long been in the group’s orbit. It is unlike anything either artist has ever attempted and also totally in line with how they’ve created for much of their careers.

As the album’s opening track, ‘You Had Your Soul With You,’ unfurls, it’s so far, so National: a digitally manipulated guitar line, skittering drums, Berninger’s familiar baritone, mounting tension. Then around the 2:15 mark, the true nature of I Am Easy To Find announces itself: The racket subsides, strings swell, and the voice of long-time David Bowie bandmate Gail Ann Dorsey booms out—not as background vocals, not as a hook, but to take over the song. Elsewhere it’s Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan, or Sharon Van Etten, or Mina Tindle or Kate Stables of This Is the Kit, or varying combinations of them. The Brooklyn Youth Choir, whom Bryce Dessner had worked with before. There are choral arrangements and strings on nearly every track, largely put together by Bryce in Paris—not a negation of the band’s dramatic tendencies, but a redistribution of them.

“Yes, there are a lot of women singing on this, but it wasn't because, ‘Oh, let's have more women's voices,’ says Berninger. “It was more, ‘Let's have more of a fabric of people's identities.’ It would have been better to have had other male singers, but my ego wouldn't let that happen.”

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Indies only 140gram clear vinyl – limited edition, one pressing only.

3xDeluxe LP Info: 140g set on opaque red / yellow / grey colours.
5th side contains 22 minutes of music from the I Am Easy To Find Original Film Score – EXCLUSIVE to this format.
Etching on the 6th side.
Tri-fold LP jacket.
3x printed innersleeves.
24 page booklet.
24” x 24” poster folder.
Housed in printed plastic sleeve.

2xLP Info: Black vinyl.

Black Peaches follow up their acclaimed 2016 debut with a dazzling display of musicianship on their explosive new album Fire In The Hole.

“Black Peaches existed inside me before I was aware of it,” says the band’s Rob Smoughton, also known as a member of Hot Chip and Scritti Politti. “It’s the culmination and continuation of the music I love. I started to notice how Brazilian rhythm, funk, soul, classic country and pop were all combining in the music I was writing, and I looked for other band members to join me to bring it alive.”

And he found other members to bring that combination alive in Susumu Mukai, Charlie Michael, Nick Roberts and Thomas Greene. Together they released 2016’s acclaimed Get Down You Dirty Rascals and now return with an album that continues to throw genres together with all the seamless grace of a seasoned cocktail maker but free of the postured affectations associated with such moves.

Black Peaches are a place where genres collide and musical eras meld. On their second album the band has absorbed all the tropical sounds, glistening melodies and funk-ridden grooves into a sound that is truly their own. “I wanted the combination and layering of our influences to be organic,” says Smoughton. “To create Black Peaches music. To take the ideas from the first record further into our own place.”

The result is a record that skips with the vibrancy and buoyancy of a band still in love with the idea of bringing their record collection to life, but the band now understand themselves as much as the music that inspires them and have created something new and refined.

Given the eclectic styles rooted in the make-up of the band, to enter into the world of Black Peaches is often to feel like one is flying from country-to-country with each new song. For Smoughton this musical traversing is a key part of the experience of the band. “I find the combination of mythology, history and geography to be romantic and I want our music to elicit the same thrill. I think the album conjures up the adventure of moving from one place to another; from Spain into Northern Africa, where North America tips into the South. Narratively the songs inhabit a place between the conscious and subconscious - between dreams and waking life.”

This globetrotting sonic voyage creates a sense of the unknown in the record, where each track exists as a new and unpredictable path. This is all done under the mission of creating a record that is capable of pure musical transcendence. “I really believe that music has the ability to transcend and move people emotionally and spiritually,” Smoughton says. “Our music is not about the separation between musician and audience but about the space in between.”

Yet the album also works on an intuitive and physical level. On top of its narrative of the world between the conscious and the subconscious, it is also simply a collection of songs to make you dance and move. Whether it’s the Delta blues influenced strut of “Lemonade”, the “slinky and naughty” dance floor pounce of “The Black Peach Boogie” or the Afro-Brazilian skip of “Cuatro Berimbau.”

Perhaps the most emblematic song of all when it comes to capturing the essence, power and groove of the album is the title track “Fire in the Hole”. “It comes from a phrase that miners would shout it to warn others that they had charged an explosive,” Smoughton says. “It’s to tell you something is about to explode. In this case it’s about being unable to resist the urge to dance. About giving over to rhythm and sound.”


FORMAT INFORMATION

Dinked Edition LP Info: Teal Vinyl.
Numbered.
Signed Art Print 11" x 11".
Bonus 7" two exclusive tracks (never to be repressed).
Card with Download Codes.

'‘Nothing Great About Britain’, the charged title of UK rapper slowthai’s debut album is the phrase echoing among the disenfranchised members of Britain’s society. Not just a title, the phrase epitomises all that slowthai has been talking about to this point, all that he himself believes in. With this offering he sets the stage to become the voice of Britain’s mistreated, unrepresented and forgotten. 
Blessed with a versatile voice and a fresh view of society, slowthai lays a grimey flow over trap-tinged beats, pulls an ODB on the narcotic love song "Crack" and yelps over garage-tinged jams "Doorman" and "Piece Of Mind" like a millenial Mike Skinner. Punk energy, urban attitude and a unique voice, slowthai ladies and gents.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

A beautiful swimmer is a small blue crab. The Beautiful Swimmers are Ari Goldman and Andrew Field-Pickering (AKA Max D). And you, my friend, are about to get high on the happy. They’re here to take you on a gleeful joyride around their collective musical imagination. The Swimmers are full-bore record enthusiasts you see, but whereas you might associate this with squirrelly, exclusive and crabby sorts, they are inclusive, human and warm. It’s a wide-eyed ebullient romp and the joy of discovery is one to share. And to see them DJ IS a joy - they’re having at least as much fun as anyone else in the room, locked together tight, riding the same wave.

So even when shit gets somewhat darker, the tempos higher and sounds gnarlier ("Analogous Doom") the world is never grey. When we’re stone cold Balearic in the Adriatic ("Plunky") the vibe is up, young and fun. Banging them B’more house beats? Well, you’re probably going to be recognising a welcoming RnB sample (KW Griff). We’ve also been blessed with some Swimmer’s specials in the shape of "Blow Up Girl" and "Living in a Zone". Exclusive.

Ari and Andrew have previously worked in dog and childcare respectively. If this compilation were a dog it’d be a 'rascal', if it were a kid it’d be 'spirited'. We can’t think of anyone better to be your guides, as they themselves might say, 'it’s a vibe'.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: First compilation from emergant festival / brand / record label Love International. It's a pretty cutting edge selection, highlighting the maverik and hedonistic spirit that epitomizes much of the brand's ethos.

Neither inherently good nor evil, the DJINN have been heralded in Arab culture since the Pre-Islamic period, located somewhere on a spiritual plane between humanity and the realm of deities. A mysterious force, their influence - essential between angel and demon - has subsequently extended to mythos, religious belief and folklore far and wide, from the malevolent spirits that originally haunted deserts and inspired poets to the archetypal Western genie in a bottle. Yet also, the DJINN’s name has been interpreted as meaning “beings that are concealed from the senses”. This makes the word a fitting moniker for an album which, despite being shrouded in mystery, manifests an unknowable yet intense spiritual force.

Their first release - also the first ‘proper’ jazz record to see released on Rocket Recordings- is manifested as equal parts hidden and otherworldly influence. Formed by the talented musicians of Swedish bands Hills and GOAT, DJINN foray into numerous quarters on a far-reaching metaphysical quest lasting the course of this record. It’s a psychic travelogue which frequently encompasses full-throttle free jazz - as in the blistering ‘My Bank Account’, with its echoes of the transcendent extrapolations of Albert Ayler, and the more loose ‘Algäbannem’, which nods to the demolition derby that John Coltrane and drummer Rashied Aliengaged in via ‘Interstellar Space’. Yet this is an album of a wild and wilful variety of textures and headspaces - whether entering into astral jazz or new age ambience akin to the later devotional work of Alice Coltrane, as on ‘Le Jardin De La Morte’ ,or entering into Don Cherry-style small-hours auras as on the reflective and hallucinatory thumb-piano-assisted bliss of ‘Fiskehamm Blues’, all excursions into the unknown are marked by potency of delivery and singularity of intent.

Titles such as ‘Djinn and Djuice’ might make the listener suspect that a certain levity is present here, yet such self-deprecating tones are entirely belied by the modus operandi of creators who engage with a rare sensitivity and sensuousness in their playing - nodding to the traditions and stylistics of the records they love whilst using them as a springboard into dimensions unknown. It’s a record made with deftness and restraint where necessary, yet also one unafraid to jump in the deep end in search of rich atmospheres and intoxicating soundscapes. “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper” - thus once remarked Bertrand Russell, he whose very name is bastardised by DJINN to moniker the drifting, hallucinatory ‘Rertland Bussels’. A mighty array of such things on offer within these eight tracks, amidst a soundworld that any intrepid psychic explorer should be delighted to sharpen their wits for.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: The label Rocket have dived into the world of Jazz with this beautiful release from Djinn. Raw, free jazz varying from bold loud sounds in ‘Alga?bbanem’ to deeply sensitive ambient notes in ‘Djinn And Djuice’. Incredible, innovative music right here!

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited indies-only 'Ice' coloured vinyl.

Ashinoa is a krautrock dementia that fans of the genre will recognize. An artistic atavism in the footsteps of the post-Stockhausen generation, a kind of round table of geniuses Klaus Dinger (Kraftwerk, Neu!), Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream), Schulze (Ash Ra Tempel)… but also a kosmische musik of modern times, with a touch of electronic influences in the most experimental way.
 Part of the collective Misère Records from Lyon, which also includes the bands Abschaum (who released its first album in late 2017 on Macadam Mambo) and Pratos, Ashinoa started at the end of 2015 and occupy a special place in the Lyon alternative scene. So it’s a real pleasure to welcome on board a band with such qualities from Macadam Mambo’s hometown. Don’t miss the trip!


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: A couple of years ago Macadam Mambo raised eyebrows and pulses with an unexpected and excellent kraut / psych LP from Abschaum. Now they're back at it with another Kraut killer, this time from Ashinoa. Well served by a propulsive rhythm section, the scorching solos, yelped vocals and fuzzy melodies push ever onwards.

Detroit Love present the second release on their eponymous imprint – a collaborative venture from Planet E and !K7 which aims to capture the essence of Carl Craig’s beloved event series.

Following last year’s inaugural mix from Stacey Pullen, the second entry comes from none other than Carl Craig himself. Across a hazy, funk-driven voyage, he delves into the spirit of his hometown, championing the past and future of the motor city into an expertly curated mix.

With a blend of 90s gems and brand new exclusives, Carl’s track selections forge an atemporal vision of quintessential Detroit music. Opening up the mix are two rare, early 90s classics from Ectomorph and Rhythm Is Rhythm, neither of which have been reissued on vinyl for decades, followed swiftly by a 2015 collaboration from Carl Craig and Green Velvet, never before released on vinyl.

New material comes in the form of an exclusive C2 edit of DJ Minx, another exclusive from Claude Von Stroke, tracks from TV Lounge affiliates Ataxia and Mister Joshooa and unheard music from Matthew Dear under his new Brain alias, to name a few.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Detroit granddaddy, Lord Carl Craig offers up a snapshot of his local scene through a tasty CD mix, of which choice tracks are nicely licensed for vinyl use too! The material is desirably unexpected and fresh, avoiding too many past glories whilst still shining a spotlight on both past and present gems.

After the success of last year’s ‘Mixbone’ EP, DFA once again invite four dance music experimentalists to remix Eric Copeland. Where 2017’s ‘Goofballs’ was the first album recorded in its entirety in Eric’s current home of Palma de Mallorca, Spain and the result of countless hours spent working in the studio, last fall’s ‘Trogg Modal Vol. 1’ pushed his ‘Freakbeat 4/4’ agenda even further, with a sense of humour that bubbles over and out through the speakers. Rife with chunky percussive layers and tweaked loopy vocals, these frenzied, self-described ‘rippers’ are practically designed to be remixed.

Parris (Trilogy Tapes, Hemlock) and RAMZi (RVNG, 12th Isle) both take on the singsongy rhythms of ‘Heads’. Parris’ take pares down the track, giving it room to glisten and expand, while RAMZi’s paddles along in a characteristically murky, laid-back manner.
Lokier (Days Of Being Wild, Spirits) goes in for the jugular with an acidic rework of ‘321 Contact’, repurposing vocal samples as spooky EBM.
Closing out the record is Gerry Read (Aus, Accidental Jnr), who pits the heavy stomp of ‘Electric Mud’ against whizzing frequencies. Newfangled interpretations of tracks that were already out there to begin with.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Upfront crew of remix action tackles Eric Copeland's wild mind. Hard to pic a favourite, squiggly acid, sloppy digi-funk and smudges house are all flavour of the day...

For nearly a decade the story of Com Truise has relied on science fiction and abstract fact. Seth Haley’s singular style of melodic beat music subsists as hazy machinist nostalgia, a mainframe downloaded cosmology. Yet with each release, alongside sonic refinement, comes an increasingly visible vapor trail to Haley’s own ontology. His long-awaited 2017 LP "Iteration" brought to completion a conceptual space saga while also reflecting seismic life changes for the producer and designer. With this mini-LP "Persuasion System", Haley leaves the past narrative behind, settling into a new period marked by change - on this planet, in the present - putting forth his most grounded and visceral work to date.

The project began as an experiment. Haley switched digital audio workstations, rebuilt his palette of sounds, and tasked himself with simply trying it out. The exercise freed him of expectations and permitted a process that echoed the tones of more immediate external environments. A gravity had seeped in; resulting material shifts between bleakness and sublime suspense, awe at the expanse of existing, in looking back and letting go. 'It’s a sort of sad smile and a wave goodbye but at the same time hello, a 'welcome to your life’ moment,' Haley says. Take the storm pattern sequence from “Gaussian” to “Ultrafiche of You”: a queasy, contemplative vignette rests on a single soft-synth cloud before the latter’s percussion ripples across the sky. With trademark stutters and swells, the composition conjures the sensation of searching in the afterglow. 'It’s a love song, and I don’t write many of those.'

That duality: melancholy + optimism now permeates this widescreen collection. “Existence Schematic” takes flight at night, 'looking down at the landscape,' explains Haley, 'seeing the lights in a schematic sort of way, wondering who or what is looking back up at me wondering the same things I am, the impact of a single existence, the end, the beginning, where it’s gone and going.' These are observations from this existential "Persuasion System", and Haley hopes the music yields more, for others, that listeners may search for their own tension and release.


STAFF COMMENTS

Martin says: Wide-screen, technicoloured synthwork from old faves Com Truise who usher forth a new age of optimism-thru-technology.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited edition sky blue vinyl.

Strap on your seatbelt, stow your baggage and put up your tray table, we're about to take a trip. After the global domination of "Kime Ne" (aided in its world domination by that wild Villolobos mix), digger, DJ and producer Baris K and multi-instrumentalist Cem Yıldız reunite as Insanlar for a life altering 45 minute journy through Anatolian tonality, twisted electronics and esoteric techno.
Entering the trance-like psychic space unlocked via true mastery, Cem Yıldız riffs on a saz phrase for over 50 minutes (slightly redacted here), wordlessly guiding us through regret, melancholy, optimism, ecstasy and understanding, offering ego death on the dance floor or dining table. And Baris, fully interfaced with his modular, joined by home made robots and inventive drum modules, rides the lightening to conjure a cosmic techno groove which transcends basements, buildings and the bindings of our consciousness, breaking through to the other side. Flawless, fearless and free thinking head music, this is undoubtedly a future classic.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Baris K and Cem Yildiz are back as Insanlar, taking us on an epic journey through the psychedelic fringes of the dancefloor where lysergic techno chug meets Turkish instrumentation. Deep and heady, "Demedim Mi" is designed to change lives...

**Amazing James Ferraro / vapourwave-inspired hynogogic dream music!

A machine mirage. A hallucinogenic haze. Where Moogs mimic animal noise. Sine waves and tribal toms send jungle signals. A twilight chorus in a forest of sound. Its deep, deep, blue canopy lit by shooting stars. Third eye lightening. Wildlife roar, and temple gong drone. A bubbling skunk Funk swamp where New Age meets Nuova Neapolitan Fusion. Tubular vibrations give rise to flights of birds. Bongos back Belleville, Michigan, relics. Bottomless bass exudes womb-like warmth. Drums dance in Nyabinghi ceremony, while gurus question God`s plan, and your place in it. Discuss the search for freedom, through spirituality, and drugs. Conclude that 'Freedom without balance is destruction'. This Cosmic chatter intro-ing beatless calm. A float on primordial ooze with John C. Lilly. States altered. Trance taking hold. Time a mere construct. Snake charmer melodies sing and tempt, hypnotic like Kaa. Shimmy to percussive sambas. Percussion hits resonate. Metallic gamelan smashing through Digidub. Ancestors calling through echo. Fragments ping-ponging, colliding. Into an eternal infinite. A post-Singularity fourth world. A post-Human Eden. Mechanized. Paradise reborn.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: WTAF is this then?! You know I'm a sucker for a complete and concise sonic world but this bloody takes the biscuit! Beam me up Scotty I don't wanna come hoooommme! Essential musica for interplanetary beings!

If anyone from Florida tells you that something is "Bussin'", it means it's surprisingly good, in a delicious way. Orlando-born Devin Morrison's first solo album on NBN Records, "Bussin'" gives you an ill mix of flavors with eclectic inspirations rooted in 90's R&B, Gospel and Funk.

You get freshly-squeezed harmonies inspired by the likes of Take 6 & Commissioned on slow jams like "Bussin'", melodies that pierce like spears on "No" and drums that bite like gator jaws on the G-Funk infused banger "The Struggle Iz Real" featuring Daz Dillinger. Singer/songwriter/composer, Devin Morrison aims to show the world the sweet sound of Florida that it has yet to hear, and collaborates with the finest voices in the R&B industry such as Grammy Award nominees KING, super talented singer from L.A. Joyce Wrice on the classic R&Bduet "With You", or hot newcomers like Ace Hashimoto on the futuristic sounding "Guaranteed". The expectations are high for this Floridian creative, Devin Morrison is here to stay and he's about to let the whole world know about it.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Something for the kids in kangol, crop tops and low rise track pants as Devin Morrison harnesses the golden age of 90s RnB on double LP "Bussin". Think Dru Hill, D'Angelo, Jodeci and Montell Jordan.

It was never intended to get this far. Endless Boogie had been a band for six years when they were invited by Slint to play the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in the UK. Up to that point, they had been perfectly content existing only at their weekly Lower East Side rehearsals (and the occasional New York City show). At the time, Jesper Eklow and Mark Ohe worked at Matador Records, and word had begun to spread about the Art Departments band. They figured if they were leaving the country to play a show, they should have something to sell, so they pulled some recordings from their rehearsal tape archive, ran two small pressings, hand stamped some sleeves, and the Endless Boogie story officially began. The records (often referred to as "black" and "white") have long fetched high prices on the secondary market. They're back in print here and packaged together as a double CD / double LP set. Vinyl comes in an debossed gatefold jacket. CDs come packaged in a gatefold wallet. 

Guitar Wolf

Love & Jett

    Guitar Wolf! They are the keepers of all blasted, hard, spazzed out songs, building a whole life on the bedrock of hyperactive RNR exhilaration. This Japanese power-group has been stupefying audiences at home and on the road since the late ‘80s and fi nally are back to unveil their capital-L loud jams. Third Man is fortunate to be releasing their lucky 13th full-length album LOVE&JETT and to have a hand in supporting Guitar Wolf’s noisy and canonical rise to their rightful place in underground music’s highest hall of fame.

    LOVE&JETT is full of Guitar Wolf’s sweet, sweet love songs, all recorded in Japan. While each song’s words (apart from a handful of song titles, 1-2-3-4s plus a clever cover of Spencer Davis Group’s Gimme Some Lovin’) punch out in their native Japanese, the adoring English-speaking public will be granted an insert enclosed in each LP and CD with all lyrics translated to English. (That means NO excuses to not have a haphazard bilingual sing-along on their upcoming US tour.) The energy explodes on the scene with the title track’s opening 1-2 bass-snare piston-fi re and truly does not let up at any point on the full album. Seiji, Toru, and Gotz shine especially bright on Sex Jaguar, barely clocking in just over 2 minutes with chorus catchphrases and feline roars.

    Josephine Wiggs

    We Fall

      Alt-rock icon Josephine Wiggs is best known as bassist in The Breeders, rising to superstardom in the '90s and continuing to draw crowds and critical acclaim in the wake of their 2018 album All Nerve.

      But over the years, Wiggs has released several of her own albums, all of which delightfully defy genre. Her new solo record, We Fall, is both a departure and a distillation of an enduring personal aesthetic: moody and spare but also melodic, at once contemporary and nostalgic.

      Some influences are clear: We Fall is reminiscent of the experimentalism of Brian Eno’s Another Green World and recalls the delicate, languid minimalism of Harold Budd. The album’s classical inflections, sharpened by a dialog with electronic elements, evoke Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is an album of juxtapositions: minimalist at moments, richly layered in others; ambient while also sharply focused; melancholy yet resolute.

      There's something both dreamy and scientific about We Fall. Wiggs, an enthusiastic amateur mycologist, has an impressive collection of mushrooms she’s photographed in her travels. We Fall could be the soundtrack to what can’t be captured in a single photo—the growth and decay of miraculous creatures that a less astute and sensitive eye might overlook entirely.

      Composed, performed and recorded by Wiggs, with drums and electronics by her longtime friend and collaborator Jon Mattock (Spacemen 3, Spirit , We Fall is a lyrical, bucolic album with an undercurrent of disquiet. Think of a wintertime walk in the woods as dusk falls too soon. True to the classic album form, the 10 almost entirely instrumental tracks on We Fall form a compelling whole: a crystalline meditation on paths not taken and words unspoken, an elegy for moments lost and last embraces. 


      Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO

      Hallelujah Mystic Garden Part 2

        Hallelujah Mystic Garden Part 2 contains a new deep-pocket groove disco version of fan favorite Pink Lady Lemonade. Side 2 is a slick kosmiche-electro-disco number that unfurls over a period of 20 minutes and is periodically punctuated by Makoto Kawabata's unruly soloing. 

        Cotton Casino : voice, astral mama Kawabata Makoto : guitar, fretless bass, bouzouki, organ, rhythm machine, electronics, tapes, speed guru Higashi Hiroshi : synthesizer, noodle king Mitsuko☆Tabata : guitar, guitar-synthesizer, voice, kisses & hugs Satoshima Nani : drums, another dimension S/T "Wolf" : bass, tapes, space & time Recorded at Acid Mothers Temple, Jun. 2016 - Mar. 2017 produced and mixed by Kawabata Makoto 

        AJJ

        Live At Third Man Records

          AJJ (fka Andrew Jackson Jihad) is one of the staple groups of American folk-punk in the 21st century. Singer/guitarist Sean Bonnette and bassist Ben Gallaty, with a slew of other artists changing record-to-record, command a strong cult-like fandom that nearly ensure fist-clenched singalongs at every live show, and this, now their third live document of their moving and affective show, was a damn great encapsulation.

          Alex Lahey

          The Best Of Luck Club

            On her sophomore LP, The Best of Luck Club, 26-year-old Melbourne, Australia native Alex Lahey navigates the pangs of generational ennui with the pint half-full and a spot cleared on the bar stool next to her. Self-doubt, burn out, break-ups, mental health, moving in with her girlfriend, vibrators: The Best of Luck Club showcases the universal language of Lahey’s sharp songwriting, her propensity for taking the minute details of the personal and flipping it public through anthemic pop-punk. Lahey’s 2017 debut I Love You Like a Brother encases Lahey’s knack for writing a killer hook and her acute sense of humor delivered via a slacker-rock package and, in a way, The Best of Luck Club picks up where that record left off.

            Lahey co-produced the album alongside acclaimed engineer and producer Catherine Marks (Local Natives, Wolf Alice, Manchester Orchestra), and dives headfirst into a broader spectrum of both emotion and sound through polished, arena pop-punk in the vein of Paramore with the introspective sheen of Alvvays or Tegan & Sara. Here, Lahey documents the highest highs and the lowest lows of her life to date. After a whirlwind of global touring in support of breakout debut I Love You Like a Brother, Lahey wrote the bulk of her follow-up in Nashville during 12-hour days of songwriting. There, she found the inspiration for The Best of Luck Clubís concept: the dive bar scene and its genuine energy.”Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you - who has no idea who you are - and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, "Best of luck", so The Best Of Luck Club is that place.

            Hey Colossus

            Four Bibles

              Coming out of London and the South West of England, Hey Colossus are one of Europe's great live bands. Since 2003 the 6-piece has been driving around the continent with their “pirate ship” backline of broken amps and triple-guitar drang, elevating audiences in every type of venue imaginable; a doctor’s waiting room in Salford, an industrial unit in Liege and a vast field next to a river in Portugal. Wherever they may roam.Four Bibles is their twelfth studio album and the first to be released by London label ALTER, whose sole proprietor (the electronic producer Helm) encountered the group at their first gig in 2003.

              Recorded by Ben Turner at Space Wolf Studios in Somerset, it's their most direct album yet and follows a well-documented trajectory of evolution that began (in the truest sense) with 2011’s RRR for Riot Season and continued across three albums for Rocket Recordings. Lead vocalist Paul Sykes sounds more in focus than before, dialling down the effects and using reverb / delay to carry his lyrics rather than smother. The band has also fine-tuned to leave some room for extra depth. Piano, electronics and violin (by Daniel O'Sullivan of This is not This Heat / Grumbling Fur) all find a way in amongst a familiar mesh of interlacing guitars, wrapped round a taut rhythm section. Like every other Hey Colossus record before, the line-up has altered and the sounds reflect this. From the weight of “Memory Gore”, to the subtlety and swag of “It's a Low”, via the sonic extremes of “Palm Hex/Arndale Chins” this is exactly as the band are live; raging & rail-roading but somehow in control.

              Grooves for those who want to dance or for those who want to hug a wall and nod...bleak dystopian imagery submerged in relentless rhythms and low-end rattle. The songs breath life and soul - Hey Colossus have never sounded fresher or more on point.There is a book release to coincide with the album written by bass player (and founding member) Joe Thompson. It's part of a new series called “Sleevenotes” by Pomona Publishing and the first four are out this year. Joe’s book sits alongside other contributions by Bob Stanley (St Etienne), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees/Solo), David Gedge (The Wedding Present) and contains a diary of the years leading up to the release of this record. Touring with bands Sumac and Grey Hairs through Europe, recording the album, line-up changes, the band's history and the big question is answered: Why? 

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP Info: Black vinyl.

              Shitkid

              Detention

                ShitKid, the project of Swedish artist Åsa Söderqvist, is back with its second album [DETENTION], via PNKSLM Recordings (Les Big Byrd, Miss World, Sudakistan etc).

                Moving on from her lo-fi pop beginnings [DETENTION] finds Söderqvist and bassist Lina Ericsson recording in a studio for the first time, offering up a fully fleshed full band sound veering into pop-punk and alternative rock territory. After spending 2018 touring behind her This Is It EP, mixing headline shows and support tours with the likes of the Melvins and US Girls, ShitKid is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most exciting young acts.

                Siskiyou

                Not Somewhere

                  Siskiyou returns from a four-year hiatus with Not Somewhere, which finds band leader Colin Huebert (ex-Great Lake Swimmers) essentially in solo mode, writing and self-recording this new collection on his own, playing just about everything himself. Not Somewhere harkens back to Siskiyou's magical, understated 2010 debut in this and other ways: the album's production rekindles a homespun intimacy, where plain-spoken lyrics grapple with portraits of quiet quotidian despair, fragile existential horizon lines separating perseverance and defeatism, honest and unremarkable lives trapped in cultures of false consciousness, impossible desire, self-analysis and self-medication.

                  Huebert was commissioned by NYC artist/designer Stefan Sagmeister to write the theme song for The Happy Film, a movie accompaniment to "The Happy Show" installation art project - ruminations on happiness that strongly echo Huebert's own tone and sensibility. Sagmeister wanted the unadorned aesthetic of early , leading Huebert to often write and record songs in the same day. The result is a beautifully restrained and direct song cycle of tunes anchored by acoustic guitar and brushed drumming, detailed with delicate textures, spartan melodic overdubs, and Huebert's distinctively forthright, whisperingly confidential vocal delivery.

                  Not Somewhere is delicate, discreet, and wonderfully assured - a humble, wistfully observational and meditatively personal return for Siskiyou. Huebert self-recorded and played almost everything himself, with contributions from guest musicians including cellist and labelmate Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Esmerine) and Destroyer regulars Joseph Shabason and JP Carter on horns and woodwinds. The result is a beautifully restrained and unvarnished song cycle of tunes anchored by acoustic guitar and brushed drumming, detailed with delicate textures,spartan melodic overdubs, and Huebert’s distinctively forthright, whisperingly confidential vocal delivery. From the austere Velvets-chug of “What Ifs” to the Elephant 6-inspired looseness of “Her Aim IsTall” and “Stop Trying (jubilant reprise)” and the sparkling hush of atmospheric twilight folkinflected pieces like “Temporary Weakness” and “Silhouette”, Not Somewhere is delicate and discreet yet wonderfully assured – a profoundly humble, wistfully observational and meditatively personal return for Huebert’s Siskiyou project. 

                  Jackie Charles (the love-child, band and alter ego of Kaja Bremnes) are releasing their debut album Future Fantasies on April 19th 2019. Dividingtheir time between the rooftop bars of Berlin and a Norwegian fishing boat, the record was recorded in Hannover and mixed / mastered at Oslo’s Propeller Studios.

                  The band’s songwriting combines the 1980s goth angst of The Cure with the nihilism of Ariel Pink with the heartbreaking vulnerability of Alvvays. A washed out, hallucinogenic quality permeates the album, with brutally honest lyrics concealed beneath sugary sweet melodies. This is a Summer soundtrack for those with more nihilistic tendencies.

                  Themes of escapism are explored, for example on ‘Time Travel’, with the band telling us “reality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and sometimes living in the past is better than being in the present. Haven’t you ever wanted to travel back to a time when things were less complicated and you felt safe?”whilst title track ‘Future Fantasies’ is more grounded, demanding a reality check for the culture of “thinking positive, dreaming big… If you can dream it, then you can do it. Who cares if society is failing and the sea levels are rising? *whispers* -you’re special-”


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: A beautifully dynamic and exciting mix of crescentic stadium rock, progressive synth and more introspective, quiet indie singer-songwritery. Bremnes' voice is the pivotal point here however, acrobatically swinging between Kate Bush-esque falsetto and quiet, sultry drawl. Lovely stuff.

                  Various Artists

                  Lux And Ivy's Good For Nothin' Tunes: The Wild, The Weird And The Wang Dang Doodlin'

                    A double CD featuring 50 classic slices of madcap vinyl as enthused over by The Cramps’ Lux and Ivy.

                    Featuring super rare sides, howling rockabilly, juvenile delinquent anthems, a host of dance trends, plenty of haunting weirdness and lots of hi-octane rock ‘n’ roll.

                    Including Eartha Kitt, Ernie K Doe, Ronnie Dawson, Bobby Bare, Scott Engel (later of The Walker Brothers), Ken Nordine and Charlie Feathers.

                    Plus beatnik blues and the crazed excess of Portuguese Joe, Myron Lee And The Caddies, The Poets, Charles Senn and Mike Page’s ‘Long Black Shiny Car’.

                    Along with the awesome ‘Wombat Twist’ by Glenn And Christy and Harvey Hurt’s stupendous ‘Big Dog Little Dog’ – it’s hit after hit.

                    Remastered from the original sound sources with sleevenotes by MOJO magazine’s Dave Henderson.

                    Welcome to the Future Disco. A technicolour space where you let your senses run free and immerse yourself in a nocturnal journey of musical discovery. Every collection is inspired by the past, but perfectly curated for tomorrow's dance-floor - this is disco’s future.

                    It’s been ten years since Future Disco arrived with the seminal first edition "A Guide To 21st Century Disco". Since then they have gone on to release over 20 albums and countless worldwide parties and radio shows. So to celebrate ten years in the Disco forefront Future Disco have provided a new artistic direction alongside a brand new album in the series.

                    While the outside may have changed the inside is exactly the same. An eclectic selection recapitulating the sound of today and tomorrow, with firm nod to the past. Future Disco has always managed to weave that line of interesting and party starting and on this album, it’s no different. Disco has always been about uniting the dance-floor and Future Disco embody this spirit with a cross selection of sounds and artists.

                    They find plenty of future rising stars with New Zealand’s Flamingo Pier and Paris’s Yuksek all comfortably sitting alongside more established names such as Jamie Jones, who reworks the legendary Teddy Pendergrass, Metro Area’s Darshan Jesrani and the original destroyer of rock and roll, Mylo.

                    There’s plenty of exclusives on this album. One exclusive coming from superstar dance producer Mylo, one from cult hero Kiwi and a Future Disco edit from head compiler Sean Brosnan. It also sees a number of tracks being pressed to vinyl for the very first time including the aforementioned Jamie Jones remix of Teddy Pendergrass, Galaxians, The Funk Hunters and Bertrand Burgalat.

                    The entire mixed album has as always been edited and mixed for dancing pleasure. For the first time the album will be available as a heavyweight limited vinyl edition, with 300x limited edition pressed to pearl white.


                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2xColoured LP Info: Pearl coloured vinyl.

                    Now for a trip into an impossible land, generated on a hacked copy of Populous, wrought out of melting circuitry and bootlegged YMO LPs, projected on early green screen and filled with failed CGI from the Waterworld era. Panagiotis Melidis and Stathis Kalatzis are Territroy, the newest member of the Dekmantel family, and the creative insanity behind the newest UFO release, "Skulls & Plants". Now, I don't recall taking a massive dose of 4-AcO this morning with my cornflakes, but that may well have happened, as this is one trippy listen. At various points EBM, tropical house, machine voodoo and shamanic breaks are twisted, warped and frazzled, all achieving the demented sound signature of this lunatic Grecian duo. Rhythms collapse, stutter skip and slur, crispy distortion coats otherwise healthy melodies and oddly exotic idents flutter across the landscape, though you could never be certain they were there. Highly psychoactive electronics and primal rhythms for fans of Helena Hauff, Detlef, Lena Willikens and the Silk Road.


                    Various Artists

                    Greg Belson’s Divine Disco Volume Two: Obscure Gospel Disco (1979-1987)

                      Although gospel and disco music seem like polar opposites—one is secular while the other has embraced a hedonistic culture—the marriage of the two genres has birthed the uplifting spirituality and dance floor thump found in gospel disco. By the mid-'70s many established and independent gospel artists started creating records with a tight four-on-the-floor beat that touched both churchgoers as well as patrons of the drug-fueled establishments of the '70s. Cultures of Soul Records is proud to present the second installment of Greg Belson's Divine Disco. Belson is one of the world's leading authorities on the funky gospel sound; for this collection he dug deep into his crates to undercover the rarest independent and private press gospel disco records ever recorded. Greg Belson's Divine Disco sound is one that's been heard around the world from his DJ appearances at Glastonbury's NYC Donwlow stage to LA's Funky Sole to soul nights across Europe. Many tracks are under the radar or recently discovered such as Harrison Jones - On that Other Shore, Converters, I've Been Converted and the super limited self-released 45 by Mr Jesse R. McGuire – Jesus Is On the Mainline. Only 50 copies were ever pressed. This volume even includes gospel disco from the UK with Paradise's brilliant "Keep the Fire." This compilation also includes remixes and edits by Steve Cobby (who was a member of Fila Brazillia) and the Divine Situation production duo of Greg Belson and Paulo Fulci. 

                      "Hi, Mac Here. First off, thank you for listening to my new record. This one is my cowboy record. Cowboy is a term of endearment to me, I use it often when referring to people in my life. The rusty old grinning pin on the front and back covers of the record was purchased from a man in the mountains somewhere in the Nantahala National Forest between Chattanooga, TN and Asheville, NC.

                      Where I grew up there are many people that sincerely wear cowboy hats and do cowboy activities, these aren’t the people I’m referring to. Before realizing that your surroundings don’t necessarily define who you are, I felt very uncomfortable in the company of that culture. This record was recorded in my garage during the first two weeks of January 2019. I played all the instruments, except for a little bit of keyboard here and there, which was played by my touring keyboard player, and friend for most o me life now, Alec Meen. My travelling sound man Yakitori Santar helped me track it and put it together as well. It was raining a lot in Los Angeles while we were recording, you can hear it tapping on the windows of the garage here and there if you listen closely."

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Classic Mac this, snappy CR-78, lo-fi chord swells and Demarco's unmistakeable vocals. Add these classic sounds to the more esoteric offerings (the simmering funk of 'Choo Choo' or the minimalist lolloping groove of 'Nobody' for example) and you have the most rounded and satisfying offering yet.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive green/black mix coloured vinyl, with reverse artwork, gatefold sleeve, 4 page 12" insert, sticker.

                      LP Info: Black vinyl, gatefold sleeve, 4 page 12” insert, Sticker.

                      New album from the Malmo-based trio of Marleen Nilsson, Anders Hansson and Magners Bodin.

                      Following the critically-acclaimed ‘To Where The Wild Things Are’ from 2015 and their haunting collection of soundtracks in between.

                      “Lush and enveloping, reminiscent of Curt Boettcher and Margo Guryan.” The Wire. 

                      “Fantastically eerie.” Clash.


                      Exposing the trio’s love of all things retro with a nod to everything from Fun Boy Three to Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Contonou, while still roaming somewhere between an ambient Eno and Cocteau Twins at a late-night soiree. A unique, individual sound: Longer, more plush and pampered; more hypnotic and haunting, mixing mellotron and affected guitar with a refined rhythm. Electronic melancholy at its most evocative, riddled with super-memorable motifs and melodies that nestle in reflective echo.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Death and Vanilla have eschewed their classic sound slightly for a more open and airy offering, channelling the vibes of 70's soundtracks, hazy psychedelia and tie-dyed synthplay as well as their more direct offerings mixed in for good measure. Definitely the soundtrack to the summer. Stunning stuff.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Standard Edition, Reverse board sleeve, Crystal Clear vinyl.

                      Indies Exclusive LP Info: Ltd Edition – Grey textured board sleeve, Transparent Pink Vinyl.

                      Wheeltappers and Shunters was recorded in 2018 in founding band member Hartley's Liverpool studio, before they brought in Dilip Harris (King Krule, Sons Of Kemet, Mount Kimbie) to mix it. “We thought it felt right to make a fun, dancefloor album in these dark and conservative times,” Blackburn continues. Fun, sure, but this is Clinic – their brand of fun oozes with menace.

                      The Great Britain that Clinic are evoking is not that ancient, bucolic past of village green cricket, half a mild and hanky-waving Morris Dancers that many seem so determined that the country should return to, but a rather more sleazy past. Clinic’s reverie is for a time when Blackpool was the pleasure capital of the kingdom and the public was kept entertained by travelling circuses and the dirty glamour of the funfair; tacky end of the pier merriment and enforced fun at Butlins; when bell-ringing town criers bellowed their nonsensical broadsides into the ether.

                      For most bands about to enter their third decade as an entity the well would be running dry, but eight albums in and Clinic still retain the ability to surprise. Clocking in at just over 28 minutes, Wheeltappers and Shunters is an absolute blast, rich in detail and sonic intrigue, those precious minutes stuffed with ideas. “We’d released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break,” Blackburn reveals. “It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom.”

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Comfortingly warm and brilliantly varied, 'Wheeltappers and Shunters' perfectly treads the line between jagged, unpredictable psychedelia and smoothly redolent rock music, with enough of an edge to remain interesting and the perfect amount of sweetness to keep the listener fully on-board. Lovely.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive opaque red heavyweight vinyl.

                      ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ is a career-defining, ambitious album that sees the bedroom producer step out of the bedroom with his most collaborative project to date, including work with classical ensemble The Echo Collective, percussionists and guest vocalists from across the world.

                      These stunning, immersive and impressionistic songs, scored and produced by Maps himself, are inspired by an orchestral approach and by the rolling Northamptonshire countryside beyond the window of his studio, which provides peace, isolation and inspiration.

                      “I wanted to push everything to the limit with this record, and explore new territory for Maps. The orchestral instrumentation and addition of other musicians and singers played a huge part in finding the purer and more human emotion I was searching for. I learnt the violin as I was growing up, so I’m glad it finally came in useful!” (Maps)

                      Three years in the making, ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ is informed by the richness of life experience. It is an album he could only have made now and one that represents a creative reinvention for Maps.


                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Chapman has created his opus here, swinging from soaring anthemic rock to brittle shoegazing ambience in the blink of an eye, but bolseted throughout with a firm emphasis on driven percussion and shimmering synths to keep things moving forward in spectacular fashion. A shining and spine-tingling collection, an absolute career high.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: White vinyl.

                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      It’s been eight years since Bondy last released a record, and his distaste for the present day has intensified. But rather than avoid popular sounds, on Enderness he gathers and subverts modern tools to construct his indictment of the modern world. With an arsenal of synthesizers, drum machine, sparse electric guitar, and a skeptic’s pen, he builds a plodding dystopian story of living death stoked by internet anti-reality, big pharma conspiracy, and environmental apocalypse—aka 2019.

                      It’s existential dread as mid-tempo cradlesong, the music of our worst sleepless nights. “Stranger if you come/Know that much is broken/I forget the way/Surrender is spoken,” he sings on album standout “Images of Love,” bass pulses driving the caustic groove. On “Diamond Skull,” Bondy strings tragic and worrying subjects of popular obsession into a stream-of-consciousness phantasmagoria over a simple guitar riff, like Nick Cave on “Higgs Boson Blues.” Observations about white nationalism, spiritual charlatans, and hollow celebrity worship spill into internet speak: “OMG sea to sea/L-M-F-A-O,” he sings with a knowing wink. Like so many who simultaneously bemoan and fuel the simulation—tweets and grams as a form of self-flagellation—Bondy is both in on and imprisoned by the joke.




                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: A.A. Bondy have mastered the art of slow and simmeringly beautiful melodies. Warming saturated melodies and slowly unfurling progressive synthplay form a percussive but unhurried base to Bondy's haunting vocal drawl. Lovely stuff.

                      Craig Leon revisits the extraterrestrial origins of civilization on "Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 2: The Canon", a continuing chronicle of his early 80s albums "Nommos" and "Visiting". Exploring the cosmic lore of Leon’s earlier work, "The Canon" expands upon the conceptual cycle based on the alien and mathematical relationships that backbone the creation of art, architecture, science, and music.
                      In 1981, producer and composer Craig Leon, known in the downtown New York zeitgeist for his production on The Ramones and Suicide’s debut albums, released "Nommos", a minimal, primitive electronic exploration based on a speculative, wildly imaginative anthropology.
                      After viewing an exhibition of Dogon art at the Brooklyn Museum in 1973, Leon remained fascinated by the Mali tribe’s creation myth that the Earth was visited in ancient times by the "Nommos", a semi-amphibious alien race who travelled from the white dwarf Sirius B to impart their wisdom to mankind. "Nommos", curiously released on John Fahey’s Takoma Records, manifested Leon’s obsession and investigation: an abstract, ascendent collection of music that could have soundtracked the interstellar visitors’ journey to Earth. Shimmering, mechanical, and anchored by an entrancing pulse of the Dogon’s ceremonial music, "Nommos" and its sequel, the privately pressed 1982 album "Visiting", careened into obscurity. In the intervening years, while Leon pursued his career as a successful producer, cult interest in the albums grew, culminating in the "Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1.", the 2014 archival collection which presented "Nommos" and "Visiting" as they were intended to be heard, two sides of the same coin.
                      "The Canon" picks up where Nommos and Visiting left off, tracing the path of ancient wisdom imparted by the Dogon’s alien visitors spreading from Mali into Egypt and across the water to Greece as imagined in William Stirling’s "The Canon," an anonymous exposition of cosmic law published in a nearly invisible print edition in 1897. Though the music – propulsive and spacious – is clearly of a part with "Nommos" and "Visiting", the alien sounds of the Nommos become more familiar to western ears and musical vocabulary as the album narrative thrusts forward. "The Canon" implies – through ecstatic, contemporary sound and synthesis – that the origins of Western thought, and civilization itself, lie in the great beyond.
                      Nearly four decades since their first collaboration on "Nommos" and "Visiting", Leon is once again joined by his partner Cassell Webb on vocals and album production. Leon composed, and both he and Cassell performed, and produced all of the music of "The Canon", consciously engaging many of the same synthesizers and programs of Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 for Vol. 2.


                      Birdsong and bright mornings announce the arrival of spring, and Growing Bin celebrate the season of rebirth with the return of a hardy perennial. In the three years since he introduced the world to his "Baltic Beat", Bartos Kruczynski has traded dub techno, Berlin electronics and jazzy Balearic on a string of highly regarded labels. Now the Polish musician is back in the Growing Bin, ready to take us on another audio adventure through the meadows and forests of his native land.

                      Vivid LP opener ‘Pastoral Sequences’ leads us down the garden path, around the lakeside and across the train tracks, striking a cinematic tone as gentle piano and subdued synth tones drift around natural field recordings. Dip a toe in the stream and feel the breeze between your fingers as you stroll towards the Balearic brilliance of ‘In the Garden’, a carefree cooler built on a subtle bossa rhythm, serene chords and chiming mallets. Bartosz reprises the aquatic grandeur of his first Baltic Beat on the immersive ‘Petals’, a selected ambient work where Tangerine pads underpin interlocking electronics and stately keys. Guitars ring out, Reich’s mallets ripple and well tempered piano drift over a thick sequence as ‘Voices’ propels us to the halfway point with soft power.

                      The B-side opens with the delicate hypnotism of ‘If You Go Down In The Woods Today’, a modern minimalist masterpiece alive with circular mallets and sultry woodwind, before ‘The Orchard’ paints an impressionistic vignette from the same palette. Shifting focus but not feeling Kruczynski takes us home ‘Along The Sun Drenched Road’ in two stages; the first a gorgeous combination of the acoustic and electronic where hints of dub techno sit beneath languid piano notes, the second an eastern tinged reprise of the album’s opening and a welcome return home before the storm breaks.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Patrick says: Bartosz is back in the Bin, taking a break from his ace techno tackle to deliver an evocative and immersive set of sundappled sketches for Hamburg's finest label. Drawing influence from Reich & Glass, Froese & Schulze and a wealth of natural beauties, Kruczynski covers his canvas with bright Balearic brilliance.

                      Mercury award winner James Blake releases his 4th studio album Assume Form. The album features collaborations with Travis Scott, André 3000, Metro Boomin, Moses Sumney and Rosalía (BBC sound poll 2019). In the past 2-3 years James has been very busy collaborating with Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Oneohtrix Point Never, Mount Kimbie and contributing to the Black Panther soundtrack. As unrestricted by genre as it is always underpinned by classic, emotionally-open songwriting, James Blake’s new album is arguably his most direct, eclectic and pure artistic statement to date. Assume Form also follows a rich period of creative and personal evolution for James, who has spoken candidly about his experiences of mental health, modern-day masculinity, and finding peace. Even the album artwork would appear to represent a fundamental shift for Blake, no longer distorted by illustration, landscape or design, but staring right at you – and into the future.

                      James Blake’s is an influence that can be felt throughout the modern musical landscape, often hiding in plain sight; allowing the man himself – as his fourth album suggests – to always evolve. To never settle. To Assume Form.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Calling on a wealth of talent, James Blake continues his domination of the post-dubstep sound, with clicking trap-lite percussion, soaring synth echoes and a who's who of today's electronic music guests. Tackling sensitive issues with delicacy and grace, Blake is a singular talent, and continues to show his capabilities.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xColoured LP Info: Limited edition green coloured LP set. Includes additional track, "Mullholland".

                      2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      “Once we really leaned into the space that being a three-piece afforded us, our writing started to make better sense and connect,” explains guitarist-keyboardist-vocalist Natalie Hoffmann. “It made for a more interesting record than if we stayed comfortable and safe in the way we were writing.”

                      “More interesting” is a classic hard undersell. When Alexandra Eastburn left nots in 2018, the threat of losing the gnarled texture or her hammering synth progressions resulted in some real growing pains for the band. But once the newly anointed threesome arrived at Bunker Audio in Memphis to record with trusted engineer and friend Andrew McCalla, each member had embraced nots fresh identity.

                      Rather than abandon the noisy synth attack, Hoffmann instead decided to add another role to her expanding sonic arsenal, painting the backgrounds of tracks like “Floating Hand” and “Half-Painted House” with melting buzzes and swirling waves that sound menacing and ominous at one turn and hypnotic and seductive at another. After the record began to take form, it felt much more accurate to understand 3 as a different force altogether from its Goner predecessors, Cosmetic (2016) and We Are Nots (2014).

                      Themes of lost control and societal division are spread throughout 3. They can be heard not only via Hoffmann’s reverb-drenched drawl, but also in the sneaky tightness between drummer Charlotte Watson and bassist Meredith Lones that occasionally (and quickly) devolves into a beautiful, reckless cacophony before shoring back up again (see opener “Low” as excellent proof).

                      Elsewhere, on cuts like “Persona” and “Rational Actor,” nots explore the loss of reality in performance and just how exhausting it can be to navigate the blurry line between playing an actor and playing human. It’s all pretty heady stuff, no doubt, but because nots tracked and recorded 3 live—as has been their way with all of their albums—they were also able to infuse it with what Hoffman describes as “an intensity and improvisational energy.”

                      So to what does that ultimately amount? A dark, unpredictable, raucous, liberating, and bold tour de force of a third record from the Memphis three—along with a strong impression that the best still yet to come.


                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Opaque yellow 180 gram vinyl with download card.

                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      USA Nails

                      Life Cinema

                        Dipped In Gold are proud to announce the new album from everyone’s favourite noisniks the mighty USA Nails.. Having spent their formative years being the most unpopular members of bands that some people liked including - Kong, Silent Front, Death Pedals, Future of the Left and Dead Arms they are now on their 4th album.

                        "Life Cinema" was tracked live at Bear Bites Horse in London and with the help of producer Wayne Adams, they have created a record that is raw and gritty, while still being rich with both melodic and lyrical hooks, full of absolute bangers. They rave about pointless jobs, wannabe artists, social anxiety, offices that have fridges with beer in them and Epsom.

                        USA Nails may or may not appeal to fans of Wire, The Fall, Devo, Pissed Jeans, and early Sonic Youth. Huzzah!

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Laura says: Taking the less positive aspects of modern life as subject matter and balancing that with a driving, relentless energy, USA Nails have created a glorious racket. Channelling early Sonic Youth noise with the angular, arty-ness of Wire, they've found the perfect balance of ferocious noise and intricate melody to create an album that sits nicely alongside the likes of No-age, Protomartyr and The Idles.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Deluxe LP Info: This deluxe version comes with a rather cool "Dipped In Gold" metal badge. We've only got a handful so get in there quick!

                        Charly Bliss

                        Young Enough

                          Charly Bliss have evolved from the bunch of scrappy upstarts behind their brash punk debut Guppy, to the confident, assured artists who have produced the comparatively dynamic and unapologetically pop Young Enough. But, for lead singer Eva Hendricks, the path of this evolution was fraught, as her lyrics inspired by a past abusive relationship show. Songwriting became a source of respite, and, eventually, redemption. “You go through experiences of loss or extreme pain and you just keep moving,” Eva says. “You look around and go, how has the world not stopped? But it is also powerful. It’s like, I’m still here, I’m not a person who is ruled by pain, I still like who I am.”

                          “Chat Room” and “Young Enough” are new sonic lynchpins, as is the soaring, mini epic, “Fighting In the Dark.” The delicate synth confessional “Hurt Me” also felt, as Eva puts it, “like something we hadn’t explored yet.” The entire record sounds like a new realm, from the deceptively easeful confessional “Capacity” to the propulsive, more classic pop of “Hard To Believe.” In the end, Young Enough feels joyful and celebratory, but also infused with a new sense of depth and maturity. “I want people to feel strong when they listen to this record,” says Eva. “Like you’re working through some shit but you feel really strong and beautiful, even if you’re in a lot of pain. That’s what I want people to feel. The opposite of broken.”


                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Translucent blue vinyl, comes with a SIGNED poster.

                          The Mystery Lights

                          Too Much Tension!

                            The Mystery Lights's sophomore album on Daptone's rock subsidiary, Wick Records, finds the group digging deeper into their well of eclectic influences, enriching their sound without echoing the past.

                            It mixes the energy and swagger of punk’s golden age, the pop sensibility of The Kinks, and the stark, deliberate execution of Television and the eerie, insistent synth sounds of groups like The Normal and Suicide.

                            The Mystery Lights are taking their idiosyncratic brand of rock and roll to dizzying new heights.

                            The Mystery Lights story begins in 2004 in the small town of Salinas California when friends Michael Brandon and Luis Alfonso -whose shared fondness for groups like The Mc5, Velvet Underground, Dead Moon, and The Fall (just to name a few) -decided to join forces and craft their own brand of unhinged rock and roll. From there they spent the better part of 10 years touring relentlessly before migrating to Queens, New York in 2014.

                            With a live show known for its raw, visceral energy and relentless assault –leaving little to no stoppage between songs –they barreled through countless NYC haunts and DIY venues, quickly amassing a fervent local following. The buzz soon caught the attention of Daptone Records execs who were in the beginning stages of launching a new rock-centric imprint, Wick Records. Impressed by the groups’ musicianship, groove, endless supply of energy, and understanding of musical history the Mystery Lights were quickly signed to Wick. Though a rock band at heart, the parallels to what Daptone Records had traditionally looked for in their Soul artists was undeniable. Soon sessions were booked with Producer/Engineer Wayne Gordon, and the release of their debut single “Too Many Girls” b/w “Too Tough to Bear” launched to mass critical fanfare.


                            Steve Moore

                            Beloved Exile

                              Beloved Exile is the new studio full-length by Steve Moore, his first non-soundtrack album in over five years, and his first for Temporary Residence Ltd. A prevalent figure of the modern synth era, Moore cofounded the influential synth-prog duo, Zombi, and has scored more than a dozen feature films and TV shows, including The Guest, Crunch Time, and Mayhem. Composed and produced by Steve Moore in his home studio in upstate New York, Beloved Exile is a collaboration with internationally-renowned Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, visionary harpist Mary Lattimore, and veteran percussionist Jeff Gretz. Drawing influences from vintage ambient synth libraries, New Age/spiritual music, and menacing horror film canon, Beloved Exile proves to be simultaneously exquisite and deceptively unsettling. It is appropriate, then, that a literary treasure like John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats), would provide the song and album titles – his masterful mind most fitting to put moniker to this mercurial triumph. 

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition Crystal Clear w/ Pink Streaks colored vinyl

                              Doomsquad

                              Let Yourself Be Seen

                                Even this far into the 21st century, the recent social media furore surrounding US congresswoman and free-style dancer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez illustrated that the spectacle of someone dancing without compunction can still ruffle the right (and alt-right) feathers. In which case, all hail the third album from Toronto’s ardent, art-dance sibling trio Doomsquad. Let Yourself Be Seen is the most assertive, ambitious, groove-sodden declaration of intent yet from Trevor, Jaclyn and Allie Blumas: the sound of dancefloor believers and thinkers firing on all personal and political fronts, at a time when we need it most.

                                Even if Doomsquad never lacked the courage of their convictions, Let Yourself Be Seen ups the stakes. On 2016’s Total Time, the trio issued invitations to free your mind, body and spirit over dirty bass-lines and hypnotic disco jams. And yet, their reliance on unspoken sibling intuition left them fearing that much of its “message and meaning” had gone unheard. Thus, the trio took a more forthright approach for their third album, aiming to “crystallise what Doomsquad is and what it means to us. What we always knew but put at the forefront of this record is that Doomsquad is a project of protest, catharsis and emotional and spiritual reconnection through music and, especially, through dance-music culture. It’s about activating the body on the most fundamental level, into states of change, release and reunion.”

                                Richly steeped in the influences of acid house, West African disco, spiritual jazz, NYC no-wave and new-age ambient music, Let Yourself Be Seen hums with a sense of vigorous, invigorating purpose. After the overture of ‘Spandrel’, ‘The General Hum’ sends out a buoyant new-wave rallying cry for maximised engagement just when the world seems intent on stifling it. “Is there a place for spirit anymore?” it asks. Kicking in with a percussive bustle that all but defies you to try and stand still, ‘Aimless’ answers in the affirmative.

                                Elsewhere on the album, Doomsquad’s own dynamic thematic engagement alights on subjects ranging from formative influences to modern societal struggles and eco-crises. ‘Let It Go’ grapples with the challenges of social change at 140BPM, climaxing with a scalding guitar solo to match the heat of its questioning thrust. The mellifluous ‘Emma’ reflects on early-20th-century anarchist and activist Emma Goldman; ‘Dorian’s Closet’, meanwhile, honours New York drag queen Dorian Corey. “Let Yourself Be Seen was fuelled by the inspiration of outsider artists and thinkers before us,” say the band. “Through these songs, we get to glorify some of our heroes.”

                                Doomsquad's intent to carry their heroes’ “messages of empowerment, release and spiritual self-determination” to new audiences peaks on the title-track, where the album’s disparate parts build to a disco inferno with a call to “Let yourself be seen!” ‘The Last Two Palm Trees in LA’ offers an empathetic take on a similar theme, based on the acceptance of ageing, before ‘Weather Patterns’ steers a reflection on unity in the face of global crisis to a buffeting crescendo with a thrilling urgency.

                                The result is an album for fraught political times, charged by the impetus to bring “music back to the body”. Close-to-home influences on that score include Tanya Tagaq and Peaches, both of whom Doomsquad have toured with; further afield, Peter Gabriel, Diamanda Galás, Genesis P-Orridge and Underworld numbered among inspirations. Meanwhile, as the trio’s creative process took them from a lakeside cabin to a studio in Toronto, they benefited from the input of kindred spirits such as Ejji Smith, whose virtuoso guitar-shredding propels ‘Let It Go’. Israeli jazz composer Itamar Erez adds watery synths to ‘Emma’, while a key studio collaborator was producer/artist Sandro Perri, whose credits include Barzin.


                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                She Keeps Bees

                                Kinship

                                  A meditative and endlessly turning clutch of songs, She Keeps Bees' Kinship reasserts the band's elegant power in a stream of loss and regeneration. Death, birth, both personal and in reflection of Earth itself emerge through Jessica Larrabee's focused, empowered voice. With their first album in four years, She Keeps Bees peels away their distorted guitars and fills the void with hypnotic organ, keyboards, strings, a tight bed of drum grooves, and a direct lyricism full of with wisdom and intention.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: Indies - only, Coloured vinyl ("watery" marbled clear / translucent blue), hand numbered edition of 300.

                                  Anoyo (“the world over there”) draws from the same sessions with members of Tokyo Gakuso which led to the 2018 work Konoyo, but rendered starker, solemn, and stripped back, with more of a naturalist tint. Hecker’s processing here moves in veiled ways, soft refractions and whispered shrouds woven within improvisational sessions of traditional gagaku interplay, evoking a sense of vaulted space, temples at dawn, shredded silk fluttering in the rafters.

                                  This is boldly barren music, skeletal and sculptural, shaped from wood, wind, strings, and mist. Modern yet ancient, delicate and desolate, Anoyo inverts its predecessor to compellingly conjure a parallel world of illusion, solitude, and eternal return. 


                                  Engage ears, feet and wallet, this is the hot shit from the next gen of Dusseldorf talent! Colliding in the orbit of the mighty Salon, the Candomblé crew include Phaserboys Rasputin and Aki Aki, hardware menace Kaschiel, lyrical genius Leonard Horres and production whizz Sebastian Welicki. The first Candomblé release, "Check Your Reality" was the baddest 10" of 2017 and remains one of my most played records since its release. The second, "To Style One Into" saw DJ Normal 4 join the crew for a trip through re-appraised psy-trance, breakbeat and nu-Goa madness - certain to slap any system silly. Now the crew come through with their third vinyl release, a gatefold LP from the newly formed LSW. 
                                  Macking out in triple threat mode, "Life Style West" sees Gregor Darman (Rasputin) and Sebastian Welicki man the hardware while Leonard Horres gets lyrical with a little knowing angst. Putting a new school spin on Street Sounds Electro, Euro boogie, mechanical funk and NDW, the trio unlock additional levels on Streets of Rage (Alarmstufe Rot, Tenor Ist Terror), harness the angular action of our collective youth (Deutsche Bahn, Goldketten Aus Fett), soundtrack a little cyberpunk noir (Altbier) and go heavy on the DMT (Denkst Du) for the freshest retro-futurist jams around. 
                                  Mixed by the Phaserboys, mastered by Carsten Dambkes, approved by Piccadilly Records.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Patrick says: If you're one of the customers who mobs me when there's a new TFGC, chances are you need to get on this tip. Coming out the Salon's third gen, Candomblé is your newest label to watch, and LSW is the latest must have wax. Euro boogie, NDW pop and ecclectic hardware jams from this Phaserboys related outfit - buy on sight!

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: Gatefold LP

                                  Holly’s third full-length album "Proto" isn’t about A.I., but much of it was created in collaboration with her own A.I. baby, 'Spawn'. For the album, she assembled a contemporary ensemble of vocalists, developers and an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC to create a record that encompasses live vocal processing and timeless folk singing, and places an emphasis on alien song craft and new forms of communion. "Proto" makes reference to what Holly refers to as the protocol era, where rapidly surfacing ideological battles over the future of A.I. protocols, centralised and decentralised internet protocols, and personal and political protocols compel us to ask ourselves who are we, what are we, what do we stand for, and what are we heading towards?

                                  "Eternal" follows the 2018 release of Holly and Jlin’s collaborative song "Godmother (feat. Spawn)". The skittering track, which was created by Spawn reimagining the artworks of her 'godmother' Jlin in a trained model of her mother’s voice with no editing or sample trickery, was praised everywhere from NPR to The Guardian to New York Times, and elsewhere. You can hear traces of Spawn throughout the album, developed in partnership with long time collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and ensemble developer Jules LaPlace, and even eavesdrop on the live training ceremonies conducted in Berlin, in which hundreds of people were gathered to teach Spawn how to identify and reinterpret unfamiliar sounds in group call-and-response singing sessions; a contemporary update on the religious gathering Holly was raised amongst in her upbringing in East Tennessee.

                                  'There’s a pervasive narrative of technology as dehumanizing,' says Holly. 'We stand in contrast to that. It’s not like we want to run away; we’re very much running towards it, but on our terms. Choosing to work with an ensemble of humans is part of our protocol. I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage. I want an A.I. to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty.'

                                  Since her arrival in 2012, Holly has successfully mined the edges of electronic and avant garde pop and emerged with a dynamic and disruptive canon of her own, all while studying for her soon-to-be-completed PhD at Stanford University, researching machine learning and music. Her LP "Platform" closed out 2015 by gracing year-end lists from Pitchfork, The Guardian, NME, and The Wire. In the aftermath, Radiohead hand-picked her to open up their European tour. Just as "Platform" forewarned of the manipulative personal and political impacts of prying social media platforms long before popular acceptance, "Proto" is a euphoric and principled statement setting the shape of things to come.


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Matt says: Someone call Elon Musk! Holly Herdon offering the machines some piecework here, enlisting the ghosts of Terminator 2 to concoct a really quite cerebral piece of haunted-electronic-folk experimentation. Scared? You should be!

                                  Consisting neither of one lone woman, nor hailing from either the Eurasian country or the North American state, this Georgia is in fact comprised of two human males working out of China Town, N.Y.C., namely Brian Close and Justin Tripp. Together they form a creative partnership responsible for not just a slew of output upon such highly regarded imprints as Meakusma, Palto Flats and Emotional Response, but also for a kaleidoscopic variety of multimedia work with a whole host of clients, from the corporate to the counter cultural. With an all embracing, freeform and in some ways contradictory approach to production, their sound is at turns stimulating, terrifying, comforting and confounding. Separated from any visual representation, the audio on its own becomes a soundtrack for the listeners' own intense internal projection screen.

                                  With 'Time', Georgia's vision is especially well realised as here, in collaboration with fellow intuitionists Firecracker Recordings, they release into this world an album which, with any luck, shall help you unlock your inner portals - should they need assistance in that regard anyway. Unquantisable polyrhythms knock against one another in an uncannily externalised, conflicting collage of half remembered dance ritual memories. Fragmented melodies, disembodied vocal snippets, a hint of ethnomusicality in places all give deep nods simultaneously to ancient experience and to post human intelligence, condensing past present and future into one eternal instant.

                                  'Time' the album asks us: what happens when one removes ones expectations of where in time a piece of music or art must sit? And what of time itself as a construct, now that we have myriad ways of measuring it, even at the atomic level; but still its passing is completely relative according to the observer, and indeed may all be in our minds anyway? Equally, you can always just put it on - again, and again - empty your mind of such thoughts completely, and allow all of your particles to move around freely to this joyful noise... after all, that's the point, isn't it? We're gonna have to stop asking questions eventually.


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Matt says: A thoroughly esoteric opus that sees Firecracker back on top form once again. Absolute devil's music this - rich in voodoo and black magic and definitely not of this earthly realm.

                                  Slip your moorings and start to drift, this is a gem from Japan. Released through his own Scaffolder imprint, "Sink In" is the debut LP from Osaka's ind_fris, who utilises analog synthesizers, drum machines, guitars, and vintage Rhodes piano to arrive at his gentle aquatic sound. Taking influence from ambient, new age, jazz-fusion, and deep house sounds, ind_fris came up with the ideas of making something odd but strangely familiar to daily life. Rinsing the delicate, melodic compositions through the acid wash of Osaka's club underground, the multi-instrumentalist created a dreamlike reflection of the waking world - magical realism via music, maybe Murakami on the shore. Alongside a hazy, coastal cover of jazz standard "Blue Moon", the LP offers the wavetable ambience of "Sink In", lysergic dream dub of "Guitar Under Water", Fingers-esque house of "Casa De Nada", mid afternoon melodica of "Airplane Going Nowhere", hazy and lazy groove of "Mean Time" and the snaking, subtle and seductive charms of "Moon Inside Me". Put winter behind you and sink into this sublime LP.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Patrick says: As far a personal box ticking goes, it doesn't get much better than this. A self-released debut LP from a Japanese multi-instrumentalist, inspired by ambient, new age, deep house and jazz-fusion. Landing in my lap dressed in a crisp sleeve adorned with a Matisse-styled collage. And the best part is, it's even better than I hoped. This is deep, dreamlike Balearic to be enjoyed for many summers to come.

                                  In the clip of an older Eartha Kitt that everyone kicks around the internet, her cheekbones are still as pronounced as many would remember them from her glory days on Broadway, and her eyes are still piercing and inviting. She sips from a metal cup. The wind blows the flowers behind her until those flowers crane their stems toward her face, and the petals tilt upward, forcing out a smile. A dog barks in the background. In the best part of the clip, Kitt throws her head back and feigns a large, sky-rattling laugh upon being asked by her interviewer whether or not she’d compromise parts of herself if a man came into her life. When the laugh dies down, Kitt insists on the same, rhetorical statement. “Compromise!?!?” she flings. “For what?”

                                  She repeats “For what?” until it grows more fierce, more unanswerable. Until it holds the very answer itself.

                                  On the hook to the song “Eartha,” Jamila Woods sings “I don’t want to compromise / can we make it through the night” and as an album, Legacy! Legacy! stakes itself on the uncompromising nature of its creator, and the histories honored within its many layers. There is a lot of talk about black people in America and lineage, and who will tell the stories of our ancestors and their ancestors and the ones before them. But there is significantly less talk about the actions taken to uphold that lineage in a country obsessed with forgetting. There are hands who built the corners of ourselves we love most, and it is good to shout something sweet at those hands from time to time. Woods, a Chicago-born poet, organizer, and consistent glory merchant, seeks to honor black people first, always. And so, Legacy! Legacy! A song for Zora! Zora, who gave so much to a culture before she died alone and longing. A song for Octavia and her huge and savage conscience! A song for Miles! One for Jean-Michel and one for my man Jimmy Baldwin!

                                  More than just giving the song titles the names of historical black and brown icons of literature, art, and music, Jamila Woods builds a sonic and lyrical monument to the various modes of how these icons tried to push beyond the margins a country had assigned to them. On “Sun Ra,” Woods sings “I just gotta get away from this earth, man / this marble was doomed from the start” and that type of dreaming and vision honors not only the legacy of Sun Ra, but the idea that there is a better future, and in it, there will still be black people.

                                  Jamila Woods has a voice and lyrical sensibility that transcends generations, and so it makes sense to have this lush and layered album that bounces seamlessly from one sonic aesthetic to another. This was the case on 2016’s HEAVN, which found Woods hopeful and exploratory, looking along the edges resilience and exhaustion for some measures of joy. Legacy! Legacy! is the logical conclusion to that looking. From the airy boom-bap of “Giovanni” to the psychedelic flourishes of “Sonia,” the instrument which ties the musical threads together is the ability of Woods to find her pockets in the waves of instrumentation, stretching syllables and vowels over the harmony of noise until each puzzle piece has a home. The whimsical and malleable nature of sonic delights also grants a path for collaborators to flourish: the sparkling flows of Nitty Scott on “Sonia” and Saba on “Basquiat,” or the bloom of Nico Segal’s horns on “Baldwin.”

                                  Soul music did not just appear in America, and soul does not just mean music. Rather, soul is what gold can be dug from the depths of ruin, and refashioned by those who have true vision. True soul lives in the pages of a worn novel that no one talks about anymore, or a painting that sits in a gallery for a while but then in an attic forever. Soul is all the things a country tries to force itself into forgetting. Soul is all of those things come back to claim what is theirs. Jamila Woods is a singular soul singer who, in voice, holds the rhetorical demand. The knowing that there is no compromise for someone with vision this endless. That the revolution must take many forms, and it sometimes starts with songs like these. Songs that feel like the sun on your face and the wind pushing flowers against your back while you kick your head to the heavens and laugh at how foolish the world seems.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: Jamila Woods returns with her soul-filled lyrics and incredible, strong vocals. The song titles are named after inspiration black people in creative industries and in her lyrics incorporates their experiences and how they came to be. The album is truly beautiful and holds the same strength and passion as her debut, Heavn.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive pale pink vinyl.

                                  Reginald Omas Mamode IV drops LP numero three, ‘Where We Going?' on his familiar haunt "Five Easy Pieces".

                                  The album was partly recorded on a journey to the Mascarene Islands in search of family roots. 'Where We Going?' is reflective of the search for this lineage, which branches from ancient Mauritian Maroons - whose rich heritage, music and culture includes an unrecognised, undocumented resistance to colonialism - though Swahili and Malagasy to sugarcane plantation Creole slave decent.

                                  Influenced by golden era hip-hop, jazz, soul, Afro, funk, Sega and Maloya, and music from Africa, the Caribbean, South London and US; it is in part an attempt to evoke feelings of universal love and compassion. Mamode recorded the album using various drums and drum machines, percussion instruments, Fender Rhodes, and Roland and Korg synthesizers.

                                  His two earlier albums - 2016's s/t debut and 2017's 'Children of Nu' - were warmly received, collecting critical success from Mojo (“A brand-new-retro delight”), Mixmag (“Peckham beat brilliance”), Record Collector (“Equal parts D’Angelo to J Dilla”), The Wire (“Soul music turned all the way inward”), DJ Mag "A masterpiece") and Bandcamp (“Lifeforms that are equally steeped in hip-hop, funk, soul and jazz”). He was also nominated for ‘Album of the Year’ at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards 2017.

                                  Along with Mo Kolours, Jeen Bassa, Henry Wu, Al Dobson Jr and Tenderlonious; he’s helped forge in the 22a co-operative that The FADER calls “a kaleidoscopic patchwork of hip-hop, house, and groove investigations bound by one thread: a timeless belief in rhythm as a universal language”.


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: ‘Where We Going?’ blends genres and includes influences from all over the globe to create this beautifully unique and powerful sound. The jolty hip hop, jazz and Afro flow combined with his distinctive vocals is a match made in heaven.

                                  Stripped down to the roots, these 13 contemporary new versions of classic Jamaican recordings, originally from the likes of the Trojan and Studio One studios, are triumphantly fresh and channel Jamaica’s rebel music history. With Rastafari sewn into its sonic seams, Inna De Yard remind us of Jamaica’s vast contribution to popular music around the globe with a cast of golden-generation roots artists whilst introducing a new class of roots-enthused artists from the island.

                                  Following the release of the album is a feature-length Inna De Yard documentary-film directed by Peter Webber (3 Oscar nominations for Girl with a Pearl Earring), set for its UK and international cinema release alongside European tour and summer festival dates including a special beach performance at the music industry Midem Festival in Cannes.

                                  After a sell-out debut tour in France in 2017, the trailblazing quartet of Ken Boothe, Cedric “The Congos” Myton, Kiddus I and Winston McAnuff join forces to front a cross-generational super-group of roots-reggae visionaries, featuring Jamaican vocal trio The Viceroys and Bob Marley backing vocalist and artist Judy Mowatt, as well as Jah9, Var and Derajah, three of Jamaica’s most stirring and spiritually-connected artists on the scene today.

                                  Overlooking the landscape and gripping heights of Kingston’s Blue Mountains, stands a house lined brightly with vinyl LPs & 45s, books and Jamaican art, with a terrace view that very few others can rival. It’s here, just outside Kingston in Stony Hill and surrounded by grounds of trees, wildlife and ancestral spirits that the ‘Inna De Yard: The Soul of Jamaica’ flame was first lit. Returning to Stony Hill the Inna De Yard crew call in an imposing ensemble of singing greats and renowned musicians to craft an absorbing collection of traditional, percussion-heavy reggae-soul.

                                  As spiritual leader of the Inna De Yard troupe, Kiddus I opens proceedings with his roots-meets-chanson re-work of Edith Piaf’s ‘If You Love Me’. The Electric Dread AKA Winston McAnuff follows with ‘Malcolm X’, his rousing acoustic tribute to the influential leader and activist, before radiant three-part vocal harmonies and Cedric Myton’s effervescent falsetto surf across nyabinghi drumming on a glossy version of the spectacular ‘Row Fisherman’, simply, a classic of 20th century reggae music. If one man knew anything about classic records, it’s Mr. Rocksteady, Ken Boothe. His international 1974 Trojan super-hit ‘Everything I Own’ is given the Inna De Yard treatment here, perfectly capturing the vibrant energy and soul of a man, now in his 70s, with no intention of slowing down.

                                  From Jamaican vocal trio The Viceroys’ exceptional Studio One production ‘Ya-Ho’ to Horace Andy’s vibesing cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, Inna De Yard’s vivid, rhythm-focused arrangements breathe new life into timeless yet timeworn compositions. One-third of Bob Marley and The Wailers ‘I-Threes’ backing vocal group, Judy Mowatt’s demonstrates this on ‘Black Woman’, featuring Rasta rebel newcomer, Jah9, epitomising the cross-generational and revolutionary attitude of roots music. Future elder figures, Derajah and Var take centre stage on the album’s final tracks, with two incredibly poignant and powerful affirmations of life, ‘Tribute To My Sister’ and ‘Live Good’, that lament the sad realities and troubles of Kingston streets, yet through Rastafari find salvation in their struggle and survival.

                                  So much more than a reggae album, Inna De Yard reminds us of the incredible contribution Jamaica had on pop and black music going back decades when Bob Marley was a household name. Clearly the rastafari spirit that alligned with the Jamiacan artists in the '60s and '70s reverberates through the Jamaican musical ancestry of 2019. Jah!

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Matt says: JA supergroup Inna De Yard present another installment of their sound. Rich in collaborations and completely indebted to both the individual artists' previous work, and to the plethora of vocalists contained within; this is a must for reggae music fans.

                                  Back in 2017 we stumbled across an incredibly rich source of jazz-centric breaks and ‘golden era’ hip hop vibes courtesy of Philadelphia’s Mahatma X. So taken were we with their ‘A Mobtown Suite Vol. 1’ that we did the decent thing and issued a vinyl pressing which became a word of mouth hit and led to our quickest ever vinyl sell out. If you were locked into ‘Volume 1’ we’re confident that this follow up is really gonna take you to the next level. As with its predecessor, it takes the beat-tape format as its launching pad, showcasing the prodigious talents of producer MALK (winner of Norman Records ‘Album of the Year 2018’ for his solo offering ‘Death From A Love’) and his Philly crew. ‘Vol 2’ is a perfectly judged smorgasbord of sound with Mahatma’s distinctive cut and paste methods allowing sounds to bump/morph into each other as the group throw jazz, broken beats, world music, hip-hop, soul and funk into their punk-inspired anything goes collage of sound. So buckle up for a rollercoaster 24 tracks over two sides of wax (or CD). From the opening “How d’you do?” of lead track ‘Jaguar’ you’ll be taken on a fresh and furious sonic trip, deep into the hyperreal world of Mahatma X, and on reaching the extraordinary closer ‘Baby Boomers’ there’s only one thing left to do - hit that repeat button! 

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: Mahatma X returns with more dreamy hip-hop jazz beats, locking down their distinguished style. Soulful sampling at every twist and turn, Mobtown Suite Vol. 2 takes you on a journey through it all. Essential listening!

                                  Various Artists

                                  Soothing Songs For Babies. Berceuses Du

                                    An inspiring collection of carefully chosen lullabies from all over the world, that will please both young parents and their children, as well as (world) music enthusiastics looking for a peaceful and captivating listening. - For fans of labels like Ocora, Smithsonian Folkways Records, Buda Music, Nonesuch and traditional forms of music, ambient, (ethno)musicology, and children ! New collaboration from Mental Groove Records x Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (Sinner DC, Julien Perez, La Planète Bleue vol. 9) curated by Madeleine Leclair, head of the MEG’s department of Ethnomusicology and Olivier Ducret (Mental Groove x WRWTFWW labels, Midori Takada, Donato Dozzy, Kenji Imperial Tiger Orchestra…) - Opportunity to listen to the original version of the famous Lullaby of the Solomon Islands recorded by Hugo Zemp, sampled and remixed in 1992 by a group of French electro-pop and adapted in 1996 by a Norwegian saxophonist.

                                    U.F.O.F., F standing for ‘Friend’, is the name of the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief, set to be released by 4AD on May. It was recorded in rural western Washington at Bear Creek Studios with engineer Dom Monks, and producer Andrew Sarlo who was also behind their previous albums.

                                    The New York-based band, featuring Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums), has spent the last 4 years on an incessant world tour, winning the devotion of an enthusiastic and rapidly expanding audience.

                                    Their songs represent an emotional bravery and realness that weaves intimate relationships with the listener, a phenomenon that has made them one of the most widely-respected bands of the current era.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Big thief are one of our favourites in Piccadilly, and this latest iteration of their sound really shows why. Skilfully toeing the line between mournful acoustic balladry, simmering country and more upbeat melodic indie, Big Thief have once again brought us an eminently listenable and transportative triumph.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition orange vinyl.

                                    International psych explorers Flamingods are back with brand new album ‘Levitation’ coming out on via Moshi Moshi Records.

                                    Inspired largely by the disco, funk and psychedelic sounds coming out of the Middle East and South Asia in the 70s, the album channels these influences through a vision soaked in mysticism, positivity and sun-drenched imagery.

                                    During the process of writing and recording ‘Levitation’, Flamingods for the first time in four years found themselves living in the same continent, it’s this new unified feel that defines the confident and eclectic sound of the album.

                                    ‘Levitation’ is the follow-up to Flamingods’ breakthrough 2016 album ‘Majesty’ and follows their ‘Kewali’ EP release for Moshi Moshi in 2017 and a one-off release with Dan Carey for his Speedy Wunderground singles club. During this time they’ve performed live sessions at 6Music (with Gilles Peterson & Lauren Laverne), KEXP, Boiler Room and have been travelling the globe spreading their exotic psychedelia to the masses and getting people dancing from Austin to Amsterdam. 


                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Flamingods return, bringing with them a brilliantly psychedelic mix of eastern-influenced groove, dreamy anthemic pop and acid-tinged folk. With pummeling percusion and rolling distorted bass holding down the backline, the guitars and echoing vox are allowed free-reign over the sonic spectrum. Killer stuff.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Dinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive glitter gold vinyl.
                                    Exclusive Embossed sleeve.
                                    Signed 12 x 12 art print.
                                    Very limited 400 pressing.

                                    Dinked Edition LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Coloured LP Info: Yellow vinyl edition.

                                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.


                                    Greg Foat's 9th album 'The Mage' joins the dots between the past and future of British jazz. Enlisting the talenst of jazz/library/soundtrack legends Duncan Lamont, Art Themen, Ray Russell and Clark Tracey to collaborate with their modern contemporaries Greg Foat, Moses Boyd and Heliocentric's drummer Malcolm Catto to create something undeniably British but outward looking and global.

                                    A long time personal ambition for Greg was to work with Trinidadian songstress Kathy Garcia, on 'The Mage', this wish is granted as she joins him to re-imagine the deep Xian masterpiece 'Of my Hands', 45 years after recording it as a young girl.

                                    Greg's compositions and arrangements showcase the old and new, downtempo folkscapes, free jazz with notes of hip-hop and soul from the young team flavouring the mix. Featuring Simon Ljungman and Friends as a male choir, Greg's EMS Synthi AKS experiments (made famous by Dr Who) the album is a testament to the versatility and pure musicality of all those involved and Greg Foat's ability to bring artists together to record beautiful, timeless music.



                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Is there anything Hampshire and Foat can't do? We've had their downbeat folky LP, their stunning take on modern-classical and ambient, and now their newest outing maintains the jazzy undercurrent so prevalent in their previous works, but this time adding in a dreamy eastern tinge. Beautifully hazy and thoroughly superb.

                                    Born in Tel Aviv to a family with Moroccan roots, the now Berlin based artist and producer J.Lamotta returns with 'Suzume'; her second album release via Jakarta Records.
                                    The first single 'Turning', taken from the forthcoming album is due for release with an accompanying music video on Friday, 15th February.

                                    'Suzume' was recorded across four different studios in Berlin, involving 24 musicians from all around the globe. In contrast to 2017's 'Conscious Tree' album, which was made using found sounds and samplers, the new album sees J.Lamotta expanding her production repertoire by crafting a warm body of sound, laced with live strings and a horn section provided by her band which have toured together from Berlin to South Korea and Japan over the past three years.

                                    On the featured single 'Turning', J.Lamotta comments:
                                    "'Turning' is storytelling. In my mind, the song is a camera that takes in first a wider perspective of humanity and existence, and then zooms in on my personal world, feelings, and love story."

                                    This open and honest approach has roots that can be traced back to Bill Withers, Sun Ra and Dilla, with the triumph of 'Suzume' being it's beautiful evolution of the neo-soul sound.


                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Millie says: Berlin-based J.Lamotta is the definition of chilled-out neo-soul. Her warm vocals and smooth sound create the perfect relaxed Summer vibes. Love love love this!

                                    Patience began as bedroom synth project for songwriter Roxanne Clifford after the break up of her acclaimed indie pop band Veronica Falls. Born out of a desire to experiment with a new sound and analogue synthesizers, the project has since grown to become an all-encompassing persona and serves as the main vehicle for the full emotional spectrum always latent in Clifford’s songwriting.

                                    From her first long-sold-out 7” singles on Night School, her knack for melodic hooks and oblique emotional stances already contained a glistening sheen of promise. ‘Dizzy Spells’ serves as an intimate portrait of Clifford’s creative adventure, almost diaristic, conceived and recorded in her home studio, as well as with collaborators Todd Edwards (Daft Punk/Uk Garage fame), Lewis Cook (Free Love/Happy Meals) and engineer Misha Hering (Virginia Wing).

                                    Dizzy Spells delivers a debut album that twists Clifford’s songwriting into new shapes and ecstasies. The album dances around melancholy, thrown to the floor like a bad dream to be circled, emerging bright-eyed into the early morning full of hope. The Girls Are Chewing Gum (produced by Todd Edwards) bursts open Dizzy Spells like fresh fruit: sweet and rich with a synth-bass line beamed down from Chicago House heaven. Exquisitely sung by Clifford, it’s a wonderful, funky, instant-classic hinting at sexuality and memories dredged from our bodies’ secrets. The bouncy production expertly renders the addictive power of our ephemeral pleasures. Living Things Don’t Last chases themes of longing and loss, opening up into a life affirming chorus that sings of transience, the passing of time and railing against inertia. It’s the perfect example of a song formula that Roxanne Clifford has almost patented: simple and cutting straight to the point. There are shades of Strawberry Switchblade or French synth pop pioneer Jacno in the happy/sad dichotomy and it is all the better for it.

                                    Dizzy Spells features all three long-sold out singles, embedded in the full depth of Patience’s soundworld they fit like pieces of a puzzle. White Of An Eye, The Church and The Pressure—all recorded in Clifford’s former home of Glasgow—crackle with razor sharp melodies and dancefloor-ready dynamics. There are exciting additions to Patience’s sonic palette, brought into sharp relief on Voices In The Sand. In this song, a plaintive Clifford enunciates a heart-torn plea to the antagonist, a mournful cascade of synths and haunting vocals evocative of AC Marias, a sepia-toned ode to anxiety, “a storm is on the way”. On No Roses, a Vince Clarkesque production belies a sunburnt sadness. Clifford defiantly sings “you would go out tonight, but there’s nowhere you like,” describing a disenchantment with her adopted city of Los Angeles, she longs for home in a singular refrain “No roses… no roses for us.” An ode to English folk singer Shirley Collins, a surprising yet innate influence throughout Clifford’s work. On Moral Damage, former Veronica Falls bandmate Marion Herbain joins Clifford on an anglo-french duet that feels instant and spontaneous, a cutting comment on emotional accountability.

                                    More than a vehicle for Roxanne Clifford’s songwriting prowess, Patience is holding our hand through the night, dancing with tears in our eyes, dizzy and spellbound.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: 'Dizzy Spells' weaves together all the synthy rhythmic charm of Christine And The Queens or Chvrches with the throbbing 80's influenced cinematics of Italians Do It Better, but warm it up with a nice measure of hazy bedroom pop atmospherics. Lovely stuff.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: Indie-only colour vinyl.

                                    LP Info: Black vinyl.

                                    Japanese four-piece CHAI may worship at the altar of kawaii - their homeland’s culture of cute– but they’re not about to be pushed around by the idle bosses and the ignorant patriarchy. The ultra-concise garage-pop race of their debut LP PINK is about to be overhauled on their new album. CHAI are ready to light the fuse; CHAI are PUNK.

                                    “’PUNK’ for us, of course, is not the genre of music,” say the band. “‘PUNK’ to us is to overturn the worn-out values associated with ‘kawaii’ or ‘cute’ created up until this point. ‘PUNK’ is a word that expresses a strong sense of self. To be yourself more, to become the person you truly want to be, to believe in yourself in every instance!”

                                    First single ‘Fashionista’ is a rebellious demand for self-acceptance in the face of society’s pressures: “Even if you don’t dress or do your makeup like how society expects you too, you’re still a “Fashionista” by expressing yourself how you want to. You decide what you want to wear, how you want to look, what you don’t want to wear, and that is what makes you a Fashionista!”

                                    At the core of CHAI’s music is the concept of "Neo-Kawaii." They outlined to concept in several interviews in 2018. In Pitchfork's Rising interview, it's described as "a move towards the embrace and celebration of human imperfection. 'Neo-Kawaii' is properly summarized on the single 'N.E.O.' from PINK, which directly comments on oppressive beauty standards, offering a list of supposed imperfections that translate to 'Small eyes/Flat nose/No shape/Fat legs!' CHAI seek to reclaim them as perfect."

                                    On ‘GREAT JOB’ CHAI compare house work to ridding yourself from all negativity. “Some people look at house work as a negative duty but it’s actually a positive duty that represents a refreshed, new you.” Yuuki picks up on this: “Of course we want to continue show our style of positivity-meets-pop but in life there’s definitely times of sadness, times of frustration and even irritating moments that with ‘PUNK’, we want everyone to know can be used as energy to fuel the positivity from the negativity”.

                                    Lead singer and keyboardist Mana reflects this mood, this search for something heavier, but still retaining their ultra-pop framework. Maybe it’s the huge success in their native Japan, or even their cult status in the UK, touring alongside Superorganism last year – whatever the reason, there’s a silent change. She adds: “We feel a stronger sense of self… we want to create music with deeper meaning, we want to release more of our individuality”.

                                    This inner strength comes out in the music. If PINK was a plastic, hyper-bright introduction then PUNK is a deeper, less blinding but more impactful graduation. It’s the movement from vivid orange to slow-burning red. Drummer Yuna adds: “Compared with our first album, PUNK represents a more concentrated version of all of our individualities”. Or as guitarist Kana puts it: “Everything has a PUNCH!”

                                    Yuuki crafted the irrepressible album sleeve, with a laughing girl bursting through a shell. The message, they say, is clear: “Hello, New Me!” You under-estimate CHAI at your peril.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Chai is a fascinating middleground between clashing snarling punk (a-la Lovely Eggs etc), and the ever-increasing wave of synthy J-Pop. Brilliantly nuanced at points but swimming with the kind of carefree frivolity and funky grooves that make this an essential soundtrack to the summer.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl.

                                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    A Certain Ratio

                                    Acr:box

                                      Following on from 2018’s compilation, acr:set, acr:box showcases the diversity of the singles, B-sides and alternative versions of tracks that A Certain Ratio have released, but without repeating tracks recently made available. acr:box collates everything that fans had been missing from the recent reissue campaign, and compliments that with a selection found after a deep delve into the archive to find all the hidden gems that had been talked about over the years, but never heard – even a few releases the band had forgotten about!

                                      Looking to make the box set as comprehensive as possible, even the original tapes from the session they recorded for a collaboration with Grace Jones were uncovered and reworked. This session includes the cover version of Talking Heads’ ‘Houses In Motion’, using Jez Kerr’s guide vocals (pre to him becoming the band’s singer). Grace Jones never completed her vocal take, after attending one of the recording sessions with the band.

                                      The box set, which marks the 40th anniversary of A Certain Ratio’s debut release, the Martin Hannett produced ‘All Night Party’ (Factory Records’ first single release) was described recently by Record Collector as “a statement of future intentions: to set funk off against nervous angst.” They went on to be hailed universally as pioneers of what became known as “punk funk” thanks to the success of their second single, ‘Shack Up’, represented here via a radio edit from Electronic, featuring Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr. 


                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: A lovely looking box-set here, brimming with unreleased gems, alternative versions and lost rarities, all collected under one roof. An essential purchase if ever there was one.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      LP Box Set Info: Vinyl colours match the 6 colours on the artwork.

                                      FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

                                      Vampire weekend return for their newest full-length since 2013's 'Modern Vampires Of The City', this time choosing to go further down the Americana route hinted at on their first LP. We kick things off with the acoustic-heavy duo of 'Hold You Now' and 'Harmony Hall', the former stripping back everything to vox and guitar, accentuated with airy vocal samples and lo-fi hissing only to bring in a choral accompaniment, knocking things into grand orchestral territory. The latter of the two flits between melodic piano and insistent percussion, all accentuated with perfectly phased vocals and flickering acoustic guitar. The technique of stripping things back only to bring it all back in is not a new idea, but the way it's handled here is beautifully done, with filter fades and instrumental shifts clearly highlighting the differing sections without resorting to the usual verse-chorus tropes. 

                                      Move things along a little and we get a bit of synthpop atmospherics ('Unbelievably White'), plaintive jazzy progressions ('My Mistake') and funky angular soul ('Sunflower'), whilst still retaining the underlying sound that makes Vampire Weekend unique. At the heart of things, we still have the same playful progressions and flickering momentum of their earlier work (along with that unmistakeable vocal style and harmonic accompaniment), but brought up to date with a more mature outlook and delicate balance between beautiful harmony and patchwork construction of sound. Brilliantly inventive and warmingly original, this is Vampire Weekend but brought into the present. 

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: Vampire Weekend have always stood out from the crowd with their own particular brand of dreamy melodic indie, characterised by rapid changes in direction and richly textured instrumental passages. What we have here is a classic distillation of their sound, spread across a hefty 18 tracks. It was well worth the wait.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      2xColoured LP Info: Orange double vinyl.

                                      When Seattle band Tacocat—vocalist Emily Nokes, bassist Bree McKenna, guitarist Eric Randall, and drummer Lelah Maupin—first started in 2007, the world they were responding to was vastly different from the current Seattle scene of diverse voices they’ve helped foster. It was a world of house shows, booking DIY tours on MySpace, and writing funny, deliriously catchy feminist pop-punk songs when feminism was the quickest way to alienate yourself from the then-en vogue garage-rock bros. Their lyrical honesty, humor, and hit-making sensibilities have built the band a fiercely devoted fanbase over the years, one that has followed them from basements to dive bars to sold-out shows at the Showbox. Every step along the way has been a seamless progression—from silly songs about Tonya Harding and psychic cats to calling out catcallers and poking fun at entitled weekend-warrior tech jerks on their last two records on Hardly Art, 2014’s NVM and 2016’s Lost Time.

                                      This Mess is a Place, Tacocat’s fourth full-length and first on Sub Pop, finds the band waking up the morning after the 2016 election and figuring out how to respond to a new reality where evil isn’t hiding under the surface at all—it’s front and center, with new tragedies and civil rights assaults filling up the scroll of the newsfeed every day. “What a time to be barely alive,” laments “Crystal Ball,” a gem that examines the more intimate side of responding emotionally to the news cycle. How do you keep fighting when all you want to do is stay in bed all day? “Stupid computer stupor/Oh my kingdom for some better ads,” Nokes sings, throwing in some classic Tacocat snark, “Truth spread so thin/It stops existing.” Despite current realities being depressing enough to make anyone want to crawl under the covers and sleep for a thousand years, Tacocat are doing what they’ve always done so well: mingling brightness, energy, and hope with political critique.

                                      This Mess is a Place is charged with a hopefulness that stands in stark contrast to music that celebrates apathy, despair, and numbness. Tacocat feels it all and cares, a lot, whether they’re singing odes to the magical connections we feel with our pets (“Little Friend”), imagining what a better earth might look like (“New World”), or trying to find humor in a wholly unfunny world (“The Joke of Life”). It’s a delightfully cathartic moment and the cornerstone of the record when they exclaim, in “Grains of Salt:” “Don’t forget to remember who the fuck you are!”

                                      Producer Erik Blood (who also produced Lost Time) brings the band into their full pop potential but still preserves what makes Tacocat so special: they’re four friends who met as young punks and have grown together into a truly collaborative band. Says Nokes: “We can examine some hard stuff, make fun of some evil stuff, feel some soft feelings, feel some rage feelings, feel some bitter-ass feelings, sift through memories, feel wavy-existential, and still go get a banana daiquiri at the end.”


                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: Embodying the spirit of 90's grunge, but with more of an emphasis on melody than on fuzz, Tacocat craft a completely immersive and endearing suite of punky bangers. Wholly modern but with a comforting musical nod to the past.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Coloured LP Info: Loser edition jade coloured vinyl.

                                      "Age Of The Ego" is the immaculately-crafted eighth album by dance-music-national-treasures Crazy P. Fans of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Arthur Russell, Jam Hammer, Prince and Bobby O will find much to like, but this is clearly modern music, where heavy clubs beats are layered-up with perfectly-placed arrangement, ace playing and stratospheric soundscapes. Musically, Crazy P’s breadth of studio and writing experience shines brighter than ever, and "Age Of The Ego" has their unmistakeable stamp of quality, but is now augmented with a broader palate, and - like many - a feeling of upset with the state of the world.

                                      'I don't usually write my lyrics in advance, as I feel they’re expressed better in tandem with the music, which seems to help tap into my subconscious. What came out on several tracks was Brexit, the state of UK politics and the way I feel about divisive, abhorrent manipulation by certain media outlets. Thematically parts of album were also influenced by the rise of social media, the struggling education system and how it’s failing our young, and the impact all of this has on us. It’s been hard to not be emotionally influenced by the situation we find ourselves in; not just in this country, but worldwide. I feel very angry and frustrated, but sometimes have to laugh at myself, because I struggle to articulate my feelings in normal conversation. I suppose lyrically it is political, a reflection of the times, but with a twist of humour and always a lot of love,' explains Danielle.

                                      Ok but what do we think? Obviously, it's quite bitter sweet hearing Dani express herself this way; as their music has always sought to uplift and elevate through the optimistic and energetic vibe of disco's past glories. Don't worry though, the music still shines, and the grooves are here to make you wobbly, dance and jump; but look beyond that and there's some inspired lyrical genius contained within. And for that we have to applaud Danielle - it'd be very easy to ignore the current world situation and bury your head in a sand of instagram posts and self-indulgent tweetings. Instead Danielle, and the rest of the band of course, have taken the moral stand and addressed the issue. When musicians have the platform and influence that they do, Dani almost makes it seem criminal that on the whole the music community doesn't do more to change things. Here's to the revolution! 


                                      Cut live to tape with very little overdubbing, Undress was recorded in the late summer of 2018 in Germantown, New York. Band members Ian Felice, James Felice, Will Lawrence (drums) and Jesske Hume (bass) teamed up with producer Jeremy Backofen to record their most personal and reflective album to date.

                                      Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns, says songwriter Ian Felice. It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.

                                      Undress follows the bands 2016 album Life In The Dark, and finds the group in a very different place three years later. Between personnel changes, families growing and the political landscape, the result is a tighter, more-paired down release. Every song is a story, said James Felice. On this album everything was a bit more thoughtful, including the arrangements, the sonic quality and the harmonies.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition red / black vinyl.

                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                      Simon Bonney

                                      Past, Present, Future

                                        ‘Past, Present, Future’ features songs from Simon Bonney’s last two albums, ‘Forever’ (1992) and ‘Everyman’ (1994), as well as six unreleased tracks, including his cover of Scott Walker’s ‘Duchess’.

                                        Speaking to Billboard, he explains “It’s a very dynamic period in the world; a lot of people are feeling that they’re struggling to see how the future will unfold for them and whether or not they’ll have a place in the future. And that’s what a lot of these songs are about.”

                                        At the age of 16, Simon Bonney formed Crime And The City Solution in an abandoned building in Sydney’s business district. The band embodied the post punk ethos of nihilism and alienation and Simon’s lyrics and music were informed in part by life as a 14-year-old runaway in 1970’s Kings Cross, Sydney’s red-light district. In 1984, after a move to London, Simon formed a new incarnation of the band with Bad Seed Mick Harvey, Rowland S Howard (The Birthday Party), Harry Howard (These Immortal Souls) and Epic Soundtracks (Swell Maps). After four beautifully chaotic records, a run of cacophonous live shows in Europe and the US and a standout performance in Wim Wenders’ 1980s masterpiece ‘Wings Of Desire’, the band broke up and Simon and Mick relocated to West Berlin. Here Simon would form the longest lasting line up, the Berlin Crime And The City Solution, which featured Simon, Mick, Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten), Bronwyn Adams, Thomas Stern and Chrislo Hass (DAF). From the band’s first offering, ‘Shine’, through their final album, ‘The Adversary Live’, the band was championed by influential journalists, with its albums regularly showing up in the Best Of lists.

                                        In 1992, with Crime And The City Solution on hiatus, Simon moved to the US on an impulse, stayed for a decade and released two records; the much loved and very personal ‘Forever’ and the socio-political ‘Everyman’, a record that has grown in relevance as rapid change and social dislocation has increased.

                                        In imagining the perfect soundtrack to these observations, he turned to the melancholy and plaintive sounds of dobro and lap steel of 1970s country music, the sound of longing for the familiar, for security and stability, songs about family and belonging, memories of a childhood farm in Tasmania. The result was two country tinged, compassionate and prescient portraits of life in late 20th Century America through Tasmanian eyes.

                                        His path led him into outback Australia, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh - a life rich in extremes of colour and conflict, of trauma, of humanity and inhumanity, of power and powerlessness. It was not always easy to witness and eventually, as happens with all that walk this road, he had seen too much and it was time to stop. It was time to re-embrace something simple, something personal - his music. He pulled tapes from shoeboxes and listened to the old albums as well as tracks recorded for an unreleased album, ‘Eyes Of Blue’, recorded in Detroit with a band featuring Matt Smith (Outrageous Cherry, the Volbeats), Troy Gregory (the Dirtbombs, Electric Six, Killing Joke) and a guest appearance by Chuck Prophet and found that, far from sounding nostalgic, they sounded fresh and every bit as relevant - if not more relevant - than when he had recorded them.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited gold vinyl.

                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                        Barrie

                                        Happy To Be Here

                                          Inclusivity is at the heart of Barrie, the Brooklyn five-piece made of Barrie Lindsay, Dominic Apa, Spurge Carter, Sabine Holler and Noah Prebish. And on their debut LP Happy To Be Here, their multidimensional take on classic pop sounds awake and present, like a group that’s daydreaming but firmly there with one another. Lindsay largely wrote these songs late into the night, alone in her apartment, and her voice feels appropriately full of possibility throughout. Barrie, the band, is primarily her project; on the record, which she co-produced with Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Solange, Grizzly Bear), Lindsay plays guitar, piano, synth and bass. But still, Barrie is distinctly not a solo project, and Happy To Be Here is very much a full band record. Dominic’s drums fill the entire album, while Noah added synths and Spurge sang on nearly every track; the three also contributed production. And Sabine, though stuck in Germany with visa issues, remotely recorded vocals. Engineered and mixed by Aron at his Brooklyn studio in August 2018, the album is a softly explosive document of Barrie’s collective vision: “a well-crafted pop song that’s a little bit fucked up,” they explain. The album’s singles speak to its scope: the analog synths that burst from piano pointillism on “Clovers”, the lush electric guitar grooves on opener “Darjeeling”, the minimal arrangement and modular programmed drums of “Saturated”. The album’s energetic but unhurried movement is a testament to the wide-ranging backgrounds of Barrie’s membership: Spurge and Noah met at the Lot Radio through a shared love of house and techno, Dom plays and tours with the electronic rock band Is Tropical, Sabine is a performance artist and solo musician. 

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies only transparent red vinyl.

                                          An electronica-infused alternative version of Editors’ acclaimed Top 10 album ‘Violence’, ‘The Blank Mass Sessions’ casts the songs in a bold new light, offering a fascinating insight into the album’s creative process.

                                          The eight track album, made up of producer Blanck Mass’ original productions of ‘Violence’, also includes the brand new single ‘Barricades’.

                                          For ‘Barricades’, Smith’s hopeful lyrics combine with yearning synths over robotic drum machines and sweeping basslines, while ‘Cold’ is given a frostier edge through Blanck Mass’ harsh percussion and robotic directness.

                                          ‘Violence’’s stripped back beat builds and erupts into a synth-fuelled chorus brim-full of busy drum patterns and ‘Magazine’s jaunty, sweeping synths and rolling snares lend it even more electronic swagger than the original.

                                          ‘Hallelujah (So Low)’ gifts the greatest insight into the triangular relationship ‘Violence’ was born from. The warmth of the album version’s acoustic guitar and industrial fuelled chorus are replaced with sparse, ethereal synths, giving the track and ‘The Blanck Mass Sessions’ in general, a mechanical, other-worldly edge.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          LP Info: Heavyweight 180 gram vinyl.

                                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          Bad Religion

                                          Age Of Unreason - Clear Vinyl Edition

                                            Bad Religion began in the sprawling suburbs surrounding Los Angeles, with the teenage punks offering an impassioned counterpoint to a culture of consumerism and anti-intellectualism. Founding members Greg Graffin, Brett Gurewitz, and Jay Bentley were eventually joined by guitarists Brian Baker of Minor Threat, Mike Dimkich of The Cult, and drummer Jamie Miller of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Bad Religion have been highly influential force in modern punk, producing beloved international hits like “Infected,” “21st Century (Digital Boy),” and “Sorrow,” and building a devoted worldwide following.

                                            Bad Religion release their new album Age of Unreason, which can be described as “a musical manifesto on the current political landscape.” In a world still brimming with rampant anti-intellectualism, inequality and oppression, the band’s signature brand of sonically charged humanist dissent seems as relevant as ever. 

                                            Following a banner year for Pete Cunningham - best known as dextrous saxophonist Ishmael and leader of the namesake Ishmael Ensemble - 2019 now brings debut album ‘A State of Flow.’ This new long player builds on Cunningham’s work as proud protector of Bristolian heritage, sketching loving sonic pictures of the South West in his Bristol-inspired ‘Severn Songs’ series, whilst also incubating local visual and musical talent, within the Ensemble.

                                            ‘A State Of Flow’ touches on various styles of jazz, stirring ambient invocations, club-ready percussive workouts, spiralling grooves & hazy psychedelic electronica. This would be a confusing melange, but for Cunningham’s excursions as a genre-agnostic DJ – something evident in the real house shuffle of ‘Lapwing’ – which evokes walking into a smoky afterhours haunt and finding a session in full, forward motion or the organic garage beats of ‘Full Circle’ and classic trip hop style ‘Waterfall’ fuelled by Holysseus Fly’s honey toned and evocative vocals.

                                            This album, borne of strong vision and stronger hometown pride, embellishes Ishmael Ensemble as one of the UK’s finest new groups. As shown across ‘A State of Flow’, the future of Bristol’s musical legacy is in more than capable hands.


                                            Qasim Naqvi

                                            Teenages

                                              Pakistani-American composer Qasim Naqvi will release his debut album for Erased Tapes on May 3rd. 'Teenages’ captures the sound of electronics living, breathing and mutating of their own accord – almost autonomously – with only subtle, sparing but perfectly-judged and masterful guidance.

                                              This album is one singular synergy between Qasim and his machine within a broader milieu of sound, also explored by contemporaries Sarah Davachi, Alessandro Cortini, Caterina Barbieri and also the forefather, Morton Subotnick. At points tonal, textural and rhythmic, over six evolving and growing audio organisms, the album flourishes upwards in stages, from initial micro-sonics to something bigger, brighter and anthemic.

                                              This is Naqvi’s first non-soundtrack release, having previously established himself as a renowned composer for dance, theatre, film and installation-based art, not to mention his role as drummer in lauded trio Dawn of Midi. According to Naqvi, “my past releases like ‘Chronology’, ‘Preamble’, ‘Fjoloy’ and ‘Film’ were made to accompany visual mediums. The music was always written to enhance another form. ‘Teenages’ is the first album with its own motivating force. It’s a live multi movement work that I recorded for myself.”

                                              With ‘Teenages’, Naqvi summoned all the material on an analog modular synthesizer – a voltage-controlled sound generating system comprised of multiple modules. Naqvi built this synth over the course of two years and amassed a collection of works for this album.

                                              “I’ve always been drawn to the power of un-amplified acoustic music. And for me modular synthesizers are a natural progression forward from the acoustic realm into the electric. It feels like an orchestra comprised of very unusual instruments, and their orchestration and vibrational properties lie in the patching and flow of voltages through a system.

                                              They’re also unstable and they rarely play the same thing twice in any exact way. It’s almost organic and human. It was really important for this album to capture that kind of uninterrupted behavior.”

                                              Capturing a live feeling without the aid of heavy studio production was an important component to this release: “Even though this is ‘electronic music,’ I didn’t want to rely heavily on a computer with an array of plugins, loops and samples, or exhaustive editing as part of the writing process. I wanted to treat this work like a live piece of music and have the natural behavior of the machine shine through and sound huge, like an orchestra of electrical signals.”

                                              Gently stuttering like a time lapse-video of a seed sprouting up from the earth, ‘Intermission’ sets the scene, before musical motifs begin to emerge on the dancing, bubbling bassline of ‘Mrs 2E’, which possesses a playful, infantile quality, like a newborn animal learning to walk after birth.

                                              More bouncy, skewed bottom-line squelch appears on the jittery, buzzing ‘Palace Workers’, which seems to evoke life in the form of amplified insect or bat noises, with a melody that eventually unfolds into something akin to a fractal rendition of ‘Oxygene’. By ‘No Tongue’ more traditionally identifiable musical signifiers begin to emerge, with a bright and melodic synth line evoking the new blooms of spring, whereas ‘Artilect’ takes a more ominous drone tone, insinuating the dark, potential threat of artificially augmented biological intelligence.

                                              Like a coming-of-age, the album culminates on title track ‘Teenages’ – a dynamic, technicolour symphony that was recorded in one take, with no overdubs or edits. In the year leading up to ‘Teenages’, Naqvi created a series of shorter works. These stepping-stones eventually became the first 5 tracks of the album and were part of a larger process, leading to the realization of the title track. “I wanted to show the stages of development that lead to the main act. All of these tracks share the same D.N.A., even though they seem distantly related.” Explains Naqvi.

                                              The pieces heard prior to ‘Teenages’ chronicle both Naqvi’s understanding of writing for this type of instrument and the growth of the instrument itself: “I started with just a few modules. And naturally things had to be layered and pieced together but as the synthesizer and its components grew over time, I was able to create broader and more complex strokes in the moment. And by the time I got to ‘Teenages’, it was possible to create a robust, large-scale piece spontaneously. This is very much an experiential album for me because it was borne out of my direct experience of learning the instrument. And as the synthesizer grew over time with more components, it matured. At times I felt like it was even rebelling against my instructions or surprising me with what felt like its own choices.

                                              When everything was finished and I was thinking about track titles, this idea of artificial intelligence came into my head; a machine that reacts to your impulses and is capable of giving you something different from what you ask, and even defying you. It felt like different stages of growth and adolescence, and that lead to the album title, ‘Teenages’.”

                                              Deeply rewarding on close listening, Naqvi has created an inspiring and synapsestimulating new masterwork, within the analogue/modular cannon.

                                              Leeds-formed Drahla have defined their own vital subset of art-rock with "Useless Coordinates", a debut album that’s as fearless as it is enthralling.

                                              Speaking from her current base in south-east London with bassist Rob Riggs, singer / guitarist Luciel Brown recounts the record’s somewhat chaotic gestation. 'Most of last year was spent touring, so we were squeezing writing and recording in from the beginning of 2018 until end of August.' In-between a headline tour, support slots with Ought and METZ, and multiple festival appearances - including at Meltdown at the request of The Cure’s Robert Smith - Brown, Riggs and Wakefield-based drummer Mike Ainsley managed 10 days in the studio in total. It was the unsettled nature of the period that part-inspired the album’s title. 'Useless Coordinates] summarised all of our situations,' Brown explains.

                                              The set’s sharp angles, stark tones and claustrophobic textures are reflected in the album’s artwork. Designed by Brown and Riggs - as per all previous record sleeves and promotional videos - the minimalist, mixed media creation takes inspiration from Talking Heads and Gang Of Four album art, the work of American artist Cy Twombly, and the economical, regimented aesthetic of the Bauhaus movement. 'Drahla came about off the back of needing an outlet for creative expression,' Brown explains. 'So the whole aesthetic is hugely important. As important as the music.'

                                              Whatever the medium, Brown’s interests lie in looking beyond the immediate to the abstract and indefinable. Her lyrics are developed from observations, notes and poems, and the fragmented imagery is spliced together to disorientating effect. On "Gilded Cloud" elegant snapshots from the golden age of Hollywood are juxtaposed with abrasive guitar textures, "Pyramid Estate" draws parallels between Ancient Egypt and the present day, and "Serenity" evokes the violent energy of a Francis Bacon painting. Beneath the abstraction are a diverse array of themes, including gender fluidity ("Invisible Sex"), city living ("Primitive Rhythm") and artistic expression ("Unwound"). The result is an uncompromising but deeply rewarding debut where the internal and external, cerebral and visceral coalesce to quite startling effect.


                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Coloured LP Info: Cardinal red vinyl.

                                              Stuart A. Staples

                                              Music For Claire Denis' High Life

                                              'High Life' was written and directed by Denis and stars Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche in the lead roles. It focuses on a group of criminals who are tricked into believing they will be freed if they participate in a mission to travel on a spaceship towards a black hole to find an alternate energy source while being sexually experimented on by the scientists on board. The soundtrack to the film was created by Stuart A. Staples of Tindersticks.


                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

                                              On their newest LP, m1nk provide a haunting middle ground between the dytopian downbeat atmospheres and delicate vocal aesthetic of Portishead or Massive Attack while encompassing the wandering electro-acoustic minimalism of late-70's ambient. Take 'Devil Under' for instance, kicking off with syncopated percussive shards and insectile shivers before staggering into the song proper, a slowly unfurling distillation of perfectly measured fretless bass and nu-jazz percussives holding the piece together despite the ever-present chaotic influence threatening to pull the song apart at the seams. 

                                              Elsewhere, trappy glitches and spoken word take over, 'The Far Side' being an excellent example of how Erika's voice can easily turn from a sultry, atmospheric aid to a synth-pop falsetto within the space of a couple minutes. The more meditative sections really show their beauty when barely adorned save for a couple reverbed vocal echoes. The superb psychedelic jam of 'Love Sign' is a great example of this and goes to show that while momentum is an important thing to build, it can also be accrued through layering atmospheric devices, slowly progressing from a subtly meandering echoic cascade into a rich cataclysm of perfectly curated drone. 

                                              While the songwriting is top notch here, it is the way the sounds are layered and their perfect cohabitation of the same sonic space that really sets this apart, with each instrument and effect perfeclty sculpted to increase their dynamic intensity without sacrificing their minimal but effective aura. 

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Barry says: Bloody lovely this, haunting echoes and shadowy vocals beautifully rising above the snapping percussion and pulsing basses. Rich with atmosphere but flecked with light streaks to keep things from getting too introspective.

                                              Vladimir Ivkovic's centre for the aurally abstract, Offen, has long since secured its reputation as a home for interdimensional sonics, alternative electronics and speculative evolution. It's fitting then, that the label should house the second long player from Karamika, the studio project of UK voodoo practitioner George Thompson (Black Merlin) and Dussuldorf master engineer Gordon Pohl. If you caught their first LP on ESP Institute, you're probably still feeling the effects, brainwaves augmented by the stream of low tempo, broad spectrum pulses. Cooly twisting dub, industrial, kosmische, new beat and post trance signifiers into a unique neo-tribal experience, Karamika delivered the finest under-the-radar release of the last half decade.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Patrick says: I missed out on the first Karamika LP way back when, only picking up a copy when I asked Joe from Zmatsutsi for the third ID off it. I won't make the same mistake this time round, as the duo swap the earthly pleasures of their debut for an altogether alien excursion into the deep black of the outer limits.

                                              Toronto born, Berlin based DJ / producer Nathan Micay (formerly Bwana) drops "Blue Spring’, via LuckyMe

                                              The impeccable craft found in the huge past anthems that fuelled his rise is still present, but Micay has upped his own ante; a prodigious and natural creator, this is his best work yet. Highly melodic with complex but spacious sound design, this inspired work is a technicolour ride across sub bass, celestial future breakbeat, drum-roll-fuelled dancefloor rollercoasters, soaring euphoria, otherworldly soundscapes, weightless sino and even a bit of ¾ time. Micay has found a sweet-spot between prog, trance, techno, hardcore, jungle, IDM and ambient, in a renewed twist on the magic mix that birthed Future Sound of London’s hybrid classic "Accelerator".

                                              To create the album artwork, Nathan wrote a script outline, which was adapted by Peter Marsden into a comic, in turn illustrated by Dominic Flannigan, in tribute to the highly-influential Manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo. The comic sees a young data miner rebel by attending a rave in the woods with her friends, only for the event to be broken up by the ranks of a futuristic police state. "Blue Spring" is the start of the revolution.

                                              With unnamed album tracks having already appeared on multiple RA mixes, Essential Mixes, Boiler Room sets, festival stages and dancefloors, music from this album has stealthily been whipping electronic music fans into a frenzy for some time, most notably in countless Shazams and posts on the Identification Of Music Facebook group. He has released on Whities and ESP institute, plus Aus, Cin Cin, and LuckyMe under his former alias, Bwana.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Matt says: Really really blown away by this. Supremo sound design, skilled, experimental song structures and a keen ear for unique melodies has made this 'surprise hit of the week'. Don' worry if it goes out of stock briefly, I've got more on the way from distributor.

                                              Concept album from the delectable Saucy Lady who graces Brooklyn boogie stable, Star Creature, with a killer album of space-aligned funk, boogie and soulful vocal meanderings. With all titles referencing the glorious infinite that is the universe, there's definitely a cosmic leaning to these super slick-produced, impeccably written tunes.

                                              As you'd expect, it features some classic instrumentation from the 80s, with a rich array of analogue synths, vintage drum machines and dreamy DSP keyboards all working in tandem to produce a coherent body of work that has 'future masterpiece' written all over it.

                                              Nods to Herbie Hancock, Wally Badarou, Dam Funk and Parliament can all be noted throughout the two-disc journey but this is no pastiche. This is 100% raw funk flavour; guided by a true universal being who's perfectly in tune with his studio set up. Not only is this a high watermark for the Star Creature label, it's an essential addition to the modern funk and bedroom boogie cannons of today. Do not sleep on this one pop pickers!


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Matt says: Pardon the artwork sir, the music's sublime! Authentic nods to boogie and soul, with some seriously smooth slow numbers that demand your attention as much as the more uptempo ones you'd associate with Star Creature. Another triumph from this genre-defining label.

                                              Mule musiq's sub label studio mule has formed a group of shifting members and now release a debut album with 8 tracks of reworked obscure japanese gems. The album contains the three singles the group released so far, featuring Miyako Koda of the ex-perimental pop band Dip In The Pool -- whose "on retinae" was reissued by music from memory to great acclaim -- on vocals and mule musiq staple Kuniyuki on production with direction by label head Toshiya Kawasaki.

                                              One of them, "carnaval," is a cover of the japanese dance classic by Taeko Ohnuki, produced by YMO. "Shinzo No Tobira" is a remake of the track by Mariah, a band led by sax player Yasuaki Shimizu, from their album Utakata No Hibi -- which was one of the reissues that sparked the global interest in obscure japanese music in the last few years. Studio mule's version features japanese lyrics rewritten by Miyako Koda. "face to face" is a cover of the ambient pop gem from the ultra rare album Desire by Yumi Murata of Mariah -- an album Visible Cloaks are fans of.

                                              Also included is a rework of "Kagami No Naka No Jugatsu," a song by Tamao Koike produced by YMO, turned into a dubby Balearic pop track -- dubbier than the version included on the yen label compilation -- sang by Nanako Sato, one of the artists enjoying some newfound success following a string of reissues stemming from the "city pop" revival craze. The oriental ambient pop "Yugao" by singer songwriter Mioko Yamaguchi is covered by vocalist Saho Terao, whom some describe as this generation's Taeko Ohnuki.

                                              "The April Fools" is a rework of Yukihiro Takahashi's track, which itself was also a cover of the original song by Burt Bacharach. This new version boasts a more experimental arrangement with Nanako Sato handling the vocals. YMO's "Ballet," originally with vocals by Yukihiro Takahashi, was reconstructed into a dance floor-ready instrumental by Kuniyuki. Many say Yoshiyuki Ohsawa's "soshite bokuwa Toho Ni Kureru" is one of the greatest songs of the '80s. The 12" dance version is reshaped here into a melancholic Balearic house track.

                                              The album cover is by the increasingly popular hotshot photographer Kota Shouji, ensuring you get the full package of sonic and visual delight.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Patrick says: Mule Musiq gather an all star cast of contemporary and legendary Japanese musicians in their studio, put Kuniyuki at the helm and deliver a majestic set of cover versions of the Japanese classics we've obsessed over for the past five years.

                                              Tiger & Woods come back with a new album - the third one to date. It is packed with playful melodies, italo disco, balearic house and cosmic funk. Believe or not all samples are legit and copyright paid in full! 
                                               
                                              These two Italian producers know how to work out the sustain-release pattern pretty well. It is not just a cut and paste exercise - creativity is at the epicenter of their creations. The opener, 'Forever Summer' is a slow chugger with plenty of sunshine. Very glossy. 'Warning Falls' carries on with the same narrative but accompanied by some vocals with a strong vocoder thrown on top. Reminds me of some ole good Daft Punk. In 'A Lovely Funk' we get more cosmic and more funky. Sounds like Sade in places. 
                                               
                                              'Night Quake' goes a bit darker and even slower than the chuggers above. Could fit in the 'Drive' soundtrack with any Italians Do It Better stuff. 
                                               
                                              On the flip, 'The Bad Boys' up the tempo slightly and loop the hell of a great riff creating a monster track, followed up closely by the italo, Moroder-esque 'Salsaro Ete'. Dancefloor territory now. 
                                               
                                              On '1AM', as the title implies, we are pumping and thumping on the dancefloor with its bright neons and playful acidic melody. Closing the LP is 'Kelly McGillis' where the tempo is slowed right down to produce a hypnotic 80s beauty with an outstanding bassline. 
                                               
                                              Classic Tiger & Woods. In top shape as the golfer himself who has just won the Augusta tournament after battling his inner demons!


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Sil says: No, they are not fading out. These two Italians still do it finely . A compendium of slow chuggers, balearic house bliss and at time dancefloor friendly hits. Cut and paste in a more refined manner. Still rocking!

                                              Veteran producer Thomas Feriero graces us with his first album in years and his debut LP as Maenad Veyl. Hosted inside a sleeve designed with Tomaso Lisca are twelve tracks made of the same contained abrasion we fell for on his EPs for Death & Leisure, Veyl and Pinkman. A full-on workout devoid of fillers, ambient interludes and other mindless garbage, ‘Body Count’ is as relentless as the name suggests. The EU is collapsing, the planet is dying, the lizards are in power, my girl's kicked me out the house and the debt is mounting - uncompromising music for uncomfortable times. Terrifying industrial and EBM workouts from Feriero here.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Patrick says: Fuck it, the world's beyond saving now, may as well embrace the apocalypse with this thoroughly dystopian set of wall shaking techno, rugged industrial and EBM.

                                              Following 2018’s acclaimed "Jazz On The Corner" compilation, 2019 sees Martin Freeman team up with Acid Jazz’s renowned head honcho Eddie Piller once more, to present a veritable and personal collection of tracks. Compiled from the pair’s personal favourites, be it hearing on the radio, word of mouth or out DJ'ing - "Soul On The Corner" represents the entire gamut of soul from the sixties and seventies right up to the present as illustrated by the likes of Tommy McGhee and the Acid Jazz recent signee Laville.

                                              Opening with the inimitable Bobby Womack and "How Could You Break My Heart", as Piller explains; 'I never tire of hearing this record and have used regularly to close my DJ set, it’s a real hands-in-the-air moment.' Further cuts from the renowned and less well-known seamlessly complement each other - the smooth sultry jam of Laville’s "Thirty One" or the superbly nuanced slice of progressive soul in the shape of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 77’s "Love Music". Piller’s selection transcends the rock / soul divide with "Never Gonna Give You Up" from former Impression Jerry Butler, adding: 'I plumped for this because I recalled the incredible response from The Black Keys’ version that I aired on the BBC’s Funk and Soul show.'

                                              No less varied is the choice of soul fan Martin Freeman, opening with the vintage ’68 soul with a twist of something rockier, Barbara Acklin’s "A Raggedy Ride" that he professes; 'is an unexpected gem that’s been a favourite of mine for forever.' Other picks arrive in the form of Georgie Fam’s cover of Bobby Womack’s "Daylight" that has Freeman enthusing; 'the original is a beaut. This is better.' Further inclusions come from The Supremes and The Wisdom Of Time, representing the mid-nineties contemporary soul scene is Lewis Taylor with "Lucky" that as Freeman asserts is; 'an epic tune.' Meanwhile, taken from their first self-titled album Earth, Wind & Fire’s "Fan The Fire" epitomizes the innovative nature of one of the most successful acts of all time and adds Freeman; 'this is a funky-as-hell cry for peace and love. Good lord, they were SO good.'


                                              Electronic Body Music, abbreviated as EBM, is a term whose origin stems from the Belgian group Front 242, chosen to describe their electronic music; cold and dancing, free of the dominant influences of the time. Powerful, cold and minimalist electronic rhythms were the hallmarks of this new genre.
                                              The movement quickly garnered followers with the British group Nitzer Ebb but also in the rest of Europe, with the likes of Borghesia and The Neon Judgment, later signed to labels like PIAS, Antler- Subway, Wax Trax!, Mute, Off Beat, Zoth Ommog, Pendragon and Metropolis.
                                              EBM’s popularity grew rapidly in the underground scene during the 1980s and early 1990s, especially in Europe, before breaking through in the rest of the world, also influencing the subsequent electroindustrial scene.
                                              ‘Dancing In Darkness: EBM, Black Synth & Dark Beats From The 80s’ - to give it its full title - is a compilation of some of these bands; bands that changed contemporary music in terms of ideology, politics and aesthetics.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Patrick says: More accurately described as Darryl's record collection, or every track I danced to from age 18-21, this double vinyl set serves up ALL the EBM, industrial, NDW and coldwave dancers you know and love - or don't and need. This is the Dark Wired Sovnd...

                                              Compiled by Andy Cabic (Vetiver), Zach Cowie (DJ & music supervisor) and Mark “Frosty” McNeill (dublab), "Pacific Breeze" documents Japan’s blast into the stratosphere. By the 1960s, the nation had achieved a postwar miracle, soaring to become the world’s second largest economy. Thriving tech exports sent The Rising Sun over the moon. Its pocket cassette players, bleeping video games, and gleaming cars boomed worldwide, wooing pleasure points and pumping Japanese pockets full of yen.

                                              Japan’s financial buoyancy also permeated its popular culture, birthing an audio analog called City Pop. This new sound arose in the mid ’70s and ruled through the ’80s, channeling the country’s contemporary psyche. It was sophisticated music mirroring Japan’s punch-drunk prosperity. City Pop epitomized the era, providing a soundtrack for emerging urbanites. An optimistic spirit buzzed through the music in neon-bathed, gauzy tableaus coated with groove-heavy strokes.

                                              "Pacific Breeze" is an expertly compiled collection of choice cuts that range from silky smooth grooves to innovative techno pop bangers and everything in between. Long-revered by crate diggers and adventurous music heads, this music has never been released outside of Japan until now. Including key artists like Taeko Ohnuki and Minako Yoshida, as well as cult favorites Hitomi Tohyama and Hiroshi Sato, the long-awaited release also features newly commissioned cover painting by Tokyo-based artist Hiroshi Nagai, whose iconic images of resort living have graced the covers of many classic City Pop albums of the 1980s.

                                              Many of the key City Pop players evolved from the Japanese New Music scene of the early ’70s, as heard on Light In The Attic’s acclaimed Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973, the first release of the ongoing Japan Archival Series. In fact, you could say City Pop set sail with a champagne smash from Happy End, the freakishly talented subversives who included amongst their ranks Haruomi Hosono and Shigeru Suzuki, both featured on this compilation. As Michael K. Bourdaghs noted in his book, Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon, this music was, “Deconstructing the line between imitation and authenticity.” Some of the best City Pop teeters in this zone—easy listening with mutant exotica, tilted techno-pop, and steamy boogie bubbling beneath the gloss.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Patrick says: If like me, Ryan Horsebeach, Piccadilly supply teacher Michael and mailorder Sil, you've had your head turned by the sounds of Japan, you'll be giddy at the arrival of this LITA compiled collection of City Pop gems. Featuring a who's who of 80s Japan, and their best moments no less, this is sunkissed tropical synth pop with a heavy helping of Japanese soul. Sophisticated music from the future past, presented in typically lavish fashion from the mighty Light In The Attic.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              2xLtd LP Info: 2x black vinyl LP housed in a deluxe wide spine jacket with over sized fold-out booklet, full color printed inner sleeves, and custom die-cut obi card.

                                              CD Info: CD in a UV coated Digipak with over sized fold-out booklet and custom die-cut obi card.

                                              The perfect album to soundtrack an early morning sunset by the Seine. Songs to relax to or to fall in love with, songs to dance to or to dream with. The soundtrack of an extraordinary life - your life, maybe...

                                              "NEO" is the next chapter for the critically acclaimed compilation series "Too Slow To Disco ". For DJ Supermarkt it was time to explore the exciting new, modern smooth sounds of the present. With "TSTD NEO - En France" we go to the exciting European capital of all things mellow, elegant, slightly erotic and Pop! The compilation contains 17 tracks - some of them never released and exclusive for this compilation - featuring two godfathers and grandseigneurs: the legendary Bertrand Burgalat, head honcho of the Tricatel label, musician, composer, arranger, producer, and the electro-disco wizard Yuksek who also runs the infamous Partyfine label.

                                              The others are the kids of Michel Legrand, Les Jeunes Gens Modernes and the French Touch, they sometimes try to marry Debussy to a disco beat, they’ve all got this blue melancholy which you only find in the French streets, they sing in their mother tongue or in their so very charming English accent without any complexes. They’re boys and girls. Duos (Bleu Toucan, Poom or Weekend Affair…), bands (L’Impératrice, Cléa Vincent and her friends), collectives (the elusive Catastrophe) or solo artists (Jean Tonique, Lomboy, Magnüm, Saint DX…) mix candied melodies and Gainsbourgienne basslines, electro arrangements and sensual grooves. There are funky guitars licks and - as usual with TSTD - way too many saxophones (it sounds like Duran Duran’s "Rio"), slap basses and some vocoders, even features a great ironic use of the modern autotune. 


                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              2xLP Info: 180 gram heavy double gatefold vinyl.

                                              "Juan Pablo: The Philosopher" has been one of our favourite releases here at Piccadilly in recent years, so we were utterly buzzing to hear word of a new LP from the mighty Ezra Collective. Soon enough the London five-piece furnished us with a promo CD, and it's been on the Piccadilly player ever since. Continuing the genre-bending journey they began on "Juan Pablo", "You Can't Steal My Joy" sees the ensemble apply their incredible musicianship to elements of Afrobeat, hip-hop, grime and dub, wrapping their diverse influences into their fearless, fun and contemporary take on jazz. If you needed any further evidence of their top tier credentials, they recently broke off from a sold out, mosh-pit-filled UK tour to play at Quincy Jones' birthday party - nuff respect. This is the jazz sound of 2019 folks - get joyful.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Millie says: Hearing the news of the new Ezra Collective album made my heart soar, after the success of Juan Pablo: The Philosopher this album is highly anticipated, with collaborations from Jorja Smith, Loyle Carner & KOKOROKO. You Can’t Steal My Joy will be without doubt favourite album of the year, I can’t rave about it enough. Go listen and support this amazing collective!!

                                              Aldous Harding releases her third album, Designer. Designer finds the New Zealander hitting her creative stride. After the sleeper success of the internationally lauded Party, Harding came off a 100-date tour last summer and went straight into the studio with a collection of songs written on the road.

                                              Reuniting with John Parish, producer of Party, Harding spent 15 days recording and 10 days mixing at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth and Bristol’s J&J Studio and Playpen. From the bold strokes of opening track ‘Fixture Picture’, there is an overriding sense of an artist confident in their work, with contributions from Huw Evans (H. Hawkline), Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), drummer Gwion Llewelyn and violinist Clare Mactaggart broadening and complimenting Harding’s rich and timeless songwriting.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Barry says: Another stunning LP from Harding here, being a favourite in the shop, we're no newbies to her own brand of rhythmic country-tinged melodic indie, but this time around we get the Welsh input from Huw Hawkline and Steve Baboo, both acts i'm well accustomed with from my time in Cardiff, and both perfectly fitting in to Harding's musical world. Beautiful stuff.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited gold vinyl, one pressing only, indies only.

                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                              After scoring a breakout success (and Piccadilly End Of Year nod) with their debut LP "On", Altın Gün return with an exhilarating second album. “Gece” firmly establishes the band as essential interpreters of the Anatolian rock and folk legacy and as a leading voice in the emergent global psych-rock scene. Explosive, funky and transcendent.  The world is rarely what it seems. A quick glance doesn’t always reveal the full truth. To find that, you need to burrow deeper. Listen to Altın Gün, for example: they sound utterly Turkish, but only one of the Netherlands based band’s six members was actually born there. And while their new album, Gece, is absolutely electric, filled with funk-like grooves and explosive psychedelic textures, what they play - by their own estimation - is folk music. “It really is,” insists band founder and bass player Jasper Verhulst. “The songs come out of a long tradition. This is music that tries to be a voice for a lot of other people.”

                                              While most of the material here has been a familiar part of Turkish life for many years - some of it associated with the late national icon Neşet Ertaş – it’s definitely never been heard like this before. This music is electric Turkish history, shot through with a heady buzz of 21st century intensity. Pumping, flowing, a new and leading voice in the emergent global psych scene. “We do have a weak spot for the music of the late ‘60s and ‘70s,” Verhulst admits. “With all the instruments and effects that arrived then, it was an exciting time. Everything was new, and it still feels fresh. We’re not trying to copy it, but these are the sounds we like and we’re trying to make them our own.”

                                              And what they create really is theirs. Altın Gün radically reimagine an entire tradition. The electric saz (a three-string Turkish lute) and voice of Erdinç Ecevit (who has Turkish roots) is urgent and immediately distinctive, while keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion power the surging rhythms and Merve Daşdemir (born and raised in Istanbul) sings with the mesmerizing power of a young Grace Slick. This isn’t music that seduces the listener: it demands attention.

                                              Altın Gün – the name translates as “golden day” - are focused, relentless and absolutely assured in what they do. What is remarkable is the band has only existed for two years and didn’t play in public until November 2017; now they have almost 200 shows under their belt. It all grew from Verhulst’s obsession with Turkish music. He’d been aware of it for some time but a trip to Istanbul while playing in another band gave him the chance to discover so much more. But Verhulst wasn’t content to just listen, he had a vision for what the music could be. And Altın Gün was born. “For me, finding out about this music is crate digging,” he admits. “None of it is widely available in the Netherlands. Of course, since our singers are Turkish, they know many of these pieces. All this is part of the country’s musical past, their heritage, like 'House of The Rising Sun' is in America.” As Verhulst delves deeper and deeper into old Turkish music, he’s constantly seeking out things that grab his ear.

                                              “I’m listening for something we can change and make into our own. You have to understand that most of these songs have had hundreds of different interpretations over the years. We need something that will make people stop and listen, as if it’s the first time they’ve heard it.” It’s a testament to Altın Gün’s work and vision that everything on Gece sounds so cohesive. They bring together music from many different Anatolian sources (the only original is the improvised piece “Şoför Bey”) so that it bristles with the power and tightness of a rock band; echoing new textures and radiating a spectrum of vibrant color (ironic, as gece means “night” in Turkish). It’s the sound of a band both committed to its sources and excitedly transforming them. It’s the sound of Altın Gün. Incandescent and sweltering.

                                              Creating the band’s sound is very much a collaborative process, Verhulst explains. “Sometimes me or the singer will come in with a demo of our ideas. Sometimes an idea will just come up and we’ll work on it together at rehearsals. However we start, it’s always finished by the whole band. We can feel very quickly if it’s going to work, if this is really our song.” Just how Altın Gün can collectively spark and burn is evident in the YouTube concert video they made for the legendary Seattle radio station KEXP. In just under 20 minutes they set out their irresistible manifesto for an electrified, contemporary Turkish folk rock. It’s utterly compelling. And with around 800,000 views, it has helped make them known around the world. “It certainly got us a lot of attention,” Verhulst agrees. “I think a lot of that interest originally came from Turkey, plenty of people there shared it.”

                                              That might be how it began, but it’s not the whole tale. The waves have spread far beyond the Bosphorus. What started out as a deep passion for Turkish folk and psychedelia has taken on a resonance that now travels widely. The band has played all over Europe, has ventured to Turkey and Australia and will soon bring their music to North America for the first time. “Not a lot of other bands are doing what we do,” he says, “playing songs in that style and seeing folk music in the same way.”

                                              Altın Gün are: Ben Rider (guitar) / Daniel Smienk (drums) / Erdinç Ecevit (synths, saz, vocals) / Gino Groenveld (percussion) / Jasper Verhulst (electric bass) / Merve Daşdemir (vocals, keys)

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Mine says: Almost exactly 12 months after their debut album 'On', Altin Gün are back with their follow-up 'Gece' - and only 2 songs in it's clear that it will again be contender for most played record on our shop stereo (and possibly sleeve of the year? But that might just be me...)! So what's it like their second album I hear you ask? Let me just say that Altin Gün have applied and absolutely nailed the so hard to action "more of the same but different" formula. If you were a fan of 'On' (if you weren't where were you last year??) or are intrigued by oriental cosmic psych funk this might possibly be your new favourite record!

                                              Born out of a chance encounter in 2012 that led to a lasting friendship, Rhythm Section Int’l & producer, DJ, label boss, radio host, and record store owner Ruf Dug join forces to present ‘The Committee’. Sitting somewhere between fictional band and studio collaboration, the record is the first fully in-house production for Rhythm Section, recorded start to finish at their own South East London studio and featuring vocals from label founder Bradley Zero and label mate FYI Chris’s Chris Watson.

                                              Right from the studio’s initial creation, Ruf Dug felt inspired by the space’s unique musical identity, jumping at the opportunity to create a collaborative record there over a two week studio residency. And between his DJ residencies at Pikes, Gottwood and NTS radio the Manchester-via-Ibiza computer game freak and renowned vinyl digger found the time to meld his wide range of influences. Having been a key driving force behind Be With’s Holy Grail reissue of Bô’vel's - Check 4 U , Ruffy has more than earned his stripes as a boss level Street Soul collector, pre-empting the resurgent interest in the genre, which began in the mid 80s and is still a popular sound in Manchester today. This new release draws parallels between the DIY attitude of Street Soul labels like TSR, Intrigue, Jam Today & Elite and the modus operandi of the RS studio.

                                              A wholly synergetic work, the project’s title “The Committee” reflects the collaborative nature of this release, as Ruf Dug states: “Authorship is a strange concept at the best of times but this genuinely is a group effort and I very much enjoyed feeling like just one piece of a larger entity - the complete opposite to my usual production experience of being all alone in my room for days at a time.” The EP also features additional production from Rhythm Section’s own Mali Baden-Powell, who DJ’s and produces as Z Lovecraft and comes from a background in Street Soul music, his father was also in legendary UK acid jazz collective D'Influence. In addition, the record features a dynamic range of vocalists: sultry deliveries from Natalie Wildgoose and Sienna Mustafa, a rap from her sister Nadina, and the vocal debuts of FYI Chris’s Chris Watson and Bradley Zero. “I had been joking with Bradley that he needed to be on the record somehow and he did appear, playing an egg shaker at one point, but his singing wasn't in the least bit planned… I got back from lunch, and the next thing you know he just starts singing...So I dragged him reluctantly down the corridor [to the studio] and that's it- now he's a pop star!”

                                              Also playfully melding digidub, soul, chicago house and acid jazz, the release not only marks a new chapter in the development of the Rhythm Section sound, but also catalogues a crucial turning Point in Ruf Dug’s musical development. Still oozing with the cheeky DIY approach that won his own label, RUF KUTZ an army of fans, this latest Collab steps things up and opens a whole new realm of possibilities for one of Manchester’s favourite sons.

                                              A1 Down 2 It ft. Watson
                                              Produced by Ruf Dug & Watson
                                              Vocals and Lyrics by Watson
                                              Additional Production by Mali Baden-Powell

                                              A2 Fell from Stars ft. Sienna & Nadina Mustafa
                                              Produced by Ruf Dug & Mali Baden-Powell
                                              Vocals and lyrics by Sienna & Nadina Mustafa

                                              B1 All U Got 2 Do ft. Bradley Zero
                                              Produced by Ruf Dug
                                              Vocals by Bradley Zero
                                              Lyrics by Ruf Dug & Bradley Zero
                                              Additional Production by Mali Baden-Powell

                                              B2 Sunrise ft. Natalie Wildgoose
                                              Produced by Ruf Dug & Mali Baden-Powell
                                              Vocals by Natalie Wildgoose
                                              Lyrics by Ruf Dug

                                              B3 Sunrise (Mali-I Dub)
                                              Produced by Ruf Dug & Mali Baden-Powell
                                              Dub Mix by Mali Baden-Powell
                                              Vocals by Natalie Wildgoose
                                              Lyrics by Ruf Dug

                                              All Songs Recorded in Rhythm Section Studio, 2018
                                              Mastered By Noel Summerville
                                              Executive Producer: Bradley Zero
                                              Cover Photo: Daniel Adhami

                                              Ruf Dug goes on tour in May, dropping by Gottwood, XOYO, Pikes and Love International along the way.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Matt says: Ruf Dug and Bradley Zero firmly reppin' the creative hotbeds of Manchester and Peckham respectively with a plethora of SE15 museos / singers produced by Danebank's no. 1 tropical cyberpunk. Cult artifact alert!

                                              This is Kevin’s opus - a 2LP concept album on spirituality and religion. Throughout his four solo albums and myriad records of various collaboration, Kevin Morby has recognized in his work the ubiquity of an apparent religious theme. Though not identifying as “religious” in the slightest, Morby—the globetrotting son of Kansas City who has made music while living on both coasts before recently returning to his Midwestern stomping grounds—recognizes in himself a somewhat spiritual being with a secular attitude towards the soulful. And so, in an effort to tackle that notion head-on and once-and-for-all, he sat down in his form of church—on planes and in beds—and wrote what would become his first true concept-album: the lavish, resplendent, career-best double LP Oh My God.

                                              “This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet,” he says. “It’s a cohesive piece; all the songs fit under the umbrella of this weird religious theme. I was able to write and record the album I wanted to make. It’s one of those marks of a life: this is why I slept on floors for seven years. I’ve now gotten the keys to my own little kingdom, and I’m devoting so much of my life to music that I just want to keep it interesting. At the end of the day, the only thing I don’t want is to be bored. If someone wants to get in my face about writing a non-religious religious record? Thank god. That’s all I gotta say.”


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Barry says: Although Matt and I agree that the front cover of this looks unbelievably like a topless Dom Kozubik, don't let that put you off. 'Oh My God' is a tenderly delivered and perfectly measured slice of indie songwriting. Morby's ear for a tune and perfectly balanced juxtaposition of tender, brittle balladry and uplifting soulful soothe make this one for every collection.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              2xDinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive opaque red vinyl 2LP + download.
                                              Bespoke art (different coloured lettering).
                                              Bonus CD.
                                              Numbered.
                                              12 x 12" print.
                                              Limited Edition of 500.

                                              2xColoured LP Info: Sky blue coloured vinyl.

                                              Sunn O)))

                                              Life Metal

                                                Continuing one of the main currents of the Sunn O))) concept, depth of exploration within collaboration, brought forth Hildur Guðnadóttir to the Sunn O))) constellation. Hildur is a sometime live collaborator of Sunn O))) and a renowned film music composer, former member of the bands Múm, Pan Sonic and Angel. She was a long time collaborator with the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (RIP). Hildur lent her incredible attitude, as well as her voice, breath and electric cello, and the enigmatic haldorophone to the proceedings, culminating in the epic composition/concerto "Novæ". The cosmos clearly expands.

                                                At the very beginning of 2018 Sunn O))) co-founders Stephen O'Malley & Greg Anderson set out on a path toward a new album production. They were both determined to create new music and a new method of working in the studio, without forgetting the long and proud history of production and studio accomplishments forged during their first two decades of existence (and the members' own musical experiences out of the band's). One long term goal was completely clear: to record Sunn O))) with Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studio. Steve took the call, said "Sure, this will be fun. I have no idea what is going to happen."

                                                Greg and Stephen gathered twice that spring for writing, conceptualising and riff woodshedding in the very building where the band was formed: Downtown Rehearsal in Los Angeles. Sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) and themes emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear. Themes developed in terms of brightness and energy, while visionary cues pointed toward subconscious areas of practice and the pair realised they were exploring other zones of consciousness via sound/time and sound/energy manipulation. In early summer a pre-production session with full backline, as a trio with T.O.S. on Moog, was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios, Northridge, California.

                                                In July 2018 Sunn O))) spent just over two weeks in Chicago at Electrical Audio (Studio A) with Steve Albini at the helm. The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, it sounds vast. The sessions were impeccably recorded, authentically represented and completely accurate. The spectrum cracked the firmament open in clarity. An all analogue technique was used, they recorded and mixed on tape, providing a creative gateway for Sunn O))) to evolve their production methods into stronger, confident, performance based and a more logical executive process. The album was mastered and lacquers cut from tape in October by Sunn O))) ally Matt Colton at Alchemy in London. The LP version is a AAA album, recorded and mixed on tape via a completely analogue production, from the input of the band's amplifiers and the air coming off the speakers in front of the microphones to the needle touching the pressed vinyl on your turntable.

                                                Tim Midyett, a close friend of Greg and Stephen since the Seattle days of the early 90s (and member of Silkworm, Bottomless Pit and Mint Mile), joined in a foundational role tying earth to sound with wicked performances on aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars: instruments he helped pioneer playing back in the 90s (alongside Steve and Shellac of course). Dark matter is reality.

                                                Prolific new music composer Anthony Pateras arranged and recorded an incredible contribution of pipe organ for a piece titled "Troubled Air" (titled after an essay by author Aliza Shvarts, who also penned the liner notes for Sunn O)))’s Kannon) at Schlosskappelle, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. String theory of space.

                                                The resulting album is titled Life Metal. It is fully realised and completely real. The record was produced by the core of Stephen & Greg & arranged by the greater constellation Sunn O))). Paintings by visual artist Samantha Keely Smith graciously adorn the sleeve and provide a perfect suitable mask to the proceedings. They collide ideas of 19th century romanticism & late 20th abstract expressionism (mysticism) with Sunn O)))’s approach to metal (via reference points of Arbo, Turner, Delville, Richter, Turrel, Wou-Ki). Photographer Ronald Dick shot them in baths of light colour representing depth of sound pressure in the work.

                                                There is a second more meditative LP titled Pyroclasts, also recorded by Steve Albini in parallel, and which will be revealed in the autumn 2019 (more later) with all music performed by Stephen, Greg, T.O.S., Tim Midyett, and Hildur Guðnadóttir. 


                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: It's another amazing LP from Sunn here, enlisting the help of Múm's Hildur Gudnadottir on vocal duties to superb effect. Her music has always been beautiful in it's own regard (Múm being one of my absolute favourites) and it's lighter touch and orchestral delicacy adds beautifully to the famously all-encompassing drone of O'Malley and Anderson. Absolutely stunning.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                2xColoured LP Info: Limited purple coloured vinyl.

                                                Ltd LP Info: Limited black vinyl edition.

                                                King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

                                                Fishing For Fishies

                                                Sit back and strap yourself in as seven-headed Aussie rock beast King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with Fishing for Fishies, perhaps their most perfectly-realised album to date. Here is a world where the organic meets the automated; where the rustic meets the robotic. Where the past and future collide in the beautiful present.

                                                The thirteenth album since their 2012 debut – and their first following the release of five vastly different albums in 2017 - Fishing for Fishies is a blues-infused blast of sonic boogie that struts and shimmies through several moods and terrains. From the soft shuffle Outback country of the opening title track through the sunny easy listening of ‘The Bird Song’ (think the lysergically-soaked Laurel Canyon circa 1973) and on through the party funk of ‘Plastic Boogie’ (which somehow summons the spirit of Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions) the road-trucking, Doors-like highway rock of ‘The Cruel Millennial’ and ‘Real Is Real’ - what The Carpenters might have sounded like had they existed entirely on vegemite and weed - it’s a dizzying, dazzling display.
                                                Hell, The Gizz make it look so easy.

                                                And that’s all before we even get to ‘Acarine’, a futurist blues tune which heads off into previously unchartered territories of shimmering Eno-esque ambient and dark John Carpenter-style electro, and the electro squelch of album-closing single ‘Cyboogie’, on which five of the seven King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard members play synths. It’s a stomping vocoder-lead anthem akin to Georgio Moroder or Trans-era Neil Young and a triumphant conclusion to an album that is as surprising as it is thrilling, as unexpected as it is effortless.

                                                “We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it - or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

                                                “I didn’t really know who I was by the end of 2017,” continues Stu, of the band’s never-to-be-repeated year, which concluded with the fifth album being released on New Years Eve 2017. “It was a good kind of spent feeling though, as I like being busy. For most of the holiday period I was in the studio doing the last of the recording and mixing on Gumboot Soup. And as soon as it clicked over to 2018 I stopped worrying about recording for a while and started living instead.”

                                                Out of this period came Fishing for Fishies, an album in which musical motifs recur: lush piano, mellotron and synth flourishes (the bulk of the album was written on piano); Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s distinctive harmonica, which brings to mind sidewinders crossing dusty widescreen vistas; a generous dose of vocoder; and a plethora of creative U-turns that conspire to create a general overall sense of man and machine melding together in a thrilling chrome-covered hybrid.

                                                Because Fishing for Fishies is an album looking out across the horizon through mirrored sunglasses while twenty-tonne juggernauts thunder past. Here, perhaps, is a place where the spirit of two key songs released in the same year - Ram Jam’s ‘Black Betty’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’ – linger somewhere in the mix. And what may sound absurd on paper is actually the genius work of a band of musicians entirely simpatico with one another after nearly a decade of constant evolution.

                                                “We have travelled a lot – we’ve seen the world - but it all still feels like discovery,” says Stu, in trademark self-effacing style. “We’re still essentially naive kids tinkering around with toys we don’t know how to use in the studio.”
                                                Newcomers to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard will find an entire self-contained universe awaits them in a thrilling body of work. Here are grand concepts where albums overlap, riffs resurface, circular songs chase their own tails, grand narratives are told, cryptic lyrics endlessly analysed and a whole army of fans regurgitate the band’s output via a deluge of remixes, memes, visual loops, mind-melting cut-ups and just generally pontificate wildly about everything in The Gizzverse, much of it available on Youtube and internet forums.

                                                “I am aware that it exists,” laughs Stu, of the alternative world that exists in their honour. “But I’m completely social media-less and pretty stone-age really. Good on ‘em for digging deep though.”
                                                Because King Gizzard are no longer a band, they are a cult, a youth movement, an exploration, a double-drumming trip, a cottage industry centred around their own Flightless Records. Many milestones have been ticked off along the way: a headline slot at the UK’s Green Man Festival; a huge sold-out US tour; playing to five thousand people at a sold-out Brixton Academy one day…and then 100 people in the Yorkshire hill town of Hebden Bridge the next. Meanwhile their Gizzfest gathering in Melbourne is now in its fourth year. They are a band to give your life to. Perhaps more than anything they provide transportive fun, a valuable and often-overlooked commodity in an increasingly fraught world.

                                                Best of all, anyone can step into The Gizzverse - anytime, anywhere. No prior understanding is necessary. So whether it’s psyche rock played with breakneck precision (2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz), life-giving acoustic folk and Tropicalia (2015’s Paper Mâché Dream Balloon), a three-part sci-fi/prog album (2017’s Murder Of The Universe) or an album uploaded on an open license so that budding labels worldwide could press their own copies, which they duly did, currently 240 different pressings according to Discogs (2017’s, Polygondwanaland), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard provide it. As Pitchfork noted, they have waged war against two tired clichés: “One, that rock is dead; and two, that the album is dead.” More than that, they have staked their claim as one of the most innovative, exciting and productive bands of the 21st century


                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: It's been close to 24 minutes since the last King Giz outing, so we're obviously due another one. this time we get bigger stadium-rock choruses and deep south Americana vibes mixed in with their usual stoned thrash and soaring progressions. As vital as always. Snap it up quickly, or by the time you read this, there may be another.

                                                Rudolf Abramov is a duo based in Berlin and Israel, which seem to have been a door opener to unexpected musical encounters, because it’s an almost impossible task to sum up their sound in a comprehensible way. In their own words their music is ”a response to a seemingly endless conflict about disgust, acceptance and love.” Now Höga Nord Rekord is releasing their Mini-LP ”Krass kontrast”. Rudolf Abramov is Roland 303, programmed drums, oriental samples, eastern mysticism and instrumentation dressed as German machine funk, Disco, Turkish psychedelia, Krautrock, EBM and so on, and so on…their music is cosmic, beautiful and boundless. The arpeggio on the track ”Projekt 4” is running on infinite repeat in a parallell reality where 1982 never ended, where Rudolf Abramov move freely through different dimensions and where they are in total control of their unpredictable creation! 

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Patrick says: Holy batshit badman! Those acid freaks at Hoga Nord keep their scoresheet immaculate with this weird, warped and wonderful release from Berlin/Israeli duo Rudolf Abramov. Take no-wave funk, NDW, synth pop and jazz fusion, coat them in some high power LSD then shove that blotter paper through your earholes and into your brain - killer weirdshit.

                                                London-based psychedelic stalwarts Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation are proud to reveal their third album 'Sacred Dreams' for Rocket Recordings. Continuing to dive into the deeper waters of experimentation, ‘Sacred Dreams’ is both a musically hefty amalgamation of reverb drenched space-rock and retro centric electronics, as well as an emotionally cathartic release for the band, marking a new direction and fresh approach.

                                                Since their critically acclaimed album 'Mirage' was released, Josefin and writing partner Fredrik have relocated from Stockholm to London and have created a new Liberation around them - this new band consists of the powerful and intuitive assemblage of musicians; Maki (Go Team), Patrick C Smith (Eskimo Chain), Matt Loft (Lola Colt) and Ben Ellis, who’s worked with both Iggy Pop and Swervedriver. ‘Sacred Dreams’ was largely recorded at Press Play Studios (King Krule, Fat White Family, Yves Tumor, Stereolab, High Llamas and many others) run by Andy Ramsay of Stereolab, who also produced and even programmed his non synced drum machines adding a lot of inspiration to the album.

                                                ‘Scared Dreams’ invites you into the bands own dimensional soundscape, a world built with transcendental guitars, driving grooves and otherworldly, enchanting vocals, altogether seeped in layers of blissfully produced synths. Opener and lead single ‘Feel The Sun’ encapsulates this new direction perfectly before the anthemic ‘I Can Feel It’ makes the bands intentions known. Elsewhere playful 80s electronics sit alongside a shoegaze sensibility effortlessly and amongst the textured flow of the LP emerge pop hooks like the infectiously bluesy ‘Baby Come On’.

                                                Josefin tells us “This album comes out of a period of heartbreak, loss and dissolution, but also of deep love, warmth and beauty unveiled in the middle of it. A sacred dream, the way we see it, is not necessarily a golden fluffy cloud river, but instead also contains all the shadows that need to be seen and felt in order to drop what has to go in order to truly live. And the dissonance of such a dream may not be immediately apparent, let alone the meaning of it. In a way all of these tracks seem to emanate from that place where we have almost reached a new shore, or maybe we missed it and are headed somewhere else entirely, but there’s no way of telling until afterwards.”

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: We love Josefin Ohrn here at Piccadilly, and (for me certainly), every album is moving more into my remit. The mind-melting psychedelic edge is still present in abundance, but this one moves slightly more towards a rhythmic synth-poppy affair interspersed with huge thumping arpeggios and sidechains aplenty amongst the usual hazy saturated psych. Superb stuff.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Orange vinyl.

                                                Indies Exclusive LP Info: Deep Blue/Black Swirl Vinyl - UK Indies Only.

                                                SOAK returns after 4 years with a new album, bringing with her 4 years worth of growth, introspection and understanding. The result is Grim Town, the follow-up to her Mercury Music Prize-nominated debut Before We Forgot How To Dream, which saw her win the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, the Northern Irish Music Prize, and the European Border Breaker Award, in addition to being shortlisted for a Q Award.

                                                Her astonishingly assured, emotionally mature songwriting was often hailed as wise beyond its years; but, as her new album often asks, when do we ever truly shake off those childlike fears, the imposter-syndrome, the outsider-status? The term ‘to come of age’ lands with so much expectation, but with Grim Town, Bridie dissolves all such assuredness with imaginative, ambitious, and cathartic results. It is almost as though the greater soundscape - heavier in places, more pop-focused in others - has given SOAK the confidence to put her long overdue introspections in the firing line. It’s beauty and brutality is there from the album open opener, ‘Get Set Go Kid’ which traces the train-tracks out of depression (“I’ve got to get out, I can’t live here anymore!”) and was as inspired by the audio-visual environmentalism of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ as Bridie’s train-obsessed grandad on voiceover duties.

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Grim Town is the newest album from Soak in 4 years, and displays a much more mature and thematically consistent side to Monds-Watson's sound. Still encompassing the punky chord sequences but with a much more nuanced and musically diverse backdrop, shimmering and soaring before bringing things back to earth with minimal guitar pieces, accentuated only by those unmistakable vox.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Comes with bonus 7".

                                                The Mountain Goats

                                                In League With Dragons

                                                  The Mountain Goats are John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, And Matt Douglas. They have been making music together as a quartet for several years. Three of them live in North Carolina and one has moved back to Rochester.

                                                  Their songs often seek out dark lairs within which terrible monsters dwell, but their mission is to retrieve the treasure from the dark lair & persuade the terrible monsters inside to seek out the path of redemption. As Axl Rose once memorably asked, in the song “Terrible Monster”: “What’s so terrible about monsters, anyway?” This is the question The Mountain Goats have been doggedly pursuing since 1991. They will never leave off this quest until every option has been exhausted. Thank You.


                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Barry says: As far as concept albums about gaming, i'm all in, and this one is lovely. It's a strange but perfectly formed beast, with smooth scales interspersed with fiery outbursts. Another wonderfully formed outing from The Mountain Goats.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  2xColoured LP Info: 2xLP coloured + 7” is green vinyl album + black vinyl single in gatefold jacket + download (2000 only).

                                                  2xDeluxe LP Info: Deluxe 2LP + 7” is yellow & green marble vinyl album + black vinyl single in gatefold jacket housed in a debossed, dragon scale slipcase + Dragon League membership card + download (3300 only).

                                                  CD Info: CD is gatefold wallet + 16 page lyric booklet.

                                                  Named after the theoretical breakdown of the basic elements of conscious experience, Alfa Mist's latest album 'Structuralism' is based around a conversation between Mist and his sister, discussing themes of debate culture and personal growth and is an intricate and profound glimpse into the East London artist's battles with self and the societal pressures that inform our own conscious experience.

                                                  'Structuralism' provides listeners a rare opportunity to disconnect from the world, and to consider their very presence in time and space. Mist's ability to entrance listeners into states of experiential self-reflection and contemplation oozes from these seven minutes of vivid, meditative jazz composition.

                                                  ‘Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres’ was recorded live to beautifully capture the essence and spirit of the Puta Madres at a family home overlooking a fishing village in Étretat Normandy, over 4 days last summer and mixed at Urchin Studios (East London). The album is engineered by Dan Cox (Laura Marling, Thurston Moore, Florence & The Machine)and produced by Jai Stanley (long time friend and manager).

                                                  ‘Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres’ is a devastatingly intimate portrait of love, loss, being lost, happiness, tragedy, addiction and the power of the human soul to transcend its darker levels. All the songs from the album were road tested over the last 18 months across Europe at Festivals and headline shows.

                                                  Songs include the reflective ‘All At Sea,’ the raw ‘Punk Buck Bonafide,’ the upbeat and playful ‘Shoreleave,’ the joyous hymn of liberation ‘Paradise Is Under Your Nose,’ ‘Someone Else To Be’ Peter’s re-imagining of the Velvet Underground’s ‘Ride Into The Sun’ and Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger and ‘Who’s Been Having You Over’ with dialogue from the 1948 film adaption of Graham Greene ‘Brighton Rock’ and the cheeky poke at his own notoriety,“You’re so rock’n’roll.”

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  Coloured LP Info: Deluxe clear vinyl Indies Exclusive with a Live & Demos CD and DVD film.

                                                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                  2CD/DVD Info: This deluxe CD includes a bonus Live & Demos CD and DVD film.

                                                  Seeing Other People is curiously positioned as Foxygen’s most recent last-ever album. With every album the band dies; with every album the band is reborn. But unlike the last-ever Foxygen albums before it, this one seems to have a self-effacing bittersweetness to it that signifies some sort of passing; some sort of white flag. But it SOUNDS in no way like a band giving up. It has experiments in tone and genre the likes of which we’ve not heard on a Foxygen record since….Starpower?; since 21st Century?; since Take the Kids??? You don’t need our hot take on this thing

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive limited deluxe gatefold edition, pink vinyl.

                                                  Marina

                                                  Love + Fear

                                                    MARINA (formally known as Marina and the Diamonds) is an award winning, platinum-selling artist. Revered since her breakthrough in 2009, she has released three UK Top 10 albums to date.

                                                    MARINA used her break as a period of reflection and to rediscover her authentic self, as opposed to the artist and persona (‘and the Diamonds’) she had lived and breathed since signing her record deal at the age of 22. MARINA says of the album ‘‘LOVE is filled with a longing to enjoy life and a desire for unity. FEAR explores subjects that have been a lot harder for me to work through and understand, such as purpose insecurity in love, and major shifts in our social conscience regarding the systematic misogyny and sexual abuse employed by powerful figures in the media. A companion to LOVE, these ideas cross to showcase and explore the polarising sides of human nature’’.


                                                    "The Secret of Letting Go" is Lamb's 7th studio album, written and recorded in the space of a year between their home-studio in England’s South Downs and in India and Ibiza. Continuing to push the sonic envelope, title track, "The Secret of Letting Go" was written in the moment the band decided they were splitting up and holds the corner for their endless experimentalism.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    LP Info: Limited edition 180 gram heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                                                    Droneflower is in bloom. The new collaboration between Marissa Nadler and Stephen Brodsky (Cave In, Mutoid Man), is a sprawling and expansive exercise in contrasts. It is the sound of the war between the brutal and the ethereal, the dark and the light, the past and the present, and the real and imagined.

                                                    Brodsky met Nadler for the first time in 2014 at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar when he came to see her play on her July tour, and they quickly became friends. Both of them had been wanting to explore songwriting that didn’t fit into their existing projects, and they soon became energized by the prospect of working together. One of the first ideas they discussed was a horror movie soundtrack, and while Droneflower isn’t that, it is a richly cinematic album.

                                                    The first song that came together was “Dead West,” based around a beautiful acoustic guitar piece Brodsky wrote while living on Spy Pond, just outside of Nadler’s home base in Boston. By the time they started working on the song earnest, Brodsky had moved to Brooklyn. Nadler added lyrics and vocal melodies remotely, and it was obvious there was kismet in the collaboration.

                                                    All the songs on Droneflower were recorded in home studios, and they throb with the frisson of that intimate environment. For much of the recording process, Brodsky would stop by the ramshackle studio that Nadler set up in Boston whenever he was in town visiting family. Songs like “For the Sun” were written on the spot there, lyrics and all. The lush ambient pieces “Space Ghost I” and “Space Ghost II” began as Brodsky piano compositions and were later fleshed out by additional instrumentation and Nadler’s inimitable vocals.

                                                    Nadler and Brodsky also recorded two cover songs for the album — the epic Guns n’ Roses power ballad “Estranged” and Morphine’s beguiling “In Spite of Me.” Since childhood, Nadler had been transfixed by the “Estranged” video, and she and Brodsky breathe new life into the song here. Their take on “In Spite of Me” is invigorated by Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley, who ironically didn’t play on the original recording but is indispensable on this version.


                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    LP Info: Limited edition clear and black marbled vinyl.

                                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                    Kelly Finnigan's debut solo album for Colemine Records represents the culmination of his 15 years of experience - in the studio as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer - and touring the US and Europe as a singer, musician, and band-leader. The content within reflects his dedication to expression through the rich American music traditions of soul, gospel, doo-wop, and R&B. The subject is love. Its ecstasies and heartaches. Love sought, found, betrayed, lost, and rediscovered. The result is a marvelous collection of songs and performances that run the gamut from whispering tenderness to roaring appeals; from lean and mean to lush and lovely. And always, always, manifestly honest, and undeniably soulful. With Finnigan guiding these songs from their conception all the way to the record pressing plant, the new release provides the singular voice missing from soul music: a visionary that writes, records, performs and produces his own material. 

                                                    Catfish And The Bottlemen

                                                    The Balance

                                                      Stealing time out from a promotional photo shoot, Van McCann glances out into an unforgiving English North Sea, battling the coastal breeze to light a cigarette. In a few, short weeks and 10,000 miles from here, the singer and songwriter of Catfish and The Bottlemen will look from the stage and see the mid-summer paradise of Tasmania’s South Pacific coastline, trading isolation and brooding cloud for the thunder of another jet-set, live performance in searing heat. The signs weren’t there for Catfish and The Bottlemen to be a band of extremes, yet they seem to throw that precise silhouette, almost without intention.

                                                      Tumbling into 2019 by headlining festival stages on the other side of the world, McCann (vocals, guitars), Johnny Bond (guitars), Robert ‘Bob’ Hall (drums) and Benji Blakeway (bass) take a huge gulp of air before their homecoming and the start of another new chapter. Catfish and The Bottlemen’s 2019 new album release follows 2014’s platinum-certified debut, The Balcony and 2016’s gold, number one follow-up, The Ride. Companion to the release of their third album is the anticipation, if not vocal impatience, of their waiting fans and the knowledge within the band that it represents a likely escalation of the successes of the last three years. Three years in which they’ve seen sales of one million albums and, in 2018 alone, nearly a quarter of a million UK fans experiencing them play live.

                                                      Practically of no fixed abode, the band has toured constantly since their formation, now over a decade ago. Hotel rooms, tour buses, airport lounges and live venues are home, with the band’s roots seemingly indeterminable. McCann is extensively quoted saying that his band’s isolation in the fast lane of emotive, youthful alternative rock is thanks to their conscious plot to ‘think inside the box’. While typical chaos swirls around an in-demand, arena-filling rock band, that uncharacteristically strategic starting point for the journey remains their pivot. When judged fairly from distance, Catfish and The Bottlemen are a natural reaction to an age of perpetual identity-crises, fruitless cravings for elusive individuality and the ‘curation’ of everything from shoes to breakfast cereals. They’ve proved that simplicity isn’t, as it turns out, a sin or the safest route to take.

                                                      Freed from opinion and expectation, young music fans flock in their tens of thousands to see and hear the band in concert, exercising joyful release, in communion, as the rest of the world appears to fight with itself on the outside. Four years on, a new Catfish and The Bottlemen record could never sound like The Balcony. The band's activities supporting their debut album quickly brought festival main stages and US late night television appearances. The Ride propelled them further into UK sell-outs at Don Valley Stadium, Wembley Arena, Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park and Cardiff Castle. Significantly, it also invited more quality time with global fans on tours to the USA, South America, Australia and Japan. Some of McCann’s youthful restlessness on record, a distinct and endearing awkwardness as he approached relationships with friends and lovers, was destined to evolve with each, giant step.

                                                      The first snapshot of a new album, ‘Fluctuate’, performed throughout summer 2018, teased out a lean, refreshed version of everything Catfish fans find so easy so to love. McCann performed what sounded like a personal diary entry and he sang it to them, about them, for them and with them. They, typically, soon started to sing every word back. What had changed, subtly, was the cool, open air in which the song was allowed to hang, McCann’s rhythmic delivery in each verse pinned to the bass and drums, saving the collective push for a supercharged chorus. It’s a progression that remains satisfyingly inside the box.

                                                      Catfish and The Bottlemen went it alone for near to a decade, before their guerrilla tactics (throwing demos on numerous stages and jamming them under car windscreen wipers) and relentless gigging paid off. “We’ve still been unsigned for longer than we’ve been signed,” says McCann, seemingly never allowing himself to forget the self-initiated activity of their formative years, despite living in the new reality of being a platinum-selling, arena-filling young front man. In person, he’s a character of kind humility, contrasting the magnetic image of the hip-swinging, black-clad front man that makes thousands of fans sway effortlessly to his every, energetic move. You get the feeling that he’d do it all again, no matter how long it took, to get Catfish and The Bottlemen to where they are now.

                                                      There are no red carpets for the band (they tried desperately to delay their arrival at the 2016 Brit Awards to avoid the frenzy), no tabloid-stirring relationships or ostentatious shows of excess. It’s not restraint; it’s the private life of four friends getting on with the jobs their fans have afforded them the privilege to get done. As McCann stares out into the endless sea on a windswept promenade he’s far from the voracious desire of his audience, one which easily finds affinity with him and reaches out for personal connection. Yet the scene is dramatically poised. It’s the very definition of the calm before the storm.


                                                      Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of Hannah Cohen’s new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album ‘Welcome Home’ displays a new level of confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slowburning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get In Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time’.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Coloured LP Info: Light blue vinyl.

                                                      “I can’t think of a more fitting way to commemorate the first anniversary of Dolores’ passing and to celebrate her life than to announce to the world the release of her final album with the band.” Eileen O’Riordan, Dolores O’Riordan’s mother.

                                                      30 years after forming in Limerick (initially as The Cranberry Saw Us) The Cranberries release their 8th and final album ‘In The End’. With Stephen Street once again taking producer duties, the eleven-track record brings a remarkable career to a fitting and powerful closure. 

                                                      The Cranberries - Dolores O’Riordan, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler - emerged from the pre-Brit-pop scene of the early '90s, with their trademark indie guitar sound and Dolores’ distinctive Celtic-tinged lilting vocal style – described by Melody Maker as “the voice of a saint trapped in a glass harp”. Their rise to global fame was nothing short of meteoric; best known for their now classic songs ‘Linger’, ‘Zombie’ and ‘Dreams’, the band have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

                                                      While it is tinged with sadness following Dolores’ unexpected death on January 15th 2018, ‘In The End’ is not a valediction, it is a celebration, one that stands as a powerful testimony to the life and creative work of Dolores and her brothers in music Noel, Mike and Fergal.

                                                      The genesis of ‘In The End’ began in May 2017 while the band were on tour. By winter of 2017 Noel and Dolores had written and demoed the eleven songs which would eventually appear on the album. “Dolores was so energized by the prospect of making this record and to getting back out on the road to play the songs live” recalls Noel.

                                                      In coming to terms with her tragic passing Noel, Mike and Fergal listened to the songs and, with the support of Dolores’ family, wanted to honour their close friend, and collaborator by completing the record.

                                                      Speaking about the band’s concerns at the time Noel said “we knew this had to be one of the, if not the, best Cranberries album that we could possibly do. The worry was that we would destroy the legacy of the band by making an album that wasn’t up to standard. Once we had gone through all the demos that Dolores and I had worked on and decided that we had such a strong album we knew it would be the right thing and the best way that we could honour Dolores.”

                                                      With the songs at various stages of completion they turned to Stephen Street – who had produced four of their previous albums including ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?’ and ‘No Need To Argue’ - and spent 4 weeks in a London studio building the sounds around her vocals from the original demos. “It was a bitter sweet time. The joy of recording new tracks is always exciting and one of the best parts of being in a band. At the end of every day when we’d laid down our parts there was a sense of sadness, knowing that Dolores wouldn’t be in that evening to work on that day’s track” remembers Noel.

                                                      The album is a strong goodbye from the band to their fans, a fitting tribute to their bandmate and friend and, most importantly, a collection of powerful songs that can take their rightful place with The Cranberries’ previous six records.


                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited indies exclusive red rust coloured vinyl.

                                                      Deadbeat & Camara

                                                      Trinity Thirty

                                                        Trinity Thirty is a celebration and reinterpretation of the much beloved Cowboy Junkies classic The Trinity Session, on the occasion of the album’s 30th anniversary (originally released in late 1988). The idea was spawned when Berlin-based Canadian producer Scott Monteith — best known as DJ and dub-inflected minimal techno-electronica recording artist Deadbeat — heard the Junkies’ Trinity version of “Sweet Jane” playing in an airport a few years back. Viscerally reminded of how much he loved the album, and how surprisingly overground the record ended up becoming (in fact by mid-1989 The Trinity Session would be certified Platinum in both Canada & The USA truly another era), Monteith immediately reached out to the band to ask if they had anything planned for its 30th birthday (the Junkies had previously commemorated the album on the occasion of its 20th anniversary by re-recording it as Trinity Revisited).

                                                        Before Monteith even touched down back in Berlin, the band had replied that same day saying they had no such plans but would enthusiastically support whatever angle Monteith/Deadbeat might want to run with. Monteith then recalled conversations with musician/producer and fellow Canadian-in-Berlin Fatima Camara (whose acclaimed debut solo album Before We Sleep came out on Parachute Records in 2016) about their shared love of The Trinity Session, feeling she’d be the perfect partner to involve in a reinterpretation. Camara was thrilled by the idea, and the two began meeting to explore how to approach things conceptually and aesthetically. This would be their first collaboration – and their first time placing their own vocals at the forefront of a project (joined by guest vocalist Caoimhe McAlister to add harmonies on certain tracks). The Trinity Session is rightly celebrated for its naturalistic, profoundly languorous covers of classic tunes and traditional work songs (“Sweet Jane”, “Blue Moon”, “Mining For Gold”, et al) – and is also legendary for having been recorded with a single microphone in single takes at a church in Toronto, with no further mixing or overdubbing. While Deadbeat and Camara couldn’t entirely replicate this approach as a duo, for Trinity Thirty they similarly re-recorded everything with single mics in a big open space at Berlin’s Chez Cherie studio, relying heavily on natural room acoustics, committed to raw first takes, guided by an overriding strategy of slowing down all the tempos as far as they could while continuing to channel the warm asceticism of the original album.

                                                        Initially imagining they would run a fair amount of electronic treatments during the mix, Deadbeat and Camara instead found themselves absorbed by the spaces and silences, guided by a spirit of preservation and restraint, in homage to the original. The result is “a less electronic album than we imagined making”: a gorgeous somnambulant collection of ‘covers of covers’, where the reference point is always the Cowboy Junkies original approach, stretched to new and beguiling limits of deceleration and narcotized spaciousness – a sensibility further reinforced by the mastering treatment of minimalist dub-techno legend Stefan Betke (~scape, Pole). Trinity Thirty is a wonderfully languid, subtly avant-garde, conceptually reverent acoustic-meets-electronic interpretation of this classic album. 

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                        Craig Mac & The Notorious BIG

                                                        Big Mack

                                                          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2019 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                          Given out as part of the "B.I.G. MACK" promo only package from Bad Boy Entertainment in 1994. To create a buzz around the new record label and these artists Puff Daddy came out with an unforgettable marketing campaign. He would package and distribute promo music from the both of them, packaged like a McDonald’s Big Mac but would call it the B.I.G. Mack to play off the last names of the emcees monikers. The results would exceed everyone’s expectations. Craig Mack’s Funk Da World would go gold and the single “Flava In Your Ear” would go platinum. As everyone knows Biggie’s career went into the stratosphere with his album Ready To Die eventually going 6x platinum and the single “Juicy” going gold that same year.

                                                          Olafur Arnalds

                                                          Re:member & String Quartets 

                                                            Special Limited Edition of re:member - There are many elements that make this new exclusive edition of remember so special. Starting with the five different bespoke artworks – shipped at random across the globe – and including brand new never-heard-before recordings of Olafur’s incredible string quartet on a beautiful 7” LP. All of it inserted in a shiny PVC sleeve and available exclusively on this physical edition. This will truly be a collector’s item – try and find all 5 around the world! Standard Re:member album with a bonus 7” with 3x new tracks – which are string quartet versions of 2x original tracks. Being done with 5 separate sleeves (with an outside PVC wrap) that will be random in number..

                                                            Santigold

                                                            I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions

                                                              Santigold has announced the exclusive release of her summer-inspired spontaneous mixtape-style project, ‘I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions’ for Record Store Day 2019 via Downtown Records/AWAL. Available physically for the first time on limited coloured vinyl, including the two singles ‘Run The Road’ and ‘Coo Coo Coo’ playlist on BBC Radio 6Music, the mixtape was recorded with Mixpak Records producer and founder Dre Skull. Initially meeting in a writing session and bonding over their shared passion or Reggae and Afro-Caribbean music the pair became instant creative comrades, agreeing to explore their ideas for a mixtape which ultimately grew into a 10 song recording session, which they came to call ‘The Gold Fire Sessions.

                                                              Aidan Moffat And RM Hubbert

                                                              What The Night Bestows US

                                                                Recorded live in November 2018 on a 5-date tour of England, the album features new and intimate stripped-back arrangements of album tracks as Aidan & Hubby are joined for the first time by violinist and vocalist Jenny Reeve. It also includes completely reworked versions of Party On and Wolves of the Wood, the latter being a particular highlight for the band: "As we walked on stage, we decided to ask the audience in Oxford to join us for the new version of Wolves and howl as best they could all through the song – they were brilliant and it turned out lovely, and it's probably my favourite track of ours we've ever released," says Aidan. There's also a cover of Rosalie Allen's post-war anti-fascist song Hitler Lives, while the album ends with Car Song, the first track the duo wrote together back in 2012. Available on heavyweight clear vinyl with download code.

                                                                Night Beats

                                                                The Sonic's 'Boom'

                                                                  Few artists loom larger in the garage-rock legend than THE SONICS. With raunchy, cult classics such as “SHOT DOWN” and “HE’S WAITIN” off their 1966 album, BOOM, the pioneering band staked their claim on rock ‘n roll, putting the Pacific Northwest scene on the map and cementing their place as heroes for future generations. Those that followed include Danny Lee Blackwell’s NIGHT BEATS, a group with its own underground origins as well as a direct, fuzz and feedback-coated link between the impact of THE SONICS and their own potent sound. It’s this connection that led NIGHT BEATS to record BOOM in its entirety, a proper homage to their musical forbearers. Blackwell, along with an arsenal of ace musicians manage to maintain the spirit of original recordings like “CINDERELLA,” “DON’T YOU JUST KNOW IT,” and a particularly unhinged version of “LOUIE LOUIE,” while injecting their own brand of earth-quakin’ soul-shakin, maximum R&B. Blackwell takes the lead on vocals and guitar, interpreting Gerry Rosalie’s mean scream with ease. Mike Brandon holds things down on drums as his partner in crime, bass genius Nate Ryan, while Julien O’neill grooves things up on keys and Joe Santa Maria wails on the horns. Finishing touches come from Marlon Rabenreither on acoustic guitar, plus Cole Alexander and Dan Gerbang on backing vocals—all working together to keep THE SONICS’ legacy intact, even as they tear the whole place down. Next time you hear a loud boom and your windows rattle, it’s probably a sonic boom alright; but on the other hand, it might just be “THE SONICS BOOM.”

                                                                  Various Artists

                                                                  Too Slow To Disco: NEO - En France (RSD Edition)

                                                                    New compilation compiled by DJ Supermarkt from critically acclaimed Too Slow to Disco series. With TSTD Neo - En France it starts a brand new series of modern music with the special touch we always love on all Too Slow To Disco releases. The compilation contains 17 tracks -some of them never released and exclusive - featuring artist like Yuksek, Bertrand Burgalat and many more. As always the heavy weight double vinyl comes in a gatefold with lots of liner notes and on RSD exclusive limited colour edition.

                                                                    Various Artists

                                                                    Brown Acid: The Eighth Trip

                                                                      Brand new edition of the Brown Acid series release this time out to coincide with RSD. All the first pressings of this series sell out on release day. Some super rare and firesome private press heavy rock and psych from the underground rock scene of the 1970's. Essential for all stoner rock rans and heavy sike wig out enthusiasts.

                                                                      Soul Jazz Records present this new collection of music from the great Fashion Records, one of the most important and iconic, independent reggae labels to come out of the UK, running from 1980 for nearly 20 years. In that time Fashion released hundreds of records that successfully reflected - and indeed set - the changing styles and perspectives of reggae music in the UK, from UK dancehall and lovers rock in the 1980s through to the mighty rise of jungle in the second half of the 1990s.

                                                                      While nearly all other UK reggae labels focused on releasing Jamaican music, from the early days of Island and Trojan in the 1960s, through Island and Virgin in the 1970s and Greensleeves that came up in the 1980s, Fashion’s focus was firmly on music produced in the UK. This unique British perspective shaped both lyrical content and musical fashion. And like all the great music labels, from Studio One to Blue Note, Fashion was able to create a significant roster of its own artists. Amazingly for a small independent label, a number of Fashion artists achieved mainstream UK chart and crossover success, including Laurel & Hardy, Smiley Culture and General Levy. But although this success was welcomed, crossing over into the mainstream was never the main focus for label owners Chris Lane and John McGillivray (who also runs the successful Dub Vendor record shop), whose starting point was always primarily focused on producing quality music first.

                                                                      In the early 1980s, Fashion Records captured the rise of the emerging British dancehall scene in its ascendency. The large roster of first generation British-born artists and MCs on the label, including General Levy, Papa Face, Smiley Culture, Bionic Rhona, Asher Senator, Laurel & Hardy, Top Cat and many more, often gave a unique and sometimes humorous British lyrical perspective to Fashion releases, discussing everyday subjects, from police harassment to road safety.

                                                                      Throughout much of the 1980s and into the 1990s Fashion continued to release an almost relentless array of UK dancehall releases as well as continuing with lovers rock and the occasional dub releases. Then, in the mid-90s, with the dancehall and reggae releases still coming on strong, Fashion released a superb series of early jungle tracks linking Jamaican and British MCs and dancehall artists with young jungle mixers, remixers and producers. By this time dancehall artists General Levy and Cutty Ranks had become the staple vocal samples of literally hundreds of white label jungle records and Fashion took advantage of this, often getting young producers to work in exchange for sample clearances.

                                                                      This album is a subjective and scatter-gun ride through some of the many unique and heavyweight tracks to come out of the Fashion stable - some classics, some lesser-known, all 100% killer.


                                                                      S T A R G A Z E

                                                                      Instruments (A Track By Track Re-Composition Of Fugazi's 'In On The Killtaker')

                                                                        A Track By Track Re-Composition of Fugazi's 'In On The Killtaker' by this respected orchestral collective, best known for their soundtracks and numerous collaborations.

                                                                        Not Waving, But Drowning’ follows Loyle’s BRIT (Best Male, Best Newcomer) and Mercury Prize nominated, top 20 debut ‘Yesterday’s Gone’. The bedrock of honest and raw sentimentality that you heard on ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ left an inextinguishable mark on music in general and UK Hip Hop in particular, standing out as an ageless, bulletproof debut.

                                                                        ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’, Loyle’s new album, gives yet more evidence - as if it were needed - of his razor-sharp flow and his unique storytelling ability. Yes, he can rap, but he allies that with the sensitivity of a poet, the observational skills of a novelist, and warmth of your best friend. The album opens with ‘Dear Jean’, a letter to his mother in which he’s telling her that he has found the love of his life, “a woman from the skies”, and he’s moving out.



                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Millie says: Loyle Carner returns with this stunning second album ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’. Again, he has perfected his sound of poetic hip hop and his distinctive vocals makes him stand from the crowd for miles. Bookmark this one for sure!!!

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Ltd LP Info: Gatefold, Heavy Weight Black.

                                                                        Serfs Up! is Fat White Family’s third album and their first for new label Domino. It marks the most gratifying and unexpected creative volte face in recent musical history.

                                                                        Having released their second album, Songs For Our Mothers in January 2016, core-members Lias and Nathan Saoudi relocated to Sheffield and set about writing the album. Joined by co-conspirator Saul Adamczewski and recorded at their own Champzone studios in the Attercliffe area of the city, Serfs Up! was finished in late autumn 2018 with the help of long-time collaborator, Liam D. May and features a guest appearance from Baxter Dury on Tastes Good With The Money.

                                                                        Serfs Up! is a lush and masterful work, lascivious and personal. Tropical, sympathetic and monumental. It invites the listener in rather than repel them through wilful abrasion. Fat White Family have broken previous default patterns of behaviour, and as such their third album heralds a new day dawning.

                                                                        Gregorian chants, jackboot glam beats, string flourishes, sophisticated and lush cocktail exotica, electro funk and the twin spirits of Alan Vega and Afrika Bambaataa punctuate the record at various junctures, while the dramatic production of Feet is as immaculately-rendered as ‘Hounds of Love’-era Kate Bush. The dirt is still there of course, but scrape it away and you’ll find a purring engine, gleaming chrome.

                                                                        Echoing within the arrangements throughout are traces of blissed-out 60s Tropicalia, Velvets/Bowie sleaze-making and star-gazing, 80s digital dancehall, David Axelrod-style easy listening, joyous Pet Shop Boys synth crescendos, acid house, post-PIL dub, metropolitan murder ballads, doom-disco and mouth-gurning, slow-mo psychedelia so by the time it comes to a close only a fool would deny that Serfs Up! is something very special. No longer is unadulterated music malevolence Fat White Family’s stock in trade; this is cultivated music for the head, the heart. For tomorrow’s unborn children.

                                                                        Where once they soundtracked a grubby Britain of vape shops, Fray Bentos dinners and blackened tin-foil, a crepuscular comedown realm stalked by Shipman, Goebbels and Mark E. Smith, Fat White Family now inhabit another cosmos entirely. Serfs Up! is the product of a band of outlaws reborn. Few but themselves could have forecast it: Fat White Family survived. Fat White Family got wise. Fat White Family got sophisticated.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: It's somehow inconceivable that Fat White Family have managed to make a new album despite their raft of releases with other projects (The Moonlandingz comes directly to mind), but here we have a perfectly balanced and superbly typical outpouring of snarling vitriol, fuzzed out voices and hazy, woozy psychedelia. Killer.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Indies only gold coloured vinyl. Includes illustrated poster.

                                                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                        CD Info: Includes illustrated poster.

                                                                        Cowgirl In Sweden

                                                                        Cowgirl In Sweden

                                                                          No press release, no photos, no clues.

                                                                          A stark typographic album cover with minimal information.

                                                                          Twelve tracks spanning two sides of heavyweight vinyl.

                                                                          “A desert pop masterpiece for the modern audiophile.”

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Laura says: This private press of 300 copies from Manchester based Cowgirl In Sweden is shrouded in mystery. Obviously the nod to Lee Hazlewood gives some clue as to the direction of the sound; there's a definite 60's vibe and the sun-dappled sweet melancholy conjures up images of hazy summer days. (You can almost see the Super8 film footage shot on the Champs-Élysées that would accompany it.) If dreamy, psych-tinged pop is your thing, then don't snooze on this.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Ltd LP Info: Private press 180gsm vinyl.
                                                                          Strictly limited to 300 copies worldwide.

                                                                          Big Wows is heavier, harder and weirder than Stealing Sheep’s previous work. Bold neon pop songs with rave percussion, steelpans, dreamy segues and breathy experiments. The *fsszzt* sound of lemonade opens the album with a hyper-real sense of optimism that progressively reveals the cracks of dystopian irony amidst sugar–coated pop; held together by Emily Lansley’s bass guitar, Luciana Mercer’s drum kit, Rebecca Hawley’s synths, and the trio’s swooning steely vocal harmonies.

                                                                          Stealing Sheep describe Big Wows as “a slow rush”; taking shape over a period of nearly three years spent working out exactly what they wanted it to be and creating an album that levitated their identities as individuals as well as merging them into one unit “We’re each finding our own creative intuition,” says Bex “..and then we come together...and we back each other up" adds Lucy.

                                                                          Just as the title suggests, Big Wows is both cynical and optimistic: dreaminess and pop dance rhythms are cut With eye rolling vocal styles inflected by heartfelt lyrical messages “We hit upon this conversational-style between the vocals and have alternating lead melodies. There's a sarcastic tone to some of the music but there is always a strong wilfulness to incorporate honest integrity, which is hard to do but refreshing when it finally comes out.”

                                                                          Side one opens with a burst of shimmery synths as ‘Show Love’ and ‘Back in Time’ lead you heart first into the headier feels of ‘Jokin' Me’ and upbeat bounce of 'Why haven't I?' following into the more progressive grooves for ‘Girl’ then fading out with the narcoleptic comforts of ‘Just Dreaming’. Side two digs deeper into a dreamworld, with the manias and hallucinations of ‘Breathe’ and ‘True Colours’ as well as the gorgeous disillusionment of the title track and ending with an unexpected tropical club banger ‘Choose Like You’.

                                                                          Running through the whole record is a response to living in a tech era: “We wanted sounds to represent TVs, computers and everyday glitches” says Bex “We started to have this feeling that life is like a game and how you can malfunction when you're blasted with too much information…” As well as composing with traditional instrumentation they also started songs solely on the computer; sequencing, building sounds, drum machines and responding to that non-emotional binary world. “The big challenge,” continues Bex “is making machines sound organic, emotional, finding their flaws. That’s why Delia Derbyshire is so important to us. All the effects that she uses serve to humanise the machines.”

                                                                          Since the release of their last album, 2015’s surreal and fantastical ‘Not Real’, they’ve been in demand as multidisciplinary public artists as well as musicians – on projects including Wow Machine, which brings to life another more conceptual strand of ‘Big Wows’; in a mechanical light up stage with dancers and live music. This summer they also performed at UK festivals with a 15 strong all-female procession to celebrate the centenary of Suffrage. “Being female has become more of a theme in our work” the band say. “It's obviously always been there but now we're playing with it more conceptually and thinking about empowerment"

                                                                          This greater confidence and rock-solid aesthetic mean that Stealing Sheep can take greater risks and reap more wonderful rewards. They have a broad range of influences – St Vincent, Michael Jackson, The Knife, Kraftwerk, Drake, Little Dragon - but they remain so resolutely and richly themselves. “We try new things out and we get more confident about what we like.” says Bex. "There’s a really good thing Grayson Perry says about developing your creative intuition. You get to a level as an artist where you know on a gut level what you like and what you don’t like. It takes a long time to feel comfortable in that place, to know your palette, to know you like these drum sounds or whatever it is.”

                                                                          Lucy is working with a full drum kit now instead of just toms, Emily is playing bass guitar, Bex is making her own synth patches and they’re all using new equipment: they are developing and experimenting and moving forward together. “We wanted the machine sounds to be juxtaposed against a full kit and bass guitar, which we tracked live to feel intentionally loose in places. We like the idea of placing robotic tech next to real life energy.”

                                                                          The songs began at home or in their studio at Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory, laying down the main body of the tracks, then the band worked with various producers – including Marta Salogni (Bjork, MIA, Factory Floor), Andy Smith (Years & Years), Ash Workman (Christine & The Queens, Metronomy) and Joe Wills (video artist for Little Dragon) – as they’ve tried out different mixes and ideas to convey their messages. They also teamed up with 8bit video artist Pastle Castle (Emily Garner) from Leeds, who created a Karaoke video series for the whole album; exploring Stealing Sheep's digital dimension and their shifting identities amidst changing cultural moods and millennial paraphernalia. "It's a crazy time and it's challenging navigating through it, but it's like 'whatever' bring on the BIG WOWS.’


                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Barry says: I remember being slightly surprised when Dave told me I should give the new Stealing Sheep single a listen a few months ago (Dave and I have canonically opposed tastes in music), and I actually really liked it. Throbbing synths, sugary percussion and huge 80's reverbs but with perfectly precise production and more than a nod to that classic sound of Italo disco. There's no way this isn't going to be a hit, and it deserves every minute of it.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Splatter disc with mirri-board sleeve (first pressing edition only).

                                                                          Twisting big themes of disillusionment, divorce, cheating, sorrow into the realities of an independent-minded, modern British teenager, Jade’s music transcends genre with a wealth of influence coming from everywhere, and anywhere. Classic, contemporary, and a total breath of fresh air in the current musical landscape, Jade Bird is that rare, next-generation artist who appears as clued up on the past as she is determined to learn from its lessons: in control, sometimes in your face, and in possession of gifts beyond her years.

                                                                          The debut self-titled debut album via Glassnote Records. Featuring breakthrough singles Lottery, Uh Huh & Love Has All Been Done Before.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Barry says: Jade Bird's voice is simply astounding for someone so young, perfectly capturing the spirit of 70's psychedelic Americana mixed with the more subtle tones of modern emotive pop. Bird's songwriting shines through whatever medium it may present itself, from the more downbeat piano ballads and the more rocking, effusive pieces, this whole outing is an absolute delight.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indie exclusive white vinyl edition.

                                                                          “All anyone wants to be is what they can.”

                                                                          After becoming enmeshed in the Los Angeles underground scene after 2013's The End of Comedy, Raw Honey (Michael Collins second album as Drugdealer) sees Collins once again leading an ace crew of collaborators to coalesce the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern pop with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra.

                                                                          Raw Honey features contributions of Josh Da Costa (drums), Jackson MacIntosh (guitar), Danny Garcia (guitar), Michael Long (lead guitar), and Benjamin Schwab (backing vocals, guitar, organ, piano, wurlitzer), as well as guest vocalists like country balladeer Dougie Poole (“Wild Motion”), Harley Hill-Richmond (“Lonely”), and frequent collaborator Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) whose dulcet tones sing low before soaring on “Honey,” a track as silky as the nectar itself.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Barry says: I can't think of a more appropriate home for Drugdealer than on Mexican Summer, with the jagged psychedelic twists and turns and gorgeous, swaying haze of 70's pop shing through every note played, 'Raw Honey' is by far Collins' most assured offering yet and expands upon his already established palette with stunning songwriting and a few perfectly chosen collaborators.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition indies exclusive 'honey gold' coloured vinyl.

                                                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                          Captured during two sunny afternoons in September 2017, The fourth LP by the much respected and collected duo, Hampshire and Foat, takes us to a new level of direct performance. Recorded live, with no overdubs, in two churches situated in Saint Lawrence on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, and mixed direct live onto a vintage stereo Nagra IV-S and AKG C24 Stereo microphone, every nuance of the performance is laid bare. Only the ambience of the room and the artists' skill make the recording what it is.

                                                                          For a brace of sun soaked days, Warren and Greg were joined by their long time musical partners, Phil Achille and Eric Young, and a cadre of local musicians and friends, creating an album that truly captures the magical ambience of the churches and surrounding landscape - even the birds in the Church steeple can be heard at times. Tracks are named after local landmarks, secret beaches, and rural paths that Warren and Greg hold dear. The duo wanted to make something special and collectable for this unique ambient jazz folk gem, so the cover has been produced in a beautiful late '60s private press style and, limited to 500 copies on vinyl.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Millie says: Recorded live, Saint Lawrence captures the duo’s ambient core with this stunning fourth album, matched with beautiful faded artwork of the church. Peaceful and captivating this release is one to treasure.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          LP Info: Limited to 500 copies on vinyl

                                                                          Heather Woods Broderick

                                                                          Invitation

                                                                            Invitation was conceived on the Oregon coast, an outlier among American landscapes, where vast stretches of empty beach are decorated with silver driftwood and towering pines. It is here among the dunes, tide pools and colossal rock formations that Heather spent her childhood summer day-trips. And it is here that she returned as an adult to construct her newest LP, an album of dreamy baroque-pop that swells and whispers with grand string arrangements, intimately descriptive lyrics, and impassioned songcraft built around earnest piano melodies, painting a lifelike picture of the locale in which it was written.

                                                                            In the years between her early youth and the creation of Invitation, Heather has played in Efterklang, Horse Feathers, the live bands of Laura Gibson, Lisa Hannigan, and Damien Jurado, and has also been a longtime collaborator and bandmate to Sharon Van Etten. But while this list may seem enviable for an aspiring young musician, any experienced player will know that the life of a touring musician comes with its own sacrifices. Lasting relationships and financial certainty can be tenuous, as can mental stability itself. Feeling this first hand, Heather traded her usual launchpad of Brooklyn for the sleepy town of Pacific City where she would quietly take a job cleaning houses for a cast of local eccentrics, sitting down at the piano in the off-hours to unpack the personal tragedies and triumphs of the intervening decades since her first trips there. Throughout Invitation, floral tendrils of sound design and dynamic strings decorate the edges of each track, propelling the album beyond mere singer-songwriter fare into something altogether more grand and immersive in scope. 

                                                                            RIYL: Sharon Van Etten, Weyes Blood, Marissa Nadler, Julianna Barwick, Julia Holter. 

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition coral & seawater coloured vinyl (pink w/ bluish/black centre blob)

                                                                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                            Mark Peters

                                                                            New Routes Out Of Innerland

                                                                              Former Engineers songwriter Mark Peters pays a final visit to his debut solo album ‘Innerland’, with the release of ‘New Routes out of Innerland’, a collection of reworkings.‘Innerland’ was one of last year’s most surprising sleeper successes. An intentionally low-key album of windswept instrumentals inspired by Mark’s move back to his native northwest, it gave musical nods to Eno, Talk Talk, Vini Reilly and Richard Thompson, and first appeared as a limited-edition cassette before being expanded to a full vinyl, CD and digital release last April.

                                                                              Something about its beautiful simplicity struck a chord and slowly but surely – thanks to word of mouth, as well as the support of the likes of Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 6 Music and positive reviews everywhere from Uncut to The Times – it worked its way into people’s hearts. By the end of the year it had also worked its way into Rough Trade’s top 10 albums of 2018 and, to celebrate, another limited edition vinyl only version called ‘Ambient Innerland’ was released, an even more introspective iteration that stripped away all of the percussion.This new version, however, is completely different. It finds Mark looking outwards, away from the bleak, post-industrial landscapes of Wigan, and inviting eight different artists from around the world to interpret and translate the instrumentals of ‘Innerland’ into their own musical and geographical languages.

                                                                              German sound artist Andi Otto takes ‘Twenty Bridges’ and turns it into a weird world music groove, the cello recalling Arthur Russell, the rhythm Holger Czukay circa ‘Movies’; Polish composer Olga Wojciechowska sprinkles stardust all over ‘Mann Island’, morphing it into a slice of febrile, filmic techno; former Disappears and now FACS frontman Brian Case wrangles ‘Windy Arbour’ into a dark, dystopian drone; as previously heard last year on a limited edition lathe-cut 7” single, Ulrich Schnauss subtly re-frames ‘May Mill’ as elegiac electronica, the kind of oddity that could have graced a Tears For Fears B-side circa ‘Songs From The Big Chair’; Moon Gangs, aka Will Young from BEAK>, climbs ‘Gabriel’s Ladder’ and finds some delicate drone’n’bass; American producer and DJ Odd Nosdam takes his experience of working with Boards Of Canada and turns ‘Shaley Brow’ into a sinister tape collage, entirely in keeping with the murky history of the locale; E Ruscha V, the erstwhile Medicine guitarist also known as Secret Circuit, converts ‘Cabin Hill’ into Balearic Blue Nile; finally Jefre Cantu-Ledesma lights up ‘Ashurst’s Beacon’ as an inferno of deliciously distorted shoegaze. All eight are so disparate and yet they hang together perfectly, resulting in an exciting musical journey to somewhere completely new. 

                                                                              Centrum

                                                                              För Meditation

                                                                                “The mantra that you’re given in Transcendental Meditation you keep to yourself. The reason being, true happiness is not out there, true happiness lies within” - so states David Lynch, a vocal proponent of this art on a twice-daily basis since 1973. It’s a maxim that holds true to Sweden’s Centrum, whose Rocket Recordings debut forms no less than a mysterious yet meaningful voyage into inner space. Indeed, on ‘För Meditation’ these sometime members of Hills and Weary Nous explore a soundworld that demonstrates all too adeptly that true heaviness of intent need not be the preserve of demonic riffs and highly cranked amps.

                                                                                Weaving a dense and beguiling tapestry of drone-based hypnosis, mantric vocal chants and ritualistic folk along with field recordings from a trip the members made to India, this band also inadvertently plots our a map from the experimental music of the early-‘70s to the present, alighting on a myriad touchstones on the way. Yet tempting through it may be to place ‘För Meditation’ amidst the uniquely Swedish lineage of primal and arcadian Psychedelia that began with artists like Arbete Och Fritid, Träd, Gras och Stenar and International Harvester, the band are keen to emphasise that inspiration arrives at Centrum from all quarters. “From Pandit Pran Nath to Trees, from Velvet Underground to Popol Vuh, anything and everything. So lay down relax, turn off your phone and let Centrum be your guide! 

                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                Coloured LP Info: Limited red vinyl LP.

                                                                                Cage The Elephant

                                                                                Social Cues

                                                                                  On their fifth album, UK based, Kentucky band Cage The Elephant have taken their garage rock roots and thrown in a heavy dose of Bowie-esque glam as they deal with the double header of classic rock’n’roll subject matter: the price of fame and heartbreak.

                                                                                  For the last fifteen years, Nouvelle Vague has been resuscitating, sometimes introducing, dozens of songs from the New Wave and Punk repertoires – some quite well known, others almost forgotten. But the story is far from over.  In response to the 2004 debut album, which became an instant classic, Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux experimented with various musical paths. Many songs are thus recorded. The songs that are relevant to each album's theme are released. But many covers would remain under wraps, while others, although ready for release, were relegated to the vaults. These previously unreleased recordings are featured on "Curiosities".


                                                                                  Various Artists

                                                                                  Buzzsaw Joint Cut 5 - Sophisticated Savage

                                                                                    Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol trashy rock n roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive Buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee Records. Get your ears around the wild n weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! Bill Springer, The Demons, Jimmy Uke & His Islanders, Herb Zane and lots more. 

                                                                                    Various Artists

                                                                                    Songs From Satan's Jukebox Vol. 2

                                                                                      Hell-O my satanic friends! Do not listen to the evil biblical propaganda from above because you are undoubtedly worthy enough, daring enough, and ready for a second insane stroll through the devil's carnival. For a sinful walk through this hellish fair! You feel seedy enough to secure a second devilish ticket for my fiendish ghost train! Escape your boringly sizzling purgatory and come, hurry up and step in, come aboard, take a seat, because I’m the only one who really knows how to have a hell of a time. Satanic rites from the likes of Gene Vincent, Lefty Frizzell, Roy Acuff, The Louvin Brothers and more. 

                                                                                      Various Artists

                                                                                      Keb Darge & Sounds That Swing Presents The Rockabilly Crown Jewels

                                                                                        Here we have the very first, 100% rockabilly compilation to be minted by the Juke Box Music Factory. And what a compilation! Crafted by a true 45-tour aficionado, a lover of rhythm, of authentic sounds, and – most importantly – of quality music. None other than His Highness, Keb Darge!

                                                                                        After seducing us in the mid ‘90s with his trailblazing “Legendary Deep Funk” and “Funk Spectrum”, followed by his 2010 curveball “Legendary Rockin R’n’B”, the ever impeccably coiffed DJ delved body and soul into the origins of rockabilly. The revelation occurred in Japan (where else!), where following his little lady into a club, Darge was knocked over (albeit belatedly) by the “Rockabilly Boogie” of Johnny Burnette. Sayonara Northern Soul, so long rare funk. Keb duly rolled up his sleeves and made up for lost time, churning out 5 furious volumes for his “Legendary Wild Rockers” series.

                                                                                        A stampeding collection corralled in collaboration with Little Edith (the little lady in question). Today, Keb Darge forsakes his traditional partner, BBE, to offer our friend El Vidocq the perfect rockabilly selection. This time produced with his old bud Neil Scott (first-rate collector of Rockabilly, met at a Camden market and owner of the record shop “Rock That Swing”), “The Rockabilly Crown Jewels” is every bit as juicy as Keb’s previous salvos. Indeed, this compilation comprises only the choicest morsels. Thanks, Keb!

                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                        Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                                                                        After a handful of singles (all of are included here), one of the most talked about new bands of the last 12 months finally release their debut album. Their visceral pop has drawn comparisons to Idles amongst others, but what really stands out and sets them apart is their roots. Straight from the off, there is no doubt where they’re from; Irish through and through. Their hometown of Dublin is a constant reference point throughout from it’s literary past to modern day life in the city. Considering the band have only actually been a band for three years, this is a remarkably assured debut that’s hard to ignore.

                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Transparent yellow vinyl.

                                                                                        Shana Cleveland

                                                                                        Night Of The Worm Moon

                                                                                          Shana Cleveland has been beguiling listeners for years in her role as the superlative frontwoman for elastic surf rockers La Luz. Now Cleveland is evolving her sound on the new solo full-length Night of the Worm Moon, a serene album that flows like a warm current while simultaneously wresting open a portal to another dimension. As much a work of California sci-fi as Octavia Butler’s Parable novels, Night of the Worm Moon incorporates everything from alternate realities to divine celestial bodies. Inspired in part by one of her musical idols, the Afro-futurist visionary Sun Ra (the album’s title is a tip of the hat to his 1970 release Night of the Purple Moon), the record blends pastoral folk with cosmic concerns.

                                                                                          Cleveland dreamt up this premise while living in Los Angeles, a city where--as deftly explored on La Luz’s recent Floating Features--reality and fantasy casually co-exist. Abetting Cleveland during the recording process was a familiar gallery of co-conspirators: multi-instrumentalist Will Sprott of Shannon & the Clams, original La Luz bassist Abbey Blackwell, Goss, pedal steel player Olie Eshelman, and Kristian Garrard, who drummed on Cleveland’s previous solo effort (with then-backing band The Sandcastles), 2011’s Oh Man, Cover the Ground.

                                                                                          But whereas that album was internal and contemplative, Night of the Worm Moon occupies a different, vibrant kind of headspace. UFO sightings, insect carcasses, and twilight dimensions are all grist for Cleveland’s restless creativity, and they and other inspirations collide beautifully on the album’s 10 kaleidoscopic tracks--a spacebound transmission from America’s weirdo frontier.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Patrick says: Inspired by Sun Ra (in terms of outlook rather than style) La Luz frontwoman Shana Cleveland lets the incense burn and the breeze drift in on a gorgeous LP of stargazing folk. Softly psychedelic and bittersweet, "Night of The Worm Moon" reframes the Laurel Canyon sound for 2019.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: First 300 copies on exclusive indie coloured vinyl.

                                                                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                          "No Geography", the Chemical Brothers tenth studio album since 1995, features singles "Free Yourself" and "MAH" ('a short & bloody ride into our modern media psychosis' - The Guardian) and the forthcoming single "Got To Keep On". Many tracks feature vocals by Norwegian singer / songwriter Aurora while Japanese rapper Nene features on "Eve of Destruction".

                                                                                          It's quintessentially a Chemical experience from start to finish - combining the duo's uncanny knack at sound design and break manipulation with their usual playful, stadium-slaying production. Like contemporaries Modeselektor, Tom & Ed never take themselves too seriously, yet ably compete with the world's best producers. They combine the myriad and often fractured, disparate influences and styles across the dance music spectrum into something that they can confidently declair their own. 25 years in the game and you still know when it's a Chemical Brothers beat! Unmissable stuff from two of Northern England's greatest dance music exponents.




                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Matt says: Brothers Chem return ahead of another world tour. Have they lost their magic? Definitely not. Like good wine, they get better as time goes on. Effortlessly turning their hand to whatever trend dance music throws at them; Tom and Ed ride again!

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          2xLP Info: Double black heavyweight vinyl, wide spined sleeve, printed inners.

                                                                                          CD Info: Mintpack with 16 page booklet.

                                                                                          Bibio returns in 2019 with ‘Ribbons’. Following his ambient atmospheric project, ‘Phantom Brickworks’, Stephen Wilkinson returns to the path of structured songwriting last explored on 2016’s ‘A Mineral Love’. Ribbons yields folkloric charm with an organic palette, incorporating a mostly acoustic-led approach exploring ‘60s and ‘70s psychedelia, soul, ambient, electronic and field recordings.

                                                                                          The title ‘Ribbons’ is extracted from the most electronic-leaning track on the album, ‘Pretty Ribbons And Lovely Flowers’. On the track, haunting, processed female vocals illuminate a route through dark ambience and a repeating earthy distorted chord sequence. Referencing the endless ribbons of analogue tape and film used in his music, photography and cinematic work, the album artwork is designed by Wilkinson, where his portrait offers a window onto an English woodland scene with spring bluebells adorned with ribbons.

                                                                                          Wilkinson’s folk influences span ‘60s and ‘70s styles from Britain, Ireland and America; he mixes influences of homegrown acid folk with the dreamy harmonies of its Californian counterpart. He also pays homage to his past J Dilla and Madlib-inspired works, this time drawing influence from the eras and records those producers sampled - such as ‘60s and ‘70s Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Sharp and other soul artists - but rather than relying on sampling records, Wilkinson creates his homages from scratch with appropriate instrumentation.

                                                                                          With this latest album Wilkinson oscillates between genres, pairing the unknown with the familiar and moving forward in a way that only he knows how to.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Bibio has straddled a wide variety of styles over his (almost) 15-year recorded output, from the lo-fi ambience of 'Fi', the syncopated folky pluckings of 'Silver Wilkinson' and 2016's pumping electronic odyssey, 'A Mineral Love'. This newest outing takes all those wonderfully accomplished but stylistically disparate outings and perfectly weaves them together into a languid but varied musical quilt for 'Ribbons'. Quintessentially Bibio but building upon his tendency for variety and creative expertise. Properly lovely stuff.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive purple vinyl.

                                                                                          Cykada engages distant poles, analogue worlds crashing with electronics, Eastern influences crossing with Western, harmonising nostalgic moments with dancefloor bangers. This band of established musicians on the London scene is made up of members of Ezra Collective, Maisha, Where Pathways Meet, Myriad Forest, Family Atlantica and Don Kipper.

                                                                                          Bassist Jamie Benzies is the spine of the project, along with Tilé GichigiLipere, also a fellow former member of the legendary band Myriad Forest and drummer Tim Doyle aka Chiminyo, together were the first members of Cykada. Trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom, saxophonist James Mollison and secret weapon guitarist Javi Pérez complete the ensemble.

                                                                                          In the last few years London has become the centre of the Jazz Renaissance. A new burst of energy and attitude brought by young musicians, equally inspired by the likes of John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders or Sun Ra, as well as Madvillain, J Dilla, Flying Lotus and Floating Points, has brought a welcomed freshness to the London Scene. This exciting new environment brought a group of young musicians together, all with a mutual desire to discover a new form of expression. Together they created Cykada

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Millie says: Cykada have a hugely broad sound from jazz, electronic and inspiration from across the globe. Refreshingly diverse they have paved their own way in the world of upcoming jazz. If you like Nubyian Garcia, Ruby Rushton and Ezra Collective you’ll be right at home here.

                                                                                          Iglooghost releases his second album Clear Tamei / Steel Mogu on the Brainfeeder label. Fueled, high energy beats are the perfect snapshot of the digital age through outlandish electronic music with a twist. ShabooVariously described as “hyperactive, maximalist and alien,” “sharp and craggly,” “effervescent and menacing” and “poppy and industrial.” Album includes comic strip documenting an ancient 3000-year-old myth from Mamu and artwork by Iglooghost. For fans of Flying Lotus, Machinedrum, SOPHIE, Squarepusher. 

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: A perfectly balanced juxtaposition of shimmering modern-classical infusions with forward-facing breakbeats, glitched percussion and razor sharp thematic cuts. From smooth, soaring euphoria into the back room of an abandoned steelworks in the space of ten seconds. This is an astoundingly complex but paradoxically smooth listen.

                                                                                          Krikor is back on the label with a new six tracker. Following up his Pacific Alley lp from last year, we now get Pacific Alley in Dub, taking tracks from the lp and re-working with ample echo and new riddims strictly made for the dancefloor. Spacious pads and Linn drum claps are run through the board as voices ping back and forth in the chamber, equally blissed out and trippy turning these tracks into completely new freaked out compositions. Summer jams guaranateed. 

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Patrick says: I absolutely buzzed off the freaky VHS boogie and baked industrial funk of Krikor's "Pacific Alley" LP, so I'm giddy that the Frenchman has hooked up this otherworldly expansion pack. Stripping the stems back, fucking them up and firing them through the outboard, Krikor gives us dub in the broadest sense. Think Francois K, Adrian Sherwood and Equiknoxx and you're on the right track.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          LP Info: INCLUDES DOWNLOAD CARD.

                                                                                          Preston’s 4 bassed behemoth Evil Blizzard follow up the tremendous success of last year’s ‘The Worst Show On Earth’ album with the release of a double live album. Recorded live at their headline slot at Sonic Rock Solstice festival in 2018, the album features a frenzied, furious and frantic hour long set released as a limited edition of 500 white premium grade vinyl in full gatefold sleeve, complete with DL code. Due to public demand, the album is also being released on CD, again strictly limited to 500 copies. 

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Evil Blizzard are one of the most dynamic and heavy-hitting live bands on the circuit at the moments, and this live set from last year shows us why. Hammering percussion and heavy AF guitars perfectly bracket the snarling vox and off-kilter progressive psychedelic weirdness.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          2xColoured LP Info: Ultra limited white vinyl.

                                                                                          Three years after releasing his post-Civil Wars solo debut, John Paul White has announced details of his next solo album, The Hurting Kind, which will be released via White’s Single Lock Records.

                                                                                          Featuring vocal contributions from Lee Ann Womack, Erin Rae, and the Secret Sisters, White’s forthcoming album was co-produced alongside the Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner and recorded a variety of studios in White’s native Muscle Shoals region. The Hurting Kind also finds White co-writing with legendary Nashville songwriters like Bobby Braddock and Whisperin’ Bill Anderson.


                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Shining with the heartfelt vocals and beautiful slide guitars of classic Americana but turned more towards the more subtle realms of folky singer-songwriter with JPW's impeccable ear for a progression and indelible sense of melody.

                                                                                          “If you stick to just what you know, your music, your art or whatever your situation is becomes stagnant,” say Denmark’s Lowly. “And we wouldn’t like to miss out on anything, just because we felt too comfortable.”

                                                                                          A band unafraid to reach beyond their comfort zone, Lowly thrive on the embrace of doubt and curiosity. An inquisitive spirit drives the quintet’s second album, which evolved from an open-ended process in large spaces, from lost factory halls to water towers. Released via Bella Union, ‘Hifalutin’ brims with suggestive discoveries from its title onwards. The result is the work of five people expressing themselves freely as a tight collective: focused, yet fertile with possibility.

                                                                                          Warmly received in Pitchfork, Uncut and elsewhere, Lowly’s debut album, Heba, was a feast of dramatic dream-pop. Yet ‘Hifalutin’ is more ambitious still. The album was primarily recorded in a 150 square meter warehouse, just outside the city of Aarhus. Band members recorded their parts as individuals and as a group; meanwhile, the producer, Anders Boll, placed microphones in nooks and crannies of the enormous space, all the better to highlight the dynamics between the band members.

                                                                                          “We dared to be even more curious,” explains guitarist and singer Nanna Schannong, “and started recording without knowing where we would end up. This curiosity released a huge amount of trust and confidence between us: we became much more tolerant of each other's diversity, and dared to give each other space. It also meant that some sketches suddenly became two pieces… or, that eight to nine different pieces suddenly found themselves in one song.”

                                                                                          A willingness to turn their backs on accepted frames of practise, for both recordings and performances, has characterized Lowly since their formation in 2014 at the music academy in Aarhus, Denmark, where they studied different subjects but forged a unique chemistry out of contrast.

                                                                                          As synthesizer player Kasper Staub reflects, “We want to give doubt, and curiosity, a voice. It is needed in a world characterized by obsession and goal-orientated living. You don’t need to know the answer in advance to express yourself. If we don’t allow ourselves to forget the goal, we risk missing all that we did not already know.”

                                                                                          An invitation sent from and to curious minds, ‘Hifalutin’ is luminous modern pop at its most delicate and robust, assertive and open-ended.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Lowly skilfully craft a rising cacophony of echoed dream-pop, hazy electronics and smooth synth swells. Carefully layering together elements into a poppy but satisfyingly weird whole. Think of Efterklang in their more introspective moments mixed with the modern nu-dance stacked synth throbs and Bjork's off-piste vocal style and you're at least part of the way there. Really beautiful, immersive stuff.

                                                                                          ‘Ironside’ is Ruby Rushton’s most complete work to date and was recorded over a 2 day session at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. It sees the band continuing to push boundaries, and lead the way, with this new genre defying recording. The quartet’s fresh, high energy sound is rooted in the spiritual concepts of John Coltrane and Yusef Lateef, paying homage to The Headhunters and Weather Report heyday, whilst still adopting influences from hip hop, Afrobeat and the UK underground culture.

                                                                                          ”Ironside” - meaning someone who is “courageous and possessing great physical and mental strength” sums up the Ruby Ruston journey so far. A personal, against the odds journey, that required Tenderlonious starting a label, 22a, back in 2013. Nobody much cared about jazz back in 2011 when the first Ruby Ruston album (‘Two For Joy’) was recorded, so the 22a platform was built, a home for friends and members of the family to release music from. Fast forward to 2019 and the jazz landscape is looking a whole lot healthier.

                                                                                          The album’s title track embodies its meaning more than any other track on the album. A highly technical, jazzy jungle mover, held down by Tim Carnegie’s drums and Tenderlonious’ expeditious flute solo. ”The Return Of The Hero” nods most explicitly to the ever-present flute hero Yusef Lateef, the prancing dance of “Eleven Grapes” builds a locked groove perpetually upwards in spirals of dizzying frency, whilst “Triceratops The Caller” evokes alternating contributions from 4 Hero’s sampled breaks, J-Dilla’s loping beats and Lonnie Liston Smith’s cosmic keys, all of which coalesce in a perfect, joyous blend. The solemn beauty of “Prayer for Greenfell” is a respectful and dignified memorial, befitting of the magnitude of many lives stolen and “Pingwin VI” is dedicated to another hero of Tenderlonious - the Polish Jazz legend Kristof Komeda.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Millie says: Ruby Rushton's been at the forefront of the UK jazz scene since 2015 and is storming ahead with a unique all-encompassing mixture of jazz, Afrobeat and hip hop. Ironside does not disappoint, high energy and instrumentally a masterpiece in itself.

                                                                                          Nirvana

                                                                                          Live At The Paramount

                                                                                            Geffen/UMe release Nirvana’s LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT on vinyl for the first time ever. This will also be the first time as a stand-alone audio release outside of its inclusion as bonus material on the NEVERMIND 20th Super Deluxe Edition.

                                                                                            Includes a 12×24” poster insert and a sticky cloth VIP pass replica of the original pass used that very night of the concert as the vinyl download card insert. The download instructions will be on the paper backing, not on the pass itself.

                                                                                            Live At The Paramount was the only Nirvana show ever to be shot on 16mm film, and was recorded at the Paramount Theatre (obviously) in Seattle on October 31, 1991.

                                                                                            “Fresh off the release of what was soon becoming the seminal album of a generation, Nirvana took to the stage of Seattle’s famed Paramount Theatre to an unwavering homecoming crowd while on the road in support of Nevermind. Launching the nineteen song set with a brilliant cover of the Vaselines “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam,” the band cranks out their soon-to-be iconic songs “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Lithium” and “Breed,” while delivering earlier fan favorites “School,” “Love Buzz” and “About A Girl.”

                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Barry says: 'Live At The Paramount' shows a band at the absolute peak of their powers, perfectly smashing out a run of absolute classics with pitch-perfect efficiency and the incendiary snarl we've come to expect. You already know Nirvana, you already know what they sound like, and this is a PERFECT example of their sheer power and reason for their lasting relevance.

                                                                                            Damien Jurado has always worked fast, but In the Shape of a Storm came together with unprecedented speed. Recorded over the course of two hours one California afternoon, it’s Jurado’s sparsest album to date. Gone are the thundering drums and psychedelic arrangements that defined the trilogy of concept albums he made with his longtime collaborator and close friend Richard Swift. Gone even is the atmospheric air that hovered above his early albums for Sub Pop. Here, there’s only Jurado’s voice, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment from Josh Gordon, playing a high-strung guitar tuned Nashville style, rendering its sound spooky and celestial. Though fans have long requested a solo acoustic album, the prospect never made sense to Jurado, until one day it simply did. “It just felt like it was time,” Jurado says. The idea of an unadorned album became its own medium in his mind, like a painter who sets down his brushes and instead opts for charcoal pencils instead.

                                                                                            “There is nothing left to hide,” Jurado sings on “Lincoln,” which opens the record. It’s something of a thesis statement for these songs. Everything here is clear and laid bare, two-tone, like the drawing Jurado crafted for the record’s cover. Originally written for 2000’s The Ghost of David, “Lincoln” was shelved and forgotten about until Damien came across it on an old cassette tape. The discovery inspired him to go about gathering up songs that had never found proper homes. As a result, In the Shape of a Storm is like an archive of previously abandoned songs. Damien Jurado’s discography is filled with songs written as miniature movies, cinematic vignettes that capture people, the places they are from, and where they are going. In the Shape of a Storm is his first black and white picture. It’s both a snapshot of two hours in a California recording studio and a document spanning 19 years and a life of music. It is the sound of a singer pouring out possible futures and visions. “I believe songs have their own time and place,” Jurado says. For these ten, that time has finally come.

                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Andy says: Voice, guitar and glorious song-craft. Damien distilled.

                                                                                            As menacing and unhinged as ever, the pride of Staten Island is back with their fifth full-length offering, V. Raw and absent of modern technological trappings, the Budos pick up where they left off with 2014’s “Burnt Offering,” and finds the Budos expanding on the brooding, fuzz-fueled riffs, whilst harkening back to the Ethiopian inspired rhythms and percussive proclivity that put Budos Band on the map.

                                                                                            “Old Engine Oil,” a rocker at heart, kicks things into gear and delivers a high-octane burst of Budos mayhem. “The Enchanter” serves up a classic dose of upbeat afro-soul, drenched in a venomous assault of wall-melting proportions that leads you to the “Spider Web,” a rumbling ode to the Cowbell Colossus whose punctuated horn stabs take you on an untamed ride to the dark side of the spoon. The side closes with “Peak of Eternal Night,” whose odd time signature and haunting horns transport the listener to the peak of a menacing otherworldly landscape that’s further explored in the final track “Ghost Talk” – a guitar driven groover that gives way to an organ-washed space ritual beneath sun-summoning trumpet blasts.

                                                                                            Side Two opens with “Arcane Rambler,” an interstellar ramble across space and time that leaves the listener in cosmic purgatory. “Maelstrom,” released as a single shortly after the release of “Burnt Offering,” boasts waves of furious sonic power that batter the listener via a maw of snarling sea-foam bubbling with the power of the Budos. Soon darkness falls as “The Veil of Shadows” is draped across the land – in this realm of twilight one quickly loses their way, only to find themselves at a dusk-to-dawn pyre of budonian proportions. “Rumble from the Void” then pulls you into a percussive black hole of formless beat-worship. There are no horns to help you here, just the tentacles of rhythm that tirelessly pull you back into the void. “Valley of the Damned” closes the record, it’s twisting groove coupled with hypnotic drones of synth and horns transports you to a place of little hope and even less reason. You’ve been warned…


                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl edition.

                                                                                            W. H. Lung’s arrival at their debut album has been less conventional than most. A trait shared with the music they make, which weaves between shimmering synth pop and the infectious grooves of 70’s Berlin. The band never had any intention of playing live when forming, aiming instead to be a primarily studio-based project.

                                                                                            That approach was challenged when they released their debut 10” ('Inspiration!/Nothing Is') in 2017, which meant that they were quickly in demand. Booking requests started to flood in and W. H. Lung found themselves cutting their teeth on festival stages that summer. Though whilst some new bands may have let that interest change the course of the project, W. H. Lung stayed true to their original reticence and worked mainly as a studio band with their formidable live shows kept sporadic.

                                                                                            W. H. Lung have allowed this album to naturally gestate over the course of two years . The result is a remarkably considered debut - the production is crisp and pristine but not over-polished, the synths and electronics radiate and hum with a golden aura and the vocals weave between tender delivery and forceful eruptions. There is a palpable energy to the songs, as experienced in 10 glorious minutes of opening statement 'Simpatico People'.
                                                                                            “I think it’s important to erase the distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture,” states Joseph E. This colliding of worlds not only exists in the potent mix between whip-smart arrangements, lyrics and seamlessly danceable music but also in the fact that they are named after a cash and carry in Manchester. As Tom P. explains, “I thought it was funny juxtaposing those kind of austere associations with W. H. Auden and other initialed poets, writers, artists, etc. with the fact that it’s really just a Chinese supermarket.”


                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Mine says: Possibly one of the most anticipated albums of the year here at Piccadilly (we wouldn't interrupt our Christmas do for just anyone but if it clashes with a W.H. Lung gig then that's where we end up!)... Like a joint effort from Talking Heads and NEU! thrown head first into 2019 with an extra portion of shimmery beats and hooks. PLAY IT LOUD!

                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                            2xLP Info: Black 180g double LP in gatefold jacket.

                                                                                            2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                            CD Info: CD In Card Wallet.

                                                                                            Rozi Plain has been making music since her brother taught her a few chords on the guitar aged 13. Raised in Winchester, she spent a few years studying art and painting boats in Bristol, where she began collaborating with long-term friends Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) and Rachael Dadd among many others on a thriving local scene. It was there that Rozi made her first two albums, 2008’s Inside Over Here and 2012’s Joined Sometimes Unjoined, each works of deliciously sad and beautiful pop full of heart-wrenching harmonies dotted with unexpected instrumental flourishes. Released in April 2015 on Lost Map and featuring contributions from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor among others her last album Friend was a deeply meaningful and wonderfully measured ode to memory, place, companionship and music’s remarkable power as an emotional salve. A companion album of remixes, unreleased tracks and radio sessions, Friend Of A Friend, was released in 2016.


                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Martin says: Rozi Plain's distinctive, gentle delivery is the glue that binds this follow up to the sublime "Friends" together - it's a fuller, more coherent release than it's predecessor and no less gorgeous.

                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                            Dinked Edition LP Info: Glow in the dark vinyl (same colour as indies-only version).
                                                                                            Exclusive alternate glow in the dark screen-printed cover.
                                                                                            Numbered.
                                                                                            Signed.
                                                                                            Very limited 300 pressing.

                                                                                            Dinked Edition LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Glow in the dark vinyl.

                                                                                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                            The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down—there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest, Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood, a.k.a. Natalie Mering, has designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Maneuvering through a space-time continuum, she plays the role of melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist. Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising – which was written and recorded during the first half of 2018, after three albums and years of touring - as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (“You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,” she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. “The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,” she adds. “I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.” The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) “Something to Believe,” a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. “Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,” she says. “Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.” As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) “It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,” she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. “It’s so symbolic that The Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilization.” Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans. But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. “There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,” she says. “In my mind my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.”

                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                            Andy says: A classy drift from psych-tinged folk to warm, honeyed West Coast soft rock; gorgeous early-70's singer-songwriter territory with the occasional whiff of Karen Carpenter, and all the melancholic sweep and drama you might expect. A surprising and beautiful return.

                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Loser Edition red vinyl.

                                                                                            Priests

                                                                                            The Seduction Of Kansas

                                                                                              What is at stake in the seduction of Kansas? Like a gavel or hammer, the question rattles across the second LP from Washington, D.C. rock iconoclasts Priests: Entering their eighth year as a band, Priests—drummer Daniele Daniele, vocalist Katie Alice Greer, and guitarist G.L. Jaguar—remain an inspired anomaly in modern music. A band on its own label—jolting the greater music world with early releases by Downtown Boys, Snail Mail, Sneaks, and Gauche—they are living proof that it is still possible to work on one’s own terms, to collectively cultivate one’s own world. Priests enlisted two primary collaborators in writing, arranging, and recording The Seduction of Kansas. After playing cello, mellotron, and lap steel on Nothing Feels Natural, multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin (Mellow Diamond, Marissa Nadler) returned to breathe air into Priests’ demos, serving as primary bassist and a fourth songwriting collaborator on The Seduction of Kansas.


                                                                                              The band also found a kindred spirit in producer John Congleton (Angel Olsen, St. Vincent), recording for two weeks at his Elmwood Studio in Dallas. It marked the band’s first time opening up their creative work to collaborate with someone outside of their DC-based community—a decidedly less hermetic approach. Priests found a third collaborator in bassist Alexandra Tyson, who has also joined the touring band. The songwriting process found the group once again analyzing the textures and scopes of albums as aggressive as they are introspective, like Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, Portishead’s Third, and Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral. The first single, "The Seduction of Kansas," is Priests’ purest pop song to date. It is dark and glittering—though there is still something fantastically off about it, decadent and uneasy at once.

                                                                                              As journalist Thomas Frank explored in 2004’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?, the ideological sway of Kansas has often predicted the direction in which the U.S. will move—whether leaning socialist in the 1800s or going staunchly conservative in the 1980s. Illustrating Kansas’ potent place in our national imagination—as well as “a chorus of whoever is trying to persuade the social consciousness of Kansas”—Greer sings brilliantly of a “bloodthirsty cherub choir” in a cornfield, of “a drawn out charismatic parody of what a country through it used to be,” beckoning that “I’m the one who loves you.” The song does what Priests do best: They make us think, stir us with complexity. 

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Barry says: There is something inherently DC about Priests, displaying the gloomy syncopated rhythms of Fugazi or the minimalist charm and throbbing bass of The Evens, but with a hypnotic take on post-industrial rhythms and crescentic synth melodies. Unnervingly fluid in parts, skittering between 4/4 and 7/8 before launching into a soaring anthemic chorus. Brilliantly fresh sounding and completely addictive pop.

                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies-only pink vinyl LP

                                                                                              ‘Six Lenins’, the third album release from The Proper Ornaments, sees the band master their seemingly effortless but finely-wrought sound as their songwriting prowess refuses to plateau. Fresh from an US tour in Autumn last year, the London jangle pop group led by James Hoare (also of Ultimate Painting/Veronica Falls) and Max Claps (Toy) went into James' home studio in Finsbury Park, London and made their finest recordings to date on a newly-installed 16 track Studer machine - joined by Danny Nellis (Charles Howl) on bass and Bobby Syme (Wesley Gonzalez) on drums. Having escaped deep, twisting tunnels of illness, divorce and drug abuse to release their second record in January 2017, it's unsurprising they sound sunnier this time around. What their supremely melodic work suggests is a nonchalance or naivety but is in fact an expensively bought slice of coherence and clarity within a constantly shifting backdrop to their lives and landscapes. The band exists as an unassuming and resilient organism in a fiercely competitive, trashed environmental niche. Throughout their years of hard-edged music industry Darwinism, they've shown longevity and growth scuttling from the wreckage of their previous guitar bands to become one united organism. "We started writing new songs in the Summer. I was in bed recovering from hepatitis and very broken and tired so couldn't do anything else apart from playing guitar," says Max, "and the songs slowly started to appear. In August we realised we had five new songs each and free time, so we decided to record them. The actual recording only took two weeks and it was considerably easier than our previous recordings.” The speed with which “Six Lenins” was made suggests the two songwriters managed to keep a keen focus on what they wanted to achive, further finessing the balance of conflict and collaboration that lends their sweet, succinct tunes their nervous energy. Well-crafted songwriting and a controlled sonic despite a zealous analogue sensibility. The opener 'Apologies', sets out stridently and the mood and momentum, even as we weave through some more sombre moments, never dips before soaring with the Velvets-y propeller riff of live favourite 'In the Garden' to end the record.

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Barry says: The Proper ornaments superbly tread the ground laid by hazy psych-rock aficionados BJM, mixing airy simmering guitars and long reverbs with multi-layered vox, swooning synths and almost-horizontal harmonies. Beautifully warm and brilliantly written summer serenades.

                                                                                              At the corner of Living Legend St. and OG Ave. you will find Lee Fields’ house. A home that was built with blood, sweat, and tears, and stands on the unshakable foundation of his god given talent. Lee has been singing for 50 plus years and is undeniably, yet amazingly, at the top of his game. Those who have paid attention know that Lee is part of the class that is directly responsible for the revival of old school funk and soul. He has inspired many of today’s younger artists who are doing their best to carry the torch. As long as the road has been, and heavy as the crown may be, Fields is proving yet again that he’s “still got it”. His latest offering is sure to be a warmly received instant classic.

                                                                                              It Rains Love is the 2nd album by Lee Fields & The Expressions on Brooklyn’s Big Crown Records and gives us yet another masterclass in soul. Teaming up again with frequent collaborator and producer Leon Michels and his devoted band, The Expressions, they have managed again to take a classic approach and update it. Traditional soul sensibilities are mixed with a hip-hop tinged, sample ready sound that is as much an homage to the old as to the new. Some of the songs sound like they could belong to any of the last 4 decades without it feeling like a throwback, while others are 60’s soul through and through. Lyrically, Lee runs the gamut from gushing admonishments of love to politically charged calls to action, from proclamations of God’s existence to love letters written to his wife. This record marks the fifth studio album from Lee Fields & the Expressions and we are very proud to add it to the already impeccable catalog they have created together. Another strong offering by a man many people consider to be a national treasure, the professor of love himself, Mr Lee Fields. It’s all love baby! 

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Millie says: Lee Field’s is on top form and dominating the soul genre with his distinctive and bold vocals. It Rains Love is a monumental album which sets him apart as a pure talent, taking all things soul and putting his own stamp on it.

                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited translucent red vinyl.

                                                                                              2xDeluxe CD Info: Limited Edition 2CD Version Contains Bonus Disc With Instrumental Album.

                                                                                              Having taken a break in 2010 (the previous fifteen years seeing them turn from raucous cult curiosity to chart bothering national treasures) Friendship and the bind of their creativity brought Idlewild back together for 2015’s Everything Ever Written. With it, came critical praise, an album in the top 20, and the band selling out venues as large as they ever had. With new members Luciano Rossi and Andrew Mitchell on board, Roddy Woomble, guitarist Rod Jones and drummer Colin Newton felt a renewed sense of purpose. So much so that the week that Everything Ever Written was released, they were already back at the drawing board to start work on what would become the bold step sidewards, forthcoming album Interview Music.

                                                                                              Inspired, they later decamped at the end at the end of a US tour in 2016 to Los Angeles to flesh out their ideas, but it would be some years before they set themselves up at Jones’ own Edinburgh studio to finish the record. “A lot of the songs are about dreams and dreaming and the thoughts and ideas that come from this state,” says Woomble. I live in the Scottish Highlands, and between there and California you’ve got two locations that can put you in a dream like state – driving down Sunset Boulevard as the sun sets or driving over the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula as the sun rises. The world seems unreal, magical. You’re dreaming through a landscape.”

                                                                                              Before finishing the album, the band performed a run of shows to celebrate the anniversary for their seminal record The Remote Part. One of those shows would see them meet up once again with the producer of that record and 100 Broken Windows, Dave Eringa, who would provide Idlewild with the grounding they needed to finish Interview Music. “Dave produced five songs on the album, but also brought a focus back to the band, and actually made us finish it!” admits Woomble. “He made it sound like us”.

                                                                                              This is no more apparent than on opener ‘Dream Variations’; with its echoing, fever-dream melody, chiming fizzing riff, and vocal harmonies, before taking a surprise left-turn and drifting into a waltz-like trance. Much like the rest of the record, it has the indie-rock DNA of the band, but mutated in new and strange ways. ‘Same Things Twice’ takes the fire of the heavier highlights like ‘A Modern Way Of Letting Go’ or ‘Little Discourage’, but carries it with a more mature grace. Then ‘I Almost Didn’t Notice’ and ‘Mount Analogue’ make for record’s centre-pieces as playful, adventurous and strange – driven by abandon but still loyal to all that you want from Idlewild; not least for Woomble’s lyrics. Here you’ll find another tapestry of riddles written to “celebrate vagueness”. “What’s really important about Idlewild is that we are basically punk rock kids,” concludes Woomble. “No one ever taught us how to play anything. We formed a band and we learned. In our own way. We were inspired by the bands we saw just getting up on stage, making a noise and exchanging ideas, and trying to change your ideas. That’s principally what the band still do. I’m not a kid rolling around screaming into a microphone on the floor anymore, but that ideal is still at our core.”

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Barry says: Idlewild have managed to maintain their off-kilter syncopated indie-rock atmospheres from the early days of their popularity, but imbue it with a sense of maturity and restraint, turning those magnificently written rhythmic counterpoints into a smoothly segued, but completely essential part of their sound. Brimming with texture and perfectly measured, 'Interview Music' is a perfect example of how a band can continue their legacy without becoming staid.

                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                              2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive red vinyl.

                                                                                              "Ambitions" is Prins Thomas’ 6th album and his second solo album for Smalltown Supersound (plus two duo albums with Bjørn Torske and Bugge Wesseltoft). "Ambitions" picks up from were he left off with "Principe Del Norte". Still ambitious, but the tracks are shorter, more melodic and more concise. Prins Thomas also offers up his first vocal track, lead single "Feel A Love." Or to be precise, it's based around a sample of the track "Feel A Love" by one of the biggest pop-stars in Norway in the 70s and 80s, the late Alex (Naumik).

                                                                                              ”The sun rises, the sun sets. This collection of new songs wasn't intended as an album at first. It gathers up loose ideas sketched down on my computer or hummed into my handheld recorder in the last 2 years with a shifting work environment, from hotel rooms in San Francisco, backstage in Osaka, on a plane from Miami to Chicago, my garden patio, and finally my B15 Studios in Asker.

                                                                                              The common thread was found later during overdubbing and reworking these sketches under the critical ears of label boss Joakim Haugland. Most of the tracks were finalized in the studio at the same time as my previous collaborative album with Bugge Wesseltoft. Bugge even kindly joins in on the album's closing track "Sakral".

                                                                                              Ambitions is my 6th album and I would like to thank the following people for their direct inspiration: Jon Christensen, Jaki Liebezeit, Haroumi Hosono, Daniel Lanois, Eberhard Weber, Shinichi Atobe and Ricardo Villalobos." - Prins Thomas, February 2019

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Patrick says: Quickly joining John Dwyer and King Gizzard (probably a real name) at the top of the 'prolific musicians we love' chart, Prins Thomas releases his gazillionth LP this week. A more succinct and potent set than his last solo outing, 'Ambitions' offers us cosmic, kosmische and Balearic jams, along with a surprising vocal number based around Alex's Norwegian pop hit "Feel A Love".

                                                                                              Working at a rate of one release per year, New Zealand's Strangelove are one of the less prolific labels out there in reissue land, but theirs is a mantra of quality not quantity. While their contemporaries might be racing to rinse the world's resources, re-packaging anything with more than 100 wants on Discogs, Strangelove's steady schedule blah a labour of love. Free from genre constraints or geographical bias, the label look to music they love, but we don't know (or can't find without a kidney-cutting price tag), bringing Lena D'Agua and Arvo to wider attention (and most of my DJ sets for the past two years). Now for their third release, Strangelove deliver their most ambitious project to date, a retrospective collection from international ethno-wave artisans Frank Harris and Maria Marquez.

                                                                                              "Echoes” is the Ethno-Wave love child of collaborators Frank Harris & Maria Marquez. A collection of sublime songs dating back to ‘85, avante-pop flourishes are married here to the heart strings of a synthetic Amazon - think MFM’s“Outro Tempo” meets a tropical Sade.
                                                                                              With much contemporary interest in South American electronic music, "Echoes" is a window into two musicians prescient dreamings of tradition, melody & technology.
                                                                                              Revelling in the embrace of  & folklore visions combined with Frank’s , songs such as ‘Canto Del Pílon’ and ‘Tonada de Ordeño’ resonate with a charged future/primitive electricity, Maria’s song-to-a-siren vocals mainline with Frank’s lush sonic alchemy.


                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Patrick says: The brilliant Strangelove excel themselves here with a gorgeous retrospective of Frank Harris and Maria Marquez' unique sonic world. Fusing Frank's atmospheric synthwork and Maria's Venezuelan roots and stunning vocal, "Echoes" glides through ethno-wave dancers, avant-pop winners and atmospheric interludes, peaking with the South American Sade bomb "Loveroom". Combining the best bits of the duo's 80s singles with unreleased material, this is an early contender for archival release of the year.

                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                              LP Info: 180g vinyl with deluxe sleeve and insert

                                                                                              Spanish ambient composer Suso Saiz deepens his relationship with Music From Memory with the release of a new album, "Nothing Is Objective". This joins 2017’s "Rainworks" as his second full-length album for the label, following archival collections of solo music and of his group Orquesta De Las Nubes. Nothing Is Objective was recorded in Madrid in 2018 during a period of transcendental change and creative awakening for Suso. It captures the composer as he develops a renewed relationship with his instruments and craft, channeling a dialogue between the meticulous use of technology and the outer reaches of human expression. Suso’s universe is one that remains in constant mutation and emphasizes time above all else. His radiant drones are a nest of hidden feelings; they glisten with complex emotions and textures, teasing out moods of vulnerability and hope. Nothing Is Objective is a delicate and intimate record that harnesses smalls drops of sentiment for listeners to withdraw into. Released in a gatefold 2xLP it features collaborations with Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz, liner notes by John Gómez, and music dedicated to Suso’s friend, the late Mexican musician Jorge Reyes. Nothing Is Objective cements Suso’s place as one of the label’s central and most loved artists.

                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Patrick says: Suso Saiz delivers his second full length LP for Amsterdam's Music From Memory, drawing us further into his immersive sonic landscape. Cloudlike pads, crystalline chimes and digital stimulus permeate the air throughout, not least on the Fennesz collaboration "Dulce".

                                                                                              Just over three years since his first murmerings landed here in the shop, and a year since the last excavation, Suction record bring the sounds of the remarkable RX-101 back for our listening pleasure. “Dopamine,” RX-101’s first full-length vinyl LP, is a cohesive body of work with clear references to Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works 85-92”, Polygon Window’s “Surfing on Sine Waves”, and Warp Records’ “Artificial Intelligence” series.

                                                                                              For those of you new to the story, RX-101 is Dutch producer Erik Jong, who recorded hundreds of top-tier AFX / Rephlex-style tracks to cassette tape from 1997-1999, but never sent out any demos ('I didn’t think my own tracks were good enough, or feel the need to share my tracks with others. I simply wanted to make music without any pretension or specific purpose'). Suction Records discovered RX-101’s output via Erik’s Soundcloud page, which had been much discussed on Aphex Twin fan forum We Are The Music Makers, where many speculated that Erik was in fact a secret Richard D James alias. We were blown away the vast treasure trove of golden era ‘90s electronics in Erik’s archive, and began work on an ongoing campaign to release the music of RX-101.

                                                                                              Although Erik was initially driven to electronic music production through the influence of house and techno, especially Detroit-area heavyweight labels Underground Resistance, Plus 8, and Transmat, it should be clear to anyone who listens that RX-101’s primary influence is the work of Richard D James. While RX-101’s output to date has been like an overview of many facets of the AFX / Rephlex catalog, from Caustic Window-style crunchy techno, to Bochum Welt-style synth pop, to Universal Indicator-style acid, the focus of "Dopamine"’s sound palette is firmly guided by the slow, funky and crisp 808 patterns, warm analog basslines, and evocative chords of Aphex Twin’s landmark “Selected Ambient 85-92” LP. It’s an immersive listen from start to finish - 13 tracks of armchair techno of the highest order.


                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                              Matt says: Here it is folks! The long awaited follow up to THAT, killer RX-101 EP from 2016. RX-101 is god for bedroom synth obsessives and all the hardware gobblers around the globe. A masterpiece!