MAGIC MIX

STAFF PICKS

ALBUMS



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The mighty Beak> – made up of Billy Fuller, Will Young, and Geoff Barrow of that band fame – return with their most claustrophobic album yet, chock full of the krautrock grooves, meandering structures and off-kilter melodies that fans of the band have come to expect from them. Having knocked it out of the park with their ‘Sex Music’ single earlier this year, >>> carries on in the same subtle, bass-led vein.
The trio flirt with chaos throughout the album, pushing each instrument through layers of distortion and reverb to the brink of recognisability, and the countless eerie squeaks, sci-fi synths and fucked-with-strings only add to its otherworldly nature. >>> is as mesmerising as it is uneasy, teetering on a tightrope stretched between soft, winding compositions and edgy, no nonsense heft.
Pretty much every song is a highlight. ‘Birthday Suit’ is devastating, all fluttering synths, lo-fi vocals and heartbreak, while ‘Allé Sauvage’ is a dangerously danceable seven-and-a-half-minuter, with blips galore and razor sharp hi-hats driving the song along nicely. ‘RSI’ is a motoric gem. Scratch that – Beak> are a motoric gem.
But ‘When We Fall’ is on another level entirely. First released under the band’s Like easy listening music thrown off a cliff and pieced back together again, >>> is a Frankenstein’s monster of atmosphere, griminess, groove and space. Transcendent.

STAFF COMMENTS

Javi says: You’d be right to judge >>> by its brilliant cover because it’s a brilliant album, and one that’s likely to win 2018 for me. Buy it / play it / love it.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

It was 10 years ago, in a house on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, that Ives Sepúlveda Minho and Manuel Parra started playing music together, and The Holydrug Couple was effectively born. A decade later, they’ve made ‘Hyper Super Mega’, an album that represents the culmination of everything they’ve learned in their years as a band.

Following the release and surrounding tours of their second album, 2015’s ‘Moonlust’ (Sacred Bones), the duo found themselves back at home, feeling directionless and listless. “The over-riding feeling was one of exhaustion,” Sepúlveda recalls, “exhaustion of the planet and of culture, the overuse of references and information that you see everywhere, in fashion, literature, tourism, music, technology and so on.”

So, the duo immersed themselves in these feelings and started to build the foundations of their new record. Amidst eleven tracks of perfectly-formed, heady psych-pop, ‘Hyper Super Mega’ speaks of immediacy, internet and social media, consumption, love and a comfortable despair at the state of the planet. It tells of a world over-connected through cell phones and information, whilst hinting at the place of occult language and imagery in an attempt to convene different and unknown places, or places that are open to interpretation.

Sonically, if ‘Hyper Super Mega’ feels, in places, like a classic pop record, that’s because Sepúlveda and Parra spent much of the recording process thinking, too, about the classic pop records of the ’60s and ’70s. Masterpieces by bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Fleetwood Mac were all reference points, not always explicitly in sound, but certainly in spirit. The duo approached the mythos of the “classic album” from their own inimitable perspective, hoping to make a record that felt authentically like The Holydrug Couple that might fit into the same canon.



STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Longing Indie anthems bolstered with swooning, classic rock solos and huge, soaring synthlines. Cosmic and dreamy but intermittently propulsive, The Holydrug Couple have hit the perfect combination of melancholic, wandering instrumentals and pointed melodicism. Ace.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited red vinyl version!

Christine And The Queens

Chris - Limited Vinyl Box Set Edition (English And French Versions)

    Christine and The Queens announces her eagerly anticipated second album. Titled Chris, the record will be released by Because Music in digital and physical formats, including double CD and vinyl versions, as well as limited edition boxset, There are two versions of the album; one sung exclusively in English and one sung exclusively in French.

    Chris was written, arranged and performed by Christine and the Queens. It is the follow up to her already-iconic debut record Chaleur Humaine, released to near-universal acclaim in France in 2014 and the UK in 2016, and selling more than 1.3 million copies to date.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Christine and the queens return after their lauded 2014 outing, 'Chaleur Humaine' with their newest, sensual slice of shimmering synth-pop and smoothly delivered percussive vox. Brilliantly reminiscent, harking back to the days of Linn drums and gated reverb, but handled with a bang-up-to-date production sensibility and knowing nod to the classics of yesteryear.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd Box Set Info: 2LP+CD French Edition + 2LP+CD English Edition
    Limited numbered edition (10 000 copies worldwide. 3K in the UK)
    Contains: French version: 2 black vinyls with discobag inner-sleeves in gatefold sleeve with exclusive alternate cover.
    30x60cm French version poster.
    1CD French version included

    English version: 2 black vinyls with discobag inner-sleeves in gatefold sleeve with exclusive alternate cover.
    30x60 alternate English version poster. 1CD English version included.

    Villagers

    The Art Of Pretending To Swim

    Always restless and inventive while always true to the power and glory of song-writing and melody, Conor O’Brien has made another great leap forward with Villagers’ fourth studio album, The Art Of Pretending To Swim, released by Domino on Friday 21st September.

    Following the exquisitely sparse, intimate aura of 2015’s Darling Arithmetic, O’Brien’s new record reconnects with the multi-faceted approach of Villagers’ 2010 album debut Becoming A Jackal and 2013’s {Awayland} while adding a new-found soulfulness, rhythmic nous and dazzling panoply of sonic detail, both analogue and digital, creating feverish moods while writing effortlessly accessible tunes. Balanced with subtle aspects and lyrical themes that embrace existential fears and hopes in this desperate, technologically-centred dystopian age, The Art Of Pretending To Swim is the most brilliantly realised Villagers album to date.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Beautifully played acoustic guitars, bolstered with tender electronic flourishes and a driving percussive backline, Villagers perfectly mix the appeal of melodic indie with the silken, shimmering swagger of synth pop to great effect. Beautiful stuff.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Indies Exclusive LP Info: 180 gram heavyweight vinyl plus bonus red vinyl 10" with 2 exclusive tracks.

    Indies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Gazelle Twin

    Pastoral

      “What species is this? What century?” Forged in a rural idyll in Middle-England, the new album Pastoral, by Gazelle Twin, exhumes England’s rotten past, and shines a torch over its ever-darkening present. Told through a troupe of multi-gender voices, in vernaculars old and new; from the shrill echo of folksong to tabloid-tinged jaunts, the artist aka Elizabeth Bernholz, presents the notion that “there is horror in every idyll, and danger lurking beyond the “quaint” ”.

      The village square - once host to centuries of public torture - becomes a floral framed postcard, dolled-up for the Summer Fête. A sunny, afternoon walk over the hills unsettles a cloud of angry flies feeding from unidentifiable remains. Bigoted vitriol gently murmurs amidst tearoom chatter, as the neatly framed pastoral picture dissolves into a solemn ennui.

      Four years in the making, amidst life-changing events, including a move far out of the city, Pastoral will be the first major release by the artist since her widely acclaimed LP UNFLESH (2014, Anti-Ghost Moon Ray) and is seamlessly on-theme, together with Bernholz’s J.G. Ballard-inspired A/V show ’Kingdom Come’ (soundtrack released November 2017, Anti-Ghost Moon Ray) - a fascism-infused hellscape, this time set in deepest Old England.

      As its sole creator, Gazelle Twin “The Composer, Musician and Producer” has crafted an album overflowing with a frenzy of traditional and contemporary musical tropes; from early music instrumentation - the harpsichord and the humble recorder, fed through myriad electronics - to the compelling, ritualistic application of found sample-looping. Beyond Bernholz’s signature choral-infusions, here reverberating like a warped Sunday Service, there are even shades of ‘90s house and the once-thriving rural rave scene, albeit recalled as a watery, second-hand memory.

      In its consummation it is an album that feels pan-century, even pan-species. Set against a verdant backdrop of hedgerows and steeples, Gazelle Twin “The Artist and Performer”, constructs an eccentric and commanding visual embodiment of all-of-the-above - a costume fit for a court Jester of the 21st Century.
      The colours of Neo-Nationalism. Coke cans, and DANGER. “It” (not “she”) hints at folkloric traditions with a footy mascot twist. The “Ye Olde” and “The Everyman” of the English cliché. Brandishing a sneer and a hobby horse. A riddle and a recorder. A jeer and a square dance in red, Adidas Gazelle’s, and a mad, fixed GRIN - first glimpsed in the single, ‘Hobby Horse’ (22 June, Anti-Ghost Moon Ray). A deranged, absurd reflection of deranged and absurd times.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Bernholz returns for another brilliantly off-piste collection of post-NIN industrial scree, thudding glitches and bit-crushed vocal abstractions, filtered through a rosy, synth-pop filter and smashed into a thousand pieces before being reformed, Burrough-style. Completely baffling but thoroughly brilliant.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indie stores exclusive red vinyl.

      The expansive American experience Lonnie Holley quilts together across his astounding new album, "MITH", is both multitudinous and finely detailed. Holley’s self-taught piano improvisations and stream-of-consciousness lyrical approach have only gained purpose and power since he introduced the musical side of his art in 2012 with "Just Before Music", followed by 2013’s "Keeping a Record of It". But whereas his previous material seemed to dwell in the Eternal-Internal, "MITH" lives very much in our world - the one of concrete and tears; of dirt and blood; of injustice and hope.

      Across these songs, in an impressionistic poetry all his own, Holley touches on Black Lives Matter (“I’m a Suspect”), Standing Rock (“Copying the Rock”) and contemporary American politics (“I Woke Up in a Fucked-Up America”). A storyteller of the highest order, he commands a personal and universal mythology in his songs of which few songwriters are capable — names like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joanna Newsom and Gil Scott-Heron come to mind.

      Mith was recorded over five years in locations such as Porto, Portugal; Cottage Grove, Oregon; New York City and Holley’s adopted hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. These 10 songs feature contributions from fellow cosmic musician Laraaji, jazz duo Nelson Patton, visionary producer Richard Swift, saxophonist Sam Gendel and producer/musician Shahzad Ismaily.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Sonic outlier and soul outsider Lonnie Holley returns with a third LP, this time turning his attention from internal struggles to the chaos and discord of American politics and society. As his expressive vocals touch on 'The Wall', Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter and that wotsit-looking chap in the hair piece, the twisted electronic soul instrumentation twists and turns through distortion, fx abuse and feedback, emphasising the sense of disorientation most of us feel right now.

      Two years on since his last outing on the label, 'The Follower', Axel Willner puts on his Field suit again to present his sixth full-length effort for Kompakt, 'Infinite Moment' - which sees him striding further across the deeper, richer rims of the hue cycle.

      Substituting the uptempo vim of his previous pieces for a sense of mind-expanding horizontality, 'Infinite Moment' is an album filled with hope and draped in a diffuse, appeasing light; easing the pain and troubles of the human soul through a lushly forested recital of shoegazing modular, complex textural interplays and solar, atmospheric fractals. The matrix cut 'Made of steel, made of stone' gets the ball rolling on a thumping downtempo note, wrapping the listener up in hazy drones, fractured vocoder and rumbling bass tones. "Divide Now" is a proper sonic mitosis, engaging the metamorphosis to come; like a larvae pupating and reemerging weeks later from under rough bark in the form of a vividly coloured butterfly - fluttering breaks eventually shedding their skin then making way for a crucially more intimate and hypnotic second chapter. "Hear Your Voice" propels the lavish, pad-upholstered glamour of its melodic lines in the mixer for a bolder syncopated revisitation of '80s indebted pop harmonics, while 'Something left, something right, something wrong' returns to a flaring post-euphoric daze. Legs numb, mind confused and eyes lost into the greater whole, where nascent stars dance their way across the milky way to the rhythm of samba, and universal loving is no utopia.

      A more arrhythmic affair, 'Who Goes There' spins out into orbit wildly, fusing stealth acid bass moves with a haunting off-kilter motorik that bears The Field's seal of exclusivity, playing with the listener's mind intensely before the ten-minute-long epic 'Infinite Moment' ushers its listener in a highly immersive final ballet of buzzing chords, trampling drums and all-consuming drones. Syncing the self with its environment in ways never explored before, this album is a direct soul-to-soul transmission, aiming no further than at finding the right balance between contained emotion and an expressive eloquence. No fluff, no bluff - with 'Infinite Moment', The Field goes straight for the heart, stripping bare of all vain and futile attributes to focus on the very essential - He is hopeful, and so are we.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Sil says: It is The Field again! You know the drill; the formula has not changed: thumping beat, ethereal melodies, trance-like loops and a sense of possibility always present. This one is as good as all the others. In my books, that is a very good thing.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      After recent reflections on kosmische sonics and soft focus synthesis, Origin Peoples' latest release is an in-depth exploration of our universal dance floor grammar from Italian producer Whodamanny. A key member of Naples' cosmic funk contemporaries, Rafaele has put his psychedelic stamp on Periodica, both in solo mode and as a member of the notorious Mystic Jungle Tribe.
      His debut solo LP, (and first outing on Origin Peoples) 'T.C.P.' travels a retro-futurist timeline between the esoteric electronics of Italy's rich library heritage and a chrome-clad brand of robotic body music perfect for the off-planetary resorts of the near future. Coastal, cosmic, funky and far out, this is the perfect distillation of the Neapolitan sound that’s been turning heads and moving bodies in recent years.
      In its fleeting half-life, the fragmentary 'Eurasia Aborigine' serves as both introduction and adjustment period, exposing us to a swell of electromagnetic pulses and establishing the synthetic flavours to follow. Launch protocol complete, 'Centum-Satem' employs maximum thrust, hurtling through proto techno sequences, breathless snares and a bubbling bassline while solar flares provide flashes of extreme ASMR stimulus. 'Hypothesis And Contradictions' brings things back down to cruising pace, the metallic chime of a hypnogogic percussion grid underpinning the freeform bleeps of Manny's radiophonic workout. Growing in amplitude, these electronic abstractions bleed into the opening bars of 'Electronic Sheets', building anticipation before the track flickers into the maximal sound of high grade synth funk. As the snapping electro rhythm and Laswellian bass lick take possession of our primary motor cortex, the Neapolitan producer explores hi-tech jazz tones and wild solos, translating Zawinul's "Dialects" into a fresh lingua franca for the future club kids. Body language predates speech and Manny’s keen to remind us that movement matters.
      Opening the other side with whooshing white noise, tender jazz tones and glistening glitches, 'Kurgan Cot' could easily be Capri by the Sea of Tranquilli, while the techno-tribalism of 'Kunda Nemunas' fuses shoulder rolling polyrhythms, thick slabs of square bass and exotic mallets into the greatest groove the Cosmic club never heard. From there we take a moment of reflection via the mystical bells and hazy interference of 'Blitzkreig Mith' before 'The Light Of TCP' lifts us into an extended out-of-body experience. With Whodamanny as our guide we spend ten blissful minutes gliding through crystalline melodies, intricate solos and entheogenic tonalities with only the subtle percussion and precise bass sequence keeping us tethered to our space-time continuum.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Mystic Jungle Tribesman Whodamanny joins those disco mystics at Origin Peoples for his first debut LP, the mighty T.C.P. Part library electronics, part cosmic groover, the set samples proto-techno, electro-funk, Afro-chug and entheogenic trance dance across 8 excellent tracks. Coastal, cosmic, funky and far out, this is the perfect distillation of the Neapolitan sound that’s been turning heads and moving bodies in recent years.

      This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016. The nine track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983.

      The private rehearsal provides a rare, intimate glimpse into Prince’s creative process as he worked through songs which include “17 Days” and “Purple Rain” (neither of which would be released until 1984), a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You”, “Strange Relationship” (not released until 1987 on his critically acclaimed Sign O’ The Times album), and “International Lover”.

      The album also includes a rare recording of the 19th Century spiritual “Mary Don’t You Weep” which was used to spine-tingling effect during the end credits of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman in theatres August 2018.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: There's never really been any doubt about Prince's genius, but this previously unreleased set sees the Purple legend sweep through a handful of his many many classics, along with a couple of stunning covers, arranged/improvised for piano and voice. Intimate, expressive and unfeasibly funky, this is pretty much as good as it gets.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Deluxe LP Info: The Deluxe CD + audiophile vinyl LP format includes a 12” booklet featuring brand new liner notes written by Prince’s then engineer Don Batts, as well as candid shots of Prince including never before seen photos.

      LP Info: 180 gram audiophile vinyl.

      Singer, pianist, writer, poet and creative being, Allysha Joy, is a key member of Melbourne collective, 30/70. Their growing success over the last two years has led her to further challenge her expression in a project of her own, pushing boundaries as a female keys player, poet, singer and producer. Whether performing solo on Fender Rhodes or accompanied by her band, Allysha's steady groove, husky vocal tone and unique style of writing emanates her own personal truth and illuminates a powerful feminine energy learning to be peaceful, giving and considerate of others.

      Allysha grew up listening to jazz, soul, hip hop and RnB. Her sound is dynamic and raw, real and complex. "As a performer I look to people that present their genuine self on stage, reaching for something beyond the present moment, beyond themselves, being a vessel for something greater. I always try to take the audience on a journey".And as a song-writer Allysha draws from her own experiences and the empathy she feels for the world and its inhabitants. "I write as a way to process the emotion that consumes me in day to day life, otherwise I'd explode".


      For Allysha, Acadie : Raw signifies a moment in time: "from beginning to completion of creating this music, it has been a chance to express a deeper, more personal side of self and to take full control of the vision and the music. This record has allowed me to dive deeply into my creative expression and is just the beginning". The album features members of 30/70, the collective born from the creative music scene in Melbourne: "I play both solo or with my 30/70 family, Henry Hicks, Ziggy Zeitgeist, Josh Kelly and Danika Smith. I feel super blessed to have met this crew, we've been playing together now for four years and for me this record is just another extension of the 30/70 collective, constantly unravelling and branching out".

      It is the heartfelt mix of love and power, of desire and wonder, anger and faith and hope for change that underpins Acadie : Raw and marks Allysha Joy out as a future star telling her tales and spreading her wings to bring the joys of life to us all.



      STAFF COMMENTS

      Millie says: Brand new from the Gondwana label is Allysha Joy's Acadie: Raw, the album has a bold powerful presence and her style is refreshingly original, different to anything else out there right now. Her vocals are beautifully husky and you can feel the emotion weaved throughout the album. This is up there with the best jazz record of this year.

      Doncaster bred and Manchester based, The Blinders are Thomas Haywood (guitar, vocals, word), Charlie McGough (bass guitar), Matthew Neale (drums, backing vocals). Influenced as much by the daily news as music, their impact, even at this early stage, cannot be over stated.

      Out 3rd May, ‘L’etat C’est Moi’ is the new single from Manchester based trio The Blinders and the second track to be taken from their forthcoming debut album. Described by the band as “A self-proclaimed war-dance told by the Idiot King himself. The first-person perspective of a madman, and his obsessive fantasies for power over all, and insolence from none.” The quote is attributed to Louis XIV declaring “I am the state” at the end of the 18th century.

      The track is the follow up to ‘Gotta Get Through’ which has been featured heavily on 6 Music (they played their first session for the station last week on Steve Lamacq’s show who described them as "the fastest emerging UK band at the moment") and hit the number 1 slot on Amazing Radio. The band have been playing several shows since the start of the year including many sold out dates. The have a busy summer planned live with headline shows in Manchester and London and festivals, many more of which are to be announced.

      The track was produced by Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton and is released on Modern Sky UK.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Manchester's Blinders bring the classic rock vibes with their debut outing, Columbia. Brimming with Arctic Monkeys swagger but imbued with a subtle psychedelic edge and semi-spoken lyrical fire, these young upstarts have set a great precedent for things to come. In the meantime, this should definitely sit well in your collection.

      Mountain Man

      Magic Ship

        Mountain Man did not intend to disappear for the better part of a decade, or to take eight years to release its second album, Magic Ship. But for a trio of devoted friends for whom music has always seemed so effortless and graceful, that’s simply how life went. The wondrous Magic Ship—a magnetic fourteen-song reflection on the joys, follies, and oddities of existence—was well worth the wait.

        In 2009, when she was a student at a small liberal arts college in New England, Amelia Meath heard a gorgeous sound coming from the living room of her dormitory. She raced downstairs to find Molly Erin Sarlé singing “Dog Song,” a tender tune about lust, longing, and responsibility. Meath demanded that Sarlé, nearly a stranger, teach her the tune, which she, in turn, taught to a friend, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig. The next time the pair saw Sarlé, they sang “Dog Song” to, and then with, her. And so, Mountain Man was born.

        The three weren’t quite yet friends when they performed, recorded, and even toured for the first time, but they each felt the chemistry within their combined voices, a sense of artistic kismet and kinship that some spend lifetimes seeking. Acclaim came quickly, with their debut—2010’s Made the Harbor, humbly recorded on rickety equipment in an abandoned factory—earning praise from the New York Times and the Guardian and prompting big tours.

        But before they could return to the studio, post-collegiate life intervened: Meath moved to Durham, North Carolina and eventually started Sylvan Esso. Sarlé headed for a Zen center along the California coast. Sauser-Monnig returned to Minnesota, then decamped to a farm in the North Carolina mountains. They kept in touch with near-weekly conference calls, growing as friends while taking a break from making music together. When Sarlé was ready to leave California, though, Meath and Sauser-Monnig implored her to return east, saying they would even fly to her and drive with her across the country, so long as she settled in North Carolina.

        Together as friends, not as a band, the three made an all-American road trip. They camped beneath endless desert skies and partied with true New Orleans abandon. Finally home, they focused first on their relationship, singing together only as an extension of this personal reunion.

        At last, they tested their again-blossoming friendship onstage in the summer of 2017 at the Eaux Claires music festival. On a tiny, cabin-like stage tucked into a forest, where audiences of a few hundred are considered big, Mountain Man captivated several thousand, with people climbing trees and fighting through stinging nettles to catch a glimpse or whisper. Hanging on every note and between-song quip, the crowd stood transfixed and silent—a festival miracle, there in the woods. And so, Mountain Man was reborn.

        Months later, the trio reconvened at Meath’s home studio in Durham for two recording sessions, each bringing songs destined to be sung with old friends. The result, Magic Ship, is every bit as captivating as that day onstage: The stunning “Boat,” where cooing harmonies frame Sauser-Monnig like drapes around a sunny window, sees a world of possibility in a little vessel along the riverbanks. The dashing “AGT” finds inspiration in flower blooms and bumble bees, discovering in the sights of nature a pure self-reliance. The magnetic “Rang Tang Ring Toon” celebrates a night spent hosting friends, sharing beans and music, and a skinny dip under the stars. There is sincerity and humour, depth and mirth, all rendered with three voices that have never been more connected.

        These songs distill eight years of experience between Made the Harbor and now—of sights seen, pleasures had, feelings hurt, forgiveness extended. These tunes are wise and tender, open and honest. Magic Ship conveys absolute warmth—like a snowbound afternoon spent indoors, passing a bottle of brown liquor between friends while putting old favorites on the turntable, or a long summer evening spent lounging beneath a shade tree, swapping stories and sharing laughs until the sun has vanished.

        At a moment when the way forward for the world seems uncertain to the point of unravelling, when it feels that decades of impetuous decisions are catching up to the society we’ve created, Magic Ship offers a necessary sort of return and reassurance, a promise that goodness and truth remain available in our least-mitigated forms of expression. A weekend morning spent with a lover in bed, an innocent memory of pure childhood delight, a threadbare shirt from your parents: These are the experiences that Magic Ship so candidly shares, the moments of splendour that make the struggles worth it.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Stunning harmonies form the basis to this newest LP on the ever-reliable Bella Union. Mountain Man mix rhythmic harmonised vocals with lo-fi bluegrass leanings and tender, melancholic sparse instrumentation.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited edition 180 gram clear vinyl.

        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        The Myrrors

        Fuzz Club Session

          The Myrrors are a mythical force in contemporary psychedelia and one of our favourite bands over here at Fuzz Club HQ. That's why when they came over to the UK a few months back we dragged them along to The Pool Studio in London to lay down a Fuzz Club Session. The Arizona band's Fuzz Club Session is comprised of three utterly bewitching tracks that invoke images of the sandy plains of the Sonoran desert which they call home, yet also draped in an influence of traditional Eastern psychedelia. Complete with the band's signature meandering violins, droning vocals and sprawling instrumentation, the live recording of the Fuzz Club Session allows the tracks to take on an even more hypnotic form. The session is comprised of one track from their 2015 opus Arena Negra ('Juanito Laguna...'), one from a special 45 released back in 2016 ('Semillas Sembradas') and a cut from their forthcoming album to be released later this year ('Note From The Underground'). 

          Mutual Benefit, the songwriting outlet for multi-instrumentalist and producer Jordan Lee,announces a new album Thunder Follows The Light via Transgressive Records.

          Following his last outing, 2016’s acclaimed Skip A Sinking Stone, Lee marks his return with a patient and prismatic collection of songs accrued over the past two years.

          Lee — who grew up in Ohio and is currently based in New York — has crafted pop experiments for almost a decade, blending orchestral instrumentation and ambient electronic sounds. His new album features an array of friends and many returning collaborators.

          He has also confirmed an all-too-rare solo UK show - playing London’s The Lexington this week (May 24th).

          Commenting on New History, one of the two first tracks to be taken from the album, which features vocals from Johanne Swanson (of Yohuna), he says:

          “I think people in power benefit greatly from a general lack of historic memory in the US. I’ve been wondering if the first step to imagining a more just world is to study our history better, not just the linear revisionist one that is oft-repeated but all the unsung champions of equal rights as well as the acts of unthinkable cruelty that humans are also capable of.”

          New History is the album’s truest folk song, with twangy harmonica and slide guitar. Its inspiration came to him while spending time in the economically depressed area of Ohio where his parents grew up.

          The other song shared today, Storm Cellar Heart, is an ode to taking shelter and the fraught impulse to hide from the loudness of the outside world. It’s more of a long question than an answer: “Is it storms that help make the heart grow?”

          Says Lee: “Writing this provided a reminder that while moments of recharging are important, I didn’t want to get too entrenched in escapism instead of the messiness of living.”

          It was whilst sitting through a huge storm in rural New England that Jordan found himself becoming transfixed by the time in between the lightning and thunder – “The silence thick with inevitability”, he notes, before continuing that, “While I was writing the record, everywhere I looked, I saw massive societal strain on both people and the environment, and began to wonder if this is the lightning before some thunderous change. If we are living in that in-between time.”

          After the critical and commercial success of the top 10 album – ‘Night Thoughts’ (2016) Suede are set to release their stunning new album ‘The Blue Hour’ on the 21st September 2018.

          The Blue Hour was produced by Alan Moulder and Suede; it shares the same line-up as 1996’s Coming Up – vocals by Brett Anderson, guitars by Richard Oakes, bass by Mat Osman, drums by Simon Gilbert, synthesizers and piano by Neil Codling.


          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xColoured LP Info: RSD stores exclusive blue vinyl.

          Jóhann Jóhannsson

          Mandy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

            Before his death in February, Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson scored the forthcoming horror film Mandy. This is Jóhannsson’s final score.

            The ‘Mandy’ score was co-produced by Jóhann and Randall Dunn. It features Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley on guitar. The album was later assembled with the help of co-producers Pepijn Caudron and Yair Glotman.

            Jóhann Jóhannssonn is recognised as one of the best modern film composers. His score to ‘The Theory Of Everything’ won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score and was nominated for the same Academy Award, whilst his stunning work on ‘Sicario’ also earned him the Academy Award nomination for best score. His other notable works include ‘Arrival’, ‘Prisoners’ and ‘The Mercy’.

            Directed by Panos Cosmatos and starring Nicholas Cage, ‘Mandy’ is about a man who hunts the religious sect responsible for killing his wife.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Translucent red vinyl.

            Probably winning all the imaginary awards I like to bestow on a release (coolest label name, most interesting theme, freshest genre, best accent) 'Deli Daydreams' is a conceptual hip hop LP based around a week in the life of a Deli worker. It's the creation of Dublin newcomer Kojaque, who leads us on a journey through the political and social struggles of life on the other side of the Irish Sea over a string of uber-chilled and gently jazzy beats. Twisting elements of K-Dot, Jonwayne and Tyler into a dynamic flow which marries musical cadance with slurring punctuation, Kojaque touches on abortion laws, relationships and a recession economy. The album varies from the spoken word tour de force introduction of 'White Noise' to the melancholic vibes of 'Eviction Notice'.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Killer hip hop from Dublin newcomer Kojaque - Wiki vibes via Wah Wah Wino...

            Australian group Retiree return to Rhythm Section with a full album which follows up their 2015 EP "This Place".

            The musical project of Matt Crowley, Tori Holleman and Marco Vella; Retiree have steadily congealed their broad influences into a unique emulsion of strongly rhythmic and emotional music. Undeniably antipodean and flecked with a southern hemisphere attitude; there's no hurrying these tracks to their ultimate conclusion - they'll get there when they're good and ready!

            The album’s songs explore the theme of 'house or home' and what that means in present day Australia for different people. They journey from an aboriginal tent embassy on the south coast of New South Wales, a retirement village, a one room flat in Ringwood and a sleepless 17 hour stopover in Malaysia and in doing so, conjure up one of the most vital and inviting albums of the Autumn. Get stuck in!


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Matt says: Tough one to categorize, incredibly easy to enjoy! Somewhere between Arthur Russell, Dan Lissvik and Cut Copy, it's undeniably antipodean, yet shines out as a unique & bejewelled star. I heart this!

            Sobrenadar

            Y

              Sobrenadar is the solo project of Buenos Aires-based Paula García and translates as supernatant – essentially floating on the surface of a liquid – the perfect description of the music she has been making since 2006. Inspired by “soundtracks, music of past times, ’70s, ’80s, ambient, downtempo, Air, Boards Of Canada, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Grouper”, her mix of reverby beats, electronica, guitars and vocals are like a deep-sea dreampop.

              Following her guest appearance on Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s album On The Echoing Green, this is Sobrenadar’s first international release. It is called y (and) because it combines her two most recent self-released EPs, Dromer and Habita – and follows a succession of singles and remixes by Slowdive, Gwenno, XAM (Hookworms) and Mark Peters. 

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Randomly Selected Aqua / Orange vinyl.

              Brocker Way

              Wild Wild Country : Original Music From The Netflix Documentary Series

              'To describe Wild Wild Country as jaw-dropping is to understate the number of times my mouth gaped while watching the series...' The Atlantic // Wild Wild Country by Brocker Way features 15 tracks from the critically acclaimed Netflix documentary series. Way also scored the film The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014) staring Kurt Russell and #TAKEMEANYWHERE (2018) starring and directed by Shia LaBeouf.

              Working closely with his brothers and a skilled technical team including mix engineers Joey Waronker (Atoms for Peace, David Byrne, Beck, R.E.M.) and Tom Biller (Kanye West, Jon Brion, Kate Nash), and percussionist Neal Morgan (Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan), Brocker Way’s original score for the Netflix docu-series Wild Wild Country is meant to reflect the outlook of each of the show’s interviewees rather than simply emphasizing their outward idiosyncrasies. Such an approach invites the listener to inhabit the myriad personalities and situations in the show from a virtual first-person perspective, sculpting a deeply empathic auditory experience capable of standing on its own as an album.

              In Way’s words 'This kind of music gives us an idea as to the motives of each talking head, without actually scoring the motives of the character, and hopefully entices us as the audience to take the journey with them. When the Rajneeshees are building their town, you get to feel that and be right there with them. When Dave Fronmeyer is building his case, you get to feel the nobility he saw in his cause, and we hope to put you right in the room with him when he’s doing it. When a city inspector has to go onto the ranch you can feel the fear as you sit in the car with him. That’s the goal anyway.' 

              In 2018, Low will turn twenty-five. Since 1993, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker—the married couple whose heaven-and-earth harmonies have always held the band’s center—have pioneered a subgenre, shrugged off its strictures, recorded a Christmas classic, become a magnetic onstage force, and emerged as one of music’s most steadfast and vital vehicles for pulling light from our darkest emotional recesses. But Low will not commemorate its first quarter-century with mawkish nostalgia or safe runs through songbook favorites. Instead, in faithfully defiant fashion, Low will release its most brazen, abrasive (and, paradoxically, most empowering) album ever: Double Negative, an unflinching eleven-song quest through snarling static and shattering beats that somehow culminates in the brightest pop song of Low’s career.

              To make Double Negative, Low reenlisted B.J. Burton, the quietly energetic and adventurous producer who has made records with James Blake, Sylvan Esso, and The Tallest Man on Earth in recent years while working as one of the go-to figures at Bon Iver’s home studio, April Base. Burton recorded Low’s last album, 2015’s Ones and Sixes, at April Base, adding might to many of its beats and squelch and frisson beneath many of its melodies.

              This time, though, Sparhawk, Parker, and bassist Steve Garrington knew they wanted to go further with Burton and his palette of sounds, to see what someone who is, as Sparhawk puts it, “a hip-hop guy” could truly do to their music. Rather than obsessively write and rehearse at home in Duluth, Minnesota, they would often head southeast to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, arriving with sketches and ideas that they would work on for days with Burton. Band and producer became collaborative cowriters, building the pieces up and breaking them down and building them again until their purpose and force felt clear. As the world outside seemed to slide deeper into instability, Low repeated this process for the better part of two years, pondering the results during tours and breaks at home. They considered not only how the fragments fit together but also how, in the United States of 2018, they functioned as statements and salves.

              Double Negative is, indeed, a record perfectly and painfully suited for our time. Loud and contentious and commanding, Low fights for the world by fighting against it. It begins in pure bedlam, with a beat built from a loop of ruptured noise waging war against the paired voices of Sparhawk and Parker the moment they begin to sing during the massive “Quorum.” For forty minutes, they indulge the battle, trying to be heard amid the noisy grain, sometimes winning and sometimes being tossed toward oblivion. In spite of the mounting noise, Sparhawk and Parker still sing. Or maybe they sing because of the noise. For Low, has there ever really been a difference?

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Never one to shy away from a new direction, the ridiculously superb Low return with their most shadowy electronic affair yet. Bathed in distortion and rich, saturated ambience, it's a testament to their skill as songwriters and their overwhelmingly familiar 'Sound' that this still comes across as one of the best releases of their career. Mindblowing stuff.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Very limited crystal clear vinyl in an embossed jacket with custom dust sleeve.

              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              LP Info: Gatefold digipak with embossed cover.

              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              CD Info: Embossed jacket with custom dust sleeve.

              CD includes MP3 Download Code.

              Cassette Info: Four-panel J-card in clear case.

              New album from Jungle which follows on from 2014's award winning and acclaimed debut album. Jungle highlighted the aspirational sound of young London at a turbulent time in the city's history. Shunning the dark, claustrophobic sound of grime, or the frenetic, inhuman electronics of (ironically) jungle or its many mutations; for a much sunnier, dare-I-say friendlier sound, indebted to soul and pop music.

              Masterminded by Josh 'J' Lloyd-Watson and Tom 'T' McFarland, a production and multi-instrumentalist duo who never expected to leave their bedroom studios, far less become the core of a talent-filled seven-strong collective that morphed into a killer live outfit. "Jungle" garnered rave reviews, untold amounts of hype and a Mercury Music Prize nomination; Noel Gallagher declared the album 'fucking amazing' and it achieved half a million sales.

              "For Ever" follows up with a lot of prove. Less dreamy and more direct, it's 'inspired by real life experiences of places they've always dreamed of'. Swapping Shepherds Bush for the Hollywood Hills, J and T set up camp in Los Angeles to write and record the album. Over time however, their romanticization of The Californian Dream clashed with the reality of actually living it, the feeling of being adrift on the West Coast compounded by the collapse of long-term relationships. Returning home to London, they teamed up with highly regarded young producer Inflo where they sought to create a 'post-apocalyptic radio station playing break up songs', whittling down loads of ideas this concept spawned into the core 13 tracks you have before you. "For Ever" is for real, deeper and higher, more intimate and more expansive, feel-good and, just occasionally, feel-bad. It is, then, a proper second album and solidify Jungle as a true UK talent to cherish.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: It's been four long years since Jungle's debut sent you all into a frenzy, and here we get the culmination of the interim years spent honing their craft and perfecting their slightly forlorn, minor-key soul and propulsive electronic grooves. This second outing is just as addictive as the first, and the progression is clear to see.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Limited Yellow LP.

              The Goon Sax are James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones from Brisbane, Australia. Still in high school when they made their first album Up To Anything in 2016, their brand of awkwardly transcendent teenage guitar pop took earned them wide-spread critical acclaim.

              For album number two, they flew to Melbourne to record with James Cecil and Cameron Bird, respectively former/current members of Architecture In Helsinki, and 'We're Not Talking' shows how much can change between the ages of 17 and 19. It's a record that takes the enthusiasms of youth and twists them into darker, more sophisticated shapes. Relationships are now laced with hesitation, remorse, misunderstanding and ultimately compassion.

              Drummer Riley Jones really comes to the fore here, joining Louis and James in singing lead and writing songs for the first time, making the band the musical equivalent of an equilateral triangle (the strongest shape in physics).

              Delivering brilliantly human and brutally honest vignettes of adolescent angst, The Goon Sax brim with personality, charm and heart-wrenching honesty. 'We’re Not Talking' is a record made by restless artists, defying expectations as if hardly noticing, and its complexity makes 'We're Not Talking' even more of a marvel.




              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: 'Up To Anything' was a revelation when it came in, brilliantly clever and melodic, but gritty and poetic at the same time. 'Were Not Talking' continues that legacy but with a bit more of a world-wise tilt, swapping out some of the major key melodies and psychedelic progressions for more solemn interludes, focused more on the nuances of songmanship than the youthful power of the debut. A brilliant progression from this Australian trio, and yet another reason why we'll continue to love The Goon Sax.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              The cover to Emma Ruth Rundle’s fourth solo record, On Dark Horses, bears a blurry photo of the songwriter obscuring her face with a large toy horse with broken legs. The photo suggests something candid but also hidden, graceful but also fractured—a fitting portrait for an artist who has established a career by vacillating between shrouding herself in mystery and exposing her wounds to the world. The first peek behind the curtain came with her Sargent House debut Some Heavy Ocean, where layers of distortion were excised in favor of acoustic guitar and Rundle’s beguiling vocals. There was a distinct difference by the time Rundle released Marked For Death, a stark and deeply personal meditation on mortality and self-destructive behavior.

              Her entire musical trajectory—from the cinematic instrumentals of Red Sparowes to the lush haze of Marriages and onward through her solo career—seems like a gradual disclosure of intimate secrets. With On Dark Horses, Rundle doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable realities or retreat into a private world, but it does capture an artist who has survived their personal nadir and come out stronger on the other side. Taking the full arrangements of Marked For Death on the road demanded a backing band, which Rundle pieced together from tour companions—first Dylan Nadon from Wovenhand and Git Some and later Evan Patterson and Todd Cook from Jaye Jayle. Rundle’s budding romance with Patterson prompted a move to Louisville, Kentucky, which not only amplified the equestrian themes of the record but also yielded a new writing process. 

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: I've followed Rundle since her days in the ridiculously brilliant Red Sparowes, through Marriages (band name, not holy unions) and finally, and most satisfyingly onto her solo work. Brilliantly nuanced post-rock passages, immersive singer-songwritery and Rundle's spellbinding voice all mix together into a wonderfully hypnotic and spellbinding listen. This one will be on the stereo for some time, i'm sure.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Indies only translucent purple LP.

              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              We Were Promised Jetpacks

              The More I Sleep The Less I Dream

                The More I Sleep The Less I Dream marks a new chapter in We Were Promised Jetpacks’ career. It’s about going back to the heart of who they are, a high school band that never stopped. It’s about four people who have grown up together, making a conscious choice to keep writing music and seeing where that takes them. Sometimes you have to go back to basics in order to find yourself again. But once you have, then what? It’s one thing to say you want to take a step forward, it’s a much more daunting prospect actually doing so. The More I Sleep The Less I Dream contains the essence of what the band have grown into, both as artists and as people. They’ve taken their experiences, both from their ten years as a touring band and from the changes in their personal lives, and forged them into an album that represents a new phase for the band.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Swooning shoegazey melodies, throbbing bass guitar and those unmistakeable vox, We Were Promised Jetpacks provide a thrilling and multi-faceted listen, dynamic and exciting but eminently listenable. Brilliant stuff.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear/purple splattered vinyl.

                Slothrust

                The Pact

                  Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. Bizarre and mundane, tender and confident. The awkward duality of the forever outsider, rightly reclaimed as power. This is The Pact. Produced and engineered by Billy Bush in Los Angeles (the band’s new home base), Slothrust’s new album is a confident journey across 12 songs that oscillate between a quietly reflective tenderness and a slick, sleek confidence; balancing playful innocence with ballsy swagger. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had making a record,” Wellbaum confirms. “We were able to take risks. I’m saying yes more than no these days.”

                  For fans of Pixes, Pj Harvey, Smashing Pumpkins.. 


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Instantly reminiscent of the grunge heyday of the 90's (my absolute favourite heyday as it goes), Slothrust have the huge guitar sound of The Smashing Pumpkins, the irreverent snotty lyricism and spine-chilling delivery of Courtney Love (before she got all.. 'I found the plane etc') and the quiet-loud dissonance of NIN. It might seem reductive to put out so many comparisons to twenty years ago, but it's a nod to their skills that people have been trying and failing for twenty years to sound like THIS. Ace.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive translucent gold vinyl.

                  Various Artists

                  Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground

                    Who do we become when we live our dreams? It’s all here—the high hairdos, the dreams and schemes, the tender camp, the wedding bell fantasias and chaste tragedies. Sister acts, studio receptionists, classmates, angelic voices of the 1960s; some legendary, many hidden in the basement of expired rainbows. Gathered on this deluxe double LP (or CD) are 28 (56 on the compact disc!) foiled escape attempts, now free to soar in girl group heaven.

                    Harmony Rockets With Special Guest Peter Walker

                    Lachesis / Clotho / Atropos

                      ".this small town (Woodstock), housing as it did so many maverick talents, fostered a scene of damage and dysfunction that endures to this day. It pulled in all manner of wannabes and hangers-on, alcoholic philanderers, dealers in heroin and cocaine, and left at least one generation of messed-up children with no direction home." - from 'Small Town Talk' by Barney Hoskyns.

                      Longtime Woodstock resident, guitarist Peter Walker recorded two albums for the Vanguard label in the late Sixties in a style best described as American folk-raga. He studied with Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, and was Dr. Timothy Leary's musical director, organizing music for the LSD advocate's "celebrations." He was also a close friend of fellow Woodstock resident, the late folksinger Karen Dalton, and helped produce 'Remembering Mountains : Unheard Songs by Karen Dalton' (Tompkins Square), which features unrecorded Dalton compositions brought to life by Sharon Van Etten, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and others.

                      Rediscovered by Tompkins Square in 2006 after decades out of sight, Walker has remained active into his 8th decade, recording for Jack White's Third Man label, and now, collaborating anew with fellow Upstaters, Harmony Rockets. Joined in a mighty super-session with Harmony Rockets (Mercury Rev), Martin Keith, Nels Cline (Wilco), and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), 'Lachesis/Clotho/Atropos' is a mind-melting inter-generational collaboration that could only have coalesced around the wool-sweaters, warm teacups and moldering bookstores of "Old Old Woodstock", both the real and mythologized versions.

                      After signing a record deal with Dirty Hit in 2017, Manchester’s Pale Waves released their debut single "There's a Honey", followed by "Television Romance". The following year, the band were ranked fifth in the BBC Sound of 2018 poll and won the NME Under the Radar Award at the NME Awards. They now return with their debut album which features the singles ‘There’s A Honey’, ‘Television Romance, ‘Kiss’, ‘Eighteen’ and new single ‘Black’.

                      Pale Waves are Heather (vocals, guitar), Ciara (drums), Hugo (guitar) and Charlie (bass).

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: Brilliantly effervescent synthlines, huge percussion and heaps of reverb sit below Heather's beautiful 80's vox. 'My Mind Makes Noises' perfectly toes the line between melodic indie and swooning synth-pop. Much like Kristin Kontrol's LP a couple years ago, I can see this one sticking in my mind and not letting go. Killer.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl edition.

                      Sudakistan

                      Swedish Cobra

                        The Stockholm based quintet Sudakistan return with their second album Swedish Cobra, again fusing their own brand of psychedelia infused rock with latino rhythms. It’s the follow-up to their acclaimed debut LP from 2015, Caballo Negro, which was hailed as a mixture of Thee Oh Sees and Death From Above 1979, and released to rave reviews from the likes of Classic Rock, Uncut, The Line of Best Fit and KEXP. Recording live in studio, Swedish Cobra captures the band’s chaotic but focused live shows, showcasing a broader and more mature sound while losing none of the urgency.

                        In feels like we've been waiting all year for this! Sent to press in Spring, test pressings were approved, dished out to some select DJ's and since then the anticipation's been building fast! Fast forward some six months and the post-RSD bottleneck has cleared somewhat, meaning we're due another glut of independent, low-run dance releases before the year's out - including this fine specimen.

                        Sonic Insomniac is, to all intents and purposes, D. Ball - the 'other' groundbreaking and cult adored artist on Manchester / Salford label Ourtime. However, Dave put the alias aside some fourteen years ago following a string of releases on New Religion, so kick starting it again this year has caused excitement to reach fever pitch.

                        Whereas under his own moniker Dave makes forward propelled, mainly 4/4 techno; Sonic Insomniac allows him to explore darker and more sci-fi tinged realms of his persona. Slower tempos, strange rhythms and a cinematic, space-aligned approach characterize the album, with dancefloor techno politely taking its turn behind vintage electro soundscapes and dreamy, home tuned electronix.

                        There is however, a couple of crucial dancefloor eruptions. The aptly named "Dunk's Track" opens side B with a club ready glider that'll get most of MCR's underground movers huffing poppers straight out of the mighty label head's (and most excitable staffer of Vinyl Exchange...) own hands while "Time Has Come" sees that end-of-night dystopia punctuated with a tasty old skool beat and tense musical passages that'll keep aircraft hangers and warehouses gyrating till sunrise. I can't help but mention "Cosmic Drfit" - possibly Dave's most skilled display of sound design and synthesis to date while "Starlight" sees the gravity-less planes of the outer planets rendered crisply and sonically on a slice of electronic downbeat abandon.

                        A massive achievement reigniting this alias and still keeping true and concise to the original sound whilst also unloading up our receptive ears and headspace one of the best techno and electro albums of 2018. Mr. Ball we love you! Totally recommended.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: Finally, I thought it wer never gonna arrive! My most played album of the year is now available to one, all, Royals and peasantry alike. The universal language!

                        After a string of killer reissues covering everything from Township synthpop, through Afro-disco essentials to Kwaito killers, Okapi's Afrosynth turn their attention to the comtemporary sound of Cape Town with this glorious set of deep jazz from bassist Shane Cooper. A central part of the new wave of young voices in the South African jazz scene, Shane has spent the last few years as a prolific sideman, award-winning acoustic jazz artist, and rogue operator in South Africa’s leftfield dance scene under the alias Card On Spokes. Here the composer and producer takes the his place at the head of the ensemble, leading us through smooth and spiritual cuts, at once inspired by the cosmic sonics of Sanders and Lonnie Liston Smith but also bearing the rim rattling beat and rolling bass of hip hop. Featuring contributions from Shabaka Hutchings, Buddy Wells and Reza Khota, "Welcome To This World" is a rich and heady hit of contemporary jazz, perfect for fans of Gondwana, Ezra Collective and Sons Of Kemet.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Millie says: Essential listening with this fresh album from Mabuta, taking contemporary jazz to a whole new level with the combinations of afro-disco and electronic spiritual tones. Truly stunning.

                        After introducing us to a wealth of lost archival material from Greek's electronic underground, the mighty Into the Light launches a parallel series focussed on limted releases of contemporary material from both Greek and international artists. First stop is the album "Postclub Prism" by German producer Cass. who explores emotive ambience with ten gorgeous pieces about light and romance.
                        Since 2012, Niklas Rehme-Schlüter aka Cass. has released albums of varying styles, from the rather organic and loop based ambient pieces on 'Loops & Farewell Sketches’ and the 'Red Atlantic' EP on Throne of Blood in 2017, influenced by 80’s pop sonics, to the more Balearic and percussive recordings on 'The Sound of Glades' together with Wolf Müller in 2016. On his new record 'Postclub Prism’ Cass. captures the exhausted euphoria of a Sunday sunrise, the previous night's narcotics still working through your bloodstream as you melt into the nearest cushioned surface. Delicate melodies shimmer through fuzzy drones, comforting any ringing ears and catching your over-active senses in ASMR tingle. Hazy and heartfelt, this ambient love letter deserves a place in your life.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Patrick says: Branching out from their faultless series of archival reissues of Greek electronics, Into The Light launches an offshoot for contemporary material from Greek and beyond. This inaugural release comes from German producer Cass., who creates a breathtaking set of emotive ambient. It's morning music for the night people...

                        Jedi Mind Tricks

                        The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation Of Human Consciousness

                        Jedi Mind Tricks is currently one of the hottest underground hip-hop groups in the United States. Their sophomore album, Violent By Design, has sold over 85,000 copies and is regarded by many as one of the best independent hip-hop albums ever recorded. Babygrande Records is proud to present The Psycho-Social... LP which is the cult classic prequel to Violent by Design. Described by the Source Magazine as “ahead of its time” and by CMJ as “A must own for anyone who cares about hiphop culture,” The Psycho-Social was originally released only in limited pressings on vinyl 1997.

                        The vinyl edition sells frequently on Ebay for upwards of $100. That is until now... In 2002, prior to obtaining national distribution, Babygrande released the CD version to independent retailers nationwide and scanned over 40,000 copies. Now, Babygrande has opened its vaults to re-release the the vinyl edition of The Psycho- Social in its entirety on collectible edition red vinyl (and for the first time ever in limited quantities on clear vinyl). Thanks to digital remastering, listeners can obtain the album Jedi Mind Tricks originally released in 1997, exactly as the artist intended. 

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Millie says: Look no further for your new favourite hip hop record, Jedi Mind Tricks providing the slickest beats for miles bringing it back to life from 1997… if you’re into the likes of Outkast or Run DMC then this one is for you.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: Randomly picked Red / clear vinyl.

                        Gazelle Twin

                        I Feel Blood / Exorcise (ACE 236 Series)

                        Gazelle Twin were originally invited as part of the Supersonic Festival 2015 curation of the Moog Sound Lab satellite sessions at Birmingham City University.

                        The twin returned to the lab during it’s residency later that year at London’s Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. for a consecutive six day session in August, invited artists mooged, wined, dined, slept and dreamt in room 236. on tap 24/7 - the entire Moog Sound Lab, along with a Brion Gysin ‘Dream Machine” & a small library of associated books & user manuals. Here Gazelle Twin re-made/re-modeled, recorded & filmed new versions of two of their favourite tracks on the wall-to-wall moogs.

                        "I Feel Blood" is a brutalist and abstract workout; tearing and reversed synth shards rotating against a synthesized deep rumble and spring-reverberated smash. The perfect atmosphere to impart doom and destructionist ideals onto its audience.

                        "Exorcise" is quick fire, rotary acid. Comprised of multi concentric arps rotating just slightly out of sync to create movement and fluctuation. Moog-synthesized drums supply a percolated, bubbling rhythm before warbled vox complete the 'song' like element of the structure.

                        Easily one of the best of the series so far! Recommended.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: The Moog Recordings Library series has been an eye-opening and fascinating look into the working practices of well-known musicians (very interesting for me), and a damn good listen (very interesting for everyone else). This outing is one of the best of the bunch, with Bernholz's skill as a sound sculptor coming to the fore through a variety of hardware processes.

                        After a barnstorming live reunion which saw them play to ecstatic audiences across Europe throughout 2017, Britain’s giants of electronic music Orbital are back for good - with new music and an upgrade of the legendary live show that transformed festivals across the world.

                        Throughout 2018 they played a string of high-profile festival dates and headline shows, featuring new material alongside classics like "Chime", "Belfast" and "Impact". This surge of creativity shows how reunited brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll have rebuilt one of electronic music’s best-loved partnerships after Orbital’s surprisingly bitter break-up in 2012. They’ve been onstage with Stephen Hawking at the Paralympics, in front of the whole world. They’ve remixed Madonna. They’ve played Glastonbury many times and travelled the world - yet were driven apart by music’s strange and infamous brother-vs-brother dynamic (that I'm sure the brothers Gallagher know absolutely nothing about... - ed). But now the brothers have a pact: whatever happens, Orbital does not stop. They’ve learned to talk and accept each other. As Paul says, 'If we were both the same, then it wouldn’t be Orbital.'

                        Anyway, forget all that, the most important thing to note here is that mother fu**iiiing Brian Cox is all up in the area! Today's spokesperson for all things Science, the ex-D-Ream keyboardist graces "There Will Come A Time" with the kind of gentle, enthusiastic and wonder-struck delivery that only he is really capable of. Ellie Wyatt and Philipa Alexander provide a good chunk of voice on tracks "Monsters Exist", The Raid" and "The End Is Nigh" also.

                        But will it cut the mustard with old school and cult fans? The simple answer is - yes! More than proficient at writing hits that transcend the dancefloor into general consciousness, the trancelike and sprawling arrangements of the nineties have been tightened up somewhat for current audiences; and with a sharper, more direct sound palette to boot. The kicks in particularly hit hard, and there's a full-frequency aesthetic to most of the tracks - making them as suitable for main stage stadium play as much as they'll be soundtracking midnight drives down motorways, freeways and autobahns across the world. Orbital are back and we love it! 


                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xLP Info: Download card and full-colour insert included.

                        Knife Knights were born of the love of mystery. From the start of Shabazz Palaces – the groundbreaking project launched in 2009 by former-Digable Planets leader Ishmael Butler – confidentiality seemed essential: Butler wanted Shabazz Palaces to stand on its own strength, not his outsized reputation, so he adopted a nom de plume for himself. As the project’s network expanded, though, he needed new monikers for his partnerships. Knife Knights is the name he gave to his work with Seattle engineer, producer, songwriter, and film composer Erik Blood, a vital force in the Shabazz Palaces universe.

                        Now, after more than a decade of collaboration and the development of a rich friendship, Butler and Blood have made a proper full-length record together as Knife Knights: 1 Time Mirage, an eleven-track odyssey that finds the pair and a cast of their friends weaving together a singular world of soul and shoegaze, hip-hop and lush noise, bass and bedlam. 1 Time Mirage represents a playground for Butler and Blood, a free space for unfettered exploration, and a radically adventurous start to something much more than a mere production duo or side project.

                        Recorded in three fertile sessions interrupted by Shabazz Palaces tours and Blood’s recording projects, 1 Time Mirage is a profound fulfilment of the partnership, realized at the crossroads of Butler’s and Blood’s mutual enthusiasms. Their shared interests have been split into pieces and fused together with enviable imagination. In the decade since Butler launched Shabazz Palaces and first christened his partnership with Blood as Knife Knights, much of the external mystery has, of course, fallen away. And 1 Time Mirage is a very public step forward for the pair. The early sense of secrecy has given way to a spirit of friendship and creative candor, to the doors of experimentation being thrown open by old pals thrilled by the prospect of testing new ideas.

                        Still, these eleven songs retain a core of intrigue and, indeed, mystery; each listen reveals yet another connection between infinite and interlocking pieces. To wit, Robert Beatty’s brilliant cover for 1 Time Mirage depicts a futuristic vehicle, being coolly steered with one hand into some great, mildly ominous unknown. That’s how these songs feel, too—confident conquests of the dark that unlock sounds and spaces you have yet to imagine.
                          


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: From dystopian dub to harsh static and crisp electronica, Knife Knights are an entity like no other. Saturation and unease permeate the sound, leaving the more direct melodies with an added layer of mystery underneath. A fascinating and enthralling listen, and an entirely different side from Butler's previous work.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: Limited 'Loser' Edition blue vinyl LP.

                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                        Analog synthesizers give tangible life to the works of Guerilla Toss. Whether it be the sound of a rocket ship, a kitten-with-a-wah, distorted dolphins, or a clavichord made of honey-baked ham, the band consistently find new ways to bring together the many ideas that combine to shape each new batch of art-rock puzzle pieces.

                        "Twisted Crystal", Guerilla Toss’ new album, feels more personal than ever for the band. Angular yet irresistibly catchy, this collection of pop songs pulls influence from powerful groups like The Slits, ESG, Gina X and early Madonna, with sing-speak vocals from Kassie Carlson nodding to legendary artists like Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux - combining this all into a twisted, crystalline concoction.

                        Oracles and enigmatic egos are common lyrical themes but charismatic instrumentality springs the listener back to extraterrestrial comfort. Old favourite sounds ring true from the trusty Sequential Circuits Six Track Synthesizer and Clavia drum machine. New, more refined sounds are moulded and polished by drummer/producer Peter Negroponte, whose passion for perfection and creation goes far beyond an all-consuming Tetris effect. Peter has truly excelled on this new recording, creating a complex network of beats and sound that become easily intertwined with the rhythmic fabric of life.

                        In albums past, vocalist Kassie Carlson’s performances resembled more of a manic, possessed high priestess; humming at the gates of hell, hacking telepathy and tugging the strings of every audience member. "Twisted Crystal" goes beyond this familiar darkness, leading us into a rhythmically calming charm with deep wisdom, serenity, and understanding.

                        At times the listener wanders through mazes of dizzying, alternately pulsing time signatures, but the roads always bounce, meet and magically snap back together. That meditative groove, both live and in the studio, has become signature for Guerilla Toss, drawing deep influence from 70s krautrock and experimental rock music like Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Neu!, Cluster, Todd Rundgren and La Dusseldorf.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: A perfect balance between off-kilter experimental electronics, synth-led ambience and good old-fashioned songs, Guerilla Toss have managed to craft a monolith, clever and deep but without being too intimidating for the uninitiated. A synth-lover's dream.

                        The latest postcard from The Chills’ epic journey is an album about “consolidation, re-grouping, acceptance and mortality,” claims the chief Chill. “Hopefully a kind of Carole King ‘Tapestry’ for ageing punks.”

                        Wow! Are rock bands allowed to grow old gracefully and assess the world’s and their shortcomings in the process? Is it possible to swerve the obvious and make something that’s bittersweet in tone but harmonious on the ear? Of course it is.

                        On ‘Snow Bound’ lost heroes are lamented, relationships are re-evaluated, atonement is sought, mortality is mulled over and fake news is undercut. It’s serious stuff, the thoughts of a dysfunctional 50-something wrestling with maturity and discovering that their post-punk DIY beliefs still have a real voice that resonates between the fans of their early years and which can now pass down to the next generation.

                        Casting our minds back, we can recall that The Guardian mused, “They sound almost like the musical embodiment of autumn,” when confronted with ‘Silver Bullets’. Three years on, ‘Snow Bound’ nestles heartily in its own winter of discontent. And all this with a humalong melodic verve, Phillipps’ gift for the tempered dalliance of verse and chorus and those gorgeous euphoric organ fills. Let the soul-searching commence…

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: There's a certain sound that comes with a band that have been working together for a long time, and The Chills definitely have it. Not afraid to hark back to the heyday of indie, but with a sophistication that only experience can bring, The Chills have crafted an absorbing and alluring collection of melodic stormers.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: Clear with white Splatter Vinyl is for Indie stores only.

                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                        Bob Moses

                        Battle Lines

                          ‘Battle Lines’, the new album from Grammywinning duo Bob Moses, is set for release on Domino.

                          ‘Battle Lines’ follows the band’s acclaimed debut album, ‘Days Gone By’, which featured their worldwide hit ‘Tearing Me Up’. The band recorded the new album in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon, after writing and testing out new material on the road. Inspired by their time playing raves and rock clubs all over the globe since the release of ‘Days Gone By’, Battle Lines takes a harder look at the world in which they find themselves.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive transparent vinyl.

                          Unearth Noise & Dreamspeak

                          And The Light Beams Will Guide The Way

                          After two years Unearth Noise returns with a second dosage on LFI. "And The Light Beams will Guide The way" arrives as a double LP with one disc from Unearth Noise and the other from his collaboration with vocalist Myrh, under their collaborative guise Dreamspeak.

                          Unearth Noise's solo works delve into familiar territory. At times reminiscent of his debut on the label "Prayer and Resonance" his signature, dense and mesmerizing sound world develops on this second outing, harnessing a frenetic energy that dissolves like devil dust. Dreamspeak create a transcendental experience that beguiles listeners – one that is equally as haunting as it is enchanting.

                          Sven is perhaps the most original funk artist going right now. His atmospheric grooves take you to far away places. His bass playing and compositions are unmatched in the modern funk genre.

                          "Man Oh Man, I’ve been waiting for this for sometime. Right in time for summer! Sven is perhaps the most original funk artist going right now. His atmospheric grooves take you to far away places. His bass playing and compositions are unmatched in the modern funk genre. Gonna crank this one all weekend and for many weekends to come. Thanks Sven." -Moonmadness

                          After three stand out eps over the last three years for L.I.E.S. Tzusing delivers his debut lp for the forward thinking New York label. Here we get seven tracks of precison crafted electronics, unmistakenly taking the artists signature industrial fueled sound and opening it up to a new dimension far beyond the typical metal beat clang. Emotional, dark and powerful, the album title taken literally means "Invincible East" based on a character (a swordsman) in a Jin Yong novel who must make the ultimate sacrifice to attain knowledge and transform. The narrative goes in hand with the artists observations living and travelling throughout Asia and provides a haunting soundtrack for a bleak future where few dare to subvert the power structures at hand.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Patrick says: I'm all for a bit of Tzusing, and the producer's latest offering takes his trademark crunching electronics and clanging beats into a new realm of dark and dystopian sound design.

                          Walter Gibbons, a true master of the mix, a disco legend, a pioneer of dance music. There's literally very few who can lay claim to progressing the artform of studio mixing and technique than the late Gibbons. His contribution to contemporary music cannot be understated, first as a DJ where his drum laced experimentation captured the ears and minds of his peers and the dancers, then later as a mixer and studio genius where he continued on his quest. Often fixated on the percussion and breaks within records his versions would often dive into spaced out, dubby and stripped back territory that very few of his peers were even contemplating at that time, fervently reconstructing the tracks themselves and often the time, space and dancefloor within which the record was being played. A true original, Gibbons was behind many of the 'definitive' versions of the classics, his unique style often catapulting records that were just fine in their original form into brand new colourful, cosmic interpretations that flourished sonically and rhythmically with brand new sounds that bristled with vision.

                          Salsoul Records thought a well programmed and thought out retrospective of this legends output was in order and this incredible collection of tracks is where we find ourselves. A stellar compilation across 2 heavyweight slabs of wax featuring of some of Gibbons' finest works. Included you'll find genre defining cuts like his mixes of Double Exposure, Loleatta Holloway, Love Committee, First Choice and many more.

                          A truly essential package for the die-hard Disco aficionado or for those who are exploring this most important movement in dance music for the first time. Curated with the full input and backing of Salsoul Records and carefully selected to reflect the truly timeless nature of the music contained within. For listening, for dancing, for turning on a party!

                          Various Artists

                          Soul Jazz Records Presents - Studio One Freedom Sounds: Studio One In The 1960s

                          "Studio One Freedom Sounds" is the new collection from the nation's favourite one-stop shop, focusing on the intense period in the second half of the 1960s when Studio One’s vast and unbeatable output of ska, soul, rock steady and reggae made it literally one of the hottest musical empires in the world.

                          During this highly successful period, Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd released hundreds and hundreds of superlative singles seemingly on an almost daily basis, in the process making huge stars out of Jamaican singers such as Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, The Wailers, Slim Smith, Jackie Opel and many more.

                          Powered by the finest in-house musicians working in Jamaica, whether it was The Skatalites, Jackie Mittoo’s Soul Brothers, The Sounds Dimension or The Soul Vendors, Studio One functioned as hit factory on the scale of Motown in the USA, shaping and defining reggae music for decades to come.

                          Singlehandedly Studio One’s founder Clement Dodd was able to create the most successful vertically-integrated record company that Jamaica had ever known with pressing plant, printers, studio, shops and sound systems all running at once, with over 50 employees and hundreds of artists working with Studio One during this time.

                          "Studio One Freedom Sounds" tells the story of Studio One in the 1960s with a stunning set of ska, soul, rock steady and reggae killer tunes as well as informative sleevenotes and track-by-track info by Noel Hawks.


                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Follow ‘Kingdoms In Colour’ is Maribou State’s hotly anticipated new album and the follow-up to 2015’s breakthrough debut album ‘Portraits’ on Ninja Tune’s Counter Records imprint. A warm and highly textured collage of breakbeats, guitar licks and found sounds from their worldwide travels, the record features Khruangbin (‘Feel Good’), long standing collaborator Holly Walker (‘Nervous Tics’ and ‘Slow Heat’) and ‘Turnmills’. Kingdoms In Colour has brought together the experiences of their world tour from their first album and injected it into their sound and lyrics. It’s grown and developed into a beautiful flowering album, if you like the sorts of The XX, Caribou, Bonobo, Mount Kimbie, Khruangbin, then you’ll fall in love with Maribou State.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive turquoise heavyweight vinyl with digital download code.

                          Originally from West Yorkshire, but now resident in Manchester, composer, bassist and producer Phil France is probably best known as a key collaborator alongside Jason Swinscoe in the Cinematic Orchestra, where he co-wrote, arranged and produced on classic albums including Everyday, Man With The Movie Camera, Ma Fleur and also the triple award winning soundtrack for The Crimson Wing nature documentary. In 2013 France released his debut solo album, The Swimmer (GOND016), an emotive, epic record influenced by the great second wave of film composers including John Carpenter and Vangelis, as well as minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass

                          Five years later, France presents the follow up, the enigmatically titled, Circle, which again represents a very personal journey for the artist. For France the album is an extension of work he began on The Swimmer. A process he has described as: " blocks of sound containing intricate minimal arpeggiated patterns and electronic textures that develop and shift in subtle, original and melodic ways. The trancelike quality, mood and electronic character of title track Circle led France to think of the circular patterns which eventually became a potent concept for the album. "Ideas and fashions repeat themselves in cycles. Events are said to travel 'full circle' and this is important to me because it represents my own recent personal and musical journey after 15 years touring as bassist and composer with The Cinematic Orchestra. I consider circles to be a strong symbol of unity, strength and inclusiveness and ultimately I've aspired to make something beautiful with those values at its heart".

                          The album opens with the title track, Circle, built on a minimal looped pattern with melodic embellishment and shifting additional harmonic textures. Bells was developed from the arpeggiator and offers a nod to the melodicism and atmosphere of French electronic music. The Jackal features an idea originally developed for The Crimson Wing score but which finally bears fruit here. Cathedrals features an improvised intro, Philip Glass inspired organ and vocal textures inspired by the work of Colin Stetson. Finally, the album ends with a reprise of Circle this time featuring layered pianos. But it isn't the conclusion of the journey, for France: "The Circle is infinite - During the process of making this record, I have been constantly reminded that nothing ever stays the same and that all is in constant flux. The challenge for me is always to respond positively, be aware of and seize the opportunity for progression constant change provides" And it is that sense of movement and flow, but also calm and beauty that permeates Circle and make it such a worthy successor to The Swimmer.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Beautifully ethereal electronic pulses, rippling arpeggios and skittering machinated percussion are woven through organic drums and reverbed Balearic basslines. Stunningly emotive but with enough momentum to find a home in the front room or in the crepuscular haze on a sandy beach. Stunning.

                          The sleeve tells you so much about the process. It’s a picture of a lone figure. Suited up and immersed in interplanetary protective gear, he walks out across unmapped terrain. In the distance, a mountain range towers over the roughly gridded sand he’s striding. This is very much a solo mission – giant steps into the unknown. Inside the helmet, there’s all the uncertainty and madness that such a pursuit brings.

                          That sleeve (designed, as ever, with Mark Farrow), comes wrapped around And Nothing Hurt - Spiritualized’s eighth album, the follow up to 2012’s Sweet Heart, Sweet Light. From the opening lullaby of A Perfect Miracle through to the fading Morse Code at the close of Sail on Through, it painstakingly wraps layer upon layer of gloriously transcendent sound together to create a mesmerizing and cinematic collection of songs.

                          There are points – the thunderous climax of On the Sunshine; the spectral waltz of The Prize; the towering guitar solo on I’m Your Man – where the waves of blissful noise are almost overwhelming, where one can imagine the studio’s speakers vibrating themselves off of the walls. Which is an incredible feat when you discover that the album was conceived and recorded almost entirely by one man – Jason Pierce, AKA J.Spaceman - in an upstairs room in his east London home. Sat in an edit suite in Whitechapel a month or so after finishing recording, Jason talks honestly about the painstaking, frustrating process of creating And Nothing Hurt.

                          “Making this record on my own sent me more mad than anything I’ve done before. We’d been playing these big shows and I really wanted to capture that sound we were making but, without the funds to do, I had to find a way to work within the constraints of what money I had. So I bought a laptop and made it all in a little room in my house.”

                          Whereas bedroom recording is commonplace for a generation of musicians who’ve grown up with horizon-expanding tech, Spiritualized have long used the studio as they would an extra member of the band – as a vital building block in the construction of some of the most cherished records of the modern era. This time would be very different. With no grounding in digital recording, Jason had to learn everything from scratch.

                          “The biggest thing for me was to try to make it sound like a studio session. There are bits that I went to a studio to record – mainly drums and percussion. I mean, there’s no way I’m going to get timpani up my stairs. When I came to terms with how I was going to make the record, I assumed it was going to sound like Lee Perry - all flying in from different angles; all extraordinary and not hi-tech in construction. But I was new to it all, I didn’t have all the short cuts people use when they’re making records – I just sat there for weeks… for months… moving every level up bit by bit just to try to get the sounds right.”

                          For the listener, the nine tracks on And Nothing Hurt effortlessly replicate the scale and power of Spiritualized’s previous releases, whether it’s the sonic blowback of On the Sunshine, the last dime in the jukebox love letter of Let’s Dance or the swell of an imaginary orchestra that seems to lift Damaged towards the heavens as it plays out.

                          “With a bit of trial and lot of error, I found ways of doing something that’s quite simple, if you’ve got the resources. I spent two weeks listening to classical records and strumming the chord that I wanted on my guitar. When I found something to match what I wanted, I’d sample that bit and go for the next chord and try to match that. It took weeks, trying to put together and layer convincing string sounds. But, if I’m honest, all I wanted was for someone to come and play the part and bring their own thing to the record.”

                          One of the biggest influences on the final sound of the record was a series of shows played in 2016 celebrating the (near) 20th anniversary of the band’s peerless 1997 release Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. Those shows, played with a fifteen-piece orchestra and a gospel choir, forced Jason to revisit songs that he’d already been working on for years.

                          “Part of the reason for doing those gigs was to inform the songs I’d been working on. Trying to sing convincingly in a little room at home was really difficult. The big shows helped remind myself what it’s like to sing with that kind of backing. I can’t really describe it… when you’re singing with a choir behind you and there’s all this noise coming off the stage, you sing things very differently to how you would A) in a studio or B) sitting on your bed at home recording into a laptop.”

                          Lyrically, And Nothing Hurt touches on thoughts of passing time and acceptance of one’s age – never more beautifully than on Let’s Dance (‘The hour is getting late, they’re putting all the chairs away / they’ve got Big Star on the radio, they’ll let us stay’).

                          “I didn’t want to be fighting against my age; it’s very much about acceptance. And not with any dissatisfaction either – I’m not raging against the inevitable. I spent a lot of time thinking about the way that the songs should hold together, trying to make the narratives make sense rather than just throwing together a couple of lines that rhymed. Let’s Dance was very much a ‘last orders’ kind of song, about grasping at the finality of that moment.”

                          During the making of And Nothing Hurt, Jason kept returning to the thought that this would be the last Spiritualized record – interviews over the last couple of years made it clear that the frustration of trying to replicate the sounds in his head whilst sat on his bed were proving too much. With the record finally finished and a new UK label (Bella Union – Fat Possum continue to release Spiritualized records in the States), does he feel the same way now?

                          “I was quite sincere about that and I still feel like it might be the case. It was such hard work. I found myself going crazy for so long. It’s not like there’s no coming back, I’m fine now… it’s just such a hard thing to do, to make a record like this on your own. It’s almost as if, if I’m not pushing myself to point of madness, it’s not going to be right. And I know it’s going to be like that every time. What’s the definition of madness? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I kind of do that. I think the biggest goal is to make something that’s worthy of all that time and effort. And the more time and effort, the bigger the goal. I knew I had to make something that was good enough that it should be made. And a massive positive about making the record is that we get to play it live. That’s always the most joyous thing; everyone gets to contribute to the sound, this amazing thing that seems to come right through the roof.”

                          If the last set of Spiritualized gigs helped set the course for how And Nothing Hurt now sounds – alternately intimate, hypnotic, cyclonic and downright spiritual - maybe… just maybe… this next set will encourage Jason to flip open the laptop to press record again. Here’s hoping.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: A brilliantly written, beautifully evocative distillation of the live Spiritualized sound on this newest LP from Jason Pierce. Classic S3 melodies and progressions, intimately presented and as immersive as ever. A fitting return for one of the greats.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

                          Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe edition orange vinyl.

                          Teleman

                          Family Of Aliens - Bonus Disc Edition

                          FOR A LIMITED PERIOD ALL FORMATS INCLUDE A FREE BONUS CD. (TRACKLISTING BELOW)

                          Armed with a freer, more collaborative approach to both writing and recording, their new 11-track album Family of Aliens, is a fluid collection of glorious pop-songs fluent with new electronic textures and united by the sharp lyricism, buoyant guitars and instantaneous melodies that are synonymous with Teleman.

                          “We want to keep evolving and keep discovering. This band is one long journey for us, and we never want to stop developing and finding new ways of creating music. I'm always wanting to better what we've done before. To go deeper, to find something more beautiful, more catchy, more challenging, more interesting … just more.”

                          It’s evident the much-loved quartet have evolved, cultivating and honing their sound as a very-welcome and anticipated proposition for 2018. 

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: 'Family Of Aliens' is all-round A more varied, electronic affair than 2016's outing, but every bit as enthralling. Throbbing synths mix seamlessly with tenderly strummed guitar ambience and flickering piano, anchoring Sanders' otherworldly vocals. A perfectly balanced and thoroughly entertaining LP.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Limited red vinyl.

                          Leeds-based Menace Beach return with news of their third album 'Black Rainbow Sound', which is due out August 31st via Memphis Industries.
                          New album Black Rainbow Sound is the band's first new material since early 2017’s Lemon Memory, and after a self-imposed break from tour duties, the album exhibits a profound shift in their sound, whilst still mainlining the blasts of noise, visceral power, and timeless pop songsmithery of their previous releases.

                          Unlike the bands previous records, Black Rainbow Sound came to life in the bands studio, where Liza Violet and Ryan Needham built dense late-night orchestrations from drum machines, synthesizers, loops and guitar noise, before being ripped apart and reimagined by the full Menace Beach cast at The Nave studio in Leeds with co-producer Matt Peel (Eagulls).

                          Never ones to shy away from an intriguing collaboration, Black Rainbow Sound contains songs featuring Brix Smith of The Fall, and Brix and the Extricated. “The synchronicity of the universe just forced us and Brix together. The very day l finished reading her biography she played us on her BBC 6music show along with a wonderfully out-there monologue of how the song made her feel. I said thanks, we got chatting and it went from there. She’s a burning comet of positive energy”.

                          On Black Rainbow Sound, Menace Beach continue to explore their own unique aesthetic, venturing much further into a colourful world of bizzaro no-wave analogue synths and static drenched electronic euphoria, which they have been circling for some time.

                          Lustrous, dizzying, and bursting with cacophonous vintage electronics - the sounds on Black Rainbow Sound act as an otherworldly backdrop for the album's enigmatic lyrics to play out. Celestial conversations, night terrors, love, anti-love, good vs evil, light vs dark, friendly crows, death, depression, and teenage tongues and are all here to absorb; the more introspective topics often hidden in plain sight atop celebratory choruses, and melodic hooks.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Menace Beach go all cosmic on their latest, 'Black Rainbow Sound'. We get clicking CR-78's, throbbing distorted bass and blipping, sample & hold sine waves enriched with heavy guitars and woozy, shimmering vox. Properly lovely.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition white coloured vinyl.

                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indie exclusive limited edition white coloured vinyl. ALSO INCLUDES A HAND-PRINTED (BY THE BAND) SCREEN PRINT.

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Hatchie

                          Sugar & Spice EP

                            Released through Heavenly Recordings, ‘Sugar & Spice EP’ is presented on blue vinyl in a clear PVC sleeve.

                            Hatchie is one Harriette Pilbeam, a native of Brisbane who has already attracted plaudits at home prior to unsurprisingly picking up wider acclaim from the likes of NPR and Beats 1.

                            Having played with various friends and bands in Brisbane, Hatchie is her first foray into solo territory, one she is quick to admit is positive, that allows her to make her own decisions, assert herself and make so many positive changes.

                            Her world is a dreamy landscape inhabited by cascading synths, jangling guitars and undeniable, irresistible pop melodies. ‘Sure’, prompted by a melody, was composed on a whim and completed in a day. As she explains; “All of my songs start with singing. I hear the melody first and then work out the chords I’m imagining under that and despite not knowing chord names I have a good ear so can kinda figure it out.”

                            “You can’t fault their own immaculate take on dream pop” - Clash; “The Aussie dream-pop auteur joining the dots between Cocteau Twins and Carly Rae Jepsen” - NME; “A masterclass in driving and swirling indie-pop, ‘Sugar & Spice’ is hard not to love, even on first listen.” - The Independent; “Pure, twinkling sunshine.” - Noisey; “Hatchie swoops into earshot... a marvellous mesh of Cocteau Twins-y atmospherics & jangly 90’s pop” - The Line of Best Fit

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Andy says: Like an eternal mash-up between Chapterhouse's "Pearl" and "Pure Shores" by All Saints! In other words: Shoegaze goes pop and the results are heavenly!

                            Barry says: Hatchie encompass everything superb about Dream Pop without all of the difficult shoegazing connontations. Dreamy, soaring melodies and harmonic counterpoint all wrapped up in a hazy, summery blanket of chorused guitars and thickly reverbed percussion. Ace.

                            London-based punk band Sauna Youth are releasing their third album this September under the thrilling and fatal moniker Deaths. The album will once again be released by Upset the Rhythm.

                            The final part in a trilogy of LPs that started with Dreamlands in 2012 (wide-eyed, naive beginnings introducing listeners to the world the records inhabit), followed by Distractions three years ago (what happens while you’re heading towards a destination, the unknowns, the unexpected outcomes), the songs that comprise Deaths are collectively about the act of finishing, an ode to ‘the ending’.

                            Creating this album was a working research project embodying what is sometimes the hardest part of musical endeavour: completing a record. Making a new album is always daunting, but when all band members also have full-time jobs and other commitments it can also seem logistically impossible. Then there is the nagging, unattainable perfectionism that can draw out a record for months or even years - an experience that didn’t bear repeating. When is something finished? Is finishing necessary to move on?

                            The album was created and facilitated through a series of deadlines. The recording studio was booked before any songs had been written. Having a deadline in advance allowed for productive freedom through limitation and finite time: five months to write the album, that was it. This meant meeting every week to write no matter how many members could make it, filling in on each other’s instruments (reminiscent of how side-project Monotony came about: writer’s block in a Sauna Youth practice - removing yourself from your role in a band removes the old expectations) and using automatic writing processes.

                            The limited time didn’t allow for much reflection and overworking. Placeholders became final tracks through committing to songs at early stages, keeping them immediate. The album is site and time specific - those months in an archway in Peckham, which live on through samples including amp interference from trains passing overhead. It’s also very much of this specific point in history, influences, and band members’ lives. This process created a tension through trusting decisions and not questioning what was produced.

                            The 12 tracks touch on political rhetoric, artistic legacy, action and passivity, work and leisure, and, of course, distraction, referencing many musical genres in the process while never leaving punk’s orbit.

                            Creative living becomes more gruelling and endless than the 9 to 5 on ‘Leisure Time’, how freelance living and having multiple jobs both result in no free time. Being in a band is leisure time, but can be a lot of work. Our lives should afford us with time, but we fill it with activity.

                            ‘No Personal Space’ looks at the cyclical nature of music, referencing ‘New Rose’ - the first single by a British punk band - via a drumbeat and lyrics, exploring the enclosure of the genre; a blown out recording of practising constantly interrupts the band.

                            ‘Percentages’ was written at a point of political and social upheaval and problematizes the use of numbers as a form of proof. Whole groups of people have been reduced to statistics for political reasons, and people use and manipulate statistics to prove any point they want.

                            ‘In Flux’ is about whatever is opposite to creativity, what kills it dead, the communication of a song or a piece of art can kill it, even trying to see an idea through to its conclusion can be what kills it.

                            The pure pop number ‘Laura’, according to Jonah Falco who mixed the record, sounds like “The Desperate Bicycles went to graduate school in the fields of Salisbury while being yelled at by two sides of their conscience, oddly enough, telling them the exact same thing.”

                            ‘Problems’ - a former Monotony song - reduces the punk song to its essential elements, aiming to sound like being inside a brake factory and repeating “Problems” until it has rendered the word completely meaningless.


                            The album ends with a wild and playful rejection of patriarchy and a frustration with those who uphold it either willingly or through inaction in the form of the unhinged Theatre 83. It’s like English music hall meets ‘We’re A Happy Family’ by The Ramones.

                            Like the previous two albums, Deaths includes writing put to music. ‘Swerve’ and ‘The Patio’ are extracts from a short story written by band member Ecke about the murder of an artist whose estate is overseen by her ambitious sister, and is read by writer and frontperson of Marcel Wave, Maike Hale-Jones.

                            Samples are as important as they ever were - this time including the aforementioned electrical interference, recordings of practice and YouTube videos of lawnmowers and cafe noise that people (including members of the band) listen to while working to distract their mind in order to focus.

                            An album once finished is frozen in time, solid and no longer resistent or adaptive to outside forces. Does the difficulty to find an end come from the genre, from punk’s revisionist impulse, redoing the same thing over and over? Do we avoid an ending because playing in a band is a distraction from everyday life?

                            The album was recorded by John Hannon of No Recording Studios in June 2017 over three days, mixed by Jonah Falco and mastered by Kris Lapke.

                            The cover was shot in a garden in Brixton by Owen Richards, who also photographed the covers for the previous albums. Additional artwork provided by R.M. Phoenix. The first 500 copies of the LP version each come with a unique 3 colour screen-print produced by Mince at The Positive Press.

                            Sauna Youth is Boon, Mince, Ecke and Pines. They played together in the band Monotony, and between them have played or do play in other bands and music projects including Primitive Parts, Feature, Child’s Pose, Lilac, Cold Pumas, Oblate, Teufelskreis, Mind Jail, Gold Foil, Tense Men as well as being involved with the organisations Good Night Out, The Positive Press, Constant Flux & Heart n Soul.


                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Another crashing punk assault from Sauna Youth with thudding kick drums, fuzzed guitars and snarling, spitting vox akimbo. Yet another reason for this London 4-piece to enter your collection, as if there aren't enough already.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: 180g limited colour vinyl + poster – 500 only for the world.

                            Wow, a new chapter of this legendary series. This and the very first time it’s not compiled by Michael Reinboth, rather by Benjamin Fröhlich and Tom Bioly, the founders and masterminds behind Permanent Vacation.

                            Why? Simply because they both are very close friends of the Compost famlee, with an amazing musical and DJ-like tastefulness, with the knowledge-based trust of music in the vein of vibrant, jazzy electronica hybrids. And they are from Compost Records’ hometown Munich, too.

                            Maybe Volume 14 differs slightly to what the previous 13 brought up music-wise, but that’s the score, idea and open mindedness of this series, as it was by the compilers, and last but not least a great time for a change, too. So we welcome this, we very much appreciate and like their selection. We are sure, this will convince you.

                            28 tracks, 3 exclusive tracks. Enjoy! 


                            Featuring a collection of songs written with now-dormant experimental recording group Great Thunder while Crutchfield was also writing the Waxahatchee albums Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp, the original recordings have mostly faded into obscurity. Unearthing and reimagining them with producer Brad Cook at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin was a cathartic experience, she says. On the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed Out in the Storm, Crutchfield found herself looking to take a sharp turn away from the more rock-oriented influences of her recent records towards her more folk and country roots.

                            “I would say that it is a complete 180 from the last record: super stripped-down, quiet, and with me performing solo, it’s a throwback to how I started,” writes Crutchfield. “Overall, the EP is a warm, kind of vibey recording.” Some of the songs on Great Thunder, like “Chapel of Pines” and “Singer’s No Star,” stayed the same and will be recognizable to those intensely familiar with Crutchfield’s catalog to date, while closer “Takes So Much” was built back up on piano from the bones of the original version, surprising even the songwriter: “Until then, I didn’t realize how beautiful this song was.” As Crutchfield entered April Base to record, she became ill but opted to forge on, beautifully stretching her voice to its emotional limits. 

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: A much more stripped back affair from Waxahatchee, reduced to the constituent parts of Crutchfield's sound, and brought to the masses with the perspective of the previous few releases. A beautiful insight into the formative sound of one of our favourite artists.

                            Grammy-winning Canadian pianist, entertainer and composer Chilly Gonzales releases the final album of his Solo Piano trilogy.

                            The album comes six years after Solo Piano II and, according to Gonzales, at “a more problematic inflection point”. "Like its predecessors, it’s a mostly happy ending in C major, but there is more dissonance, tension and ambiguity along the way… The musical purity of Solo Piano III is not an antidote for our times, it is a reflection of all the beauty and ugliness around us.”

                            Known as much for the intimate piano touch of best-selling albums Solo Piano I and Solo Piano II as for his showmanship and composition for award-winning stars, "Gonzo", as he is known to close collaborators, aims to be a man of his time, approaching the piano with classical and jazz training but with the attitude of a rapper. He holds the Guinness world record for the longest solo concert at over 27 hours. He performs and writes songs with Jarvis Cocker, Feist and Drake, among others, with recent collaborators including the likes of Ibeyi and Toddla T. With Never Stop, Chilly Gonzales composed a global hit for the inaugural Apple iPad 2 campaign. In 2014 he won a Grammy for his collaboration on Daft Punk’s ‘Best Album of the Year’ and composed the best-selling book of easy piano pieces Re- Introduction Etudes. With his last album Chambers, Chilly Gonzales devoted himself to finding a modern take on chamber music.

                            Most recently, Chilly Gonzales ventured into a new form of entrepreneurship. A culmination of recent years’ explorations in teaching, Gonzo inaugurated his very own music school: The Gonzervatory.

                            During this all-expenses-paid residential music performance workshop held in Paris, 7 selected students explored Musical Humanism, audience psychology and what it means to be a performing musician in 2018. After a week of intensive coaching, masterclasses and rehearsals, these young musicians performed a concert for an audience of 1500 fans with Chilly Gonzales himself as Master of Ceremony. The Gonzervatory Workshop and Concerts were livestreamed on pan-European TV station Arte Concert to record-breaking audiences (Arte’s 2nd most viewed concert). Plans are already being made for the 2019 edition.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            2xDeluxe CD Info: Limited CD version has Live at Massey Hall as the bonus disc - recorded on the 5th February 2016 in Toronto at the very end of Chambers’ tour.

                            Vast, expansive and introspective works utilising place-specific found sound on this second Cremation Lily LP for Alter. Contemplating mortality, illness and the perennial bleakness of British winter in a seaside town we find Zen Zsigo experimenting with piano, violin, synthesiser and walkman tape players. Layering field recordings of the Hastings shoreline atop druggy, stretched out 303 basslines and snippets of spoken word there seems to be an overarching thematic of memory and reflection at play. From vignettes of crumbling glass and bittersweet drones through to sprawling, semi-rhythmical pieces (‘As a sea creature...’) it seems as if Zsigo is trawling the coast for fragments of its former glory. The end result of his study manages to echo the work of Yoran, Leyland Kirby and even Jacob Kirkegaard yet the rare moments where he lays bare his own vocal narrative seemingly transforms In England Now, Underwater into sonic diary territory. Mixing salt-water soaked cassette loops with haunting, minimalist piano motifs and warped recordings of crashing waves and bird noise an intense atmosphere of Ballard’s drowned world is evoked through sound.

                            Legendary DJ, remixer and edit exponent Greg Wilson is back at it again with the third instalment of his hugely popular ‘Credit To The Edit’ series. Almost a decade on from Volume 2, ‘Credit To The Edit Vol. 3’, released via Tirk Recordings, draws on music from the disco and rave eras, adding a seminal hip hop cut, a Balearic favourite, as well a few contemporary tracks from the last 10 years.

                            A groundbreaking DJ, Greg played a key role in introducing black electronic dance music to the UK via his early 1980s residencies at Wigan Pier, Manchester’s Legend and The Haçienda, as well as over the airwaves on the city’s Piccadilly Radio. Working with Technics turntables, a Revox reel to reel tape machine and a razor blade, Greg carved out his reputation as a UK pioneer and champion of electro funk. Whereas, more recently, following his 2003 comeback after a two-decade hiatus, he’s gained international renown at the vanguard of a now global re-edits movement.

                            “This album mainly consists of straight up old-style edits, where I’ve worked with the stereo tracks, extending, re-arranging and sometimes overdubbing. There are also some reworks / remixes where I’ve had the stems at my disposal and been able to bring into play additional instrumentation, courtesy of remix partner Peza on a couple of the tracks - 2016’s ‘Hold On’ by Luxxury featuring The Reynolds plus the futuristic ‘70s Disco hit, ‘Magic Fly’ by Space.”

                            Kicking off with Haçienda DJ Mike Pickering’s T-Coy project, the loose-limbed Latinate shuffle ‘Carino’ is very much a cult classic. Greg’s instrumental edit of Todd Terje’s edit of ‘Glad To Know You’, 37 years on from the Chaz Jankel original, has been a big club and festival favourite, and is made available here for the first time, while Escort make their second ‘Credit To The Edit’ appearance with Greg’s remix of their 2010 release, ‘Cocaine Blues’.

                            The near-pornographic funk classic ‘Jungle Fever’, recorded by Chakachas, a group of Belgianbased studio musicians, is a playful mixture of Latin music, jazz and European-style exotica and the Fab Five Freddy hip hop landmark ‘Change The Beat’, which includes one of the most sampled phrases ever, “This stuff is really fresh!” with Greg’s edit combining the male / female English / French versions to create a unique rap combination.

                            His 2009 edit of one of the all-time rave classics, ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’ by Bassheads is always guaranteed to bring the roof down, whilst he places the emphasis on the Chic-driven backing on Sheila & B. Devotion’s ‘Spacer’, taking out the verses completely and making more DJ friendly. More recent favourites come courtesy of Psychemagik and Red Rack’em, with ‘Getting Away With It’, a hidden classic of the Madchester era recorded in 1989 by New Order’s Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr of The Smiths as Electronic (complete with Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant), bringing the curtain down on the third instalment of ‘Credit To The Edit’. A signature edit of Greg’s which slowly creeps up on you, it’s a fitting way to close the album and gets its official release here.

                            With re-edits culture continuing to grow ever-stronger and becoming a staple of the contemporary dance scene, it brings back into play a whole era of music for a new generation.

                            “To have played a part in this recent evolution fulfils my personal criteria as a DJ, which is to draw from the past whilst informing the present. I was always cautious of nostalgia traps, where DJs fall into playing the old music in the old way, whereas this was about bringing new context to what was always great music, introducing it to a younger crowd, with the re-edits movement providing the perfect connection from then to now - my role as a ‘bridge-builder’ crystalizing as a consequence.” - Greg Wilson

                            When Escape-ism—nom de guerre of mythic rock ’n’ roll provocateur / theorist / revolutionary Ian Svenonius (performer, author, filmmaker, etc.) announced the imminent release of its second long-player, The Lost Record, it shook the foundations of the hermetic swamp / tundra known as “underground music.” In the music world, a “lost record” is the term for an LP that was passed over, unappreciated maybe not even released but is later discovered, unearthed, and celebrated by in-the-know tastemakers and canny connoisseurs. Many of our culture’s favorite records are “lost” records; once despised or unheard, they’re now in heavy rotation in the clubhouse and in the car. However, the process a record has to go through to be “lost”and then found again is arduous. It’s also quite risky, since most lost records are really just lost: tossed aside and forgotten forever. So, when Escape-ism—the most exciting group in the world announced its new and highly anticipated release The Lost Record, it created a commotion. For some, it seemed unfair for Escape-ism to jump ahead of the usual protocol and not go through the degradation that a historic “lost record” suffers: the endless time spent in a bin in the basement or a remote warehouse. Unshipped, unloved, unappreciated. But for Escape-ism, it seemed easier to circumvent the rigmarole and just get on with it. The Lost Record is a classic, destined to bewitch the minds, hearts, and dancing shoes of any rock ’n’ roll fan who happens to discover it, for as long as such creatures exist. Without the high-octane hype machine of the mind-control minstrels who hypnotize the hapless through the mass media, The Lost Record is bound for inevitable obscurity, but with its timeless tunes, poignant message, and innovative sound rediscovery and immortal status is equally assured! The Lost Record, being what it is, has enormous selling potential. Music enthusiasts will be thrilled to be the ones clever and kind enough to have rescued this platter from oblivion. It’s a no-brainer that The Lost Record will be both unfairly neglected but also enshrined as a pinnacle achievement for subterranean civilization. Listen to Escape-ism. See Escape-ism. Feel Escape-ism. Breathe Escape-ism. Live Escape-ism.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: It's true, everyone does a 'Lost Record' don't they, which more often than not begs the question, why did you lose it if it was good? I mean, if it's rubbish I wouldn't mind popping it on the seat of the bus whilst i get my book out, or using it to hold down my price labels whilst I write them etc. When things get confusing is when they're new records, but called 'The Lost Record' like this one from Escape-ism. Do they think it's going to get lost? Let's hope not because it's good.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Clear swirl vinyl and ltd to 1,500 worldwide, this is for Indie stores only.

                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Oliver Coates

                            Shelley's On Zenn-La

                            For Shelley’s on Zenn-La, Oliver Coates designs a complex of bending truths and reverse walkways to vernal states. Open ears can peer down hidden aux channel corridors, while melodic patterns present two-way mirrors to rooms of other retinal colors. An endless euphoria is just beneath the dance floorboards of Shelley’s, and an inquisitiveness unencumbered by the institution of knowledge surrounding its frame and inhabitants. Shelley’s on Zenn-La was made between the Elephant and Castle neighborhood of London and a future dreamscape. In this realm out of time and space, Shelley’s (Laserdome) – a once-legendary late 80s / early 90s nightclub in the industrial town of Stoke-on-Trent in the north of England – can simultaneously exist on the fictional planet of Zenn-La, and can house a devotional, alien ritual of early UK rave culture, pioneering IDM, and deep minimalism. Much of the album’s construction extends from specific, self-imposed ambitions; particular palettes applied to individual creative ideas. These limitations become limitless manifestations of theme: two bass lines running in parallel (one cello, one synth), synthesized waveforms phasing with bowed acoustic drones and chords, synth sequences in nonstandard tuning sitting against folk melody in standard tuning. Coates made a lot of the music for Shelley’s in Renoise, composing drum sequences in hexadecimal numbers and pencil drawn waveforms and cementing specificity in the intricate, intelligent dance machinations. Cellist, composer, and producer Oliver Coates has studied at the Royal Academy of Music, been an artist in residency at London’s Southbank Centre, and received the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award. Coates has contributed to the recordings of Radiohead, and collaborated with Laurie Spiegel and John Luther Adams. 

                            Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brasil now currently residing in the outskirts of Europe, Fernando may be better known for his more floor oriented releases as Innsyter or Seixlack. Fans of PPU take note!
                            For this release, his first lp under his given name, we get a vast array of mutant electronics with surprisingly insane, almost pop, songwriting structure over 15 tracks. These songs conjure up a weird netherworld where all things bizarre and wrong come to head and spiral out of control.
                            Think the drum machine driven punk funk dub outs of 80s New York City meets the catchy low fi charm of Ariel Pink combined with the element of chewed up vhs cassettes getting spit out of the machine and your on the right track. Fernando manages to create a truly unique sound that's equal parts catchy yet has sinister, underlying back alley undertones. Check "Actual Job" for immediate Arthur Russell vibes or the VHS boogie of "Erotic Moments" for starters. 

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Sil says: Brutal and uncompromising album here from the L.I.E.S side of techno. It is techno but not in its dance form. This is appropriate for home listening as much as soundtrack for your lysergic and psychedelic trips. Think of Moon B and you are not far off what we are dealing with. It is good. It is very good.

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

                            STAFF COMMENTS

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

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP Info: INCLUDES DOWNLOAD CARD.

                            Mogwai's first venture into the world of the feature film soundtracks is for the upcoming KIN (directed by the producers that bought you Stranger Things and Arrival, Jonathan and Josh Baker and in cinemas 31st August 2018).

                            Expect classic mogwai tensions, twinkling synthesisers and tenderly interwoven guitar lines. Ambient washes spring forth from slowly building atmospherics and fall again into rumbles of activity. Yet another perfectly measured outing from the masters of post-rock. 

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: This week, we're treated to a new soundtrack from famously brilliant instrumental(ish) rockers Mogwai, bringing together both the brittle, minimalist atmospherics and earth-shaking euphoric rock they've become so known for. A beautiful counterpoint to Atomic's tentative (but equally beautiful) malaise.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition heavyweight red vinyl LP.

                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Bristol, UK 5-piece Idles (aka “the UK's best punk band" - The Guardian) release their sophomore LP - ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance.’ 

                            Produced by Space and mixed by Adam Greenspan & Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kate Bush), ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance.’ takes aim at everything from toxic masculinity, nationalism, immigration, and class inequality - all while maintaining a visceral, infectious positivity. Singer Joe Talbot summarizes: “This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a brave naked smile in this shitty new world. We have stripped back the songs and lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, to celebrate our differences, and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.”

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Much of the same wry lyricism, insightful and observational social commentary and clever irony as their much-lauded debut but brought into the present with an inter-band chemistry and development of style that the intermittent years have brought out. Snappy, clever and loud.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition pink vinyl.

                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Deluxe LP Info: Gold glitter embossed sleeve with 18 different artwork variation inserts.

                            Deluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Although civilization’s transition into a cyborg world seems inevitable, there are still those who recognize the beauty and power of a human touch to complement the circumvention. Jack Tatum understands this balance, and through a decade making music as Wild Nothing he has learned to embrace both sides of that dynamic—but perhaps never as distinctly as on Indigo, the fourth Wild Nothing album. On one hand, it is a return to the fresh, transcendent sweep of his debut, 2010’s Gemini , and on the other, a culmination of heights reached, paths traveled, and lessons learned while creating the follow-ups, Nocturne and Life of Pause . Indigo finds Tatum at his most efficient, calculated, and confident—resulting in an artful blend of hi-fi humanity and technology that fires on all circuits and synapses.

                            To make Indigo , Tatum confronted the Man vs. Machine dichotomy by seizing on the surrounding synergy. Finding the right people to work on the album was integral, as was the proper place to record it. So, Tatum booked four days at legendary Sunset Sound’s Studio. Afterwards, producer Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Gang Gang Dance, Japanese Breakfast) and Tatum built out the rest of the album’s sound by adding new parts and repurposing sounds from Tatum’s demos. The resulting Indigo is its own cyborg world, utilizing the artful mechanisms of human touch with the precision of technology to create the classic, pristine sound Tatum had been seeking his entire career. From the opening drum beat, chiming guitar, and sweeping synth of “Letting Go” to Tatum’s Bryan Ferry vocal turn on “Oscillation” to the ’80s-heavy blips, clicks, and strut of “Partners in Motion,” it’s clear that Indigo is at once vintage Wild Nothing and a bold, new leap into a bigger arena.


                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: From glowing jangly guitars and Tatum's soaring vox, Wild Nothing present a more cohesive and slick outing than 2016's shop favourite, 'Life Of Pause'. A superb progression in dynamics whilst still retaining the superb melodicism that made them so appealing in the first place. Ace.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Transparent Blue vinyl. Limited to just 500 copies for UK and EU indie retailers.

                            Aaron Lee Tasjan

                            Karma For Cheap

                              Most people know Aaron Lee Tasjan as one of the wittiest, most offbeat, brilliant, weed-smokin’ and LSD microdosin’ Americana troubadours writing and singing songs today. The New York Times, NPR and Rolling Stone will all gladly corroborate. Steel yourselves, folk fans, because he’s about to follow his restless muse straight out from under the weight of everyone’s expectations into the kind of glammy, jingle-jangle, power-pop and psych-tinged sounds he hasn’t dabbled in since his younger days playing lead guitar for a late-period incarnation of The New York Dolls.

                              ‘Karma For Cheap’ is Tasjan’s third album and second for New West Records. The record was coproduced by Aaron and his friends Jeff Trott (Stevie Nicks, Liz Phair, Meiko, Joshua Radin) and Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr.) and features Aaron Lee’s road band - guitarist Brian Wright, bassist Tommy Scifres and drummer Seth Earnest - with whom he’s been touring heavily for the last two years.

                              While the stylistic shift from Tasjan’s palpably stoned 70s-country-channeling 2015 debut, ‘In The Blazes’, to his more sophisticated, introspective and lushly produced 2016 follow-up, ‘Silver Tears’, was relatively incremental, Karma’s rocked-up Brit-pop-influenced Beatles-Bowie-Badfinger vibes underscore a significant departure. The album boldly reimagines these vintage sounds, pushing the boundary of what can be considered Americana.

                              The roots of Tasjan’s ‘Karma For Cheap’ stretch deep, drinking up the sounds of a Southern California childhood spent listening to The Beatles while riding around with his mom at the wheel of their navy blue Volvo station wagon - back to the very first pre-teen year he picked up a six-string and started figuring out all the pretty little chords in those Lennon-McCartney tunes. Back to the pure, blissful unfiltered innocence of falling in love with music for the first time. A huge sonic touchstone for Aaron’s new record is ‘The Beatles Anthology’, one of his childhood favourites. In songs like ‘If Not Now When’, ‘Songbird’ and ‘The Rest Is Yet To Come’ you can hear echoes of George Harrison’s vibrant guitar riffs and Jeff Lynne’s lavish production on those lo-fi John Lennon demos the surviving Beatles dug up and polished off in the mid 90s.

                              Perhaps the most poignant moment on ‘Karma For Cheap’ is the anthemic, hypnotic ‘Heart Slows Down’, a tune rife with musical and lyrical references to The Beatles and Tom Petty, anchored by an unforgettable chorus with a Traveling Wilburys vibe that finds the sweet spot between Tasjan’s two earliest musical heroes. “When I was a kid, my favorite CD to fall asleep to was Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ ‘Greatest Hits’, and the last song is a cover of that Thunderclap Newman song ‘Something In The Air’. From the time I was a little kid to when I was teenager, I used to listen to that song on headphones almost every night - I heard it in that space between wake and sleep so many times. And Tom’s passing - he was a really big hero of mine, so it hit me pretty hard. We were in Seattle playing a show when I heard, and it was a heavy thing to process. But all of those elements are there in ‘Heart Slows Down’. The chorus, ‘I will always be around,’ is a reminder that all the good you ever got out of listening to this music is still around you. You’ll always have that.”

                              Aaron Lee Tasjan says he aims to use his music for good but he’s no protest singer. And ‘Karma For Cheap’ isn’t some heavy-handed, didactic political record cramming a set of talking points down anyone’s throat. It’s a finely tuned rock & roll seismograph measuring the dark and uncertain vibrations of the time in which it was created. A cracked mirror reflecting back the American zeitgeist. With ‘Karma For Cheap’ Tasjan establishes himself as an artist who not only evolves over time but isn’t afraid to risk reinventing himself completely from one record to the next.

                              For fans of Tom Petty, Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, David Bowie.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Off-kilter blues-tinged ballads, whimsical but direct and comprised of huge slide guitars, White Stripes-y thumping drums and swinging, swaggering rock and/or roll.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Split orange / red coloured vinyl.

                              Collaboration between Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner · Other collaborators include Phoebe Bridgers, Lisa Hannigan, Richard Reed Parry and more.

                              In 2008, Aaron Dessner sent Justin Vernon an instrumental sketch of a song called “Big Red Machine” for Dark Was The Night. This was before they had met in person. Justin wrote a song to it, interpreting the Big Red Machine title as a heart. 10 years of friendship later, there are 10 more songs. Big Red Machine. Each song includes a large number of collaborators via the PEOPLE platform and the record was produced by Justin and Aaron with longtime collaborator Brad Cook and engineered by Jonathan Low primarily at Aaron’s studio Long Pond in Upper Hudson Valley, NY

                              People is a steadily growing group of international artists who have come together to create and share our work freely, with each other and everyone. It was born outo a wish to establish an independent and nurturing space in which to make work (generally around music) that is collaborative, spontaneous and expressive in nature and where all unnecessary distractions or obstacles that get in the way are removed. People is for the benefit and development of the artists involved and just as importantly, for those who would like to access and enjoy the output. It is as much about the process of making work and showing all that openly, as the final outcome.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Such a well-heeled duo as Dessner and Vernon working together is bound to throw up some challenging and fascinating themes, and Big Red Machine doesn't fail to live up to expectations. Massive electronic scree, brittle log-cabin pieces and a collaborative chemistry that would make Dangermouse and Penfold attend a weekend retreat to iron out the creases. Top stuff.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              Iron & Wine follow up their 2018 Grammy-nominated full-length Beast Epic with Weed Garden, a collection of material that began about three years ago. The six-song EP features songs that were part of the writing phase for Beast Epic, but went unfinished. They were part of a larger narrative for principal songwriter Sam Beam, who ran out of time to get them where they needed to be for inclusion on Beast Epic. Weed Garden also includes the fan favorite “Waves of Galveston.”

                              While on tour last fall, the final pieces of material took shape and a sense of urgency prevailed in bringing these characters full circle. To resolution. To completion. In January, Beam and company hunkered down in Chicago at The Loft recording studio to capture these six songs.  No more, no less.
                              Weed Garden joins the good company of previous Iron & Wine EP’s – The Sea and Rhythm, Woman King, In the Reins – and in 2018’s attention-span challenged world that's not a bad thing.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: If you've heard Iron & Wine before, you'll be well aware of Mr. Beam's capability for weaving a rich acousticana tapestry, and 'Weed Garden' is exactly that, beautifully played organic instrumentation with a strong melodic sensibility, relaxing and transportative. (Iron &) Wine-not give it a go.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Loser Edition on opaque orange coloured vinyl.

                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              Hunter, the third album from Anna Calvi, is the embodiment of the feeling of truly letting go. For the art-rock singer-songwriter it was a catharsis, and an opportunity to be more truthful than she ever had been been before. Revered in the British music industry since she emerged in 2011 (BRIT Award and twice Mercury Prize nominated), she has teamed up with esteemed producer Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Grinderman), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Martyn Casey (The Bad Seeds) to bring this galvanising record to life.

                              Hunter is an album of visceral guitars and vocals, exploring sexualityand breaking the laws of gender conformity. Passionate subject matter calls for passionate delivery, and on Hunter, Calvi pushes the limits of her guitar and her voice beyond anything she’s recorded before. It was important to Calvi that the record was as vulnerable as it is strong; as beautiful as it is ugly. To be the hunter and the hunted.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Calvi is at once arresting and mesmerising, mixing evocative gothic symphonics and soaring melodic waves with a brittle undercurrent, flipping from shimmering synth pop to dark bubbling ambient in the blink of an eye. As immediately appreciable musically as it is conceptually exceptional.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Red coloured heavyweight 180 gram vinyl.

                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              I’m going to set Carpe Diem as my alarm for the next week and see how that makes me feel. It will be replacing an alternation of Werewolves of London and Baby, It’s You. After a week the familiarity might feel kind of insane but kind of nice. Ad nauseum to the coffee. Yeah! Terry is into repetition. Terry often feels like the daily grind but set inside a Loony Tune. They can be slightly nasty and violent, but funny at the same time. I laugh at Terry riffs a lot. The lyrics are droll, yes, but have you heard the riffs? It’s like they’re tickling you. It’s like Terry has got his great big fingers under my arms. But this is all part of a strangely conceived plan. I would almost say that Terry is highly conceptual. Possibly the most conceptual band I’ve been around, possibly in my whole life. Like… what’s really going on here? Why am I listening to jingles and feeling so moved?

                              My favourite songs on Terry’s new album ‘I’m Terry’ (the band’s third record in three years), are Under Reign, it’s a creepy one, sandwiched between other new faves The Whip and Crimes. There’s a theme of dominance and submission here, but kinda unremarkable and ignorable, like knowing you're enslaved by your streaming service but just gently putting that out of your mind for another week. Terry is domesticity. Terry romances the mundane. This is how romance ekes out a triumph amidst mundanity. That’s what Billy Bragg’s New England and Squeeze’s Up The Junction do. Terry’s suburban escapism moment is Ciao Goodbye. Listen to Ciao Goodbye on an arterial road under the yellow streetlights of a weeknight. Terry has never been this beautiful. Terry may never be beautiful again, definitely not on this record. The next song is psycho.

                              That’s what I like about Terry, there are few rules in Terry’s world. They seem to make a song out of whatever sounds good to them. I literally don’t know what they’ll do next. They aren’t a genre study. The only stylistic consistency is in their hat wear. I’ve never been in a band like this. I’ve been in a band that simultaneously studied genre and also hats. But never only hats. Have you noticed the reggae undercurrent in Terry? There is one. This is good. Terry are kinda like Steely Dan or 10cc. Both bands make me queasy after a certain point. Terry probably also make me a bit queasy, singing about police beatings and nationalism and all that. But they’re not out to hurt you. They’re like the kindly bearer of bad news. There’s some awful shit going on in this country. Terry knows. Terry puts it in terms that speak to me. It’s a tragicomedy. I want to laugh and sometimes I want to consider crying. But I don’t think I will. I’m pretty certain Terry isn’t perverse, they’re just the harbinger of the encroaching perverse world. I’m pretty certain Terry wants to be my friend, and your friend. Our friend, Terry. Lee Parker, 2018. 


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: With the recent reissue of the Moldy Peaches' eponymous lo-fi indie opus, they've reignited a previously roaring fire for clanging guitars and crashing drums, and it just so happens that Terry are the 'If They Could Play Their Instruments' version of the aforementioned. A similar whimsical sensibility, but underpinned with the tuneful twists and turns of a band know what makes a perfect progression. Brilliantly balanced and delivered.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: 300 x Transparent LPs (180g).

                              Ltd CD Info: 500 X CD.

                              Soundtrack album to the forthcoming documentary "The Man from Mo’ Wax" that charts the life of pioneering UK electronic / trip-hop figure James Lavelle, whose presence in the scene as a DJ, producer and label head remains pivotal today, nearly three decades into his career.

                              The soundtrack features tracks from the film that chart the life of Lavelle + his label Mo’ Wax including:
                              - artists that inspired him to create Mo’ Wax such as Hiroshi + Kudo, Zimbabwe Legit, Marie 'Queenie' Lyons + The Wild Bunch

                              - trip-hop classics from Mo’ Wax by DJ Shadow, La Funk Mob, Attica Blues, Dr. Octagon, DJ Krush + RPM

                              - essential Lavelle productions/co-writes with Thom Yorke, Ian Brown + Queens of the Stone Age.


                              The film features interviews with DJ Shadow, Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja (3D), Ian Brown, Futura, Thom Yorke and Grandmaster Flash who help tell the remarkable story of one of the most enigmatic yet influential figures in contemporary British culture. Unearthed from over 700 hours of footage including his exclusive personal archive spanning three decades, "The Man from Mo’ Wax" is an exhilarating, no holds-barred ride through Lavelle’s career highs and lows.

                              The film will be released in selected cinemas nationwide on the 31st August – celebrating the 20th anniversary of the seminal UNKLE / Mo’Wax album release of "Psyence Fiction". There will a launch event at the BFI Southbank, the home of British cinema. Album will be released same day as the film to combine marketing efforts.


                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              2xColoured LP Info: Coloured vinyl – 1 disc red, 1 disc blue.

                              Free your mind and float away, you’re now entering the mode of the Growing Bin. Hamburg’s centre for audio enlightenment is back with another sublime sensory experience, this time from the land of the rising sun.

                              Keen to get another stamp on his passport, Basso reached out to Japanese duo Singu, two open minded cats who just love to jam. Marrying Kiyo’s free drumming with Keta Ra’s melodic mastery of keyboard and guitar, the two-piece fuse free jazz, post-rock, kosmische and ambient into immersive and esoteric improvisations. Free from any compositional concerns, the Hiroshima outfit trade in energy, emotion and expression.

                              The frenetic percussion and ephemeral melodies of opener ‘Aurora Gate’ instantly transport you to the breathless churn of a Tokyo crossroads, where thousands of people rush by but you stand still in the eye of the storm. Though they may be explosive, the drums sit back in the mix, offering a soft intensity behind the shimmering wall of melody. A nimble and nuanced affair, ‘Bop’ brings rapid fire rhythm, slick syncopation and hypnotic piano refrains. Cool bass rolls along like KDJ’s ‘Rectify’, as Singu update the acid jazz template like Toshio Matsuura covering Carl Craig. Singu journey from far out to Furthur on Aside closer ‘Nagebu’, strapping in for psychedelic synth wig out which is heavy on the resonance and free on the filter.

                              Blooming out of the darkness on the B1, Basso favourite ‘Fazaria’ soothes and moves you with its twinkling keys, nebulous wave forms and delicate guitar, leaving you wide eyed in wonder as the drum fills burst like fireworks across a star-filled sky. ‘828’ sweeps into abstraction as Kiyo and Keta Ra combine snapping glitches and aquatic electronics with fractal guitar tones and woozy bass, pushing through a portal to see what’s beyond. An a-grade wall melter, this trip makes great use of tension as the crisp machine drums stand in sharp contrast to the whirring, blurring guitars. Finally ’44’ carries you home on a downbeat drift, a flawless fusion of buzzing electronics, misty pads and relentless percussion played with perfect poise. Turn on, tune in and trip out, Singu bring you music from the moment that you’ll love for a lifetime.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Patrick says: Japanese duo Singu perfectly capture the calm in the storm, a moment of presence amid the buzz of a busy city streets; headphones in, eyes down, the crowd a blur before you. Sit back and treat your ears as post rock, jazz, kosmische and Balearic collide into "Siki".

                              Struggling to get by in the luscious capital of West Java, Bandung's Munir found a home in the rhythm of the city's underground.
                              An avid Boogie aficionado, the funkateer echoes these historical sounds of change and manages to record most of his music with borrowed gear. His dedication to the underground dance scene stems from the very streets that introduced him to his own transformative sound. As a DJ, producer, label owner and graphic designer, the Indonesian artist is determined to breathe life into an underappreciated, yet influential music scene.
                              With vintage synths and beat machines, Munir captures a late 70s and early 80s vibe transformed into well-balanced, contemporary cuts. The album showcases his intriguing skills and dedication to the art form, with influences ranging from house to ambient and the ever-present rawness of funk.
                              Dopeness Galore pull out all the stops to bring Bandung's Munir back for the release of a full-length album. Built around a lush stay at a place where water is salt and life is sweet: Welcome to the Grand Paradise Hotel.
                              Enjoy your stay.

                              "..a thin fabric brushes against your skin as you set foot into the slightly over-cooled, regal looking main entrance. Tall shadows of midnight travelers take shape on crisp white walls painting them a moonlit blue. A sigh of relief escapes your breath. The luster of marble floors looks strikingly imposing against the city's charcoal dust that has collected on both your shoes...

                              "Welcome to the Grand Paradise hotel", she says, "where life awaits, at your ocean view".


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Patrick says: Indonesian gee Munir brings the drama on debut solo LP, gracing the evergreen Dopeness Galore with a set of exotic house, nu school boogie and infectious breakbeat. Gloriously retro but refreshing all the same, this is a killer LP - groove is in the heart y'all.

                              Crazy 12 track library music style album on this ace Italian label. All based around bumping live rhythms triggering an obscure Japanese drum synth module..recorded in 2018.
                              It was November 2017 when I received a call from an old friend, "Hi Fabrizio, I found a rare Japanese drum machine, you should come and see it before I put this on ebay." I went to check it out and immediately realized it had more potential than just drum sounds generation, it was able to produce quirky and creepy sounds if triggered by any sound source. So I bought it and brought in the studio, where me and Alex were laying down new beats and ideas. It took just three days of jams to get the skeleton of this record done: I programmed the module to receive Alex's drum hits and the device started creating synth lines, almost as it was speaking its own language.I've found a soul in this machine, and I wanted to bring it to life in these tracks, a mix of arranged compositions and improvised jams. No root keys, no grids, no clicks, everything came out in an instinctive and natural way. As far as we know it's the first time this synthesizer/drum machine is been used in this "improper" and new way.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Patrick says: Jolly Mare slap an expansion pack on some cryptic drum machine and get skewed with this killer set of off kilter synth grooves. Bleep bleep weirdshit!

                              For musicians inhabiting the Antipodean countries of Australia and New Zealand during the 70’s and 80’s, it was a geographically and culturally isolating environment. Boutique shops, community radio and mail order exchanges championed independent and contemporary music from across the globe. It was, however, this isolation that caused a number of small community-focused scenes to evolve, creating their own unique interpretation and reappropriation of outside influences. Through both these scenes and government initiatives, a vast amount of music emerged on self-released and independent labels.

                              Yet, even among small scenes that were creating unique sounds, a number of artists seemed to be making music that was neither here nor there, often meshing together numerous genres and influences to create anomalous sounds. Artists like Olev Muska along with Ingrid Slamer meshed traditional folk songs of their Estonian heritage with cutting edge computer technology. Ngahiwi Apanui used his native language of Te Reo and a “cheap drum machine” to create a pulsating tale that highlights the creation of Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand); while the Free Radicals would sing through PVC pipes to construct their vision of post-apocalyptic tribal music. Sydney’s Nic Lyon used his classical training to craft a distinctive gem which matched eastern and African influenced instruments with synchopated drum machines, while artists like Delaney Venn and Toy Division managed to challenge their post-punk sensibilities by blending both dub and atmospheric sounds respectively.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Patrick says: Much like the frankly absurd menagerie which makes up Australia and New Zealand's wildlife, the Antipodean music scene evolved in isolation from the rest of the world, brilliantly throwing up the odd dub meets white funk funk diy madness captured on this Left Ear comp. Audio platypodes the lot of them!

                              Lee Perry first came to prominence working with Coxsone Dodd’s fabled Studio One. This is where Scratch earned the nickname with the wildly popular Jamaican hit record and dance craze “Chicken Scratch.” After a fall out with Dodd, Perry moved on to a stint with Joe Gibb’s Amalgamated. Again in a dispute over compensation Perry moved on to form his own label, Upsetter and established his house band, the Upsetters. By 1973 Perry had also established Black Ark, a recording studio of his own that functioned as an effective fertilizer throughout what was Jamaica's most innovative period for sounds and recording techniques.

                              In that year, as Perry and Black Ark entered a period of heavy dub output, Scratch recorded "Cloak And Dagger". This early dub outing is a testament to Perry’s lo-fi mastery as he utilized his TEAC four-track, Soundcraft board, tape delays, phasers, reverb and any other ambient sounds he could get this hands on as an instrument rather than just to record instruments. Get On Down celebrates a piece of reggae history and one of Lee Perry’s crowning achievements with this reissue of "Cloak And Dagger", presented here as originally issued in Jamaica in 1973. 


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Matt says: What is left to say abour Lee Perry? Turns out quite a lot - as the most enegmatic man in dub continues to tour and surprise! Here, his timeless legacy is demonstated perfectly as we receive a killer dub set from the early days of '73 and recorded on the most primitive equipment available - yet still sounds bang on today. A sonic God, possibly sent from another planet to brighten up our world with dub music and big personality. We heart Scratch!

                              Music From Memory return with a further six tracks from Dutch musician Richenel. Continuing with recordings taken from his debut album 'La Diferencia’, originally released in 1982 on the cult Amsterdam cassette only label Fetisj, the tracks on Music From Memory’s second EP ‘Perfect Stranger’ includes alternate takes drawn from Richenel’s personal copy of the album alongside a further composition which didn’t make it onto the original Fetisj cassette.

                              Studying set and costume design whilst making a name for himself as a singer and performer in Amsterdam’s underground clubs, Richenel played with several disco acts and cultivated an extravagant cross-gender stage persona before connecting with members of the local label. Hooking up through their time together at the Rietveld art academy in Amsterdam, Fetisj was an experimental multi media collective which revolved around a loose mix of various young artists and musicians. Having developed a house band with artists going by a number of different pseudonyms the label set up their own small makeshift studio and would produce and sell the cassettes through their distribution network and at events across the city. Recorded amongst the turmoiled punk and squatter scene of Amsterdam against a backdrop of drugs and social unrest, the ‘La Diferencia’ sessions reflect a unique mix of punk aesthetics with a synthesized bedroom funkiness.

                              A somewhat illustrious figure in Dutch pop history with his flamboyant appearance as well as having one of the more exceptional male voices to come out of the country, Richenel would go on to record a number of successful albums and hit singles in the Netherlands and beyond. This largely unknown album on Fetisj however, seems to embody the spirit of another time; a particularly unique and richly creative moment in Amsterdam’s musical and cultural history and one that is deserving of a much wider audience.


                              Warm Drag

                              Warm Drag

                                Warm Drag are a musical two piece, a two-sided conversation, two devils on your shoulders, one of them telling you to take that drug, sleep with that person and steal that car, the other devil whispering to hit the reverb pedal and turn the volume all the way up. The band listens to both devils, and they are bringing their samplers-and-switchblade post-noir noise disco to audiences this summer, with their self-titled debut on In The Red. The two people in the band do specific things: Vashti Windish sings, the way Siouxsie sang power, the way Nico sang allure, the way Patti sang sex, while Paul Quattrone makes the noise with two Akai MPC 1000 samplers.

                                These beats pummel or seduce, usually simultaneously, with synths that soar like Morricone or pump like DAF, and with gloriously twangy guitars that clang and echo like Duane Eddy spiraling down a k-hole. Windish and Quattrone have history. They’ve lived and they’ve been in bands. Quattrone is a drummer in the current powerhouse Oh Sees lineup, which should be enough of a recommendation for anyone, but he’s also been in !!! and Modey Lemon too. Windish cut her teeth in bands including the K-Holes and Golden Triangle, back in her native New York.

                                A chance reunion in Los Angeles led Quattrone and Windish to attempt the outlandish ambition of marrying her love for the genre-defying genius of Blondie’s Parallel Lines (the first cassette she ever owned) to Quattrone’s love of The Bomb Squad’s production styles. They’ve been winning over notoriously-inert Los Angeles audiences for a year now. An early show caught the eye of Ian Svenonius. “Their cut-up collage of electronic stompmusic embodied everything people were searching for that summer,” he remembers. “There were just two of them but the sound was magnificent.”

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                Spring King’s second album. A Better Life is both a stunning evolution from their 2016 debut, Tell Me If You Like To, and a primal, joyous, generational demand for no less than a better world. For the first time in their six-year existence, the Manchester four-piece have fully collaborated, a band no longer looking to the talismanic Tarek Musa (vocals/drums) for the central sound. A thundering procession of party-hard anthems from the newly invigorated, sonic northern powerhouse!

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: It's a pretty good week for the punk revival isn't it? First with Idles' second outing and now this sleek thumper from Macc's own Spring King. Snapping snare drums and roaring overdrive pedals overlaid with two-part harmonies bound to get even the most staunch of heads bobbing. Brimming with attitude and the skills to back it up.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition clear vinyl.

                                Michael Price

                                Tender Symmetry

                                  Emmy award-winning composer Michael Price releases Tender Symmetry, his second album with Erased Tapes. The ambitious musical project takes in a series of iconic National Trust locations across England as its inspiration, turning them into unlikely recording spaces. Michael and a host of musicians and collaborators — including soprano Grace Davidson (featured on Max Richter’s Sleep) and Shards (the choir on Nils Frahm’s All Melody) — travelled across the country in pursuit of places far removed from the traditional recording studio to create seven unique and moving pieces, straddling the past and the future.

                                  The diversity of Michael Price’s choices ranges from the ruins of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire to the Fan Bay WWII shelter, cut deep into the chalk cliffs of Dover. All owned by the National Trust save one, each venue became both the inspiration and the recording studio for Michael Price and his accompaniment of renowned musical ensembles, choirs and soloists.

                                  "For Tender Symmetry, I stopped admiring and started participating in these buildings. This began as an exploration of writing and recording out in the world beyond the studio. I am interested in where we build our homes in an increasingly virtual world and the spirit of place we feel as we walk our local streets, our schools, temples and public spaces. Taking inspiration from a place, and the stories it told, then going back to that place to record, sometimes in less than ideal conditions, made the two-year adventure much more like shooting a film than making a record.” — Michael Price

                                  Acoustics varied wildly as the artists moved from places designed with sound in mind to locations which demanded the use of miners’ helmets for light and battery-powered sound gear. The final recordings carry the genuinely unique sonic blueprints and spirit of each place – from the birdsong in the courtyard at Speke Hall to the steam-driven cotton mill accompaniment at Quarry Bank. “When we recorded the piece at Fan Bay in the World War II shelter deep inside the chalk cliffs of Dover, Peter Gregson’s cello wasn’t at all happy with the clammy, dank conditions; but to be in the tunnels where young soldiers spent months on end, constantly on alert for incoming bombers, gave the recording an extraordinarily intimate, moving quality. At each site, the human mixed with the historical, and the natural environment of each space comes through with each piece. I tried to leave an imprint of each location on the record.”

                                  While each piece of music is named after the location in which it was created, William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience courses through them as well. Soprano Grace Davidson sings Blake’s poignant words about nature, religion and the industrial revolution on several of the pieces including the astoundingly beautiful album closer Shade Of Dreams, written after the birth of Michael’s daughter. “The final piece, Shade of Dreams, is part of a group of pieces I wrote for the birth of our daughter, Emilie. It, like all the works on the album, takes its text from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, in this case, A Cradle Song. As much as Tender Symmetry is about the past, it is firmly about the future, and all our of shared futures.”

                                  Grace Davies, National Trust contemporary arts programme manager said:
                                  “We were delighted when Michael approached us with this project as it directly draws on the extraordinary stories and history of these special places. The sheer variety of sites that Michael has chosen has resulted in a collection of new music that is sometimes surprising, sometimes poignant, and – above all – inspirational. I am sure that audiences will be enchanted both by Michael’s music and our places that have inspired him.”


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Holding all the beauty of his inspirations' natural environments and brittle balance of ecological equilibrium within his pieces, Price fills the sonic room with delicate but grand strings, crystalline vocals and a breathtaking sense of organic space. Majestic and breathtaking, but imbued with a nerve-racking transience and innate delicacy.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited to 500 copies on clear vinyl.

                                  Mass Gothic

                                  I've Tortured You Enough

                                    I've Tortured You Long Enough is the tongue-in-cheek title of Mass Gothic's second album. Husband/wife duo Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri have always dipped in and out of each other's creative spaces, advising on their respective outputs and supporting one another. But, until this record, they had never completely committed to doing an entire album as a duo, sharing an equal load. The result is a record packed with the tension, chaos and beauty of a fluid and cathartic two-way conversation. In a universe that increasingly threatens our abilities to communicate and coexist, their creative union isn't just inspired but important.

                                    When Heroux put out Mass Gothic’s 2016 debut, following the end of his prior band, Hooray for Earth, he did so as a solo entity. Plagued by insecurities and anxieties, Heroux wasn't ready to deal with putting his trust and confidence into another shared project. So what changed? He can't exactly pinpoint when the phrase “I've tortured you long enough” came to him, but it became a mantra, almost a premonition. He had tortured his own psyche long enough, and was particularly in need of forcing himself out of his comfort zone and letting go of that prior stubbornness. And the phrase has a broader application, too. “It covers so many bases but it's taken on extra meaning in the past couple of years when everybody is at each other's throats, frustrated and confused all the time,” Heroux explains.

                                    Heroux and Zambri wrote I’ve Tortured You Long Enough while bouncing around the country without a place to call home. From working in a rented cabin in upstate New York, to living out of a car with a duffel bag of clothes, to crashing with their co-producer Josh Ascalon in LA, to ditching a mixed version of the album and rerecording the whole thing, the band worked tirelessly while their lives were totally in flux. “Maybe we wouldn't have been able to do it if we were anchored at home. We were forced into it. Jess was trying to open me up and if we could have just sat on a couch and thrown on the TV it probably wouldn't have worked.” The album was ultimately recorded in Brooklyn with Rick Kwan, and Chris Coady mixed the record and Heba Kadry mastered it.

                                    The final product recalls the frantic energy of Animal Collective and the celestial torch-bearing of Bat for Lashes, and reveals a remarkable arc. It begins from a place of uncertainty, disquiet, and self-doubt, and concludes with the comfort in knowing that you can be both independent and successful in a relationship.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: Mint coloured Loser edition Vinyl!!

                                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Darwin Deez

                                    10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart

                                      Darwin Deez is a New Yorker originally from North Carolina. After the success and critical acclaim of the hit single “Radar Detector” and his self-titled debut album, in 2010, he toured extensively in support of second and third records Songs For Imaginative People (2013) and Double Down (2015).

                                      The crux of his fourth album, 10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart, is Darwin’s singular songwriting. Darwin, the autodidact, is fiercely original as an artist, and enormously catchy and accessible. In the contemporary musical landscape, overfull as it is with redolent reverbs and saccharine synthesizers—a style of music he jokingly calls “Spotify-wave”—Darwin still makes sparse guitar songs. But not the kind of mellow, “psychedelic” 70’s-inspired stuff typical of most guitar-based indie groups nowadays. Songs with energy (“why should EDM have the monopoly on danceability?”). Songs with vulnerability. Songs with relatable, audible, intelligible lyrics.

                                      Darwin Deez is one of the few indie musicians who truly ought to be much more famous than he is. Someone with the refreshing ability to be both goofy and grim. Someone with the songwriting chops to express the human condition artfully, in a way that cuts through thick clouds of cultural static. On this record, there is a wider-than-ever range of its expression both instrumentally and vocally. And Darwin always delivers the most unique sing-a-longs, heartbreak or no.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited white vinyl.

                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                      Juanita Stein

                                      Until The Lights Fade

                                        Juanita Stein’s second solo album arrives less than a year after her first, ‘America’, saw the former Howling Bells front-woman exploring the iconography and cultural landscapes of a country that had always fascinated her from afar. Yet, while ’Until The Lights Fade’ is cut from the same musical cloth as its predecessor - the crepuscular twang of bar-room guitars, the keening romanticism of its melodies, the sparseness and simplicity of its arrangements - the album’s ten songs are concerned with thoughts, feelings, stories and characters rooted far closer to home. The album was produced by Stuart Sikes (The White Stripes, Cat Power, Loretta Lyn) at his studio in Austin, TX.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive on red vinyl

                                        Morrissey is never one to do things the accustomed way, instead throughout his career he’s carved a niche in the musical landscape which only he can occupy. And his decision to curate a brand new compilation at very short notice ahead of his tour dates, with new liner notes and a few surprises in the tracklisting, shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

                                        So here it is, This Is Morrissey. A collection of studio classics, live tracks and the alternative Mael mix of the ever-popular ‘Suedehead’, all chosen by the man himself. He explains all on this brand new interview for tremr.com, with this neat little summary of the tracks he’s chosen:
                                        “The album is so full of life, and worthy questions, and great choruses, and quite playful.”

                                        Housed in a standard single CD jewel case, with a four page booklet and brand new liner notes by author Fiona Dodwell, there will be two versions of the CD product, a twelve track version for the world outside of North America and a ten track version for North America, final detail of which will be confirmed on a separate note at a later point. The digital version worldwide will reflect the twelve track CD release.

                                        There is also a thirteen track vinyl edition, with the additional track ‘Angel, Angel, Down We Go Together’, complete with identical liner notes only this time written in French, another of Morrissey’s little curio’s.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        LP Info: 1 x 140g 12” black vinyl, spined sleeve, anti-static Japanese bag.

                                        Adrian Utley & Will Gregory (Ft Anne Briggs)

                                        Arcadia (Music From The Motion Picture)

                                          Adrian Utley (Portishead) & Will Gregory (Goldfrapp)’s score to forthcoming ‘Arcadia’, a film from BAFTA winning director Paul Wright and released by The BFI

                                          Two tracks ‘Lowlands’ and ‘Bonny Boy’ are by the legendary Folk singer Anne Briggs, with musical arrangement by Utley & Gregory behind The pair’s score takes influence from a wide range of genres, marrying classical and folk styles with more experimental electronic elements and even punk. This will appeal to fans of the pair’s previous score work in The Passion Of Joan Of Arc, along with the pair’s solo work in Portishead and Goldfrapp. It will also appeal to fans of recent composers such as Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Cliff Martinez and Clint Mansell.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          LP Info: Pressed on translucent green vinyl. With digital download card featuring exclusive unreleased bonus tracks.

                                          Last years (2017) edition of Convenanza festival featured Swedish band Fontän, who have released material on Höga Nord Rekords, and that set the ground for a collaboration between the record label and one of the most interesting festivals around. The joint forces has resulted in the compilation album “Convenanza 2018” containing this years (2018) acts. The contributors are: electro oozing duo Woodleigh Research Facility, consisting of Andrew Weatherall and Nina Walsh, etno-minimalists Komodo Kollektif from Glasgow with, among others, Gordon Mackinnon who’s running the top quality label Invisible Inc.

                                          The more rock oriented side of “Convenanza 2018” contains Berlin based Die Wilde Jagd, whose sound can be defined as some sort of post punk where strong chorus drenched basslines float upon a smooth electronic soundscape with both live drums and drum machines as the back bone to the beat. Wild Woman & The Savages could best be described as the result of an orgy between PIL and The Birthday Party! The Limiñanas, with special guest Anton Newcombe, contribute to the collection a garage psych rock track suited for long hot drives through the dessert. Weatherall’s unfailing “fingerspitzengefühle” in picking artists for the festival gets repeated yet again and if you for some unexplainable reason fail to make it to Carcassonne this year, the magic from the old castle still can reach your senses with the help from this compilation!

                                          Last time Prins Emanuel flexed his musical muscles on Copenhagen's vibrant Music For Dreams he delivered 'Arbete / Fritid' a double LP of analogue disco, Balearic boogie and leftfield house soaked in inventive melody, multi instrumentation and studio wizzardry. A big hitter with Balearic beards, disco heads and anyone with; a) taste and b) ears, the debut delight set a very high watermark for the Swedish producer. So, it's with complete incredulity that I sit here and tell you that "Diagonal Musik" is even better!
                                          Over the course of eight delicate and divine compostions there's nary a kick drum in sight. In fact, Prins Emanuel ignores the dancefloor entirely, swapping the studio trickery for the honesty and immediacy of an entirely acoustic approach. Guitar in hand, accompanied by the most subtle of organic percussion, the Swede strums, picks and slides his way through a gorgeous set of jazz-folk instrumentals. Think autumn leaves, rain on the window pane and cold coffee - cigarette smoke and a tear stained moleskine. If you'd told me this was a lost folk private press from 70s Europe, I'd be calling Basso and demanding he source me a copy. Forget genres, labels, press or playlists, "Diagonal Musik" is absurdly beautiful; and when you're old(er) and gray(er) you'll still be listening to it.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Patrick says: I've been a big fan of Prins Emanuel for a long time now, and his weirdo disco gem 'Arbete / Fritid' has been in my record box ever since it came out. Here he throws us the most delightful curveball, dodging the dance floor and delivering eight gorgeous acoustic guitar compositions. Intimate, otherworldly and deeply evocative, this is the kind of record you'll listen to until the day you die.

                                          White Denim are back - regenerated and resolute. The Austin quartet have long pulled hard at the parameters of rock & roll, admitting garage punk, soul, psychedelia, prog, jazz and blues while holding onto its vital goodtime core. Their up-tempo drive has produced a body of work defined as much by stellar musicianship as off-the-chain exhilaration. Energy and adventurism have always been paramount. Here are nine songs with clarity and renewed purpose as well as a truckload of attitude. A new studio, new collaborators, and new techniques for writing and recording influenced the elastic possibility and liberation felt throughout.

                                          Theirs is music that aims for the whole body, while equally satisfying the mind. While it has morphed, expanded, and even burst apart, White Denim’s sincere, human drive and ability to spark true exhilaration have been unerring constants of the band’s existence. Ever progressing, never content to camp out on a plateau of their creative accomplishments, there is no other band quite like White Denim – unique in talent and legendarily potent as a live band, they are quite simply a very special band.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Classic White Denim this, clean and sophisticated, prone to getting dirty at the drop of a hat and a brilliantly innovative twist on an already established body of material.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Coloured LP Info: 140g clear vinyl - indies exclusive.

                                          The Lemon Twigs emerged in 2016 with their debut LP, Do Hollywood, which was praised by Rolling Stone for its “toting hooky songs that stand out for their intricate arrangements and delectable melodies” and NPR Music who mused, “like listening to music from a time that never was…a baroque rock romp.”

                                          Their second album, Go To School is their most ambitious work yet; a conceptual musical, conceived by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, which tells a heartbreaking coming of age story of Shane, a pure of heart chimpanzee raised as a human boy as he comes to terms with the obstacles of life. Todd Rundgren and their real-life mother Susan Hall play Shane’s parents. The album also features contributions from Jody Stephens (Big Star), Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) and their father Ronnie D’Addario.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Immediately reminiscent of all your favourite rock greats (you name it, the Lemon Twigs know it), but with a brilliantly innovative sense of pacing and style. Brilliantly mature and eccentrically conceptual, this is a killer LP from a band rising through the ranks quickly. Ace.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies exclusive includes bonus 7" featuring "Foolin' Around" / "Tailor Made".

                                          Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood

                                          With Animals

                                          Over the last decade, Lanegan and Garwood have worked in tangent on 2013’s Black Pudding as well as on Lanegan’s solo records (Garwood contributed to 2012’s Blues Funeral and 2017’s Gargoyle after which he toured as part of Lanegan’s band). Writing and recording was split between studio collaboration and sharing music between Garwood’s home in London and Lanegan’s in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, technology helped make the duo’s transatlantic working relationships relatively easy.

                                          “Over the years, we’ve recorded together and apart. This time, I started this record alone, with many animals as company,” says Garwood. “It flowed, I set to work and out it came. Our music is instinct, there is not much talking about it, just creating. I think that if you are at peace with your work, and feeling it right, it flows, and can feel ‘easy’. Music isn't meant to be hard. Though sometimes it can burn you to ashes. Making music for a singer, so they can inhabit it with a song means hitting the right soul buttons. There is no hit without a miss. It is a healing record, for us the makers, and for the listeners. It grows natural. We are gardeners of sonic feelings.”

                                          While Black Pudding put Garwood’s mercurial guitar centre stage, With Animals is constructed from a different set of tools. Analogue and dust flecked, it sounds like Lanegan and Garwood have been holed up in a ’60s recording studio while the apocalypse rages outside. Tracks sit on loops that sounds like they’re straight out of There’s A Riot Goin’ On while sparse melodies nod in the direction of British electronic producers like Burial or Boards of Canada. Which is not to say it sounds like any of those things – this is a weird world all of their own design.

                                          The record’s 12 songs are spectral and sinewy, often defined by the spaces in between the sounds. A ghost’s whistle weaves itself around a pulsing single note on Lonesome Infidel; Feast to Famine’s hard luck story floats above a guitar part so strung out and washed with distortion it’s become barely recognisable. It’s soul music for anyone who’s long since left the crossroads.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Brimming with morose energy and perfectly measured songwriting, an album from these two veterans was never going to be anything but mindblowing, and here we have it. Lanegan and Garwood have managed to meet perfectly in the dark ether between their two styles and 'With Animals' is every bit the perfect fusion.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          LP Info: Limited edition 180 gram vinyl.

                                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          Some musical partnerships are so strong, intuitive and natural that they almost can’t be separated due to the natural magnetism present in the relationship. One such tight knit songwriting family are Tunng, and their new album Songs You Make At Night reunites founding members Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay (fresh from his LUMP side project with Laura Marling) and the rest of the Tunng gang for the first time since 2007’s Good Arrows.

                                          “We really wanted to do a Tunng record going back to the original line up,” Lindsay says. “there was a real magic in the early records that we all wanted to capture again in this one.”

                                          Since forming in 2003 and over the course of five albums, Tunng are a group that have explored the boundaries between acoustic and electronic music, becoming synonymous with the folktronica genre before moving into territory that managed to both evade that label and continue to redefine it. Songs You Make At Night finds a group of people reconnecting with a previous collective state to bring out something new and forward-looking. “We're all so different but each bring something essential, something Tunng to the party. Be that to the studio, to the stage, to the van, or to the pub. I think that the new songs Mike and Sam have crafted between them have brought out the best in all of us.” confirms singer Becky Jacobs.

                                          Songs You Make At Night is also Tunng's most electronic-leaning to date. Take lead single ABOP which brings the Moog right to your face, with a heavily swung frazzled 808 pigeon beat whilst sampling a speech from the 1970s pornographic actor Mary Millington that builds into a magical pop feast. 

                                          Songs You Make At Night’s tone, theme, lyrics, mood and characters exist in a fluctuating state between night and day ("I got very much into the idea of a dark underwater world suffused with pockets of light and beauty and some of the songs grew out of that." says Sam Genders), the conscious and unconscious. Crepuscular in its nature, Lindsay explains the all-encompassing title. "I think it’s also important to stress the songs you make at night not, we make at night. Then the word “songs” can mean a multitude of things. It can mean songs, or dreams, pillow talk or actions and decisions, moves, and can be very personal... the thoughts that keep you awake at night."


                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: Having been one of my absolute favourite bands at one point in time, Tunng elicited within me more than a little excitement, and have followed through on that excitement with aplomb. with the sound from their heyday being completely in attendance here. Electronic blips, huge synths and shimmering acoustic guitar, Tunng are back!

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive deluxe coloured vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with a limited 7".

                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          CD Info: Digipack CD.

                                          For the first time since 2007’s Our Love to Admire, Interpol have opened themselves up to the input of a producer. For two-week spells between December of 2017 to April of 2018, they travelled to upstate New York to work with Dave Fridmann – famed for recording with Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, MGMT, Spoon, Mogwai, and countless more.

                                          In the run up to writing and recording, Sam found himself immersed in soul drummers such as Al Jackson Jr (Otis Redding’s drummer) and 80’s funk producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. “How can I make shit swing?” was the question Sam repeatedly asked himself, and the answer is in the striding gallop of opener “If You Really Love Nothing,” the embellished skip ‘n’ bounce of “Stay in Touch” and the R&B swagger of closer “It Probably Matters.” Interpol have always been world-beaters at creating a feeling, but Marauder is where the feel is just as crucial.

                                          Paul may have stepped out of the shadows as a bassist, but he’s stepping into an even brighter light as a songwriter. During Interpol’s previous albums, the singer largely kept himself out of his own work, preferring to fill his lyrics with detached thoughts, characters, and observations, often phrased in abstract. But more than 20 years on since forming at NYU, the frontman is finally allowing himself to play a role in his own stories.

                                          “This record is where I feel touching on real things that have happened to me are exciting and evocative to write about,” he explains. “I think in the past, I always felt autobiography was too small a thing for me to reference. I feel like now, I’m able to romanticize parts of my own life.”

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: FOUR YEARS! That's long enough to wait for a new Interpol album isn't it, if anything i'd say it was a little too long, but you'll be delighted to know (as I was) that it's every bit the Interpol album we all want and deserve. Brilliant hooks, snarling vox and heavy AF guitars. Thoroughly killer.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies only cream coloured vinyl.

                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          BAFTA winning Icelandic composer,Ólafur Arnalds' highly anticipated new record 're:member' features Ólafur’s ground-breaking new software, Stratus, which transforms the humble piano into a unique new instrument. He is currently performing his new material on a huge worldwide tour. The Stratus Pianos are two self-playing, semi-generative player pianos which are triggered by a central piano played by Ólafur, and are the centrepiece of his new works. The custom-built software is born out of two years of work by the composer and audio developer, Halldór Eldjárn. The algorithms generated from Stratus were also used to create the innovative album artwork.

                                          On the album Ólafur uses these methods reinvigorate the compositional experience, feeding back into the creative process in a completely new way. As Ólafur plays a note on the piano, two different notes are generated by Stratus, creating unexpected harmonies and surprising melodic sequences. Speaking of the album, Ólafur says, “This is my breaking out-of-a-shell album. It’s me taking the raw influences that I have from all these different musical genres and not filtering them. It explores the creative process and how one can manipulate that to get out of the circle of expectations and habit.” 

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          Barry says: There was an event quite a lot of years ago between Night And Day and the (now defunct) Moho Live, called 'Day At The Races', I was young and foolish, i barely Re:Member it to be honest, but I definitely Re:Member Oli here being the entire reason for my attendance, and it was reason enough. It blew my mind that someone younger than me could write such beautiful things whilst I was five years older, gurning into my Red Stripe. Things have changed now, obviously, Olafur has matured into a multi-faceted musical genius and I think red stripe tastes like piss.

                                          Autechre

                                          NTS Sessions (Box Sets)

                                            Remaining quantities of Autechre NTS Sessions LP, NTS Sessions was originally aired as part of a month-long residency at NTS Radio through the month of April and featured eight hours of new music across four shows.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Well, this really is an archive for the ages. The great Autechre has done a full eight hour session for NTS radio, and it is presented here in it's entirety. Warp records are known for not doing things by halves, and this certainly keeps up that reputation. A tour-de-force of electronic excellence and oppressive ambient atmospheres.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            LP Box Set Info: Mammoth 12LP Box Set!

                                            CD Box Set Info: 8CD Box Set!

                                            First compilation proper from fine purveyors of leftfield dance music Invisible Inc. This label's become a right little beauty here in the shop, distributing new EBM, Kraut-flavoured mutant funk, cosmic vignettes and tribal workouts over its three year history.

                                            Featuring an allstar cast of label hotties - Komodo Kolektif, Sordid Sound System, Higamos Hogaos, Bal5000 etc, there's also a reissue of a very special track from Tonto's Expanding Head Band ("Bittersweet"), that was actually the source of inspiration for the entire comp! Bonuses from K. Leimer, Luv*Jam and Eva Geist ensure the VIP rating soars into the red as we delve into one of the most exciting and creative independent labels of the last half decade! If you like it wacked out and weird or trailblazing through the stars on a wave of serenity, there's loads of get stuck into here and is a feast for lovers of strange new music.





                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: Great portrait of this label. Multifaceted but somehow cohesive, if you like Light Sounds Dark and all the various mutations of minimal wave, kosmiche and EBM, this is one's for you!

                                            Raised in England, Hynes started out as a teenage punk in the UK band Test Icicles before releasing two orchestral acoustic pop records as Lightspeed Champion. In 2011, he released Coastal Grooves, the first of three solo albums under the moniker Blood Orange. His last album, Freetown Sound, was released to critical acclaim in 2016, and saw Hynes defined as one of the foremost musical voices of his time, receiving comparisons to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo for his own searing and soothing personal document of life as a black man in America. He has collaborated with Solange Knowles, Skepta, fka twigs, Carly Rae Jepsen, A$AP Rocky, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Blondie, and many other artists, and was recently one of four artists invited to the Kennedy Center to perform alongside Philip Glass. In addition to his production work, he scored the film Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola.

                                            Negro Swan was written and produced by Hynes. Says Hynes:

                                            “My newest album is an exploration into my own and many types of black depression, an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color. A reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all. The underlying thread through each piece on the album is the idea of HOPE, and the lights we can try to turn on within ourselves with a hopefully positive outcome of helping others out of their darkness.”

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Millie says: The return of the incredible Dev Hynes brings us Negro Swan, his music continues to be the most innovative and original sound out there at the moment. Hynes explores themes of struggles from people of colour and sexuality in this album, and brings a message of hope. Blood Orange has a powerful voice and his work remains to be worlds apart from everyone else, big love.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            2xColoured LP Info: Independent retailers exclusive on heavyweight
                                            orange coloured vinyl with digital download code.

                                            2xLP Info: Double LP pressed on heavyweight vinyl with digital
                                            download code.

                                            Alexander Lay-Far, one of the most prolific and in demand music producers in Russia, is about to release his long-awaited 3rd studio album "War is Over"! Deeply personal, honest, emotional and uncompromising album boasts the exciting collaborations with the likes of Stee Downes, Jesse Futerman, Pete Simpson, Riddim Research Lab, Phil Gerus, Andy Compton and Recloose.
                                            After a slew of successful releases on the ever so great Local Talk, Leng Records, G.A.M.M., Razor N Tape, BBE among handful other labels, Lay-Far is releasing a 100% DIY product on his own imprint In-Beat-Ween Music.
                                            The result of "War Is Over" - is the profound revaluation of personal and music experience, the reflection of the rich tapestry of cultures and influences woven together and defining Lay-Far's artistic journey: Chinese roots and Russian mentality, B-boy past and exploration of Dub, fascination with Post-Punk and UK Hardcore, passion for House and Broken beat, Old School Hip-Hop and Soviet Jazz Funk. This time Lay-Far surpasses the expectations, creating a multi-layered yet integral album where edges between genres and scenes are consciously blurred. A gem of "modern fusion" as Motor City Drum Ensemble best described it!
                                            “War Is Over" brings to the forefront the laconic arrangements, extensive use of space and special attention to the sound texture, while retaining Lay-Far's trademark warmth and roughness, knack for perfect grooves, variety of rhythms, melodicism and overall funkiness. Crammed with quotes, allusions and hidden "Easter eggs", it will keep the die-hard fans busy till the next album is out.
                                            It is an exciting and dynamic music journey, where uplifting and life-affirming dance numbers (PPL LV and Sweet Mess) go hand in hand with socio-political commentaries (Decentralized Spiritual Autonomy, Market Economy VS Culture), conscious and spiritual messages (Be The Change, Forgiveness Is Bliss), crossover dance-floor bangers (Blow My Mind, The Pressure - The Release), personal accounts of emotional struggle (Never Good Enough For You, Over), dubbed out aural explorations (Draw The Curtains) and thoughts about eternal (Vast and Infinite, Sirius Rising). Add here a pinch of irony and you have a body of work that will appeal to both the discerning fans and new audience alike!

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Sil says: Lay-Far shows his long eclectic tentacles on this long-awaited LP. Although the man is heavily known for his superb disco edits on equally superb labels like GAMM, here he departs from it a bit and gears up things up a notch towards the house field. However, do not despair folks because the soul has not been left behind. He joins efforts with some collaborations giving the whole a more album feel. Not bad at all.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited White LP

                                            A new live studio recording of their 2016 album Woman along with stand-out tracks from their 10 year career.

                                            The new album was a result of Xavier and Gaspard adapting their new songs to be played on tour, in the process discovering a new dimension of their live form. After one year of testing, performing, refining and recording them on the road, they went back to the studio in Paris to give them the polish and precision that live performance doesn’t always allow.

                                            Making a new album of re-envisioned songs inspired by their love of the live show is also in line with Justice’s release history thus far, which has seen them put out two studio albums each followed by a live recording. But, rather than repeat themselves, they have made "Woman Worldwide" sound like a proper studio album whereas "A Cross The Universe" and "Access All Arenas" purposely sounded like bootlegs. The new set also fittingly acts as a celebratory anthology of the duo’s trailblazing first decade together.


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: 'D.A.N.C.E' is probably the one song that's stuck in my head for the longest time after hearing it. Before yesterday, I last heard it in 2007 and it had probably started to slow-fade by about July 2014. Then I heard it AGAIN yesterday, and it's maybe even more ingrained than it ever was. It might leave my head before I die, or it might not. I hope it remains. Justice are excellent.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            3xLtd LP Info: Triple LP and 2CD edition.

                                            2xCD Info: Gold embossed double CD.

                                            Strategy goes deep into the echo chamber on "Dub Mind Paradigm", with a dread and smokers friendly set drawn fresh from ZamZam Sounds mystic well.

                                            We find Paul Dickow in his element, alchemically turning a paucity of ingredients into dub gold via masterful sleight of hand and with a tactility that your speakers will surely approve of. From heartbeat-tempo pulsers, reverb-laden nodders and more mid-tempo stepper riddims, there's plenty of ride through the waves of digital dub and soundsystem sonics. RIYL: Sheriff Lindo, Andy Rantzen, Alien Dread, Adrian Sherwood etc.

                                            Most recommended!


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: Future 'erb garden classic this one folks... Deep and dread and gently skanking a fathoms deep pool of dubwise joy.

                                            Alan Howarth

                                            Halloween 4 & 5 - Collectors Box Edition

                                              To celebrate 40 years of the Halloween franchise Death Waltz Recording Company are thrilled to bring you a newly remastered version of the score to Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers on vinyl for the first time in 30 years. This score marked the first time Howarth was working solo within the Halloween franchise and he takes the blueprint Carpenter and himself created but weaves new themes for both Jamie and Michael within the familiar framework of the 5/4 theme timing.

                                              Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers has again been freshly remastered by composer Alan Howarth for this first vinyl reissue in 30 years. He once again takes the familiar Halloween blueprint but expands it greatly utilising layers of synths to create a fresh take on something that is familiar to all fans of the franchise.

                                              Halloween 4 & 5 are housed in a collectors box which has space for all 5 Halloween reissues. Volumes 1-3 will be released over the coming months.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Box set Info: Halloween 4 & 5 on 180g orange vinyl, housed in a collectors box which has space for all 5 Halloween reissues. 1-3 released over the coming months.

                                              Nothing

                                              Dance On The Blacktop

                                                Nothing’s third full-length recording, Dance On The Blacktop, is the next chapter in the band’s tumultuous story and like its predecessors, pulls from all corners of life with a focus on the bleak and despairing. Captured by renowned producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile) at Dreamland Studio in Woodstock, NY, Dance On The Blacktop is a stirring collection of songs accentuating the band’s love for all sounds 90s from both sides of the pond; from alternative rock and shoegaze to the realms of pop and post-punk. Across the course of 45 minutes, Nothing weave together nine tales of heightened confusion, anxiety, paranoia, depression and chronic pain juxtaposed against angelic yet apocalyptic, reverberating walls of shimmering sound. Dance On The Blacktop is a fervent, emotional tour-de-force, the sound of a band at the peak of their individuality

                                                Recommended if you like: Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Beach House, Melody's Echo Chamber, Radiohead. 


                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: This basically ticks every box that 16 year-old me would have wanted ticking,

                                                [x] Grungy Guitars
                                                [x] Relapse Records
                                                [x] Double Kick Drums

                                                It's still my vibe, and i've never heard anything that agonises the same musical receptors that Billy & Co did, but here it is. YES.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: White Chrysanthemum Vinyl, limited to 500 units for the UK.

                                                “You shouldn't have a tough time finding the angle to Deportation Blues,” claims Brian ‘BC Camplight’ Christinzio. “The past few years have been a fucking nightmare.”

                                                But what a fucking great record he’s made off the back of his nightmare. His second album for Bella Union, Deportation Blues is an exhilarating, dynamic document of calamity and stress, relayed through richly melodic and bold arrangements spanning singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop, ‘50s rock’n’roll and various junctures between, mirroring their maverick creator’s jarred emotions and fractured mindset.

                                                For the full story, you have to head back to before Christinzio’s Bella Union debut, 2015’s How To Die In The North. Born in New Jersey, but living in Philadelphia, Christinzio had released two albums while battling addiction and mental illness. Both albums won rave reviews and earned Christinzio a reputation as one of independent music’s most forward-thinking artists. Soon after, however, as illness rendered him unable to function as a working songwriter, Christinzio retreated to a life squatting in an abandoned church. Despite some notable appearances as a session pianist (Sharon Van Etten) and occasional live work for Philly faves The War On Drugs (Robbie Bennett and David Hartley were in the original BC live band) he knew a sea change was needed in order to regain his career and sanity.

                                                Feeling he’d be “dead or in jail if I stayed”, he acted on a friend’s suggestion to cross the ocean to Manchester. There, Christinzio found new inspiration, new friends, a girlfriend, a dog, and finally a new album (his first in eight years).

                                                So, imagine his mood when he fell foul of UK immigration. “I’d had such high hopes for How To Die In The North, and I was told I was being deported two days after it came out, and banned from the UK. The next thing I know, I’m playing Pac Man in my parents’ basement, thinking, this is my life now.”

                                                Occasional gigs in Europe, where his Manchester-based band could meet him, and extended sojourns in Dublin and Paris, broke up the monotony, but it was still like “living in a constant panic attack.”

                                                But then the cavalry arrived! Courtesy of his grandparents, Christinzio secured Italian citizenship. It cost time, money and a portion of his sanity, “but after a year and a half I could finally shove my Italian papers in their faces at the airport and return to sunny Manchester. The thing is, despite being American, I feel Mancunian, and I couldn’t think about making another record, until I got back.”

                                                To add insult to injury, “Brexit happened, like a day after I got back. Can I get a fucking break here, please?”

                                                Once the dust had settled, Christinzio realised, “I didn’t feel any better, I had so much anger, I felt destroyed. The demons were back and had lost me friends, I’d drunk too much, and I felt nothing but dread and disease. I thought, I can’t wait to hear what this next album is going to sound like.”

                                                Recording in Liverpool’s Whitewood studios, Christinzio locked himself in the windowless studio and recorded almost exclusively in the dark. “The thoughts and sounds that began to flow out of me were pretty scary. I’m pretty sure the engineer started carrying a shiv in his pocket after about the second day. Nothing playful sounding came out. If the last album had elements of whimsy, the thought of any on this album made me want to vomit.” “A couple of months later we had finished Deportation Blues and emerged from the studio like mole people”. Christinzio recorded the album mostly on his own, plus drummer Adam Dawson, occasional guitar by Robbie Rush, and a couple of session horn players. The lead track is ‘I’m Desperate’, “an ominous synth burner,” says Christinzio, with a Suicide-style throb and a haunting female vocal counterpoint that underlines the album’s manic, careering edge, fantastic hooks and instrumental verve. It’s an uncompromising way to introduce Deportation Blues, likewise the album’s title-track opener. Bookended by metallic power chords, cascading synths and a gorgeous downbeat mood lead into slower doo-wop complete with howling falsetto. “It’s instantly a different, darker record than How To Die In The North,” Christinzio notes. Deportation Blues is also noticeably more electronic than its predecessor. “I was feeling cold so every time something sounded pretty, I replaced it with something that sounded like an ice pick. The apocalyptic nuclear feel really appealed.” Throughout, Christinzio sounds as if he’s walking a knife-edge. Take second track ‘I’m In A Weird Place Now’, a heady conflagration of Spector and Springsteen, with Christinzio confessing “And there’s something about Manchester town / And the silly little things she makes me do.” “I like the oppressiveness of the weather in Manchester, it brings everyone down to my level” he explains. The fried mood continues on ‘Hell Or Pennsylvania’, splicing woozy noir jazz lounge-drunk cabaret by way of ‘50s legend Jerry Lee Lewis - Christinzio’s entry point to music through his mother’s record collection. “It’s the first time I’ve reflected that on a record,” he says. “Jerry Lee was this guy bashing at a piano who didn’t give a shit, and I didn’t give a shit.” The lyrical reference to “lemon twirls” meanwhile, represents Brian’s struggle with substance abuse: “The big choruses are a celebration of cocaine whilst the jazz sections represent the lament, the familiar loathsome aftermath.” The sudden changes of mood and style are also metaphorical. For example, ‘Am I Dead’ embraces cinematic horns, broody pop and synth-bass afro-funk. “I go through highs and lows and have trouble staying entertained,” he admits. “A musical part can state its purpose in fifteen seconds, sometimes it doesn’t need repeating. The trick is tying everything together without it sounding confusing.” ‘Am I Dead’ is segued between ‘When I Think Of My Dog’ and ‘Midnight Ease’, two plush, heart-aching piano ballads with rippling saxophone. After ‘Fire In England’, a greasy, nervy rocker, is a bitter ode to British PM – and former immigration controller (as Home Secretary) Theresa May (“dresses like a bus seat, doesn’t she?”). It’s a complex, bleak record I guess” Christinzio concludes. “As dramatic as it may sound, this album was made by a dude who wasn’t sure he’d be alive the next day. Nothing is there for any other reason than it’s the truth. It’s not trying to sound cool or get on the radio.” Though Christinzio points out “this is no redemption I-saw-the-light story,” he is allowing himself a little bit of hope for once: “I’ve never been as pleased with where I am artistically as I am right now.” On top, his new band, “is phenomenal.” Alongside trusted drummer Dawson is Luke Barton (guitars, synths), guitarist Tom Rothery and multi-instrumentalist/ backing singer Ali Bell. Leading them is a man that a bartender in Manchester recently described as “like Mozart and Tony Soprano had a kid." Brian Christinzio, and BC Camplight, genius and pain, may be here to stay at last.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition silver vinyl.

                                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                The power of words isn’t lost on longstanding Americana triumvirate The Devil Makes Three - Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino and Cooper McBean. For as much as they remain rooted in troubadour traditions of wandering folk, Delta blues, whiskey-soaked ragtime and reckless rock ‘n’ roll, the band nod to the revolutionary unrest of author James Baldwin, the noholds barred disillusionment of Ernest Hemingway and Southern Gothic malaise of Flannery O’Connor.

                                                In that respect, their sixth full-length and first original material since 2013, ‘Chains Are Broken’ resembles a dusty leatherbound book of short stories from some bygone era. As the band began writing ideas for the record they veered off the proverbial path creatively. 

                                                Instead of their typical revolving cast of collaborators, The Devil Makes Three stuck to the signature power trio, with one addition. This time they invited touring drummer Stefan Amidon to power the bulk of the percussion.

                                                Another first, they retreated to Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, TX a stone’s throw from the Mexican border to record with producer Ted Hutt (Dropkick Murphys).

                                                The incorporation of new sounds as well as the experimentation in space finds The Devil Makes Three crafting a new yet still familiar sound. Coupled with a continued focus on in-depth lyricism that tells a story in every song, ‘Chains Are Broken’ is a liberating, rump-shaking collection of past, present and future.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Coloured LP Info: Independent retailers exclusive on navy / cream split
                                                coloured vinyl.

                                                ‘Dogviolet’ is Laurel’s much anticipated debut album on Counter Records. The evocative and effortless 12 track album sees Laurel showcasing her sublime vocals and raw guitars.

                                                Recorded without glossing over the imperfections and driven by her personal lyrics and stirring melodies, every track on the album was written and recorded in Laurel’s home studio in East London.

                                                Titled after the flower, ‘Dogviolet’ is a deeply personal exploration of the bittersweet feeling of love.

                                                For fans of Florence & The Machine, Lorde, Lana del Rey.

                                                “Touches of Florence, Sade and Lana Del Rey here” - Sunday Times Culture

                                                “Her songs are spine-tingling, attention grabbing” - The Independent

                                                “If Florence Welch, Laura Marling and Mac de Marco were to make a musical love child, that would be Laurel” - British Vogue

                                                “She sings about love and mania forcefully” - Mojo

                                                “The songwriter has been on our radar for some time, but the past 12 months have seen her draw on some unparalleled momentum.” - Clash

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                Alexander Tucker

                                                Don't Look Away

                                                  ‘Don’t Look Away’ is Alexander Tucker’s third album with Thrill Jockey, completing what Tucker views as the final piece to a trilogy that began with ‘Dorwytch’ (2011) and ‘Third Mouth’ (2012).

                                                  Alexander Tucker is a member of Grumbling Fur - his duo with Daniel O’Sullivan - and has established his own comic imprint, UNDIMENSIONED. The album cover for ‘Don’t Look Away’ was designed by Tucker and showcases his hand-cut collage technique.

                                                  Tucker’s music brings a distinct otherworldliness, bringing the listener beyond the confines of the physical world and, much like the album cover alludes to, collages together sound that both brings you outside the atmosphere whilst simultaneously connecting you more closely to the seeds of existence. It is in this direction that Tucker continues to carve a position as one of Britain’s most forward-thinking songwriters.

                                                  “Simultaneously beautiful and uncanny” - Mojo

                                                  “Alexander Tucker may not make folk music, but he can weave a magic spell.” - The Quietus

                                                  “Alexander Tucker is making some of the finest music in Britain today” - A Closer Listen

                                                  “Alexander Tucker constructs surreal landscapes out of the most natural materials” - Dusted

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  Coloured LP Info: Available to independent retailers on ‘Coke Bottle Clear’ vinyl.

                                                  Glenn Jones

                                                  The Giant Who Ate Himself And Other New Works For 6 & 12 String Guitar

                                                    Glenn Jones at his most vivid, exploring memories old and new through beautifully woven threads of melody.

                                                    His unparalleled skill and creativity exhibits the mastery Jones possesses of his craft, further cementing his position as a pillar in American Primitive guitar music. Recorded in New Jersey by Laura Baird and mixed by Matthew Azevado, ‘The Giant Who Ate Himself And Other New Works For 6 & 12 String Guitar’ makes for an exceptional evening of listening.

                                                    “His tunings are counterintuitive and mesmerizing; his use of partial capos and muted strings is novel and intriguing. But to Jones’ great credit, those only feel like tools for telling stories.” - Pitchfork

                                                    “It’s incredibly calming to watch Glenn Jones play acoustic guitar... there’s nothing flashy about his style, only careful consideration as he gently hops over the frets like a lily-padding frog” - NPR All Songs Considered

                                                    “Glenn Jones has a purist’s mastery but an inventor’s imagination” - The Wire

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Coloured LP Info: Available to independent retailers on ‘Frog Green’
                                                    coloured vinyl.

                                                    RMFTM / 1000 Russos

                                                    Split

                                                      Dutch industrialists RMFTM already showcased their collaborative mastery when they teamed up with Salford’s Gnod for the Temple ov BBV project and having now retired the former output, the Eindhoven four-piece are back with a new collab LP with fellow label-mates 10,000 Russos. Portuguese trio 10,000 Russos are best known for conjuring up concrete slabs of kosmische psych-rock and now, having teamed up with a new completely electronic RMFTM, their repetitive droning mantras have manifested into a whole new beast – the looped, motorik chants feeding perfectly off of RMFTM’s throbbing free-form electronics.

                                                      Free from any sort of structure or direction, the result is an intense, jarring collection of deranged industrial freak-outs that make Einstürzende Neubauten sound like Depeche Mode. Painting a dreary image of barren, polluted landscapes in the dystopia we seem so desperate to hurtle towards, on this record RMFTM and 10,000 Russos have carved out a soundtrack for the end of times whilst simultaneously asserting, once again, that both bands are some of the finest within the dark, murky underbelly of experimental music. 

                                                      Basement Revolver

                                                      Heavy Eyes

                                                        Heavy Eyes is the debut album from Canadian indie-rock trio Basement Revolver. There’s an air of weariness pervading the album, with the sleepy title Heavy Eyes summing up a general exhaustion right down to the bone, as well as hinting at a heavier direction as they deftly merge 90s infused indie rock with fuzzy dreamy pop and poignant, yearning lyrics. Unable to disguise the emotion in her voice, songwriter Chrisy Hurn shares intimate stories and personal wounds from her past, revealing a deeply affecting and rewarding set of songs.

                                                        Bringing together the talents of Chrisy Hurn (vocals, guitar), Nimal Agalawatte (bass, synth) and Brandon Munro (drums), the band hail from Hamilton, Ontario and were named Basement Revolver due to Chrisy’s basement apartment, rather than any trigger happy leanings. Their ascent to the spotlight has been a steady trajectory, capitalising on the success of their debut single “Johnny” in 2016. The track garnered endorsements from DIY Magazine and Exclaim! as well as respected tastemakers Gold Flake Paint, who hailed it a “‘favourite song of the year” contender. They had stumbled across a sound that is capable of stripping listeners of inhibition, yet heavy hitting enough to leave a lasting impression.

                                                        On the back of “Johnny”, they were signed by Memphis Industries’ UK sub-label fear of missing out records, who released their debut self-titled EP in 2016 with “Johnny” and their second single “Words” reaching the higher echelon of the Hype Machine chart and the EP flagged up in several end of year lists. They followed this up with the Agatha EP in 2017 where the single “Bread & Wine” reached the B-list on Radio BBC 6 Music and also garnered support from John Kennedy at Radio X. The band have racked up over one million plays on Spotify across the two EPs.

                                                        In a relatively short time, Basement Revolver have successfully encapsulated the yearning and hopefulness of their generation, whilst harnessing a unique, yet familiar soundscape.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited edition pink vinyl.

                                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                        Stone Foundation

                                                        Everybody, Anyone

                                                          Everybody, Anyone features 11 new songs and as before, there’s a sprinkling of guest musicians who feature on the album including Kathryn Williams, Dr Robert, Mick Talbot, Steve White, & The Average White Band’s Hamish Stuart. And unable to stay away, Paul Weller (who produced and featured on the last album) sneaks back in with a bit of piano, guitar and BVs on a couple of tracks. The Midlands based band’s 5th studio album was recorded at Paul Weller’s Black Barn Studios in Surrey and produced by Stone Foundation founding members Neil Jones and Neil Sheasby and engineered by Charles Rees.

                                                          The band, buoyed & encouraged by the reception to their last album Street Rituals (chart position: 25), have taken a slightly different direction and hit upon a creative formula that clearly works. After a long period of extensive touring, which included headline shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and a storming set at Glastonbury, the band were so stoked that they went straight back to the studio to start work on Everybody Anyone while the creative juices were still flowing.

                                                          Everybody, Anyone sees a harder, heavier funk vibe than it’s predecessor but with the great grooves comes great songs. Talking about the album, bassist Neil Sheasby says: “In recent years I’ve heard a lot of records with great grooves but there’s no song, the message & melodies were still key to the records creation. To me it sounds like a very cohesive collection of tunes, a body of work that hangs well as a complete album. The next natural step for Stone Foundation” 


                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xColoured LP Info: White Vinyl.

                                                          2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                          Joey Dosik

                                                          Inside Voice

                                                            Joey Dosik honed his craft as part of a burgeoning Los Angeles scene that reinvents classic popular music to thrive in the present tense. With ‘Inside Voice’, Dosik delivers a level of depth rarely achieved in a debut and the result is an instant classic by any standard. It’s brimming with emotions that linger and hum. It’s catchy as hell and can haunt you for days. You can take a casual listen or spend hours on repeat. Either way, ‘Inside Voice’ will get you, because Joey Dosik writes human music for human beings.

                                                            Title track ‘Inside Voice’ builds gradually into 1970s-style soul, as Dosik’s remarkable vocal range hovers over a sparse arrangement. It’s quiet but - in keeping with the song’s concept, which Dosik describes as “deep, sexual, but also kind of silly” - it’s also a thrilling, intimate moment. ‘Take Mine’ plays with negative space and a repetitive, gut-punching melody; what feels like a love song is actually a plea for unity against the turbulent backdrop of present-day politics.

                                                            Throughout, Dosik does a remarkable job of honouring and evolving classic sounds, letting his uncanny gift for songwriting guide the way.

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            Coloured LP Info: LP pressed on stone white vinyl.

                                                            Ethers

                                                            Ethers

                                                              Calling Chicago band Ethers a “supergroup” might be hyperbole to many outside the Chicago music scene, but for those who have been keeping score in the past few years, a pedigree of bands like Heavy Times, Outer Minds, Radar Eyes and The Runnies seems like a dream team. After the dissolution of his band Heavy Times, guitarist & songwriter Bo Hansen joined forces with husband & wife musical/life partners Russell Calderwood & Mary McKane & drummer Matt Rolin to concoct what would become Ethers’ eponymous debut album. "A self-described "bad time band", Chicago group Ethers' debut consists of twelve songs of ragged, soulful rock and roll; heavy on hooks, with stark arrangements and sticky melodies that hang with an unexpected resonance.

                                                              Instant earworms like opener "Empty Hours", "Rip Off" and "Modern Dating" recall bands like soulful punks Royal Headache or Asheville troubadours Reigning Sound, while third quarter-album high point "CBD" rages with nervous energy like a long-lost Feelies "Crazy Rhythms" outtake. Tunes like "Carry What You Kill" and album closer "Something" are soaked in melancholy, but peppered with cynicism and charm. The band oozes a world-weariness, but the tunes yearn with a hopeful ache for better days ahead. Recorded in the raw, with very little audio adornment by Chicago engineer Dave Vettraino & mastered by Melbourne legend Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring), the spartan production allows the songs to be the main focus." 

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies only, 'Bloody Bottle' coloured vinyl.

                                                              Crack the coffers, Oh Sees have spawned another frothy album of head-destroying psych-epics to grok and rock out to. Notice the fresh dollop of organ and keyboard prowess courtesy of Memory Of A Cut Off Head-alum and noted key-stabber Tom Dolas, while the Paul Quattrone / Dan Rincon drum-corps polyrhythmic pulse continues to astound and pound in equal measure, buttressed by the nimble fingered bottom end of Sir Tim Hellman the Brave and the shred-heaven fret frying of John Dwyer, whilst Lady Brigid Dawson again graces the wax with her harmonic gifts.

                                                              Aside from the familiar psych-scorch familiar to soggy pit denizens the world over, there’s a fresh heavy-prog vibe that fits like a worn-in jean jacket comfortably among hairpin metal turns and the familiar but no less horns-worthy guitar fireworks Dwyer’s made his calling card. Perhaps the most notable thing about Smote Destroyer is the artistic restlessness underpinning its flights of fancy. Dwyer refuses to repeat himself and for someone with such a hectic release schedule, that stretching of aesthetic borders and omnivorous appetite seems all the more superhuman!

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: They're back again, reliably presenting us with their annual outing as 'Oh Sees' (not to mention their interim performances as any variety of that name), and they have reliably smashed it out of the park. Unbelievably grooving, beautifully constructed and forged with as much intensity as anything they've ever created. Once again, predictably brilliant.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive coloured vinyl edition.

                                                              2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              At first, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes Our Girl so special, or why the Brighton-formed, London-based trio’s music stands out within a busy crowd of fellow guitar-wielding-types. But if an explanation didn’t jump out when they first emerged with a debut EP of mighty fuzz-soaked songs in November 2016, it surfaces with ‘Stranger Today’, a debut album of personal, emotional juggernauts that could have only been made by these three people: Guitarist / vocalist Soph Nathan, bassist Josh Tyler and drummer Lauren Wilson.

                                                              Since forming in Nathan and Tyler’s Brighton home four years ago – Wilson joining as a late recruit when she was wowed by a demo of their self-titled debut track, and ‘Stranger Today’’s opener – Our Girl’s members have only had pockets of time to work together. A day booked in a local studio here, a soundcheck there, full-time jobs and other projects meant the three rarely had a concentrated, collective patch. This changed in September 2017, when they stayed in Eve Studios in Stockport for a week, recording with Bill Ryder-Jones. Their week in Stockport became a crucial catalyst for what would follow. Ryder-Jones is a guitar virtuoso himself (“He did stuff neither me or Soph had ever seen anyone do before,” Tyler remarks), and he became an unofficial fourth member of the group.

                                                              ‘Stranger Today’ is a special debut for several reasons: First, because it’s the sound of a band beginning to grasp their own value and place in the world. Secondly, because you can hear the trio’s hunger to finally get in the same room and put to tape years’ worth of scrapbooks, half-finished ideas, and a slowly-forming feel for how their first album would actually sound. “What band isn’t itching to make their debut? But it’s quite frightening, knowing you’re about to do it,” Wilson remembers.

                                                              The real clincher, however, is Our Girl’s dynamic, and how it plays out across ‘Stranger Today’. Best friends in person, the trio share the same close kinship and chemistry on record. On one side is Nathan’s visceral lyricism, which has a habit of detailing and chipping away at precise moments; the first heart-flutter of a new crush; the moment a long-term friendship begins to ebb away. Around her, Tyler and Wilson’s rhythm section carefully mirrors each feeling Nathan conveys. When she sings pointedly about love (‘I Really Like It’), she’s backed by a major-key afterglow. When the subject turns on its head (‘Josephine’), out steps a wall of taut, earth-shaking noise. They each “serve the song,” in Wilson’s words, moving in sync but with their own personal slant. Not least on the closer ‘Boring’, where all restraint is thrown aside and the trio let out one final, violent thrash. They inhabit a space bigger than the first loves, sleepless nights and growing pains that define this record.

                                                              Nathan remembers being in Brighton four years ago, shortly after Our Girl formed, and realising, “I was finally in the band I wanted to be in.” Almost half a decade later, and this eureka moment is sewn up on ‘Stranger Today’. It’s the sound of three friends totally at ease in their own space, discontent with being anywhere else; a vibrant document of what it’s like to be young, invigorated and amongst people who feel the same.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              2xColoured LP 2 Info: Double orange and black vinyl including the bonus "Bedroom Record".

                                                              2xDeluxe CD Info: The deluxe edition includes the "Bedroom Record" bonus disc.

                                                              Tangerine Reef is a full-length audio-visual album by Animal Collective (Avey Tare, Deakin and Geologist), in collaboration with Coral Morphologic, to commemorate the 2018 International Year of the Reef. Tangerine Reef is a visual tone poem consisting of time-lapse and slow pans across surreal aqua-scapes of naturally fluorescent coral and cameos by alien-like reef creatures (note: no CGI or artificial enhancement was used in this film). Tangerine Reef is the sight and sound of a literal underwater collective of animals.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Another brilliantly off-piste outing from Animal Collective. Scattered percussion, haunting shadowy vocals and that effervescent duality of low-fi production values and hi-fi songwriting make this yet another stormer from the AC camp.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Heavyweight green vinyl.

                                                              2xLP Info: Heavyweight black vinyl.

                                                              Hailed as the new vanguard of indie rock following the breakout success of 2016’s Puberty 2, Mitski returns with Be The Cowboy, via Dead Oceans.

                                                              Mitski’s carefully crafted songs have often been portrayed as emotionally raw, overflowing confessionals from a fevered chosen girl, but in her fifth album, Mitski introduces a persona who has been teased before but never so fully present until now—a woman in control.

                                                              “For this new record, I experimented in narrative and fiction,” comments Mitski. Though she hesitates to go so far as to say she created full-on characters, she reveals she had in mind “a very controlled icy repressed woman who is starting to unravel. Because women have so little power and showing emotion is seen as weakness, this ‘character’ clings to any amount of control she can get. Still, there is something very primordial in her that is trying to find a way to get out.”

                                                              In Be The Cowboy, Mitski delves into the loneliness of being a symbol and the loneliness of being someone, how it can feel so much like being no one. Lead single “Geyser” introduces us to a woman who can’t hold it all in any more. She’s about to burst and unleash a torrent of desire and passion that has been building up inside. While recording the album with her long-time producer Patrick Hyland, the pair kept returning to “the image of someone alone on a stage, singing solo with a single spotlight trained on them in an otherwise dark room. For most of the tracks, we didn’t layer the vocals with doubles or harmonies, to achieve that campy ‘person singing alone on stage’ atmosphere.”

                                                              There is plenty of buoyant swagger on Be The Cowboy, but just as much interrogation into self-mythology. Throughout these 14 songs, the music swerves from the cheerful to the plaintive. Mournful piano ballads lead into deceptively uptempo songs. “I had been on the road for a long time, which is so isolating, and had to run my own business at the same time. A lot of this record was me not having any feelings, being completely spent but then trying to rally myself and wake up and get back to Mitski.”

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: We aren't the only ones who've been eagerly awaiting a new Mitski album, with the news on this outing being VERY warmly received online, and listening to it, it's no surprise. Forward thinking synth-pop progressions, beautifully balanced song structures and Mitski's unmistakeable vocals. Superb stuff.

                                                              Papa M

                                                              A Broke Moon Rises: Music For Four Acoustic Guitars By Papa M

                                                                Late 2016’s ‘Highway Songs’ brought Papa M back to us, after many years of silence and several harrowing dances with death for his Id-ego/host body, David Pajo. Now, two years on down the road, we’re all here again to witness ‘A Broke Moon Rises’.

                                                                ‘Highway Songs’ was a necessarily cathartic experience in all phases. Afterwards, with no tour dates forthcoming (partially due to lousy clubs and their lack of wheelchair-accessible stage doors), it felt good just to play for fun again, like being in the practice space instead of the psych ward - a much healthier change of pace than some might guess. David blew it out; all the different styles he’s played in over the years, from folk-blues to metal, electronic, pop, Bollywood... all of it. When the spasms subsided, however, a back-to-roots sediment remained in the bottom of the bowl, which he read as a motive for a new Papa M album done with all acoustic instruments. That’s how there’s nothing electric about ‘A Broke Moon Rises’. Even the drums are acoustic.

                                                                The five songs of ‘A Broke Moon Rises’ find David focusing his technique in unknown directions, to find out what he can do with them. When that happens, he finds himself on the very spot where Papa M music becomes alive. As the quietly funereal march of the opening track resonates with a spare drum beat, we are completely transfixed into the open spaces around the guitars.

                                                                David’s been engineering and mixing his records for years, so the sensation of his sound-thoughts doesn’t entirely surprise us, even in their latest, acoustic anointment. Layers of guitars curl and unfurl, falling away from the centre with feathery softness. Slide figures cut through the progressions with a rusty glide. Arpeggiations flicker with light, leading into a change that’ll break on ones ear like a small revelation. Even the sound of Papa M playing in the room, leaning forward or untouching the strings, provides textural byplay in created space. ‘A Broke Moon Rises’ is meditative in the most active sense, with the unquiet mind leaping from place to place in a static, spartan theatre. All of which action makes hypnotic music, perfect for listening.

                                                                The album’s title is based upon his son’s observation of a half-moon one evening (when his son was 29) and it helped infuse the record with an essential feeling, which draws to a decidedly tasty conclusion with David taking on an Arvo Pärt piece. After years of fascination with the music, listening in passivity, he finally decided to do something about understanding it by playing it himself. If you’re wondering, that’s the key to ‘A Broke Moon Rises’.

                                                                Slaves' newest outing throws off the punky shackles of 2016's 'Take Control' with a more nuanced outlook, featuring some heavier moments like the thudding grind of 'Bugs' or the heavy thrash and militant stomp of 'Artificial Intelligence', but interspersed with more heartelt quieter moments like the sombre Arctic Monkeys-like swagger of 'Daddy' or the jagged metallic edges of 'Chokehold'. 

                                                                If you like slaves thus far, it will please you to hear them furthering their sound, and if you're yet to hear them, there might be a little more here to pull you into the fray. 

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Coloured LP Info: Heavyweight white vinyl, spined outer sleeve with embossing, printed inner, download card.

                                                                LP Info: Heavyweight black vinyl, spined outer sleeve with embossing, printed inner, download card.

                                                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                Anna Meredith

                                                                Anno

                                                                  Anna Meredith announces the release of Anno, a boundary-pushing collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble, in which original pieces of work by the classical-electronic composer are intertwined with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Released via Moshi Moshi, the project began as an immersive 360 degree live experience but will be available on double vinyl, CD and digitally for the first time from 17th August. After a recording process using the unusual ‘binaural recording head’ the project will also be available in an exclusive binaural recording – allowing the listener to experience the unique spatial aspects of the piece through headphones.

                                                                  Occupying a unique position of bridging both popular, experimental and classical worlds, Anna is a composer/producer and has made a name for her genre defying sound. In 2016 Anna Meredith released her acclaimed debut album Varmints via Moshi Moshi, which went on to win the Scottish Album of the Year award. Among countless achievements, she has been Composer in Residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, RPS/PRS Composer in the House with Sinfonia ViVA, the classical music representative for the 2009 South Bank Show Breakthrough Award and winner of the 2010 Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers. Anna has also scored forthcoming American comedy-drama Eighth Grade, written and directed by Bo Burnham, which took home the Audience Award at this years Sundance Film Festival: London. 


                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                  Barry says: Anna meredith spreads her considerable talents into the realm of classical music with this stunning juxaposition of the old world of musical symphonies and the electronic influences of Meredith's previous work. A triumph, and further evidence that Meredith is at the forefront of today's musical landscape.

                                                                  Poolside began as a recording project in a converted Los Angeles backyard pool house in early 2011, producing sunny tracks of subaquatic indie dance music in this makeshift recording studio. Surfacing first in the form of a YouTube video for the catchy track "Do You Believe?" Poolside were soon gaining local and national attention, with DJs like James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, techno legend Derrick May, and disco don Todd Terje spinning these tracks at events and a growing online following. Throughout 2011 Poolside continued making waves with a sound called "daytime disco" through tracks like their cover of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" and original tunes. In 2012 Poolside worked on a remix for longtime disco punks The Rapture and held fans over with a new single and video for a song called "Slow Down" as they prepared to release their debut album. That album, Pacific Standard Time, was self-released in July of 2012.

                                                                  After the album's release, remixes for artists like Matthew Dear, Little Dragon and Fool's Gold soon followed, as well as rehearsing and touring with a live band and doing DJ sets around the world. As thoughts turned to a second album, Poolside went on ice for a year to regroup, beginning to work in earnest on another album in the Fall of 2016. While still revolving around the sunny, laid-back disco sound of PST, these sessions yielded the additions of up-tempo dance songs and more guitars, and generally more fleshed-out arrangements. 


                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                  Sil says: Glossy disco journeys for the discerning listening. This is the perfect soundtrack for your weekend away somewhere sunny with the ocean as a backdrop. Look at that gorgeous cover!

                                                                  Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow

                                                                  Annihilation: Music From The Motion Picture

                                                                  Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury have once again joined forces with writer and director Alex Garland for the filmmaker’s Paramount film ‘Annihilation’, starring Natalie Portman and produced by Scott Rudin and David Ellison.

                                                                  “After our experience on ‘Ex Machina’, we obviously jumped at the chance to work on a new Alex Garland film. Right from the outset we could see we were going to have to use a wider musical pallet than we did on ‘Ex Machina’, and operate on a bigger and broader scale. So whilst synths and electronics do play a key role in one specific (and crucial) part of the film, 90% of the score is actually made up of acoustic instruments including voices, warped strings and the bass waterphone. Our main musical challenges were to be part of the world the scientists are travelling through, which is on the one hand terrifying, and on the other full of a strange psychedelic beauty.”

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  2xColoured LP Info: ‘Shimmer’ coloured vinyl double LP cut at 45rpm for
                                                                  superior sound quality and housed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with digital download code featuring the full score along with 11 bonus tracks.

                                                                  2xLP Info: Double LP cut at 45rpm for superior sound quality and housed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with digital download code featuring the full score along with 11 bonus tracks.

                                                                  Conner Youngblood

                                                                  Cheyenne

                                                                    Nashville resident Conner Youngblood crafts melodies through a wide range of obscure instrumental arrangements. Often centered around a specific place of natural landscape or human connection his songs embody delicate, nuanced moments in nature and the introspection of these moments.

                                                                    Where many musicians pick their instrument of choice and let it be their primary songwriting vessel, Youngblood finds different instruments allow him to tap into varied parts of his songwriting brain. His debut album ‘Cheyenne’ features no less than 30 different instruments – a harp, a bass clarinet, a tabla, etc – all of which are played by Youngblood on a record featuring no guests. Instead it’s simply him and an engineer he’s known and worked with since he first started releasing music back in high school. Though he’ll be building up a band to play live, he has before now mimicked the sounds of certain instruments on stage and supported people such as Janelle Monae, SOHN and Angus & Julia Stone.

                                                                    “Listening to music there are certain ways you think are the right ways to create songs, then you realise you can write however you want. Like, ‘Oh, I can play bongos, accordion and a guitar’ – as long as it sounds good,” Youngblood explains of his writing process. Though he initially started out learning clarinet, he’s been collecting instruments from a young age, often being gifted a new one for birthday and christmas or seeking out cheap and used rarities from local stores.

                                                                    The result of this lifelong process of collecting and playing instruments means ‘Cheyenne’ is a record that’s rich in atmospheric, organic sound. Sitting somewhere between the more low-key elements of The Band (who Youngblood wrote a thesis on while studying at Yale), the beautiful melodics of Moses Sumney and the Grammy nominated songwriter Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, this latest collection of songs feel embedded in the fabric of life – Youngblood examines what makes us human, the earth, translating his findings back into music.

                                                                    For those who may not already be aware, the release of ‘Cheyenne’ comes off the back of an already illustrative career for Youngblood. Born and raised in Dallas – a city he describes as “a lot of concrete” – Youngblood spent his formative years switching between skateboarding (he had built a half pipe in his backyard), wrestling and playing in local coffee houses. His first few releases – ‘Monsters’, ‘Australia’ and ‘A Summer Song’ – shot immediately to the top end of the Hype Machine chart and clocked up hundreds of thousands of plays and attracted offers from labels in the process.

                                                                    Though the opportunity was there, however, Youngblood decided to pursue his studies before music. That Youngblood continued his education in American Studies at Yale is an interesting point. His real name is Kneeland Conner Youngblood, after his father, a former physician who participated in sit-ins at Princeton University, while his grandfather was initially turned away from Princeton for being black - making Youngblood the next in a strong, essential American lineage.

                                                                    Though the 13 songs on ‘Cheyenne’ all have their own story, they each centre around a familiar theme. The record was written over a two year period, during which Youngblood travelled extensively. Lead track, ‘The Birds of Finland’, is a perfect example of these expeditions, touching on the tonality of these places scattered across the globe. “Travel might be a response to not feeling comfortable to stay in one place too long. I love meeting new people and seeing new terrains,” he explains. “With that being said, I do feel like the idea of a home is very important. Otherwise traveling ends up feeling more like drifting.”

                                                                    The response is a record that involves travel, but also the grounding aspects of the people Youngblood has encountered along the way, in particular the women in his life. In essence, ‘Cheyenne’ – which follows 2016’s ‘The Generation of Lift’ EP – is Youngblood having introspective conversations with himself about the relationships he holds and tying them together with specific places. That doesn’t mean these songs are specifically focused around love stories, instead the tracks on this record are about people that “have come and gone, stayed; family and friends; exes; people I like and don’t like.”

                                                                    “I've never consciously written about women, but for some reason I felt inclined all of a sudden. And one song led to the next with this album. I usually enjoy writing about places, but this time it was nice to put different people into places,” says Youngblood of the writing process. Since he has five siblings, all of whom are sisters, one of these tracks in particular stands out – ‘My Brother’s Brother’ – which was written by Youngblood after a break-up and “wishing I had a brother to talk to about it.”

                                                                    “A lot of the times I’m writing down what I want to try out as combinations before I’ve even started a song,” says Youngblood, about the songs on the record, many of which have been laboured over often for weeks at a time; as a living entity that needs to be explored, played around with and worked out.. “For example… on ‘Stockholm’, I specifically wanted to do a song with 808s and a harp, and see where it goes from there. I ended up using a vocoder too. I often think about what I haven’t used together, and use it in different ways.”

                                                                    Clearly – whether it’s what Youngblood humbly puts down as “musical ADHD” or sheer talent – ‘Cheyenne’ is the work of a musical polymath. As well as travel informing the content of the songs, it’s also a crucial part of the album’s concept as a whole. The album’s artwork is shot by Youngblood (and friends he was travelling with) who took around 2,500 photographs while touring around Europe in the past couple years, mostly in places such as Iceland, Macedonia and Finland as well as a few hiking trips around the United States. The CD and LP comes with a book full of these photographs as well as notes, sketches, essays – essentially a map of how Youngblood created this record.

                                                                    Ultimately, positioned between the sincere folk-like melodies of Elliott Smith, the pure sonics of and instrument switching ethos that’s reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens, ‘Cheyenne’ presents Youngblood an accomplished songwriter. While there are a few distant key figures grounding his sound Conner's music carves out a future narrative that is very much his own with unexpected instrumental parts and obscure melodies a step outside the current landscape.

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                    Trevor Powers

                                                                    Mulberry Violence

                                                                    Early chronicles have long enveloped mulberry trees in legend. Some say they're the link between heaven and earth. Others say the red berries are stained from the blood of star-crossed lovers. For over 5,000 years, medicine has been made from their leaves, with some cultures claiming them to be a miracle remedy or even the key to eternal life. Although many stories and attributes surround the mulberry tree, they are known most for one reigning characteristic ::: wisdom. Mulberries wait until the danger of frost is completely gone before they begin to bud, at which point the budding occurs overnight. They are patient. They are restrained. They are calculated. They are everything we're not.

                                                                    We are tornadoes, sweeping the fields - mutable and unsettled. Storms of impulse; units of destruction. Often our instincts are misguided / lashing out rather than soaking in silence, tuning in to the whispers. Violence is king, and we are its servants ::: eager to please, trained in frenzy, and knowing little else. Since infancy, we've grown used to hearing words far opposite the examples we've been shown. We've been told to douse fires, but we've been handed a torch. Should it be a surprise that the world is burning?

                                                                    Mulberry Violence is the intersection of these two dimensions. It is where stillness meets pandemonium. Dead air meets babel. Harmony meets war. Sisters from the same womb, separated at birth. It serves as a personal document of the everlasting battle inside of us. No one has it figured out; least of all me. 


                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl edition.

                                                                    Felix aka Djrum is classically trained in the jazz tradition and influenced by the likes of Keith Jarrett and Alice Coltrane. Previously shy at the prospect of fans hearing his piano playing, his determination has paid off: delivering this new album that ditches the straight up dancefloor moods of before for a much more wide-screened, encompassing listen that traverses electronic, jazz and avant music styles with a poised finesse.

                                                                    Taking inspiration and solace from performance artist Marina Abramovic, Felix collaborated with cellist Zosia Jagodzinska and vocalist Lola Empire. Jagodzinska recorded several takes of improvisations over the track "Creature" which Felix would chop, pitch and layer into new melodic lines and seed throughout the album. Felix's new approach expanded to experimentation with field recordings, contact micing his beloved piano and purchasing his first hardware synth, all in service of enriching the personal, humane quality of the record.

                                                                    Anyone expected ten garage bangers will be sorely let down; however existing fans of his work will notice the meticulous attention to rhythm, frequency balance and sonic inventiveness; nodding quite effortlessly to the multifaceted universe of UK dance music - particularly sound system friendly vibrations.

                                                                    More artistic and cinematic than anything he's previously release it sees the esteemed garage and dnb producer move into the more esoteric and freeform realms - and is a welcome move for this wonderful artist.


                                                                    Various Artists

                                                                    Teen Expo: The Cleopatra Label

                                                                      From a basement in New Jersey, Tommy Falcone remade himself into a DIY Phil Spector. From 1962 to 1970, he founded and ran Cleopatra Records, discovered and mentored young Garden State talent, wrote songs and produced wild studio effects, and quit his day job to promote it all himself.

                                                                      Trained as an accordionist, Falcone had a whirlwind imagination and an omnivorous approach to genre, expressed through acts like the Centuries, the Tabbys, Johnny Silvio, the Inmates, Bernadette Carroll, the Hallmarks, Vickie & the Van Dykes, the Shandillons, Eugene Viscione, the Shoestring, and more. Cleopatra became a time-capsule of every 1960s pop style imaginable—garage rock, psychedelia, surf, girl groups, soul, novelties, exotica, even a crooner—a kaleidoscope of sound in search of the ever-elusive hit record.


                                                                      Cullen Omori

                                                                      The Diet

                                                                        Cullen Omori’s path to his second album ‘The Diet’ wasn’t an easy one. After the release of his first album, ‘New Misery’, he had to deal with busted vans, crashed cars, mangled relationships and other trials that can leave one feeling like the world is playing a cosmic joke. From the guitar that drops out of the sky on the opening track ‘Four Years’ all the way through the fade-out of kaleidoscopic closer ‘A Real You’, ‘The Diet’ is a powerful modern indie rock album that is buoyed by warped, analogue pedals / transistors and tailor-made guitar tones. Omori’s winsome vocals crisscross 70’s art rock and classic songwriting all within the span of 40 minutes.

                                                                        Omori crafted ‘The Diet’ as a series of what can loosely be defined as love songs that metaphorically channel the frustrations and ruptures of his turbulent 2016-2017 into unforgettable compositions with abstract yet sharply rendered lyrics. Omori’s version of the love song medium goes far beyond the la-la-love-you template: “Only a few deal with loving or falling out of love with an actual, physical person,” says Omori. “Then there are, like, love songs to my antidepressants or whatever I thought my life would be like at 27.”

                                                                        After relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2016, Omori re-examined his whole artistic process. “Whereas on ‘New Misery’ I was locked in a room with a producer for a month tinkering away, this time around I wanted the sessions to be a revolving door of musicians: different people, different aesthetics. I pushed against my inner nature by actively pursuing collaborators.”

                                                                        ‘The Diet’ was recorded at Velveteen Laboratory with Taylor Locke, whose talents wound up being well-suited to the intricacies of the songs that would become ‘The Diet’. “He can sing, he is a multi-instrumentalist. On top of that, he is also a producer. Working with him really lent itself to my process of songwriting,” says Omori.

                                                                        ‘The Diet’ represents a new chapter for the former Smith Westerns member, one in which he stretches out his songwriting chops and uses his life experience to craft loose-limbed, hook-filled songs that combine pop appeal with finely sutured lyrics. “I spent my early 20’s saddled with the ill-conceived, romantic notion that the best songs are written through suffering. The process of trying out a completely different persona and approach in ‘New Misery’, and then facing my negative experiences and the shortcomings of that persona, clarified where I wanted my music to go. While making ‘The Diet’, my songs were constantly presenting themselves to me, and when I got a chance to listen back and read my song journals I saw what a truly beneficial and cathartic event had taken place.” ‘The Diet’s collection of 12 songs has Omori well on his way.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Loser edition coloured vinyl.

                                                                        Theres only confirmation an intoxicating combination of outlook and output that clarifies and crystallizes the bands many sonic strengths throughout the albums fantastically unfolding forty-plus minutes. From the beginning, with an appropriately Albert Ayler-ish blast of Awakening, to the epic 20-minute B-sidelong excursion, Note From the Underground, the beating heart of The Myrrors current statement. Borderlands will be extremely satisfying to otherworldly music seekers who find aural transcendence through the works of artists such as International Harvester, Taj Mahal Travellers, Trad Gras och Stenar, Kikagaku Moyo, Amon Duul, and Agitation Free, to name a few.

                                                                        The Vryll Society

                                                                        Course Of The Satellite - Bonus Disc Edition

                                                                        One thing The Vryll Society aren’t short of is admirers, Lauded at just about every turn by press and public alike, the release of their debut LP for Deltasonic Records is hotly anticipated thanks to the promise this band have shown through their live sets and recent single releases.

                                                                        Discovered and nurtured by the late and much missed Deltasonic founder Alan Wills, they fitted the type for him perfectly. He instantly saw in them similar attributes he’d previously found in the early days of The Coral and The Zutons. The confident swagger, the solid union formed by their band-of-brothers gang mentality, their willingness to stand outside the conventional and often stifling jangly Liverpool scene, and the work ethic. Always the work ethic.

                                                                        Wills instilled in The Vryll Society something which has become over the ensuing years a key element of what they are, what they’ve become, and of the music they produce. He gave them belief. A belief that hard work and determination will bring them to the place they wanted to reach.

                                                                        “Alan taught us that all you need to conquer the world is a rehearsal room, your instruments, a good work ethic and a positive attitude and you’ll get there. He kind of taught us the rules and the attributes that you need to have to be successful so we’ve just continued on that path” says frontman Mike Ellis.

                                                                        Ellis has stated that it was that attitude and that work ethic which got them through the subsequent tragic loss of their friend and manager in 2014, driving them forward through those times, propelling them to harder work, and bonding them even closer together as a unit.

                                                                        That unit have spent the intervening time creating and honing their own brand new-psych sound, and building up a fanbase with their superlative live shows. Drawing from an eclectic palette of influence from deep funk to Krautrock, electronica and prog, they’ve created a heady, intoxicating, pin sharp, and tightly wound mellifluous groove, washed over with cyclical motifs, acres of effects laden guitar hooks, and shimmering, textural technicolour soundscapes. It is at once blissful, dizzying and madly infectious. It’s that eclecticism, that kaleidoscopic swirl of influences which brings together hip hop flavours, with the prog stylings of names such as Aphrodite’s Child and The Verve - pre Urban Hymns - when the drugs were still working. The dynamic leaps and folds through all these influences is where you find The Vryll Society’s own brand perfect pop. Its all there in the loops, in the hooks, the drive and the vibe of this unique band. But this isn’t frippery, these aren't throwaway cheap thrills for our disposable times. No, this is heavier. This is music too feed your head.

                                                                        Live too, The Vryll Society are a formidable force. That gang mentality binds them together over the ideas formed by spending long hours together in the rehearsal every day. Hotwiring these ideas into the heads of the crowd through extended psych jams and deep solid grooves gives a different show every time, and with each and every set, the offer gets better. Recent travels have seen them take SXSW 2017 by storm as guests of BBC Introducing as well as major festivals such as Glastonbury and Leeds/Reading.

                                                                        The songs that fill the delicious grooves of Course Of The Satellite weren’t so much written as devised or developed, brought together organically over months in the band’s underground lair, or over weeks in Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios. Working closely with producers, Wills’ right hand man and Deltasonic brother-in-arms Joe Fearon and Tom Longworth, the album took shape organically, biding its time and finding its way. The result is a work of impressive confidence and stature. It’s a record that believes in itself, and for all the right reasons. This is an effortlessly cool album, the sort of record that makes friends easily. The world is ready, willing and more than able to take The Vryll Society even deeper to their heart. The path Alan Wills showed them awaits. It’s a path that leads to greatness.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Andy says: Blissed-out early-Verve vibes topped with nifty psych-pop melodies make this a pretty impressive debut album. Ones to watch!

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Transparent red vinyl. Includes 4 track bonus CD while stocks last.

                                                                        LP Info: Includes 4 track bonus CD while stocks last.

                                                                        CD Info: Includes 4 track bonus CD while stocks last.

                                                                        ‘Move Through The Dawn’ was recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and produced by The Coral and Rich Turvey. The album is the influential Hoylake five-piece’s follow-up to 2016’s critically acclaimed ‘Distance Inbetween’, which featured the BBC 6Music playlisted singles ‘Miss Fortune’, Holy Revelation’ and ‘Million Eyes’.

                                                                        Nick Power, The Coral’s keyboardist, has written a new book, ‘Into The Void’, which will be published by Ebacc concurrently with the new album. Powers’ third book, ‘Into The Void’ is an insightful, amusing and evocative first hand account of the recording, release and touring of ‘Distance Inbetween’, which came after a five-year hiatus for the band.

                                                                        Since their debut EP release in 2001 The Coral have sold over a million UK albums, with five reaching the Top 10 including 2003’s chart-topping ‘Magic and Medicine’. Their eight Top 40 singles include ‘Dreaming Of You’, ‘In The Morning’, ‘Pass It On’, and ‘Don’t Think You’re The First’.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Andy says: Welcome to the West Coast, of The Wirral that is! Lovely mellow sounds and CSN style harmonies take you to a Pacific ocean blue, via The Mersey, of course! This mood suits The Coral as they've possibly turned in their most tuneful collection of songs so far.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Picture Disc Info: RSD Stores Exclusive LP Pic Disc.

                                                                        Lanterns is a brand new album from the Japanese based producer & DJ Max Essa, and his first release on Bager's Music For Dreams label. Max Essa has been active as a DJ and producer since the early 90s, initially releasing music on labels such as Warp Records and Paper Recordings and DJing alongside the infamous D.i.Y Sound System. His recent work, for labels like Is It Balearic? Recordings, has been playlisted by the likes of Andrew Weatherall and the late David Mancuso, gaining him a devoted following around the world.

                                                                        2015 saw his first release with a major label in the shape of the "Vacations Never Taken" CD for Victor Entertainment (Japan). The same year also found him completing another round of world-wide DJ bookings in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam to name but a few. 2018 sees Max continuing his hectic weekly DJ schedule in Tokyo as well as playing the length and breadth of Japan from Sapporo to Okinawa, and releases are scheduled this year for Hell Yeah!, Music For Dreams, Palms & Charms, and Aficionado.


                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Matt says: Old fave Max Essa takes a languid and thoughtful through electronic, mostly piano-driven and really quite ambient Balearica... the perfect hammock-resting, waves-lapping-at-the-shoreline soundtracking one could wish for.

                                                                        Summer Mode On. "Balearic 4", compiled by Breese, is the soundtrack for summer, brim-full of beach-ready tunes that truly reflect Ibiza’s chilled musical spirit. Featuring two album exclusives: On-U Sound’s cosmic flamenco dub of Los Twangueros and a Breese remix of Robot 84 that brings Spanish guitars firmly to the fore. Digital exclusives too; Quinn Luke’s ‘Different Aspirations’ offers ‘I-know-this’ familiarity, Emerson Kitamura covers 70s classic ‘Rock Your Baby’ in lullaby style, while Max Manetti's ‘Changuinola’ winks back towards the Happy Mondays circa 1989. Other highlights include Gallo’s ‘Faron’ - currently proving the sunset bomb with Ibiza DJs; J-Walk’s modern remake of Maze’s ‘Twilight’; Fuga Ronto’s Rework of Kay Zee’s ‘Barny’ as a modern-day down-tempo beauty, plus Joe Morris’ ‘Skies Reprise’, which carries the mood dreamily off into the night. A dozen true pearlers, each one confident and ready to take their place amongst any quality collection.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: Another summer stormer from the Breese camp, this time featuring Manchester's J-Walk with a propulsive cocktail-supping anthem, Max Essa for the later nocturnal relaxation, and a dubbed out upbeat beach number on Fuga Ronto's Kay Zee rework. Add this to the other, equally excellent 9 tracks and you have a comp worthy of the Balearic name. Stunning stuff.

                                                                        Kathryn Joseph releases her new album From When I Wake The Want Is, via Glasgow’s Rock Action Records. The follow up to 2015’s acclaimed debut Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled, which was named the Scottish Album of the Year, this album is a captivating set that documents both life’s traumas and their resolutions. Produced by Marcus Mackay, who also worked on her debut album, 'From When I Wake The Want Is' mixes new songs with material gathered over the past ten years to create an intimate and often devastating portrait of Joseph’s world.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: Echoing piano and dusty atmospheric washes with touches of jazzy percussion make for a beautifully mournful but immersive backdrop for Joseph's evocative vocal touches. A stunningly fragile but brilliantly immersive listen.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Heavyweight clear vinyl.

                                                                        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                        Miles Kane releases his third solo album ‘Coup De Grace’, a blistering exercise in modern rock ‘n’ roll, August 10th on Virgin EMI.

                                                                        Currently in the midst of a rip roaring UK club tour with his explosive new band, Miles has been previewing several album highlights including the current single ‘Loaded’ written by Miles, Lana Del Rey and Jamie T; the T Rex inspired ‘Cry On My Guitar’ and the insanely catchy ‘Too Little Too Late’.

                                                                        ‘Coup De Grace’, is Miles’ first solo album since 2013’s ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ and well worth the wait. Recorded in LA, produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent), Miles wrote much of the album with Jamie T.

                                                                        “This record for me is the most important record I’ve made to date” said Miles. “It’s been 5 years in the making, a lot of emotion and excitement has gone into making this album!”

                                                                        Since joining The Little Flames 14 years ago, Miles has seen the pop climate change considerably but still believes the magic’s in the music. He’s like an excitable schoolboy who just went to his first gig. His enthusiasm is contagious. “For me to really love someone, I have to want to be them,” he enthuses. “You want to look the way they look, move the way they move. To me, going to my first gigs, it was always otherworldly: how do I get there?”

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: Arm-waving rock anthems, distorted bass and thumping glam hooks from Miles Kane, brilliantly bombastic and full of swagger, there's no way you won't be nodding your head to this one. A bold and confident outing, bursting with energy.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        LP Info: Heavyweight black vinyl, printed inner bag, download card.

                                                                        CD Info: Indies exclusive pink vinyl, printed inner bag, download card, sticker.

                                                                        Hilang Child

                                                                        Years

                                                                          The special thrill of hearing an artist grow into their voice is emphatically served by the debut album from Ed Riman, the half-Welsh, half- Indonesian, London-based singer-songwriter and soundscapist who records as Hilang Child. ‘Years’ radiates a rich sense of self-discovery in its lush, textured layers of sound and feeling. Between its blossoming choruses, multi-tracked harmonies and loose theme of embracing adulthood, it’s an epiphanic debut from an artist not just fulfilling his early promise but reaching far beyond it. Collaborators on ‘Years’ include Kwes, who helped on the mix and added “little touches here and there,” says Riman, “which really made it feel complete.” Sam Delves played guitar and Yazzmin Newell played trumpet; the remainder was largely self-written and self-produced, reflecting a distinct vision at work.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Barry says: Atmospheric shoegazing melodies, huge percussion and anthemic chord changes make this debut album one to remember, with the clattering post-rock percussion and soaring instrumentation sitting beautifully beside Riman's euphoric vox.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Silver vinyl.

                                                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                          Futuropaco

                                                                          Futuropaco

                                                                            Futuropaco’s debut album is the shape of things to come: it’s a wet, enigmatic cocktail of part 1970’s Italian library music, part krautalicious beat-galore and part riff-driven heavy psych. Justin Pinkerton, from Oakland, California, is the one-man army behind the opaque merge of seemingly different forces: from mad fuzz guitar breakdowns à la Morricone at his most intense, to the syncopated drum learnings of Can’s Jaki Liebezeit, Justin weaves a blanket of sound that’s simply loaded with deep vibes: From heavily modulate Moog synths, gentle glockenspiel through amplified echo-perplexion.

                                                                            You almost forget that Justin’s main instrument is actually the drums - if it wasn’t for the superb loaded-yet-understated grooves tying everything together in an intricate tangle. With a background as drummer & composer in famed psych-rockers Golden Void (Thrill Jockey), Justin also works as a full time film composer for library and commercial music. Futuropaco is the meeting between his two passions: It’s a vivid sonic dream where abstraction melts with the strict, focused approach of cinematic cues. It almost makes you forget the murky future of America these days, which was the catalyst for this album and it’s title. Imminent dystopia never felt this grounded, bright and uplifting. Freedom Fuzz!

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Driven, motorik percussion, throbbing fuzzed-out guitars and brain-melting solos make for a fascinating and absorbing journey. Brilliantly varied, but consistently superb.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                            Odetta Hartman

                                                                            Old Rockhounds Never Die

                                                                              Raised by pioneering parents on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NYC, Odetta’s milieu was a “colorful culture of artistry,” that included early exposure to community activism, renegade film screenings, poetry readings and trips to CBGB's. Inchoate punk and hip hop were aural wallpaper, as were the 45s spinning in the household jukebox featuring her dad’s extensive collection of soul and afrobeat records, as well as her Appalachian mother’s classic country selections. A classically trained violinist with a penchant for back-porch banjo, Odetta combines these variegated sounds of her childhood with her personal passion for folk music and the musicological legacy of Alan Lomax.

                                                                              Lomax is writ large on Old Rockhounds... at least in spirit anyway. Odetta plays all the instruments on this and her debut 222, which made problematic the changeovers between songs when playing live. Field recordings the singer had collected on her travels were utilized to make such transitions seamless, and so successful was that intermingling of songs and soundscapes that they’ve transitioned into the recording process. It makes for a strangely intimate listen: tingly and a little tipsy: an album for twilight, sitting within the nocturnal hinterland between dusk and somnambulance - candlelit and confidential - a time for stories and secrets.

                                                                              So far, so old skool. And yet, Old Rockhounds Never Die also embraces modernity without ever sounding incongruous. The mix of manipulated 21st century beats and the musical traditions of centuries meet at a crossroads and consummate their curiosity without inhibition. It’ll probably not surprise anyone listening to the album then that its a co-production. Odetta writes and performs all the songs while her partner Jack Inslee is in the background bringing the digital dark arts. Experimenting with found sounds & foley, the two have developed a sonic vernacular built around playing around with a-typical instruments. Hartman explains: “Many of the beats on the album were recorded in the kitchen: the snare sound is actually a running faucet, or if you hear these glockenspiel bells that's actually a set of kitchen bowls. Other percussive elements include scissors, a pepper grinder and keys on the radiator.”


                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition transparent red vinyl

                                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                              Following her acclaimed EPs released on Greco-Roman, new album Devotion positions Londonbased Tirzah as a unique contemporary soul voice on an innovative modern British RnB record. Delivering what feels like a landmark debut LP, the 11-songs across Devotion are an intimate collection of downtempo love-songs laced with romance and lust, melancholy and desire.

                                                                              The album was conceived and written with long-term collaborator, Mica Levi who handles the music and production across the whole album, Tirzah providing vocals, melody & lyrics. Additional vocals & lyrics are provided by Coby Sey on stand out track, ‘Devotion’. The album was mixed by Mica & Kwes.

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Coloured LP Info: 180 gram heavyweight white vinyl.

                                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                              California and New York aren't the only US cities to have pioneered underground hip-hop over the years. Back in the nineties, southern states such as Memphis, Tennessee were also hotbeds for the fast evolving musical phenomenon. As we push on into the second millennium; from the swathes of short-run, tape-only releases that came out in the 1990's, some are at last being cut to vinyl. Shawty Pimp and the Big Pimpin' Productions crew were brought to international ears in 2014 when his album 'Comin' Real Wit It' was pressed to vinyl and sold out in the blink of an eye. Gyptology Records (a new Europe-based Hip-Hop and Egyptian Archaology styled re-issue label) now present a vinyl pressing of the 1995 sequel; 'Still Comin' Real'. Here are eleven original, raw rap cuts, remastered and restored with love. Vinyl only for now and in one short-run only, no represses. Produced with the full consent and participation of the artists.

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Matt says: Currently causing all manner of chaos in the blogosphere. This long lost casette from Memphis is spearheading a massive resurgence in DIY rap tapes from back int' day.

                                                                              De Leon

                                                                              De Leon

                                                                              Gamelan and capoeira in dub. The collective behind this doesn’t like to talk much but their music is beautifully conversational. De Leon is the most organic and percussive of their shifting identities, developed on their Aught project in small-run, clear-shell cassette tape releases over the last few years.

                                                                              They've appreciated a cult interest for their takes on outernational rhythm, field recording, and the tension and relief on the knife-edge of dance music; all delivered with an impressive commitment to anonymity and clarity of vision through cut-and-dried aesthetic minimalism.

                                                                              These six pieces of music seem formed from wood, metal and air. Dramatic, balletic flourishes and tightly woven interlocking patterns are embedded in slowly changing and "live" atmospheres. The shadow of a hand over the mixing desk makes gradual adjustments to alter the pressure and dimension of the space.

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Sil says: Rythmic, tribal at times and deeply hypnotic. Metallic sounds entangled and wrapped in organic field recordings. Different and thought provoking. Without a doubt, my choice for this week. I am getting a copy, are you?

                                                                              Currently the rediscovery of long forgotten Japanese electronic, jazz and new age music is at a peak like never before, but although many re-issues already flood the record stores around the world: the large, diverse musical culture of Japan still has some gems in store that are really missing.

                                                                              Japanese bass player, new-age and ambient musician Motohiko Hamase is one of the newer discoveries. In the 70s Hamase was part of Isao Suzuki Sextett, where he played with legends like pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto or fusion guitar maverick Kazumi Watanabe.

                                                                              In the 1980’s Hamase began to slowly drift away from jazz and drowned himself and his musical vision into new-age, ambient and experimental electronic spheres, in which he incorporated his funky meditative way of playing the bass above airy sounds and arrangements.

                                                                              His first solo album “Intaglio” was not only a milestone of Japanese new-age ambient, it was also fresh sonic journey in jazz that does not sound like jazz at all. Now Studio Mule is happy to announce the re-recording of his gem from 1986, an enchanted, majestic opus as likely to arrest and beguile as much now as it did then.

                                                                              First issued by the Japanese label Shi Zen, the record had a decent success in Japan and by some overseas fans of music from the far east. With seven haunting, stylistically hard to pigeonhole compositions Hamase drifts around new-age worlds with howling wind sounds, gently bass picking and discreet drums, that sometimes remind the listener on the power of Japanese taiko percussions. also, propulsive fourth-world-grooves call the tune and all composition avoid a foreseeable structure. at large his albums seem to be improvised and yet all is deeply composed. 


                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Matt says: For me, the uneducated, this sounds like Steve Reich meets Iasos on a houseboat moored at Lake Kawaguchi (Mount Fuji). Totally captivating and transportive and with a rich musical tapestry. Full marks!

                                                                              Stunningly inventive, catastrophic destruction of hip-hop, techno and acid-dub stylings here by Saltburn-via-MCR newcomer Fumu. Released on the cutting edge, Youth imprint (MCR-born label from Andrew Lyster) this is some of the most ear-grabbingly unique music we've heard for some time and certainly demands your attention! 

                                                                              Skirting through eighteen tracks, the producer pushes hardware mechanics and cerebral sonics to the extreme, nodding to other imperfectionists like Madteo & Power Vacuum whilst imparting a tense, impending sense that the whole thing is gonna collapse under some alien frequency at some point whilst listening.

                                                                              Production-wise Fumu is out there on his own. And the painstakingly well constructed, freeform pieces ooze class and sophistication with anyone with an ear for the abnormal. Vocals side chain against gated drum hits, re:noize sections are mangled to obscurity whilst select pieces of hardware such as the E-MU sampler are added to bolster the sheer weight of the sounds and rhythms presented.

                                                                              The future is now - the future is Fumu - Fix Up Move Up.

                                                                              Totally recommended. 

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Matt says: Gutteral and with its face to the asphalt, debut release from yet another pioneering hardware mangler from MCR's technoologically focussed underbelly.

                                                                              It was only a matter of time before the enigmatic Rezzett duo dropped an LP on Will Bankhead's TTT, and the time feels just right. At a time when electro, EBM and post-everything seems to be trending, the duo's organic style and ethereal melodies make a whole lot of sense, and give meaning to a new generation of listeners fascinated by future dystopia and the more melancholic side of dance music. The self-titled LP is a perfect encapsulation of everything they have released thus far, a blend of aqueous techno and ambient house that goes way, way beyond the dancefloor. The mood, the vibe, and the sounds are sticky, tainting the air with their singular distortion aesthetic that renders them personal to these two masked producers. The thing we love most, however, is their willingness to represent the UK hardcore continuum, offering two final cuts that push the d&b framework to its very limits. Highly recommended.

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Sil says: Exuberant LP from the TTT troupe. Futuristic, visionary, menacing, dystopian. Can you feel it? It has a bit for everyone too. Those who have been following TTT will be pleasantly surprised. It has its hard moments but its evocative and atmospheric undertones will transport you to a special place... that is planet TTT. Always on the cutting edge.

                                                                              Goatherder is the seventh album from underground London producer Kristian Craig Robinson, AKA Capitol K. Along with everything from Chinese pop to the marching band music of the United Arab Emirates in his early musical vocabulary, the influence of rave, new wave, grunge, and noise-core would collide to create a bold new sound. His early studio experiments gave birth to his debut, "Sounds of the Empire" (Planet Mu, 1999) built upon a heady balance of samples and live sources that placed Capitol K at the forefront of the UK's electronic scene. The follow-up, 2002's "Island Row", was released via XL Records, with lead single "Pillow" becoming a daytime Radio 1 crossover. "Nomad Junk" (2005) combined Asian field recordings into a vibrant psychedelic collage, while "Notes From: Life On The Wire With A Wrecking Ball" (2008) paid homage to London’s squats and free anarchistic artistic spaces of which K was a part for many years. "Andean Dub" (2012) was an exploratory South American-influenced album of heavy synth laden cumbia sound system tracks.

                                                                              This latest work was developed and recorded in his native Malta, where he built a studio in a cave (a former goat stable). K gathered bamboo instruments collected around the world, including an ancient Quecha reeded pipe (his new-found lead instrument), and various resonating vessels and percussive objects including dry fennel storks collected from Punic troglodyte sites, and atonal flutes built from fresh cut farmland reed. Ritualistic improvisations took place over a series of seasonal visits, awakening genetic memory and plant communication. Back in London the tracks were interfaced and expanded with post-industrial machine beat and bass guitar lock down. Homage is paid to New Age synthscapes, while a spirit jazz overtone arrives from K's recent years as the sonic muscle behind a plethora of luminous albums born in his Total Refreshment Studio. Goatherder follows on from the 2016 collaborative incarnation "Loose Meat" and sonically abridges 2012's Capitol K album "Andean Dub". 


                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Ltd LP Info: Ltd laquer cut, screen print sleeve. Artwork by Chris Bianchi, printed at Heretic.

                                                                              Khotin returns to Pacific Rhythm with a much anticipated vinyl adaptation of his 2017 cassette only release "New Tab". 10 deeply personal tracks that build and breathe stretched across 2 lovingly mastered and heavily considered LPs. A wonderfully restorative listening experience for everyone out there.

                                                                              Thick plumes of sound engulf much of the release, woozy synthlines peppered with compression artifacts from reduced percussion. It's a locally informed piece for sure, with the distant sounds of neighbouring British Columbia redolent in the air.

                                                                              Perfectly incarnated in its first instance, it's nice to see the label have taken care to transfer it onto the treasured vinyl medium - both sonically and artisically.. a future classic of the scene! Most recommended. 

                                                                              “What works reliably is to know the raw silk, hold the uncut wood. Need little. Want less. For- get the rules. Be untroubled.”

                                                                              Laurel Halo presents six instrumental pieces that form a meditative, cinematic listening experience. Inspired by recent film score work for Metahaven and Ursula Le Guin’s translation of the Tao Te Ching. Featuring cello work by Oliver Coates and percussion by Eli Keszler.

                                                                              Working in abstraction leads to a deeper longing for touch and closeness. The tactile sensation of struck organ keys and bowed strings, wood and felt on drum heads. Smoke and dirt and stone. Febrile and tactile, hairy and hissy. A clover of highway onramps, a continuous flow, like old leaves melting on their way down a stream at the back of a house. Constant contradiction, the truth’s nowhere.

                                                                              The Beths

                                                                              Future Me Hates Me

                                                                                The Beths from New Zealand occupy a warm, energetic sonic space between joyful hooks, sun-soaked harmonies, and acerbic lyrics. Their debut album Future Me Hates Me, forthcoming on Carpark Records, delivers an astonishment of roadtrip-ready pleasures, each song hitting your ears with an exhilarating endorphin rush like the first time you heard The Breeders/Jale/Veruca Salt..

                                                                                Front and center on these ten infectious tracks is lead singer and primary songwriter Elizabeth Stokes. Stokes has previously worked in other genres within Auckland’s rich and varied music scene, recently playing in a folk outfit, but it was in exploring the angst-ridden sounds of her youth that she found her place. “Fronting this kind of band was a new experience for me,” says Stokes. “I never thought I had the right voice for it.”

                                                                                From the irresistible title track to future singles “Happy Unhappy” and “You Wouldn’t Like Me,” Stokes commands a vocal range that spans from the brash confidence of Joan Jett to the disarming vulnerability of Jenny Lewis. Further honeying Future Me Hates Me’s dark lyrics that explore complex topics like being newly alone and the self-defeating anticipation of impending regret, ecstatic vocal harmonies bubble up like in the greatest pop and R+B of the ‘60s, while inverting the trope of the “sad dude singer accompanied by a homogenous girl-sound.”

                                                                                All four members of The Beths studied jazz at university, resulting in a toolkit of deft instrumental chops and tricked-out arrangements that operate on a level rarely found in guitar-pop. Beths guitarist and studio guru Jonathan Pearce (whose other acts as producer include recent Captured Tracks signing Wax Chattels) brings it all home with an approach that’s equal parts seasoned perfectionist and D.I.Y.

                                                                                “There’s a lot of sad sincerity in the lyrics,” she continues, “that relies on the music having a light heart and sense of humor to keep it from being too earnest.” Channeling their stew of personal-canon heroes while drawing inspiration from contemporaries like Alvvays and Courtney Barnett, The Beths serve up deeply emotional lyrics packaged within heavenly sounds that delight in probing the limits of the pop form. “That’s another New Zealand thing,” Stokes concludes with a laugh. “We’re putting our hearts on our sleeves—and then apologizing for it.” The result is nothing less than one of the standout records of 2018.


                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                Coloured LP Info: Initial run pressed on tangy yellow vinyl. Includes a 12"x12" lyric sheet.

                                                                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                Various Artists

                                                                                Napoleon Dynamite Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

                                                                                  The feel-good soundtrack of the summer is here. Available for the first time outside of North America. Features the score, songs and even classic dialogue from the film.

                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                  Barry says: ND is here to teach us it doesn't matter if you don't have bow hunting skills, nunchuck skills or computer hacking skills, you're still allowed to enjoy an excellent movie and an equally good soundtrack.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  2xColoured LP Info: "Electric liger blue" vinyl.

                                                                                  For a limited period there's also a bonus remix disc with all formats including remixes of tracks from the album from Django Django and Richard Norris.

                                                                                  Gulp, formed by Super Furry Animals’ Guto Pryce, Lindsey Leven and their long standing guitarist Gid Goundrey, release their new album 'All Good Wishes', via E.L.K Records. Gulp are on a journey, a state of perpetual transition. The band make mini Kraut-pop epics, informed equally by the sun flares of the Californian desert and the drizzle of pure, sweet Scottish rain and northern light. Debut album ‘Season Sun’ was a home-grown delight, a ramshackle, endlessly inventive selection of dreamy psychedelic nuggets to watch the world flash past.

                                                                                  New album ‘All Good Wishes’ half-inches its title from a vintage Scottish postcard, and it’s emblematic of the changes the pair have undergone. “I think all through making this record we were looking at relocating,” Guto explains. “Whereas the first record was more of a road trip this is possibly a bit more focussed on home, and focussed on where we’re from and where we’re looking to go to. It’s partly a farewell to Wales, and hello to Scotland.”
                                                                                  The record was largely built in South Wales, a three-year process that saw the band retreat to their basement for endless sonic incisions and revisions. A broader, wider, perhaps bolder experience than their debut, ‘All Good Wishes’ is rooted in fantastic pop songwriting, in creating three minute vignettes that express complex ideas in a simple, accessible, endlessly fascinating way. Endlessly restrained yet infinitely open, each Gulp track is like a world in miniature, ideas borrowed from Krautrock and electronic culture slimmed down into these infinitely enjoyable pop songs.

                                                                                  Minimalist Kraut-pop with a dreamy, Cocteau Twins esque vibe, recent single ‘Morning Velvet Sky’ was a potent introduction to the duo’s ever-shifting realm. Following on from introductory cut ‘Search For Your Love’ - released on Tim Burgess’ esteemed O Genesis label - ‘Morning Velvet Sky’ was mixed by Luke Abbott, and the producer cast his eye over the record as a whole during the final mixdown in his home studio in Norwich

                                                                                  From Cardiff to Norwich and onwards to the Scottish East Coast, Gulp are tracing sonic ley-lines, empowering themselves, plugging into often over-looked artistic communities to fuel their next move. “We spent a lot of time on road trips listening to music, experiencing and enjoying different landscapes” he explains. “It’s especially apt in these times to see the good side of human nature; despite what the media portrays, people are generally sound, and it’s great be reminded of that in day-to-day living.”


                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                  Andy says: Beautiful, dreamy, electro-psych-pop from the erstwhile Super Furries man and his partner. If you liked Gwenno and Jane Weaver then you'll love this. It's sublime.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited white vinyl edition.

                                                                                  LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                                                                                  ‘Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread’ is the follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed album ‘Some Twist’ and its extension ‘The Load’ EP (feat. Natalie Prass).

                                                                                  The sprawling new album was recorded in guitarist Benny Yurco’s one-bedroom apartment in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Nau and his collaborators had a cool little set up going in Yurco’s spot — drums and bass took over the bedroom, the guitar amp in the bathroom, Nau’s vocals and piano in the living room, and a vibraphone in the kitchen. It’s the first time one of Nau’s records happened all in one place, and “it feels most like a band record than ever before”. Nau and this particular group of musicians held it down together as a true team, which is why Nau named the record in their honour. The songs on this layered record sound sunny and familiar, like sharing stories and worries with a close friend on a late summer day. In a gorgeous and natural way, he contemplates his own process, those feelings of uncertainty. “Making it too hard just comes easier,” Nau croons on ‘Funny In Real Life,’ an exquisite meditation on creation and self. “Truth is such a beautiful force/And every time we find the chorus/There’s no second-guessing the real/I don’t ever know how I feel.” 


                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                  Andy says: The Richard Hawley of Americana returns with another swoonsome collection of mellow classics-in-waiting. Superb, as ever.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited edition blue vinyl version available, one time pressing of 500.

                                                                                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                  Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe edition includes blue vinyl and bonus 7" with 2 exclusive tracks. Limited to 200 copies.

                                                                                  Deluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                  If you want to know what Gabe Gurnsey’s debut album "Physical" sounds like, the first thing you should do is forget all about Factory Floor, the group he co-founded 13 years ago. Gone are the cold, lengthy, stripped back deconstructions of no wave electronica and industrial techno, abandoned in favour of something altogether warmer, torrid and… well, succinct.

                                                                                  “It’s a real departure from Factory Floor” he explains. “Yeah, that was the intention. There’s only one track over six minutes long! There’s only one crossover point on the song ‘Night Track’, which is 6’33” - that’s probably as close to Factory Floor as it gets. What I wanted to get into with "Physical" had more to do with exploring songwriting and structure. The album is very escapist in one sense even though I don’t want to escape from Factory Floor but what I do on my own has to be separate and it has to explore new avenues.”

                                                                                  Gurnsey started writing tracks in his downtime from the group early 2017 and by the start of that Summer he had 30 demos ready for work. He admits he worked very quickly initially but then gave the tracks 12 months to develop fully into a new sound.

                                                                                  And that new sound - a 21st Century take on muscular electro, Balearic synth pop, EBM, proto-Hacienda militant funk, early Chicago house and minimal, Neptunes-referencing beats - can be experienced in full on //Physical// the album released on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label.

                                                                                  Encoded into the album is a seductive narrative, which recreates a night out. Gabe explains: “The record is a story. The way the 14 tracks are sequenced mirrors a night out from start to finish. “So even though it’s electronic dance music, it’s a record about clubbing even more than it’s a record to be played in clubs. It’s everything about the clubbing experience reflected in sound. Getting ready to go out, driving into town, arriving at the club, being on the dancefloor, how you get home afterwards early the next morning… even when you step outside to get some air, when you’re outside at 3am having a cigarette… even that is represented here. It’s about the whole experience.” The theme for the record also concerned how we can shed our real selves when going out, how we can almost adopt a new personality. This was an idea that helped him get used to a new part of the process and one he wasn’t initially comfortable with - stepping behind the mic. He didn’t want to be the singer, so in order to do it, he simply became someone else… or, to be precise, he became a number of different people. For all of the multitudes of different sounding male voices on //Physical// are all Gabe thanks to the wonders of vocal processing. (All of the female voices belong to his partner, the Manchester musician Tilly Morris of Grimm Twins, who also helped him co-author some of the lyrics on tracks such as the Miss Nicky Trax and Missy Elliott-referencing clipped electro funk of ‘Heavy Rubber’.) He explains how the theme of changing one’s persona helped him crack the approach to introducing vocals: “It’s similar to how our online selves or avatars differ from our actual selves and that was key to some of the vocal pitching on the record. All of the deeper vocal stuff on there is actually me.”

                                                                                  All dance music is utopian and even when the clubber is lost on the dancefloor there is still a longing for a deeper level of escape. ‘New Kind’, is the track on //Physical// that most clearly references the club music of Manchester, the city where the album was written and recorded. It calls to mind the ecstatic and organic disco not disco of Quando Quango’s ‘Love Tempo’ and the gritty urban post punk grooves of A Certain Ratio, with Gabe playing live guitar, drums and percussion, bolstered with brash synthesized horn stabs. Just as this music was a paean to the imagined American dancefloors of the mid-80s, he recognises the same longing for escape into the American dream. Perhaps pointing to the idea that we’ll never be free from our longings, Gabe sings: “We all think we’re living in L.A.”

                                                                                  Cars and driving feature prominently on //Physical//. Gabe says that he drew on the feeling of being “untouchable” when in the passenger seat of a car on a night out, while making one of the album’s many standout moments, the pulsating and noirish throb of ‘Sweet Heat’. The song references his period living in L.A. where he found himself ill at ease: " I love L.A but I missed the grittiness of England" This sense of discomfort is teased out by a typically blazing and transportative guest spot by New York saxophonist Peter Gordon.

                                                                                  Gurnsey admits that no matter how warm and sensuous he tries to make the music - “I wanted to explore the more celebratory sound of dance music… I didn’t want to make a hostile record” - it was impossible to keep a note of unease from creeping in. “I think you can detect an air of paranoia to it. The synths I’ve used and the sax underline that.”

                                                                                  This sense of paranoia suggests that not everything is as it seems on initial contact. Gurnsey admits that this is because there is a second reading of the album’s theme for those willing to dig for it.

                                                                                  “If you wanted to see it that way”, he says, “the whole album could represent a night out experienced via a virtual reality headset from the safety of your own flat.”

                                                                                  Suddenly the lyrics to opening track ‘Ultra Clear Sound’ - which calls to mind Model 500, early house music from Chicago Trax and glacial European cold wave, balanced out by the human touches of spacious live percussion - make much more sense: “Maybe I just don’t need you anymore.” He isn’t talking to a spurned lover or former friend but instead addressing a retreat from the real world itself.

                                                                                  He explains how the album’s theme revealed itself slowly while he was writing and recording: “I didn’t intend there to be a concept for the record but as I was making it, I started realising that it could be interpreted as if it were about virtual reality. So it ended up having this narrative arc where it wasn’t exactly clear whether it was about a night out or a simulacrum inside the VR world.

                                                                                  “At one point each track was going to be a different room inside a virtual club but in the end, thanks to sequencing, it ended up feeling a lot more like a night out and I thought I’d leave it up to the listener to suss out exactly whether this was real or not.”

                                                                                  Gurnsey praises Phantasy boss Erol Alkan for his “hands-on” approach to the album he mixed and offered additional production to: “I first met Erol when I remixed Daniel Avery’s Drone Logic for the label in 2013 - I was invited down to his studio to mix the track together. His production approach is great in the way he tweaks ideas that I have but doing it in a way that complements the integrity of the track instead of changing it altogether. To have that knowledge and creative energy from Erol during the writing and mixing of the record was integral to its outcome.”

                                                                                  It’s time to take a trip into a fantasy world where nothing is quite as it seems. It’s time to get real.

                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                  Barry says: Brilliant new full-length from Factory Floor's Gabe Gurnsey. Edging more towards the synthy themes hinted at in the friendly technoid excursions of FF. With simmering new-beat throbs, robotic vox and the ever present x0x percussion lending the drive and momentum of our comparative benchmark. Brilliant stuff.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  2xLP Info: Double LP format includes printed inner sleeves and digital download code.

                                                                                  Did anyone ever watch 'California Dreams' on Nickelodon in the early 90's? Bright, pseudo-surf teens carving through their difficult formative years using a combination of friendship, music (the eponyomous 'California Dreams' was their band) and good old-fashioned teamwork. Sure, we had our ups and downs (they were, unforgivably prone to cultural stereotyping and 'playful' appropriation a-la Saved By The Bell), and their band, despite the optimistic title, were shit, but they made an impression on me nonetheless.  

                                                                                  Enter master synth-fiddler Deadly Avenger and Luke Insect, a local purveyor of mindblowing psychedelic imagery to create 'D.A.L.I', an homage to to hazy summer days in California, suddenly casting aside all thoughts of the California Dreams and their saccharine interactions. 

                                                                                  We hear the hazy air of a humid california day throughout, saturated into VHS tapes, and brought overseas with throbbing Italo pulses and snapping arpeggiated octaves (the duo of 'Mushroom Grip' and 'Sunset On Overland Drive' had me subconsciously desk-dancing, and continues to amaze even after repeated listens). We have more dynamic struggle/resolution montage gold in 'Too Tuff To Bluff', shimmering reverbed DX7 and panned glittering saw waves in 'Me And My Mongoose', interspersed with context-giving skits (BMX competions, frivolity, the pressures of being North-Cal etc.) 

                                                                                  A Brilliantly absorbing and unbelievably emotive cruise along the entirety of the PCH, stopping at college parties, rad spots and diners, illustrated and brought to life with deft musicianship and perfectly curated artistic direction. A simmering, summer winner. 




                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                  Barry says: Another superb slice of 80's electronics and saturated synth throbs from the ever-reliable Burning Witches. Snappy gated snares ring out over the hazy horizon, one thousand over-sized boom boxes blare sound to the polyester-clad dude-shouting masses. Honestly the best synth music i've heard since D/A/D. Absolutely superb.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  LP Info: Gloss gatefold sunshine yellow vinyl.

                                                                                  This summer, James are back with new songs forged in these strangest of days.

                                                                                  The new recording sessions were overseen by Mercury Prize-winning producer Charlie Andrew and rising star Beni Giles.

                                                                                  ‘Hank’, which opens the new record, is further evidence that James have no inclination to shy away from politics. Booth is an Englishman in America, and that particular perspective on Donald Trump’s American carnage couldn’t help but have an impact on the writing of the record.

                                                                                  As well as biting social commentary, ‘Living In Extraordinary Times’ also sees Booth speak frankly about deeply personal issues. On ‘Coming Home (Pt. 2)’, he writes - not for the first time - about the pain of being a father on tour away from a young child.

                                                                                  That song features an appearance from long-time James collaborator Brian Eno.

                                                                                  The new album also features ‘Better Than That’, in which Booth urges the universe to do its worst, like a man squaring up to life itself.

                                                                                  “You can do better than that,” he sings. “Hit me again and show me where I’m cracked.”

                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                  Barry says: As soon as I heard 'Coming Home Pt. 2', my mind was instantly transported back to James' heyday with Booth's singular vocal character soaring over the top of classic chord progressions and beautifully evocative production, That's not to mention the beautiful cover! Superb stuff.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  2xColoured LP Info: RSD Stores Exclusive grey gatefold package with majenta coloured vinyl - includes download cardcard.

                                                                                  Deluxe CD Info: Deluxe CD – hard back book edition with 3 extra tracks.