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Bonnie Prince Billy

I Made A Place

    Bonnie “Prince” Billy stays busy - in the past five years he has released albums of previously-recorded songs by Susanna Wallumrod, Mekons, Merle Haggard; even himself) and a collaborative record with Bitchin Bajas! The only thing he hasn't done is a new album of Bonny originals - in case you weren't counting, 2011's Wolfroy Goes To Town was the last one. That's from the first half of the Obama presidency, for chrissakes!

    Things happen for reasons that are often bigger than ourselves and outside of our control. They happen suddenly or they happen slowly - but they always happen one day at a time and day after day. Here's Will Oldham, on the confluence of marketplace, values, aesthetic and process that slowly built new album I Made A Place:

    "In recent years, the whole world of recorded music, in the way that such music is conceived, perceived, recorded, released and distributed, has been atomized. I tried holding my breath, waiting for the storm to pass, but this storm is here to stay and its devastation is our new landscape. What else is a person to do except what he knows and feels, which for me is making records built out of songs intended for the intimate listening experiences of wonderful strangers who share something spiritually and musically? I started working on these songs thinking that there was no way I was going to finish them and record and release them. This was a constructive frame-of-mind that protected the songs until this frightening moment when we let go of them and give them to you."

    The world has changed. Some things will never change. Some are gone forever. Thankfully, this isn't one of them: the wait for new Bonnie “Prince” Billy is now on a timer. What's more, the new single drops a bit of Apocalypse WOW. Picking up in a sense where last year's "Blueberry Jam" left off, "(At The) Back of the Pit" considers what to do with the things we love when it comes time for the death (and therefore, rebirth) of our painstakingly-built'n'kill't world. It's an affirming country jam: elegiac early moments give way to jaunty roots-rock strides, a horn section soulfully charting the long rays at the end of the day as well as the first rays of the new rising sun as they light on all our hopeful tomorrows.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: I think it's probably hard for someone as resolutely productive as Mr. Billy to reach the moment in a songs creation where it feels like there is no more work to be done. Fortunately for us, these delicate, tender country ballads finally reached the light of day, and we're all the better for it. As brilliantly produced and perfectly balanced as any of his previous work, whilst being more focused and melodic. Gorgeous stuff.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Indies only deluxe edition on transparent red vinyl.

    Toy

    Songs Of Consumption

      TOY, who released Happy In The Hollow, their fourth, and by far most acclaimed album to date, in January of this year on Tough Love Records, have announced details of Songs Of Consumption, an 8-song collection of unique interpretations of tracks which have inspired the band.

      The idea was originally birthed when the band recorded four covers for the bonus 7"s that came with the Dinked and Rough Trade versions of the last album. 3 of those songs feature here alongside 5 new recordings completed last month, which comprise tracks by Stooges, Amanda Lear, Nico, The Troggs, Serge Gainsborough, Soft Cell, John Barry and Pet Shop Boys/Elvis/Willy Nelson (depending on how you know the song).

      Talking about the album, TOY said:

      Songs of Consumption sonically is a continuation and development of the themes conceived on Happy In The Hollow and it will show people where we are going towards musically. The DIY approach was explored further utilising more of the electronic elements that we touched upon before. Drum machines, stripped down arrangements and rudimentary production give a primitive sound that we thought suited the choice of songs. Some of the songs have very big sounding production, so we wanted to experiment with them by going in a different direction.

      Music is consumed voraciously now whereas these songs came from a time when the song was of the most important thing and that's what was appreciated. Stripping them back to the essence of what they are was also something we wanted to explore. Also, we wanted to make a covers record with songs by people that influenced us in the past few years and it’s as much about the way they dealt with their ideas, and how they put themselves in uncomfortable situations in order to make something that in the end is simple. It’s a homage to the spirit of these people, that helped us to untangle ourselves from our inherent complicated nature and create a new space where we can exist.

      Additionally, having played a sold-out tour of the UK in February, including a mesmerising show at Village Underground in London, the band have announced a couple of very special shows at the end of the year.

      Playing under the banner of ‘Hollowed Out – A night of strange sighting and unhabitual ritual’ the shows will see them re-imagining songs from Happy In The Hollow. In London they will be joined by AV artist Sculpture, live performances from The Thelma Death Stare and Ducasse, DJ sets from Cherrystones and Sheet Noise and live visuals from Daisy Dickinson. In Manchester they will be joined by Mutabase and a DJ set from Sofie K.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: It's nice to hear a selection of (superb) covers from Toy, expanding their sound into this diverse range of covers. Though the songs are not their own, it gives us an insigt into their influence, and honestly couldn't be any more their own. Swathes of guitar noise and succinct percussive throbs work their way behind Dougall's recognisable vocals, all accompanied with their ever present crystal-clear synths and melodic sensibilities. Lovely stuff.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: LP is on cream opaque vinyl and is exclusive to Indie stores.

      Jeffrey Lewis & Voltage

      Bad Wiring

        Jeffrey has received jaw-dropping praise from practically every major news and music outlet over the years, as well as awed testimonials from the likes of David (Silver Jews) Berman, Jarvis (Pulp) Cocker, Ben (Death Cab For Cutie) Gibbard, Will Oldham and others… and this new album “Bad Wiring” makes it completely clear why. In all of indie-rock there is no force like Jeffrey Lewis. Although mostly recognized for his lyrical skills (as well as his illustration/comic book skills), the secret weapon in Lewis’s arsenal has been his slow evolution from DIY folkie in the late 90s to barn-burning indie-rock live sensation.

        New band name The Voltage is a bit of a slight-of-hand, as the musicians are the same bassist, Mem Pahl, and same drummer, Brent Cole (also of the Moldy Peaches), that Jeffrey has been touring the world with for the past four years as “Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts.” But Jeffrey continues his tradition of using a new band name for each release… and as Jeffrey says, “everybody knows most good bands have a ‘v’ in their name… Velvets, Nirvana, Pavement, Vaselines, Violent Femmes, Camper Van Beethoven, Modern Lovers, etc!” Recent Jeffrey Lewis band names like “The Rain”, “Los Bolts” and “The Voltage” are also in reference to the fact that Jeffrey’s middle name is Lightning, the result of being born on the Lower East Side in the 1970s to hippie parents. It was almost his first name but got moved to the middle name when he was born!

        The album was recorded and produced in Nashville by Roger Moutenot, the man responsible for producing all of the classic Yo La Tengo albums. Moutenot, who also worked on Lou Reed’s “Magic and Loss” album, and Sleater Kinney’s “Hot Rock” album was definitely the right man to capture these twelve new Lewis songs in the studio. As Lewis explains, “As an experience of working with a producer, it was a dream come true. I obviously worship a number of the records Roger had produced in the past, so I specifically sought him out. The fact that he’s in Nashville was just accidental, we would have traveled to record with him anywhere. Now when people hear we made our album in Nashville, everybody’s like, oh, I guess this is your country album…”

        With the endlessly creative musical variety on display from Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage, and Lewis’s writing as sharp as ever, “Bad Wiring” could be the greatest album of Jeffrey’s 18-year career. Having one solid band line up for a few years in a row has certainly helped. Keep an eye out for a couple other interesting Jeffrey Lewis projects to be released in 2019: Jeffrey’s new giant-size comic book issue (Fuff #12) and Jeffrey’s first book Revelations in the Wink of an Eye: My Insane Musings on Watchmen from Conspiracies to Stupidities. But mostly look for Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage to be playing at a venue near you, on their UK pre album-release tour in September!


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: With one eye on a mind-bogglingly huge range of genre influences, Lewis manages to craft a sound entirely unlike anything you've hard before. Old school jangly indie sits comfortably alongside punky riffs and Lewis' trademark American twang, giving more than a hint of the attitude and drive of 90's college rock without the pomp and cheese that comes along with it. A singular talent, and possibly his best LP yet.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Dinked Edition LP Info: Exclusive Pale Blue vinyl.
        Exclusive Die Cut cover.
        Bonus 7” (2 additional tracks ONLY available on Dinked Vinyl).
        Artworked inner bag.
        Sticker Sheet insert.
        Numbered Edition of 550.
        Download card.

        Coloured LP Info: Poppy Red coloured LP.
        Sticker Sheet insert.

        Headland

        What Rough Beast

          Headland is a collective of Australian musicians that compose, record and perform soundtrack music for surf films in various forms. The group leader is Murray Paterson, an old surfer himself, who in between wrangling two red-headed boys, finds time here and there to record bits and pieces of guitarbased music. Mostly he heads to Nashuaville where his longtime colleague from a previous life in arts education, Les Dorahy, has set up a small recording studio in the old Booyong General Store, situated in the Byron Bay Hinterland. Whenever friends visit their part of the world, they drop past and join in. Most of the music remains instrumental but this new album is a collection of songs. One of Murray’s comrades from his days with Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses is Joel Silbersher. Joel has been a longtime Headland collaborator–playing bass and guitar–but while recording material for the new album, vocal melodies kept finding their way into Murray’s instrumentals. Soon there seemed enough of a coherent lyrical theme to build an album around. There’s a song about installing a dishwasher. There’s one about a soccer ball filled with blood, and one from the point of view of a lizard. The topic of love among the elderly gets a look in, and there’s a drone called Face in the Sky, which is about a face in the sky.

          There is some nice instrumentation touches here too with cello (Tahiti Jones), pedal steel (Danny Widdicombe), double bass (Melissa ‘Curly’ Hunt), violin/melotron (Amanda Brown – GO BETWEENS), percussion (Luke Peacock) and organ (Whitey White) fleshing out the core band of Paterson, Silbersher, accordionist Les Dorahy and drummer Brock Fitzgerald. During the recordings, a good friend of the band, Australian rock legend Spencer P. Jones sadly departed. One of his melodies and lyric was dovetailed to a Paterson instrumental and Ode to Death Trip became an emotional tribute to mark his passing. A couple of other covers appear on the album. There is a surprising, acoustic rendition of Motörhead’s Deaf Forever and a version of John Sebastian’s Darlin’ Be Home Soon. This last is a relic from 2007 when following a hard-drive meltdown at Nashuaville, the only remaining recording of a late night jam was an unedited headphone mix. It seems though, it was impossible to exclude this from the collection.

          There’s still enough of the spacious Australian land- and seascapes to satisfy fans of the previous Headland albums (sound/track 2013, Cosy 2015, True Flowers from this Painted World 2017), journeys through a sonic architecture centred around the motion of the ocean and it’s meeting with the coastline. But a narrative of loss and longing sits on the surface here: Silbersher’s voicing is an emotive thread that breaches at all the right times. There are references to the likes of Alex Chilton, Nick Drake and Daniel Lanois but Christian Pyle (Prawn & Spanner Studio) brings a sensitivity to the mix so that any references float rather than reveal themselves in bold relief. What Rough Beast marks the development of an ensemble and documents a sense of meaning embedded with the tone of place.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: A beguiling mixture of Red House Painters style expansive morose rock and brittle, jazzy acoustic stuff. Flickering guitar and soaring ambience bring to mind expanses of land and weightless dreaming. Thoroughly lovely and always surprising.

          Tindersticks

          No Treasure But Hope

            Three years since their last album proper, singer Stuart Staples decided Tindersticks’ return called for something special and No Treasure but Hope, is very much that! Rich in intuitive warmth, lush melodies and an inquisitive spirit, it’s an album that casts a fresh light on Tindersticks’ core qualities, bathed in the glow of a band intent on rediscovering what they can do. Expanding the horizon without losing the focus, No Treasure but Hope manages to collect some of the band’s most immediate work in one outstanding album. This is the bands twelfth record, the earliest Tindersticks release being in 1991. Over the course of the band’s rich history, Staples has found a voice in film composition as well. This includes a soundtrack to Claire Denis’ science-fiction film High Life (2019), which features vocals from actor Robert Pattinson.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: For their first album in three years, Tindersticks bring us a haunting collection of brittle piano-led ballads, rich in atmospheric ambience and shimmering with reverb. songs like 'Trees Fall' and 'See My Girls' revel in the sort of off-piste vocal turns you'd expect from Nick Cave, and help to cement Staples & Co. as one of the most creative musical forces out there.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl. First pressing comes in a limited edition die-cut sleeve.

            The unassailable DJ Shadow finally returns to our humble shelves with an ambitious and exceptional double album, "Our Pathetic Age", once again on Mass Appeal. "Our Pathetic Age" is the result of an intensely creative period that found the hip-hop and electronic innovator delving further into original composition and experimentation. The first half of Our Pathetic Age features 11 new instrumental works that balance some of Shadow’s most menacing sounds with beams of hope, including his first fully composed orchestral piece. Mindblowing swathes of synth heft surge to trap percussion, sci fi sequences and distorted jukes, or else jazzy syncopation carries nebulous melodies into the upper atmosphere.
            The second half of Our Pathetic Age is a full album of vocal collaborations, ranging from Run The Jewels, Nas and Dave East to Sam Herring, Paul Banks and Wiki, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. Shadow notably reunites with his early Solesides collaborators Lateef The Truthseeker and Gift of Gab (Blackalicious). It also features St. Louis MCs Rockwell Knuckles and Tef Poe, fellow Bay Area musicians Fantastic Negrito and Jumbo is Dr.ama, and Brookyln MC Stro. Full track list with collaborators is below.

            "More than anything, I try to get a sense of the mood of society as a whole. The subtle signals that humans send each other, the way people behave, their frustrations and ebbs and flows. In my part of the world, people are scared. There's rampant homelessness, and a real fear of falling into generational poverty. People are addicted to, and addled by distraction; they're angry and confused, and disaffected by their own governmental institutions. There's songs on the record that are inspired by this energy and seek to harness it, to make sense of it. In some cases, there's attempts to salve the wound; in others, the songs merely observe but don't offer solutions. I want the album to reflect the times we live in, a signpost in the ground to mark the era...Our Pathetic Age." - DJ Shadow.

            The album was produced by DJ Shadow, and the album art was created by Paul Insect, who also designed Shadow’s The Mountain Will Fall and Outsider covers.


            Chicago-based contemporary electronic musician Steve Hauschildt has composed panoramas of synthesized sound for over a decade. First within his former band, Emeralds, an American touchstone of 2000s home-recorded psychedelic noise music, and later across a steady and critically-acclaimed stream of solo releases spanning ambient techno, arpeggiated electronica and post-kosmische styles utilizing synthesizers, computers, and digital processing. In 2018, he extended a collection of rich, visceral tracks titled Dissolvi, his first release on Ghostly International and his most collaborative work to date. Just a year later, Hauschildt returns with Nonlin, an album that’s freer, leaner, and looser, both structurally and conceptually; less linear compared to its predecessor, but still captivating. Developed and recorded in several studios during and around the edges of tour — Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tbilisi, and Brussels — this material emulates an alienating encounter with a smattering of places, a replicant of culture shock, a solitary and stark experience with uncanny environments, melody and dissonance as oblique locales.

            Nonlin finds Hauschildt evolving his palette of tools, integrating modular and granular synthesis. The improvisatory and generative nature of modular systems, when paired with his signature grid-oriented and hand-played techniques, guides these compositions slightly out of line to hypnotic effect. Opener “Cloudloss” permeates the mix with an unsettling smog, which reappears and all but engulfs “A Planet Left Behind.” On cuts like “Attractor B” and “Subtractive Skies,” pockets of air rest between sequenced pulses, whose crumpling and flattening folds build into a restrained rapture of crisp frequencies and milky reverb-swallowed coruscations.

            The album’s title track and centerpiece logs on to a foreign network, a fractured percussion signal that modulates and stutters into static amidst curious melodic sparkling in the hazy bandwidth. “Reverse Culture Music” casts an elegant and brooding stream of strings, pizzicato and churning bow from Chicago cellist Lia Kohl, against chiming minimalist synth frameworks. A surprising pattern emerges in the taciturn systems at work. Hauschildt continues to expand his already horizon-wide repertoire, here exploring the effects of corrupting coordinates; a flight subject to the collapsable abilities of time in remote spaces, a smearing of the axis to elegiac ends.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Another outstanding LP from the ever-reliable Steve Hauschildt here, and his first for Ghostly. This time we go further down the ambient seam he's been exploring of late (though Tragedy & Geometry and Sequitur had hints of airy ambience, they were essentially propulsive kosmische music), with slowly evolving walls of sound twisting around the overriding melodic theme, going almost full circle towards his work in Emeralds.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Super limited “Liquid Mercury” colour (silver suspended in transparent vinyl).

            EYE is back. Metamujer marks the third installment on the Knekelhuis label and the latest chapter in Laurène Exposito’s life. Recorded on various locations ranging from the Swiss mountains to the chalky coasts of Brittany, "Metamujer" is an 8-track ode to salty love and closeness to nature, a tribute to a modest lifestyle à la Henry David Thoreau. Far from being praise for self-sufficiency, this new LP is deeply influenced by Laurène’s environment. We can hear Korg MS-10 created synthetic waves (Sanatorium) and birds (Luscinia), but one can also catch her singing in Italian, one of 3 languages spoken in Switzerland. Still minimalist and yet more aesthetically diverse, her new sounds are on the edge of EBM and synth pop, between classic minimal wave tunes and rustic ballads on acid.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: It's been a cracking couple of months for fans of coldwave, minimal wave and superior synth pop, and the latest LP from EYE is another chilly killer. At times she edges into EBM with 4/4 aggression, at others she embraces the bontempi cosmic of Wendy Carlos or late 70s Sheffield.

            In an era of increased nationalism and xenophobic bullshit, Antinote reach out to make their first French-Russian connection. Olga is from Moscow. She introduced herself to the label after Dominique Dumont's show in Paris, winter 2018. Zaltan et al immediately fell in love with the song 'Mojno' and step by step built up a nice collection of tracks which became the "1905" LP! Very active in the electronic music scene, she’s spent the last ten years releasing music, performing, recording & DJing as well as being busy with her tech-project Playtronica (with them she's created 3 controllers with which you can play scales on people, objects and colors). Across the "1905" LP she utilises some DIY devices such as Yamaha sampler vss-33, voice glitcher from the Russian company “Naked Boards” and organelle synth that creates this synesthetic tone in “ready when you are”. Besides dreamy pads and dancy beats Olga is ironically singing on Russian about her daily routine, in a positive way. There's no sadness and melancholy in the dark snowy days, where even the full moon or retrograde-mercury don’t even bother you ...if you are in harmony with mother nature's 5 elements.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Contemporary cold wave, icy electro-pop and melodic minimal wave from Russia's Omma here, who works her magic in the same vein as Carla Del Forno, Epsilove and fellow Antinote fam Domenique Dumont.

            Gang Starr

            One Of The Best Yet

              Gang Starr is undoubtedly one of the most revered, beloved and influential groups in Hip Hop. Over the course of their distinguished career, they became a cultural institution and a brand you could ultimately trust. With a handful of indelible classic albums on their resume, DJ Premier and Guru’s catalogue has not only persevered but mastered the test of time. Simply, Gang Starr did not follow trends, they created them. Though they never “officially” disbanded after the release of their last project (The Ownerz 2003), Premier and Guru still remained infinitely connected to each other even as they embarked on solo paths.

              Premier winning three Grammy’s along the way and assisting in turning fast rising artists such as Nas, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G. and many others into rap royalty; and his imprint included work with artists such as Drake, Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Snoop, Mac Miller, The Game, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Common, Mos Def, Rakim, KRS-One, Janet Jackson, D’Angelo, DJ Khaled, Joey Bada$$, Royce 5’9, Twenty One Pilots, and Miley Cyrus; all of which spoke to his diversity and ability to traverse genres

              In turn, Guru would go on to release his own quartet of highly influential Jazzmatazz projects

              In the interim, fans always clamored for another Gang Starr album. Though there were whispers and murmurs over the years, nothing ever panned out and the possibilities of that project being willed into existence seemingly grew more remote as the years passed by. After Guru tragically passed away in 2010 the hope seemed to vanish altogether. The one person who refused to give hope was DJ Premier.

              One Of The Best Yet is many things. Yes, it’s the first new Gang Starr album in sixteen-years and it is a historic event to be celebrated and rejoiced, but it symbolizes much more than that. One Of The Best Yet further cements Gang Starr’s legacy. This literal gift of an album not only harkens you back to Gang Starr’s seminal work of the past, but it re-establishes their impact in a modern-day perspective.

              Ray Mang teases countdown fans everywhere with his latest anagram, cooking up a ten track double LP of edit excellence while the big blue clock rotates. The inaugural release on fresh stable Keeps Going, and Ray's first LP in a decade, "Dis Go In Ya Pipe" finds the new disco legend in imperious form maintaining total mastery of groove and fx whether he's tackling gospel disco, post-Paisley funk, Fleetwood Mac, Latin, kwaito or dub. Essential listening for disco, Balearic and house heads, this is a house party on a platter.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Patrick says: New disco hero Ray Mang adopts his latest alias, the hilarious Any Gram and drops a ten track double LP of edit excellence, covering all bases for the dope and diverse DJ. Gospel disco, SA boogie, kwaito, reggae and Fleetwood Mac all come under the scalpel, resulting in a riotous set for the righteous DJ.

              Molly Burch

              The Molly Burch Christmas Album

                On this collection of holiday songs, Austin chanteuse Molly Burch does Christmas with a twist. Quite an omnibus, the album features classics like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Auld Lang Syne” alongside heartland hits like “Hard Candy Christmas” and “Snowqueen of Texas”.

                “This is the most fun I’ve had making a record yet,” Burch says. And you can hear that joy on tracks like ABBA’s “Happy New Year” as well as a playful cover of Wham’s “Last Christmas” with two special guests: actor / comedians John Early (Search Party, Wet Hot American Summer) and Kate Berlant (Sorry to Bother You) add a blithe intro and backing vocals throughout.

                Recorded by Will Paterson (RF Shannon, Jesse Woods) and Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Martin Courtney, Purple Mountains), the album also features two beautiful originals penned by Burch to add to your holiday canon. “I hope it’s a Christmas album for people who love Christmas music and people who don’t love Christmas music. May these songs welcome in a fresh new year and many warm, happy nights.”


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: It's November.

                Pumarosa

                Devastation

                  From the very first beat of ‘Fall Apart’, anyone familiar with Pumarosa can tell that a transformation has taken place. With a fast drum’n’bass inspired tattoo beating urgently beneath a sawing riff and a wide, synthesised expanse, this is a dramatic evolution from the band’s more guitar-driven debut, ‘The Witch’.

                  Digging deeper into electronic influences ranging from Aphex Twin and Autechre to old jungle tunes, the shock of ‘Fall Apart’ mirrors the irreversible shift in Pumarosa’s own circumstances: shattering diagnoses, new beginnings and a strange optimism - the promise of what can be built only after total annihilation - all fed into a record that feels like an exhilarating affirmation of life.

                  Learning to ‘Fall Apart’ may not have come easily to Pumarosa, but what’s emerged in ‘Devastation’ is an album about transformation on a more cellular level. First came the chaos: on the week ‘The Witch’ was released, the band’s lead singer Isabel Muñoz-Newsome was diagnosed with cervical cancer, with the resulting surgery and recovery totally changing her relationship to her body (and how to write about it).

                  Inner-band relationships also evolved following the departure of bassist Henry, which further energised Pumarosa to explore new spaces in their already-expansive sound. The band took the work to producer John Congleton in LA, whose production on the likes of St Vincent and Swans helped convince them he could bring these songs and life-changing experiences into existence. They were joined in the album recording by Tool’s Justin Chancellor who, after becoming a fan of the band from their debut, provided driving bass performances in his inimitable style.

                  ‘Devastation’ is a powerfully uplifting album that confirms Pumarosa as one of the UK’s most inventive and ambitious bands. Songs work through questions of mortality and the pain of love while revelling in sexuality: what it feels like to ‘Fall Apart’, what it takes to carry on, and what it means to be alive.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: It doesn't surprise me that Devastation has a host of guests providing exactly what i'd expect them to. That rolling driven bass sound? Yep, Justin from Tool. The gloomy, but immediate production? That's right, It's John Congleton, Swans' producer, and adding that all to Pumarosa's own brand of arty percussive electronic indie, you have the superb, heartfelt triumph that is Devastation.

                  It makes sense that Antoinette Konan’s eponymous album features nothing more than her ahoko on the cover. The deceptively simple traditional percussion instrument transformed Ivory Coast’s Baoulé music scene when Konan deployed it against a roaring electrified backdrop of synth, bass guitar and drum machines. Released in 1986, the album is a veritable UFO of instrumental force and contemporary pop sensibility landing in a boiling pot of diverse, creative characters inhabiting Abidjan, Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire). Known as the “Queen of the Ahoko” among Ivorians, Konan singlehandedly put the central-Ivorian instrument on the map when she gave it a 20th-century re-introduction. The three-piece wooden idiophone is handmade from a thin, ribbed, flexible stick, against which a smaller chunk of wood is rhythmically scraped.

                  A hollow nutshell held in the non-scraping hand amplifies and manipulates the resulting overtones. Despite the ahoko's diminutive appearance, Konan and her powerful voice have remained at the forefront of Ivorian music for decades now, in an extremely diverse country—approximately 70 indigenous languages—with a competitive, internationally-recognized music industry. Music plays an important role in Baoulé cultural life, heard and seen in festivities, funerals and more. They are the largest ethnic group in Côte d’Ivoire and descend from Akan peoples who migrated from presentday central Ghana. Baoulé vocal music is characterized by polyphony, melodies built on parallel thirds and call-and-response. All of this can be heard in Konan’s music. Konan’s fingerprints are all over Antoinette Konan, she says, as it was meant to be a highly personal recording. She wanted to portray the suffering, injustice, frustrations, humiliations, personal career struggles, experience of child birth and poverty she sees in society. Taking on the producer role for the first time, Konan was the architect of her dancefloor-ready neo-traditional sound. But crucial to the recording was arranger Bamba Moussa Yang. A creative and versatile musical mind who was known for his work with legendary Ivorian singer Ernesto Djedje, Konan met him in 1986 after she had already released two albums.

                  Yang brought a touch that matched Konan’s expectations, she says, because he knew her work so well. As she reflects on her long career today, Konan remembers Yang as her favorite arranger. Over the years Konan’s popularity grew to the upper echelons of Ivorian society: Ivory Coast’s first president Felix Houphouet Boigny’s would regularly invite Konan to perform at official ceremonies with foreign dignitaries. Through her charity and advocacy work on behalf of female musicians, Konan is still a force in the country’s music community. You can see her performing or speaking on television and around the country all the time—yet she still maintains several entrepreneurial projects in the farming sector. Konan has recorded more than 15 albums so far and plans more recordings soon

                  Originally formed in 2013, around the songwriting between guitarist Chris Killen and bassist Peet Earnshaw, Hot Shorts quickly picked up local attention, leading to two BBC 6 Music sessions for Marc Riley and support slots for Jeffrey Lewis, Trust Fund, The Lovely Eggs and Ezra Furman.

                  In 2016 they expanded to a four piece, with the addition of drummer Lara Williams and guitarist Joel Nicholson. The new line-up were invited by Drenge to perform as part of their Tramlines showcase event in Sheffield (Eoin from Drenge also tweeting out around the time that Hot Shorts were his "favourite band of the past 5 years"), and later that year joined the bill at the Los Campesinos! curated 'Us vs. Them' festival in Leeds. Shortly after this, the band released the track 'Metaphor for (Something)' as part of cult label Art is Hard's postcard singles club series.

                  Recorded and mixed this year at Manchester's Big City Jack's studio, I Understand & I Wish To Continue is the band's peppy second album which ably follows on from where the band's excellent 2017 self-titled debut album left us. It is twenty nine minutes of cascading hook-laden pop precision from one of Manchester's finest breakout bands of recent times. An assured and engaging affair, the record is ten tracks of 90's tinged slacker anthems and the occasional luxury indie lament, deftly arranged and crafted by the band over the last two years.

                  Unsurprisingly, for a band featuring two published authors, the lyrics on this album take centre stage. Songs like 'Lostprophets Tattoo', 'Don't Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before', and 'I Found You on Myspace' are keenly observed vignettes which blend knowing pop cult humour, keen social observations and the occasional dollop of self introspection. It's a wonderful, lyrically savvy album, designed to leave the listener feeling amused, discerning and invited firmly in on the joke.

                  Chris says of the writing on the record, “Pretty much all of the songs are either about feeling really old and embarrassing and/or music from my past...the songs are mostly.. about being slightly too old and British to still be into 90s alt rock as much as we are, but there is also one about being afraid to go to space on there and also one about a cat”.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: YES! New outing from Manc faves, Icecapades and it's a corker. Joel from over't road and a trio of talented folks who I don't know smash out a brilliantly wry, cleverly placed set of off-kilter snarling college rock and Blue Album era melodies with skill and grace. Absolutely worth your time.

                  Fragile Self

                  Fragile Self

                    Fragile Self are electronic duo Anil Aykan and Jonathan Barnbrook · already known for their grammy award winning design for David Bowie’s Blackstar and The Next Day album covers · they have now formed their own musical project combining visuals, music, electronics and live performance · already with a following in design this is a natural evolution and new audience for them.

                    Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

                    Ghosteen

                    Ghosteen is the seventeenth studio album from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, following 2016’s Skeleton Tree, and will be released via Ghosteen Ltd. The album was recorded in 2018 and early 2019 at Woodshed in Malibu, Nightbird in Los Angeles, Retreat in Brighton and Candybomber in Berlin. It was mixed by Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Lance Powell and Andrew Dominik at Conway in Los Angeles.

                    "The songs on the first album are the children. The songs on the second album are their parents. Ghosteen is migrating spirit." - Nick Cave.


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: Mr. Cave and the Seeds have always had a wide range of influences appear in their recordings, from glum gothic rock to more delicate instrumental works (the soundtracks with Ellis a particular highlight), but it's possibly the most profound and cathartic experience yet on 'Ghosteen'. It is indeed an emotion-filled listen, but bursting with all that we've come to expect from Cave and co.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2xLtd LP Info: Gatefold sleeve.

                    2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    2xCD Info: Digipack CD.

                    Titled Magdalene, the album is the follow up to FKA twigs’ critically acclaimed Brit Award and Mercury Prize nominated debut LP1.

                    Created in a period where her confidence was knocked following heartbreak and laparoscopic surgery, Magdalene is the sound of twigs reconfiguring, emotionally and physically. As she sings on ‘Mary Magdalene’, the Magdalene album track that opened her highly-praised, sold-out live shows earlier in the year, “A woman’s time / A woman’s work / A woman’s time to embrace / She must put herself first”.

                    Magdalene is produced by FKA twigs and, as with LP1, the recording process has been directed by her at every stage. It was recorded between London, New York and Los Angeles over the last three years and features major contributions from Nicolas Jaar alongside a host of other collaborators. Magdalene sees FKA twigs creating a whole new artistic universe and it is, without doubt, her most masterful, innovative work to date.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Barry says: From gothic choral passages to pulsing, deep bass and skittering percussives, 'Magdalene' covers a wide range of smoothly accomplished stylistic changes as well as a viceral and effective range of emotional dynamics. It's a confident and varied selection, and in FKA's classic style, brilliantly done.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Indies only limited red vinyl.

                    Sports Team

                    Making Hay EP

                      This London via Cambridge six piece make a glorious hookfilled racket that's part Pavement, part The Strokes and part Parquet Courts. This US import features 5 tracks and is etched on one side.
                      These are gonna fly so grab one quick!


                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Sports team make the sort of rawkous, off-kilter indie that we've enjoyed coming from the Australian continent (probably no coincidence that Burke Reid, Barnett's producer is on board here), but these young whippersnappers are from our own shores! Arm-waving, angular guitars and rolling bass are pulled along by a frenetic percussion backline and those 'your throat must hurt' vocal acrobatics.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Mini LP Info: Limited edition etched vinyl.

                      Game-changing multi-instrumentalist Kamaal Williams has put together the latest DJ-Kicks mix. It features four of his own brand new and exclusive tracks and hints at the wide world of influences that have made him one of the most prominent artists of the last few years.

                      Williams has taken his long standing love of seventies jazz fusion and mixed it up with the contemporary sound of the London underground to devastating effect. House, broken beat, grime, soul, funk, hip hop and jazz all permeate his work, which has seen him evolve from one-man producer Henry Wu to acclaimed live band Kamaal Williams, backed by talented drummers and bassists. His pioneering work in the studio and live arena has influenced a whole new generation of like-minded musicians that have helped make the capital one of the most musically exciting and quickly evolving cities in the world, with Williams' own virtuoso drumming and percussion right at the heart of it all.

                      The exceptional Yussef Kamaal album 'Black Focus' was one of the most talked about records of 2016. Vinyl pressings kept selling out, it received rave reviews, earned the band the Breakthrough Act award at the 2017 Jazz FM awards and led to spellbinding live shows all over Europe. The follow up, The Return, came on Williams' own new Black Focus label and took his band global, all while picking up nominations for best independent album at the AIM Music Awards.

                      Improvised rhythm and spirituality are at the heart of everything Williams does, as is London life, with its diverse people, cultures and musical customs all feeding into his work. That is also true when making more electronic sounds as Henry Wu, who appears here after standout EPs on labels like Rhythm Section International. Williams' music is so individual it is more than deserving of its own tag: the artist himself calls it Wu Funk, and some of the many sounds that feed into it are all showcased on this adventurous new mix.

                      Exclusives include a live take of 'Snitches Brew,' new Kamaal Williams tracks 'Shinjuku' and 'Strings ATL' , as well as 'Wivout U' from Henry Wu. Those vital highlights sit next to classic jams from Southern Freeze, a strong contingent of London innovators from K15 to Dego and Tenderlonius to Kaidi Tatham, with funk driven house from Peven Everett, raw stuff from Steve Julien, lush synth grooves from Lone and feel good grooves from Phil Asher all making this is an honest and uplifting collection that, when necessary, is happy to eschew blends, fades and mixing in favour of red hot selections and sequencing.

                      Kamaal Williams DJ-Kicks is a fascinating insight into the record collection of a true musical alchemist.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Millie says: Take a dive into Kamaal Williams’ chosen tracks picked for DJ Kicks, a few brand-new exclusives and a mixture of Jazz, Hip Hop, Broken Beat and all the good stuff including Steve Spacek, Ratgrave and some Henry Wu gems in there too. Oooff!

                      Charles Rumback & Ryley Walker

                      Little Common Twist

                        Charles Rumback and Ryley Walker are both known for their creativity and curious spirits. Rumback is a drummer in high demand in Chicago’s free-jazz circles and a pillar of the second wave of improvisers in a scene first shaped by the legendary players like Sun Ra and other members of the AACM. Walker draws deeply on other distinctly American styles, bringing a strong sense of folk tradition to his playing that is as arresting as his freewheeling performance style. Together, Rumback and Walker find common ground in their kinetic, intuitive playing and yearning creative outlook. ‘Little Common Twist’, their sophomore release as a duo, finds both players at their most adventurous. It compiles instrumental pieces that convey a striking range of emotions, at once introspective and expansive, with a delicate interplay that delights as they move with ease across a spectrum of styles.

                        The recording has a pastoral quality that recalls Van Morrison’s classic album ‘Veedon Fleece’ and captures a remarkably dexterous performance by both Charles and Ryley that make this album so expansive and fresh.

                        ‘Little Common Twist’ was recorded over several sessions throughout 2017 and 2018 with producer John Hughes, capturing the duo playing in the moment with minimal overdubs. The guitar and drums duo eschewed each instrument’s traditional roles of rhythm and melody, experimenting with texture and rhythm. This album is the culmination of a creative partnership that has seen Rumback and Walker constantly challenging each other. In stretching the bounds of their interplay even further than before, the duo created their most evocative and expansive work to date, conjuring the afterglow of sun-scorched landscapes and ethereal after-hours ambiance.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: We're massive fans of Ryley in here, a personal shop highlight being his acoustic instore some years ago, and this is a brilliant collaboration with Jazz drummer Rumback, both making their sounds obvious while working in perfect tandem with the other. Grooving, freewheeling psychedelic folk with jazzy timbres and progressions, both beautiful and rousing in equal measure.

                        Pioneering French artist SebastiAn’s first album in eight years, following 2011 debut, ‘Total’.

                        Bringing different styles together as one on the new record – from European techno and electro to classic pop and R&B, hip-hop and American gospel – SebastiAn has called upon an impressive list of artists to feature on the 14-track album. They include acclaimed singer and actress Charlotte Gainsbourg (SebastiAn primarily produced her 2017 album ‘Rest’), cult pop duo Sparks, rising London star Bakar, American singer/songwriter Syd from The Internet and experimental Iranian/Dutch artist Sevdaliza.




                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xDeluxe LP Info: Collector edition with limited pressing.
                        Double solid pink vinyl.
                        Sleeve with 5mm spine embossed with 'Sebastian Thirst' typography, inserted in a clear plastic sleeve with flap along with a 31x31cm carton insert.
                        CD of the album included.

                        “There are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound, or with palm trees. And then there are blue collar cities like Detroit, that have to work for a living. Cities that rely on the toughness and resiliency of their people. Cities that will not quit. Detroit has an unmistakable soul; nobody can duplicate what we give to the world.” - Sincerely, Detroit

                        Detroit has an indelible legacy in hip-hop. From artists like J Dilla to Black Milk, from Denaun Porter to Apollo Brown, Detroit's music has a sound unlike any other. When Apollo Brown set out to create the tribute to his home, he knew he needed to do the city justice. Featuring over fifty Detroit artists, Apollo Brown’s new double disc album, “Sincerely, Detroit,” is a love letter to the culture. From different eras and different walks of life, veterans and newcomers alike lend their styles and deliveries to the twenty-one track album. Featuring artists like Royce Da 5’9”, Black Milk, Trick Trick, Elzhi, Slum Village and many, many more, “Sincerely, Detroit” is a nearly comprehensive look at the styles and flavors of Detroit. While the world watches Detroit for influence, Apollo is back to remind people that Detroit sets a standard for others to follow and is a creative haven for Hip-hop. 

                        'You already know what is about to go down. All of Detroit is on this album. Let's gooo!' - Afroslice




                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: Detroit greatest is back with more of his indelible BOOM-BAP-SCRATCH. Joined by a smorgasbord of Motor City talent, this is the perfect snapshot of rap in the D right now. One of the best hip-hop LPs of the year too, to boot. Crucial!

                        Repress of this limited, 8 track double 12" serving as a 'best of' the now out of print Members Only label - Jamal Moss / Hieroglyphic Being's tribute to Ron Hardy's Music Box. 

                        A pivotal series for myself, the raw and primitive energy eeked out of drum boxes and basic samplers, combined with the glamous source material of disco, soul, boogie and wave music created a completely unique blueprint steeped in Chicago history but with an intergalactic, forward-looking approach. For me there is simply no better edit series available in terms of creativity, braveness and determination. 


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: Now a household name, Jamal Moss' early edit series bring the flavour of his live sets to a recorded medium. These were some of his early tape-edit experiments inspired by the halcyon days on Ron Hardy and, for me, are still his best pieces of work to date.

                        Born and raised in South London, Hector Plimmer is a multi-faceted producer, composer and DJ whose sound is drenched in tribal rhythms and beautifully crafted bass. Influenced by beat-makers like Flying Lotus and Theo Parrish, but with the subtleties of the classic Metalheadz era drum and bass, his second album 'Next To Nothing' is released on 25th October 2019. The album features guests Ego Ella May, Emma-Jean Thackray, Andrew Ashong, Pie Eye Collective and Alexa Harley.

                        After featuring on Brownswood Bubblers 11, curated by Gilles Peterson, Hector proved his talent when he was selected as a winner of the PRS Steve Reid InNOVAtion award. At a performance at ‘Sounds Of The Universe’ Record store, Hector caught the attention of Albert's Favourites' label heads Adam Scrimshire & Dave Koor. A conversation was started which led to the transfer of almost a whole album's worth of material and resulted in his debut full length record ‘Sunshine’.

                        "This album has been a real labour of love. I spent the most part of a year trying to make music I thought would be fitting to follow my last album, whilst not actually knowing what that might sound like. 'Sunshine' had been received way more positively than I had anticipated and although praise is a lovely thing, it was the cause of much anxiety when the time came to start on this record. I put a lot of pressure on myself to produce music and kept going down routes that felt forced or just didn’t click for me, in hindsight I realise this was me making music not for myself, but for what I imagined other people might want to hear. In a way 'Next to Nothing' is my first real album, 'Sunshine' was more like a collection of four to five years worth of music compiled into the shape of one. This is my first dedicated attempt at creating a cohesive project, something that shows who I am right now and what got me here."
                        - Hector Plimmer

                        As a DJ Hector has a monthly slot on NTS radio. He has played alongside the likes of Gilles Peterson, Kutmah, Alexander Nut, MNDSGN, Onra, Dego, Kaidi, Max Graef & Glenn Astro; Hector finds himself in the good company of those talented selectors who play genres across the spectrum of Hip-hop, Beats, Funk, Soul, Disco, Afro-beat, House and Jazz.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Millie says: Hypnotic, ambient Nu Jazz flowing your way from the brilliant Albert’s Favourite label. Ego Ella May and Pie Eye Collective’s vocals are so warm and soulful fragments throughout the album, beautiful stuff. If you like Sudan Archives, The Expansions and 30/70 then this is the one for you.

                        The fourth Plafond is here, with fine-crafted contrasting yet complementary pieces courtesy of Ulla Straus and Oceanic.
                        Along the wide arbitrary landscape of listening or 'ambient' music, it is a delight to have two artists, separated by the vast Atlantic, contributing quite opposite interpretations of such to the series. Perceptual time feels as a recurrent theme which binds them, albeit in a whole different modus operandi. In her iconic tactile productions, Straus excavates levels of advanced musical complexity in the seemingly most simple. Throughout two tracks her crude and beautiful technique riffles, compositions that remain prone to the transient, combining field recordings with morphing saxophone and guitar. This is deeply evocative music that turns its recipient into a mode of contemplation. 'I Forgot to Take a Picture' breathes melancholic romanticism, 'Becoming Warm' feels lorn yet hopeful. Pastoral haze over a rouge-tainted barren, the crackling insides of a wooden forest house. Picturesque and minimalist, Pennsylvania's Straus manages to temporarily stop the sand from gravitating downwards. Oceanic antagonises Straus with the triptych 'Three Sides of a Shell', recalling different emotions adhering to the fourth dimension. As a performing artist Oceanic masters the element of suspense. Here, over the course of nineteen minutes, a three-note sequence is explored within the producers imaginatory, chapterised, providing moments to navigate through his fictitious galaxy. Stuttering melodies across azure waters, synthesised bleeps as flickering stars over a moonlit mountain pass. Oceanic's music feels advanced through actively incorporating contemporary futurism, whilst never losing the glacial glance that is so familiar to its early nineties foregoers. It is as if listening to 'Three Sides...' heightens the senses, towards possibility, innovation even, triggering illusions of time dilation, shattering the hourglass. Comes in hand printed dreamy, pink sleeve, including Obi-strip, by the BAKK Innerspace Ink Station.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Patrick says: BAKK's Plafond series is as good as any other contemporary ambient / esoteric series, and the fourth edition is just as hot as its predecessors. Ulla Strauss serves wrongspeed Reich and misty minimalism on the A-side, while Oceanic explores fourth world hypnotism on the flip.

                        Karenn are proud to present their debut album, “Grapefruit Regret”. Written and recorded during an intense studio session in Berlin over the summer, the resulting 8 tracks, as exuberant and colourful as their titles, serve to both compliment and contrast with their infamous live shows. Released on the pair's burgeoning Voam label, Blawan & Pariah remain at the coalface of modern techno with a tuff, technological and militant approach to their productions.

                        Mastered by Rashad @ D&M

                        Artwork and design by Sean Bell. 


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: voam voam voam!! Blawan & Pariah's technologically advanced techno excursions continue in earnest. Market leaders, the album exudes class and ingenuity throughouth. You need.

                        Rachael Dadd

                        FLUX

                          Contemporary folk multi-instrumentalist Rachael Dadd is set to release her new album “Flux” on Memphis Industries on the 8th November 2019. Produced with Marcus Hamblett (Villagers / Laura Marling), “Flux” is a response to external and internal tides: the flow of life uprooted; a protest against the flow of recent political history and a diary of the flow within the intimate space of home.

                          Collaborators include multi-instrumentalist Emma Gatrill (Willie Mason / Matthew and the Atlas), drummer Rob Pemberton (Emily Barker / Low Chimes), bassist Jim Barr (Portishead) and vocalists Kate Stables (This Is The Kit) and Rozi Plain. Flux follows Rachael’s highly acclaimed album “We Resonate” which came out on Talitres and Sweetdreams Press, and a string of international releases on Broken Sound, Lost Map, Sweetdreams Press and Angel’s Egg. Living half her time as a travelling musician in Japan, witnessing how other people create things, connecting with other cultures and landscapes; all this is a furnace for Rachael’s innovative song writing, which has seen her gain a reputation as a pioneering and thought provoking artist, unafraid to push the boundaries of folk and pop.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: There are moments in 'Flux' of such whimsical beauty that hark back to the early days of American psychedelic folk, with plucking guitars and Dadd's gorgous vox. It's the more soulful pieces here that really impress, soaring and weaving in equal measure, providing a fascinating but cohesive listen. Lovely stuff.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Lucy Dacus

                          2019

                            Recorded in here-and-there studio spurts over the last two years, ‘2019’ is made up of originals and cover songs tied to specific holidays, each of which has dropped/will drop around their respective date: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day (and Taurus season!), Independence Day, Springsteen’s Birthday (not an official holiday, though Chris Christie often took that day off, aaparently), Halloween, Christmas and New Year.

                            Lucy Dacus uses her gift as a songwriter to help understand and cope with the world around her, including making sense of national holidays, often more geared towards social media boasts and manufactured consumerism than authentic celebration. “What is going on,” she asks herself on these days, retreating from the heightened expectations of holidays to figure out what to make of them and to find her own meaning. “I’ve collected some songs from trying to answer that question,” she says, and “this EP seems like the right place to put them next to each other. These songs are self-contained, not indicative of a new direction, just a willingness to do something different and sometimes even out of character.”

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Millie says: Lucy Dacus’ warm vocals are a welcoming bliss in this miserable November weather. Her ability to cover classics such as ‘In The Air Tonight’ and give it an entirely different tone is breath-taking, while her own song writing in ‘Fools Gold’ are stunningly original and moving.

                            British producer of exalted electronics Lapalux (aka Stuart Howard) returns to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label for his fourth album. The title ‘Amnioverse’ is “a sort of portmanteau of the amniotic sac and the universe that revolves around notions of fluidity: that birth, life, death, and rebirth is a never ending continuum.” He channels these ethereal ideas through a new and ever-expanding modular synth set-up, effortless spanning tempos and balancing space and texture, injecting human emotion and layering recordings of weather, wind, rain and fire, to invoke an elemental, celestial feel. For fans of Actress, Burial, Andy Stott, Oneohtrix Point Never.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Double LP pressed on white and pink splatter vinyl and housed in an 8mm spined gatefold sleeve with silver foil detail. Includes 28 page large format booklet - 30 x 30cm - with spot gloss detail on front cover and digital download code.

                            Mono

                            Before The Past - Live From Electrical Audio

                              Brand new recordings of some classic early MONO songs that have become fan favorites and live staples. MONO formed in Tokyo, Japan in the closing winter weeks of December, 1999. They played their first live shows at the top of the new millennium, and released their first album, Under The Pipal Tree, in 2001. Recorded live in one day on a razor-thin budget, Pipal Tree was an earnest introduction to the curious magic of a band that would eventually become synonymous with monstrously dynamic, contemporary classical rock music. To commemorate those austere beginnings - and celebrate their remarkable longevity - MONO revisit three of their earliest songs, and retrofit them with speaker-destroying upgrades.

                              Anchored by the towering 16-minute noise opus, "Com(?)", Before The Past - Live From Electrical Audio shows the evolution of MONO's execution, stripping away the strings and layers of guitar overdubs to show just how massive this band can be at their most instrumentally austere. Newly recorded in one day in 2019 with longtime collaborator, Steve Albini - and mixed by Albini with Temporary Residence founder, Jeremy deVine - Before The Past is as much a declaration of the present as it is a document of the past. These songs, which are now 20 years old, feel more powerful and profound than ever; a testament to MONO's enduring dedication to their craft, and their dogged exploration of maximum minimalism

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: One of the most legendary post-rock bands return with a stunning set of all-encompassing fuzz and tentative instrumental guitar play from those early years, recorded anew with Albini at the helm. Superb.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Indies Only edition Crystal Clear w/ Pink Smoke Coloured Vinyl

                              Anna Of The North

                              Dream Girl

                                Few modern artists could appear as at home working with Tyler, the Creator (Anna lent her vocals to two tracks on ‘Flower Boy’) and Rejjiie Snow as they are duetting with HONNE, playing with Anderson Paak or landing a viral remix by The Chainsmokers.

                                ‘Dream Girl’ introduces a broad palette of sounds, from the familiar cool Scandinavian pop of ‘Playing Games’ to the quirkier newer sounds of ‘Thank Me Later’ and ‘Dream Girl’.

                                A rare songwriter who strikes an emotional chord, regardless of continent, collaborator or genre.

                                Rose McDowall & Shawn Pinchbeck

                                Far From The Apple Tree : Original Music Soundtrack From The Film By Grant Mcphee

                                  A Psychedelic Pop-Art Fairytale, by Rose McDowall (Strawberry Switchblade / Coil / Current 93 / Sorrow) and Canadian sound artist, composer, installation artist, lecturer and sound engineer Shawn Pinchbeck. The CD & DL contains 1 extra track and extended intros to each song from the Vinyl Edition. 13 extra minutes of music. "Far from the Apple Tree is an eclectic mix of ghost story, fairy tale and horror. Evocative of the TV series The Owl Service and films like Valerie and Her Week of Wonders and The Wicker Man and with a truly magical soundtrack by Rose McDowall (Strawberry Switchblade) and Shawn Pinchbeck make Far from the Apple Tree a must-see for fans of Redemption and ethereal thrills." SALVATION “Rose and Shawn's soundtrack adds so much colour, mood, mystery and magic to our film that it would feel empty without it. I'm delighted that it is now being released on its own, and by Glass so that it can add those same qualities to anyone who picks up a copy for themselves. “ GRANT McPHEE Rose McDowall - Voice, Instruments and arrangements Shawn Pinchbeck - Instruments, tapes, treatments, and arrangements Robert Lee - Instruments and arrangements Written & Produced by Rose McDowall | Shawn Pinchbeck | Robert Lee Mixed and Mastered by Shawn Pinchbeck

                                  Josienne Clarke

                                  In All Weather

                                    ‘In All Weather’ is a new collection of songs in which Josienne Clarke goes it alone; musically, as this is her first solo record and in her own life, laid bare and played out in the leave-it-all-behind-andstart- anew nature of the lyrics. The songs were written in on the Isle of Bute in 2018, where Josienne relocated for a year, overlooked by a snowy Ben Nevis.

                                    Josienne accompanies herself on pared-back acoustic and electric guitar throughout. She’s joined on the record by experimental piano prodigy Elliott Galvin, innovative jazz drummer Dave Hamblett, celebrated Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy and guitarist/bassist Sonny Johns, who co-produced the record with Josienne.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: LP pressed on clear vinyl.

                                    Giant Swan

                                    Giant Swan

                                      Giant Swan are one of the most exciting artists to emerge from the UK underground in recent years and their self-titled debut album will come out on their own freshly-minted label, Keck, in November.

                                      Having toured relentlessly for the last few years and released a series of 12"s on labels such as Whites, Timedance and Mannequin, there's a real groundswell of momentum building behind the group already

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      LP Info: Full colour reverse board sleeve with black paper poly-lined inner bag + download card.

                                      Soundwalk Collective With Patti Smith

                                      Mummer Love

                                      A sonic cross-continental experience, ‘Mummer Love’ is the second album in the ‘Perfect Vision’ triptych collaboration between Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith.

                                      For this body of work, Soundwalk Collective journeyed to Africa to explore the intricacies of Arthur Rimbaud’s most obscure period. After leaving France and what he deemed the ‘Western stagnation’, Rimbaud found himself in Harar, Ethiopia - an epicentre of Sufism in Africa. Sufi practise focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, the purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God’s nature. A strand within the wider Islam religion, it focuses on spirituality, meditation and chanting sessions.

                                      As with the other albums in the triptych, the Collective searched for hidden, earthy sounds that hold memories and embed existence. For ‘Mummer Love’ they also found themselves recording under the tree where Rimbaud photographed the shrine of Sheik Abadir Umar ar- Rida al Harari, the founder of the holy city Harar. “As the rain fell, I wondered if I was hearing the drops hitting the leaves the same way Rimbaud did 140 years ago,” Stephan Crasneanscki from Soundwalk Collective says. These sounds and Sufi chants are juxtaposed with Patti Smith’s poems, like the title track ‘Mummer Love’. Written to Rimbaud, Smith’s words are rooted in multiple aspects of the self: from the passion of a lover to the care of a mother and everything in between.

                                      Further contributions to the album come from Mulatu Astatke (widely considered the father of Ethio-jazz) and Phillip Glass, who has long felt a connection to Sufi music, coming together and evoking a call and response between piano and vocals of the Sufi masters. It is simultaneously the first time Glass collaborates with Smith and so Harar becomes an extraordinary meeting place for all to celebrate the beauty of Rimbaud’s work.

                                      ‘Mummer Love’ is released around the anniversary of the death of Arthur Rimbaud (10th November 1891).

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Millie says: The collaboration of dreams – Soundwalk Collective and Patti Smith. Compelling instrumentals and sound recordings joined with Patti Smith’s poetic spoken word makes it work so well. Taking inspiration from Ethiopia, using Sufi music takes it to a whole new level.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      2xColoured LP Info: Double LP pressed on 140g white vinyl with digital download code.

                                      Purveyors of contemporary ambient and electronic inspired music, A Winged Victory for the Sullen make a bold return on new album “The Undivided Five”. The pair, made up of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie, have created iconic film scores and forward-thinking ambient groups, releasing a series of game-changing records for Erased Tapes and Kranky. On “The Undivided Five” they rekindle their unique partnership for only their second piece of original music outside of film, TV and stage commissions, creating an album that channels ritual, higher powers and unspoken creative energies. Their fifth release (following their debut album, two scores and an EP), they embraced the serendipitous role of the number five, inspired by artist Hilma af Klint and the recurrence of the perfect fifth chord.

                                      This album sees them create bold new work built on their foundations in ambient and neoclassical. Since their 2011 self-titled debut, the duo have emerged as part of a much-lauded scene alongside peers like Max Richter, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Tim Hecker and Fennesz. Their 2014 album “Atomos” was the product of a commission to score a new performance by Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor, while 2016’s “Iris” was the score for director Jalil Lespert’s thriller, “In the Shadow of Iris”. They count the likes of Jon Hopkins among their fans, who included ‘Requiem For The Static King Part One’ on his 2015 Late Night Tales compilation. They composed the score for Invisible Cities, a specially-created performance to herald 2019’s Manchester International Festival, and have played some of the world’s most celebrated venues, including a sold out Boiler Room performance at London’s Barbican, and a 2015 BBC Proms show curated by Mary Anne Hobbs at the Royal Albert Hall.

                                      They were first introduced by mutual friend Francesco Donadello in 2007, a close collaborator who’s gone on to mix all of the AWVFTS records. O’Halloran launched his reputation with two acclaimed solo piano albums, attracting the attention of director Sofia Coppola, who asked him to score her 2006 film Marie Antoinette, and he has since won an Emmy for his 2015 theme song for Jill Soloway’s Transparent series, and been nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for his 2017 score with Hauschka for Garth Davis’ Lion. Wiltzie, meanwhile, founder of iconic drone outfit Stars of the Lid, has scored Hollywood films including Kevin MacDonald’s “Whitney”, Jake Scott’s “American Woman” and collaborated with Jóhann Jóhannsson for 2014’s The Theory of Everything.

                                      This album sees them pay greater heed to the small details in their sound than previously, something they say has been encouraged by the move to a new label. It’s been their first opportunity since their debut to create something that’s solely guided by their ideas, and it represented an opportunity to call back to that first outing while also building on the various ways in which they’ve grown. “We understand that times have changed,” they say. “We have evolved, but we also didn’t want to forget the beginning.”

                                      They channel influences such as Debussy, nodded to in the opening track, whose big chords and complicated arrangements inform a lot of their approach – parts that sound simple but require great skill to execute. Likewise, the artist Hilma af Klint – one of the first abstract Western artists – informed their ideas about drawing on spiritual influences to shape their work. “It’s like an invisible hand guiding things,” they say.

                                      The start of recording sessions for the album were marred by the death of one of their closest friends. Within weeks after the funeral O’Halloran found out that he would be expecting his first child, and it was soon after that a visit to see the art of af Klint brought home a profound realisation of life, death, the afterlife, and the spaces in between. She belonged to a group called "The Five", a circle of five women with a shared belief in the importance of trying to make contact with spirits, often by way of séances. This chimed with the duo’s unspoken approach to collaboration, and nudged them to return to their writing process centered around the harmonic perfect fifth; the five senses, the divine interval – The Undivided Five.

                                      The album was also shaped by the breadth of locations in which it was created, helping to shape its nuanced sonics. In addition to O’Halloran and Wiltzie’s respective Berlin and Brussels studios, the record took shape across six different sites. They recorded orchestral samples in Budapest’s Magyar Rádió Studio 22, re-recorded album parts in Brussels’ Eglise Du Beguinage’s unique, reverb-heavy surrounds (where Wiltzie has performed with Stars of the Lid and, in 2018, organised a tribute concert for Jóhann Jóhannsson), experimented with overdubs in Ben Frost’s Reykjavik studio, and recorded grand piano parts in a remote woodland studio in northern Italy. The duo pay close attention to the micro-level of sound, and each of these places was chosen for the qualities which could enrich the finished product. And it’s in Francesco Donadello’s studio in Berlin, where all of the previous AWVFTS material has been mixed, that the album was run through the studio’s analog board, binding the record’s different parts together.

                                      It was their connection to Jóhannsson which partly shaped the direction of their new album. They were asked to create a remix for him, which he heard before his death in 2018, where they unlocked a new process in terms of how they work. They recomposed the strings, using modular synthesis, old synths and string and piano arrangements, a method they applied to album opener ‘Our Lord Debussy’. “It’s about going into the DNA of music and taking different strands,” they say.

                                      The album is their debut for Ninja Tune, and comes as change is underway for O’Halloran, moving from Berlin – hence the title of ‘Keep It Dark, Deutschland’ – after a decade in the German capital. He’s headed to Iceland, the country where the pair shot their latest press photos and which is an important locale for both of them. The wide-spanning connections which have shaped the record are testament to their deep roots as artists. This album’s powerful energy is driven by the deep-rooted bond between them.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: I've been a huge fan of AWVFTS since their mindblowing self-titled debut (and before, if you count Stars Of The Lid), this is without a doubt a thematic continuation of that, but is far and away the best work they've put out. Thoroughly, utterly unmissable.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Coloured LP Info: 180 gram marbled clear & silver LP housed in a gatefold sleeve.
                                      Black Inner sleeve.

                                      Ltd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                                      Omni

                                      Networker

                                        Enter Networker, the new album by Omni and first with indie giant Sub Pop Records. Their sound is still defined by sparse drums, locked-in bass, blistering guitar, and nonchalant, yet assured vocals, but from the first notes of "Sincerely Yours" you'll immediately notice that Networker sounds much cleaner and more "HI-FI" than their prior two albums, Deluxe (2016) and Multi-task (2017). The departure in fidelity suits the new record and allows the listener to enjoy the nuances of their meticulous arrangements. Don't worry, the riffs of Gang of Four and Wire are still present, but the production is more lush and the harmony is even more expansive.

                                        Despite nods to the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s what comes through is a record fully rooted in the here and now. Thematically, this is apparent on the title track "Networker" taking a candid snapshot of the “digital you” aspect of life in the age of the internet. The otherwise fun romp “Skeleton Key” also acknowledges the “direct message and obsessive” side of social media with lines like “if you don't like what you see, the pretty face on the screen, scroll on by...”  Networker was written half between tours and half during recording sessions. The band, Philip Frobos on bass/vocals and Frankie Broyles on guitars/drums/keys, returned with longtime collaborator Nathaniel Higgins to the studio in South Georgia where they also recorded Multi-task and most recent single "Delicacy." In this case, the “studio” is a cabin near Vienna, GA (pronounced Vye-anna) that was built by Frankie Broyles’ great-grandparents in the 1940s. The band completed four sessions between November 2018 and April 2019.

                                        Omni hit their stride in the cabin with songs such as "Moat,” which cruises along at a nice mid-tempo clip with sounds that are maybe piano or maybe the “behind the bridge” strings of a Jaguar a la Sonic Youth or This Heat. "Blunt Force" provides a nice contrast to some of the more upbeat cuts, getting jazzy with it’s less traditional arrangement and psychedelic outro. Overall, Networker is simultaneously fun, catchy, and contains some truly impressive musicianship. This combo is especially hard to pull off as bands that are great players often don’t have great or memorable songs. Omni and Nathaniel Higgins have done a stellar job of reigning in their diverse influences into a cohesive record by curating their sounds into a tight package that leaves you just on the cusp of understanding where the band is coming from, while still feeling like you’re hearing something totally fresh. While their earlier records had more of a “post-punk” sound, Networker is an amalgamation of the best sounds of the ’70s and ’80s, all arranged with (mostly) guitars, bass, and drums for our contemporary age, and it really works! There are hooks everywhere, vocal and instrumental, that will leave you humming along, even during the first listen. As Philip Frobos says in “Present Tense,” “guess who’s on my mind right now?” Well, Omni’s on mine and will be on yours soon.


                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Barry says: Omni's sound has been gradually gathering momentum since their superb 2016 LP 'Deluxe' (almost definitely since before then, but 2016 was my entry point). What we've ended up with is a brilliantly confident and swaggering combination of technically superb guitar riffage and off-piste rhythmic hooks all coated in those relaxed vox, delievered perfectly but with the minimum of fuss. Effortlessly cool.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive 'Loser' edition ocean blue vinyl.

                                        Warmduscher

                                        Tainted Lunch

                                          Warmduscher return.

                                          Heavy metals.

                                          Disco Peanuts.

                                          CCTV in the break room.

                                          A little something to get you through the week. There’s enough to go around. Revenge is a dish best served bold. Melt in the mouth disco basslines on a fragrant bed of feedback. Try it with the boom bap tapenade. Here for a good time, not a long time.

                                          If you made your way out of Whale City with your faculties intact, this one’s for you. Clams Baker, Lightnin’ Jack Everett, Mr Salt Fingers Lovecraft and The Witherer have been joined by Quicksand on cutting board and cheese wire and commis chef Cheeks on vibes. They’ve been cooking. Michelin stars. The finest ingredients money can buy: Kool Keith and Iggy Pop. Funk, punk, hip-hop and lounge rock. Love is real.

                                          Band biographer and revered botanist Dr Alan Goldfarb describes the album as “a sample hole through which to taste another universe. A dramatic warning. A gilded aroma. It is a tale of wanton desire and limitless treachery. A tale of disillusionment – the refusal of exploitation.”

                                          Tainted Lunch was recorded in just four days, with soupe du jour Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, black midi, Fontaines DC). Warmduscher continue to live on their razor-sharp wits. Or as Clams Baker puts it “there’s no way to stop now”. Delivering the goods you never knew you needed.

                                          If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Massive, throbby basslines and snappy disco percussion take the lead before giving way into sweaty club grooves and distorted post-punk. Warmduscher succeed just as easily at hypnotic indie-rock as they do anthemic dancefloor tackle. Never a dull moment, and every one as brilliantly done as the last.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Dinked Edition LP Info: Transparent pink vinyl LP.
                                          Bonus glow in the dark vinyl 7” with two tracks exclusive to Dinked Edition.
                                          Double sided poster.
                                          Printed inner sleeve.
                                          Individually hand-numbered.
                                          Limited to 400 copies.

                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive red vinyl with poster.

                                          Fenella

                                          Fenella

                                            ‘Fenella’ is the latest project from Jane Weaver - musical polymath and one of the most respected electronic composers of recent times - and her long-term bandmates Peter Philipson and Raz Ullah.

                                            Having already released three critically-acclaimed LP’s within the last five years Weaver’s creativity continues to expand ever further into the (modern) kosmos with this reimagined soundtrack to Marcell Jankovics’ cult animation Fehérlófia.

                                            Released in 1981, Fehérlófia is a remarkable animation based in ancient folklore with a narrative culled from mythical tales of the Scythans, Huns and Avars.

                                            Weaver’s richly emotional and psychedelic music offers a perfect contemporary dialogue with Jankovics’ astonishing visual aesthetic.

                                            A mixture of ambient textures, menacing drones and spine-tingling vocals combine to create a lavish soundscape saturated with hypnotic moods and cinematic atmosphere.

                                            Fenella’s self-titled LP is a continuation of Fire Records re-imagined score series.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: F'in-ell-a, this is good. As you'd expect, a project from Raz, Jane and Peter being anything but wonderful would be a rare day indeed, but this woozy slab of arpy psychedelia is pushing the boundaries. Intricate but easily digested, this rich tapestry of fizzing oscillators and analogue saturation is a gift straight from the white mare's mouth. AT LEAST 250ug of pure joy.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Dinked Edition LP Info: Limited Edition ‘Ink Spot’ Vinyl.
                                            Individually Foil Numbered.
                                            500 copies only.

                                            Coloured LP Info: Crystal clear vinyl.

                                            Seahawks & Woo

                                            Celestial Railroads - Bonus Disc Edition

                                            For a limited period only both formats include a bonus "super space acid temple mix tape" CDR.

                                            Emotional Response and Ocean Moon come together for a special collaborative release, where Seahawks take the music of WOO on a journey to the inner sanctum. Immersive, psychoactive and phased to perfection. For those who know not the music of WOO, prepare to behold a rare and magical incarnation of transcendent beauty.

                                            Perhaps Seahawks most spaced out voyage since Vision Quest One: Spaceships Over Topanga Canyon, ‘Celestial Railroads’ is a psychedelic odyssey that goes way beyond the norm. 'After the Last Train To Trancentral far Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, Celestial Railroads await….’

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: The nation's favourite cosmic seafarers return with cult oddball music mavericks Woo for one of their most star-flung voyages yet.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            LP Info: Includes a bonus "super space acid temple mix tape" CDR.

                                            CD Info: Includes a bonus "super space acid temple mix tape" CDR.

                                            The self-titled record usually marks a definable phase of a musician’s career; an embrace of personal mythology, perhaps, or merely a shift to ‘take me as I am’ straightforwardness. But “Kiwanuka”, the single eponymous word that heralds Michael Kiwanuka’s third album, holds a resonant, complex significance. It signals, for one thing, a swift, pointed rejection of the stage personas that artists have historically donned as both a freeing creative mask and a protective shield. It is an act of cultural affirmation and self-acceptance: a young British-African, contemplating the continued struggle for racial equality, and proudly celebrating the Ugandan name his old teachers in Muswell Hill would struggle to pronounce. It is a nod to a suite of arresting, ambitious soul songs that – while they deftly recall the funkified epics of artists as varied as Gil Scot-Heron, Fela Kuti, Bobby Womack and Kendrick Lamar – cement the singular, supremely confident sound that made 2016’s Love & Hate such an undeniable step up.

                                            Now, following ‘Money’ – the lauded summer single collaboration with Tom Misch – and a sunset Park Stage set that was the talk of Glastonbury 2019, the long-awaited follow-up to that record can be announced. And “Kiwanuka”, like its creator, contains multitudes; it offers both the triumphal, grin-widening empowerment of opener ‘You Ain’t the Problem’ and the ruminative, candlelit intimacy of ‘Solid Ground’. It looks inward and out, across widescreen sonic landscapes constructed in recording studios in London, Los Angeles and New York, and provides a sumptuous showcase for the honey-poured mahogany of Kiwanuka’s voice. It skilfully crosses the streams of the personal and the political. No other name would really have done.

                                            “I remember when I first signed a record deal, people would ask me, ‘So what are you going to be called?’” laughs the man himself, considering the thought process that inspired the title. “And I never thought of that; calling myself Johnny Thunders or whatever, like singers from the past. But I have thought previously, would I sell more records if my name had an easier ring to it? So [on this album] it’s kind of a defiant thing; finally I’m engaging with who I am and I’m not going to have an alter ego, or become Sasha Fierce or Ziggy Stardust, even though everyone's telling me I need to be this, that or the other. I can just be Michael Kiwanuka.”

                                            In many ways this self-possession is a direct consequence of Love & Hate. That record added an unexpected Mayfieldian groove and scope to to the scuffed, ‘70s-infused mellowness of Home Again, Kiwanuka’s Mercury-nominated 2012 debut. Album number two, of course, got its own place on the Mercury shortlist (not to mention a No 1 chart position, a Brit Award-nomination and the wide cultural blast radius afforded by songs that featured on shows like The Get Down, When They See Us and, most notably, HBO’s Emmy-winning Big Little Lies).

                                            “Kiwanuka” marks a reunion of the team that conjured ’s acclaimed, pulsing soulscape – namely Gnarls Barkley hit whisperer Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton and British hip hop producer Inflo – and it actually began life not long after the 32-year-old had finished touring its predecessor. Early Los Angeles sessions – in May, 2017 – proved wildly productive. Maybe, in fact, too productive. The trio had sketched out around eight songs – including lyricless, early versions of ‘You Ain’t the Problem’ and the spine-tingling, wintry ballad ‘Piano Joint (This Kind of Love)’ – at such a breathless gallop that Kiwanuka felt some of his old doubts and insecurities creep back. “It was all so fast,” he reasons. “I remember having a conversation with Danger Mouse where I even asked, ‘Is this my album?’” He chuckles at the memory. “That was the lack of self-belief and me beating myself up.”

                                            An extended recess was called and, when the team fully reconvened in New York in November 2018, Kiwanuka returned to the project with a new vigour, confidence and a clear sense of this new record’s themes and immersive, sonic textures. It was here that he actualised the lyrically knotty, comforting message of ‘You Ain’t the Problem’ (“It almost made me feel like being a rapper,” he grins); where he turned ‘Hero’ into a shape-shifting, thunderously percussive mini-movie, partly inspired by slain civil rights activist Fred Hampton; here that he crafted the hazy refrain – “” – that allied with Danger Mouse’s rhythm guitar playing to give psych-gospel highlight ‘I’ve Been Dazed’ its eerie, hypnotic power.

                                            “We had three weeks and every day I would just do this half hour walk from my hotel by the Brooklyn Bridge to the studio in Red Hook, listening to backing tracks and scribbling lyrics on hotel paper or in my little scrapbook,” he says, more than a little wistfully. “It felt like being 15. And that excitement and childish imagination really helped me forget that it was a scary process.” This youthful sense of play also led to the invocation of some, possibly surprising, tonal influences from Kiwanuka’s childhood as a skater kid who loved Nirvana and Green Day as much as Outkast and Lauryn Hill. Using the cinematic skits and interludes of a record like by The Fugees as a springboard, Kiwanuka wondered if the horn-drenched grandeur of previous lengthy songs like ‘Love & Hate’ and ‘Father’s Child’ could be intensified and transformed into something even more atmospheric, more immersive.

                                            The result is the unhurried, auterish poise that may be one of “Kiwanuka”’s most striking features. ‘Piano Joint (This Kind of Love) Intro’ sets the scene with windblown harmonies and a rumbling, canyon-deep baritone to rival Isaac Hayes (it’s actually Kiwanuka, detuned). ‘Another Human Being’ features a jolting gun shot and a quote taken from a participant in the Civil Rights ‘sit-in’ protests that swept through North Carolina in 1960 (‘Interlude (Living All the People)’ also features the voice of congressman and activist John Lewis). ‘Hard To Say Goodbye’ is a dawnlit, 7 minute opus that Kiwanuka garnished with the sampled sound of twittering birds. “I was really influenced by the vividness of something like ,” he explains, about the desire to create such a rich, inhabitable world.

                                            And he even allowed himself to be coaxed towards stretches of musical terrain that he would never have ordinarily explored. When Danger Mouse first started working towards the skipping, almost ‘80s rhythm of ‘Final Days’ – about as far from “Home Again”’s retro soul as this new record gets – Kiwanuka was hesitant. “It’s kind of spacey so I took a lot of convincing,” he admits. “But we went the whole hog with it and it’s one of my favourite songs now.”

                                            It tells its own story that Kiwanuka – who came up in the pub rooms of London’s acoustic scene before winning the BBC’s Sound Of 2012 poll – is now so happily embracing musical touchstones and styles that may have once seemed contradictory. The revelatory, confessional core of ‘Black Man in a White World’ (which grappled with identity and Kiwanuka’s status in communities where he was conspicuously the only ethnic minority) has evolved into something a little more certain. Now, Kiwanuka’s reengagement with his Ugandan heritage (he hopes, he notes, to play some shows there soon) manifests in skittering Afrobeat drums and guitar lines that he hopes possess “the feeling of a Fela track”. Now, the wide-lapelled, shimmering doo-wop of ‘Living In Denial’ implores you to . Now, and here we return to that album title, ‘Hero’ opens with the proud, chest-puffed line: .

                                            “The last album came from an introspective place and felt like therapy, I guess,” he reasons, surveying it all. “This one was a bit more about feeling comfortable in who I am and asking what I wanted to say. Like, how could I be bold and challenge myself and the listener? It is about self-acceptance in a bit more of a triumphant rather than a melancholy way.”

                                            “Kiwanuka” solidifies one of British music’s more remarkable career progressions. The man behind it has put his immense natural gifts to work in an album that wields difficult subjects – black identity, violence, self-doubt – with a light touch and a dramatist’s sense of mood, space and atmosphere. “The things that end up being enjoyed are often things you want to hide,” he says, quietly. “But obviously that’s the stuff that makes us connect.” Telling people who you are – truly, unabashedly showing yourself – has never sounded more thrilling.

                                            By Jimi Famurewa, July 2019.


                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Deluxe CD Info: Hardcover book deluxe edition.

                                            The incredibly elusive band Sault release their debut album "5" on vinyl via independent record label Forever Living Originals. The record fuses African, soul, funk and post-punk vibes amongst other flavours. With support from Radio 6's Lauren Laverne and USA's KWRC and KEXP, the band are set to go from strength to strength becoming one of the most prolific bands of 2020 with a barrage of material up their sleeves.

                                            Instantly possessing that charisma and flair that make many an album CLASSIC; it's musically accomplished, inventive and playful all at once, with it's multitude influences replicated and morphed with a sincere authenticity. If you're looking for something new, arresting and, moreover FUN to grab you by the lapel's and shake you into a fervent dance this Winter - then look no further folks! 


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: Swaggering in with the kind of confidence and accomplished song writing that immediately makes you sit up and take note, Sault might just be the coolest thing to arrive on our shelves all year. Form an orderly queue please as we witness the embryonic birth of a new Major Force.
                                            *EDIT* I've just been informed off Dave and Barry that I'm already late to the party on this one and have gone home for the afternoon with my tail feathers between my talons.

                                            Without pausing for breath and hot on the heels of their exhilarating debut album "5", the elusive and suarve, Sault return with their sophomore full length titled "7". Their signature hybrid of funk, dance, post-punk, soul and disco is front and centre once again, confidently delivered with their typical fearless nature. If "5" had you out of your seat, "7" will have you dancing in the streets with its celebratory and flamboyant nature. Spread the word, Sault are back at it! 



                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: Second LP from this band who've burst outta nowhere this year with two nothing-short-of-essential LPs. Bound to get you cool points with your on-trend family members, thankfully the hype is well warranted - these are ACE!

                                            Cass. & Gianni Brezzo

                                            Masala Kiss

                                            Emotional ambient, soft focus synthesis and pastoral programming from German duo Cass. & Gianni Brezzo on Hamburg‘s Growing Bin. Hopeless romantic with GSOH seeks open minded audiophile for lifelong companionship.
                                            The style might change, but the quality remains the same in the Growing Bin. For this autumnal edition, the Hamburg label looks South West to Osnabrück and Cologne, home to Cass. and Gianni Brezzo respectively. Sharing an appreciation for emotive tonality and expansive texture, the two musicians make the perfect partnership on 'Masala Kiss‘, Brezzo‘s timeless melodies only serving to intensify the signature sensuality of the Cass. sound. Despite the occasional polyrhythms, you‘re hearing two hearts beat as one...

                                            Insistent and expressive, well travelled opener 'Jaybo‘ joins the ethnic and esoteric with a new age optimism before giving way to the detailed ambience and good nature of 'Umberella‘, a brief pitstop on the road to the meditative 'Imence Sense‘. Alive with layered guitars, this opiated raga dances like hashish smoke in the evening sky, and then its up into the cloud forms of 'Instabubu‘ and 'Autoscooter Love‘, celestial serenades both off and on beat. Cass. and Brezzo set controls for the heart of the sun with the Froesean 'Out Of Mind‘, a cinematic exercise in precision sequencing and frequency control then start the journey home with the dewy bells and delicate waveforms of 'Koli‘. If you‘re in need of a little new age funk for your poolside playtime 'Helge‘ and 'Der Däne‘ are on hand with the chunky bass and languid grooves, while a last minute interlude provides a prenatal comfort and womblike warmth. I always cry at endings, and ‚Paterson‘ provides pure emotional release in utterly Balearic fashion. Pensive guitar and euphoric synths meet on the waterfront as you stare over the ocean with all the people you love.

                                            Cate Le Bon & Bradford Cox

                                            Myths 004

                                              As sure as if it had been mapped in the stars, or written in a prophecy buried deep beneath the sands of the Marfa desert, a collaboration between Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox was always something of an inevitability.

                                              Fourth in Mexican Summer’s Myths EP series (and following previous tie-ups between Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, and Dungen and Woods), Myths 004 sees Le Bon and Cox–each a much-revered musical innovator in their own right–finally united.

                                              For both artists, Myths 004 signals a change of tack: meticulousness thrown to the wind as spontaneous, jammy tales of firemen and 5p plastic bags, unbrushed hair and shoelessness and makeup-daubed landscapes–all miraculously written and recorded in just one week– roll effortlessly off their cuffs.

                                              Though this EP materialises after two individual 2019 album campaigns–Le Bon’s Mercurynominated fifth album Reward, and Cox’s eighth with his band Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (which Le Bon co-produced)–the chronologies are tangled: Myths 004 is in fact a snapshot of the pair’s very first meeting. After years of admiring each other’s work from afar, Cox and Le Bon finally converged on Marfa, Texas in 2018, at Mexican Summer’s annual Marfa Myths music, visual art, and film festival.

                                              “Marfa is an extraordinary town,” says Le Bon. “It feels like nothing else exists when you’re in it which is both comforting and unnerving.” In this otherworldly enclave, and with a band of frequent Cate Le Bon co-conspirators on hand to putty the gaps with drums, saxophone, percussion, keys, and additional guitar (Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo, and Samur Khouja), the EP was assembled whiplash-quick.

                                              “Writing and recording in a week is a tall order - especially when such chemistry exists between all the musicians involved, and the possibilities are boundless,” Le Bon explains. “We committed ourselves to embracing the chaos, surrendering to all moments and moods that travelled through. It’s a crude holiday scrapbook shared by all involved, an amalgamation of the changes in mood and light that shaped the days.”

                                              Indeed, Myths 004 is wondrous in its variety. On the opening song “Canto!”, Cox dons the illfitting leathers of an ageing biker and urges us to come ride with him, baby. He and Le Bon gaze into one another’s eyes with semi-serious sweetness as tough, wiry guitars stab through the romance.

                                              Everything shrinks and softens on the EP’s sole single, the gently melancholic “Secretary,” as Le Bon and Cox spout verse over a mysterious percussive rhythm; perhaps made by miniature cymbals from a mantric parade, perhaps by someone rummaging in the cutlery drawer. Together, they combat the office humdrum of filing, answering the phone, and eating “the same old plastic lunch” with a surreal and beautiful daydream of “mascara brushed across the plains / all of the phone calls you made disconnected.”

                                              Most freeform are the short instrumental interludes–the garage-y, hammily menacing “Companions in Misfortune,” could easily soundtrack a gang sauntering down an alleyway, whilst “Jericho” emulateMost freeform are the short instrumental interludes–the garage-y, hammily menacing “Companions in Misfortune,” could easily soundtrack a gang sauntering down an alleyway, whilst “Jericho” emulates a dog and a brass band falling down the stairs (with jazzy panache, thank you very much).

                                              “Fireman” sees Le Bon and Cox cast themselves as postulating heroes, as in a flash of tongue-in-cheek, lyrical-comic wordplay, Cate sings “I am a fireman / putting out fires, man” and Bradford, in a low faux-macho drawl, rambles immodestly in the background about his fire-extinguishing prowess.

                                              And final track “What Is She Wearing,” drips with cynicism, wit, and parody punk spirit as Le Bon lists universally relatable and not-so-nice, day-to-day shit: having to take the bins out, stepping in chewing gum, taking your jumper off when you’re wearing an ugly t-shirt underneath, finding dirt on the fork at a fancy restaurant, going to the supermarket and paying five pence for a plastic bag you don’t want. It wouldn’t be hard to believe that John Cale is sawing his bow across an electric guitar somewhere in the background as Le Bon lippily gripes: “I’m walking to get myself a croissant from the bakery / and everybody is looking at me as if I have committed a crime.”

                                              But for all their twists and turns, Myths 004’s seven tracks sit perfectly alongside one another - each sounding simultaneously like a Bradford Cox song, and like a Cate Le Bon song. In the true spirit of collaboration, a feeling of sheer joy prevails, uniting the EP’s every shape, character, prang, plod and playful bite.

                                              Athena is the debut album from violinist, singer, songwriter and producer Sudan Archives. Sudan Archives is widely acclaimed for her thrilling combination of styles: powerful and anthemic R&B, electronic music, a violin style inspired by Northeast African fiddling, and West African rhythms. For Athena, she collaborated with a wide cast of songwriters, producers and musicians for a sound that is her fullest and richest to date, while staying true to the unique blend of influences that has won her fans around the world.



                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Millie says: It’s difficult not to swoon over Sudan Archive’s incredible violin playing abilities, it’s so deep in its intensity and soulful to the core. Refreshingly original and artistic, her sound is like nothing else, ‘Confessions’ and ‘Glorious’ are out of this world good!

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies exclusive bronze and marble coloured vinyl.

                                              What is "Drift"?

                                              • It’s precisely one year inside the minds of Underworld.

                                              • It’s a journey that began on 1st November 2018 when Underworld released the track "Another Silent Way" and set off with no map, no fixed destination and a simple mantra ('Drift is the opposite of ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ practice; we’ll do this until we’re dust'). Rick Smith and Karl Hyde’s aim was to create and publish music and film episodically for 52 weeks and see where the journey took them. Within a few weeks, the experiment found its own path, prompting the electronic pioneers to react to previous releases and create new works accordingly. Over time, the duo’s innate curiosity opened up a unique space in which they could experiment, learn and explore new frontiers - together and with others (including Tomato’s Simon Taylor, Australian improv-trance band The Necks, techno producer Ø [Phase], Japanese noise band Melt-Banana, economics writer Aditya Chakrabortty and members of Black Country, New Road). During the 52 weeks, five self-contained episodes were released (respectively in November, January, March, May and August) - collectively, they form "DRIFT Series 1". 


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Matt says: An impressively on-going, interactive, year-long project from the band culminates in the album's actual release in October. Always keen to push the envelope, the idea behind this is very satisfying.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              2xColoured LP Info: Gatefold Sleeve, 180g heavyweight limited double opaque yellow coloured vinyl.

                                              2xLP Info: Gatefold Sleeve, 180g heavyweight double vinyl.

                                              Amy Studt

                                              Happiest Girl In The Universe

                                                Singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist, Amy Studt has announced that she will release her eagerly awaited new album via the Crocodile Laboratories label on the 4th of October 2019. ‘Happiest Girl In The Universe’, recorded with Hatcham Social’s Toby Kidd, features eleven bold, intimate and heartfelt tracks including the acclaimed singles ‘Sleepwalker’ and ‘I Was Jesus In Your Veins’ together with the albums eponymous titled closer . Haunting cinematic pop that recalls the drama of the late Scott Walker, the new long player is a narrative diary of depression, hope and redemption and is without doubt one of the most personal and innovative collection of songs that is likely to surface this year.

                                                “This is the work of an artist genuinely using their chosen medium to explore and make sense of their life experience. There’s certainly nothing glamorising suffering here”. Aural Aggravation. With parents who are both accomplished classical musicians, Amy Studt’s future as a performer was always inevitable and from an really early age she was a proficient pop musician, playing piano, oboe and guitar. A special talent, at a mere fourteen years of age she was signed to Simon Fuller’s roster of artists and then quickly picked up a deal with Polydor Records. At 16 she released her first single, ‘Just a Little Girl’ which charted at number 14 in the UK pop charts and reached number 1 on US radio play. Her second single ‘Misfit’ reached number 6 and this was soon followed by her debut album ‘False Smiles’ which went on to sell 260,000 copies.

                                                Leaving Polydor in 2004 at the age of eighteen years, Amy stayed out of the public eye for a while, but in 2006 it was announced that she was working on a new album and she’d re-signed to Simon Fuller’s new 19 Entertainment Indie label. A new album ‘My Paper Made Men’ was released in 2008 and after a couple of more singles and the album becoming a cult collectors item, Amy again withdrew from the limelight to a cottage in the countryside. Shying away from the spotlight and constant touring, she built her own recording studio and spent time playing the odd low-key show and writing and recording the songs that have eventually formed the ‘Happiest Girl In The Universe’ record. Returning with a darker and more soulful sound, she is one of the most innovative artists around and is creating some of the most beautifully and inspirational music in the UK right now. “Studt’s always had an exceptional voice and she blows us away with her control and heartfelt emotion with a pure raw vocal which sounds beyond beautiful”. 

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Studt has crafted a beautifully rich, thematically interesting album full of optimistic twists and turns. Despite the serious subject matter, she manages to inject the music with an honesty and vigour that only comes from someone really engaging with their chosen medium. 'Happiest Girl In The Universe' is a wonderfully written and beautifully accomplished LP.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Special (limited) edition version, double album in gatefold sleeve, all copies personally signed by Amy, includes extra tracks, exclusive set of postcard prints and special limited edition poster.

                                                “I felt totally unrestrained making this album” says Lindstrøm about his 6th solo album On A Clear Day I Can See You Forever (a title inspired by the 1970’s musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Barbra Streisand). “I’ve listened to Robert Wyatt’s solo albums and his Matching Mole’s debutalbum a lot lately. It so effortless, fearless and free. And not insisting. I was very inspired by this”

                                                In the autumn of 2018, Lindstrøm composed a commissioned piece for Norway’s premiere art centre Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. Sketches from the three sold-out performances became the foundation for the new tracks. “I decided to keep some of the initial ideas and develop them further. All the songs are based on long one-take recordings”, says Lindstrøm “Also I’ve been very conscious about the music on the album not exceeding the length of the physical limitations of the vinyl-format, finding that 2 long tracks on each side were the perfect balance for this album”

                                                This is also the first time ever Lindstrøm has made an album entirely with hardware instead of computer-plugins. He utilised thirty plus synthesizers and drum-machines during his performance at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. The experience inspired him to embrace a similar set-up when making the album. “The joy of making music on actual physical objects and devices makes a lot of sense to me now. After working on a computer for over 15 years, I don’t think I’ll ever look back” he says with an almost childlike excitement.

                                                It was the accessibility to his enviable collection of music gear – largely consisting of sought after synthesizers – that allowed Lindstrøm to experiment so freely with ideas and soundscapes. “The title track is a 10-minutes improvisation on the Moog Memorymoog. I liked the loose feel so I decided to keep everything unedited. The other tracks were written and arranged prior to the recordings. I then set up the instruments needed for my sessions, then recorded more or less everything in a single take. I’m really happy with the way this album came together.”

                                                Lindstrøm has cited classical music as an inspiration the last couple of years “I used to study classical music at school. Back then I was listening to a lot of Opera, orchestral music and solo music on the piano. Listening to classical music again has been a revisit to my childhood days, just like I did when I embraced the 80s in the early 2000s”. Once embracing the freedom and the joy of making music without inhibitions, immersing himself in to the physical realm of making music with hardware, Lindstrøm learned something new not only about music – but about himself. “I guess I've been trying to re-educate myself”.


                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl.

                                                Ty Segall

                                                Pig Man Lives, Volume 1: Demos 2007-2017

                                                  WHAT. It’s almost 2020!? Face it, the last ten years or so have been a BLUR – so much shit going down, good and bad - and a lot of music too. It doesn’t look like its gonna get any easier for ANYBODY to get their bearing, so Ty Segall and Sea Note have gotten together a special box to help you reorient your head, no matter where you are.

                                                  Yeah, this one’s for the freak, the fan, the head. Pig Man Lives is a stack of raw germs that were blown up in the world as Ty Segall releases over this last golden decade or so – specifically, the demos that bred Manipulator, Freedom’s Goblin, Emotional Mugger, Twins, Ty Segall, Slaughterhouse and Sleeper Each finished record had its own unique aim and intention, but when you hear tracks from 2007 next to 2015. then 2012 cutting in after 2017, the splatter allows you to hear the continuum of a whole body of work exploding over and over again in the burst of freedom that comes with the initial sketch of a song.

                                                  Non-linear reorientation, taking you back and forward over the course of eight sides and 47 songs. There’s even a few that haven’t seen the light of day before. You’re bound to feel different after you’ve spent any kind of quality time with The Pig Man.

                                                  Whether he’s recording alone at home or in a studio with the band, Ty’s goal in putting something on tape isn’t just to log the song, it’s to make a whole thing that’s rad. For some of these songs, further evolution brought even more out of them. And some are perfect this way, with rough edges and little details you’re not gonna believe you’ve lived without.

                                                  As sure Pig Man Lives, you won’t have to anymore.

                                                  Bob Dylan

                                                  Travelin' Thru' 1967-96 The Bootleg Series Vol. 15

                                                    The latest chapter in Columbia/Legacy's highly acclaimed Bob Dylan Bootleg Series revisits Dylan's pivotal musical journeys to Nashville, from 1967 to 1969, focusing on previously unavailable recordings made with Johnny Cash & unreleased tracks from the John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, & Self Portrait sessions. Disc One of Travelin' Thru, 1967 - 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15 finds Dylan in Columbia's Studio A in Nashville recording alternate versions of compositions written for John Wesley Harding (October 17 and November 6, 1967) & Nashville Skyline (February 13-14, 1969) while introducing a new song "Western Road" (a Nashville Skylineouttake). Discs Two and Three of Travelin' Thru are centered around Dylan's collaborations with American music icon Johnny Cash including the much sought-after Columbia Studio A sessions & on-stage performances at the Ryman Auditorium (May 1, 1969) for the recording of the premiere episode of The Johnny Cash Show (originally broadcast on ABC-TV on June 7, 1969). Disc Three closes with tracks recorded on May 17, 1970 with Grammy Award-winning bluegrass banjo legend Earl Scruggs for the PBS television special, "Earl Scruggs: His Family & Friends" (originally aired January 1971). 

                                                    The latest blast of unorthodox audio on Second Circle comes from the Indonesian outfit Zatua, who deliver their debut release ‘Sin Existencia’. First formed by Dea Barandana, the seven track album was recorded in Jakarta and Bali over two years and grew out of improvised live shows with a band Dea put together.

                                                    Zatua first performed together in 2017 at the Goethe Institute in Jakarta as a last minute addition to the bill, having only a week to prepare and rehearse. The live show would consist of material based on simple melodic ideas and extended sections growing into live jams. Taking material from Dea Barandana’s solo compositions the ideas were then further developed and re-structured by Dea and band members Harsya Wahono, Adra Karim and Rafi Muhammad into finished pieces. Inviting further guest musicians to join on various tracks, the vocals were in fact largely improvised by Carmen Caballero Fernández and Sasha Sabrina - in French, Spanish and Asturian.

                                                    Using predominantly analogue equipment, ’Sin Extistencia’ is the final outcome of an extensive exploration into the unique sonic ranges and musical fascinations of the various members of the band. Taking influence from Indonesian psychedelic music from the 1970’s and 80’s the album presents a fascinating glimpse into contemporary Indonesian electronic music with a nod to its little known but rich past.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Patrick says: Killer shamanic shit on Second Circle here as Indonesian collective Zatua, including Piccadilly fave Dea, bring their freaky and psychedelic take on analogue electronics to our shelves. Hypnotic and exotic music for machines and men...

                                                    Arp Frique & Erik (Keysie) Ritfeld

                                                    Improvised Suites For Analog Machines

                                                    “Improvised Suites For Analog Machines”, an improvised tribute to some of the most influential synthesizers of the 70s and 80s, performed and composed together with another Colorful World Family-member, keyboardist Erik 'Keysie' Ritfeld.

                                                    Comprised of six, self-explanatory recordings (the title referring to the particular synthesizer used for composition), the mood covers mystique, enchanted, cosmic, grandiose and moody in a style that should be accustomed to collectors of library music such as BBC Radiophonic, KPM and the ever expanding FInders Keepers / B-Music repertoire. Not only that, there's a certain DIY electronics element that should see it find favour with fans of 80s wave music, Delia Derbershire & Suzanne Ciani. Add to that a bona side cosmic disco number ("Solina") and you've got yourself a essential tool kit of musica.

                                                    Recommended!


                                                    Debut album from O'Flynn with massive radio support on BBC, Rinse and DJ plays from Black Madonna & Four Tet!

                                                    His latest release follows a series of acclaimed productions which explored his wide-ranging style: from squelchy acid on Ninja Tune to loose and luscious jazz on Blip Discs, as well as the high-octane 12” released on his own Hundred Flowers imprint earlier this year.

                                                    With standout 12” debuts "Tyrion" and "Desmond’s Empire" in 2015, O’Flynn quickly established his reputation as 'one of dance music’s most prosperous newcomers', as put by Boiler Room.

                                                    This two disc, sprawling epic takes the man's rhythmic precision to exquisite new heights. Hang drums, marimbas and various skinned percussions decorate some of the tracks; whilst hi-octane, disco-house fist-pumpers occupy a large proportion of the rest of the release. O'Flynn's balance of tension and release reminds me of the golden days of funky house, whilst his up-to-date, soundsystem crunching mixing and mastering brings the blueprint kicking and screaming into the right now.

                                                    Festivals, clubs, after parties and everything in between are gonna feel the benefit of the tracks showcased year. Easily one of the best dance LPs to be released in 2019. Don't sleep on this one folks!


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Matt says: Jumping right into our end of year dance chart; it's been a long and painful wait for some, but O'Flynn's debut album is finally here! This young tastemaker has been coyly loitering around dance music's upper rings and this double LP shows exactly why. A tour de force of modern house expression.

                                                    Anna Meredith

                                                    FIBS

                                                      Fibs is heralded by the release of ‘Paramour’, its first single and spectacular accompanying single-take video, and a song that forbids you from turning away - its sweeps, jerks and wrong turns pinning your ears to the speakers whilst heading for warp speed at a blistering 176 BPM before rounding the journey out with an (utterly unexpected) tuba-led half-time rock-out. Arriving three and a half years on from the release of her Scottish Album of the Year Award-winning debut studio album Varmints, Fibs is 45 minutes of technicolour maximalism, almost perpetual rhythmic reinvention, and boasts a visceral richness and unparalleled accessibility.

                                                      Fibs is no “Varmints Part 2” — the retreading of old ground, or even a smooth progression from one project to another, just isn’t Meredith’s style. Instead, if anything, it’s “Varmints 2.0”, an overhauled and updated version of the composer’s soundworld, involving, in places, a literal retooling that has seen Meredith chuck out her old MIDI patches and combine her unique compositional voice with brand-new instruments, both acoustic and electronic, and a writing process that’s more intense than she’s ever known. Despite Meredith’s background and skills these tracks are no academic exercise, the world of Fibs is at both overwhelming and intimate, a journey of intense energy and joyful irreverence.

                                                      Fibs, says Meredith, are “lies — but nice friendly lies, little stories and constructions and daydreams and narratives that you make for yourself or you tell yourself”. Entirely internally generated and perfectly balanced, they can be a source of comfort and excitement, intrigue and endless entertainment. The eleven fibs contained on Anna Meredith’s second record will do all that, and more besides.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Barry says: As some of you may well know, i'm a fan of a nice cheery arp, and 'Fibs' is RAM-PACKED with them. Half way between the 16-bit rave aesthetic of Anamanaguci or the brooding, soundtracky synths of Konami Kukeiha Club and high energy synthpop (Kristin Kontrol, Tegan & Sara etc), Meredith has crafted a completely unexpected and thoroughly exciting fusion. Stunning.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Coloured LP Info: White vinyl.

                                                      William Doyle

                                                      Your Wilderness Revisited

                                                        William Doyle (previously Mercury nominated with his East India Youth project) releases his first new album for four years ‘Your Wilderness Revisited’. The album is an extraordinarily imagined exploration on the theme of the British suburban environment, inspired by William’s personal experience of having grown up in this setting and how he eventually saw beyond its ordinary stereotypes, towards something that was both illuminating and inspirational. It features guest appearances from writer and film maker Jonathan Meades (whose programme ‘Magnetic North’ was an influence on the album), saxophonist Laura Misch and legendary musician Brian Eno.

                                                        As William himself puts it, “This album has been rattling inside of me for over 10 years now. When I left the suburb I spent my entire teenage life in, I started to think back to it and notice the influence it had on me, on my art, and on my development as a person. The architecture and the planning of the modern British suburb influenced this album as much as the experiences and emotions I superimposed upon that landscape at a formative age. I started creating in these places, I started to expand myself in these places, I grappled with grief and loss in these places. I realised that I wouldn’t be alone in having these experiences here, and so I thought there should be a way of redefining or reimagining these places that painted a different picture of them in our collective consciousness. These weren’t just places to escape to the nearest city from – perhaps they held as much truth and beauty in them as anywhere else. This album is, in part, an interrogation and excavation of that truth and beauty.”

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive green vinyl with alternative cover.

                                                        Cold War Kids

                                                        New Age Norms 1

                                                          Over the course of a dozen releases – including seven studio albums, multiple EPs, and a live album on majors and indies alike, non-stop tours and the festival circuit’s biggest stages, massive radio, sales & streaming successes, the band have become a major part of the modern landscape.

                                                          Their new album New Age Norms 1, with lead single “Complainer” is the next chapter with the approach of taking apart the idea of what the band is and just trying to take the doors off a bit to see where it can go.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xColoured LP Info: Double white coloured vinyl pressed at 45rpm.

                                                          Rachel Grimes

                                                          The Way Forth

                                                            The expansive new album Rachel Grimes, the renowned modern composer and cofounder of iconic chamber-rock group, Rachel’s. A rich, sprawling folk opera that explores the controversial history of Kentucky’s overlooked figures. The Way Forth, a new folk opera from Rachel Grimes, encompasses lush layers of voices and orchestrations in an experiential, non-linear investigation highlighting perspectives of Kentucky women from 1775 to today. Inspired by a treasure-trove of family documents, photos, and letters spanning several generations, Grimes began in 2016 to research some of the more vexing questions that came to the surface about these people, places, and events.

                                                            The songs that make up The Way Forth weave back in time through a postcard, a personal account of a long life on a farm, traces of folk tunes, names, places, and rivers, all woven into an emotional fabric of yearning, nostalgia, grief, and the rich intimacies of everyday life. Initially solo voices are heard above vivid orchestrations, expanding with the choral voices of the community through fragments of traditional church music and popular tunes. The scope widens to include a modern male narrator's reflections on a place battered by greed, civil war, bigotry, and the exploitation of natural resources. Through music, voice, and film, The Way Forth honors the emotional legacy of the silenced, the holistic, the beauty in quotidian life, and explores the eternal grace and redemption of time, as symbolized by the great Dix and Kentucky Rivers

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Barry says: An honest and tender look at rural history and locality as well as the place of arts and creativity within society, all presented through Grimes' singular musical vision. Any fans of Rachel's tender chamber classical (myself included) will find a lot to enjoy here, while being comfortingly different from anything that's come before.

                                                            Sean O'Hagan

                                                            Radum Calls, Radum Calls

                                                              ‘Radum Calls, Radum Calls’ is Sean O’Hagan’s second solo album. His first came out in 1990, titled ‘High Llamas’. Nearly 30 years down that once-was road, 10-12 albums of the extreme pleasures that High Llamas song craft and sonic obsessions have provided (counting a comp and a remix record), here’s Sean again, with his second solo opus. Sean continues to modify, adjust, turn and amend aspects of his unswaying beliefs to produce sound fresh and new.

                                                              In the past decade there have been two High Llamas albums. During that time, Sean’s day job has largely been in the studio, arranging and producing with other outfits - most recently, Mount Kimbie, Fryars, James Righton from Klaxons and Hockney. The ways of the new generation are reflected in the mix of ‘Radum Calls, Radum Calls’, with bold latest obsessions side by side with the grand old traditions. As the parts old and new rotate inevitably back and forth in cyclical perfection, we are reminded of the beauty and craftmanship of the old cuckoo clocks; an ingenuity of cogs and gears to express perfect time as entertainingly as possible. Threaded in with exquisite melodies are hard- punching drum sounds, low rumbling synths, an extra-sharp dubby sound-design for percussion. In moments of this concision of old and new, Sean’s goal is honestly to conjure a new musical language.

                                                              Sean’s approach to lyrics reaches for the deft, tongue-in-cheek understatement of a LeCarre or a Philip K. Dick - and as fantasia melts into social portraiture into out-there sci-fi, we discover some of Sean’s most toothsome topics - ‘The Paykan (Laili’s Song)’ tells the story of one of the Shah’s servants masking a dash for freedom at the dawn of the Islamic revolution in 1979 Iran. ‘Spoken Gem’ and ‘Candy Clock’ use the lyric interventions of Sean’s former Microdisney vocal-partner Cathal Coughlan to free-associate the listener into fantastic, elastic, unknowable worlds.

                                                              Sean working with Cathal, or with his backup singers May Robson, Livvy O’Hagan and Kelsey Michael, brings their participatory energy - that of joy - to the mix and to our ears. And all this energy - derived from history, ambition, humour - is presented simply but effectively, sinking deep into our ears. ‘Radum Calls, Radum Calls’ reaches across time, curating details from wherever its fascination lands, then working them into the harmonic flexibilities of Sean O’Hagan. The album is a light delight and marks this place in time as a very pleasant stop on the way forward.

                                                              Common Holly

                                                              When I Say To You Black Lightning

                                                                Montreal-based Common Holly (Brigitte Naggar) appeared a few years back with the surprisingly accomplished debut album, Playing House. Holding fast to the honesty of her debut, her impending follow-up is a look outward, a submergence into the dark and the dissonant with consolation found in harmony and humour. Like a ticking internal monologue, the nine labyrinthian yet catchy tracks observe the complexities of mental health, the precarity of life and the challenges of finding strength in the face of grave misunderstanding.

                                                                For fans of Cat Power, and Jessica Pratt.

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Coloured LP Info: Very limited blue vinyl edition.

                                                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                Josh Rouse

                                                                The Holiday Sounds Of Josh Rouse

                                                                  Josh Rouse has recorded an album of original holiday songs, which all feel like a classic 60s jazz-influenced holiday album (think Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas).

                                                                  The First Edition release, includes a bonus disk featuring 3 Christmas classics performed acoustically + 3 demo versions of songs from the album.

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  2xColoured LP Info: Includes limited edition bonus 12" with 3 holiday classics and 3 demos from the album.

                                                                  2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                  Itasca

                                                                  Spring

                                                                    In the fall of 2017, a year after the release of her acclaimed 2016 album Open to Chance, Kayla Cohen, the songwriter and guitarist who records and performs as Itasca, left her home in Los Angeles to live and write for two seasons in a century-old adobe house in rural New Mexico (pictured on the album cover). More urgent escape than fanciful escapade, the move from one Southwestern desert to another resulted from a set of dire circumstances, both personal and societal, not least of which was the sense, shared by many, that a sinister cabal of impaired lunatics had irredeemably poisoned the already sour well of our American discourse. She decided to drop out and dive deeper—hiking into the mountains, through fragrant juniper and piñon forests, past groves of golden cottonwoods, to the source of what she calls in the song “Cornsilk” with a nod to poet Clayton Eshleman “the canyoned river.” Inspired by the landscape and history of the Four Corners region, the resulting album, the sublime Spring—its title summoning both season and scarce local water sources—dowses a devotional path to high desert headwaters.

                                                                    Cohen followed some heavy footprints across the Sandia and Sangre de Cristo ranges. In the long American tradition of lighting out for the territories, many artists, particularly visual artists including Terry Allen, Georgia O’Keefe, Agnes Martin, Walter de Maria, Bruce Nauman, and Susan Rothenberg have famously sought refuge and inspiration in the Land of Enchantment. Captivating landscapes and the astonishing biodiversity aside (outside), foot-thick adobe walls provide a security and shelter insulation and isolation that can be hard to find in LA. With her studies of New Mexico’s long history and seismic geological and cultural changes, Cohen sought something different, more ancient—a hearth, a retreat from the noisy and noisome city, yes, but also a deeper historical understanding of urbanity and community, landscape and loss. (Chaco Canyon’s massive architectural complexes ranked as the largest buildings in North America until the late 19th century.)

                                                                    Her investigations bore bright fruit in the form of an interpretive travelogue: Spring, suffused with mystery and a keenly evoked sense of place, contains Cohen’s most quietly dazzling, coherent, and self-assured set of songs to date. Having withdrawn from and returned to the city, she sounds more like herself than ever before. In the context of the album’s bolder arrangements, her gorgeous, lambent voice and helical fingerstyle guitar plumb new depths of expressivity, confidence, and wonder. Inflected with flourishes recalling the ’70s orchestrated concept albums from which it draws influence, Spring resembles an archeological excavation of
                                                                    Cohen’s own encanyoned style. She recorded unhurriedly, in piecemeal fashion, with various collaborators: first to two-inch tape at Minbal studio in Chicago, with Cooper Crain (Bitchin’ Bajas) engineering; then to quarter-inch tape at home, with a Tascam 388; and finally overdubbing at Tropico in Los Angeles, with Greg Hartunian. Daniel Swire (drums), Kayla’s bandmate in Gun Outfit, and Marc Riordan (piano) of Sun Araw provided the exquisitely delicate rhythm section; Dave McPeters once again contributed lightning-field flashes of pedal steel; and James Elkington arranged the subtly cinematic strings (played by Jean Cook.) Chris Cohen mixed, imparting some of his signature classic pop dynamics, which press beyond the sonic realm of the solitary singer-songwriter.

                                                                    If Open to Chance felt moonlit, spectral and spooky, Spring sounds positively auroral, luminous, a brisk early morning walk through lucid daylit dreams, a series of vivid visions in thrall to the dusty New Mexican terrain. By opening themselves to multivalent interpretations, these generous, sun-dappled songs hide nothing. An intentional narrative of discovery connects the sequence, from the beckoning highway apparition in “Lily,” through the immersion in the “Blue Spring” dug deep into the recesses of a cliffside cave, to the resigned farewell of “A’s Lament” (which ends, poignantly, with a blessing to a departed friend: “I just want you to be free”). Elsewhere the links to Cohen’s research are oblique, more atmospheric and impressionistic than explicit. She carefully claims no authority or answers, but instead offers a traveler’s tranquil observation and wide-eyed reflection, weaving together her questions about the relationships between the land and the Ancestral Puebloan culture that shaped it with her questions about her own cultural and ecological bearings. Lead single “Bess’s Dance” provides a metaphorical key to the record’s concept, with a glimpse of the Basketmaker culture’s woven artifacts, functional art objects that so fascinated Cohen that she found herself dreaming their patterns:

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    LP Info: Deluxe LP edition features 140g vinyl; heavy-duty sleeve, insert with lyrics & download code.

                                                                    Various Artists

                                                                    Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip

                                                                      The ninth edition of the popular compilation series featuring long-lost vintage 60s-70s proto-metal and stoner rock singles. 

                                                                      Some of the best thrills of the Internet music revolution is the ability to find extremely rare music with great ease. But even with such vast archives to draw from, quite a lot of great songs have gone undiscovered for nearly half a century -- particularly in genres that lacked hifalutin arty pretense. Previously, only the most extremely dedicated and passionate record collectors had the stamina and prowess to hunt down long forgotten wonders in dusty record bins -- often hoarding them in private collections, or selling at ridiculous collector's prices. Legendary compilations like Nuggets, Pebbles, ad nauseum, have exhausted the mines of early garage rock and proto-punk, keeping alive a large cross-section of underground ephemera. However, few have delved into and expertly archived the wealth of proto-metal, pre-stoner rock tracks collected on Brown Acid.

                                                                      Lance Barresi, co-owner of L.A./Chicago retailer Permanent Records has shown incredible persistence in tracking down a stellar collection of rare singles from the 60s and 70s for the growing compilation series. Partnered with Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, the two have assembled a selection of songs that's hard to believe have remained unheard for so long.

                                                                      "I essentially go through hell and high water just to find these records," Barresi says. "Once I find a record worthy of tracking, I begin the (sometimes) extremely arduous process of contacting the band members and encouraging them to take part. Daniel and I agree that licensing all the tracks we're using for Brown Acid is best for everyone involved," rather than simply bootlegging the tracks. When all of the bands and labels haven't existed for 30-40 years or more, tracking down the creators gives all of these tunes a real second chance at success.

                                                                      "There's a long list of songs that we'd love to include," Barresi says. "But we just can't track the bands down. I like the idea that Brown Acid is getting so much attention, so people might reach out to us."

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Exclusive avocado green coloured vinyl.

                                                                      Various Artists

                                                                      Noël Crooners

                                                                        How can you resist a bit of Deano "Let It Snow!" or Ol' Blue Eyes jazzin' up "Jingle Bells"? Surely everybody loves Louis Armstrong, right? Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles are all in there, and you've got a choice of a white or blue Christmas from Elvis. Sam Cooke has sneaked on there too, with "Wade In The Water" - not exactly a Christmas song, but good none the less.

                                                                        Various Artists

                                                                        Noël Gospel

                                                                          Christmas gospel gems from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Elvis Presley.

                                                                          Mikal Cronin

                                                                          Seeker

                                                                            Mikal Cronin releases Seeker, his fourth and finest full-length to date. Recorded live with a crew of close friends and engineer Jason Quever at Palmetto Studios in Los Angeles, it finds Cronin pushing his often devastating power pop into darker territory—from the isolation of “Show Me” to the desperation of “Fire” to the unadorned heartache of “Sold.”

                                                                            It comes with a backstory that feels like fate. Cronin writes:

                                                                            I was stuck. I’d had a rough few years. Relationships end, begin, and end again. I had to stay active, tour with other bands, make music through various other avenues—writer’s block is real and it can crush you, scratching at an itch you can’t quite get. I needed to clean up, to stop leaning on external crutches to get through the anxiety. I needed to grow the fuck up.

                                                                            I needed a change.

                                                                            I went to the woods, to Idyllwild, a small town in the mountains of southern California. I spent a month in a cabin there, alone with my cat, Ernie. It was so quiet and peaceful. I got weird looks at the store. I got bug bites that didn’t heal for months. I walked around a small lake a few times. I wrote. I took literally something that’s usually a hypothetical, something every artist thinks about doing. It worked: A large majority of Seeker was written and demoed there.

                                                                            But then I had to go, immediately. An arsonist had sparked a series of fires and the woods exploded. I saw the flames coming up the hill as I packed up all my instruments and recording equipment. Ernie hid under the bed and was the last to go. I got him in the car just as the police came up the street to help with evacuations. I ended up home in LA a few days early; a small blessing because I was losing my mind a bit.

                                                                            Once I was back, I was ready to make something. I needed help. I found Jason [Quever] and his studio. I collected as many friends as I could and brought them in to record live with me. I needed the energy of a group of people in a room playing together—a simple concept but one that I had never tried with my own songs. Most of the record is backed by Ty Segall’s Freedom Band. I play bass in this band. We had been touring and playing together for a long run over a few years, so it seemed natural to stick together.

                                                                            I aimed for nature. I wanted organic sounds. I wanted to bring you into the room. Jason and I talked about The Beatles’ White Album a lot when placing mics. I brought a charred pine cone from the woods to the studio, just in case it would help. Fire—specifically its cycle of purging and reseeding the landscape—is a central theme to the record. Death and rebirth.

                                                                            I was looking for something: answers, direction, peace. I am the seeker.



                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Superb new album from Ty Segall's Mikal Cronin, encompassing the shredding psych-rock vibe of his parent band but with a definite sound of his own. Tender moments are cut through with a swathe of distorted guitar and Cronin's gravelly vocals. At points, 'Seeker' veers towards country-rock but with a more edgy, saturated edge. A brilliant development for Cronin, and a thrilling journey for us.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            2xDinked Edition LP Info: Edition of 450.
                                                                            Exclusive translucent green + black swirl vinyl LP.
                                                                            Includes exclusive bonus 12" with "Arsonist" b/w "Tsinosra" pressed on translucent red + yellow vinyl.
                                                                            Numbered.

                                                                            Cigarettes After Sex return with their anticipated sophomore album. Recorded during night time sessions in a mansion on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the album is a lush, cinematic meditation on the many complex facets of love - meeting, wanting, needing, losing...sometimes all at once. The album was self-produced and engineered by Greg Gonzalez, and mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Much like their debut, 'Cry' is full of wistful moments of contemplative beauty and heady, rich waves of synth and restrained bass throbs. Classic chord progressions and tear-jerking vocal performances make for a more refined distillation of the sound that garnered them so much attention the first time around. Lovely stuff.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Indies only clear vinyl edition, includes 12” x 12” poster insert (album art on one side, lyrics on the reverse).

                                                                            LP Info: Black vinyl, includes 12” x 12” poster insert (album art on one side, lyrics on the reverse).

                                                                            Desert Sessions

                                                                            Vols. 11 & 12

                                                                              In 1997, Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and a handful of friends retreated to the desert of Joshua Tree, CA in order to isolate themselves from the distractions and comforts of their everyday lives. What began as a casual writing and recording session amongst friends has since become a project of legend. Spanning twelve volumes over the course of two decades, Desert Sessions has featured some of music’s most cherished icons stepping out of their comfort zones and collaborating with one another to create some of the most exciting music of their careers.

                                                                              After nearly sixteen years since its last entry, the longest-running mix tape in existence, Desert Sessions returns with two stunning new volumes in its already storied catalog, Vol. 11 & 12, featuring collaborations from Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Les Claypool (Primus), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Mike Kerr (Royal Blood), Carla Azar (Autolux, Jack White), Matt Sweeney (Chavez), David Catching (Co-founder of Rancho De La Luna studio), comedian Matt Berry (What We Do in the Shadows), Töôrnst Hülpft and newcomer Libby Grace.

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Barry says: It looks pretty mad, I know. Josh Homme collaborates with various standout members of rock / indie / grunge royalty (plus a killer tune with Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters), but believe me, it's very good. Country tinged rock, foot-stomping psychedelic shredding and damn good songwriting make for a really interesting combination of sounds, and in the end, a brilliant LP.

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Ltd LP Info: Limited edition vinyl package includes a one of a kind custom mix & match, body swap booklet.

                                                                              Dry Cleaning

                                                                              Sweet Princess / Boundary Road Snacks And Drinks

                                                                                Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks & Sweet Princess compile together Dry Cleaning’s first two EP releases on vinyl. Firm friends for years, the band (Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse, Florence Shaw & Nick Buxton) only started making music after a party in 2017 inspired a collaboration. They wrote instrumentally to begin with and six months later Shaw, a university lecturer and picture researcher by day, joined on vocals with no prior musical experience. They recorded their acclaimed debut “Sweet Princess” EP before playing their first show only last year.

                                                                                Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks takes its name from the location and context of a shared genesis, and marks a significant chapter for the band as the last tracks to be written in their original rehearsal space.


                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                Dinked Edition LP Info: Heavyweight, transparent with black splatter vinyl.
                                                                                Sticker set.
                                                                                Numbered.
                                                                                Signed by the band.

                                                                                LP Info: Standard 180 gram black vinyl.

                                                                                Sunn O)))

                                                                                Pyroclasts

                                                                                  The Pyroclasts album is the result of a daily practice which was regularly performed each morning, or evening during the two week Life Metal sessions at Electrical Audio during July 2018, when all of the days musical participants would gather and work through a 12 minute improvised modal drone at the start and or end of the day’s work. The piece performed was timed with a stopwatch and tracked to two inch tape, it was an exercise and a chance to dig into a deep opening or closing of the days session in a deep musical way with all of the participants. To connect/reconnect, liberate the creative mind a bit and greet each other and the space through the practice of sound immersion. The players across the four pieces of Pyroclasts are Tim Midyett, T.O.S., Hildur Guðnadóttir, and as always Stephen O’Malley & Greg Anderson.

                                                                                  The music on Pyroclasts is inextricably woven to Life Metal. It exists on the very same tape reels, was explicitly recorded by Steve Albini. The brightness and vividity of that glorious session glares through these four tracks, the precision and radiance, prismatic lustrousness of the saturation, the elemental sculptural shapes, the abstract renderings. It is a sister, or perhaps a shadow album. Or perhaps the now apparent miasma or aether. But it also exists in a form of a pause, a time space which exist in between and around the compositional structures of Sunn O)))’s titanic works.

                                                                                  For the listener or recipient/participant there are deep rewards within the patience of pulling down the walls and letting the music feel, and feel the music. To be immersed will reveal great detail and colour, clarify image, encourage a depth of focus and stillness which may lead to a quite profound experience. Sitting inside the space of time. A deep form of elementalism, even atomism, and connection with presence moment, time and reality.

                                                                                  Sunn O))) would invite their audience to consider these points of perception when experiencing and listening to Pyroclasts. Sunn O))) would also invite and encourage the audience to use Pyroclasts as a lens to review and reexperience the complexity of the Life Metal album, and even to interrupt its sequence with Pyroclasts. This elaboration can bring the astute listener both abyssal, hallowed rewards.

                                                                                  Pyroclasts was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio on two inch tape July 2018, and mastered by Matt Colton through all analogue AAA process at Metropolis July 2019.

                                                                                  Stephen & Greg would like to dedicate this album to the memories of Ron Guardipee, Kerstin Daley & Scott Walker.


                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                  Barry says: There's nothing that Sunn can't do as far as i'm concerned. Though their music takes a little while to acclimatise to (like being in the middle of a blizzard or walking a tightrope during an earthquake might), but once it clicks, there's nothing more primal and satisfying than a nice drone. Pyroclasts is every bit the Life Metal sidekick, just as powerful but with different abilities. Mindblowing stuff.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  Coloured LP Info: UK indies only transparent red coloured vinyl. 1000 only.

                                                                                  Swans

                                                                                  Leaving Meaning.

                                                                                    'Leaving meaning.' is the band’s fifteenth studio album, the follow up to 2016’s 'The Glowing Man'. Written and produced by Michael Gira, the album features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels of Light as well as Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee and Jennifer Gira.

                                                                                    Michael Gira explains, “leaving meaning. is the first Swans album to be released since I dissolved the lineup of musicians that constituted Swans from 2010 – 2017. Swans is now comprised of a revolving cast of musicians, selected for both their musical and personal character, chosen according to what I intuit best suits the atmosphere in which I’d like to see the songs I’ve written presented. In collaboration with me, the musicians, through their personality, skill and taste, contribute greatly to the arrangement of the material. They’re all people whose work I admire and whose company I personally enjoy.”


                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                    Barry says: Michael Gira is a man who clearly can't quit (nor should he). Having given up on the band a number of times, in the midst smashing out some truly amazing albums, he always returns. This iteration of the band includes all the sounds we'd expect from Gira but bolstered by the perfectly selected cast of collaborators and co-conspirators.

                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                    2xLP Info: Double vinyl in a brown chipboard sleeve.
                                                                                    Includes high definition audio download.

                                                                                    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                    2xCD Info: Double CD in a brown chipboard digipack.

                                                                                    Rex Orange County

                                                                                    PONY

                                                                                      The album was written, recorded, and performed almost entirely by Rex himself at Strongroom Studios in East London with frequent collaborator Ben Baptie co-producing, engineering and mixing the album.

                                                                                      Pony includes "10/10", which Rolling Stone called "triumphant" and a "song you need to know" and Rex was described by Wonderland as "fast becoming a national treasure..."

                                                                                      The album follows standout performances at a handful of major festivals this year, including UK's Glastonbury (where he first debuted "10/10"), Paris' We Love Green, Berlin's Lollapalooza, and Australia's Laneway Festival.

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited blue coloured vinyl.

                                                                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                      Nils Frahm

                                                                                      All Encores

                                                                                        The three EPs will be available as one full length release titled All Encores featuring 80 minutes of music to follow his masterful 2018 album All Melody.

                                                                                        Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.

                                                                                        “The idea behind All Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of All Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody.”

                                                                                        Moulded during All Melody but refined by his live performances, All Encores is testament to Nils’ exceptional ability to craft his art on stage. Artificially Intelligent which showcases his ‘mad professor’ organ, and All Armed which has been a live favourite for some time, appearing on set lists since 2015, are now available to hear on record for the very first time. The final track of Encores 3, as well as the whole series, Amirador, perhaps aptly nods to the Spanish word for ‘lookout’ and hints at what’s to come.

                                                                                        The soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s heavily anticipated music-laden film Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

                                                                                        Personally curated by Tarantino himself, the soundtrack is a love letter to the music of 1960s-era Hollywood. The Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood soundtrack features over 20 standout tracks from artists such as Paul Revere & The Raiders, Deep Purple, and Neil Diamond, as well as vintage radio advertisements, creating a true time capsule of a golden era of filmmaking.

                                                                                        Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age. Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Produced by David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino. Georgia Kacandes, YU Dong and Jeffrey Chan serve as executive producers. The film also stars Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate plus Al Pacino, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Lena Dunham, and more.



                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Barry says: It's always a highlight seeing what soundtrack Tarantino has chosen for his films, and 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' continues the trend with a perfect selection. Evocative of Hollywood's golden era, and ram-packed with musical gems, this is a classic soundtrack to a brilliant film.

                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                        2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive limited double translucent orange coloured vinyl in a gatefold sleeve. Includes a (folded) 24" x 36" art poster.

                                                                                        2xLP Info: Includes a (folded) 24" x 36" art poster.

                                                                                        Petbrick

                                                                                        I

                                                                                          As the year 2020 fast approaches, there still exists a peculiar shortage of music spiritually attuned to these treacherous times. Fortunately Petbrick - the duo comprising Wayne Adams (Big Lad/Death Pedals/Johnny Broke) and Iggor Cavalera Sepultura / Soulwax/ Mixhell) - are exploring fresh lunacy anew whereby electronic experimentation, hardcore attitude, dystopian dread and in-the-red dementia collide and collude to form a uniquely invigorating assault, custom fit for an accelerated age. This debut employs both members’ past experience - Wayne in a variety of musical guises ranging from punk to breakcore and gabba, and Iggor in a planet-straddling metal colossus whose questing spirit played a crucial role in the music’s evolution - yet also cheerfully renders them obsolete in a resolutely genre-free onslaught, damaged by the endtime intensity of Ministry and the synapse-shredding mischief of Aphex Twin yet lodged firmly in the here and now. Moreover, guest vocalists are also on hand to traverse anywhere from full-throttle intensity (as with Full Of Hell’s Dylan Walker on the blistering ‘Radiation Facial’ or Integrity’s legendary vocal exorcist Dwid Hellion on ‘Some Semblance Of A Story’) to exhilarating melodic counterpoint (Laima Leyton (Mixhell) on ‘Coming’) and stream-of-consciousness lunacy from Warmduscher’s Mutado Pintado, whose splenetic tirades on ‘Gringolicker’. Paint-stripping and deliriously potent, ‘I’ is more than merely an exercise in the life-affirming flame of oppositional punk spirit scorching all or any musical boundaries in its path - it’s an uncompromising soundtrack to a short-circuiting new era. Yet rarely has the sound of global malfunction also been so much fun


                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: It had to be on Rocket Recordings this, didn't it? Crushing blast beats, unholy distorted noise and resonant synths squealing all over the place, interspersed with moments of lucidity before breaking down into unbridled, beautiful chaos once again. Unhinged, brilliant madness.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies-only Black / Clear Split LP.

                                                                                          Guided By Voices

                                                                                          Sweating The Plague

                                                                                            Guided By Voices is now an unlikely candidate for the most perfect rock band of all time, while at the same time being a thoughtful reflection on what a rock band is, a fantasy that becomes a fact. Sweating The Plague, the band’s 29th album and their third this year, spars playfully with stadium-sized fidelity and uncharacteristically impactful arrangements. Producer Travis Harrison’s counterintuitive approach to Guided By Voices’ historically lo-fi sound is that he doesn’t want it to sound homemade, while the grinding tectonic plate guitars of Doug Gillard and Bobby Bare Jr. anchor the album. Play it loud! Being a fan of Guided By Voices can feel like standing in a ticker-tape parade and reaching out to grab at stray releases as the endless flurry of output from the Needmore Songs publishing house billows around—but here’s twelve compatible nuggets of Pollard content in one handy package, all boxed up and ready to go.

                                                                                            Neil Young & Crazy Horse

                                                                                            Colorado

                                                                                              "Colorado" is the first new Neil Young with Crazy Horse album since 2012's "Psychedelic Pill". The album will be released on October 25th and features 10 new Neil Young compositions. It includes several songs that Neil has been playing live in the past few months (eg: "Rainbow of Colors", "Green Is Blue" and "Milky Way"), and the epic 13+ minute track "She Showed Me Love".

                                                                                              The vinyl version of the album comes with a bonus 7" single, featuring an album outtake "Truth Kills". The 7” also includes a live, solo version of "Rainbow of Colors" from Portland, OR, on May 17, 2019 - the first time Neil ever performed this song live.

                                                                                              This incarnation of Crazy Horse is Neil Young on vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica and vibes, Billy Talbot on bass, Ralph Molina on drums and features the return of Nils Lofgren on guitar and piano, almost 50 years since he last appeared on a Crazy Horse album (1971). The album is produced by Neil Young and John Hanlon and was recorded in Colorado in April & May 2019.

                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                              Deluxe LP Info: Double black 140 gram vinyl records (with etching on side 4).
                                                                                              Gatefold jacket with 2 pockets,
                                                                                              Printed inner sleeves.
                                                                                              Bonus 7” vinyl single.

                                                                                              Lankum

                                                                                              The Livelong Day’

                                                                                                Dublin fourpiece Lankum release their new album ‘The Livelong Day’. Made up of brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch, Cormac MacDiarmada and Radie Peat, Lankum have gained worldwide acclaim for their first two albums and captivating, often euphoric live performances. ‘The Livelong Day’ successfully blends alternative folk and psychedelia. Lankum honour the sacredness of traditional Irish tunes but allow them to metamorphose, to grow and breathe like the heavy, ancient breath of the Uilleann pipes which seethe beneath the tracks of their third studio album (and second with Rough Trade). “Drone is a big part of traditional music because the Uilleann pipes are indigenous to Ireland, so we’re ramping up that history and taking it as far as we can.”

                                                                                                This is the idea found at the core of the universe created in ‘The Livelong Day’; expanding and emboldening that which is already playing out in history. Alongside the traditional songs on the record, there are two originals, the haunting ‘Young People’ and the tragic beauty of ‘Hunting The Wren’. With ‘The Livelong Day’, Lankum are about to fully cement their reputation as one of the most unique and talked about groups to emerge from Ireland in decades.

                                                                                                Brix & The Extricated

                                                                                                Super Blood Wolf Moon

                                                                                                  Honouring the prolific output that is historically embedded in the DNA of this band, Brix & The Extricated release their third studio album in as many years. 364 days after the release of their second record “Breaking State”, the band have changed gears once again. This album sees the band decimate dimensional boundaries resulting in a body of work that is sure to resonate. Super Blood Wolf Moon is both challenging and addictive in equal measure. This record shows growth of a band who have stepped clearly out of the confines of the shadow of the past. At times it touches on dark emotional pain and at other points reaches euphoric bliss. This is an album that has diversity with a focused thread throughout. The record combines top level musicality with deep hypnotic grooves and elements of unforgiving brutality. As has come to be expected this record is loaded with melodic hooks, riffs and infectious choruses. These musical devices however simply act as a portal to the beating heart of this band which is the art of songwriting itself. The guitar work is at times dangerous, edgy and transcendent. The conversational relationship between Jason Brown and Steve Trafford shows a high level of musical intelligence and an intuitive sense of freedom.

                                                                                                  The legendary Hanley Brother rhythm section are true to form as the engine room of this band. Additional strings and harpsichord arranged by Sarah Brandwood-Spencer bring a rich spectral elegance. Lyrically Smith Start speaks honestly about the uncomfortableness of depression, drug addiction, death and loss. There is more social commentary on this record than its predecessors with songs like “Dinosaur Girl” (over medicating culture), “Strange Times” (global feeling of despair) and “Wasteland” (climate change and destruction of the environment). Smith Start reflects on pack mentality and the freedom to show your scars in the song “Wolves” and the juxtaposing “Crash Landing” deals with drug overdose and suicide. The album closes with the epic, glorious and deeply moving “The God Stone” which breaks all bounds of expectation. 

                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                  Barry says: More superb material here from Brix & The Extricated, with equal moments of fiery, melodic punk and delicate, well-woven melodies. Understandably political but without ever losing their focus on huge, anthemic tunes. No shortage of talent here, and we can only hope they keep them coming!

                                                                                                  Editors

                                                                                                  Black Gold: Best Of Editors

                                                                                                    Across their six official albums, Editors have achieved major success internationally, selling 2.6M albums worldwide, racking up Mercury nominations, multiple platinum and gold records, No 1s in the UK, Belgium and Netherlands and Top 10s right across the rest of Europe. The album includes 13 of the band’s biggest songs alongside three brand new tracks, including the title track ‘Black Gold’. The album cover was shot by award winning photograper Nadav Kander and designed by Tom Hingston (Massive Attack, Young Fathers, Nick Cave).

                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                    2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

                                                                                                    2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                    The Slow Readers Club

                                                                                                    Live At The Apollo

                                                                                                      2019 has seen the band complete a mammoth 32 date UK tour, ending in an epic finale in Manchester’s intimate Gorilla venue, which sold out in a matter of minutes. The Slow Readers Club also performed at a number of UK festivals including a main stage appearance at Neighbourhood Weekender in Victoria Park, Warrington on May 26th alongside their fellow Northern contemporaries Richard Ashcroft and The Charlatans. But more excitingly for the band was their first ever European headline tour which included 15 dates across Europe before they hit Madrid in July for Mad Cool Festival.

                                                                                                      “We’ve had plenty of fans making contact asking us to play all over Europe, so it’s great to finally be able to do so,” says singer Aaron Starkie. "We had a great response at a few European festivals last year (Reeperbahn, Kaltern pop and Haldern pop) so we're looking forward to getting back out there to build on that”. Following their Summer festival slots the band will close out the year with a string of December shows, including two massive, sold out hometown gigs at O2 Ritz Manchester.

                                                                                                      Deathprod, aka Helge Sten, has been deeply embedded in the Oslo music community for decades, but his brooding soundscapes and deliberate process make him seem sometimes like a phantom. Sten is a founding member of Supersilent, adding his sounds and treatments to the avant jazz leanings of that powerful collective, and he has collaborated with artists as diverse as Biosphere and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. But "Occulting Disk" is the first new Deathprod album in 15 years; his attention to detail is next level, and the darkly powerful soundscapes arch and swell like the shifting of the Earth’s tectonic plates. Raw, emotional, political and deliberate, this is ambient music with deep intention.

                                                                                                      Fans of Arca, Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Steve Reich, Autechre, Swans, and GAS will all need this record - Deathprod makes some of the most powerful experimental ambient composition of our time. His last LP, "Morals and Dogma", from 2004, was listed as one of Pitchfork’s top 50 ambient albums of all time. FACT calls Sten the 'dark ambient master.' The New York Times said 'Sten loves to summon up thick, often ominous clouds of sound, gesturing at everything from avant-garde composition to black metal without ever quite revealing his hand.'

                                                                                                      Will Oldham, who also wrote the album liner notes:
                                                                                                      'I remember driving over a mountain with my mother, she was in the passenger seat and we were being mauled and cuddled and battered and fried by sound; together. We were together experiencing something previously unimaginable, and we were facing the same direction, and we were moving through space and time knowing that a geographic destination some way ahead would bring an end. And the sound surrounded us, and for once our mutual silence was loaded with good. Because we were in the presence of each other, and we knew so much about how we had failed each other (it wasn’t a mystery any more), and we knew how we had maimed others when we worried too much about ourselves, how we had contributed to the faults of others simply by focusing in instead of out. Our mutual silences were laden with what that could only be called love. I used to hear love in music until I learned to hear love in sound.'


                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Barry says: MORE DEATHPROD!! I remember listening to the entirety of Treetop Drive when I was but a teenager at least once a week (how much time we all had back then!), but it's been a long time since Sten has released anything new. Enter, 'Occulting Disk', brimming with all of the tense atmospherics and dark ambient bliss we've missed so much, a perfectly put together and immeasurably brilliant return.

                                                                                                      With transcendent lyrical skills, an impossibly perfect rap voice, and a uniquely cool, calm, and collected flow, Brooklyn rapper Your Old Droog is one of the brightest young stars in hip-hop today. His latest offering is "Looseys", a collection of tracks that lit up blogs but never made it onto any of Droog’s acclaimed projects. The 6-track EP features collaborations with Joey Bada$$, Styles P, and Rast RFC, plus stellar production from famed producers like Alchemist, Oh No, Black Milk, and Statik Selektah. 

                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Millie says: Your Old Droog providing the best rap lyrics around, a collection unreleased of tracks make up ‘Looseys’, joined by a whole host of brilliant artists making this killer LP. ‘Just Rhyming’ with Joey Bada$$ And Styles P holds that effortless vibe and distinctive style.

                                                                                                      Larry Gus (real name Panagiotis Melidis) returns to DFA with ‘Subservient’, his fourth release for the label. ‘Subservient’ sees more pop-oriented than his previous albums, a lush combination of “crisis funk pop and trad Mediterranean grooves.” Lyrics sung in Greek and English address Larry’s overwhelming struggles with being a father, husband, artist, and human in 2019. In the artist’s own words, this album is about “trying to understand empathy and act with it on everyday life,” as well as “the imperative of empathy above everything else.”

                                                                                                      ‘Subservient’ is sample-free, a first for Larry, who plays every instrument himself: a drum kit, an SM57 microphone, a guitar, a bass, a TE OP-1 synthesizer and a Roland JV-1010 synth module. This is fourth-world power pop, as if Alex Chilton was produced by Eno and Hassell. The thoughtful, upbeat arrangements and gentle vocals are spacious and warm, and tend to offset whatever darker tone the lyrics might imply. Larry confronts more acute tensions, such as being a father in Greece during the crisis, and the parallels of a child’s sicknesses and adult ailments, as well as larger, more existential pressures - the grasp of nostalgia, the weight and meaning of making decisions, and the desire to move from hermeticism towards sociability.

                                                                                                      The record graciously explores the nuance that can be found within delineated lines: pop and folk music, rooted in Greek tradition; internal anxieties and empathy expressed outward; the tightrope struggle of living in the present and wallowing in the past. Larry will also be releasing a 7” single alongside the album, which features ‘Kerkis (Judas-Tree)’ and ‘Foreign Steps’ from the same recording sessions as Subservient. The single precedes an upcoming audio play, written by Efthimis and scored by Larry, to be produced with the Onassis Stegi (AKA Cultural Center). The audio play will be released on DFA in 2020.

                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Sil says: Another cracker from DFA. A perfect amalgamation of electronics and pop sensibilities. Deserves your attention.

                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                      The wait is finally over for new music by Teebs, aka Mtendere Mandowa. It’s been 5 years since his last body of work, but 25 October will mark the release of his next full length album “​Anicca”.​ With the help of a host of musical friends including ​Panda Bear (Animal Collective), Sudan Archives, Ringgo Ancheta aka MNDSGN, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Anna Wise, daydream Masi, Former Boy, Pink Siifu, Jimetta Rose and Thomas Stankiewicz, the 4​7 minute LP fuses Teebs’ signature bright and fluid productions with the grounded and colorful elements of his collaborators.

                                                                                                      With roots at the ‘My Hollow Drum’ collective, Dublab, and Low End Theory, Teebs is a staple in Los Angeles music. “My creative family in LA is so important,” he explains. “It’s a part of who I am when I step outside and how others in LA view me. I love the feeling of community and trying to understand how I can be useful in it.” A consummate artist with a completely unique style, his ideas seemingly flow from a cloudy hidden realm of the ether straight through the medium and onto the canvas. As both a producer and a painter, his projects possess a flawless consistency that pull one deep into the worlds he creates.

                                                                                                      Reflecting on his 5 year hiatus from releasing music, he says: “It feels like it [the music] comes from a different place now. My inspiration to work has changed and my choices with it. I’ve explored more with what tools and instruments I used and tried to be more open to collaboration.” ​The record showcases just how effortlessly his work lays landscapes for his guests’ contributions to blend in with his own production and Teebs himself is full of admiration for his collaborators. For example, of Panda Bear from Animal Collective, who is featured on lead single ‘Studie’ he explains that: “Everything he decides to do is pure gold or fine wine.” It’s a similar story with kindred spirit Sudan Archives who graces ‘Black Dove’ - of whom he says, “She really is a scary genius who deserves the world’s ears and eyes.”

                                                                                                      The album was recorded mostly at home using his Roland SP-404 sampler, Mellotron M4000D synthesizer, seprewa (Ghanaian harp-lute), guitar and laptop - “If you listen closely you might hear my daughter speaking or my wife typing on a laptop on the record,” Teebs says smiling. Family is at the heart of Mtendere’s life now and they are his primary source of inspiration. “My daughter was born the year after ‘Estara’ and taking time to watch her grow meant everything to me...” he explains. “Also my relationships with my wife,mother, brother, and the friends around me, and the mistakes I’ve made through my life have all inspired Anicca.” He also cites the American poet David Antin and his 1976 work “Talking at the Boundaries” as a notable read and a quote about art, nature and form from Hans Arp’s “Notes from a Dada Diary” that struck a chord with him during the making of the record.

                                                                                                      As for the title - “Anicca” - it describes the impermanence of all being in Buddhism. Recognition of the fact that ‘anicca’ characterizes everything is one of the first steps in the Buddhist’s spiritual progress toward enlightenment. “It’s a reminder to myself that nothing is permanent,” he says.

                                                                                                      A highly respected visual artist, Teebs created the artwork for “Anicca” just as he has done for his previous albums. “I’m using the two disciplines [music and art] together to explore the worlds of communication and semi abstractions” he explains. The artwork for “Anicca” started as a drawing about his wife and mother and evolved into an enamel pin that transformed again as he collaborated with his friend Megan Geer-Alsop to make a stained glass replica. That work later got photographed and digitally enhanced to make the cover. “The artwork is so special to me because of all the hands working together to create an idea,” says Mtendere. “The piece went through so much change and landed in a state of constant change being made out of glass with its colors and reflections… no matter how you look at it or what time of day it is, it’s always something different, yet the same... quite like nature works. It felt like life, like semi abstractions and like the album title.”

                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Millie says: Five years of waiting ‘Anicca’ doesn’t disappoint one bit, drenched in electronic gold and ambient glistening vocals. Teebs’ creative process revolves around a close knit of community and family, creating a dimensional art within his music.

                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Indies only limited edition purple/black marbled vinyl LP in an artworked inner housed in a 3mm spined outer sleeve.

                                                                                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                      Kettel

                                                                                                      Myam James 2 - 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

                                                                                                      Lapsus Records present the fourth release in its 'Perennial' series, dedicated to reissuing classic and timeless pieces from established contemporary electronic music artists.

                                                                                                      Following the successful reissue of "Myam James Part I" in 2018, Lapsus Records once again turns to cult producer Kettel aka Reimer Eising to offer the second installment of his stunning work that in 2019, also marks ten years since its original release date on Dutch label Sending Orbs.

                                                                                                      "Myam James 2" was the much anticipated continuation of a work that revolutionized the IDM scene and ten years on it sounds as fresh and current as ever. Although it was created as a conceptual extension to its prequel, on this occasion the album’s acid lines seem to develop in a way that allows space for melodic ambient passages and more intimate compositions, revealing Eising’s classical training and incorporating instruments including the cello and acoustic piano. The "Mayam James 2" blueprint is extraordinary, with energetic braindance and electro tracks interlaced with sonic interludes, often reminiscent of French minimalism and impressionism - - "Shinjuku Inn", "Sauce" and "Song From 4pm Herring" are good examples of this.

                                                                                                      Tenth anniversary of this audio treasure with a special collector's edition double vinyl pressing, re-mastered by Xavier Alarcón and accompanied by a lithographic print from the original artwork by illustrator Jeroen Advocaat. This deluxe reissue will also contain two unreleased tracks produced at the time of the album’s original release: "Boltklap" and "Lisenlily".


                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Matt says: Mega LP that both me and Barry are firmly behind. The perfect blend of acoustic simplicity and brain-tickling electronics with a nice expansive and optimistic view throughout.

                                                                                                      A dreamy diary of an enchanting duo "Modern Ways of Treating Insomnia" is a sonic journal that chronicles how the lives of Annjet and Newborn Jr. gradually become intertwined. While the latter already has a record of solid releases (Phonica, Rhythm Section, Rekids, Dopeness Galore) among which several with collaborator and friend Earth Trax, we’ve only recently been introduced to Annjet’s mesmerizing vocals through the moody burner "If You" on Shall Not Fade.

                                                                                                      "Modern Ways of Treating Insomnia" however, is an interaction between Annjet and Newborn Jr. without any preset set roles or rituals. Much like our real-life experiences of companionship, the record shows an interplay between two individuals while we witness them explore the world and its horizons on a shared wavelength.

                                                                                                      The record’s atmospheric dub influences and laidback breaks are bound to incite some memories of Massive Attack and Morcheeba etched into our minds, though the enchanting story of Annjet and Newborn Jr. sounds like one that will survive its time.

                                                                                                      Long live the Warsawian gang!

                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                      Sil says: Warm synth and freestyle experimentation on this rather good downtempo record that some will relate to ancestors in Bristol!

                                                                                                      Freedom Engine

                                                                                                      A Box Full Of Magic

                                                                                                        Worthwhile albums tend to be as much about the process of making them as they are about the end products themselves. One can almost hear formal, technical, even philosophical questions being asked and answered on them in order to arrive at something personally and politically new for the artist. "A Box Full of Magic," at once sprawling, cosmic, and psychedelic in the best of ways, follows in this album-making tradition. It is a record steeped in off kilter percussive time, live recording, occasionally summer cloud-paced tempos, and lush, emotional, melodic instrumentation. "A Sunrise On the Front," the final track of the record (and a composition crushing in its beauty), encapsulates much of this: recorded live on a Rhodes, the melody gives voice to the paradoxical sense of hope even during the pathology of war.

                                                                                                        Such conceptual ambition fits perfectly well within the capacious vision of Mathew Jonson's Freedom Engine, a project whose very name seems to explore and allow for the conceptual paradox and complexity of approaching freedom through the engine of technology. In a fundamental sense this tension between freedom and machine informs much of the album proper. Desiring to break out of his old ways of production and the boxes that went with it, the album abounds with fresh fascinations in things like the sound of mathematical equations, quirky time signatures, and experimental phrasing through intuitive timings to unlock a sense of magic, play, and spontaneity. There is, likewise, an interest in the liberating potential of deconstructing old sounds to make new ones, as Jonson applies techniques like innovative noise gating on classic drum samples to create space age percussion. At other moments, on "The Very Strange," for instance, air itself is sampled in field recordings to create unnatural percussive patterns.

                                                                                                        As is often the case with Jonson's work, an encyclopedia of machines and synths are employed in the making of 'A Box Full of Magic," but what is perhaps new here, and in keeping with the dialectic he traces between freedom/engine, is that there is a non-mechanistic, spontaneous impulse at work in the recordings. While it is not a live album, it has an at times spiritual and organic inclination despite or perhaps because of the way his panoply of gear--Prophet 5, cs60, VCS3, et al--attempts to capture dream-like tonalities that can reach poetic heights on a track like the aforesaid "Sunrise" or morph into an almost diabolical, Lynchian dimension on "An Evil Charm (Where Is the Forest)." But while it is tempting to get lost in the trees of synth-arcana with Jonson's work, we should not lose sight of the forest here: With its openness to new ideas which in turn generate an album teeming with them, "Box Full of Magic" helps to expand the sonic vocabulary of contemporary dance music. Mathew Jonson lives and works in Berlin. He has been experimenting with electronic music since 1986.

                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                        Barry says: Beautiful crisp Rhodes and blips of analogue synths work away beneath the sometimes frantic percussive backdrop, forming a perfectly balanced juxtaposition between airy ambience and euphoric electronica.

                                                                                                        17 obscure Soca B-side versions, dubs, instrumentals and edits as well as vocal tracks influenced by disco, boogie, house-music, soul and the more conscious lyrics of roots reggae. Owing as much to New York, Toronto and London as to the Caribbean cities of Port of Spain, Bridgetown and Kingstown this compilation traces the genre from its explosion in the late 1970s right up to the period just before contemporary soca became established around the end of the 1990s. Compiled by Soundway Records label founder Miles Cleret and DJ/collector Jeremy Spellacey, Body Beat, as with many compilations on the label, explores the fringes of this often maligned (by outsiders) genre. Boiled down to the bare bones of the matter though: soca is party music.

                                                                                                        Soca was originally a re-invention of Calypso music; a genre that in the 1970s was fast becoming usurped around the Caribbean by Jamaican reggae and American soul, funk and later disco. The originator of soca (or sokah as he called it), the calypsonian Lord Shorty, began experimenting and modernising on the formulation of calypso in the early 1970s. His first album featured a strong emphasis on East African rhythms and a punchier recording style that emphasised the beat, and introduced arrangements that often owed as much to American funk and soul as to calypso.

                                                                                                        Filled with up-tempo tracks from start to finish, the compilation’s lead single “I Want Your Love” by Peter Britto is a soca-house number which originally came out on NYC-based label Hometown Music in 1998. It features the recognisable soca synth beat, along with Caribbean steel drums and horns - but with the obvious influence of New York’s booming house scene, making it an ultimate crossover track for club dancefloors and carnivals alike.

                                                                                                        So here you go - seventeen slabs of soca crossover, rapso, electronic calypso, and Caribbean ‘soca-soul’ for your enjoyment - and bound to fit well into modern, open-minded DJ sets alongside the resurgence of burger-highlife, digi-reggae, soukous and zouk.

                                                                                                        We've come an awful long way since Floating Points' first utterances entered our stratosphere. That opening trio of twelves ("J&W Beat", "Love Me Like This" and "Vacuum Boogie") immediately caught the attention of us and our customers and we've been hooked on this cat throughout the last ten years.

                                                                                                        Whereas the incredible "Elaenia" (2015) was a five-year process, "Crush" was made during an intense five-week period, inspired by the invigorating improvisation of his shows supporting The xx in 2017. He had just finished touring with his own live ensemble, culminating in a Coachella appearance, when he suddenly became a one-man band, just him and his trusty Buchla opening up for half an hour every night. He thought what he’d come out with would 'be really melodic and slow-building' to suit the mood of the headliners, but what he ended up playing was 'some of the most obtuse and aggressive music I've ever made, in front of 20,000 people every night,' he says. 'It was liberating.'

                                                                                                        Fundamentally, this is still stylistically a Floating Points record. Classically informed pieces drift into focus without beats, only to dissolve into a mist of modular-generated textures. There's some speaker-tested mainroom techno moments, namely the lead single "LesAlpx" which concludes side A's meticulously programmed schedule with a moment of undiluted dancefloor energy. Fans of his jazz-flecked house will find tracks like "Last Bloom" and "Anasickmodular" a joy to behold; possessing that idiosyncratic shuffle and swing that instantly characterize an FP production. "Bias" opens side B with a unfathomably futuristic, attitude-ridden bass monster until Sam unexpectedly flips into his patented, cerebral jazz-house hybrid. Don't get me wrong though, he's not resting on his laurels in any way. His New Sounds bite and spit, as he seems to harness extraordinary levels of intricacy and power from his trusty Buchla synthesizer and his much lusted-after Arp Odyssey. More refined, more evolved, deeper, richer - but the same Floating Points - sound up your tree? It should be. 


                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                        Matt says: The Chetham's graduate has been a permanent fixture on our shelves for the last decade. 'Crush' embodies everything we love about him across a succinct and direct two sides. Drifting through a highly mellifluous sanctum, we get expressions on modular and synth informed, and indeed elevated, by Sam's well documented and rich musical education. Floating Points is a great ambassador for modern dance music which often gets berated by the older lot for its lack of musicality.

                                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                        Indies Exclusive LP Info: 140g black vinyl housed in a glossy sleeve with exclusive cover art, artwork printed inside and out, 4 page A4 booklet featuring a score of album track ‘Birth’.

                                                                                                        Indies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                        LP Info: 140g black vinyl housed in a glossy sleeve with artwork printed inside and out, 4 page A4 booklet featuring a score of album track ‘Birth’.

                                                                                                        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                        CD Info: CD in digipak with fold-out booklet featuring a score of album track ‘Birth’.

                                                                                                        Foals

                                                                                                        Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2

                                                                                                          Foals’ creative ambition for ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1’ resulted in a striking state-of-the-world-address of an album in which apocalyptic lyrical themes were equalled by the sheer impact of the music.

                                                                                                          Now Foals complete that artistic statement with the release of ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 2’.

                                                                                                          “Part two is a heavier listen, the guitars are more emphasised and there’s some big riffs on it,” explained Philippakis in an interview with NME. “It’s a rock record and it definitely carries on the narrative from part one. Part one ended with a lot of fire and destructive imagery, part two is trying to respond to that: how you can continue in the wreckage and through the scorched earth? We’re just excited for people to hear it because it completes the journey of what we’ve made over the last year-and-a-half.”

                                                                                                          Whereas ‘Part 1’ melded Foals’ disparate influences into a thrilling melting pot of sounds, much of ‘Part 2’ simmers with pure visceral intensity. ‘The Runner’ and ‘Black Bull’ are streamlined attacks, with vehement rhythmic onslaughts the foundation for even bigger riffs. It’s an approach that also informs ‘10,000 Feet’, as it lurches ominously from dreamy soundscapes into a heavyweight collision of post-punk and psychedelia.

                                                                                                          Yet ‘Part 2’ also echoes the opening chapter’s eclectic nature. The cinematic instrumentals ‘Red Desert’ and ‘Ikaria’ underline that ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ is a journey rather than a mere collection of songs, while ‘Wash Off’ marries manic world music-tinged grooves with a punk-like intensity.

                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                          Barry says: The foals return with the second part of their superb 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost..' series, and this one's possibly even better than the first. Smooth synths, soaring melodies and percussive, nigh-dancefloor arm-wavers. Classic foals +.

                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: RSD exclusive 180 gram orange vinyl.

                                                                                                          Battles return with their fourth album "Juice B Crypts" on Warp Records to follow their complex, mind-bending predecessors "Mirrored", "Gloss Drop, Dross Glop" and "La Di Da Di". Their latest album is a sensory overload of information that throws everything you thought you knew about Battles into flux once again. John Stanier's percussive power drives the LP through motorik, jazz and post rock, while the cubist keyboard and guitar melodies of Ian Williams capture the fractal pop majesty the group have made their own over the past decade or so.


                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                          Barry says: While Battles' previous outing definitely tread more through the math rock spectrum, and sometimes suffered cohesion losses through it's jagged momentum, 'Juice B Crypts'leans slightly more towards the free-jazz end of things, with loungey grooves and deep rolling basses keeping a solid backline behind their characteristic madness.

                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                          2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive transparent vinyl in gatefold sleeve.

                                                                                                          2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                          CD Info: Gatefold wallet with poster booklet.

                                                                                                          Various Artists

                                                                                                          Back To Mine - Jungle

                                                                                                            The iconic album series Back to Mine returns once again in 2019 with the first DJ mix compilation from world dominating indie-dance band Jungle, showcasing their personal tastes for the after-hours. The series was renowned for its eclectic selection and selectors which includes some of the biggest names in electronic and pop music, from the likes of Faithless to Pet Shop Boys, Groove Armada to New Order.

                                                                                                            The collection includes an exclusive track from Jungle themselves and takes the listener on an eclectic musical journey. From 90s disco by Merle to more recent house tracks by Manuel Darquart and Drumtalk. Bristol DJ Admin provides the percussion heavy ‘Space Cadet’ and the irrepressible Mocky supplies good vibes on ‘How It Goes’. There’s sophisticated pop from The Marias and Sam Evian and there’s some spotlight for modern jazz with tracks by Kamaal Williams, Mansur Brown and BadBadNotGood featuring Kaytranada. There’s also room for some gospel influenced soul by The Flying Stars of Brooklyn NY, lo-fi dream pop from Paul Cherry before ending with the always impressive HNNY.

                                                                                                            “When asked what genre of music we like or create we always answer explaining that we try not to hear music in genre but more in sonic and emotion, and if it feels good then it is good. By that merit, we have conjured a list of far-reaching tracks and brought them together to sit harmoniously on this Back to Mine mix. Put together mostly in the confines of our London based garden studio, where many a late night gathering has taken place, the mix makes its was through psych, Afro-beat, house and soul with some of our favourite tracks of the moment, Have fun and enjoy.” - Jungle

                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                            Millie says: Jungle’s compilation is a close replica of what I’d include on my own selection of favourite songs featuring BadBadNotGood, Kaytranada, Sly5thAve and Mansur Brown. A fantastic mixture of contemporary jazz while also reaching broad horizons from house, soul and Afro-beat, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to genre inclusivity. Featuring one of Jungles very own exclusive track ‘Come Back A Different Day’ which is drenched in electronic beats with their signature sleek vocals.

                                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                            2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl. Limited edition heavyweight vinyl and extra thick cardboard sleeves with full coloured bespoke artwork, commissioned from illustrator Rich Fairhead, depicting the artist’s influences alongside personal sleeve notes from Jungle.

                                                                                                            Mark Lanegan Band

                                                                                                            Somebody's Knocking

                                                                                                              ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is the eleventh album from Mark Lanegan. The album pulsates with energy echoing the punch of Eighties garage metallers Raw Power and the sweep of brooding atmosphere concreted by late Joy Division. With his love for electronic dance dating back his youth, tracks on ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ act as a callback to these days whilst simultaneously signifying a definitive shift in his sensibilities and very approach to songwriting.

                                                                                                              It’s unsurprising then that ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ was cowritten by Rob Marshall - of Exit Calm and collaborator on 2017’s Gargoyle - alongside Martin Jenkins of electronica project Pye Corner Audio. In Lanegan’s own words, he approached working with the two “from the perspective of a fan.” This is unsurprising; Lanegan’s love for European dance music even led to Jenkins contributing album remixes for both 2015’s ‘A Thousand Miles Of Midnight’ and 2017’s ‘Still Life With Roses’, Pye Corner once again proving to be the perfect foil for Lanegan’s more overtly electronica infused approach.

                                                                                                              Mostly recorded in LA over an eleven-day session, ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is a shift in perspective for Lanegan, showcasing his maturing approach to songwriting and remaining instinctive, elusive and unflinchingly honest.

                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                              Barry says: Lanegan's newest outing is full to the brim with gritty, southern rock drive and the undeniable musicality we've come to expect from him over the past 30 years, only this time we get the more electronic-leaning production of Martin of Pye Corner Audio and Rob Marshall of cooking vinyl, a match made in music heaven.

                                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited heavyweight blue vinyl, limited to initial pressing.

                                                                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                              PJ Harvey

                                                                                                              All About Eve - Original Music

                                                                                                                All About Eve — Original Music, composed by double Mercury Music Prize-winner PJ Harvey.

                                                                                                                The 14-track album contains 10 original pieces of instrumental music, as well as two new songs written by Harvey and sung by Gillian Anderson and Lily James.

                                                                                                                The physical release also includes demo versions of ‘The Sandman’ and The Moth’, performed by PJ Harvey.

                                                                                                                On composing this score, Harvey says, “I have always loved stories, and so to compose music to support and enhance a story being told is a challenge I enjoy. I also love the freedom that working instrumentally can give me without the constraints of song form.”

                                                                                                                “For All About Eve I chose to work with my long-time collaborator James Johnston as he has a soulfulness and sensitivity to his playing that inspires me. I also worked with Kenrick Rowe who has a versatility to his drumming I knew I could experiment with until I found what was right.”

                                                                                                                All About Eve is the stage adaption directed by Ivo Van Hove.

                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                Barry says: It's become more and more clear that PJ Harvey can easily put her mind to anything she deems necessary, and with great effect. The soundtrack for this adaptation of All About Eve is even more evidence, with perfect cues and touching sentimaentality oozing through every note. A beautifully performed and perfectly written piece. In-situ or not.

                                                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                LP Info: The score is pressed on 180g black vinyl, and housed in a heavyweight deluxe spined outer sleeve, with the record itself housed in a heavyweight, double sided printed inner sleeve. The vinyl release includes a digital download card.

                                                                                                                CD Info: The CD is presented as a paneled fold out CD package.

                                                                                                                Dal Forno beckons a bold new era in her peerless output pushing her dub-damaged DIY dispatches to the limits of flawless dream-pop. In a transformative move towards crystal clear vocals and sharpened production, "Look Up Sharp" is an evolutionary leap from the thick fog and pastoral stillness of her Blackest Ever Black missives, "You Know What It’s Like" (2016) and "The Garden EP" (2017). Three years since her plain-speaking debut album, the Melbourne-via-Berlin artist finds herself absorbed in London’s sprawling mess. The small-town dreams and inertia that preoccupied dal Forno’s first album have dissolved into the chaotic city, its shifting identities, far-flung surroundings and blank faces. "Look Up Sharp" is the story of this life in flux, longing for intimacy, falling short and embracing the unfamiliar. Dal Forno connects with kindred spirits and finds refuge in darkened alleys, secret gardens and wherever else she dares to look.

                                                                                                                In her own territory between plaintive pop, folk and post-punk dal Forno conjures the ghosts of AC Marias, Virginia Astley and Broadcast through her brushwork of art-damaged fx and spectral atmospheres. The first half of the record is filled with dubbed-out humid bass lines, which tether stoned hazes of psychedelic synth work as on ‘Took A Long Time’ and ‘No Trace.’ These are contrasted with songs like ‘I’m Conscious and ‘So Much better’ that channel the lilting power of YMG and are clear sequels-in-waiting to dead-eyed classics like ‘Fast Moving Cars.’

                                                                                                                The B-side begins with the feverish bass and meandering melody of ‘Don’t Follow Me,’ which takes The Cure’s ‘A Forest’ as its conceptual springboard. It’s the clearest lyrical example since ‘The Garden’ of dal Forno’s unmatched ability to unpick the masculine void of post-punk and new wave nostalgia to reflect contemporary nuance. Look Up Sharp reaches its satisfying conclusion with ‘Push On’ - dal Forno’s most explicit foray into an undiscovered trip hop universe between Massive Attack and Tracey Thorn. The album’s last gasp finds personal validation in fragility: ‘I push on / I’m the Place I’m Going,’ a self discovery lifted by reverberant broken beats and glass-blown vocals.

                                                                                                                Adding further depth to Look Up Sharp are the instrumentals, which flow seamlessly between the vocal-led pieces. ‘Hype Sleep’ and ‘Heart of Hearts’ drink from the same stream as The Flying Lizard’s dubbed-out madness and the vivid purple sunsets of Eno’s Another Green World. While ‘Creep Out of Bed’ and ‘Leaving for Japan’ funnel the fourth-world psychedelia of Cyclobe’s industrial-folk into the vortex of Nico’s The Marble Index.

                                                                                                                Conceived as a whole, Look Up Sharp is a singular prism in which light, sound and concept bend at all angles. A deeply personal but infinitely relatable album its many surfaces are complex but authentic, enduring but imperfect, hard-edged but delicate. A diamond. Look up sharp or you’ll miss it.

                                                                                                                Om

                                                                                                                BBC Radio 1

                                                                                                                  Recorded live at BBC Radio 1, Maida Vale, May 3rd, 2019.

                                                                                                                  The songs continue to evolve; two each from the classic OM releases Advaitic Songs and God Is Good, encompassingly recorded and mixed with the pristine quality that BBC engineers (and OM) bring to recorded sound.

                                                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                  2x10" LP Info: Split colour vinyl, green and black.

                                                                                                                  Sufjan Stevens & Timo Andres

                                                                                                                  The Decalogue

                                                                                                                    Oscar- and Grammy-nominated composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens releases his acclaimed score for Justin Peck’s ballet The Decalogue via his own label, AKR. Performed by the pianist Timo Andres, the recording is the first time the score, premiered during the New York City Ballet’s 2017 season, is available to the public. 

                                                                                                                    The Decalogue is the third collaboration between NYCB Resident Choreographer Peck and Stevens, following 2012’s Year of the Rabbit and 2014’s Everywhere We Go. The piece was widely praised upon its premiere; The New York Times lauded the “beauty and charm” of Peck’s choreography as well as Stevens’ “romantically modernist études.”

                                                                                                                    Brooklyn-based composer-pianist Timo Andres is a Nonesuch Records artist, who has written major works for the Boston Symphony, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican, the Takács Quartet, the Concertgebouw, and elsewhere. He performs regularly with Gabriel Kahane, and has frequently appeared with Philip Glass, Becca Stevens, Nadia Sirota, the Kronos Quartet, John Adams, Ted Hearne, and others. As a pianist, Timo has performed at Lincoln Center, for the New York Philharmonic, the LA Phil, at Wigmore Hall, for San Francisco Performances, and at (le) Poisson Rouge. Upcoming highlights include a curated program for the Cincinnati Symphony (featuring Dance Heginbotham and a performance of Andres’s cello concerto, Upstate Obscura), and a solo piano recital for Carnegie Hall. Previous work with Sufjan Stevens includes the orchestration of “Principia” for Justin Peck and the New York City Ballet.

                                                                                                                    A singer-songwriter currently living in New York, Sufjan Stevens’ preoccupation with epic concepts has motivated two state records (Michigan and Illinois), a collection of sacred and biblical songs (Seven Swans), an electronic album for the animals of the Chinese zodiac (Enjoy Your Rabbit), an expansive EP in homage to the Apocalypse (All Delighted People), a full length partly inspired by the outsider artist Royal Robertson (The Age of Adz) and two Christmas box sets (Songs for Christmas, vol. 1-5 and Silver & Gold, vol. 6-10). BAM has commissioned two works from Stevens, a programmatic tone poem for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (The BQE) and an instrumental accompaniment to slow-motion rodeo footage (Round-Up). Stevens’ Planetarium, a collaborative album with Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister imbued with themes of the cosmos, was released in 2017 to widespread critical praise.

                                                                                                                    2015’s highly acclaimed Carrie & Lowell explored his relationship with his mother in the wake of her death; a companion collection of outtakes, remixes and demos, The Greatest Gift Mixtape, was released in 2017. The songs “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart” were released in 2018 in celebration of Pride Month, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Ali Forney Center in Harlem, NY and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, MI. Stevens also contributed three much-lauded songs to Luca Guadagnino’s critically acclaimed film Call Me By Your Name, including the Oscar-nominated “Mystery of Love.”

                                                                                                                    Chain Tripping — the band’s seventh LP and third for DFA —was recorded between Marfa, Texas and the band’s home in Los Angeles. The ten songs are unlike anything YACHT has ever made: pop experiments from a sideways dimension coaxed into their studio through a portal opened by machine intelligence.

                                                                                                                    “AI and Machine Learning represent a revolution in music equivalent to the introduction of the synthesizer or the beginning of laptop music. We’ve been a band long enough to watch technology overwrite our assumptions many times, and felt compelled to bring these new tools into our life,” explains YACHT.

                                                                                                                    YACHT (an acronym for “Young Americans Challenging High Technology”) is Claire L. Evans, Jona Bechtolt, and Rob Kieswetter. For "Chain Tripping", the trio invented their own working method, at the intersection of DIY and high-tech: they used neural networks to break their patterns apart into infinite variations, which they re-assembled into new songs that they then learned, performed, and recorded live. Rather than rely on any single tool, they brought together several distinct AI processes to generate lyrics (Char-RNN), musical data (MusicVAE), raw audio (SampleRNN), and instrumentation (a “neural synthesizer” called the NSynth). They were inspired by the long history of generative composition, from William S. Burroughs’ cut-up writing method to David Bowie’s custom “Verbasizer” lyrics software from the ‘90s.

                                                                                                                    John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter And Daniel Davies

                                                                                                                    Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)

                                                                                                                      This soundtrack pays homage to the classic Halloween score that Carpenter composed and recorded in 1978, when he forever changed the course of horror cinema and synthesizer music with his low-budget masterpiece. Several new versions of the iconic main theme serve as the pulse of Green’s film, its familiar 5/4 refrain stabbing through the soundtrack like the Shape’s knife. The rest of the soundtrack is just as enthralling, incorporating everything from atmospheric synth whooshes to eerie piano-driven pieces to skittering electronic percussion. While the new score was made with a few more resources than Carpenter’s famously shoestring original, its musical spirit was preserved.

                                                                                                                      2018’s Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and with music by series creator John Carpenter (along with his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies) was a critical and box-office smash. It grossed $159 million against a $10 million budget, becoming the most profitable Halloween movie since the 1978 original. The soundtrack album was a hit, too, debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, on its way to becoming one of the most successful movie soundtracks of the last decade. One year later, Sacred Bones Records is pleased to present an expanded edition of the soundtrack, including more than 28 additional minutes of music from the film and presenting a more complete, immersive listening experience.

                                                                                                                      The additional material included on the expanded edition adds at total of 24 cues to the album, spread across two more sides of vinyl on the deluxe double LP version. The LP also has all-new art and lavish packaging, including an optical-illusion lenticular sleeve that makes the flames around Michael Myers’s mask dance when you slide it off the record jacket. For diehard fans of the Halloween series, collectors of John Carpenter’s music, or anyone who wants to hear even more of the incredible score to this movie, this expanded edition is a must-buy.


                                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                      2xColoured LP Info: 1x orange and 1x black vinyl housed in an optical-illusion lenticular sleeve.

                                                                                                                      Patrick Watson

                                                                                                                      Wave

                                                                                                                        ‘Wave’, the new album from Canadian artist Patrick Watson, is the follow-up to Watson’s 2015 album ‘Love Songs For Robots’.

                                                                                                                        Watson’s sixth studio album is about having a wave knock you over when you realize everything you have in life can be wiped away in a moment - and then learning how not to drown in the process. During the making of the album, Patrick lost his mother, his longtime drummer left the group and he and his partner separated. It is very personal and intimate and it is the most humble of all his records.

                                                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive blue 180g vinyl.

                                                                                                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                                        Matana Roberts

                                                                                                                        Coin Coin Chapter Four : Memphis

                                                                                                                          Matana Roberts returns with the fourth chapter of her extraordinary Coin Coin series - a project that has deservedly garnered the highest praise and widespread critical acclaim for its fierce aesthetic originality and unflinching narrative power. The first three Coin Coin albums, issued from 2011-2015, charted diverse pathways of avant modern composition - Roberts calls it "panoramic sound quilting" - and ranged sequentially from large band to sextet to solo, unified by Roberts' archival and often deeply personal research into legacies of the American slave trade and ancestries of American identity/experience. Roberts also emphasizes non-male subjects and thematises these other-gendered stories with a range of vocal and verbal techniques: singspeak, submerged glossolalic recitation, guttural cathartic howl, operatic voice, gentle lullaby, group chant, and the recuperation of various American folk traditionals and spirituals, whether surfacing in fragmentary fashion or as unabridged set-pieces. The root of this vocality comes from her dedication to the legacy of her main chosen instrument, the alto saxophone.

                                                                                                                          On Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, Roberts convened a new band, with New Yorkers Hannah Marcus (guitars, fiddle, accordion) and percussionist Ryan Sawyer (Thurston Moore, Nate Wooley, Cass McCombs) joined by Montreal bassist Nicolas Caloia (Ratchet Orchestra) and Montreal-Cairo composer/improviser Sam Shalabi (Land Of Kush, Dwarfs Of East Agouza) on guitar and oud, along with prolific trombonist Steve Swell and vibraphonist Ryan White as special guests. Memphis unspools as a continuous work of 21st century liberation music, oscillating between meditative incantatory explorations, raucous melodic themes, and unbridled free-improv suites, quoting archly and ecstatically from various folk traditions along the way. Led by Roberts' conduction and unique graphic score practice, her consummate saxophone and clarinet playing, and punctuated by her singing and speaking various texts generated from her own historical research and diaristic writings, Coin Coin Chapter Four is a glorious and spellbinding new installment in this projected twelve-part Gesamtkunstwerk

                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                          LP Info: 180gram vinyl includes multiple art inserts + MP3.

                                                                                                                          Corridor

                                                                                                                          Junior

                                                                                                                            Corridor are a group from Montreal and their Sub Pop debut, ‘Junior’, was made just yesterday. The rock & roll band had barely inked their record deal when they surfed into studio, racing against time to make the most dazzling, immediate and inventive album of their young career: 39 minutes of darting and dodging guitars, spiralling vocal harmonies and the complicated, goldenrod nostalgia of a Sunday mid-afternoon.

                                                                                                                            ‘Junior’ is the band’s third full-length and their third recorded with their friend, producer (and occasional roommate) Emmanuel Ethier. However 2015’s ‘Le Voyage Éternel’ and 2017’s ‘Supermercado’ were made languorously, their songs taking shape across whole seasons. This time Dominic Berthiaume (vocals/bass), Julian Perreault (guitar), Jonathan Robert (vocals/guitar/synths) and Julien Bakvis (drums) permitted themselves no such indulgence.

                                                                                                                            Singers, two guitars, bass, drums: the timelessness of the setup underpins the timelessness of the sound, a rock & roll borrowing from each of the past six decades - punk and pop, psych and jangle, daydream and swoon. This is music that’s muscular, exciting and full of love, its riffs a kind of medicine.

                                                                                                                            Whereas Corridor’s past work could sometimes seem overstuffed, twenty ideas to the same song, the new work is hypnotic, distilled. “Part of the beauty of the thing is that we didn’t have time to think about it,” says Berthiaume. Six of ‘Junior’s 10 tracks were conceived during a single weekend. The words to ‘Bang’ were written on the eve of the sessions, as Robert began to panic: “Je payerai tôt ou tard,” he sings: I’ll pay, sooner or later. Fewer jams, fewer overdubs - no fortnight in the countryside secluding themselves in a chalet. Even the artwork came in the nick of time: in spite of other, meticulous, masterpieces, Robert’s “shitty last-minute collage” (of an egg saying hello) was the one his bandmates went for.

                                                                                                                            Sub Pop have never before, in their 33-year history, signed a Francophone act. Maybe the band’s magic springs from their ingenious hooks, their topaztinted vision. Maybe it’s the panache of Québec’s insurgent underground scene, or the camaraderie of Robert and Berthiaume, who have played together since they were 14. Maybe it’s their name - a hallway crossed with a toreador. Probably it’s all of these and none of them: ‘Junior’ is a joy, a hasty miracle, because it’s so much damn fun to listen to.

                                                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Loser Edition yellow opaque coloured vinyl LP available to independent retailers.

                                                                                                                            Foxes In Fiction

                                                                                                                            Trillium Killer

                                                                                                                              "Trillium Killer” is the third album by Foxes in Fiction, aka Warren Hildebrand, the Toronto-born musician and producer living in New York City who also founded the celebrated homespun record label Orchid Tapes, responsible for notable early-career releases from (Sandy) Alex G and Soccer Mommy.

                                                                                                                              Recorded between 2017 and 2019 in Hidebrand’s home recording studio, “Trillium Killer” represents a clear and marked step forward in Foxes in Fiction’s sound, song-writing technique and conceptual scope. Softly dazzling soundscapes are laid beneath bright and often-manipulated vocals to emulate a number of different perspectives and identities, despite Hildebrand being the record’s only vocalist. Orchestral strings and electronic bass weave in and out juxtaposed with lo-fi elements like drum machines and cassette samples demonstrating a keen ability in finding a common ground between a range of production ideas and styles.

                                                                                                                              Hildebrand has previously described their music as ‘healing music’, and while this idea is still present in the DNA of these songs the lyrics betray a darker side to the process of understanding trauma. With repeated allusion to medication, internal struggles with selfdestruction, confusion surrounding queer intimacy and sexuality and making sense of fractured identity, Trillium Killer is an ambitious work dedicated to living a life that is losing control and what people do when they find themselves there.

                                                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition coke bottle green vinyl.

                                                                                                                              Serge Gainsbourg

                                                                                                                              In The Studio With

                                                                                                                              Spread over 3 CDs, this collection of 59 tracks, consists of a selection of Gainsbourg tracks (including many new and exclusive versions), interpretations of songs from other performers and a volume dedicated to the music of films is the audio complement of 450 pages of the Gainsbook.

                                                                                                                              The result of more than twenty years of investigation and sixty interviews bringing together Serge Gainsbourg's historical arrangers, sound engineers and session musicians, this book sheds new light on his phenomenal repertoire.

                                                                                                                              Also available as a 10 track LP.

                                                                                                                              Clipping

                                                                                                                              There Existed An Addiction To Blood

                                                                                                                              Clipping return with "There Existed an Addiction to Blood", the group’s fourth effort and the follow up to "Splendor and Misery", the album features the singles "Nothing Is Safe", "Blood of the Fang", "La Mala Ordina" (Feat. Benny The Butcher, ElCamino, The Rita), and was produced by Clipping, mixed by Steve Kaplan, and mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysium Masters in Los Angeles. The album also features appearances from Ed Balloon, La Chat, Counterfeit Madison, and Pedestrian Deposit.

                                                                                                                              "There Existed an Addiction to Blood" finds Clipping interpreting another rap splinter sect through their singular lens. This is Clipping’s transmutation of horrorcore, a purposefully absurdist and creatively significant sub-genre that flourished in the mid-90s. If some of its most notable pioneers included Brotha Lynch Hung and Gravediggaz, it also encompasses seminal works from the Geto Boys, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and the near-entirety of classic Memphis cassette tape rap.

                                                                                                                              The most subversive and experimental rap has often presented itself as an alternative to conventional sounds, but Clipping respectfully warp them into new constellations. "There Existed an Addiction to Blood" absorbs the hyper-violent horror tropes of the Murder Dog era, but re-imagines them in a new light: still darkly-tinted and somber, but in a weirder and more vivid hue. If traditional horrorcore was akin to Blacula, the hugely popular blaxploitation flick from the early 70s, Clipping’s latest is analogous to Ganja & Hess, the blood-sipping 1973 cult classic regarded as an unsung landmark of black independent cinema, whose score by Sam Waymon, the band samples on "Blood of the Fang" and inspired the album’s title.


                                                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive 'loser' Edition silver vinyl.

                                                                                                                              Anna St. Louis

                                                                                                                              First Songs

                                                                                                                                Despite her last name, Anna St. Louis was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up a painter and singing in punk bands, eventually leaving her hometown to attend art school in Philadelphia. After graduating she made the move to Los Angeles where she began teaching herself guitar, writing songs and recording them on her own in her bedroom.

                                                                                                                                First Songs is the sound of someone discovering their talent in real time—a peak into the collage of a wonderful mind that is absorbing their new surroundings and using new tools to put them into the room. Listening to this collection you can feel the sun coming in through the window—St. Louis on the foot of the bed with a guitar on her knee, finding her voice. She wears her influences well—think Patsy Cline singing over John Fahey—but has a style all her own. And while one can take the artist out of the midwest, one can’t take the midwest out of the artist—so let this be known: this is Midwestern music ran through a California filter. Anna St. Louis will have many more releases in her lifetime, but let it all begin here—First Songs. “a low dangling cigarette of psychedelic folk.”

                                                                                                                                Various Artists

                                                                                                                                Coolsville - Vol. 2

                                                                                                                                  Stay Sick presents ten inches of mean sleaze and kookie far-out Bongo Blasters. DING DONG DADDIO, it’s time for round 2. So get out of this world, my beatnik friends and take a trip to Coolsville. You’ll flip your lid till your real gone, daddio. This stuff will murder ya. Side A is full of the sleaziest, low-down swingin strumentals in town. So blast the edison, don ya shades and get zonked on juice while these cats groove to the cool... hip and heavy... Mean and moody. The flip side will knock you off your swingers! A set of kookie cool an cerrrazy rockn`n’rollers, heavy on the bongo beat. Finger-click your way through these skin beaters till you are, like, too far gone...

                                                                                                                                  Soul Jazz Records’ ‘Nigeria Soul Power 70’ album showcases the influence of funk, rock and disco on Nigerian music during the 1970s. Originally released as a nowlong- out-of-print collectors’ 7” box, this fully expanded album release now also includes extra tracks from Sonny Okosuns, Wings, Chief Kollington Ayinla and more.

                                                                                                                                  While for many people the fusion of funk and jazz music with Nigerian rhythms and aesthetics began with Fela Kuti and his afro-beat sound, in fact this can be traced further back to the phenomena of the 1960s Nigerian artists and house bands in nightclubs and hotels who interpreted US soul and pop music with a local flavour and none more so than Geraldo Pino, the ‘African James Brown’ who features heavily in this collection. Other similarly inspired Nigerian funk and soul artists featured here included Tony Grey and his Ozimba Messengers and Don Bruce and The Angels.

                                                                                                                                  ‘Nigeria Soul Power 70’ includes a number of tracks from the group Wings originally known as BAF (Biafran Air Force) Wings, an army band formed during the Biafran civil war in Nigeria. The groups’ heavy mixture of funk, rock and African styles was popular among many Nigerian groups at the time.

                                                                                                                                  Beneath the shadow of the few Nigerian artists who signed international recording deals in the 1970s - Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey - lies of vast wealth of largely undiscovered musical transmutation and cultural cross-pollination and included here are heavy afro-funk/rock and disco tracks from artists such as the legendary Sonny Okosuns as well as rare cuts from little-known outside of Nigeria - groups such as Colomach and MFB. Most of these obscure artists signed to major labels in Nigeria in the commercial slipstream that opened up as Philips, Decca and EMI tried to emulate the international success of the big three international Nigerian artists.

                                                                                                                                  Finally featured here is Kollington Ayinla, one of the co-founders of Nigerian Fuji music, who gives us perhaps the heaviest of all tracks on this album. Ayinla is the great moderniser of the Fuji sound and in the late 1970s began adding Bata drums and synthesizers to his authentic music to create a powerful and heavy new fusion of traditional and modernist aesthetics, embracing both new technology and experimentation while rooted firmly in Nigerian historical lineage.

                                                                                                                                  Mancunian electronic music pioneers 808 State are return with "Transmission Suite", their first new album since 2002. Recorded in the former nerve centre of the Granada broadcasting empire in Manchester’s City Centre, some of its tracks are haunted by their home city’s industrial past – and, for that matter, the influence of classic Detroit techno - but the whole thing stays true to the band’s career-long focus on what comes next. 'We’re trying to make a future for other people to immerse themselves in,' says Graham Massey. 'That’s always been a big part of 808 State: these kind of landscapes of futurism.'

                                                                                                                                  Sonically, long term fans are definitely not gonna be disappointed as the firm gaze forward across a wide range of futuro-stylings. The aforementioned Detroitian tech rears its beastly head, while UK-centric bass hybrids and unfathomably hi-tech glitch styles (a la AFX, Boards, Seefeel etc) are explored and showcased by the band in exquisite yet comprehendible form. They not lost any of their impetus, crucial.


                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                  Barry says: Having proven to be one of the most enduring and forward thinking acts of the last 30 years, 808 state show us exactly why on the blistering 'Transmission Suite'. A perfect mix of old-world electronics and timbres and crisp, modern production techniques make this one of their most direct and propulsive outings yet. Unmissable.

                                                                                                                                  Big Thief

                                                                                                                                  Two Hands

                                                                                                                                    Big Thief had only just finished work on their 3rd album, U.F.O.F. – “the celestial twin” – days before in a cabin studio in the woods of Washington State. Now it was time to birth U.F.O.F.’s sister album – “the earth twin” – Two Hands. 30 miles west of El Paso, surrounded by 3,000 acres of pecan orchards and only a stone’s throw from the Mexican border, Big Thief (a.k.a. Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, Max Oleartchik, and James Krivchenia) set up their instruments as close together as possible to capture their most important collection of songs yet. Where U.F.O.F. layered mysterious sounds and effects for levitation, Two Hands grounds itself on dried-out, cracked desert dirt.

                                                                                                                                    In sharp contrast to the wet environment of the U.F.O.F. session, the southwestern Sonic Ranch studio was chosen for its vast desert location. The 105-degree weather boiled away any clinging memories of the green trees and wet air of the previous session. Two Hands had to be completely different— an album about the Earth and the bones beneath it. The songs were recorded live with almost no overdubs. All but two songs feature entirely live vocal takes, leaving Adrianne’s voice suspended above the mix in dry air, raw and vulnerable as ever. With raw power and intimacy, Two Hands folds itself gracefully into Big Thief’s impressive discography. This body of work grows deeper and more inspiring with each new album.

                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                    Barry says: It's October, and this is already the second Big Thief album this year. It would be understandable to think that such prolific creation would dilute the end product a little (it often does...) but in the case of Lenker, Meek and co, it couldn't be further from the truth. Arresting, heartfelt and beautiful throughout. Yet another stunning outing from the unstoppable Big Thief.

                                                                                                                                    Allah Las have always been fascinated with both the carefree spirit and glitter-in-the-gutter lifestyle of their hometown LA. After three records mining its lore and lure (from the desert to the sea) and having taken their compact California on the road across the world, they couldn’t help but peek through the other end of the telescope.

                                                                                                                                    On their fourth LP, drummer Matt Correia, bassist Spencer Dunham, and guitarists Miles Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian turn their collective gaze outward and toward the horizon. "We’ve been travelling a lot the past couple years and I think that played a role in influencing the broader variety of songs on this record” Correia explains. Simply titled LAHS (a reference to a common misspelling of the band’s name), their forthcoming release on Mexican Summer finds a band at the peak of their powers.


                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                    Barry says: The newest Allah Las outing sees the LA quartet absorb and excel at a dizzying range of influences, from classic psychedelic rock, hazy Balearic vibes and 12-bar to latin percussion, swooning lounge and of course, all underwired with hazy, swooning indie. It's a triumph of diversity and thematic consistency, and most of all, bloody good fun.

                                                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                    Dinked Edition LP Info: TWO COPIES FOUND

                                                                                                                                    Exclusive opaque mint green vinyl.
                                                                                                                                    ‘LAHS’ perforated 6 x postcard set.
                                                                                                                                    Hand numbered LP.
                                                                                                                                    Limited to 500.
                                                                                                                                    Download card.

                                                                                                                                    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive translucent orange vinyl.

                                                                                                                                    Kim Gordon

                                                                                                                                    No Home Record

                                                                                                                                      With a career spanning nearly four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the most prolific and visionary artists working today. A co-founder of the legendary Sonic Youth, Gordon has performed all over the world, collaborating with many of music’s most exciting figures including Tony Conrad, Ikue Mori, Julie Cafritz and Stephen Malkmus. Most recently, Gordon has been hitting the road with Body/Head, her spellbinding partnership with artist and musician Bill Nace. Despite the exhaustive nature of her résumé, the most reliable aspect of Gordon’s music may be its resistance to formula. Songs discover themselves as they unspool, each one performing a test of the medium’s possibilities and limits. Her command is astonishing, but Gordon’s artistic curiosity remains the guiding force behind her music.

                                                                                                                                      It makes sense that this “American idea” (as Gordon says on the agitated rock track “Air BnB”) of purchasing utopia permeates the record, as no place is this phenomenon more apparent than Los Angeles, where Gordon was born and recently returned to after several lifetimes on the east coast. It was a move precipitated by a number of seismic shifts in her personal life and undoubtedly plays a role in No Home Record’s fascination with transience. The album opens with the restless “Sketch Artist,” where Gordon sings about “dreaming in a tent” as the music shutters and skips like scenery through a car window. “Even Earthquake,” perhaps the record’s most straightforward track embodies this mood; Gordon’s voice wavering like watercolor: “If I could cry and shake for you / I’d lay awake for you / I got sand in my heart for you,” guitar strokes blending into one another as they bleed out across an unstable page. Front to back, No Home Record is an expert operation in the uncanny. You don’t simply listen to Gordon’s music; you experience it.

                                                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Exclusive white vinyl edition.

                                                                                                                                      Elbow

                                                                                                                                      Giants Of All Sizes

                                                                                                                                        ‘Giants of All Sizes’ was recorded at Hamburg’s Clouds Hill Studio, The Dairy in Brixton, 604 Studios in Vancouver and Blueprint Studios in Salford with additional recording taking place at various band member’s home studios spread across Manchester. As with their previous four studio albums, ‘Giants’ was produced and mixed by Craig Potter. Guests across the album include Jesca Hoop, The Plumedores and South London newcomer Chilli Chilton.

                                                                                                                                        Guy Garvey describes the album as “an angry, old blue lament which finds its salvation in family, friends, the band and new life.” It is a record that lyrically takes in moments of deep personal loss whilst reflecting its times by confronting head-on the spectres of injustice and division not just in the UK but across the world. It is a record that could only have been made in the 21st Century.

                                                                                                                                        Given such bleak, if ultimately redeemed, subject matter, it is also, perversely, the most relaxed record which elbow have made in some time. On ‘Giants of All Sizes’, each band member extended their usual process of working on demos alone and followed their vision to its conclusion rather than, as Craig Potter puts it, ‘taking the edges off things to find compromise’. In tandem with this, they returned to playing live in the studio, encouraged to experiment with the banks of analogue equipment at Clouds Hill in Northern Germany, giving songs a looser, more live feel.

                                                                                                                                        The result is the most starkly dynamic record from the band in recent times, “Sonically unabashed”, as Guy would have it. Whilst album closer ‘Weightless’ has the gossamer melodies and communal harmonies for which the band have latterly been known, this album echoes earlier elbow work at times whilst also breaking new ground.

                                                                                                                                        ‘White Noise White Heat’ is motorik, metal machine soul driven by a vocal that is rage incarnate, ‘Doldrums’ mixes John Carpenter with The Plastic Ono Band to brilliantly disturbing effect and ‘On Deronda Road’ hitches stark bass beats and glitches to an ad-hoc choir. ‘Empires’ delivers dark resignation via an insidious melody and ‘Seven Veils’ continues the subversion by inverting the perception of elbow as a band for lovers into a band for haters, a double-barrelled fuck-you song par excellence. ‘The Delayed 3:15’ marries mariarchi guitars to jazz dynamics, Morricone via Buddy Rich, and ‘My Trouble’ is a clockwork, analogue shuffle housing a delicate melody that builds over the course of the song into a fragile monolith to the power of love.

                                                                                                                                        Lead track, ‘Dexter & Sinister’, released on 10” ahead of the album, encapsulates the whole. A seven-minute musical journey that blends deep bass grooves, sudden keyboard stabs, dislocated piano and guitar runs and soul stylings then abruptly shifts gear, parts the storm clouds and takes wing, flying towards the heat of the sun. It is the soundtrack for these ‘hope free, faith free, charity free days’, a denial of the divine and a reconciliation, two songs in one song, two emotions for one emotion, human, fragile and brilliant like the album which it opens.

                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                        Barry says: With all the melodic turns of classic Elbow, but with a charged, driven analogue backbone and saturated drive, 'Giants Of All Sizes' is the most direct and heavy Elbow experience yet.

                                                                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Exclusive green vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                                                                                                                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                                                        Deluxe CD Info: An exclusive CD that has a hard clear plastic O-card sleeve on it, which when pulled off will leave the CD artwork bare of text.

                                                                                                                                        Comet Gain

                                                                                                                                        Fireraisers, Forever!

                                                                                                                                          Here comes the beat of the broken street…

                                                                                                                                          'Fireraisers' as in those with flames in veins – had enough of the never ending spiral of stupidity and hate and greed and religious/political hypocrisy– the inexorable rise of the moron mind and those sleepwalking in their lazy hives letting THEM do this to US... a modern rite to burn away all this to the ground and see what nice flowers rise up from the ground… we imagine an army of disenchanted, beaten down kids becoming modern anarchist magicians drawing dumb sgylls of dada retribution ... 'if we all spit together we can drown the bastards'.

                                                                                                                                          The last LP was a gentler, inner, melancholic hug at 2 am and perhaps we would’ve continued to go down a sweeter road but the state of the world has meant we were compelled to turn the fuzz up and make something more brutal and instant. In defiance to our last LP – now it’s late night sadness turns to the angry morning. First take beats ethics. Two weeks of late afternoon 45s listening parties with The Rationals/Nerves/Messthetics/Back From The Grave garage/Fading Yellow comps/The Jam/Dead Moon – whatever had the urge. Trying to figure out how Rufus Thomas would sound if he joined the Swell Maps … condensing it all mixing and absorbing then forgetting it all and propelling the psychic mix tape into an albums worth of angry pop drops and slow howls.

                                                                                                                                          Recorded in a living room in North London with James Hoare (The Proper Ornaments/Ultimate Painting) with the help of Joseph Harvey-Whyte (Hanging Stars) pedal steeliest. Then turned into the record it is by drummer/producer M.J. Taylor who also produced our LP 'Realistes' – the closest cousin to this one ... songs about the evil greedy mirage of world religion, Victor Jara and those poets and teachers killed for believing in love and words, about the forgotten who are blamed for everything and can't rise up from their knees to fight back, about the high street Kali-Yuga, occult terrorists with low IQ but high ESP, about the Godfrey Brothers, about Lou Reed’s mourning dog on a road trip trying to bury his masters mullet somewhere in the desert, about those stuck in the glory days of their past myopic of the present and all the other usual losers and romantics we always bang on about – with added melody and stomp … giving no real answers but pointing fingers and prodding you in the back ... in defiance of just staying silent and letting the morons win.

                                                                                                                                          So Comet Gain is still alive longer than we should – still trying to be a collective and an idea emerging every now and then with the same grumpy erratic sounds – this one’s louder than the last one but sometimes maybe quieter. It’s made from an amazement that the hate mind is winning and we're not doing anything about it – we're still voting for these bozos and not burning the whole ugly facade to the ground. And it’s filled with love and rage. And its about 40 minutes long which is always a good thing.


                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                          Barry says: Clashing, snarling punky guitars and peaking percussion meets sleazy alt-rock before pulling things back for gorgeous swooning slide guitar and brittle acoustic ballads. Comet Gain are pushing things rapidly forwards while still retaining their post-punk roots and superb melodic sensibilities. Brilliant stuff.

                                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                          Dinked Edition LP Info: • Limited pressing of just 400.
                                                                                                                                          • LP + exclusive bonus 7” (exclusive tracks = ‘Chain Smokin'’ - Vic Godard/Subway Sect cover / ‘Even This Could Be Beautiful’).
                                                                                                                                          • LP & 7” both on exclusive blue vinyl.

                                                                                                                                          Bodega

                                                                                                                                          Shiny New Model

                                                                                                                                            Brooklyn-based BODEGA announce new mini-album Shiny New Model as well as streaming a single of the same name. Following the critical acclaim of Endless Scroll, Shiny New Model marks a lush new sonic direction for the group - widescreen multi-tracked guitars and a giant sounding rhythm section complementing sharp songwriting and yearning vocal melodies.

                                                                                                                                            File next to Parquet Courts, Fucked Up, Idles, Shame, Sleaford Mods, etc

                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                            Barry says: After last years brilliant 'Endless Scroll', Bodega were always going to struggle coming up with something with as much impact as that clashing, huge slab of noise-rock. 'Shiny New Model' is indeed a new outlook, and is chock full of solid melodies and percussive drive but with a huge sounding, widescreen shimmer and more than a nod to the grunge forbears of the 90's / 00's.

                                                                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive green vinyl.

                                                                                                                                            Richard Dawson

                                                                                                                                            2020

                                                                                                                                              Richard Dawson, the black-humoured bard of Newcastle, returns to release his sixth solo album 2020, his first since the critically acclaimed, Peasant. 2020  is an utterly contemporary state-of-the-nation study, that uncovers a tumultuous and bleak time. Here is an island country in a state of flux; a society on the edge of mental meltdown.

                                                                                                                                              On 2020, Dawson introduces us to grand themes through small lives. His are portraits of human beings struggling with recognisable (and dare we say it, relatable) concerns, conflicts and desires, each reminding us that tragedy and gallows humour are not mutually exclusive, and that the magical can sit next to the mundane. Lyrically it is by far Dawson’s hardest-hitting and unflinchingly honest album to date. It is his poetic masterwork.

                                                                                                                                              Within, we find disgruntled civil servants dreaming of better days, anxiety-addled joggers listlessly searching Zoopla for houses they cannot afford in their spare time, amateur footballers who think they’re Lionel Messi and beleaguered pub landlords battling rising floodwaters.

                                                                                                                                              Here is life, in all its strange and wonderful ways.

                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                              Barry says: Massive stadium rock choruses and strolling folk meet headfirst in this decidedly odd but absolutely on-brand distillation from Richard Dawson. Fiercely political but with a wry humour and unmissable melodic drive (an often overlooked aspect of the more 'humorous' releases) coupled with Dawson's flawless delivery and brilliant ear for a progression make this his most direct and essential release yet.

                                                                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                              2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive red vinyl.

                                                                                                                                              2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                                                              Lightning Bolt

                                                                                                                                              Sonic Citadel

                                                                                                                                                For their seventh full length, ‘Sonic Citadel’, Brians Gibson and Chippendale have done the daring, stripping away some of the distortion mask to reveal the naked pop forms as never before.

                                                                                                                                                Throughout their 25-year history Lightning Bolt have toured the world, performing at Coachella, ATP, Festivals, Pitchfork Music Festival, Austin Psych Fest and FYF Fest, to name a few.

                                                                                                                                                Brian Chippendale has collaborated with Björk, Boredoms, Andrew W.K. and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Brian’s comics are published with Drawn & Quarterly and Picturebox. Brian is also in Black Pus.

                                                                                                                                                Brian Gibson’s game Thumper, produced by his own company Drool, was awarded the 2019 Apple Design Award, was on Gamespot, Hardcore Gamer and IDN’s Best Of 2016 lists and won countless other awards.

                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                Barry says: With the grinding guitars and machinated percussive blasts, Lightning Bolt have always proved an intimating presence. 'Sonic Citadel' sees them embracing more of the rapid-fire punk aesthetic than their more dirgy stoner sludge, and is all the better for the glimmers of melody and old-school thrash-punk fire within.

                                                                                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                2xColoured LP Info: Double coloured vinyl edition.

                                                                                                                                                The third installment of the Future Bubblers compilation is here showcasing some stunning hip hop, jazz, electronica. The programme, started by Brownswood founder and 6 Music broadcaster Gilles Peterson has garnered a reputation of being at the forefront of cuttingedge music, having previously released tunes by artists such as Yazmin Lacey & Skinny Pelembe. Peterson says of the release “Another year deep into Future Bubblers... and another fascinating selection of exciting music from across the country. Keep on keepin’ on Year 3s” Serving as both a new music discovery platform and a mentoring scheme - Future Bubblers aims to support left-field music by offering advice and practical support to the acts hand-picked from the multitude of applications received. Future Bubblers 3.0 continues the tradition of wonky electronica, soulful rhythms and jazz infused bops. From the Mancunian twang of Blind MIC to the freeflowing improvised hip-hop of Nutribe, the velvety vocals of Shunaji to the sultry r’n’b tinged Aaliyah Esprit - this new generation of creative and progressive musicians here showcase their individual skill - as well as the unifying and supportive ‘extended family’ ethos that comes from working as part of Future Bubblers. Future Bubblers has been running since 2014, artists are chosen through an open application process each year. They’re paired with a mentor from the music industry who, along with the Future Bubblers team, develop these artists. This album is focused on the ten artists from Year 3.

                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                Millie says: Future Bubblers showcase the best upcoming artists in Hip Hop, R&B, Jazz and Electronica with talent overflowing from these ten tracks. Big MIC, fellow Mancunican displaying jazzy beats and Ayy’s hip hop is fire! Stay up to date with the fast paced music trends with the best of new artists on the Brownswood label which you can trust is only things you need to be listening to.

                                                                                                                                                Starcrawler

                                                                                                                                                Devour You

                                                                                                                                                  Starcrawler’s remarkable sophomore album Devour You is a record that dynamically captures the essence and aggression of their gloriously unhinged live shows. Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, L7) at Sunset Studios, Devour You takes the feral intensity of their 2018 self-titled debut and twists it into something grander and more gracefully composed.

                                                                                                                                                  With its more elaborate and nuanced yet harder-hitting sonic palette, the result is a selection of songs radiating both raw sensitivity and untamable power, and a record that the band’s Arrow de Wilde says, “encapsulates all the blood, sweat, bruised knees, and broken fingers of a Starcrawler show.”

                                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                  Barry says: Scathing, fiery rock riffs, a wonderfully odd exotica-meets-punk visual aesthetic and an incendiary live show have gotten Starcrawler to where they are today, and 'Devour You' is certainly set to continue that legacy in fine fashion.

                                                                                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited edition blood red marbled vinyl with scratch & sniff sleeve.

                                                                                                                                                  Fabienne Delsol

                                                                                                                                                  Four

                                                                                                                                                    Fabienne Delsol’s new album Four is a culmination of a year or so’s activity at Toerag studios. The big change this time around is the co-production by Fabienne alongside Luke Oldfield, himself a long-time engineer and producer at Toerag. Though swathed in the same toil and tears of her previous three solo albums, Four has a more nuanced and mature sound, rooted in psych whilst retaining some snappy French pop and ‘60s garage styles of auld. There is also a mass of complimentary instruments, in particular the Mellotron is a welcome and worthy addition to many of the tracks. The contemporary and original songs 'I'll Never Be Lonely Again' and 'See How They Run' are masterfully crafted for Fabienne’s distinct delivery, and both feature a strong ‘60s groove in-keeping with her trademark sound, the latter being a contender for the highlight of this classy album.

                                                                                                                                                    As is archetypal of a Fabienne Delsol LP, carefully chosen covers are lovingly interpreted via Fabienne’s delicate voice – take Lyme and Cybelle’s ‘Follow Me’, itself a wonderful heavy-handed garage-folk jaunt, or the stunning take on the Human Beinz’ second album opener ‘Face’, a spellbindingly solid piece - praise indeed to the assembled players on both. A lifelong devotee of “the Quo”, it’s no surprise then to hear Fabienne tackling a Spare Parts album track, only here ‘When I Awake’ is pared-back and sparkling, whilst Francoise Hardy’s smouldering French classic ‘J’ai Fait Du Lui Un Reve’ is reimagined with a sumptuous air of the ethereal, with stark emotion in that voice and slowly building up tonal layers as the track progresses - you’ll struggle to hear anything as haunting this year. 

                                                                                                                                                    Stephen Mallinder

                                                                                                                                                    Um Dada

                                                                                                                                                      Stephen Mallinder, co founder and frontman of the iconic Cabaret Voltaire, has returned with his first solo album in over 35 years: Um Dada. Laced with leftfield house and cut up sound collages, Um Dada is a melding of energies that are an exercise in simplicity and motion. Sincere, playful realism that beckons your body to move, always reminding you to never take yourself too seriously without forfeiting your agency.

                                                                                                                                                      While steering Cabaret Voltaire through the 1980’s, Mallinder was already busy piecing together his first solo album entitled “Pow Wow”, which would help define Mallinder’s interest in the more leftfield electro sounds shaping England at the time. It was this diverse and abstract hybrid that helped inspire generations of artists and musicians through steeping raw machine funk within the whimsical and absurdist ideology.

                                                                                                                                                      Since the release of “Pow Wow” in 1982, Mallinder continued his pioneering work with Cabaret Voltaire, as well as recording and touring with his electro projects Wrangler, Creep Show, Hey Rube, Kula, and Cobby & Mallinder. In addition to his non stop schedule in electronic music, his professional life as a journalist, broadcaster, producer and now a professor of Digital Music & Sound Art at the University of Brighton, has lead Mallinder to a unique point in his career. Most in his position would be caught up in rosy retrospection, but Mallinder himself says, “There’s too much digital finger licking right now; every thought and desire at the turn of a dial... well a click of the mouse. And there’s a giddy, false nostalgia about the analogue past. Sorry to burst your bubble but the truth of history is more mundane: practical, pragmatic...Um Dada is about ‘play’ cut and paste, lost words, twisted presets, voice collage, simple sounds things that have been lost to technology’s current determinism. Let the machines talk to each other, let them dance .. they lead, we follow.”

                                                                                                                                                      Um Dada opens up with the exact machine led surrealism that Mallinder recommends in “Working (You Are)”. A thick, stripped back dance floor groove provides the ideal foundation for Mallinder’s eccentric vocal cuts. The frisky chops present an almost twisted irony, subtly bringing to mind the role we’re all forced to play as just another cog in the ever grinding capitalist machine of life. Yet, somehow, the listener is left feeling optimistic. A prime example of simplicity at work. Tracks such as “Satellite” give a skillful illustration of Mallinder’s adeptness with his musical expertise while preserving his core historical context as only simple reference. The underlying bassline and percussion, coupled with the floating melodies and airy vocal refrain disclose the vulnerabilities of love and loss without a hint of irony or nostalgia.

                                                                                                                                                      Um Dada is mischievously idealist, however never loses touch with reality. Offering structure while simultaneously dismantling any and all preconceptions. The spirit of sincerity that sustained Cabaret Voltaire’s lengthy career is abundantly present within founder Stephen Mallinder’s journey through his own whimsical utopian consciousness and staking claim to an identity that is solely his own.

                                                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                      Barry says: One of the most singular voices in English electronica returns for his first solo album in over 30 years. 'Um Dada' encompasses everything we love about Mallinder and while his most recent collabs (Creep Show with shop favourite John Grant was a particular highlight) clearly showed his influence, it's great to hear his own sound, undiluted and unadorned, and switching effortlessly between a huge range of influences and sounds.

                                                                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl. Signed copies while stocks last!

                                                                                                                                                      CD Info: Signed copies while stocks last!

                                                                                                                                                      Julien Chang

                                                                                                                                                      Jules

                                                                                                                                                        Julien Chang is a 19-year-old singer, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore, Maryland. Julien studied classical and jazz throughout high school but decided to start making his own music after exploring other genres and principles. Having taken a job at his local grocery store at 17, he began building a studio in his parents basement, adding new elements with each paycheck.

                                                                                                                                                        The result is album ‘Jules’, released via Transgressive Records (Flume, SOPHIE, Let’s Eat Grandma).

                                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                        Barry says: A stunning debut from on of the future's bright lights in whatever this beautiful but impossible-to-categorise maelstrom of woozy pop melodies and warm synthy grooves is. Brilliantly dynamic, varied but cohesive, 'Jules' is an absolute triumph and veers between perfectly realised genres with ease.

                                                                                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl with digital download.

                                                                                                                                                        O.T.T.O.

                                                                                                                                                        Over The Top Orchester

                                                                                                                                                          The two-man band are set to release their long-awaited debut album in 2019 on Bureau B. The eight tracks contain familiar OTTO ingredients, from organ sounds and rhythm presets to disco strings and the monophonic waves of a 1970s synthesizer. Arpeggio and Hohner notes add extra sharpness to the proceedings. Classics from their live repertoire sit alongside brand new numbers, invariably strange synthesizer compositions.

                                                                                                                                                          Gary Numan

                                                                                                                                                          The Pleasure Principle - The First Recordings

                                                                                                                                                            Beggars Banquet release two special titles to commemorate the legendary albums Gary Numan/Tubeway Army issued in 1979 – these editions are titled Replicas – The First Recordings, and the debut under his own name, The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings.

                                                                                                                                                            While both of these albums have remained in print, these releases concentrate on the early recordings made prior to the completed albums and present the evolution of the albums. The tracks have been sequenced as they appeared on the original tapes and the audio has been taken from the high resolution digital transfers made by John Dent in 2007. One of the Freerange studio tapes suffered irreparable print through damage on two tracks so they were not used in the 2009 release. However an alternative source has been located so the tapes can now be presented as complete for this release.

                                                                                                                                                            Even before the single “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” was released, Numan had recruited a permanent drummer and keyboard player and demoed an album’s worth of new material between April 9-12, 1979 at Freerange Studio in London’s Covent Garden. This was supplemented by a second session, probably the following June, that yielded four further songs and two re-recordings. Following the hectic schedule of promoting “AFE?”, Numan recorded a new session for John Peel the day after the single hit #1 on the UK charts. Rather than record as Tubeway Army, the session was credited to Gary Numan and the group name abandoned at the peak of it’s success. As before, rather than promote the current album, Numan chose to record four new songs. While the album Replicas hit #1, Numan was busy recording a follow up in Marcus Music Studio. From the surviving tapes there are six mixes marked as out-takes and these have been included in the CD package. The discs have been sequenced with the stronger, second Freerange demo preceding the first session but all tracks are in the order of the tapes.

                                                                                                                                                            Quilsk

                                                                                                                                                            Artificial Imaginations

                                                                                                                                                              New Words is proud to present: Artificial Imaginations, the debut album by synthesist and composer, Quilsk.

                                                                                                                                                              Venture through environmental constructs, this music stimulates the listeners imagination and catalyses synaptic transmissions.



                                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                              Emily says: A deep new offering from Bristol based label New Words. Ambient textures formed via a loose-knit network of rippling synths, dusty samples and spacious beats.

                                                                                                                                                              Sweeping through disparate signals to find a secure connection, Origin Peoples make contact with cyberpunk auteur JAK3 in the depths of the Pennsylvania underground. Operating on the frontline of a sonic warzone, surrounded by charred buildings and rusted skyscrapers, the producer translates the dystopian urban environment into blackened hybrids of hip-hop, Detroit sludge and radioactive techno. 


                                                                                                                                                              New EP 'R4VER' continues in the mode of previous transmission 'Moonlight Radiation', with the producer's divergent influences drawn together and pulled apart across six mutant compositions which shun conventional song structure. 'Finally, I'm Free' begins life in a cinematic swell of queasy synths, gradually collapsing around gritty drum machines until a blast of static diverts the track into an underworld of armored muscle cars and fractured beats. The distorted sub-bass and gated waveforms of 'Lies' continue our descent into chaos, swelling the speakers until the abstracted trap idents are our only remaining reference. 'Too True' assaults our senses with suffocating pads, cocked firearms and benzoed rave breaks, while B-side opener 'Chase The Sun' sandwiches a Last Poets vocal between blown out hip hop and the retooled UK hardcore which grows in intensity across the last two tracks. On 'My Blood, My Soul' JAK3 pushes rave rhythm and hip hop vocal way into the red, gets thrown out of the club and stumbles into free party euphoria somewhere down the street. Appropriately, 'Raverboy', a collaborative cut with Waistdeep Clique colleagues Agnarkea & Big Up Menace X, closes the set with a message of unity and togetherness, standing against the CJA 1994 with a heart-aching refrain and eventual drop into jungle intensity. JAK3's world may be a broken dystopia, smoked out and smudged with distortion, but it still has a dance floor, and 'R4VER' is all the survival training you need.

                                                                                                                                                              As a member of the sprawling Waistdeep Clique, JAK3 belongs to a new generation of producers, raised by the internet and informed by the immediate risk of societal collapse. Embracing the dystopian influence of late 20th century sci-fi, as well as the recent Memphis rap revival, JAK3 and his contemporaries update the cyberpunk aesthetic for the urban environment, delivering a muscular and aggressive soundtrack for an all too possible future. Turning his Hanover home into a creative hub, the young producer has facilitated a number of collaborations within the scene, not least the scene-defining 'Kwantum Entanglement' with Calsutmoran and Agnarkea. All the while, JAK3 sinks deeper into his own sonic universe, constantly honing his own production approach. Caked in a thick patina of distortion, characterised by rumbling sub bass, urban rhythms and erratic structures, JAK3's compositions reflect the world around him - unstable, reliant on flawed technology and gradually rolling towards chaos. Referential but ultimately radical, these sounds are just the first signpost to JAK3's musical potential.



                                                                                                                                                              Gary Numan

                                                                                                                                                              Replicas - The First Recordings

                                                                                                                                                                Beggars Banquet release two special titles to commemorate the legendary albums Gary Numan/Tubeway Army issued in 1979 – these editions are titled Replicas – The First Recordings, and the debut under his own name, The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings.

                                                                                                                                                                While both of these albums have remained in print, these releases concentrate on the early recordings made prior to the completed albums and present the evolution of the albums. The tracks have been sequenced as they appeared on the original tapes and the audio has been taken from the high resolution digital transfers made by John Dent in 2007. One of the Freerange studio tapes suffered irreparable print through damage on two tracks so they were not used in the 2009 release. However an alternative source has been located so the tapes can now be presented as complete for this release.

                                                                                                                                                                In late 1978, Gary Numan was booked into a small studio in London’s Chinatown with the same musicians that had played on Tubeway Army’s debut album, released a month earlier. Two stereo master tapes were compiled of eleven tracks. A month later they again went to Gooseberry Studio and recorded an additional three tracks, including “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Replicas”. At the same time, the band recorded a session for the BBC’s John Peel show, taping alternate versions of three songs from the December recordings. Finally Numan returned to an upgraded studio, Marthus Music, in February to overdub and remix the Gooseberry recordings into their released versions. Only one alternative out take still exists (“Down In The Park”) which is included in this release.

                                                                                                                                                                Jacob Guresvitsch

                                                                                                                                                                In Search Of Lost Time

                                                                                                                                                                  Music For Dreams is thrilled to announce the release of Jacob Gurevitsch’ second album ‘In Search of Lost Time’. In the past few years, the Danish composer and guitar virtuoso has become an international sensation, channeling his melodic sensibility into some of the most streamed guitar tracks in the world. More than 4 million monthly video streams alone, with the ‘Lovers in Paris’ video on some 20M views. Jacob is also a frequent feature on popular chillout / downtempo compilations like Buddha Bar, Milchbar and Jockey Club and a must-play in Ibiza chillout sets.

                                                                                                                                                                  For long-time followers, his success comes as no surprise, though. Jacob’s Spanish guitar is something of a wonder. His craft is equal parts technique and passion while the feel for emotional resonance is something that comes purely through a deeply personal engagement in his work. With a great diversity of influences, his guitar music feels at home accompanying early morning forest walks in northern Spain, just as it does soundtracking old Italian movies or lovelorn Tango dancers.

                                                                                                                                                                  ‘In Search of Lost Time’ sees Jacob taking his sound a step up in ambition. His songwriting is more refined, and his melodic universe is distilled into landscapes increasing in detail from his debut. As the title reveals, nostalgia is an overarching theme of the record, on which Jacob explores both personal memories and historical periods through his enigmatic, rose-tinted prism. Most importantly, Jacob still isn’t afraid to pour himself into his work, which comes through as an unmistakably authentic and heartfelt touch on each track. Take the Mediterranean-flavoured ‘Poesia Del Mar’, an emotional voyage of the sea, full of soulful keyboards, strings and accordions or ‘El Sham Baofek’, a contemplative piece accompanied by Danish Music Award winner Eran DD, which oozes with melancholy.

                                                                                                                                                                  On “Besame Mucho”, one of the most famous of classic Mexican boleros, is given the Jacob Gurevitsch treatment. ‘Zsa-Zsa’ the latest single ‘Sand of Joshua’ are nice, tranquil guitar pieces that sit nicely alongside the jazzy Toots Thielemans-vibey ‘Joséphine Avec Les Yeux Fermés’. Finally, both the upbeat, well-received single ’Motive Loco’ and the elegiac and cinematic opus ‘In Search of Lost Time’ are sure to stick around in your head long after listening. Two future classics, we’re sure.

                                                                                                                                                                  New album by jazz pianist and producer Kiefer, the follow up to ‘Happysad’ (2018). ‘Superbloom’ is a double A-side vinyl release and CD containing the tracks from earlier 2019 release ‘Bridges’ plus seven new tracks. The digital format does not include ‘Bridges’. Since the release of his last full-length, ‘Happysad’ in Summer 2018, Kiefer released the mini-album ‘Bridges’, toured the USA and Europe and produced beats for Anderson .Paak’s albums ‘Ventura’ and ‘Oxnard’. Animation on cover drawn by London based artist Joe Prytherch. For fans of Thundercat, Badbadnotgood, Mndsgn, Kamaal Williams and Kamasi Washington. Kiefer is a frequent collaborator with others: he’s a constant in Mndsgn’s live trio, has shared the stage with Moses Sumney and Terrance Martin and has lent production talents to the likes of Kaytranada and Anderson .Paak.

                                                                                                                                                                  Temples

                                                                                                                                                                  Hot Motion

                                                                                                                                                                    It is one of the brilliant facets of recorded music that while it can frame forever in time one of humanity’s most fluid art forms, those captured sounds themselves can go on to become an active launchpad for the ideas, memories, emotions and feelings of those listening. Returning with their third album, Hot Motion, Temples have not just provided a strong demonstration of this dual static/frenetic nature, but they’ve created a record that revels in this beautiful contradiction.

                                                                                                                                                                    A brilliantly crafted, thoughtfully recorded collection, the album’s propulsive, seemingly immediate songs soon reveal an impressive depth of ideas and energy with subsequent listens because, as its title warns, Hot Motion is not a record that stands still.

                                                                                                                                                                    “I’m excited for people to experience these songs for the first time,” declares singer and guitarist James Bagshaw. “They are constructed in such a way that the album should feel relatively instantaneous, but we did not water down our creative ideas. Getting that balance can be hard, perhaps on the last record on some songs we used too many layers to create depth, but making this album we discovered that depth doesn’t simply come by layering things, it can come from the intensity of an idea.”

                                                                                                                                                                    While proud of 2017’s electronically orchestrated Volcano, the trio – completed by bassist Tom Walmsley and guitarist Adam Smith – feel they have reconnected with the verve and spirit of their debut, 2014’s Sun Structures, although Hot Motion proves as unique and forward-thinking as any Temples album.

                                                                                                                                                                    “There’s something more primal about this record,” suggests Walmsley of its energy. “We didn’t want to complicate things. We wanted it to have a more robust feel to it and focus more on guitars. Having less on there, but making everything sound as big as possible. I’ve always wanted our records to sound quite grand and larger than life, but we achieved that with some more earthy sounds in this time.”

                                                                                                                                                                    As with the band’s first two LPs, the group recorded the album themselves in Northamptonshire, although this side of Temples as evolved too. “We’ve gone from bedroom to living room to a dedicated space. We could all set up in the same room and allow things to play out a lot more like a band. That played a huge part in the sound of the record,” says Walmsley, although despite the extra room Hot Motion remains a home recording like its predecessors.

                                                                                                                                                                    "The room is a 300 year-old outbuilding at my house,” continues Bagshaw. “I spent two years fixing it up because it had a leaky iron roof on it. It was nice to work in a space which had a little charm to it but still felt like home recording.”

                                                                                                                                                                    That space fed directly into Temples vision. While retaining their enviably poppy instincts, the band created a host of brand new guitar sounds for this record and also took a lead from the “simplicity” of some 70s rock recordings which ensured the fundamentals behind each track are organic and original. “We were hiding less behind synth sounds and delays, which meant that the pureness of the melodic construct of each song was more thought through,” explains Bagshaw. “There was an element of less is more in some places.”

                                                                                                                                                                    A glorious technicolour infuses much if the album, but there is a David Lynch-like undertone that adds a gravity to Hot Motion’s soaring moments. “It felt like there was a darker edge to what we were coming up with and we wanted to make sure that carried through across the whole record,” says Walmsley. “It’s not a ten track, relentless rock record from start to finish, it’s got a lot of light and shade and more tender moments, but that heavier, darker sound for us is something we wanted to make sure was in there and explore further.”

                                                                                                                                                                    The exemplar of this is the opener and title track Hot Motion. Starting with a seemingly innocent, crunked ice cream van-like riff, the song quickly bounds through a sonic landscape of shadowy valleys and exalted highs as the track captures Temples at their inventive best, and shares an expansive, irresistible energy with the listener.

                                                                                                                                                                    “Hot Motion is the feature piece,” declares Walmsley. “It was one of the first songs we put together for the record and it felt like it had all the marks and inspiration that we wanted the whole record to have, that was an important track.” Bagshaw agrees, suggesting that it set a tone for the next phase of Temples’ development. “Hot Motion is a better song than I ever dreamed it could be,” he says. “There was something in essence of that song to conjure with.”

                                                                                                                                                                    From the impressive opening, the rest of Hot Motion similarly boats an initial immediacy before unfurling greater depth and ideas, although each song cascades onto its own unique territory. Tracks like The Beam, It’s All Coming Out and Step Down offer swirling, enticing mini journeys, while the groove on Context “huge and a bit of a nod to an old school hip hop vibe” according to Bagshaw. “Songs like The Howl and Holy Horses have a slightly harder, heavier than we’ve done before,” adds Walmsley. “It felt like it was very important to retain that element on the record because it allowed us to open up with tracks like Atomise.”

                                                                                                                                                                    Lyrically too, this record has seen Temples embrace “purer, primal” feelings.

                                                                                                                                                                    “I’m really proud of You’re Either On Something lyrically because I feel deeply connected with the words – they’re so truthful,” admits Bagshaw. “On that track, I can hear influences of stuff that I listened to when I was growing up. There’s almost a nostalgia to that track, even though it’s very forward-looking. Equally, while the words on [album closer] Monuments are a little cryptic, it’s very much about the time we live in. I wouldn’t say it’s a political song but you can’t help but write about the things that are happening otherwise you’d just be a hermit.”

                                                                                                                                                                    Fizzing with ideas, bursting with kinetic energy and balancing an immediate impact with an enduring, timeless intensity, Hot Motion is an album that very much provides a snapshot one of Britain’s most progressive bands’ soul, while offering its audience a starting point for their own flights of emotion and imagination. Indeed, one of its creators is jealous that he cannot experience it anew too.

                                                                                                                                                                    “This record has really got me excited,” declares Bagshaw. “I really want to be on the receiving end of it more than any other record we’ve done. While we were making it I was thinking I wanted to be able to hear what it sounded like without working on it – I’d love to hear this out of the context in which it was made. I was really longing for that as we worked on each song, so I’m excited for people to experience these songs for the first time.”

                                                                                                                                                                    Don’t delay this life-affirming trip, Hot Motion awaits.

                                                                                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                    Coloured LP Info: Limited transparent red and black marble edition.
                                                                                                                                                                    Includes poster.

                                                                                                                                                                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                                                                                    Indies Exclusive LP Info: Limited indies only zoetrope version. US import. Forest green & tan mixed vinyl with red & yellow splatter. Standard weight. Includes animated zoetrope labels, gatefold jacket, double-sided fold-out poster, custom inner sleeve, and digital download card.

                                                                                                                                                                    The Lilac Time

                                                                                                                                                                    Return To Us

                                                                                                                                                                      “Return To Us” is the new album by The Lilac Time, the country folk band fronted by Stephen Duffy. The collection is their tenth so far and Stephen’s twentieth long-player in a career that has spanned four decades.

                                                                                                                                                                      Coming off the back of five-star rave reviews for the reissue of Stephen’s album I Love My Friends, Return To Us was recorded by the three-piece of Nick Duffy, Claire Duffy and Stephen who have been the core of The Lilac Time since 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                      The nine-track album was recorded in Stephen and Claire’s home and covers topics as diverse as The D-Day Landings (March To The Docks), auditory processing disorder and the difficulties in recognising and interpreting sounds (King Kopetsky), Italian Neorealism (A River That Runs Both Ways), life before the Internet (The Simple Things), not getting dragged back to a fictitious golden age (Return To Us), a Christmas song of sorts (The Needles) and needing ‘reassurance because the world went stupid’ ((I’m) A Believer).

                                                                                                                                                                      Stephen Duffy: “This our first release on a major label since 1990. After a calamitous time with RCA around the recently reissued I Love My Friends album I never considered it an option. But then after our last performance at Port Eliot in 2017, we were approached by BMG’s senior scout who suggested we send our new record to them after some time we did and here it is”.

                                                                                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited purple coloured vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                      The Hecks

                                                                                                                                                                      My Star

                                                                                                                                                                        Chicago trio The Hecks have been at it since 2012, starting out as the duo of guitarist Andy Mosiman & Zach Hebert. The band drafted guitarist Dave Vettraino into the fold, a recording engineer who was recording the band's s/t debut (Trouble In Mind, 2016) & ended up joining the band In 2017. The band's journey to the end result of "My Star" - their second album - has taken them three years. After recording an initial version of the album in 2017, The Hecks started gigging with new fourth member & keyboardist Jeff Graupner, whose synthesized squiggles added some welcome heft & swagger to the band's tunes. After reworking & rearranging much of the new material to accommodate Graupner, the band scrapped the recordings & rebuilt them from the ground up, incorporating Graupner's skills at the keys.

                                                                                                                                                                        The results speak for themselves, as "My Star" is a gigantic leap forward for the band, absorbing everything from "Manscape"-era Wire to Paisley Park nu-funk to abstract new wave & art rock plucked straight from the Cold Storage playbook. Much of "My Star"s ten tracks are designed to bewilder; the production is intentionally disorienting, with the mix tipped toward the treble, alternating from sparse to confoundingly dense at times, but never at a disservice to the songs themselves. Opener "Zipper"s intertwining guitar jabs & synth lines herk & jerk so rapidly it's liable to break your neck, while lead track "So 4 Real"s neon-laced dayglo soul ratchets up the mutant funk throb so tightly that the lilting, melodic guitar break at the chorus is a welcome dose of ear-candy. "Heat Wave" dials it back, reveling in romantic washes of synth and flange & it's yearning refrain of "It's tearing me apart, ripping out my heart again"; a captivating, slow burning ballad unlike anything the band has done before. Meanwhile album closer (and title track) "My Star" is so cinematic, it feels like the lost end credits scene to a heartfelt teen drama, with its end coda taking up the bulk of the song's near-eight minute run time. "My Star" is designed to make you move, you just have to let it. 

                                                                                                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited indies-only light blue vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                        Blackwater Holylight

                                                                                                                                                                        Veils Of Winter

                                                                                                                                                                          Blackwater Holylight, as the name suggests, is all about contrasts. It’s a fluid convergence of sound that’s heavy, psychedelic, melodic, terrifying and beautiful all at once.

                                                                                                                                                                          As a heavy band, their songs aren’t anchored to riffs, but rather riffs come and go in waves that surface throughout the band’s meditative, entrancing songs. It’s a hypnotic sound, with orchestral structures that often build tension and intrigue before turning the song on its head — not by simply getting louder or heavier, nor by just layering elements. They expertly subvert the implied heaviness of a part, dissecting it and splaying the song's guts out to seep across the sonic spectrum.

                                                                                                                                                                          Now, having toured together extensively following the band’s wildly-successful breakout self-titled debut in 2018, Blackwater Holylight has honed their sound and identity to a powerfully captivating beast. Their live set is all about the slow build, seeming to combine the melodic tension of early Sonic Youth crossed with the laconic fever-dream blues of the first Black Sabbath album, and wiry experimentation of post-punk and krautrock.

                                                                                                                                                                          The lineup on this album is Allison (Sunny) Faris (bass/vocals), Laura Hopkins (guitar/vocals) and Sarah McKenna (synths), with new guitarist Mikayla Mayhew and drummer Eliese Dorsay fleshing out their sound in exciting ways.

                                                                                                                                                                          “The process of this album was vastly different from our first record,” says Faris. “One, because we recorded it over the course of a few weeks, whereas the first record was over the course of about a year. And two, this album was a true collaboration between the five of us. Each of us had extremely equal parts in writing and producing, we all bounced ideas off each together, and we all had a say in what was going on during every part of the process.”

                                                                                                                                                                          “One of our favorite things about this album is that because it was so collaborative, we didn't compartmentalize ourselves into one vibe.” She continues. “It’s heavy, psychedelic, pop, shoegaze, doom, grunge, melodic and more. The whole process was extremely organic and natural for us, we were just being ourselves.”

                                                                                                                                                                          Veils of Winter opens with fuzzed-drenched, drop-tuned bass and baritone guitar leading a dirge riff on “Seeping Secrets.” Faris’ lilting and funereal vocals drop in, adding to the mournful atmosphere until a short turnaround progression hints at changes to come, as Faris and Hopkins harmonize eerily and the tune suddenly turns into a krautrock charge. “Motorcycle” kicks off deceptively with a heavy grunge riff building up for about 40-seconds before the song abruptly shifts gears into a synth-led post-punk harmony, sounding something like Lush meets Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. “Death Realms” is perhaps the poppiest track, based around soaring shoegaze guitars and interwoven light vocal harmonies. Soft piano notes, occasional woozy whammy bar dives and a driving tom-tom beat solidify its hooks. “Spiders” is a creepy-crawly guitar riff and counterpoint keys, while “Moonlit” explores prog-structures with a shredding guitar solo crescendo. The penultimate track, “Lullaby” is exactly that, a lulling, expansive tune exemplifying Blackwater Holylight’s genre smashing sound as it subtly moves across a vast sonic landscape atop a hypnotic 6/8 beat and repetitive 3-note motif. Throughout the album, their songs shirk traditional verse-chorus-verse structure in favor of fluid, serpentine compositions that move with commanding grace.

                                                                                                                                                                          The descent into darkness is a trope we find time again across history, literature and film. But there’s also an abyss above. There’s a winding white staircase that goes ever upward into the great unknown — each step, each turn, requiring a greater boldness and confidence than the one before. This is the journey on which we find Angel Olsen.

                                                                                                                                                                          Olsen’s artistic beginnings as a collaborator shifted seamlessly to her magnificent, cryptic-to-cosmic solo work, and then she formed bands to play her songs, and her stages and audiences grew exponentially. But all along, Olsen was more concerned with a different kind of path, and on her vulnerable, Big Mood new album, All Mirrors, we can see her taking an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. In the process of making this album, she found a new sound and voice, a blast of fury mixed with hard won self-acceptance.

                                                                                                                                                                          “In every way —from the making of it, to the words, to how I feel moving forward— this record is about owning up to your darkest side,” Olsen said. “Finding the capacity for new love and trusting change, even when you feel like a stranger. This is a record about facing yourself and learning to forgive what you see. It is about losing empathy, trust, love for destructive people. It is about walking away from the noise and realizing that you can have solitude and peace in your own thoughts, that your thoughts alone can be just as valid, if not more.”

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: Swooning synth strokes, huge cavernous percussion and snappy mid-heavy bass form a fittingly retrophilic cushion for Olsen's always hypnotic voice, in this instance it's commanding presence soars above the backdrop, both haunting and uplifting. 'All Mirrors' is a triumph.

                                                                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                          2xColoured LP Info: Crystal clear vinyl. Includes exclusive “All Mirrors” alternate artwork print with initial copies.

                                                                                                                                                                          Portico Quartet return with Memory Streams, their fifth studio album and one that continues the journey that first started with 2008's Mercury nominated debut "Knee Deep in the North Sea". It's a creative path that has seen the band embrace new technology and explore ambient and electronic influences alongside minimalism, jazz and beyond. It is a process that has encouraged change. Each album has seen the band expand its palate or explore new trajectories. From the gentle charm of their breakthrough's inimitable mix of jazz, world and minimalist influences, to the tight-knit brilliance of "Isla", the electronic infused eponymous Portico Quartet to 2016's return "Art in the Age of Automation" (the band's most electronic statement to date) they have never been a band to look backwards. Each record has been its own world, its own statement and offered its own meaning. It's the mark of a band that has always both stood apart from any scene and been prepared to challenge its self and find new things to say and to push the limits of what they could do.

                                                                                                                                                                          It is an approach that has encouraged the band to plough their own furrow. Drummer Duncan Bellamy notes that "For better or worse I think we have always been quite an isolated band. Perhaps that comes from never feeling like we really belonged to or fit in to a scene when we first started making music" While for saxophonist Jack Wyllie " I feel more connected to other musicians these days and those relationships influence the sound we have in some way. But I wouldn't say we feel a part of scene, it still feels quite out on its own, which is cool, because it helps the music feel unique"?

                                                                                                                                                                          The band's new album, "Memory Streams" is part of the same continuum and yet, as the name hints, there is a sense here of a remembering, shards of past influences, hints of ideas re-forged. For Wyllie, Memory Streams "feels in some ways about the identity of the band, about the records we've made before, and the memory of them" whereas for Bellamy it suggests "a torrent of imagery, accessing and reliving archived memories, perhaps not even your own".

                                                                                                                                                                          Sonically, the album embraces the classic Portico Quartet sound pallet of drums, saxophone, bass and Hang- Drums, but nonetheless the sound has modulated, become more modern, whilst still channelling the beauty and mystery which has always marked the very best of Portico Quartet's music. It's the sound of a band at ease with its self who after a dozen years of recording and playing together are able to simultaneously explore and embrace their own identity.

                                                                                                                                                                          "Memory Streams" also marks a return to a more predominantly band orientated sound than "AITAOA" and its partner release, the mini-album "Untitled". Bellamy says "we wanted to create something that had texture, fibre and space to it. Something that felt vivid, real and alive". During recording the band re-amped a lot of the sounds on the record, a process which lends a sense of depth and spaciousness to the sound. Wyllie adds, "We tried to reduce the pallet to what really identified the band and also as a way to help us write - it's not easy if you have unlimited possibilities. But it was also was an interesting challenge as it was about writing something new, that felt like a development, whilst also drawing on the past".

                                                                                                                                                                          "Memory Streams" opens with "With, Beside, Against" which has an expansive, quietly unfolding quality that makes it the perfect album opener and was also one of the first tracks they wrote for the album. "Signals" is a creeping, mysterious track that captures the spirit of the record. Its hypnotic, rolling quality builds throughout with shades of a classic Portico Quartet tune but with a 'tougher' edge. The outstanding "Gradient" is a more produced piece. Mixing lo-fi and beautifully recorded acoustic parts together it grows from a simple, repeated Hang-Drum motif, outwards into a searching hypnotic crescendo. "Ways of Seeing" is a synthesis of minimalism and more dancefloor-oriented rhythms. A lone pulse from the drum machine cuts through a haze of chiming, swirling Hang-Drums and pads built from shards of looped saxophone. "Memory Palace" is a distant echo of the motif from "Gradient", and is a bare, slow piano piece shrouded in a mist of saxophone noise. The punchy "Offset" is all about motion and tension and Bellamy's drums pound in response. "Dissident Gardens" is an intricate, hypnotic track in 3 parts. Almost prog like in rhythm but has a strong minimalist element to it with Farfisa organs as the repetitive top lines. "Double Helix" begins with string swells, it stops and jolts as if someone is switching TV channels before locking into a deep groove. The beautifully sparse, emotional heft of "Immediately Visible" sits in a powerful lineage of Portico Quartet tracks such as "Line", "Rubidium" and "Beyond Dialogue". It was largely improvised in the studio and offers the perfect ending point for the album with its sense of journey and deep well of feeling. An album that locates their music in an age where we have unfettered access to a vast and ever expanding archive of imagery and ideas, Memory Streams both embraces and builds on Portico Quartet's own unique music and legacy and locates their music firmly in the present.

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Millie says: Portico Quartet return with their stunning album Memory Streams, which is a sublime Neo-Classical, and prominently Jazz album. It blossoms into soaring highs of emotion and delves into the past and focusing on memories, the band wanted to create something ‘vivid, real and alive’ and I think they’ve just done that with this timeless album. And, I might be the only one here but when track as beautiful as ‘Immediately Visible’ makes your heart ache a bit, that’s when you know the song is going to stay with you for some time.

                                                                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                          Dinked Edition LP Info: Translucent blue vinyl LP.
                                                                                                                                                                          Poster of album artwork designed by Duncan Bellamy.
                                                                                                                                                                          Spot gloss cover.
                                                                                                                                                                          Limited to 500 copies.

                                                                                                                                                                          Erased Tapes present "Handfuls of Night" - the highly anticipated follow-up to Penguin Cafe’s much applauded 2017 album "The Imperfect Sea" - inspired by the Antarctic, Arthur Jeffes’ journey following in Scott’s footsteps and our penguin friends that reside there.

                                                                                                                                                                          Using gut-stringed violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, upright and grand pianos, synthesiser, harmonium and more, Arthur Jeffes and his cohorts have crafted a vivid series of panoramic sonic landscapes, that are as rich in cerebral poignancy as they are in emotional depth.

                                                                                                                                                                          Bookended by the atmospheric ambient piano pieces ‘Winter Sun’ and ‘Midnight Sun’, the album traverses glacial minimalism with ease, combining their signature contemporary classical panoramas, such as the melancholic yet upbeat lead track ‘At the Top of the Hill, They Stood...’ and the colossal cinematic piece ‘Chapter’, with the crystalline folktronica on ‘Pythagorus on the Line Again’ — a re-visiting and continuation of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s 1993 Union Cafe song on the principles of harmonics.

                                                                                                                                                                          Handfuls of Night began life after Greenpeace commissioned Jeffes to write four pieces of music corresponding to four breeds of penguins, to help raise awareness for the endangered Antarctic seas . A fundraising evening at EartH in Hackney followed, where Penguin Cafe premiered the four songs named after their feathered counterparts to a sold out audience; the rousing contemporary folk inflected ‘Chinstrap’, the mournful and minimalistic ‘Adelie’, stoic and rhythmic ‘The Life of an Emperor’ and the wistful, string-laden ‘Gentoo Origin’.

                                                                                                                                                                          “This record started with a core of pieces I wrote specifically about penguins in the Antarctic for a project with Greenpeace in autumn 2018. There are four native Antarctic penguin species – each with their own individual characteristics and natures. I carried on from there to envisage a whole anthropomorphised world, where these penguins had narratives and adventures that we soundtracked”, says Jeffes. But both the album and Penguin Cafe as a project have origins that reach further back:

                                                                                                                                                                          “In 2005 I was asked to join an expedition re-creating Scott’s last Antarctic trip in 1911 for the BBC, using the same Edwardian equipment. I’m no explorer but I was keen, especially as there’s a family link – Scott was married to my great grandmother before she married my great grandfather. Antarctica by this stage being a protected environment, we swapped to the Arctic circle where we spent 3 months on the Greenland ice sheet, first dog-sledding and then man-hauling just short of 1000 km at 10,000 feet, across ice fields and glaciers. I had lots of time to ponder my life back home. It was then that I decided to get my Master of Music degree and focus on composing music, and also then that I realised that even in the most remote silent places, music can still be a huge part of one’s internal world and imagination. Whilst on the expedition. I spent days playing things back in my head and also writing new things, which I would then try and write down at the end of the day.”

                                                                                                                                                                          Handfuls of Night’s tones, textures and melodies evoke otherworldly expanses, which at different junctures are either foreboding, awe inspiring or peaceful. There’s subtly morphing rhythmic repetition throughout, somewhere between minimalism, krautrock and the piano-cascades of label peer Lubomyr Melnyk. Jeffes creates a kinetic, circling motion, which drives the album forward in the form of a musical trip that mirrors the physical journey it was inspired by.

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: A beautiful and climactic collection of exuberant orchestration, soaring strings and twinkling piano. Smoothly segueing between brittle, icy ambience and warm, sun-drenched audio euphoria. Stunning.

                                                                                                                                                                          Occupying the corners between fuzzed-out shoegaze bliss, troubadour poetry, and metallic catharsis, DIIV –– Zachary Cole Smith [lead vocals, guitar], Andrew Bailey [guitar], Colin Caulfield [vocals, bass], and Ben Newman [drums] —— personally inhabit the recesses of their third fulllength album, Deceiver. A whirlwind brought DIIV here. On the heels of 2012’s Oshin, the group delivered the critical and fan favorite Is the Is Are in 2016. Praise came from The Guardian, Spin, Rolling Stone and more. Pitchfork’s audience voted Is the Is Are one of the Top 50 Albums of 2016, as the outlet dubbed it “gorgeous.” Simultaneously, frontman Zachary Cole Smith faced down seemingly dormant demons, and the momentum stalled.

                                                                                                                                                                          Two years after embarking on a program of recovery, Smith has emerged with a clear head and renewed focus. For the first time, DIIV lived with songs on the road. During a 2018 tour with Deafheaven, they performed eight new compositions as the bulk of the set. The tunes progressed as the players did. By the time DIIV entered 64 Sound to record with producer Sonny Diperri, the band felt a certain confidence.

                                                                                                                                                                          It’s evident on first single “Skin Game,” which gallops forth on a clean guitar riff before unfolding into a hypnotic hook offset by an off-kilter rhythm and hummable solo. “Being a recovering addict myself,” he says, “there are a lot of questions like, ‘Who are we? What is this disease?’ ‘Skin Game’ looks at where the pain comes from – the personal, physical, emotional, and broader political experiences feeding into the cycle of addiction for millions of us.”

                                                                                                                                                                          A trudging groove and wailing guitar punctuate a lulling apology on the magnetically melancholic “Taker.” For Smith, it’s “about taking responsibility for your lies, their consequences, and the entire experience.” Meanwhile, the ominous bass line and crawling beat of “Blankenship” devolve into schizophrenic string bends with the vitriolic lyrics. The seven-minute “Acheron” offers a dynamic denouement, flowing through a hulking beat guided under gusts of lyrical fretwork and a distorted heavy apotheosis.

                                                                                                                                                                          “We’re proud of this, because we earned it as a band,” Cole says. “I’m really happy and grateful just to do it in the first place. I can see the change. It’s not a record full of solutions, but I’m living my life. I’ve examined the consequences of my lies; I’ve got something to say now.”

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: 'Deceiver' is by far the most cohesive and thematically consistent DIIV release yet in a succinct, yet superb catalogue. Swathes of distortion and echoing guitars are expertly laid down before Cole Smith's hypnotic vocals make their mark, coalescing into a lysergic, shoegazing maelstrom.

                                                                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Grey Marble Vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                                                                                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                                                                                          'Ode To Joy',  Wilco's eleventh studio album is their best since 2004's 'A Ghost Is Born'.
                                                                                                                                                                          Recorded at their Chicago studio, it finds main man Jeff Tweedy at his most empathetic, ruminating on the state of the union, life, love and loss in a way that only he can.
                                                                                                                                                                          It's an album that both consoles and inspires in equal measure and is already a shop favourite. 
                                                                                                                                                                          We love it, we think you will too.

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Barry says: Wilco have been a driving force behind the US alternative scene since the early 90's and 'Ode To Joy' just goes to show why their appeal is so enduring. Tweedy's vocals have matured slightly, lending a mild gruffness to his perfectly pitched vocal range, a maturity to their writing and a turn towards the more indie-pop side rather than their more country-tinged counterparts. Either way, they're a hoot, and this might well be their best work for a couple decades.

                                                                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: RSD stores exclusive, limited pink vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                          LP Info: Standard black vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                          Blood Orange’s latest critically acclaimed mixtape, ‘Angel’s Pulse’. Released on the heels of Negro Swan, this album is the overflowing aftermath of that incredible album – the more Dev Hynes the better in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                          ‘Dark and Handsome’ encapsulates everything I love about Hynes’ music, those drops of recognizable Blood Orange trademarks which are so prominent throughout all his albums. Something that sets the album apart for me is the heartbreaking track ‘Birmingham’ which is referencing the church bombing in Alabama by white nationalists in 1963. Kelsey Lu and Ian Isiah vocals are incredibly emotive and cut through the soul.

                                                                                                                                                                          The album includes collaborations with Toro Y Moi, Kelsey Lu, Arca, Porches, Ian Isiah, Justine Skye and many more. The tracks are short in quick succession, it’s easy to glide through the album and want to hear it all over again for the parts you missed the first time around.


                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Millie says: Dev Hynes bringing us this incredible mixtape, Angel’s Pulse filled with emotional, raw material. Blood Oranges distinct sound flows throughout with glimpses of his trademark echoes, the album flows seamlessly from start to finish but holds his most diverse mixture of songs to date. Absolutely love this and can’t wait for the next.

                                                                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive blue vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                          Picture Disc Info: Indies exclusive picture disc.

                                                                                                                                                                          After a string of succesful singles, "Deixa Musica A Tocar", "So Vejo Voce", "E A Felicidade" and the DJ Harvey supported "Te Faz Bem" and "Serei Seu", The Danish / Brazilian quartet constellation Copenema (Copenhagen / Ipanema = Copenema) release their debut album "Deixa Musica a Tocar".

                                                                                                                                                                          The album mixes European electronica influences with Brazilian songwriting style. The sound becomes unique and some would say Balearic.The albums leading single "Te Faz Bem", a funky downtempo track with live saxophone, flute and rhythm guitars and a bassline to die for has become somewhat a national Ibiza Balearic anthem over the past years and spread worldwide especially due to the massive support from DJs incl from Harvey to DJ Pippi to Pete Tong.

                                                                                                                                                                          "Serei Seu" the second single is another Ibiza fave is a funky party track that sounds like a modern Jorge Ben. The single “So Vejo Voce” is Stan Getz meets the beach vibes, “Festa De Relaxamento” an Alfredo fave is jazzy Brazilian funk vibes with heavy live drums and a bass line that wants you to move.

                                                                                                                                                                          "Lullaby For Impanema" is sunset material. The band's first recording the 12 min beautiful jazzy cosmic downtempo Pat Metheny influenced and Leo Mas supported "Some Di Some Day" is pure bliss and a sunset fave amongst the Balearic community.

                                                                                                                                                                          The album has three added bonus tracks - "Can’t Sleep" and "Nada Mais" both recorded in a Music For Dreams writers camp recently and the 12 minute journey of Serei Seu by Danilo Braca.


                                                                                                                                                                          Above The Clouds is the second EP from Manchester beat maker tympanik. and the first release for UK hip hop label Forth and Back. Featuring deliciously smooth lo-fi hip hop beats influenced by the classic old school era, this latest offering is characterised by soulful samples, dusty drums and vintage vocal cuts in a unique take on 90s hip hop bumps.

                                                                                                                                                                          Real hip-hop heads amongst you will recognise the name - inspired by the legendary Gang Starr track. And the high altitude concept runs throughout the entire album - from the trippy artwork by Sheffield artist Jim Spendlove to the track list itself. As a metaphor the name carries through each note and drumbeat - ensuring these buttery-smooth beats will have you floating high above the clouds on your flying carpet.


                                                                                                                                                                          New kid on the block tympanik. grew up listening to Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Hi-Tek, Madlib, Kanye West and Dr Dre - whilst also developing a lifelong admiration for prolific producer J Dilla. His love for the beats he cut his teeth to - from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, Mos Def - is evident in his flava-full execution of Above The Clouds’ raw sound. Having forged a solid reputation and loyal following on Soundcloud and Spotify over the past few years, he honed his craft with wavy remixes of classic hip hop tracks. This limited edition, 16-track instrumental 12” vinyl also features a few bonus tracks taken from his first EP, A Dream.

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Millie says: Local artist and local (new) label, Forth and Back getting the attention it deserves this week in the shop with this incredible new EP ‘Above The Clouds’. Tympanik is channeling classic instrumental hip hop beats while weaving in jazz and soul samples which results in a heavenly combination.

                                                                                                                                                                          Much Anticipated New Album, On Columbia Records, From U.S. Hip-Hop/Rap Superstar, Tyler The Creator. "Igor" Is A X12 Song Album Released On LP Vinyl. Tyler, The Creator Releases His New Album. IGOR Marks His First Full-length Release Since His 2017 Grammy-nominated Album Flower Boy. The Album Follows Tyler Sharing Multiple Teasers Over The Last Two Weeks, Which Featured Clips Of Album Tracks "IGOR'S THEME," "WHAT'S GOOD," "A BOY IS A GUN*" And Most Recently, "NEW MAGIC WAND." Not To Mention The Legendary ‘EARFQUAKE’!

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Millie says: Tyler the Creator has gone it again! His latest album ‘IGOR’ is finally here and I couldn’t be happier. Featuring ‘EARFQUAKE’ which I’ve overplayed a lot and still can’t get enough of, if you’re not up to date on this then where have you been, this is a highlight of the year for me.

                                                                                                                                                                          After dropping ‘The Clone Theory’ in 2015 production connoisseur Prince Fatty has been paving the way for something very special ever since. 2019 sees him release his second solo album ‘In the Viper’s Shadow’. Featuring a whole host of reggae and dub royalty, this project boasts a who’s who of global talent including the likes of Cornell Campbell, Tippa Irie, Big Youth, George Dekker, Shniece McMenamin, Earl 16, Winston Francis, Marcia Griffith and Horseman.

                                                                                                                                                                          Renowned for flexing his studio muscle with some of the freshest and versatile dub sounds around, Prince Fatty’s blending old-school reggae with his own eccentric, futuristic twist, have turned industry heads for decades and ‘In the Viper’s Shadow’ is no exception. This album is 10 tracks of reggae goodness, produced to perfection in a melting pot of influences that span from multiple eras and stretch to just about every corner of the planet. Prince Fatty has worked with everyone from Lily Allen, Hollie Cook, Graham Coxon (Blur), Mungo’s HiFi, The Last Poets, The Skints, Gregory Isaacs to name a few.

                                                                                                                                                                          After moving from Brighton to live in Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and Thailand, he’s taken inspirational sounds from across the globe and has built up a reputation of being one of the go-to producers of recent times. With a knack for selecting the perfect collaborators, whether it’s an up and coming artist or a genre-defining hero, his ability to showcase foundation laying percussion skills, mesmerising vocalists, bass-heavy triumphs and everything in between has resulted in some of the most expressive sounds around, and ‘In The Viper’s Shadow’ is the perfect example of his commitment to the cause.

                                                                                                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                          Matt says: Modern reggae flagbearers Prince Fatty rarely write a bad riddim. And flanked by a who's who of voices from the scene, this is an essential set for lovers of global reggae.

                                                                                                                                                                          Boris

                                                                                                                                                                          Love & Evol

                                                                                                                                                                            New double album release from Japan's Psych Lords, Boris. In turns dynamic, droney, stoney, dreamy and beautiful, these albums contain multitudes. Boris continues to push their sonic palette into new mind-shreddy directions. Buy if you dig: Sunn O))), Sonic Youth, shoegaze, shitgaze, Boris.

                                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: Japanese dronelords Boris return to the unlikely, but 'thinking-about-it,-it-actually-makes-sense' home of Third Man for their latest excursion in hazy psychedelic distortion and arrhythmic cataclysmic heft. They've always been one of the most prolific and productive outfits on the scene, and that clearly shows on this mindblowing new opus.

                                                                                                                                                                            Wives

                                                                                                                                                                            So Removed

                                                                                                                                                                              City Slang are thrilled to announce the debut album of WIVES! The Queens, NY four-piece is the latest fit into a long lineage of New York’s gritty, melodic-meets-punk.

                                                                                                                                                                              WIVES as a band came together by happenstance — a random realization amidst friends busy with other musical projects. Jay met Adam Sachs, WIVES’ drummer, while interning at a New York recording studio where Adam worked as an assistant. The two became fast friends, their constant hanging out growing to include guitarist Andrew Bailey (DIIV) and bassist Gabe Wax, who’d eventually be replaced by another friend, Alex Crawford. All were embedded in New York’s DIY music scene through their respective projects, with years of playing house shows and booking their own tours under their belts. It wasn’t until a random day of extra studio time booked for another project that the four of them actually played together.

                                                                                                                                                                              So Removed is grungy dark-wave, tethered to daily anxiety without resorting to cynicism. The noisy dissonance of Sonic Youth, the edgy hooks of early Pixies, and the clever, cerebral sneering of The Fall simmer as touchstones within the album, sharp and prodding at the details, pulsing with urgency. So Removed plunges into the void of unknown, a tangle of contemporary dread and optimism, mapping the gray areas of alienation.


                                                                                                                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                              Barry says: Wives present a perfect mix between anthemic grunge, clashing post-punk and NY experimental, with a cohesive progression from snarling noise to chunky, blissfull riffage and sleazy vocal perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive purple vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                              Julie's Haircut

                                                                                                                                                                              In The Silence Electric

                                                                                                                                                                                ‘In The Silence Electric’, the latest record in Julie’s Haircut’s long history of sonic otherworldliness is notable for its deft balance between hypnotic radiance and extrasensory intensity, between beatific calm and palpable anger. Yet it’s also a record which has arrived through a strange process of osmosis from a band confident enough to let subconscious and metaphysical aspects steer them in the appropriate directions. “We embraced the incidents, letting the songs guide us to their final form rather than trying to force them in a precise direction” confirms the band’s Luca Giovanardi.

                                                                                                                                                                                For all its divings, this is a collection of supremely confident and cohesive ditties that sees the deep-end diabolism and mantric intensity of the Italian-based band’s Rocket debut, 2017’s ‘Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin’ expanded into a righteous fury and incandescent splendour. Whether it’s the heavy-lidded rapture of ‘Lord Help Me Find The Way’ (like Spiritualized transposed to 1970s Berlin), the menacing dream-state of ‘In Return’ or the Suicide-damaged psychic assault that is ‘Sorcerer’, all is subsumed by a bold singularity of intent, amidst a colourful firestorm of electronic monomania, jazz-tinged atonality and indelibly memorable vocal hooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                “There’s a theme springing from the title of the record and the (cover) photos of Annegret Soltau that deliver some sense of helplessness, suffocation, difficulty in communication” notes the band’s Luca Giovanardi. Yet for all this - and paradoxically enough - ‘In The Silence Electric’ is both this mysterious and rebellious band’s most adventurous and most direct record to date - not to mention an ever more compelling transmission from renowned experts in altered states

                                                                                                                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                Barry says: This arresting new LP from Julie's Haircut swims with the hazy psychedelic undercurrent label Rocket Recordings has become known for, having been home to titans Gnod, Josefin Ohrn, Goat etc. While there are definitely similarities in terms of influences, JH have maintained a singular sound and hypnotic otherworldliness, a precise and uncompromising vision, and a refined outcome only they could have produced.

                                                                                                                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                                Indies Exclusive LP Info: Dayglo pink indies-only LP.

                                                                                                                                                                                Empath

                                                                                                                                                                                Active Listening: Night On Earth

                                                                                                                                                                                  Philadelphia based noise punks, Empath, featuring members of Perfect Pussy and Waxahatchee, write songs like communing with nature, bringing all their fuzzed and tripped out idiosyncrasies into harmony.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Empath began in 2016 when Garrett Koloski, Emily "Jem" Shanahan, and Catherine Elicson moved into a house in West Philadelphia together, with Randall Coon joining shortly after. Even with the simple vision to shred, there’s a natural sensitivity in the way Empath communicates. Between the contrast of Elicson’s lush, almost delicate vocals, Koloski’s boisterous drumming, and the half-harmonious wash of guitar and Shanahan and Coon’s synths, Empath equips us with a healthy dose of emotional repose. 

                                                                                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                  Barry says: Mixing all the best bits of shimmering synth-pop, clashing garage rock and grooving riot grrrl drive, Empath effortlessly smash out a confident and accomplished debut, brilliantly accomplished but never too serious to smile.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Firebreather

                                                                                                                                                                                  Under A Blood Moon

                                                                                                                                                                                    Fire is what happens when a carbon based object is consumed by oxygen. That chemical reaction is fitting to the sound of Firebreather: The riffs are suffocating, the rhythms fast moving and all-consuming. It’s so blindingly and deafeningly monolithic, don’t be surprised to find yourself gasping for air while listening.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Gothenburg, Sweden trio has a streamlined focus on driving, symphonic riffs in the vein of High on Fire, Inter Arma and their tour- and label-mates Monolord. The guitar and bass tones are, quite simply, entrancing. Like watching flames engulf a forest, the billowing guitar tones are simultaneously beautiful and destructive, while the rhythms sway and lunge with vicious precision.

                                                                                                                                                                                    “It’s riff based, heavy as fuck, but with a groove to it,” explains vocalist/guitarist Mattias Nööjd, formerly of popular Swedish doom merchants Galvano. “We had gotten off a tour with Monolord in February of 2018 and by that time we had the song ‘Firebreather’ done,” but soon thereafter new drummer Axel Wittbeck joined the fold.

                                                                                                                                                                                    “Once Axel had joined, it was like the flood gates opened,” says bassist Kyle Pitcher. “The rest of the album just came together.” Under a Blood Moon was recorded at Elementstudion in Gothenburg with engineer Oskar Karlsson, who also recorded the band’s lauded 2017 self-titled debut on Suicide Records.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Album opener “Dancing Flames” sets the stage for the onslaught to come with a slinking, serpentine riff over slow churning rhythms. Nööjd’s hushed, gravelly vocals sink into the mix, more like a baritone guitar than a human voice. “Our Souls, They Burn” nicely exemplifies the band’s furious grind that makes even faster tempo songs sound impossibly heavy, like a slow motion stampede. Elsewhere, “We Bleed” perfectly sums up the band’s focus on the riff and groove, honing in on the power of hypnotic attrition. Closing epic, “The Siren” opens with lugubrious, slightly swinging drums and rumbling bass building tension over delay- and phaser-soaked guitar harmonics, until a massive, sliding riff crashes headlong into the proceedings. The song seems to cleverly shape shift across several harmonic and rhythmic parts, without losing the core groove underneath. A short pause for breath, then it’s off to the races with a galloping crescendo for succinct closure. 

                                                                                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                    Barry says: Like the bastard child of Sleep and Converge, Firebreather has raw stoner groove, sliced through with a crisp, modern production aesthetic and ridiculously heavy thrash-influenced riffage. Perfect for those who like a few more BPM on their mathy sludge. Heavy AF, and in no way staid, Firebreather absolutely have my attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                                    2xLtd LP Info: Double LP, Gatefold, D Side Etching.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Lightning Dust

                                                                                                                                                                                    Spectre

                                                                                                                                                                                      On Spectre, their 4th album as Lightning Dust, Amber Webber and Josh Wells embrace as their sole-focus what was once a side-project, thus crafting their most refined and powerful album to date. After co-founding and touring with Black Mountain for over a decade, the duo departed from the band to further their own longterm creative partnership. Lightning Dust has evolved noticeably with each release, from the spare, dark folk of their self-titled debut, to the synth and drum machine-heavy 2013 album Fantasy. However, the through-line of their discography has been Wells' deft production tailored perfectly around Webber's modestly iconic voice which stirred Pitchfork write of their 2009 LP Infinite Light that Webber's was "one of the fiercest, most stirring vocal performances of any release this year." In this sense the tracks on Spectre echo the spirits of quintessential rock vocalists like Grace Slick and Beth Gibbons, throughout a collection of songs that range from expertly sculpted folk-rock ear candy, to sparse Judee Sill-esque ballads consisting of little more than piano and voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Written during the devastating forest fires that filled her hometown of Vancouver with smoke and a sense of apocalyptic doom, album opener "Devoted To" captures Webber's resilience and determination to reestablish her creative independence as she sings "I will find my way back in even if I never sleep...Gotta find my way back in, it's all that I believe." Propulsive rocker "Run Away" is an observation of the human need for change. Amber explains, "It was written in response to friends leaving their soul crushing jobs. I wanted to write a song that flip-flopped between the glorious freedom they felt upon leaving, and moments of despair that came afterward." Shining an optimistic light on her departure from Black Mountain on the anthemic "When It Rains" Webber sings "Let's celebrate what we've done so far instead of what comes next always ripping at our hearts - it ruins." Wells' impeccable drumming and tastefully restrained synths on the soaring and cinematic "Joanna" offer the perfect backdrop for Webber, as she sings about the demons of her past "I prefer not to see - You shook me inside my memory."

                                                                                                                                                                                      The assuring shuffle of "Pretty Picture", on which Stephen Malkmus shreds, is followed by the booming slacker anthem "Competitive Depression" which features vocals by Destroyer's Dan Bejar. Spectre's dramatic two-part closer "3AM/100 Degrees" brings the album full-circle with a final statement about delusions that manifest in strife, exemplified by the song's final lines "replaying what's behind, made us all scared when nothing was there." 2018 was a whirlwind of new beginning for Webber - going back to school and even trying out a new career. In the end these detours gave her the chance to step back and explore what parts of music were important to protect. "It made me realize that art and music are still my light." She goes on to explain, "Spectre is my journey. It's for all the women warriors that have been battling throughout life looking for a place to express themselves that feels inclusive and inspiring. It's about finding yourself when no one is paying attention and inventing a new way of creating that feels honest and sincere. I truly feel that women, especially as we get older are underrepresented. That was truly the driving force to creating this album." 

                                                                                                                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                      Barry says: Even from opener 'Devoted To', there are a huge amount of influences seeping through the fabric of Lightning Dust's rhythmic psychedelic synth sounds. Dancefloor arpeggios, haunting gothic vocals and synth-pop throbs burst into a soaring jazzy breakdown. The album continues in much the same way, always astounding but rarely disjointed, this is the sound of a band on their finest form.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Sherlocks

                                                                                                                                                                                      Under Your Sky

                                                                                                                                                                                        Some world tours feel like a victory lap. On August 25, 2017, The Sherlocks stepped onto the NME/Radio 1 Stage at the Leeds leg of the Reading & Leeds festival and announced to a rammed tent that their debut album ‘Live For The Moment’ had, that very day, entered the UK albums chart at Number Six.

                                                                                                                                                                                        By the tail end of 2018, The Sherlocks begged to be allowed back into the studio. In stark contrast to the sessions for their debut album, recorded in late-night sessions at the cut-off, rural Rockfields in Wales, this time they opted to record at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios with The Coral’s James Skelly at the desk for the four weeks running up to Christmas, knocking off at six o’clock Monday to Friday to head into town for snooker, beer and a debrief on the day’s work. The result was a tighter, brighter, ultra-modern alt-rock record, benefiting from Skelly’s knack for focusing a killer chorus, less indebted to indie rockers of old and smattered with stylistic swerves into new wave, ‘80s textures and all-out feedback freakouts. It’s as Killers, Cars, High Flying Birds and Two Door Cinema Club as it is Catfish. A real 21st Century guitar rock record.

                                                                                                                                                                                        “The first album was us four in a room,” Kiaran says. “We wanted to make it really raw like the Arctic Monkeys’ first album or Kings Of Leon’s. We wanted to capture the live sound and polish it up a bit. It was a straight-up rock’n’roll record, there weren’t many tricks going off. With this one we’ve taken it a step further and made it slightly smoother and put more keyboards in. Rather than having the guitars thrashing all the time we’ve tried being a bit sweeter with it. It sounds more contemporary, I can hear it on Radio 1.”

                                                                                                                                                                                        And you will too. Meanwhile, Kiaran claims to already have half of album three in the bag, which is already hinting at The Sherlock’s next step towards total rock domination. “It’s quite upbeat.,” Kiaran says. “A lot of bands get to their third album and take a weird turn, thinking outside of the box. I think I know what a good melody is and we’ll try different things on each record and push ourselves a lot more but I’d never stick some weird production on to try to mask a bad song. We like big anthemic sing-alongs like The Killers would write, so that’s the direction we’re heading in, aiming for stadiums.”

                                                                                                                                                                                        Considering how accurate The Sherlocks’ aim has been so far, an elementary deduction. 

                                                                                                                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                        Barry says: A wilfully anthemic, major-key combination of soaring pop-punk and classic northern indie, this Yorshire quartet have taken the UK by storm, and this debut album shows why. Brilliantly played, and undoubtedly upbeat anthems all round.

                                                                                                                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                                        Coloured LP Info: RSD stores exclusive blue coloured vinyl with alternative artwork and gatefold sleeve.

                                                                                                                                                                                        SQÜRL

                                                                                                                                                                                        The Dead Don't Die: Original Score

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Dead Don’t Die is writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s unique, semi-comic take on the zombie apocalypse genre. As with his recent efforts Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson, the film’s score was composed and performed by SQÜRL, the band Jarmusch and producer Carter Logan founded in 2009. Sacred Bones Records, the same label that released the band’s EP #260 in 2017, is releasing the ip edition of the score.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The score to the The Dead Don’t Die is a true expression of where SQÜRL stand at the centre of a decade of sonic exploration. It is the culmination of their pas- sion for analog synths, with guitar violence reverberating from the darker corners of Americana. It is at once a tribute to the classic sounds of horror and sci-fi, as well as a decapitation of traditional film scores. It is naturally supernatural.

                                                                                                                                                                                          From their arsenal of tools, Jarmusch and Logan pulled electric guitars and basses made by Rick Kelly and Cindy Hulej at Carmine Street Guitars, an acoustic reso- nator, Moog Minitaur and Theremini synthesizers, Fender Rhodes electric piano, an old Ludwig drum kit, cheap vintage Casio and Yamaha keyboards and new synths from Critter and Guitari — all sculpted through a collection of effects pedals, notably from Earthquaker Devices.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The inspiration for SQÜRL’s score for The Dead Don’t Die came from some of the most iconic soundtracks of the past half-century of genre cinema — Tan- gerine Dream’s Sorcerer, Bebe and Louis Barron’s Forbidden Planet, Ennio Mor- ricone’s The Thing and Once Upon a Time in the West, Goblin’s Dawn of the Dead, and all things John Carpenter. The singular Theremin work of Samuel J. Hoff- man on films like Spellbound and The Day the Earth Stood Still also made its way into Jarmusch and Logan’s consciousness. The result is a new horror soundtrack that stands shoulder to shoulder with the great works of its genre. 


                                                                                                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Limited "Bloody LeMans" coloured vinyl.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Kelley Stoltz

                                                                                                                                                                                          My Regime

                                                                                                                                                                                            Kelley Stoltz enters his 20th year in the record business with the release of his 10th full length album, “My Regime”. This will be his second release for the Spanish label Banana & Louie after prior albums on Castleface, Third Man Records and Sub Pop. A longtime DIY home recording multi instrumentalist, Stoltz again engineers, mixes and plays all the instruments on the album and his unique brand of “60’s/80’s” pop, garage-rock and folk sounds seem to have gotten better with age.

                                                                                                                                                                                            “My Regime” was recorded during an emotional year that saw him get engaged to marry, his father pass away and his tenure as rhythm guitarist with longtime heroes Echo & the Bunnymen come to and end. Jovial and reflective moods ensued and were put to tape by Stoltz in his Electric Duck Studios at home in San Francisco. The first single “Turning Into You” ponders the delight and soul connections of love, while “2020” asks “have you got what you need to ride it out… I wish I could see peace in 2020”, in reference to the chaotic politics at home. “Fire on Fire” written with his Dad on his mind, and is a big beat slow burner reminiscent of the Church’s “Starfish” years.

                                                                                                                                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                            Barry says: Slowly wandering missives, phased guitar and Stoltz' reverbed vocal beautifully riding atop the swooning backdrop, 'My Regime' once again steps things up from last years' 'Natural Causes'. Lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Kacy & Clayton

                                                                                                                                                                                            Carrying On

                                                                                                                                                                                              The music Kacy & Clayton make is inextricable from where they grew up. They sing about the kind of people you’d find in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan (population very few.) The hills, barns and remoteness of the area are in these songs, with a bittersweet acknowledgement that this music has taken them far from home. ‘Carrying On’ follows the international acclaim for their previous records ‘Strange Country’ (which Q magazine called “A beautiful album that nudges a classic past into a brave future”) and 2017’s ‘The Siren’s Song’ (described by Uncut as “Ageless and beguiling. A classic record for this or any other time.”)

                                                                                                                                                                                              Their sound is equal parts homespun, coming from a family and community where playing music is an ever present part of social gatherings and the rare country, blues and English folk rock these second cousins obsess over and collect. For ‘Carrying On’, Clayton cites as influences: Bobbie Gentry’s Delta Sweete, Hoyt Axton’s ‘My Griffin Is Gone’, Cajun fiddle music and the steel guitar of Ralph Mooney, who played on many of the records that defined the Bakersfield country music scene of the 1950s. Sixties psych has also woven its way into these new songs.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Having toured almost nonstop for the last two years, ‘Carrying On’ was conceived and honed on the road and recorded immediately after a jaunt across Western Canada - the songs having been tried and tested before audiences each night. The album was produced once again by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo fame, at his Loft studio in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive pink marble vinyl.