MAGIC MIX

STAFF PICKS

ALBUMS



Follow PiccadillyRecs on Twitter
Northern psychedelic punks The Lovely Eggs return with a mind-melting new album. The Lovely Eggs are one of the most unique, innovative and genuine bands on the British Underground music scene. Heavier and more in-your-face than anything they’ve done previously, Holly Ross (guitar/vocals) and David Blackwell (drums) bring together a fierce DIY ethos, surreal sense of humour and kitchen-sink realism. Working with a producer for the very first time, Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips) lends his magic dust to bring out the best of The Lovely Eggs’ explosive blend of motoric krautrock, 60s psychedelia and punk rock attitude.

They create their own world and invite us to join them in Eggland. The album title is a cheeky nod to Shane Meadows’ series, This Is England. It is a comment on the current state of modern Britain. The album is about being an outsider and doing things differently, eschewing society’s conventions as they have done. Since having their son in 2013, the pair have taken him on tour with them, racing round the UK with 2 fingers up to conventional family life firmly out of the window. They have also remained in their hometown of Lancaster, despite its cultural and geographical isolation. As Holly explains; “On this album we're saying it's OK to live life differently, we're doing it and you can do it too! “Living up here in Lancaster is kind of mad. It's a bit like the Twin Peaks of Great Britain.” The town has a rich history of the witchcraft, notoriously it was where the Pendle witches were hanged”.

For the first time ever, the pair worked with a producer on the new album, welcoming in legendary Grammy award winning engineer Dave Fridmann to their world. “We received an email from Dave Fridmann. He had got our answerphone message, listened to our stuff and wanted to work with us. It was just totally bizarre!” The album was self-recorded at Lancaster Musician's Co-op and the Eggs’ own house. Dave Fridmann then produced it remotely. They then went out to Dave's Studio in New York State, for mixing. The result is a gratifyingly rich sounding record, which still retains the raw energy of the band’s sound but harnesses a real power and dynamism. It’s much heavier than anything they’ve done before. As Holly says: “It's pretty relentless. It kind of sounds like a chip shop on fire. We still write about everyday life and the stuff that goes on in our world, it's just the new album is more fierce”. The Lovely Eggs have been nudging towards a heavier sound with their previous album This Is Our Nowhere, which was praised by the NME, who called them; “One of the country's most beloved underground bands.” Having formed in Paris in 2006, they named themselves after a pigeon laid two eggs on an abandoned nest on the windowsill.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Arguably eggs, but undeniably lovely. It's no secret that I really like the Lovely Eggs, but have found my inner appreciation of perfect production has (ridiculously) hampered my enjoyment of this impeccable duo. I can stop being ludicrous now anyway, because 'This Is Eggland' sounds amazing, and every bit as real as their entire, superb canon.

Insecure Men

Insecure Men

    In many ways Insecure Men - the band led by the fiercely talented songwriter and musician Saul Adamczewski and his schoolmate and stabilising influence, Ben Romans-Hopcraft - are the polar opposite of the Fat White Family. Whereas sleaze-mired, country-influenced, drug-crazed garage punks the Fat Whites are a “celebration of everything that is wrong in life”, Insecure Men, who blend together exotica, easy listening, lounge and timeless pop music, are, by comparison at least, the last word in wholesomeness.

    The band originally formed in 2015 in the cramped confines of The Queens Head pub, Stockwell, in the Fat White Family’s notorious South London ‘practice space’. Saul recorded all of the songs he wrote at The Queens Head onto tape at Sean Lennon’s studio in upstate New York. This tape, recorded on his own in a corridor onto an ancient Tascam while in a foul mood with his mates, essentially became Insecure Men’s self-titled debut album as more layers were dubbed over the top until nothing of the original demos remained.

    Saul lists some of the influences on their sound, mentioning the exotica of Arthur Lyman, the early electronic pop of Perrey and Kingsley, the supreme smoothness of The Carpenters, the songwriting chops of Harry Nilsson and the hypnagogic uncanniness conjured up by David Lynch, describing what they do as “pretty music with a dark underbelly to it”.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive cherry cola coloured vinyl.

    Plunge, the first release in 8 years since the celebrated self titled debut in 2009.
     
    Plunge was largely recorded in Karin Dreijer’s Stockholm studio in collaboration with the producers Paula Temple, Deena Abdelwahed, NÍDIA, Tami T, Peder Mannerfelt and Johannes Berglund.
     
    Karin Dreijer is one half of the electronic duo the Knife along with her brother, Olof Dreijer. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Fever ray's newest outing sees the Dreijer's in fine form once again, mixing throbbing synths and soaring vocal harmonies with distinctly modern production touches. It's a fascinating and enthralling journey, and totally essential.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xDeluxe LP Info: 2LP - 180g vinyl, limited edition, deluxe edition gatefold double LP with blood red gel outer sleeve. Includes 2 posters and download card.

    LP Info: Single LP edition - includes poster and download card + 180g vinyl. 


    CD Info: Jewel case including poster.

    New Jamal Moss album. ALWAYS a pleasure, never a chore. As always the revered Chicagoan treats us to glimpses of the future beamed back through his own spiritual synthology. This is his third album for Soul Jazz and his umpteenth album for us universal beings and I have to say without hyperbole, possibly some of his finest work to date. Opening with some typically Afrikans With Mainframes style dirg, "Youth Brainwashing And The Extremist Cults" instantly lets you know you're listening to a Jamal Moss record, no question or doubt. Soon though we're wallowing in the gentle caress of "The Melody Lingers", a beautiful, hang drum based piece that hints at the producer opening up his feminine side to us. Side A finishes with "The Seduction Syndrome", a squelchy stomper with unrelenting piano licks and fat-ass kick drum. "Awake And Energize" kicks off side B suspended on celestial pads and with star aligned keyboards. Simple house rhythms gentle permeate the fug refracting 25 years of history and lineage but never quite reaching their logical climax, keeping us hanging on tenterhooks. "Video Jazz" ensures one last dance before we have to change the disc, a frenetic glider not a million miles away from a K Hand production with its toy box perc and lazer bleep riffs. No HB LP would be complete without an interstellar epic, and he happily obliges on side B with the title track "The Red Notes". Obviously an ode to our closest planetary neighbor, the track simmers and bubbles with Marsian synths and space gloop, a true piece of alien sonic flora that begs you to get lost in. "The Emotional Listener" takes us deep into his hardware mechanics, Moss teasing out malfunctioning rhythms from the depths of his equipment, incarnating them with his own soul. Two tracks left, the equally space-age hymn of "The Red Notebook" and finally, just when you thought he'd forgotten you, some proper filthy acid squeal on "The Tone Bather". Honestly folks, I thought I had all the Jamal Moss records I needed by now but boy gone knocked this one out the park! So, so very good this shows just how a long playing electronically charged album should ride out; cruising through styles and flavours like a wormhole pilot. Fully endorsed!

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Cosmic techno stalwart, Chicago dance archivist and general underground demigod Jamal Moss returns to Soul Jazz for some of his best work yet - serious!

    Various Artists

    J-Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969-1984

    In the years following the World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade - from the late 1960s to the early 1980s - Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey is explored on ‘J Jazz’. This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the postwar modern jazz scene in Japan.

    ‘J Jazz' includes obscure and sought after rarities like the bass-driven power jazz of Koichi Matsukaze’s ‘Earth Mother’, the holy grail rarity of Aizawa Tohru Quartet’s ‘Dead Letter’ and the loping majesty of Takeo Moriyama’s ‘North Wind’. This collection takes the listener into deep spiritual jazz, post-modal impressionism and fierce dance-floor fusion with material from artists and composers whose names are generally only known to committed collectors of Japanese jazz. Fumio Karashima, Mitsuaki Katayama, Takeo Moriyama and Kiyoshi Sugimoto are among the names featured on an album aiming to shed a little light on the shadowy world of Japanese jazz clubs, tucked away in the neon backstreets. This music demands a wider audience and BBE are excited to deliver a landmark compilation, lifting the veil on this wonderful and mysterious area of the global jazz catalogue.

    None of the tracks featured on ‘J Jazz’ have ever received an official release outside Japan before. The albums the tracks are taken from are extremely hard to find and often fetch huge sums on the collector’s circuit. Originally pressed in small numbers on independent and private labels such as Union, Johnny’s Disk, Whynot, ALM and VAP, these tracks are now available for everyone to enjoy.

    Compiled by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, both long-time collectors of Japanese jazz, ’J Jazz’ brings together the very best in modern jazz from Japan, recorded during a critical period of musical and cultural transition that saw composers and musicians not only assert a new artistic identity but also create a lasting musical legacy.

    Olden Yolk

    Olden Yolk

      Olden Yolk is a New York-based group whose penchant for dystopian folk, abstract poeticism, and motorik rhythms have enveloped them in a sound uniquely of-the-moment yet simultaneously time-tested. The project is currently led by songwriters, vocalists, and multiinstrumentalists Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer, whose interlaced vocals are found guiding each composition on their enlivening self-titled debut. The project was initially conceived in 2012 by Butler as an outlet for one-off songs and visual art while touring and releasing albums with the band Quilt (Mexican Summer).

      Following the release of a split-record with Weyes Blood in 2014, Olden Yolk became a collaborative entity. Olden Yolk’s debut ruminates on questions surrounding love, self-doubt, and locating autonomy amidst burgeoning unrest. Wrought with hazy melancholy and halcyon joy, Butler and Shaffer’s lilting vocals play off one another through a devotional dialogue, taking form in haunting choral melodies and candid rock n' roll. These songs are ecstatic odes to the life of the city; to the subway platforms, kiosks, and monuments which enliven and encompass our collectivity, elevating into an urban-psychedelia.

      On the album, Butler and Shaffer are joined by drummer Dan Drohan (Tei Shi, Uni Ika Ai) and guitarist Jesse DeFrancesco who round out the studio sessions and live-band. Drohan’s deep passion for jazz, hip-hop, and experimental percussion come to fore while Defrancesco’s minimal yet powerful guitar ambiences are heard swelling in the peripheries of each song. The album was recorded at Gary’s Electric in NYC by Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) with co-production, electronics, and mixing by Jon Nellen (Ginla, Terrible Records). Other guests, such as multi-instrumentalist John Andrews (Woods, Quilt, The Yawns) and violinist Jake Falby (Mutual Benefit, Julie Byrne), add to the mercurial nature of the record, creating a landscape tinged with beatific songwriting and transgressive underpinnings. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: The familia, often-tread middle ground between folk and psychedelia is a dangerous one. On one hand, you have bands which sound like they could have come from any era in the past 30 years, and could slip away a mere month later. On the other hand, you have the undiluted hypnotic beauty and filmic soaring majesty of Olden Yolk, perfectly marrying the mind-melting chemical meltdown of the 70's with the pristine production and thematic purity of todays folk. Superb.

      Mamuthones

      Fear On The Corner

        Mamuthones may have originally taken their name from the death-masks used in rituals in their native Sardinia, and initially emerged from the Italian occult psychedelic movement alongside the likes of Father Murphy, Mai Mai Mai and their labelmates Lay Llamas. Yet now, in the wake of their Rocket Recordings debut album ‘Fear On The Corner’, the band find themselves undergoing a metamorphosis from mystical and ceremonial realms into a direct connection with the everyday, the personal and the political.

        This vibrant reinvention also sees Mamuthones transcending their roots in Italian prog and soundtrack work and shifting their modus operandi firmly in the direction of a distinctly New York-based headspace - a realm of mirrorballs and black-clad basements both As the band’s Alessio Gastaldello tells it, this is a groove-based. eclectic style that finds its metier in the realm of two albums which are paid direct homage in the record’s very title - the bleak and kinetic ‘Fear Of Music’ by Talking Heads and the iconoclastic, heat-haze repetition of Miles Davis’ ‘On The Corner’. “The songs deal with fear.” he clarifies. “Fear of the present, of human situations, fear of the new political situation, but also fear of relationship breakdown, fear of not finding “a place in the world”, fear of fear itself”

        Yet this is principally an aural landscape whereby the eclectic mischief of ZE Records, the sonic brinksmanship of ‘Tago Mago’ era Can and the post-punk songwriting flair of LCD Soundystem can happily form communion in a post-2AM reverie. “it is a big dance party for very sad events” clarifies Alessio, on the disparity between the serious nature of this record’s subject matter and its distinctly hedonistic atmosphere. “We are a kind of Titanic orchestra playing and dancing while the ship goes down. The party must go on

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Sitting comfortably between the art-rock angularity of Devo and the spoken word aesthetic and visceral drive of Sleaford Mods (as well as the already mentioned Talking Heads and Miles Davis influences). Mamuthones manage to take us through a tour of a wide variety of impeccably absorbed influences without sounding like any of them. Fascinating and ultimately brilliant weirdo rock.

        The Low Anthem would beckon you into the salty sea. Formed in 2007 by best friends, Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky, The Low Anthem grew from DIY ethos in the late-aughts to semi-accidental success. Having originally self-released What The Crow Brings and Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (which sold a combined 100,000+ copies), the group signed with Nonesuch, toured the world, and were reluctantly lumped in with the so-called "folk revival".

        However, night after night of performing their early material was not ultimately where they wanted to land: “The moment was losing its mystery. We were scared of becoming robots,” said the band after six years of reflection. So, in the winter of 2012, the group came back to their hometown of Providence, RI, with an eye toward re-exploring their musical understanding from the ground up. Largely abandoning the international folk movement they were a part of, the group instead poured their energy into their local community by rehabbing a vaudeville-era theater, and building their own recording studio. It’s in this newly restored vaudeville theater-studio that The Low Anthem found new direction.

        The band began recording in increasingly experimental and meticulous ways (using various non-instruments and painstakingly tracking hundreds of hours of material). It was an exercise in complete musical deconstruction - scrambling and reassembling their musical ideas – which eventually resulted in the album Eyeland. A complexly experimental album, the release of Eyeland was tragically cut short after four shows due to a crippling car accident, leaving the band hospitalized and the tour cancelled. It was through this whole journey that The Low Anthem were able to boil-down their musical ideals and find their true voice.

        With their new album The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea, The Low Anthem present 12 short songs that are fragile, nuanced, and honest. In contrast to the existential freakout that is Eyeland, or the folk-faithful incubator albums, The Salt Doll... feels delicately purposeful. Acoustic arrangements are peppered with subtle and fragmented electronic elements. Rhythms are physically composed on the center loops of vinyl records. These elements weave songs that sound at once organic and highly-conceptual.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Stunningly delicate in parts, but imbued with a bright and peaceful electronic counterpoint, 'The Salt Doll...' takes all the best parts of the 'Folktr*nica' (don't make me say it) craze of yesteryear, but deshittens it significantly. Properly lovely this.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited salt white vinyl is for indie stores only.

        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Alela Diane returns with new album Cusp, the long-awaited follow up to 2013’s critically-acclaimed About Farewell (AllPoints, formerly Believe Recordings). Whilst both albums could be described as born of love, Cusp is perhaps love at its purest, and most complex - for in music, one of the most transformative experiences a woman can have is also an unspoken artistic taboo: Have a baby if you must. But for goodness’ sake, don’t write songs about it. Portland, Oregon based singer-songwriter Alela Diane has a problem with that.

        “This music is about motherhood,” Alela says of Cusp. “Even just by saying that, it feels like people will write you off. As women, our music is sold based on our sex-appeal. There’s a lack of spaces for women to move into that aren’t based on appearance. Those are conversations I’m interested in having.”

        Cusp was written in January 2016 in a small cabin deep within snowy woods where Alela resided during a three-week artist residency at Caldera, Oregan, alone for the first time since becoming a mother. A broken thumbnail resulted in Alela’s signature finger-plucking being replaced by songwriting on a grand piano, resulting in the most piano driven album of her career, fueled by that energy that only comes with facing and falling in love with something new.

        YoshimiO / Susie Ibarra / Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

        Flower Of Sulphur

          ‘Flower Of Sulphur’ is a transfixing piece of continuous improvisation from three experimental luminaries: multi-instrumentalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO, SAICOBAB), internationally acclaimed percussionist Susie Ibarra and artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens).

          In addition to her work in Boredoms and OOIOO, YoshimiO recently released an album with her modern Indian raga quartet SAICOBAB as the group’s vocalist and has released collaborative albums with Mats Gustafsson, Jim O’Rourke and Kim Gordon (ex-Sonic Youth).

          Susie Ibarra is one of the most significant female percussionists and composers of our time, known for her work as a performer within contemporary, avant-garde, jazz, classical and world music. Ibarra has studied with free jazz greats Earl Buster Smith and Milford Graves, as well as Philippine Kulintang gong-chime music with Danongan Kalanduyan. Ibarra has worked with the likes of John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Marc Ribot, Yuka Honda and many more. Ibarra’s most recent album, ‘Perception’, was praised by the New York Times.

          Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe has recently contributed music to the Jóhann Jóhannsson scored films ‘Sicario’ and ‘Arrival’ and is curating an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan. Lowe is also known for his work as Lichens and as a member of Om. In September 2017 Lowe was featured on the cover of The Wire.

          The trio’s jaw dropping performance was recorded in December 2016 at Roulette in Brooklyn. Flower of Sulphur documents a singular evening of exquisite sound and exceptional performance. Absolutely an essential album, pristinely recorded, and capturing a rare performance. A must have for any fans of creative innovation and improvisation.

          The trio are hoping to make additional live performances throughout 2018.

          “In the seemingly impenetrable, fantastic murkiness of Japanese experimental psych pop, more often than not, Yoshimi has been a beacon.” - FADER

          “[Susie Ibarra is] a highly regarded and ubiquitous figure on New York’s fertile downtown improvising scene.” - Modern Drummer

          “Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is an enduring voice in the US underground, producing everything from math rock to ambient to vocals in sci-fi blockbuster ‘Arrival’.” - The Guardian

          Death And Vanilla

          The Tenant

            The retro leaning Scandi duo fire up their Moogs and mellotrons, sonic archaeologists with a hauntological bent.. there is an alluring sexiness to their avant-Kraut Moog-pop excursions.” Uncut

            “Recalling the eerie, haunted ambience of Angelo Badalamenti/Julee Cruise’s Twin Peaks soundtrack, Stereolab/Broadcast’s experimental vision of ‘50s lounge muzak/exotica and French ‘60s pop, or the narcotic country-noir of Mazzy Star.” The Guardian

            Following on from the deluxe reissue ‘Vampyr’ last year, comes Death And Vanilla’s unreleased live score of ‘The Tenant’ on limited edition magenta vinyl. Originally scored by Philippe Sarde, this release sees Death And Vanilla reimagine the film’s soundtrack four decades on for a new audience.

            The haunting instrumental is a foreboding piece of dark and cinematic avant-garde music that’s alienated, lonely and melancholic. Moments of hallucination and delusion mirror the lead character Trelovsky. Recorded in 2015 at Cinemascore festival in Spain alongside a two-hour performance and screening of psychological thriller ‘The Tenant’ (1976). With the band at their most minimal, the accomplished musicians once again bring the dark narrative to life with their expansive and ethereal noir sound. The recording features them as a trio – Marleen Nilsson (Farfisa Compact), Anders Hansson (Hagstrom Kent, Roland SP-404 and Technics SL-1200) and Magnus Bodin (Moog Prodigy and Musser M55). Directed by Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski and based on the novel Le Locataire by Roland Topor, ‘The Tenant’ is the finale in his acclaimed apartment triology which included “Repulsion” (1965) and “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968).

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Magenta LP with download card

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Palm

            Rock Island

              “The brash clangor of pre-SST Sonic Youth, the tricky time signatures of math rock demigods Battles and the wonky iridescence of Deerhoof and tUnE-yArDs (the latter two have shared producer Eli Crews with Palm). - Pitchfork 'Shadow Expert EP' review.

              “Palm’s unpredictable songs prove there’s still room for boundary-pushing in rock” FADER.

              On Rock Island, their second LP, Palm produces evidence of a distinct musical language, developed over time, in isolation, and out of necessity. On the island, melodies are struck on what might be shells or spines. Rhythms are scratched out, swept over, scratched again. Individual instruments, and sometimes entire sections, skip and stutter. There is the sense of a music box with wonky tension or a warped transmission in which all the noise is taken for signal.

              Like other groups so acclaimed for their compulsive live show, Palm has been burdened by the constant comparison between their recorded material and their touring set. On Rock Island, they render this tired discussion moot, using the album form to present that which could never be completely live, reserving for performance that which could never be completely reproduced.

              Despite appearing behind the instruments typical of rock music, Palm trades in sounds of their own making. On these songs, one of the guitars and the drum kit are used as MIDI triggers, producing an index that can be combed through later and replaced with new information. The percussion is sometimes augmented so as to suggest a multiplication of limbs. The strings are manipulated to choke, crack, and hum like other instruments, or other bodies, might.

              Working again with engineer Matt Labozza, the band spent the better part of a month in a rented farmhouse in Upstate New York. With the benefits of time and space, Palm recorded the various elements piecemeal, only rarely playing together in groups larger than two or three. While some members tracked, others holed up in the next room, experimenting with quantization, beat replacement, and other methods borrowed from electronic music. Even accounting for the many labors that brought them to be, these materials seem produced by an organic logic. Their complex friction forms a habit of thought, scores a network of grooves on the floor of the mind.

              This is music with dimensionality. Sonic objects are deployed, developed, and dissected in various states of mutation. The listener flits about between the field and the lab. The tone is warm in a way only the sun could make, the pace as forceful and as variable as a gale. Whether one locates Rock Island in a sea or in a refinished attic (as in Greg Burak’s album cover), whether one escapes to there or is banished, its psychic environs are charted clearly enough. Only at this remove from the mainland can we sense the conditions necessary for such a strange species of sound.


              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Limited light blue coloured vinyl.

              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              Dope Feat Julian Cope

              The Dee Dee Ramone Story

                Here’s some sweet relief at last for hi-fi fans! Yes, Dope’s obscure ‘cassette-only’ album is now available on white vinyl, again from Bristol’s Environmental Studies record label. Packaged in fluorescent orange and white, this limited edition LP of 500 copies features two side-long epics each of over 20 minutes in duration, and both tracks replete with that same gargantuan sonic overload of the band’s two previous releases. Side One’s ‘The Dee Dee Ramone Story’ commences with Julian Cope’s epic tale of 21st century gender bending and sexual en-freeing before its low-key pulses become o’erwhelmed by the stratospherics of the Dope crew.

                Imagine very early Ash Ra Tempel through the filter of Brainticket’s LP COTTONWOODHILL, and then some … er, and then some more. Dope are The-Not-Back-Off Kids, for sure. Side Two’s bumpy ‘Absalom & Ahitophel’ appropriates the sentiments of John Dryden’s epic poem from 1681, then feeds it all through Holy McGrail’s space echo to achieve what could be called the most true rastakrautpasta. Get your online self down to the nearest record emporium and pronto –¬ this stuff has a long shelf life but it’s still best served fresh, all you prevaricators!

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: White vinyl LP.

                Hotter than a Channel 4 dating show right now, Copenhagen's Music For Dreams follow up the dope Ambala double pack with another twin disc winner, this time from Sweden's Prins Emanuel. Released in double vinyl format, Emanuel’s first full length solo project is a concept album revolving around the medium of the record itself. With a functionalist’s attitude, each of the vinyl records can serve a different purpose. Translated from Swedish, the album title literally reads "Work/Leisure Time" and the contrasting moods of the two discs reflect the different activities. So on a Friday evening, you might tell your girl or boy to put on the A/B sides as you're getting ready to bust some moves that night. And on Sunday evening, you tell him/her to put on the C/D sides as you're relaxing and topping up a bath. Although this is a multi-instrumentalist’s vision, the fact that Prins is primarily a drummer is clearly evident in the masterful hypnotic grooves that form the base on which the whole album stands. And while elements of dub, boogie, afro, house and new age flicker by as we ride along on these motorik rhythms, the balance between warmth and repetition provokes an irresistibly tickly tension. The young Swede won many a fan with his earlier output on Fasaan and Chalice, but this debut long player sees him taking his craft to a whole new level.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Fasaan favourite Prins Emanuel drops a conceptual double pack on Music For Dreams, fusing dub, afro, new age and boogie into a groove heavy masterpiece perfect for nights on the tiles or days on the sofa. If you dug on Studio's "West Coast", then you'll be all over this!

                Lyon institution Macadam Mambo continue to carve their own path through the audio ocean, proudly pushing a penchant for those odd sounds found in the musical fringes. Metal dance, unhinged acid, sci-fi synth or NDW grunge, you name it, they've done it. Now they introduce the new Ambient / Krautrock / Weirdo / Crétin project by one half of hometown heroes The Pilotwings, Louis E Bola. Teaming up with with musicians Geddes Hadden, Arthur Tempo, Akino Karma, Sound Of Duty Free & Pierre Mortimer-Dubation, E Bola treats us to an infectious blend of  Christian Morin's "Aquarella" and Conrad Schnitzler, strolling from gentle moments of mallet-fuelled calm through vocoded drone paranoia to arrive at the waveform euphoria of digital epiphany.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Patrick says: Killer French kosmische with a hint of the new age from new group Eiger Drums Propaganda. Boasting one half of the Pilotwings alongside a crack team of musical madheads, this 5D trip is another essential from the Macadam Mambo crew.

                Public Access TV

                Street Safari

                  Public Access TV return with their new album, set for release on February 23rd via Cinematic Music Group. Limited pre-ordered copies come with exclusive Demo Recordings cassette of the album. The story of Public Access TV seems like it was written for an episode of Behind The Music. A group of friends drop out of high school and catch a New York City bound bus with dreams of starting a band. What follows is a frenzy of press hype, label bidding wars, a critically-acclaimed debut album, sold-out tours, and festival slots around the world. But as all viewers of any music doc surely know, there is always a darker side to the story, and PATV is no exception. Addiction, recovery programs, public brawls (mostly with one-another) and a devastating explosion - a lifetime packed into one-album cycle. Now for part two, Public Access TV's sophomore album: Street Safari. The band, comprised of frontman and lead-singer John Eatherly, Xan Aird, Max Peebles, and Pete Star, entered the studio to record the new album in fall 2017 with Producer Patrick Wimberly (Beyonce, Chairlift, MGMT, Blood Orange) armed with a plethora of songs they'd written documenting the tumultuous last few years of their lives. If first single "Metrotech" was an indicator of the more expansive palette on this album, second single “Lost In The Game” continues that theme with its incessantly catchy funk-inspired beat.




                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Info: Comes with limited demos cassette while stocks last.

                  CD Info: Comes with limited demos cassette while stocks last.

                  Gift Wrap

                  Losing Count

                    For some time now, Brendon Avalos has been forging a path for himself among the clamor of emerging indie artists as the bassist and vocalist of Brooklyn punk trio B Boys. Now, he is releasing his first solo effort - a full length album entitled Losing Count - under the moniker Gift Wrap.

                    Losing Count is the culmination of a personal goal Avalos set two years ago: to see through the completion of a collection of music all his own. “Artistically, I think the sole purpose of this record was to just do everything. An exercise in realizing a full concept without seeing what the end result would be.” As it turns out, that end result is a 13-track experimental pop album that packs a large punch with influences ranging from early new wave acts like Depeche Mode and OMD to Frank Ocean.

                    With each track draped in whimsically looping layers and interspersed with the pervasion of old radio samples, buzzing, and hums to create a tate of constant white noise, Avalos successfully conveys a state of latent anxiety through danceable, weirdo pop. In this way, Losing Count becomes an exercise in synthesizing the collective experience of today’s political and cultural climates into a fully individualized expression.

                    Wareika

                    Water, Sky, Sun, Wood

                    Wareika return to Tokyo's Mule Musiq. Florian Schirmacher, Henrik Raabe and Jakob Seidensticker's tro have flirted with the label previously on remix duties but this is their first full length proper. Known for multi-textured, minimalist electronic music, on this release Wareika edit down what began as an unplanned four hour jam session. Electric piano, guitar, conga, MFB Tanzbär, MFB Dominion 1, OB-6, Jupiter 6 and Manikin Mellotron synthsizer are all used in the composition yet with this advanced array of instrumentation there's an air of simplicity and minimalism that sweeps through the album. Serene, meditative and mesmerizing in equal measure, there's just enough thrust to carry these tracks through into a club environment also. Tracks take on shimmering, multidimensional forms, propelled by a steady 4/4 and peppered with an assortment of analogue fx. It's a beautifully executed piece, edited cleanly and concisely so you get all the energy and pleasure of that initial four hour jam session condensed into a handy one hour package. Excellent! 


                    Future Islands

                    In The Fall

                      Formed as college friends in Greenville, NC, Future Islands relocated to Baltimore after becoming friends with Dan Deacon, an early and avid supporter of the band.
                      Future Islands have mastered their style, which Rolling Stone describes as, “adding punishing heft to simple pop melodies, making blippy electropop sound oddly confrontational”. Future Islands themselves term this “Post-Wave,” taking in part from the emotional fragility of New Wave and coupling it with the power and drive of Post-Punk.
                      Their music is spearheaded by Welmers, whose layers of synths and drums create the landscape for Cashion’s punching-strum bass guitar, that pulses and fights, creating noise and bliss. Herring, who has been called “one of the most magnetic frontmen in indie rock” finds his space in between. Carving through the music, at times, with a whispering croon, and at others, with a deathly wail.

                      I Am Kloot’s songwriter and frontman, John Bramwell, has announced the release of his first studio solo album “Leave Alone The Empty Spaces” The record is a stunning showcase of John’s skillful, widely acclaimed songwriting and his unique voice.

                      It’s the first completely new collection of songs by John as a solo artist since he started his adventures away from I Am Kloot. “Leave Alone The Empty Spaces” has been inspired by John’s travels around the UK and Europe performing more than 300, intimate solo gigs.

                      Travelling in his VW Campervan with his dog Henry, the experience allowed John to explore parts of the country hitherto unknown, develop his solo sound and ideas, and meet an awful lot of interesting people...

                      The album is inspired by the spirit of liberty, independence, adventure and solitude that John has enjoyed on the road, as well as the diverse emotions that escape and travel can bring about - from sadness to exhilaration.

                      It’s about rediscovering the romance, intimacy and magic of the live music experience, one to one with the audience.

                      The band currently consists of frontman Jamie Bardolph Taylor, keyboardist Chris Olivares Chandler, drummer Dan Lyons, guitarist Christo McCracken, guitarist Jack Fussey and bassist Bede Trillo. Their influences are widespread - and atypical - with the music closer to the spirit of apocalyptic garage rock than it is to consumer pop. Think Wall of Voodoo, Joe Meek and Leonard Cohen via Monty Python and The Magic Roundabout. Jamie and Chris, both south Londoners, founded the band in 2013. The intervening years have played out anything but smoothly: they’ve been through two managers, four producers, five studios and eleven band members. And last year brought with it tragedy. George Bedford Russell, who played guitar, died of a heroin overdose. “He was a beautiful person, and a close friend,” says Jamie. “He suffered from severe depression and used to self-medicate with the wrong kinds of drugs. And his prescription drugs alone didn’t provide any kind of long-term solution.” For Elliot Nash, a bassist and one of George’s closest friends, staying in Phobophobes proved too difficult and he dropped out. After some time off, however, the rest of the band decided to go on.

                      “We spoke about it a lot and think it’s what George would have wanted,” says Jamie. “His mother told us he had some of his happiest times playing in the band. Being told that kept us together.” George’s spirit lives on in every song on the album - the first lines of the dark, gritty opening track included. On “Where Is My Owner?”, Jamie sings lines from one of George’s poems: “I do not sink, I do not fall / The ground is a friend to all”. “George lived in fiction. He was always reading books and poetry,” Jamie remembers. “He had huge admiration for Will Self, both for his writing and for the way he dealt with his addictions.”

                      The band asked Will Self if they could record him reading one of George’s poems. Happily, he agreed. Steve Lamacq played the corresponding single “Human Baby” on BBC 6 Music every day for a week, along with further support across 6 Music for the track and follow-up single “The Never Never”. “George played a big part in the making of this album and it was important to the band that was reflected in what we put out,” says Jamie. “You can hear his guitar on every track.”

                      For this to happen, the band collected recordings of George playing guitar taken on phones and low-budget equipment initially intended for demo purposes only. “Some of his guitar that you hear was recorded for referencing purposes only, so we had to work around this technical problem. It was difficult to pull off - musically and emotionally – but having George on the album gives it added meaning, immediacy and depth.” So does the book of his poetry, illustrated by former band-member Elliot, which is published alongside the album. Jamie continues: “We almost called the album ‘The final collaboration’ - a phrase Elliott came up with in reference to George - but in the end we thought it was too morbid for a debut, even for a band like us.”

                      Phobophobes are now as settled as a band as they have ever been and “Miniature World” serves notice that a new era has begun. Recently they have started to gain more and more attention. Lauren Laverne has regularly played the band’s tracks on BBC 6 Music, while the album was mixed by Youth, of Killing Joke, who produced “Urban Hymns” by The Verve.

                      “We oscillate between extremes,” admits Chris, “but we’ve come through a really harsh period and we’re enjoying making music and playing together again. That doesn’t mean the element of chance and chaos that you get with us will go away.”

                      Phobophobes are a reminder that rock’n’roll can, even as the last embers fade, continue to mean something beyond an Instagram post and the search for five minutes of fame. They are at their best when performing live. With beautiful keyboard, soaring vocals and stunning guitars and rhythms, they appear committed to the intensity of whatever moment they find themselves in. Against excessive consumerism and everything that has become sanitised, an apocalyptic theme runs throughout the record. “We want the listener to feel that,” says Jamie. “Not all of the music is very pleasant. It swims in and out of a kind of abrasiveness. In places, the album can feel quite rough.” Studio space is often made by hand. Rising rents forced Jamie to build studio space wherever he has found himself, from living in Paris and later while recording in Peckham and Brixton. In Pittsburgh and Iowa, where he lived for short spells while installing and building sculptures for a prominent British artist, he would set up makeshift studios in hotel rooms to work on new tracks. Even when invited to record at Abbey Road - with the British engineer and producer Ken Scott (The Beatles and Pink Floyd among others) - the band brought along their DIY ethos. Bacteria from the older microphone at the legendary studio, along with swabs taken from past and present band members’ body parts relevant to their instruments, was taken and cultivated in petri dishes. The results have been photographed for the album artwork.

                      Often the vocals are buried within the mix so the listener has to pay attention, as if trying to listen in on something uncomfortable. Still, while the lyrics offer an excursion into the darker side of rock, they are shot through with levity:

                      — “Fairtrade cocaine in your system” (Human Baby)

                      — “Will you marry me in a borrowed suit / With a borrowed attitude” (Free the Naked Rambler)

                      — Drag me on a holiday / A package holiday / Seventy-two virgins on a long haul flight to paradise” (The Fun)

                      For Chris, “Our music is a response to our environment and surroundings. That’s absolute. All the crazy people of south London have given us a lot. Rough lives can be beautiful.” “No matter how shit it is,” Jamie adds, “it is shitter somewhere else.”

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl edition with alternative sleeve.

                      At its heart, Hundred Acres -- the third full-length album from Wisconsin singer/songwriter S. Carey -- finds him grounded comfortably in his skin, but still with one foot in the stream. More direct than ever, there is a wellspring of confidence in this new batch of songs that lays bare the intricacies of life while keeping its ideas uncomplicated.

                      Trained in jazz, Carey’s astute musicianship has never been in question nor taken for granted, and the execution of Hundred Acres’ new ideas is seamless. He intentionally unburdened himself from a more complicated instrumentation palate for these ten songs, and, in effect, this modification to his approach brings the content of the work much closer to a living reality. By giving equal status to the indifference of nature and the concerns of a material world -- while employing more pop-oriented structures instead of the Steve Reich- or Talk Talk-ian repetitions of his past work -- a new balance is struck that creates something unique. This in turn provides equal status for the feeling that created each song, and the feeling each song creates. Almost impossibly, there is more air between the bars; Carey and his contributors sway like treetops in the wind, remaining flexible enough that they never threaten to break.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Translucent green LP.

                      Few Traces surveys a near decade of Mark Renner’s scarcely released and unreleased material from 1982 to 1990, embracing and evoking the timelessness of his artistic statement: a wordless translation of the individual’s musical experience, met with the poetic expression of being here.

                      Mark Renner first encountered punk while a teenager in Upperco, a country town in rural Maryland. Growing up on his family farm, he became a young acolyte of the British exports hitting not-so-distant Baltimore record store shelves in 1979 / 1980 and was baited by an area musician-wanted ad declaring Ultravox a primary touchstone.

                      This nascent band and a pair of other group experiments flamed out under the typical totem of despotism. In their ashes Renner began recording independently around 1983 with a portable four-track, electric guitar, and classic Casio CZ101 synthesizer. Aside from John Foxx-era Ultravox, Renner’s process was inspired by the period’s electronic pioneers venturing into deeper, romantic pop pastures: Yellow Magic Orchestra, Bill Nelson, The Associates.

                      With his tools and teachers in place, the blueprints for Renner’s sound were laid out – metronomic, skeletal rhythms built on sturdy yet singular drum machines supporting luminescent guitar and synth lines, Renner’s reverent voice guiding the fables and construction.

                      Most directly influential, Renner’s enthusiasm for Days in Europa, the third album by Scottish new wave band Skids, would lead to a correspondence and long-distance tutorship with Stuart Adamson. Before Adamson would achieve worldwide success co-founding the group Big Country, a chance friendship with Renner would impart great confidence in the young musician from Maryland, who, after a visit in Edinburgh, would then travel to London to demo an early version of “Half A Heart” featured in its final form on Few Traces.

                      The sum of Renner’s music is one-part literary, one-part painterly. The artist cites the individualism of Herman Hesse as a guiding force, and there are overt references to W. B. Yeats and John Greanleaf Whittier among other authors. Lyrical themes evoke the presence of the ancient past, much like early Felt songs or the spiritual visions of Van Morrison. (Tellingly, Renner cites Morrison’s 1980s albums made between Inarticulate Speech of the Heart and No Guru, No Method, No Teacher as musical influences.)

                      Apart from his writing, Renner explored music as a complement to visual language: many of the dream-like instrumental passages presented across Few Traces were originally implemented as sound elements for exhibitions of his paintings. Renner pursued wordless music as a pure aesthetic in its own right, pristinely balanced segues and open-ended compositions that lead to pasture but not without shepherd.

                      Compiled three decades after the music was originally put to tape, Few Traces collects Mark Renner’s early music but strives not to simplify or reframe it. (Mark is still active making music and painting) The instrumental explorations remain on par with the great ambient adventurers of the period (Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Roedelius), while the vocal and guitar-centric songs crystalize across similar terrains being transversed by Cocteau Twins and The Chills.

                      Few Traces highlights in intuitive sequence gems from Renner’s scarce discography and archive: the self-released debut All Walks of This Life (1986), the aptly titled follow-up Painter’s Joy (1988), plus early singles, compilation tracks, and exemplary songs that saw no original release. The collection allows an intimate look at an artist growing into their sound and surroundings, finding the in between echoes and spirituality of the individual.

                      Go Kart Mozart

                      Mozart's Mini-Mart

                        People of the past were known to use that notable phrase: ‘to blow your mind’ – I think it is time to scatter the dust off this old expression and to reinstate it because we can think of no better epithet to describe the effect these songs will have on the discerning listener other than to say they will positively ‘blow your mind’!!

                        It is rare to find an album on which you enjoy every song and play both sides about equally – we believe Lawrence has come up with one – “Mozart’s Mini Mart” is that album!

                        The album has 17 tracks featuring songs such as ‘When You’re Depressed’ (for which a video has been produced) – ‘Relative Poverty’ ‘Facing The Scorn Of Tomorrow’s Generation’ and ‘Knickers On The Line By 3 Chord Fraud’.

                        The album’s themes and content contain social commentaries about how we live our lives today and the usual tongue in cheek Mozart witticisms concerning the absurdity of the modern age.



                        2017 saw Colin Curtis celebrate his 50th anniversary as a DJ, a career that started out in his mid-teens at Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s Crystal Ballroom, before making his all-nighter debut at Stoke’s hallowed Golden Torch, one of Northern Soul’s foundation venues, eventually becoming one of the scene’s leading figures as a result of his legendary ‘70’s partnership with Ian Levine at the Blackpool Mecca. This is Colin’s own story: By 1979 the development of Jazz rooms at major Soul / Funk Alldayers was providing a much-needed outlet for the more discerning collectors and the fanatical Jazz dancers. The UK Jazz Funk scene began for me in earnest in 1978 when I moved from the Blackpool Mecca to Manchester's Rafters nightclub on Oxford Street. The clash of new imported Soul, Funk and Jazz music coming out in the USA and being shared with a fresh new audience in clubs like Rafters Manchester, Chaplains Birmingham, Locarno Birmingham, Rufus Manchester, Cassinellis Standish Leeds Central and Nottingham Palais was creating a potpourri of music fashion and dance styles.

                        This compilation acts as an introduction to this electric, cool and uplifting music that was affecting so many enthusiastic dancers and Dj / collectors. All the tracks on here are taken from one of the most prolific and emerging labels for this genre Muse Records that offered the complete spectrum of styles to fit in with this emerging scene crossing over with Jazz Fusion, Be Bop, vocals, electric keyboards, and percussion.


                        Sidonie Hand Halford is a Christmas temp at the Post Office in Liverpool, her younger sister Esme is studying English literature at Manchester, and their friend Henry Wade is preparing to sit his A-levels in Halifax next summer. They’re also about to release their first album, and it’s a beauty.

                        From the first jangling sunshine chords on opening track ‘Mango’, Silver Dollar Moments announces itself as a proper piece of indie pop goodness. Then, across 45 minutes, it takes all kinds of turns, into ESG-ish yips and funk, dreamy-arch harmonies, disco synth-pows and stoner bongos, unsettling submerged voices - with all that and more it still flows like a fountain of indie pop, fresh and catchy and altogether.

                        Maybe one reason it all coheres so beautifully is that The Orielles are a close-knit unit: two sisters and their best mate. “We met Henry at a house party a few years ago,” says Sid. “I mean, it’s a bit lamer than that sounds. It was a friend of our parents, she was having a 40th birthday party, and we went along, and Henry was there too, with his parents.” They’ve been writing songs together ever since, Esme singing and on bass, Sidonie on drums, Henry on guitar. They’ve played live all over the UK as well as Europe and North America, and this year they signed to Heavenly Recordings and headed into Eve Studios in Stockport.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Andy says: Brilliant, classic indie-pop! This has all the youthful charm and quirks of the C86 era, but is way better presented and with very good songs. Anorak godfathers The Pastels spring most readily to mind, except The Orielles have a tangible groove and percussive joie de vivre untypical of that era. You're gonna love this band!

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: Limited edition blue vinyl.

                        Dita Von Teese (Feat, Sebastien Tellier)

                        Dita Von Teese

                        Alabaster face and cherry red lips, curves often outlined by a black satin sheath, Dita Von Teese sings about the power of seduction and the ecstasy of letting go in an album bearing her name, written and composed by Sébastien Tellier. Previously recording with Monarchy and Die Antwoord, though Von Teese stresses she's no professional singer. '...nothing compares to this project with Sébastien Tellier. Having been a fan of his music for a long time, I would go to see him play live in California and, when I performed for the first time at the Crazy Horse in Paris, I invited him because I was such a fan, not daring to imagine that someday he would compose an entire album for me' For his part, Sébastien Tellier has long dreamt of composing for a woman, but was not inspired by any of the professional singers. “When I saw Dita dance to a piece of music I had written for her, I had a feeling that her physical presence and her personality were a perfect fit with my music and I started to compose only for her...My wife, Amandine de La Richardière, wrote some sexy pop lyrics to balance the melodrama of my tragic vision that love always ends - in my songs - in bitterness and regret.” Recorded in Sydney, Los Angeles and Paris, “Dita Von Teese” owes much to the talents of composer Sébastien Tellier, the singing of Dita Von Teese and the art of two instrumentalists—the programmer and keyboard player, John Kirby, famous for his work with Solange, Blood Orange, and Money Mark, and Daniel Stricker, the drummer of the Australian group the Midnight 

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Patrick says: As far as I'm concerned Sebastien Tellier can do no wrong, and I was delighted to hear the bearded bard was doing a Gainsbourg (not literally) and teaming up with a sultry (occasional) songstress for an LP of sensual pop. Bursting with the beautiful melodies, delicate chord progressions and divine compositions we've come to expect from the Frenchman, coupled with Dita's sexy-stroke-subdued vocals and irresistible Euro-pop production. Imagine Lana Del Rey fronting Antenna during MTV Spring Break.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: First 2000 LP pressed on pink vinyl

                        London-based psych-folk-country quintet The Hanging Stars will release their second album Songs For Somewhere Else in February 2018. Taking cues from both sides of the Atlantic, they mainline the dying embers of the early 70s psychedelic folk and cosmic country scenes, transforming them into an energized new sound for our times. As the title suggests, the album is about escapism from the everyday, against the cynicism and greed that pervades society.

                        This album follows on from their critically acclaimed 2016 debut Over The Silvery Lake, which received praise from The Times, who described it as; "An album with enough of a hazy, sun-dappled charm to make the capital's dreariest weather bearable”, as well as Uncut, who proclaimed that it was; "a promising debut from London's The Hanging Stars, who switch deftly between deliciously sentimental Americana and swaggering psychedelia”. They picked up a good amount of support at Radio 2 and 6 Music, with lead single “The House on the Hill” scoring a much-coveted 10/10 by John Robb on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable.

                        The new album is more varied than its predecessor and sees them expanding into new territories whilst continuing to channel an English wistful ethereality grown from American soil. Tracing their inspiration from Dennis Wilson to Gram Parsons and On The Beach era Neil Young, they equally draw from early gospel soaked Spiritualized, jangle pop, spaghetti western soundtracks (“Mean Old Man”), old Bossa Nova records (“Water Song”) and prohibition-era blues (“Too Many Wired Hours”).

                        The recording for Songs For Somewhere Else commenced prior to the release of Over The Silvery Lake and captures the development of a band who had toured Europe in the winter of 2015/16, and went on to play coveted support slots with Teenage Fanclub, The Clientele, Wolf People and GospelbeacH, as well as Liverpool’s International Festival of Psychedelia. Joining founding members – songwriter, singer and guitarist Richard Olson (The See See, Eighteenth Day of May), Sam Ferman on bass and Paulie Cobra on drums – were contributions from now permanent members Patrick Ralla (Alan Tyler Show, Edwyn Collins) on guitars, keys and vocals, and Joe Harvey-White (pedal steel, dobro), bringing new perspectives to the bands’ work.

                        Recording was again conducted at the legendary Bark Studios in Walthamstow with Brian O'Shaughnessey (The Clientele, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine) at the helm. They had a collective attitude to performances on the album, with additional input from US friends Collin Hegna (Federale, Brian Jonestown Massacre), Miranda Lee Richards (on the emotive duet “How I Got This Way”), and Christof Certik (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Winter Flowers), as well as Alison Cotton on viola (Left Outsides, Eighteenth Day Of May), Luke Barlow (Nought) on flute and Thomas Wake on clarinet.

                        Touching on themes of fear of pain, death and failure, the songs strike a rich emotional chord. From the pensive melancholia of album opener “On A Sweet Summer’s Day”, to the Big Star tinged lead single “Honeywater” and the gorgeous instrumental “Djupsjön”, inspired by the dense Southern Swedish pines of Olson’s childhood, the album is a varied delight. “For You (My Blue Eyed Son)” is co-written by Patrick Ralla and is perhaps the most traditionally country song on the album, with two-part lead vocal continuing throughout, supported by finger-picked guitars and classic drum shuffle, whilst “Dig A Hole” has the rare combination of being part shoegaze and part country, enhanced by gorgeous brass interludes, hinting at old miners brass bands of northern England.

                        With this album, The Hanging Stars usher the next phase of their musical development, with Olson’s astute lyrical observations and honeyed vocals at the fore, backed by the band’s creative musical arrangements. These aren’t just songs for somewhere else, they are songs for right here and right now. The perfect timeless antidote to these troubling times.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Subtly psychedelic but imbued with hazy, rich Americana strings and beautifully emotive slide guitar. Feel-good alt-folk melodies meet classic indie melodies in classic Hanging Stars style. Get on it.

                        Wolf Müller & Niklas Wandt

                        Instrumentalmusik Von Der Mitte Der World

                        Growing Bin burst into 2018 with a bang, crash and symbol splash, uniting a premier pair of percussion obsessives for a supernatural mission into the heart of the rhythm.
                        Dressed in the pitch black of Dusseldorf stands Wolf Mueller, master of the tropical drums and seven time Salon Des Amateur breakdance champion. Repping Cologne and Berlin is Niklas Wandt, Germany’s funkiest drummer and a mixed musical artist as adept in experimental jazz as demented Eurodance. Standing toe to toe in a no holds barred, no drum unstruck groove contest, these two titans will make you swing your pants like a Crash Bandicoot victory dance... so stretch out and step into "Instrumentalmusik von der Mitte der World".
                        Taking to their task with the joyful abandon of two big kids getting creative with the Kindergarten music tray, Müller & Wandt marry dripping electronics, Froesean pads and rubber-limbed basslines with tribal polyrhythms, C2 claps and Indonesian shakers - and that‘s only on the A1. Comprising of three trance-inducing epics, a handful of medium-sized movers and a couple of freeform interludes, this dynamic double pack could almost pass as a lost Library masterpiece; but our mind guides go Furthur, fusing esoteric funk and free-jazz freak-out a truly transportive experience. Prepare to enter a world of techno totems and neon skulls, shades of Yello and excellent birds. Within these grooves lies a transdimensional pathway between the Temple of Doom, the Twilight Zone and De Palma‘s Paradise, brought to life in a shamanic rite.

                        Forget the healing frequencies of Growing Bin‘s ambient outings, this time we‘re dancing for mental health.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Patrick says: Growing Bin continue to smash it with this MASSIVE double LP from Dusseldorf disco king Wolf Muller and percussion freak Niklas Wandt. Packed with all manner of tropical drums, kosmische tones and infectious grooves, this is retro-futurist dancefloor exotica like you've never heard it before.

                        Loma's enigmatic debut feels beautifully adrift in time and space.  It's an album that takes you to a place you've never been, with a rare confidence in the strength of its own vision. Though it was recorded off a dirt road in rural Texas, there's no hint of country here: from the first airy notes of "Who Is Speaking?" to the decaying choir of "Black Willow," Loma create a hypnotic world of their own, where rustling leaves, fuzzed-out basses, panting dogs, prepared pianos, and a wilderness of percussion form a backdrop for Emily Cross's translucent voice.  

                        She's a steady, clear-eyed presence throughout, even among the heart-pounding pulses of "Relay Runner", the skittering drums of "Dark Oscillations" and the galloping release of "Joy"; in sparer songs like "Shadow Relief" and the haunting "I Don't Want Children," she's a fearless ally, swimming calmly with you against a powerful undertow.
                        Loma is inviting but also beautifully self-contained, like a dream that stays with you all day. There's something here for lovers of Nina Nastasia or Broadcast, but also Linda Thompson, or The Silver Apples—even early Pink Floyd. But most of all, this arresting and mysterious album marks the arrival of a band whose first steps already feel timeless.  Loma was recorded by the group at Dandy Sounds Studios in Dripping Springs, Texas and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. 


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Laura says: Gorgeous songs that sway between slow, sparse atmospherics and more dynamic, motorik explorations, with Emily's vocals adding a sort of sweet melancholy to proceedings.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Indies Exclusive LP Info: Loser edition clear vinyl

                        Nonesuch Records releases Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s "Landfall". The piece, which was inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. "Landfall" juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars. Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson have performed Landfall at commissioning presenters Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Adelaide Festival, Barbican Centre, Montclair State University, Perth International Arts Festival, Stanford Live, and the University of Texas at Austin, among other venues. The New York Times said the piece’s presentation at Brooklyn Academy of Music ‘set the auditorium awash in elegiac string sounds and postmillennial gloom. Performed by the composer and the tirelessly innovative Kronos Quartet, the work, written in New York during that epic storm, often resembled the flotsam bobbing on the receding floodwaters, with poignant snippets and small treasures.

                        ‘(Anderson) doesn’t just tell stories; she draws out every word with a kind of physical pleasure, tasting its flavor as she probes the everyday mysteries of life. Those mysteries – and the nature of language itself – were at the heart of Anderson’s Landfall, a riveting, gorgeous new multimedia work that she premiered this weekend … in collaboration with the equally venerable Kronos Quartet.’ – Washington Post.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson blend together their venerable talents in this emotive and impeccably realised suite of ambient modern-classical and visceral spoken word. Superb.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xLtd LP Info: Heavyweight, double 140 gram high-performance vinyl, with download card.

                        Belle & Sebastian

                        How To Solve Our Human Problems (Parts 1-3)

                        Harking back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane, and 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light), Belle and Sebastian have kicked of 2018 with three new EPs under the umbrella title How To Solve Our Human Problems. The EP trilogy culminates with this beautifully packaged limited edition vinyl box set containing all three EPs.

                        Will Toledo always knew he would return to Twin Fantasy. He never did complete the work. Not really. Never could square his grand ambitions against his mechanical limitations. Listen to his first attempt, recorded at nineteen on a cheap laptop, and you’ll hear what Brian Eno fondly calls “the sound of failure” - thrilling, extraordinary, and singularly compelling failure. Will’s first love, rendered in the vivid teenage viscera of stolen gin, bruised shins, and weird sex, was an event too momentous for the medium assigned to record it.

                        On the heels of the smashing success of Teens of Denial, Car Seat Headrest will release a new version of Twin Fantasy. “It was never a finished work,” Will says, “and it wasn’t until last year that I figured out how to finish it.” He has, now, the benefit of a bigger budget, a full band in fine form, and endless time to tinker. According to him, it took eight months of mixing just to get the drums right. But this is no shallow second take, sanitized in studio and scrubbed of feeling. This is the album he always wanted to make. It sounds the way he always wanted it to sound.

                        It’s been hard, stepping into the shoes of his teenage self, walking back to painful places. There are lyrics he wouldn’t write again, an especially sad song he regards as an albatross. But even as he carries the weight of that younger, wounded Will, he moves forward. He grows. He revises, gently, the songs we love so much. In the album’s final moments, in those apologies to future me’s and you’s, there is more forgiveness than fury.

                        This, Will says, is the most vital difference between the old and the new: he no longer sees his own story as a tragedy.

                        Kendrick Lamar

                        Damn (Collectors Clear Vinyl Edition)

                        Kendrick Lamar releases a collector's edition of his critically-acclaimed record "DAMN".

                        When the Compton rapper conceptualised his album, he originally envisioned the tracks in a much different order to how they ended up on the final product. Kendrick had originally felt that the track-listing should be the complete reversal of what it is - so that it began with “Duckworth.” and ended with “Blood” - so here it is! I guess now that he's officially been proclaimed 'The Greatest Rapper Alive' (see: original review for "Damn"... - ed) he can call the shots now! If you liked "Damn" first time round, I'm sure you'll fall hook line and sinker to hear Lamar's unabridged intention. For those that didn't, what better time to introduce yourself to one of our generation's more respected wordsmiths. 


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Millie says: Kendrick’s Collectors Edition vinyl is here, in reverse order to the original release the way Kendrick Lamar wanted it. Personally, I can’t get enough of the part in Duckworth where the album is played backwards in this distorted rewind to the start of the album, the placement between Blood and Duckworth are just incredible and this collector’s edition really highlights this. If you think edition isn’t needed, I don’t think you get Kendrick Lamar.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: Double transparent clear vinyl.

                        Robert Earl Thomas

                        Another Age

                          It’s a debut that plays the part without succumbing to it, more pastel romantic comedy than sepia historic drama. There are stylistic nods to Springsteen and Dire Straits, Arthur Russell’s more folk-leaning output, the various collaborations of Tom Petty & Jeff Lynne. But Thomas seems intent on conveying his specific take on these things over emulating them; you get the impression that he’s just as inspired by karaoke renditions of “I’m On Fire” or “Romeo and Juliet” as he is by the originals. And the stories he tells are full of intimate moments and observations: a walk home from a lover’s apartment, a long night drive back upstate, a quiet Wednesday morning existential crisis; musings as to the significance of a Winona Ryder portrait on the wall of a stranger’s bedroom; the sense of discovery that comes with being young in a city with a new person, and the sense of loss when that novelty is gone. Another Age is indoor music at its most expansive, rock and roll held at arm’s length

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Everything Is Recorded

                          Everything Is Recorded By Richard Russell

                          Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell features an eclectic international and inter-generational cast of collaborators and musicians who include (in order of appearance on the album) Sampha, Obongjayar, Kamasi Washington, Giggs, Ibeyi, Wiki, Syd, Rachel Zeffira, Infinite, Green Gartside, Peter Gabriel and Owen Pallett. The twelve track album features previous singles ‘Close But Not Quite (feat. Sampha)’, ‘Mountains Of Gold (feat. Sampha, Ibeyi, Wiki and Kamasi Washington)’ and ‘Show Love (feat. Syd and Sampha)’, which have been described as “the embodiment of pure, creative freedom” by Noisey and “a celebration of artistic freedom” by Dazed, while The New Yorker stated “Russell’s vision, it seems, is about the power of collaboration … a grand synthesis of XL’s stylistic history."

                          Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell was recorded at Russell’s west London studio, The Copper House. Over the past couple of years, the studio became a creative second home for the revolving cast of both new and established artists who passed through to write, record and share ideas, mixing traditional recording sessions with extended, uninhibited live jams that lasted long into the night. With Russell at the production helm, a spirit of soundsystem-inspired collaboration and experimentation runs through the heart of an album that is born out of some spontaneous moments of togetherness and periods of intense personal reflection for its creator, and is at once soulful, timeless and boldly modern.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Yellow vinyl, independent store exclusive.

                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                          Known for his effortlessly distinctive voice, Make Way For Love marks Marlon's exponential growth as a songwriter. Throughout 11 original songs, he explores new musical terrain and reveals himself in an unprecedented way in the wake of a fractured relationship. While Make Way For Love draws on Marlon's own story, it captures the vagaries of relationships we've all been through: the bliss, ache, uncertainty, and bitterness. Like the best breakup records, Make Way For Love doesn't shy away from heartbreak, but rather stares it in the face, and mines beauty from it. Delicate and bold, tender and searing, it's a mightily personal new step. Make Way For Love was recorded with producer Noah Georgeson and his backing band, The Yarra Benders, in North California's Panoramic Studios after several weeks of pre-production in his native Lyttelton, New Zealand with regular collaborator Ben Edwards. The finished result is an expansive record that moves Marlon several paces from "country" - the genre that's been affixed to him more than any in recent years - with forays into cinematic strings, reverb, rollicking guitar, and at least one quiet piano ballad.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Heartfel odes, tinkling keys and powerful confident guitars weave into an engrossing and confident whole. Superbly written melodies and pitch-perfect production make this a sure-fire winner.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive limited white vinyl edition.

                          Shannon & The Clams

                          Onion

                            Shannon & The Clams will release their fifth studio album, Onion, via Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound label. The album features the lead single, ‘The Boy’, with a video directed by Ryan Daniel Browne, described by Noisey as ‘a sparkling, hook-laden track that immediately gets under your skin with its wall-of-sound chorus, rife with crisp guitar strums, cascading riffs, and raw harmonies led by vocalist-guitarist Cody Blanchard.’ Onion, produced by The Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach at his Nashville studio, finds a finely tuned and tour-tested band stretching out from the 60s-inspired, surf inflected rock that has defined their previous releases, and delves into genres including soul and psychedelic pop. On their new LP, the band explores themes of origin and self-determination, loss and recovery, and the power of community to heal after tragedy. “It’s okay for people to interpret the songs,” Shannon Shaw says. “You can put your own story into it if that helps you heal. I just want people to feel something, whatever it is.” Recently, the band has been confirmed as openers for the 20-date Easy Eye Sound Revue Tour, with Dan Auerbach, Shannon Shaw, and Robert Finley.

                            ‘Shannon Shaw and Cody Blanchard trick out warped Fifties-Sixties rock driven by space-age thrift-shop keyboards, shimmy-shake dance grooves and sexy moonlit vocals – Shaw's woozy Amy Winehouse-isms are backlit by Blanchard's shrieky falsetto.’ – Rolling Stone.

                            ‘Shannon Shaw’s star is certain to ascend dramatically in 2018.’ – Mojo.


                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd LP Info: Heavyweight 140 gram high-performance vinyl, with download card and insert.

                            2017 marks a decade of U.S. Girls, the protean musical enterprise of multi-disciplinary artist, Meg Remy. Today, Remy announces details of her sixth studio album In a Poem Unlimited, which will be released on 16th February 2018, plus the official video for a new U.S. Girls song, ‘Velvet 4 Sale’.

                            Remy’s second release for 4AD, which also includes her recently released single, ‘Mad As Hell’ – a clarion call for pacifism – was tracked in collaboration with Toronto-based instrumental collective the Cosmic Range, and features arrangements by long-time contributors Maxmilian Turnball and Louis Percival. The dizzying buffet of live grooves on In a Poem Unlimited represents an inversion of the dusty, sample-based minimal textures of Half Free, Remy’s euphoric 4AD debut. Steered into focus by Remy and mixer/co-producer Steve Chahley, Poem features disco employed as a protest vernacular (‘Mad As Hell’), as well as an unrelenting assault (‘Time’); moody, slow-burning funk (‘Velvet 4 Sale’ & ‘L-Over’) and earnest synth anthems ‘Rosebud’ and ‘Poem’, which form the album’s emotional core.

                            Poem features dark meditations reflecting charged atmospheres that directly precede and follow acts of violence. Many of the songs are character studies of women grappling with power; how to gain and exert it spiritually, as well as desperate strategies to mitigate its infliction. Remy also rallies against the public lies told by political and religious leaders, and more crucially, questions the lies we tell ourselves in order to survive. While U.S. Girls, denoting the plural, is no longer a misnomer, In A Poem Unlimited may be Remy’s most individually distilled protest to date.

                            Following ‘Mad As Hell’, Poem album opener ‘Velvet 4 Sale’ is released today. The song concerns a female narrator imploring another to buy a gun for protection, impressing that the only way to change men is for women to use violence. Remy says, “Men are lucky women (and children) have yet to take up arms. And although I hope this never happens and I completely disagree that violence is ever effective, this very idea was ripe for a song.”

                            The accompanying video explores the idea of acknowledgement as a form of retribution, a counterbalance more powerful than violence itself. Remy plays a police officer who discovers that a fellow cop who has beaten his wife will be left off the hook as a “professional courtesy”. By the power of her unrelenting gaze she banishes the abuser in the final images of this powerful and provocative video. This striking tableau representing the power of bearing witness ties back into the album’s underlying theme; that truth and acknowledgement are our most potent and corrosive weapons in the fight against repressive inequality. Remy’s work with this video (which she co-directed with Alex Kingsmill) and the album as a whole, illustrate and seek to inspire the taking up of these moral arms.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: This superb new outing from Meg Remy in her U.S Girls moniker sees snappy guitar falling under a landslide of heavy-rock power chords and scattered electronic elements, whilst still retaining all of it's cohesion and grace. More percussive numbers sit happily alongside the more folky, quiet pieces without skipping a beat.

                            Produced by Richard Swift (Foxygen, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Tennis, member of Shins and Black Keys backing band) - Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay of July Talk are creative directors on the project. - Born Ruffians released a beer with Muskoka Brewery called 'RUFF Draught' that is in liquor stores across Ontario, Manitoba, and throughout Atlantic Canadian provinces.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Born ruffians, sounding like the result of a late-nite tryst between rock and/or roll and the Dodos return for their newest LP since 2015's 'Ruff'. Jangling melodies and swirling vocals meet hazy guitars and reverbed percussion to make their latest outing their best by far. Ace.

                            Coming together again in October 2016 to prepare for a week-long residency culminating in a festival at the Funkhaus in Berlin — the former headquarters of the GDR state radio - the players wrote, rehearsed, and developed the ideas they had been pinging back and forth via the internet in the venue’s Studio 2, an exquisite, wood-panelled room with remarkable acoustics. “What that room created is pretty indescribable,” recalls Leaneagh. “It was a little cocoon.”

                            When Stargaze arrived to premiere the project in Minneapolis however it was the day after Trump’s election, and they found their new bandmates reeling. It was in the wake of this news — and just a day before the premiere, that Leaneagh wrote one of the album’s most sublime pieces, How Is This Happening. “The famous question is always ‘which came first the music or the words?’” says de Ridder. “And I honestly think in this project the music came first and then Channy found the words that were going to capture the atmosphere of the music. Or transcend them. Or contrast them. So it was interesting with How Is This Happening, at the last minute to turn the process on its head.

                            She just made up her lyrics and her vocal line, and she sang it to us, and we started playing to it, and arranging it as we were playing, everyone being aware of what was happening in America at that time.” The resultant album feels more than a simple collaboration, something more than a sum of its parts, a record with its own unique life force and distinctive voice. For de Ridder, the album’s title, Music For The Long Emergency, reflects the confusion of the times. “It had a meaning of music being a haven, giving you a ray of hope,” says de Ridder. “An alternative reality. And that became a theme of the music too. Quite a lot of the music is a little dark, and it does reflect what has been going on, but also incredible beauty at the same time which we hung onto because we needed to.”

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            Wild Beasts

                            Last Night All My Dreams Came True

                            ‘Last Night All My Dreams Came True’ is a career-spanning collection and features songs from each of Wild Beasts’ studio albums, with an emphasis on ‘Boy King’, their most direct record yet.

                            Looking back on Wild Beasts’ back catalogue and the themes they tackled, there is a sense of prescience - toxic masculinity, gender fluidity, the conflicts surrounding class, politics and art were no bandwagon jumps, often becoming hot topics in the media several years after they’d been eloquently dealt with on record.

                            Recorded in two days over the Summer at RAK Studios, ‘Last Night All My Dreams Came True’ is the second official Domino Documents release and has more than fulfilled the Domino Documents aim to capture a band at the height of their powers, recording a selection of their finest songs.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive coloured vinyl.

                            Originally known as Three Month Sunset, Lowtide came together in Melbourne in 2009. Following the release of their debut EP (2010) and the Underneath Tonight 7” (2011), Lowtide continued to refine their live show playing locally and all around Australia, as well as travelling to New Zealand. They played some of the biggest festivals in the region including Boogie! Festival and Applecore Festival in Victoria, before headlining Fasterlouder’s Melbourne Music Week show in 2014.

                            Blending upbeat dream pop with melancholy shoegaze, the band create a complex, layered sound. Wrapped in a warm glow of chiming guitars and compelling melodies, ”Southern Mind” soars with Lucy Buckeridge and Giles Simon’s mesmerising dual vocals weaving astute harmonies. 


                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Laura says: Carrying on from where their self-titled debut left off, this is a collection of gorgeous shimmering pop songs with Lucy and Giles' shared vocals floating over washes of reverby guitars. Although musically, The Chameleons, Sisters of Mercy and The Cure could all be used as reference points, the sweet vocals steer the overall sound in a more dreampop direction than these pointers would suggest.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: Transparent Green Vinyl.

                            Pete Astor

                            One For The Ghost

                              This is a record born through time; seasoned and erudite Indie auteur, ex leader of Creation Records favourites The Loft and The Weather Prophets, Pete Astor brings together strands and tributaries in his work over the years, mining timeless guitar pop to frame wry lyrical insights and melodic hooks, making music for today, with a true line from the past and an eye to the future. Having released Spilt Milk (Fortuna Pop!) in 2016 to an overwhelmingly positive response, Astor continues the musical spirit of that album with James Hoare (Ultimate Painting, Proper Ornaments, Veronica Falls) remaining a mainstay on guitar. He is now joined by The Wave Pictures rhythm section of Franic Rozycki on bass and Jonny Helm on drums; Pam Berry of Withered Hand and Black Tambourine contributes vocals. 

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                              On Room Inside the World—Ought’s third album and first for Merge—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths.

                              Ought approached this record with newfound patience, constructing a (digital) moodboard to set their intentions: Brian Eno and Stereolab synths, the Mekons’ 1985 album Fear and Whiskey, and Gerhard Richter and Kenneth Anger’s sexy, fluorescent hyperreal all made it into the melting pot. “The process of everybody wading into each other’s subconscious was really excellent,” says frontman, guitarist, and lyricist Tim Darcy. Holed up in their rehearsal building, an industrial rock block (and sock factory) overlooking the Trans-Canada Highway, the band strove for greater detail and specificity than before while remaining true to the collaborative, intuitive writing process that yielded their earlier work. On Room Inside the World, Ought gnaw at questions that have hovered around their music since they first began playing: How do you live in this world without destroying yourself? What is it that we can do for each other to make the lives we’ve been given easier? Room Inside the World steps away from the nervousness and irony that characterizes Ought’s previous records

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: White LP 140g double gatefold jacket with matte coating, 12 x 12 in.

                              Superchunk

                              What A Time To Be Alive

                                After the shocking, and for many, demoralizing result of the 2016 election, “I didn’t buy the silver lining some were promoting that ‘well, at least art and music will be great now!’,” says Superchunk co-founder and frontman Mac McCaughan. “Obviously, any sane person would gladly trade four to eight years of terrible music for not having our country dismantled to satisfy the whims of a vengeful child and his enablers.” That said, good music and art still have a lot to say, and the urgency of current events gave Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon the momentum to make something new sooner than later. “It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in.” Enter What a Time to Be Alive, recorded and mixed by Beau Sorenson. It’s a record, says Mac, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.”

                                Indeed, like so much of Superchunk’s music in the band’s nearly three decades together, the songs on What a Time to Be Alive meet rage and anxiety head-on with the catharsis and exhilaration of loud punk fire and vulnerable pop energy. Like 2013’s I Hate Music, which focused on death, loss, and the role of music in an aging life, the new record brings spirit to the frontlines of pain—it’s as defiant as it is despairing, as much a call to arms as a throwing up of hands. The record features more guest backing vocalists than any previous Superchunk album, including Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit), Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee), Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), Skylar Gudasz, and David Bazan. “Part of that was wanting a feeling of community,” says Mac. “I think that’s important to not be completely bummed out about everything all the time.” Despite the album’s driving force, it would be a mistake to call the album political, which suggests it has anything to do with parties, policy, or anything that can be broken down into a rational difference of opinion. “We’re not trying to offer policy solutions in the confines of a three-minute song,” says Mac. “It’s about ‘how do you live / not go crazy’ in the current climate when it seems like every day there’s a new outrage being perpetrated.”

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: clear & pink swirl vinyl in Euro sleeve + exclusive 12 x 24 poster + MP3 coupon

                                East Man is a new project from Anthoney Hart and its material predates his previous work as Basic Rhythm. His unique take on grime reduces the sound to its steely fundamentals, bringing in influences from dancehall, drum and bass and techno to gird the voices of the MCs he works with. His own name for this hardcore continuum mongrel is 'Hi Tek'. Anthoney struck a friendship with the academic and theorist Paul Gilroy, who wrote the album introduction which places the segregation between young people and governments at the centre of its discourse. The set is a particularly regional offering, something that could only have really come out of London with its unashamed lyrical colloquialisms, razor-sharp beats and unparalleled grime energy.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Matt says: I like hearing stuff that's so unashamedly geographically tied down that you can't help but conjure up vivid images of the locale when you hear it. This is one such piece.

                                Various Artists

                                Ernesto Chahoud Presents TAITU - Soul Fuellled Stompers From 1960s-1970s Ethiopia

                                Ernesto Chahoud’s "Taitu" is a collection of soul-fuelled stompers straight from the dancefloors of 1970s Addis Ababa. A breathless journey through the unique Ethio sound that bands were forging at the time, the 24 track compilation is the result of the Lebanese DJ and crate digger’s decade long love affair with the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopian music. Among the musical gems featured are 7”s by some of the heavyweights of the scene including the godfather of Ethio jazz Mulatu Astatke and Alemayehu Eshete, the vocalist dubbed the ‘Ethiopian Elvis’, alongside tracks by more obscure artists such as Merawi Yohannis and Birkineh Wurga.

                                For ‘Taitu’, Chahoud has selected 24 of his essential Ethio-Soul 7”s, that never leave his DJ box, and together they capture this opportune moment in Ethiopian music history that saw bands experiment with an armful of influences: gliding through R&B, rock & roll, jazz, funk, soul and boogaloo. What came out was a distinctly Ethiopian interpretation: pentatonic scales, horn-driven melodies and soul-shattering vocals sung in Amharic. The songs are difficult to box in to one genre but they share a simplicity and rawness, added to by their lo-fi quality - with many recordings made in rudimentary studios with only a couple of mics for the entire band.

                                From the R&B stomper ‘Honey Baby’ by Alemayehu Eshete to Astatke’s swaggering ethnic-jazz instrumental ‘Emnete’ and the bluesy melancholic vocals of Hirut Bekele on ‘Ewnetegna Feker’, ‘Taitu’ is a window in on the exciting records being made in Ethiopia in the 1970s and comes fully endorsed by us here at Picc HQ. 

                                Switzerland's Bongo Joe continue to shun extravagant PR strategies and drawn-out, multi-volume campaigns for a succinct and widescreen picture of under appreciate musical microcosms. The fruitful synth wave and post-punk scene of Spain is next to be inspected. Specifically from 1980-86, "La Contra Ola" covers the striking DIY diversity that swept the country during this time. A blossoming time of creativity, with new technologies and digital instruments striking their mark across moods ranging from paranoid and claustrophobic to sleazy, sexy and the darn right ridiculous. If you've enjoyed some of the Dark Entries output and the minimal wave scene of San Fran, then you need to move your attention over to these European pioneers. Much like the Italian scene, there's obviously SO much to discover here, and even just scratching the surface of some of the bands mentioned reveals a wormhole of digging and further exploration required. Basically, if you like your circuits scorched and your mind bent and the impending sense of society's collapse makes you want to ruin machines, then this is surely the compilation for you! 5 stars!

                                Shop favourites (2016 end-of-year chart high-rollers) Gogo Penguin return for their latest outing on legendary jazz label, Blue Note. The thing about Gogo penguin is, they're a jazz band, but without all the things you'd associate with a jazz band. The beards are as few as their years, and the chin-stroking is not only minimal, but actively discouraged. Their last outing (the stunning 'Man Made Object') mixed the subtle downtempo percussion and slowly unfurling progressions of traditional jazz with tender, minimalistic electronics and ambient textures reminiscent of modern-classical contemporaries liberally littered around the Erased Tapes roster.

                                Whilst their compositions are completely instrumental, there seems to be a wealth of outside influence making itself known through the phrasing and keys used. While 2015 / 2016 were in no way dream years for society in general, it was clear that there was a playfulness in their delivery of songs like 'Quiet Mind' (incidentally, this particular piece reminded me of the other 'Penguin' band, no bad thing).

                                As soon as we finish the frenetic buzzing and claustrophobic atmospheres of 'Prayer', it becomes clear that the rather torrid world climate has indeed osmosed into their compositions, swapping out the languid bobbing atmospheres of yesteryear for a highly charged, powerfully visceral sound experience. While the melodic counterpoints are as ever, impeccably realised (and perfectly accentuated by Turner's mindblowing skin-smacking), the euphoric peak is often hidden behind a flurry of call-response dialogue, the peak only being reached through an intentionally laboured conversational swell.

                                While throughout the album, the simmering malaise invariably breaks through into a grand and sweeping relief, it is in pieces like 'A Hundred Moons' that we get the full-force of their compositional genius, breaking through the residual gloom with airy, tropical percussion and a cleansing palate of major-key lifts and twinkling plucks. Without waxing lyrical about every song in turn, there really isn't much more that can be said, you'll just have to listen to it yourself. Truth of the matter is, Gogo Penguin are one of a kind, and continue to pioneer their own spellbinding brand of electronic jazz. 


                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: Gogo Penguin continue to redefine what 'jazz' is to a lot of people (myself included). Continuing to skilfully eschew staid progressions and inject an electronic ambiguity into wilfully beautiful compositions, GGP remain as groundbreaking yet listenable as ever. Essential.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                2xColoured LP Info: Limited red coloured vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                                2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                Ltd CD Info: "Mintpack" CD edition.

                                Last Of The Easy Riders

                                Unto The Earth

                                  From high in the Rocky Mountains, Last of the Easy riders descend with Unto the Earth, its new psych-infused country-rock long-player.

                                  While the Easy Riders’ first outing exhibited the band’s kaleidoscope of trippy guitar sounds and production techniques, Unto the Earth unveils the band’s earnest songwriting chops and knack for genuine Bakersfield-Sound country. Though, the guys certainly didn’t abandon its lysergic-leanings, especially on the mind-warping title track – which also serves as the lead single.

                                  With no shortage of jangly guitars, piano and pedal steel, the LP no doubt echoes Clarence White-era Byrds, but it doesn’t stray far from the band’s Southwestern-rock ‘n’ roll roots. The early-‘70s AM rock sounds of “Free Wheelin’,” the opening track, reverberates the band’s nomadic lyrical tendencies, while promptly setting up the sonic road trip Unto the Earth delivers. “Turn the Tide,” which closes Side A, melds brilliantly modest Tom Petty-esque guitar riffing with the Easy Riders’ signature vocal harmonies – which soar across both sides of the wax.

                                  Being the first full-length for the band, the members – whom all share songwriting credits – were able to stretch out and laydown some lengthy and tastefully-stacked arrangements. From the fiery doors-esque jamming on “Woodland Echoes” to the ominous western guitar lines of “Shadow Cruiser,” numerous moods freely wander across the nine-song track list.

                                  “Almost all the lyrics are intended to paint vivid picture, and give listeners a sense of place,” says the band’s co-founder Christopher Minarik (guitar/backing vocals). “Certain songs and lyrics really lay it on the line and say exactly how the songwriter felt, or what they were going through. It’s the most personal and honest songwriting I’ve ever done.”

                                  Rounding out the lineup heard on the LP is bassist/vocalist Dan Duggan, guitarist Bradley Grear and drummer Mitch Mitchum. Unto the Earth was recorded in March 2017 in Lansing, Michigan by producer/songwriter George Szegedy – who also offered up his own song for the disc, the twangy-and-wistful “It Won't Be Long” After five months of mixing and fine-tuning, the Last of the Easy Riders were ready to deliver the record.


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Laura says: Sublime psych-tinged country rock from this Denver four piece. If Byrdsian guitar jangles, vocal harmonies and pedal-steel are your thing then this is definitely for you. Lovely stuff!

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: 500 copies on red vinyl with poster.

                                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  Brand new album from Joan As Police Woman, which sees a return to the darker, sensual sound of her celebrated early releases. Damned Devotion finds Joan Wasser at her rawest yet

                                  The first track to be shared from the album is ‘Warning Bell’, a tender, bewitching song of regret Joan wrote about “being a romantic and the naiveté that goes along with it”


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Smooth, soulful grooves interspersed with mournful minor-key melodies and flickering funked-out guitar echoes. By far the most refined and emotive JAPW outing yet, lovely stuff.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: LP pressed on 180g pink vinyl and includes a digital download code.

                                  A primer on London’s bright-burning young jazz scene, this new compilation brings together a collection of some of its sharpest talents. A set of nine newly-recorded tracks, We Out Here captures a moment where genre markers matter less than raw, focused energy. Looking at the album’s running order, it could easily serve as a name-checking exercise for some of London’s most-tipped and hardworking bands of the past couple of years. Recorded across three long, fruitful days in a North West London studio, the crossover between each of the groups speaks to the close-knit circles which make up the scene.

                                  Surveying the way that London’s jazz-influenced music had spread outside of its usual spaces in recent years, this album bottles up some of the vital ideas emanating from that burgeoning movement. Giving a platform to a scene where mutual cooperation and a DIY spirit are second-nature, it’s a window into the wide-eyed future of London’s musical underground.

                                  Ubiquitous, much-lauded saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is the project’s musical director. His own recent projects span from South Africa-connected, spiritually-minded jazz players Shabaka and the Ancestors to Sons of Kemet, who match diasporically-connected compositions with viscerally-direct live shows. His entry on the album, ‘Black Skin, Black Masks’, is typically difficult-to-define: with an off-kilter, shifting rhythmic backbone, repeated phrases – mirrored between clarinet and bass clarinet – shape the track with an alluring hue. His input ties together a deft, genre-agnostic sensibility that’s shared through all the players on the record.

                                  Theon Cross – who’s also part of Sons of Kemet with Hutchings – starts his track, ‘Brockley’, with the solo, distinctive low rumble of his tuba. Winding and mesmeric, it sees tuba and sax lines winding together in rhythmic and melodic parallels. Ezra Collective – whose drummer and bandleader Femi Koleoso has toured with Pharaohe Monch – run a tight, Afrobeat-tipped rhythm on ‘Pure Shade’, with the final third changing gear into a melodic, momentous closing stretch.

                                  Joe Armon-Jones, whose ludicrous chops on the piano have seen him touring with the likes of Ata Kak, showcases earworm-like, insistent motifs on ‘Go See’, balanced with a playful, improvisatory approach with room for ad-libbing and solos a-plenty. Taking a softer tact than many of the other entries, Kokoroko – whose guitarist Oscar Jerome has been making waves with his solo material – spin a lyrical, steady-paced meditation on ‘Abusey Junction’, matching chanted vocals with gently-played guitar.

                                  Nodding to spiritual jazz influences, Maisha’s ‘Inside The Acorn’ is a wandering, explorative rumination, balancing delicate washes of piano and percussion with sharp interplay between flute and bass clarinet. In contrast, Nubya Garcia’s ‘Once’ is taut and carefully-poised, her tenor sax guiding a carefully-built energy to an explosive conclusion. And finally, Triforce’s ‘Walls’ is a performance in two parts: starting with Mansur Brown’s languorous, lyrical guitar, the second half switches up to a low-slung, g-funk-tipped groove.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: The trusty Brownswood label at the rescue again to point out all the new music you should be listening too, We Out Here is a collection of London’s blooming and ever-growing young musicians Jazz scene. This captures the vibe and hub around upcoming Jazz, elements of traditional raw Jazz elements matched with swooning percussion. The contemporary style reaches back into its essential past and is shone in a new era of up and coming artists.

                                  Nothing short of a rebirth, the album’s 10 songs are a triumphant recasting of the group, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. 

                                  ‘Always Ascending’ was recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producer extraordinaire Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys), the mutual affection between band and producer seeping into every dazzling groove. ‘Always Ascending’ shows Franz Ferdinand broadening their palate, as exuberant as it is euphoric, creating a sound that singer, Alex Kapranos, refers to as “simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic.”

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Franz Ferdinand always stood out from the considerable crowd of potential soundalikes with their jagged brand of majestic indie-pop, relying heavily on split-second key changes and snappy, fuzzy riffage. You'll be delighted to know that this one is no less outstanding, a thoroughly excellent return.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Deluxe LP Info: Available to independent retailers on pink vinyl with 8-page booklet and 24” x 24” foldout poster plus digital download code.

                                  Transangelic Exodus, Ezra Furman’s second album for Bella Union, is a new landmark for the American singer-songwriter: “not a concept record, but almost a novel, or a cluster of stories on a theme, a combination of fiction and a half-true memoir,” according to its author. “A personal companion for a paranoid road trip. A queer outlaw saga.”

                                  The music is as much of an intense, dramatic event, full of brilliant hooks, with an equally evolved approach to recorded sound to match Furman’s narrative vision. In honour of this shift, his backing band has been newly christened: The Boy-Friends are dead, long live The Visions. In other words, the man who embodies the title of his last album Perpetual Motion People is still on the move... Or in the vernacular of the new album, on the run.

                                  “The narrative thread,” Furman declares, “is I’m in love with an angel, and a government is after us, and we have to leave home because angels are illegal, as is harbouring angels. The term ‘transangelic’ refers to the fact people become angels because they grow wings. They have an operation, and they’re transformed. And it causes panic because some people think it’s contagious, or it should just be outlawed.

                                  “The album still works without the back story, though,” he vouches. “What’s essential is the mood - paranoid, authoritarian, the way certain people are stigmatised. It’s a theme in American life right now, and other so-called democracies.”

                                  After “Perpetual Motion People” was released in July 2015, Furman had moved back from California (Oakland) to his home town of Chicago. But after a year, he returned to the west coast (Berkeley this time). “I just seem to keep moving,” he sighs. Still, Transangelic Exodus was mostly recorded – as all Furman's records have been since 2011 - at his bandmate (saxophonist/producer) Tim Sandusky’s Ballistico Studios in Chicago, and with the other Visions - Jorgen Jorgensen (bass, and on this album, cello), Ben Joseph (keyboards, guitar) and Sam Durkes (drums/percussion).

                                  Just as Furman’s band hasn’t really changed, so his musical DNA remains intact – a thrilling, literate form of garage-punk rooted in The Velvet Underground, Jonathan Richman and ‘50s rock’n’roll. But Transangelic Exodus is noticeably different to its predecessors. “2016 was a hard year,” Furman recalls. “While the political and cultural conversation devolved in a very threatening way, we travelled and toured a lot. We saw ourselves coming to the end of what we were, and we wanted to become something new.”

                                  Furman cites Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires Of The City”, Beck’s “Odelay”, Sparklehorse’s “It’s A Wonderful Life”, Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”, Kayne West’s “Yeezus”, Angel Olsen’s “Burn Your Fire For No Witness” and Tune-Yards’ “Who Kill” – “artists making the most interesting music with the available resources” – as influences on Transangelic Exodus, plus Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen and James Baldwin’s ground-breaking, gay-themed 1956 novel Giovanni’s Room.

                                  “My previous records were original in their own way, but got classified as an off-kilter version of a retro band, and I wanted something that sounded more original,” he explains. “So we took time off touring, and made sure we took time with every song. I demoed with different band members, and then combined different demos – some parts even made the final album. So, the sound is more chopped up, edited, affected, rearranged.”

                                  One prime example is the album’s lead single ‘Driving Down To LA’, a sparse, but explosive, mix of doo-wop and digital crunch. Another is the haunting ‘Compulsive Liar’. “I wrote it as a ballad on a classical acoustic guitar, but we made it stranger, which brought out the emotion of the lyric more than it would have in its original form,” Furman says. “It’s less predictable; you don’t know where the song might go, and that makes me happy.”

                                  Furman once said, “The opening lines of my records tend to be summary statements.” So, what does, “I woke up bleeding in the crotch of a tree / TV blaring on the wall above the coffee machine” (from ‘Suck The Blood From My Wounds’) say about Transangelic Exodus? “I like the opening lines so much, I had to keep them even though they don’t make a lot of sense! You’re dropped into this story or situation, unsure where you are or what’s going on, and suddenly you’re moving. That’s what being alive feels like to me. Unknown and intense. It’s a big part of the record’s mood.”

                                  Checking Furman’s successive album covers will show his personal journey, coming out as queer and gender-fluid, which the jagged, agitated ‘Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill’ meets head on, namely “the painful experience of being a closeted gender-non-conforming person. Having ‘trans’ in the album title has a lot to do with being queer, like [album finale] ‘I Lost My Innocence’ [“…to a boy named Vincent”). That early experience marks the narrator for life. From a young age, because of issues surrounding gender and sexuality, I felt fated to have an outsider perspective. It radicalises you.”

                                  Transangelic Exodus addresses another kind of coming out, as Furman addresses his Jewish faith on record much more openly than before, from the shivery ballad ‘God Lifts Up the Lowly’ (which includes a verse in Hebrew) to the exquisite ‘Psalm 151’ and the line “I believe in God but I don't believe we're getting out of this one” in ‘Come Here Get Away From Me’, a heady blend of rock’n’roll rumble and ghostly clarinet.

                                  “There is a lot of longing and anger in those songs,” Furman reckons. “A longing for God, and God’s help, wondering how long this can go on. It feels like we’re in exile – the innocent, persecuted, oppressed and threatened. But it’s hard in pop culture to make explicitly religious statements, as many people – including myself - have been hurt by religion.”

                                  Part of Furman’s motivation is the, “fear of fascist takeover,” expressed in the video to ‘Driving Down To L.A’ (filmed in Virginia, and uncannily storyboarded before the state’s infamous Charlottesville “Unite The Right” rally), as Ezra and his angel are pursued by modern-day Nazis. “At school, we learned all about the Holocaust, and were invited to imagine what would happen if the Nazis invaded again. As white supremacy has become more explicitly institutionalised in the US, my childhood nightmares have started to show up in songs.”

                                  Crossing between love, gender, sexuality and religion, and singing in solidarity with the innocent, persecuted, oppressed and threatened, Ezra Furman has soundtracked the current fear and loathing across America like no other, while pushing ahead with his own agenda, always on the move.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Furman's most fiery and conceptual piece yet, dealing with modern political and identity issues in a sensitive and clever way. Littered with moments of jaw-dropping songwriting and perfectly measured switches, Transangelic Exodus is another outstanding album from the ever-talented Furman.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: Limited edition lavendar vinyl.

                                  Brooklyn ensemble Sunwatchers return with the incendiary follow up to their 2016 eponymous debut, the appropriately titled “II”. The quartet continues to defy adequate description, incorporating elements of free jazz, psychedelia, punk, Ethiopian and Thai music and funk into a dizzy, invigorating sound. “II” kicks off with the click of sticks and launches into “Nosebeers”, a righteous burner that writhes and squawks with heady desert vibes and white hot saxophone, sounding not unlike something akin to Group Doueh jamming with John Zorn. “The Hot Eye” is next, and the band doesn’t let up revving up an anxious marching beat into a raging squall that ebbs & flows with tidal waves of horn and guitar.

                                  The band has more in store for listeners, easing into the third track “There Are Weapons You Can Bring To School”. With it ’s contemplative tone, the song sets a mood for the album, righteous, socially conscious messaging, no more evident than the message embriodered onto the tapestry that graces the front cover artwork: “SUNWATCHERS STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE DISPOSSESSED, IMPOVERISHED AND EMBATTLED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD”. The band considers it both a mission statement & a battle cry: “We are musicians, and we will leave political specifics to those more qualified than we are. All the time and energy and passion we can muster we dedicate to writing, performing, recording and releasing music: instrumental music, released from the tyranny of semantics into the freedom and hopefulness of universality-ofconnection. We thusly realize the need to become overt about our own intentions and our own mores; without the ease and accessibility of direct language, the onus is on us to express our principles in other ways.”

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: A completely indescribable cataclysm of modern-jazz, experimental psychedelia and soaring, majestic post-rock. Mind-blowingly clever and brilliantly immersive freakouts tempered by slow-burning hypnotic grooves. Outstanding.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited Rainbow Splatter vinyl.

                                  The current resurgence of jazz in all its' forms has certainly been impossible to ignore in recent times - from the chart-bound, mainstream crooning of Gregory Porter, to the left field 'jazz not jazz' soundscapes of Kamasi Washington, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia and Snarky Puppy proves this is a worldwide phenomenon. One artist who has been been ploughing this furrow in the southern hemisphere for longer than most is Lance Ferguson. As the driving force behind The Bamboos, Cookin' On 3 Burners, Lanu, and the Black Feeling series, these are the varied and versatile projects on which he has built an enviable reputation.

                                  Menagerie 'They Shall Inherit' saw the light of day in 2012 (Tru Thoughts Records) and established the fact that jazz of the contemporary type could reach back to it's essential roots and present itself, refreshed and vital for a contemporary audience.

                                  Lance himself explains: "The Arrow Of Time' draws its inspiration conceptually from the themes of space exploration, human evolution and the future of humankind. It's pretty big stuff to be underpinning an album of modal Jazz tunes - but the main message is one of hope, and I hope that comes across in the music"

                                  Late 2017 saw the 2 track album sampler 'Evolution/Arrow Of Time' create a genuine buzz of anticipation, being playlisted on Jazz FM, and also supported by Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio 2) and both Don Letts & Gilles Peterson on their BBC 6 Music shows - having as it does the spirit of deep jazz, but combining an accessible sound that reached way beyond the usual jazz hungry audience - due in one part to Evolution's immensely catchy hooks, with the voice of Fallon Williams focusing the listeners attention on the philosophical themes Lance highlighted above. Now the album, laid out in its' entirety can be experienced, attempting to encapsulate the music with the written word feels like a somewhat futile exercise, so it is best to consider Lance Fergusons' final thoughts about its inspiration, influences and ongoing appeal.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: This caught my attention straight away; the style of jazz-not-jazz is right up my street and anything that Giles Peterson recommends I’m all over it. The track Evolution is just everything I need on a record like this, it can transport you to the vibe and hub of a late night jazz bar.

                                  Power's self-titled debut, released on Tompkins Square in 2016, received wide praise from UNCUT (9/10, "Masterpiece"), MOJO (4 stars), The Guardian (4 stars), Irish Times (4 stars) and was featured on NPR World Cafe, as well as several BBC programs. 'The Two Worlds' was produced by Peter Broderick and recorded at Analogue Catalogue in County Down, Ireland. Q Magazine listed the album as a "Top Tip" for 2018, stating "(The Two Worlds) is full of droning ballads laced with defiance." The sadly topical first single, "Don't Shut Me Up (Politely)", seems to express what's on the minds of many women right now.

                                  Tompkins Square's Josh Rosenthal noted on social media, "I don't usually have the opportunity to say something political about the music I put out, but in the case of Brigid Mae Power's new single, I think this song may resonate with any woman who's been gaslit, mansplained to, paid less, bullied, sexually harassed by a C-List celebrity or famous movie producer, had her birth control systematically taken away, or told she had to go to another country or across state lines to get an abortion."

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Power's haunting vocals soar atop a mind-melting psychedelic scree, rich with inferred melody and ambient atmosphere. Rich but subtly nuanced songwriting, beautiful production and a sure-fire future folk classic.

                                  Cult Italian combo Calibro 35 celebrate ten years of bumping jazz grooves and mellow moochers with their 6th studio album "Decade". Their first album recorded with an enlarged orchestral-inspired line-up that features horns, strings and percussions. Mixed and recorded by Calibro's usual suspect and Grammy Award winner Tommaso Colliva, on the album all the influences collected by the band during their last ten years' journey like music, collaborations, movies, gigs, books find their space. "DECADE" is Calibro 35's "time capsule" and is as rare and complex as a timeless work.
                                  Musically Calibro 35's inner influences like Ennio Morricone, listen for instance to the epic journey of the album's end credits "Travelers", Luis Bacalov and David Axelrod are still there but are now mixed with elements from afrobeat or cosmic jazz. "Psycheground" sounds like Tony Allen involved in writing a score for a vintage Hollywood production while Sun Ra lurks on "Modo". Everything is mixed up with new influences from modern musical languages. References to Jaga Jazzist, Budos Band or Alternative Jazz and Alternative Hip Hop new acts such as Makaya McCraven, Yussef Kamaal, Oddisee can all be found on the album. In tracks such as "Modulor "you realize that Decade is certainly not a point of arrival and expresses the ambition of the band to look further and evolve. All classic Calibro's vintage instruments such as clavinet, eco, analog synths, fuzz guitars are now supported by new ones such as Dan Bau, Balafon and Waterphone ("Polymeri") in the band's new wall of sound. Thanks to the enlarged line-up and the orchestrated parts involved, which pushed the band to experiment new methods of composition, Calibro 35 on "Decade" sound strong, full and tight as never before.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Patrick says: Skipping between forward thinking jazz, textured funk and cinematic symphonies, Calibro 35's latest LP is a must have for fans of Morricone, Axelrod, Go Go Penguin or Penguin Cafe.

                                  MGMT return for their fourth LP, in almost exaclty ten years since their almost cripplingly popular debut, Oracular Spectacular. Breaking away from the catchy generation Y glitter-bomb of 'Time To Pretend' or 'Kids' could drive a less-determined duo to mania, but VanWyndarden Goldwasser are nothing if not tenacious. 

                                  Their newest lurches from queasy neon keys and vicious percussive flourishes (She Works Out Too Much, Days That Got Away) over the top of mellow, warped lounge into wistful melody-heavy glumtronica, swimming in atmosphere and packed to the brim with feels (Me And Michael, When You're Small). 

                                  It is a fascinating and capable return for MGMT, clearly showing they deserve more credit than those early hits have offered them. This is a nuanced and mature journey, fittingly showing a good cross-section of their sizeable talents. 

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: A true display of how far MGMT have come since their early hit singles, still embracing their synthy aesthetic, but bringing in a host of diverse stylistic influences to complete their warm and varied sound.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  2xLtd LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

                                  2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  Ceramic Hobs

                                  Black Pool Legacy

                                    "The Ceramic Hobs are the band in the corner of the old man's pub round the back of the venue getting drunk before they either a) slay your senses with a mind boggling set of punk inspired psychedelia or b) fall over screaming and fighting. They make The Fall look as stable as U2 and the Butthole Surfers as mainstream as R.E.M.

                                    They’re from Blackpool and have been going since 1985. This double LP retrospective of the North of England's most unique, overlooked and long-lasting underground band spans 25 years of recordings, with tracks taken from numerous releases carefully selected and sequenced by Philip Best (Consumer Electronics), ergot trip front cover art from John Godbert (Vibracathedral Orchestra), gatefold bad vibe intricate line drawing from Darren Brian Adcock and a twelve page booklet featuring an extended interview/essay by Chris Sienko and a band family tree. Rock music but with voodoo curse words, twisting spiralling synths and guitars, overloaded samples: the sound of impending mental collapse overpowering the unwary listener.

                                    The Monochrome Set

                                    Maisieworld

                                      Maisieworld is the brand new studio album from The Monochrome Set. At the end of the 70s, The Monochrome Set were part of the first wave of 'post punk' bands. Right from the beginning, the band earned a solid reputation as purveyors of fine pop, gaining praise from 80s contemporaries such as Morrissey and Edwyn Collins. Importantly, in later years this praise has continued with artists such as Franz Ferdinand, The Divine Comedy and Graham Coxon, all citing the band as a key influence on their own work.

                                      Moviestar

                                      Stupid People Happy Days

                                        Intergalactic archeologists Moviestar prepare to astound and amaze with their new collection of sci-fi infused punk-rock tracks. The first single to be taken from the album, Stupid People, is a fuzz-filled, electro-punk anthem about people on earth….The track is instantly catchy from the offset, filled with a plethora of futuristic sounds and a shit ton of reverb. Moviestar are not just a band, they are a reality experience. Their live shows encompass performance, art, storytelling, fashion and music in a whole new transcending form.

                                        Okay, cards on the table, we are quite smitten with this. truth is we don’t know why, it just kind of sloped beneath our radar and sneaked by our defences, it might be down to the fact that it purrs day dreamily and thoughtfully with a head in the clouds nonchalance, partly slacker-esque yet irresistibly trimmed in a twinkle toning cuteness that catches you off guard, its softly teased sunny disposition snoozing amid a becoming lazy eyed radiance that sweetly curdles and coos with a lilting pastoral phrasing. 

                                        Various Artists

                                        Revolutionary Spirit - The Sound Of Liverpool 1976-1988: Deluxe 5CD Boxset

                                          Extensive 5CD/book set exploring the ‘second wave’ of music on Merseyside, from 1976-1988 Features classics, rarities, album tracks and previously unreleased gems from Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD, The La’s, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, China Crisis, A Flock Of Seagulls, Wild Swans, Big In Japan and many more. 5CD + 56pp A5 book format contains many artists’ own sleeve-notes, previously unseen photographs and essays from key observers and participants in the city’s music scene - Bernie Connor, Mike Badger, Yorkie and Joe McKechnie. Curated and designed by the people who brought you Scared To Get Happy, Still In A Dream, Manchester – North Of England, Silhouettes And Statues and many more extensive box sets. A remarkable journey through the music of a generation inspired and enabled by punk rock to step out from behind the shadow to the Fab Four. Packed with first-hand artist sleeve-notes, insightful essays, imagery and brilliant, essential music, this is a story long in need of telling…

                                          Liverpool in the 1970s…. The Beatles had gone, but the expectations remained. It took many years until, with the arrival of punk rock, the city’s tunesmiths were able to regroup and usher in a new generation of musical innovation which would form the backbone of the UK’s music scene throughout the 1980s. From Eric’s to the top of the charts, the city found its feet and once again became the epicentre of cool. Revolutionary Spirit charts the rise of Liverpool and its music in the latter half of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s, from Deaf School and Spitfire Boys, via Zoo Records and Probe Plus, and onto the chart successes of Frankie, OMD, the Bunnymen and many others. Featuring cornerstone contributions from the city’s brightest stars - Bill Drummond, Holly Johnson, Ian Broudie, Pete Burns, Ian McCulloch, Julian Cope, Lee Mavers and co – and many more lesser-known legends, this is the unique tale of a city trying to find itself with the world watching – and succeeding.

                                          "Another year, another compilation of the known, the soon to be known and the soon to be forgotten. But the one thing that connects them all is that Rough Trade Shops love them. Sleeve by graffiti artist Danny Minnick. Features King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Starcrawler, Superorganism, Alvvays, Lice, Jerkcurb, Priests, Princess Nokia, Colter Wall, Flat Worms, Aldous Harding and more. The tracks are made up of shop favourites that have been on constant repeat in all five shops, obscure gems we think more people should adore, bands that blew us away whilst the Rough Trade Shop was on tour at End of the Road, Primavera etc and basically anything we wanted to put on." - Rough Trade.

                                          Various Artists

                                          Call Me By Your Name - OST (Sufjan Stevens & Ryuichi Sakamoto)

                                            Released on the 'Sony Classical' label, "Call Me By Your Name" is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.

                                            Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His debut album A Sun Came was released in 2000 on the Asthmatic Kitty label which he cofounded with his stepfather. He is perhaps best known for his 2005 album Illinois, which hit number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, and for the single Chicago from that album.

                                            Ryuichi Sakamoto is a Japanese musician, composer, record producer, pianist, activist, writer, actor and dancer, based in Tokyo and New York. 

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition 180g blue vinyl.

                                            Ltd LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                                            Here is the long-awaited fifth volume of the well received electronic compilation series from the 1980's color tapes label. As with the other volumes you can find great examples of cold wave, minimal wave and synth electronics made by obscure British bands such as: Berserk In A Hayfield, Disintegrators, Lives of Angels, The Lord, plus a rare track by The good Missionaries, post Alternative TV.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Ltd LP Info: Limited edition of 500 copies comes with poster insert and reproduction of issue 4 of Color Tapes fanzine "Purple Twilight" from 1985.

                                            Still Music presents a compilation of Let’s Dance Records - Mike Macharello & Duane Thamm Jr.'s iconic Chicago label from 1983-85. The origin of house music, at least in a commercial sense, is generally associated with young African American producers from Chicago’s South Side, but one of the first Chicago house music labels was started by a young, white, gay DJ from the far west suburbs. The Let’s Dance story will take you back to the beginnings of Mike Macherello and Duane Thamm Jr. when Chicago’s house music was in its infancy.Back then, after starting as young roller disco Dj in the late seventies, Mike Macherello gradually made its way to the best radio station in 1981 - WBMX - and started a movement that still ripples through the city today. Let’s Dance’s founder, Mike Macharello, was a DJ who bridged diverse music scenes, from rock clubs to discos. The Let’s Dance record label helped establish Chicago’s dance music industry between 1983 and 1985, before becoming Play House Records (which will be reissued by Still Music in an upcoming set). Macharello’s pal, DJ Duane Thamm Jr., also from the ’burbs, became the label’s main producer and one of house music’s most important studio engineers and producers.

                                            Mike and Duane went on to release a few legendary singles for Let’s Dance that are still to this day considered to be the earliest house music records coming from Chicago.

                                            The 12” pack includes faithful reissues of Selenia’s “Single Girl”, Duane Thamm Jr. “Jump Trax”, the insane Knight Action “R-Trax/D-Rail” 12”s along with a 5 tracks 12” compilation and an accompanying poster insert including rare pictures and artifacts with the story of the label.


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: It's time to go back.... waaaaay back. Before Kickin' Pigeon (or Jeremy Underground for that matter) was but twinkle in his father's eyes... Learn your roots as plunge into the fertile explosion of what would later become HOUSE!!!

                                            A long time in the making – Quare Groove Vol. 1 – Sounds of the Irish musical underground from the 70s & 80s..Spread across 2 12s with extensive liner notes on printed inner sleeves. Re-mastered with care by Shawn @ Optimum.
                                            .
                                            Stating it softly..... Irish music of the 1970's was simply not synonymous with groove music in any way. Avid music aficionado's were totally 'rockist' then (to use an old tag from the same time!) That thread tends to follow with record collecting of vintage Irish music of that time, down to this day. We'll throw a little change into that narrative here - the groove is very rare, and not a little quare! We've looked at the entire recorded music picture of what happened here on this little island into the 1980's, and we're bringing back this -----

                                            We can't tell you that this music comes from a strange place - it comes from a steadily steep and VERY strange place! A small place that was not a little conflicted societally and politically back then - and in every way too, public and private. However it was also a time of great change. Living through it seemed like a rite of passage that moved off from some manner of dark age, and then over forward into a brighter light. Modernity beckoned, and not just with the technology!

                                            So what can you hear here? It's no coincidence that this music also makes a similar coming of age. Recording techniques were wholly embraced here, in this era. Late 1970's Irish music saw sound engineering and music production artistry advance from previous, and in a very big way. As studio's moved away from simple and straight audio captures, the music really benefitted. So what can you hear here? We're bringing you two sides of this story on two big black twelve inch slates. The first slate has an abundantly sweet clubbier sound of past-funk groove music. The second slate gives you an edgier angle of what the post-punkers got up to, after they too got their hands on the same danceflooring. This is really but only the beginning: There's so much more to come!

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Patrick says: All City turn their attention to archival matters with a mega set of weirdo punk-funk, squelching electro and Gaelic groove recorded in Ireland in the 80s. Kinda analogous to Efficient Space's Oz Waves and Midnite Spares comps, but with a distinctly Irish approach, this is absolutely not the kind of tackle you'd hear down Chorlton Irish club...

                                            Microshift is the Leeds band's first new work in over 3 years and marks a seismic shift in their sound, dynamic, songwriting and production, whilst still bearing all the ferocious energy, intricate musicianship and bruised but beautiful song-craft of the previous releases which have quietly made them one of the UK's most revered young bands.

                                            This is the band's third studio album technically but arguably the first in which the studio has been central to its creation. Pearl Mystic and second LP, The Hum were heavily informed by the band's live sound, Microshift on the other hand came to life in the studio, formed out of loops, modular synthesizer sequences, drum machines, homemade samples etc. which were jammed around and layered until the songs began to emerge. The band have also opened their writing to include collaborations with artists such as Richard Formby (on Opener), Christopher Duffin (on Boxing Day) and Alice Merida Richards (on Each Time We Pass).

                                            Radiant, immersive and teeming with light, but still heavy and forceful - the music on Microshift acts as a very deliberate counter to some of the difficult topics the album's lyrics address. Death, disease, heartbreak, body image and even natural disaster are all present here but the overall effect these songs achieve is euphoric catharsis.

                                            The album was written and recorded in full following a complete rebuild of the band’s Suburban Home Studio after the River Aire floods in Leeds in the winter of 2015 which devastated the studio. The band had an incredible response to a GoFundMe campaign and the subsequent help of volunteers over several months to rebuild the studio from nothing is a huge part of the band’s continued existence. Striving through the toughness, it is perhaps no surprise that the record is one of both defiance and darkness. “All of our records are to an extent about mental health,” comments MJ. “Largely this is an album about loss but also about maturing, accepting your flaws and the transience of intimacy”.

                                            Hookworms are MJ, MB, JW, JN & EO.


                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: A brilliantly dynamic mix of psychedelic guitars, determined vocal swathes and soaring cosmic synth swells. As fascinating and direct an outing as The Hum, but refined through a good few years of working on their sound. Superb.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies only deluxe edition with a printed PVC outer sleeve.
                                            Black 180g heavyweight vinyl.
                                            Printed inner sleeve.

                                            LP Info: Black 180g heavyweight vinyl.
                                            Printed inner sleeve.
                                            Download card.

                                            CD Info: CD in spined “mini LP” wallet with printed inner sleeve.

                                            The nine songs that comprise Quit The Curse come on sugary and upbeat, but their darker lyrical themes and serpentine song structures are tucked neatly into what seem at first just like uncommonly catchy tunes. Burch’s crystal clear vocal harmonies and gracefully crafted songs feel so warm and friendly that it’s easy to miss the lyrics about destructive relationships, daddy issues and substance abuse that cling like spiderwebs to the hooky melodies. The maddeningly absent lover being sung to in “2 Cool 2 Care”, the crowded exhaustion of “With You Every Day” or even the grim, paranoid tale of scoring drugs in “Asking 4 A Friend” sometimes feel overshadowed by the shimmering sonics that envelop them. Though the deceptively complex pop of Quit The Curse marks the debut of Anna Burch, it’s anything but the green first steps of a fledgling new artist. Growing up in Michigan, her fixation with music transitioned from a childhood of Disney and Carole King sing-alongs to more typically angsty teenage years spent covering Bright Eyes and Fiona Apple at open mic nights. “To me this album marks the end of an era of uncertainty. Writing songs about my emotional struggles helped me to work through some negative patterns in my personal life, while giving me the sense of creative agency I'd been searching for.” Emerging from years spent as a supporting player, Quit The Curse stands as a liberation from feeling like Burch’s own songwriting voice was just out of reach -- an opportunity, finally, for the world at large to hear what’s been on her mind for quite a while.

                                            Early praise for Anna Burch's music:

                                            “Frank and gratifying all the same, Burch’s tightly structured pop is an invigorating take on an evergreen sound.” - Pitchfork

                                            “Anna Burch is a veteran of the Detroit music scene, which helps explains why “2 Cool 2 Care,” the first single from her upcoming solo debut LP, lands like an old friend. There’s an instant familiarity and warmth to it that can be partially attributed to the song’s gentle sway — all oohs and ahhs and starry-eyed romanticism — but it hits even deeper than that.” - Stereogum

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Laura says: New Heavenly Records signing Anna Burch brings us lovely, (mostly) up beat guitar-pop tempered perfectly by a slight twist of melancholy.

                                            The two years since Commontime have been strange and turbulent. If you thought the world made some kind of sense, you may have questioned yourself a few times in the past two years. And that questioning, that erosion of faith - in people, in institutions, in shared experience - runs through every song on the new Field Music album.

                                            But there's no gloom here. For Peter and David Brewis, playing together in their small riverside studio has been a joyful exorcism. Open Here is the last in a run of five albums made at the studio, an unprepossessing unit on a light industrial estate in Sunderland. Whilst the brothers weren't quite tracking while the wrecking balls came, the eviction notice received in early 2017 gave them a sense of urgency in the recording of Open Here.

                                            There probably won't be many other rock records this year, or any year, which feature quite so much flute and flugelhorn (alongside the saxophones, string quartet and junk box percussion). But somehow or other, it comes together. Over thirteen years and six albums, Field Music have managed to carve a niche where all of these sounds can find a place; a place where pop music can be as voracious as it wants to be.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Oh Field music, will your jagged chords and thumping, percussive oddness never grow weary? Apparently not, because here we have another outing that hasn't been off the shop stereo since we got the promo a few weeks back. We're all still enamoured here, and you will be too.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition Indies exclusive transparent vinyl in die cut sleeve, with download code.

                                            This will be Carlton Melton's first full length release since 2015’s widely lauded “Out To Sea” double opus, itself a languid drifting of drones and psychedically enhanced riffmongering. Sure, there's been some long EP releases since.. .Hidden Lights in 2017 (featuring the immeasurable drone sike float on “Rememory”) and Aground in 2016 (a companion, the Desert Island weather beaten psych-flow follow up to Out To Sea), now it’s time to soak up...Mind Minerals.

                                            Mind Minerals finds Carlton Melton in fine fettle, all the songs were recorded and engineered at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Manley on September 3rd and 4th 2016 (except 'untimely' - recorded at the Dome by Brian McDougall), the studio setting suits them -- a logical progression from a weekend’s recording out at the Dome.

                                            Under Manly’s watchful ear/eye, Carlton Melton have created a futurescape soundtrack..,a “3001 Space Oddyssey”. The drums are more pounding and direct than before, the constantly re-assuring bass creates a helping hand to propel you through the clouds of static and shards of electrifying guitar dazzling your horizon. Synths help soothe the sharp edges and lull you into some out of body experience whilst and orchestrated calamitous scree pulls you back…. This is a breathless, yet deep breathing album. It demands full immersion...

                                            Searing guitar piercing the drone with relentless power, the core trio of Carlton Melton; Andy Duvall (drums/guitar), Clint Golden (bass guitar), and Rich Millman ( guitar/synth), have some alchemical bond that’s helped them create a post-rock / psychedelic / freeform organic slab of American Primitivism / space drift , this is unashamed head-music from the melting pot of Northern California.. 5 decades ago this album would have been released on the ESP Disk Label or even Apple…there would have been no helter skelter if the desert Hippies had locked onto these vibes, plug in, turn on, tune out..float free.. Carlton Melton can provide your own aural microdose to reset your Mind / Psyche!!

                                            Andy Duvall plays juno synth on 'the lighthouse'
                                            Special guests:
                                            Phil Manley - juno synth on 'snow moon' and 'sea legs' / Guitar on 'eternal returns' and 'psychoticedelicosis'.
                                            John McBain - guitar on 'electrified sky' and 'way back when' / synth/mellotron/guitar on 'atmospheric river'.

                                            All songs mastered by John Mcbain at JPM mastering.
                                            Cover artwork is “Walls” (2013) by Andy Vogt.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Hypnotic swells of strummed guitars, camouflaged with the scream of a thousand delays fighting a thousand reverbs in space, breaking out into beautifully languid streaks of light in an otherwise foreboding musical landscape. Beautiful, ambient bliss.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: 300 only red vinyl available for indie stores.

                                            Criminal’ is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Luis Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of 80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself. Battling with his own sanity, self-hatred, insecurity, self-entitlement and grappling with the risk of these things transforming him into a person he despises, Vasquez has laid his feelings bare with this: his confession and most self-reflective work to date.

                                            “Guilt is my biggest demon and has been following me since childhood. Everything I do strengthens the narrative that I am guilty” Vasquez reflects. “The concept of ‘Criminal’ is a desperate attempt to find relief by both confessing to my wrongdoings and by blaming others for their wrongdoings that have affected me.”

                                            ‘Criminal’ marks a striking and important chapter in his self-exploration, both artistically and emotionally. As a young musician living in Oakland, Vasquez began to try and process the narrative of his difficult upbringing veiled through musical exploration. Taking krautrock's motorik beats and Post-Punk deconstructions and honing them into a hushed percussive incantation, The Soft Moon's self-titled debut album took shape. The album was released in late 2010 by Captured Tracks and was praised by critics and emulated by contemporaries.

                                            In 2012 the apocalyptic conceptual work of 'Zeros' emerged, shortly followed by Vasquez moving to Venice, Italy in 2013, acting as a catalyst for 2014’s release, ‘Deeper’. While previous albums were primarily instrumental records, where Vasquez’s voice was diffused amidst the music as another instrument, ‘Deeper’ marked the beginning of a new musical direction where vocals and lyrics became something more than a mere presence. ‘Deeper’ was a descent into the womb of childhood trauma, anxiety and fear, and although Vasquez survived this dark exploration of himself, he did not return alone.

                                            Working once more with Maurizio Baggio, who produced ‘Deeper’, at La Distilleria in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, ‘Criminal’ sees Vasquez further explore putting his lyrics at the forefront and letting his raw emotions flow. The album is Vasquez's way of holding himself accountable and seeking redemption for the abuse he inflicts on himself and others, and acknowledges roots in the abuse which, inflicted upon him as a child, broke him.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Thudding drum machines, screaming distorted guitars and barely-there vocal abstractions fed through a wall of effects. It's a delicate but perfectly achieved bout of melodic suggestions and visceral, white-hot emotion.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition clear vinyl.

                                            With only a handful of sought-after private press 7” singles to their name, Morrison Kincannon are all but unknown outside record collecting circles. Yet Norman Morrison and Terry Kincannon wrote and recorded some superb songs during the 1970s and early ‘80s, desperately hoping for the break that would see them released on vinyl. Now, at last, their time has finally come. Morrison and Kincannon first started working together as teenagers almost 50 years ago. Every Saturday, they would get together to jam and write songs. This led to recording sessions at a friendly studio in San Francisco and a management and publishing deal with Manny Greenhill, a man who had previously nurtured the careers of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Sadly, their hoped-for-success never came, and by the early 1980s both members had re-focused on work and family. As the years rolled by, their original multi-track recordings lay idle in Morrison’s loft, seemingly never to be released.

                                            All that changed when Morrison received an email from Spacetalk Records two years ago, asking about the possibility of reissuing “To See One Eagle Fly”, the B-side to one of their 7” singles that has long been a favourite of label co-founder Danny McLewin. Once a deal had been done, Morrison mentioned that he had hours of unissued recordings in his loft; a treasure trove of ultra-rare multi-track master tapes that could be freshly mixed and mastered for release. When the Spacetalk Records’ team finally got a chance to listen, they were astonished by the timeless quality of the songs. Put simply, they just had to be released.

                                            The resultant album is a stunning set: an intoxicating glimpse into the world of two previously unheralded master songwriters whose musical vision encapsulates all that was good about Californian music during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Rooted in the American folk revival and folk-rock movement of the late ‘60s, the album’s 15 thoughtful, heartfelt songs are laden with sly nods to the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Ned Doheny, Michael Deacon, Cy Timmons, Gene Clark and Buffalo Springfield. The tracks were recorded at various times between 1970 and ’82 and gives a small glimpse of the duo’s total body of unissued work. The release comes with extensive liner notes telling the remarkable story of two lifelong friends and musical collaborators who thought their moment had passed. 

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Andy says: Incredibly rich soul, folk, West Coast groove-rock that inexplicably fell between the cracks. The songs are impeccable, the vibe pure, hippy, LA mellowness.How was this never released!?

                                            The Yearning

                                            Take Me All Over The World

                                              The untiring Joe Moore in his endless search for beauty in music, is back with a new mini-album from THE YEARNING, and addressing his usual inclinations: the chanson, chamber pop, bossa, and above all, the perfect song. And once again, he is handling all the production work, the recording, and the songwriting, and is playing almost all the instruments.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              10" LP Info: 10" is numbered limited edition of 750 copies. Includes download.

                                              Kyle Craft

                                              Full Circle Nightmare

                                                Ever since his debut album Dolls of Highland was released on Sub Pop in 2016, Kyle Craft has been a critic's dream. Based in Portland, he serves up all the observational, storytelling talent with none of the attitude that so often comes with male singer-songwriter territory. “I've found my place,” he says. “I'm not one of those people that approaches music for anyone other than myself. My favorite part about music is when it's just me and a notebook.” Speaking of, his second forthcoming album Full Circle Nightmare is entirely autobiographical. Sonically, thematically, lyrically, it's a huge leap forward from his 2016 release.

                                                 The title Full Circle Nightmare refers to a moment where Craft saw his life for what it is and told himself to be satisfied. “But that's nightmarish to me,” he laughs. He described his debut record as: “like walking down this long hall of bizarre characters and surreal experiences, moving through the spider web of love and loss.” This album is when you get to the end of that hallway, turn around and see all the stuff you've been through, then walk through the door, close it and start a new chapter in an even crazier hallway. A straight-up rollicking rock'n'roll album, it traverses all the different nuances of the genre; from the bluegrass twang of 'Exile Rag,’ to the gothic style of 'Gold Calf Moan,' it's a timeless piece that could exist in any of the past five decades.
                                                In terms of contemporary peers, Craft likes to stay in his own lane. He's an old soul who sticks to his tried and tested influences. Social media is not his game - it's just not interesting to him. He's not fussed about preaching his politics or discussing the status quo either. “I don't really like writing a time piece. I don't wanna get trapped in the 'Donald Trump era of Kyle Craft,' you know? I'm a very off-the-grid sort of person. As much as I am traveling across this giant place sometimes I just feel so outside of it. Also, I'm not necessarily a stand-up citizen so it's hard for me to say: here's Kyle Craft's America, ladies and gentlemen.”

                                                The ironic thing is that Full Circle Nightmare sounds exactly like Kyle Craft's America. That is what he's built for us: the story of one man's trials and tribulations to find his passion and voice for art and creativity in this vast opportunistic country. Where did he find it? Among the historic riches of America's most honest sounds.


                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: Sliding guitars, tinkling pianos and the percussive sound of saloon doors opening in a hurry, tastefully hinting at classic Americana anthems, but tempering them with a melodic and progressive sensibility rarely heard in classic country rock.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies Exclusive Loser edition coloured vinyl.

                                                Indies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                Jim Ghedi

                                                A Hymn For Ancient Land

                                                  Fourth release on new independent label Basin Rock following highly acclaimed albums by Julie Byrne and Nadia Reid.

                                                  Born in Sheffield before moving around various parts of Derbyshire, Shropshire and Scotland and then settling in Moss Valley - an abandoned and forgotten area on the edgelands of South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire - it makes perfect sense that 26 year old Jim Ghedi’s music feels both fluidly transient yet also deeply rooted to a sense of place.

                                                  In 2015 he released his debut album, Home Is Where I Exist, Now To Live and Die (Cambrian Records), which was an extension of the folk-tinged six and twelve-string acoustic guitar instrumentals he had been forging for some time around Sheffield's pubs and then whilst traveling across Europe. On his second album, A Hymn For Ancient Land, his elemental style of playing has expanded into a fuller band set-up, complete with glorious orchestration and dazzling composition that makes it a truly innovative contemporary record whilst still being rooted in great tradition.

                                                  Through the inclusion of double bass, violin, cello, harp, trumpet, piano, accordion and numerous other instruments, Ghedi has elevated his unique blend of folk music to a level far beyond that of that of his earlier work. Perhaps most remarkable still is how seamless their inclusions feel, rather than wrestling for space, the wealth of instruments float in and out of one another, interlocking absorbing guitars, gently whirring strings and drums that beat like the faint sounds of thunder on the horizon.

                                                  On top of the community of Moss Valley, a driving force behind much of the creations on this record come from Ghedi’s travels, playing shows in numerous rural towns and villages across the British Isles. This traversing through remote parts of the UK, Wales, Scotland and Ireland soon brought a desire to capture the full breadth, scale and beauty of the landscapes he was witnessing. “I wanted to bring in wider instrumentation to somehow resemble the landscapes which musically I could hear in my head, It was at this point I became fixated on connecting the two worlds of classical and contemporary folk” Ghedi says of the album’s birthing period.

                                                  All songs on the album are named after places from said travels - ‘Home for Moss Valley’, ‘Bramley Moor’, ‘Cwm Elan’ etc - and Ghedi’s natural ear and eye for capturing the spaces he inhabits creates an immersive environment, in which the guitar lines seem to mirror rolling hills, the rich hum of the ambience hangs like a gentle morning fog and the intricacies and beauty of the arrangements create something almost tangible in their efforts, like capturing a light dew on the tip ends of grass or the sticky moisture of well trampled soil. Nature permeates through this record from start to finish, gliding through its core like a bubbling brook.


                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  Ltd LP Info: LP jacket is gloss laminate with front & back folds on the outside.The back panel is uncoated/matt varnish - 300 gsm card and 180g vinyl. Inner sleeve 'field notes' from Jim (CD is in 8 page booklet). Digital Download included.

                                                  A massively anticipated release from the cult adored, globally loved Dixon Avenue Basement and one of their biggest signings to date: Big Miz. Glaswegian through and through, with both label and artist nurtured and developed through the monolith of house and techno that is Rubadub. Martin's DABJ label has always been a favourite with the up-all-nite-cru and warehouse dwellers of Manchester and after three EPs preceding it, Big Miz steps up to drop the label's first full length. From the tweaked out organ solos on "Hammond Groove" and the live bass jam of "Straight Thru Cru" to the straight up brain rattler of "Gear Tension" and the Chi-town indebted "Our House". This is Big Miz at his undiluted, party-starting best and cements the fact that he is one of the UKs most exciting raw talents.

                                                  'Build for the club, Destroy for the afterparty, all tracks written in my bedroom. Inspired by all the buildings getting torn down all around Glasgow' - Biz Miz.

                                                  Highly recommended!


                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Matt says: Incendary night club music which bites at the juggular but never scratches its beard. Your mum will hate this.

                                                  Efrim Manuel Menuck

                                                  Pissing Stars

                                                    The 2nd solo album by the co-founder of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion, following his 2011 solo debut. RIYL: Suicide, Scott Walker, Throbbing Gristle, Neil Young, Einstürzende Neubauten, Pharmakon, Wolf Eyes, Yellow Swans, EMA, Avey Tare, Thee Silver Mt. Zion. The brilliantly intense follow-up to his 2011 solo debut Plays “High Gospel” (CST078) and the first new material with Menuck as central songwriter and vocalist since 2014’s acclaimed Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (CST099) from his chamber-punk-rock band Thee Silver Mt. Zion.

                                                    The legendary Montréal-based musician has much-deserved cult status among fans of political punk, post-rock and avant-noise songcraft alike. Menuck celebrates 25 years of unflinching and uncompromising sonic output with Pissing Stars, wherein he launches acerbic darts, impassioned salvos and fragile flowers into gusts of noise-battered song built around pulsing maximalist electronics and drone, shot through with alternately plaintive, chilling, often processed vocals. Pissing Stars is Menuck at his most vulnerable and his most adventurous – with a timely narrative framework that only he could conjure: PISSING STARS is inspired by the brief romance of american television presenter MARY HART and MOHAMMED KHASHOGGI, the son of a saudi arms dealer. i don’t know how long their union endured, but i remember reading about them when i was a desperate teenager – there was something about their pairing that got caught in my head. i was living in a flooded basement with two other lost kids and a litter of feral kittens. we were all unfed.

                                                    This strange intersection – the televisual blonde and the rich saudi kid with the murderous father; it got stuck in me like a mystery, like an illumination. i’ve carried it in me for 3 decades now, this obscure memory, and i return to it often, tracing its edges like a worn talisman. this record is about the dissolution of their relationship, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure. this record was made in dark corners between 2016 and 2017. a very rough pair of years, shot thru with fatigue, depression, despair, and too many cigarettes and too much booze. but also = the giddiness of enervation, and the strange liberation of being emptied – borne aloft and carried by the drift. the world continues its eternal collapsing, fires everywhere and everything drained of meaning. this record was made in various states of unease, with a brittle heart and a clear intent. like running towards a cliff with 2 swinging knives, roaring with an idiot grin. overcome and overjoyed. this record is about the dissolution of the state, and all of us trapped beneath, and the way that certain stubborn lights endure

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    LP Info: 180gram vinyl with artworked inner sleeve + 12”x18” art print poster

                                                    Bardo Pond

                                                    Volume 8

                                                      Brand new album from Philadelphia’s much loved neo-space rock stoner drone outfit. A euphoric transcendental journey to a mountain top nirvana, a psychedelic tapestry that slowly unwinds as they travel onwards into the inner mind. A 40-minute opus delivered from a hail of reverb soulfully caressed by a ceremonial flute, that makes way for a shroud of ‘Weld’—era Neil Young fog. Bardo Pond is your rather ruffled tour guide to this far off place, this distant sense of wonderment at the crossroads with bewilderment.

                                                      Loved and lauded by the late Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson, Jesus & Mary Chain, Mogwai and many more and acclaimed in the music press as such: “Dinosaur Jr guitar power with the glacial grandiosity of Black Mountain, as if Isobel Sollenberger is conjuring a thunderstorm with the sound of her voice and riding it across the heavens.” Stereogum // “One of underground rock’s most extraordinary enigmas” The Quietus // “They alter brain chemistry by the alchemical effect of distressed sound alone, aspiring to become engineers of the soul’s passage to alternate states of consciousness.” Tony Dale (RIP), Ptolemaic Terrascope, 2001 // “Fugazi on acid.” Noisey “Playing fuzzed out stuff of stoner dreams since the mid ‘90s.” Pitchfork // 

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                      Beat Tapes Side A & B is spoiling us, not only with the sheer amount of tracks – (twenty four!) but also the persistence of amazing track one after the other. This mix-tape by the Hawaiian DJ - now resident in New Orleans by way of Tokyo – was passed around on a C-60 till it became a Big Easy legend. Not to mention the way that samples are dropped in creating the most incredible vibes, specially track three hosting a chilled instrumental sample of Michael Jackson’s ‘Got To Be There’ which took three members of staff scratching their heads trying to figure it out, always fun. The whole album is a mixture of varied of laid-back beats then throwing us some groovy soul tunes and then to throw into the mix some industrial techno style. 

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Millie says: Collective and ingenious, this album provides a diverse track list filled with hidden gem samples to find within. This flows so smoothly, effortlessly transitioning from all different genres what’s not to love.

                                                      Various Artists

                                                      The Bad Batch - Original Soundtrack

                                                        Death Waltz Recording Co., in conjunction with Lakeshore Records, is proud to present the soundtrack to THE BAD BATCH, the sophomore film from Ana Lily Amirpour. As with Amirpour's debut film, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, music is an essential ingredient throughout THE BAD BATCH and it more than lives up to its predecessor's killer soundtrack. This time lines of dialogue from the film are interspersed throughout the songs creating a truly immersive listening experience. The songs themselves run from bona fide pop bangers (Ace of Base and Culture Club), cutting edge techno/electro (Black Light Smoke and Path Du Prince), shimmering electronica (Darkside/Chilled By Nature), through to the classic spaghetti stylings of Death Waltz's own Federale. The package is rounded out with die-cut artwork by Jay Shaw. He did such a killer job on the A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT record packaging, that it was no brainer we bring him back for this psychedelic mind-expanding record.

                                                        "Amirpour know how to make something sound and look effortlessly Capital C, Cool; that kind of uber-Velvet Underground-y cool that intimidates regular civilians who wouldn’t dare roll up in that club. Electronic artists like Black Light Smoke, Pantha Du Prince provide the pulsating sick beats that propel her narratives (Francis Harris, Chilled By Nature deliver quirkier EDM), and groups like White Lies and Federale offer soaring, moody and entrancing post-punky artrock that sweeps and elevated. Perhaps unsurprisingly she’s not above ironic musical gags either, using Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon” and Ace Of Base to great effect. “Bad Batch” might be uneven, if memorable and beguiling, but its group of tracks is a bumper crop.” The Playlist - Best soundtracks of 2017.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        2xLtd LP Info: 2 x 180g black vinyl. Bespoke die cut gatefold sleeve featuring spot varnish 425gsm jackets.

                                                        Bobby Digital is a disciple of King Jammy who went on to produce some of the biggest reggae songs in the 90s and 00s. This collection celebrates the high water marks of this unique talent who helped shape the future of Reggae music. Fans of Jammy will instantly recognize Bobby's palette (included Yamaha's DX-100, Casio's CS01 & CZ1000 keyboards and the iconic Oberheim DX drum machine). Featuring a who's who of guest vocalists; old legends like Johnny Osbourne, Jimmy Riley and Sugar Minott are joined by new schoolers, Shabby Ranks, Beenie Man and Capleton as they move through the new collection of riddims and digital sounds in fine style. A great comp which aptly shows the development of dancehall and reggae as we get crossed the millennium.

                                                        As featured in the Piccadilly Records End Of Year Review 2017 Top 20 Compilations. Comes with an EXCLUSIVE End Of Year CD sampler. Click HERE for more info.

                                                        “Moments In Time” compiled by Moonboots is the second album in the new special collector series on Copenhagen’s music for dreams. The first album was “Tropical Drums Of Deutschland” by Jan Schulte. For the new compilation “Moments In Time”, Music For Dreams has asked long-time friend of the label Moonboots to pick out a selection of songs with the power to encapsulate moods of calm and moments of contemplation.
                                                        Moonboots has been a fixture of the Manchester scene since the Balearic boom in the late 80’s. He runs the prolific vinyl label Aficionado Recordings together with fellow DJ Jason Boardman, a project that started out as a Sunday evening club night. Since 2012, they’ve dished out more than a handful of 12” releases with an ever-surprising selection of underground acts at the fringes of what might be called Balearic. Some of these artists turn up here as well, with exclusive material culled from various demos and unfinished tracks. Swedish-based Farbror Resande Mac for instance, with the brooding, glacial and Carpenter-esque “Janne”, an old fave of Moonboots which featured on their (now defunct) website. “Names In The Sand” by Begin starts off as a similar story: a forgotten demo track Moonboots came upon a few years ago and has been spinning in digital form since. The version you will hear on the compilation is a tweaked and finished version. Another exclusive is the extended version of “Från Andra Hand Till Stränderna I Nice” by Gryningen, previously released in 2015 on Aficionado, now extended by Salta to six minutes instead of two.
                                                        Stepping aside from digging through the outputs of Aficionado affiliates, Moonboots also manages to stumble over a cover of Lesley Duncan’s eternal masterpiece “Love Song”. As Moon runs an Instagram account called onehundredlovesongs highlighting his collection of Lesley Duncan cover versions, this is clearly an obsession that bears fruit. “The Natureboy version came about in a weird way”, says Moon. “I was DJing at Spiritland (London) and playing this obscure Canadian xian version when the owner Paul came over to ask about it. He then told me his brother had recorded a version, put me in touch and next thing you know it’s on the comp.”
                                                        Much of the selection has aimed to include tracks which have previously never seen vinyl release, whether only issued on CD or digital. For instance, the track which gives the compilation its title is a crisp and loungy Paul Hardcastle production from 2005, only ever issued on CD. Other selections only out before on CD are the new age epic “Cello Blue” by David Darling from 2001 filled with field recordings of birds and water while Denmark’s own new age maestro Rishi contributes with the track “Simple Trust” from his 1993 album “Notes From The Inner Stream”. Another track seeing its first vinyl release is the contribution from world-jazz trio Bombay Hotel, featuring Kenneth Knudsen as well as Ole Thiel and Mikkel Nordsø who recently released new material for Music For Dreams - the Cafe Del Mar classic “Between Leaves”. Fact – label boss Kenneth Bager gave a copy of the original Bombay Hotel CD in 1993 to Phil Mison at Cafe Del Mar and told him about the “Between Leaves” track. Phil started to play it and the rest is history. The exception to the rule of vinyl premiers is the sample-heavy “Gissningsleken” by Ben Morris - previously released on a limited run 7” from 2012 - as well as dreamy July Skies track “The Softest Kisses” – the 7” version of which has never been issued elsewhere. New Moonboots faves German duo Blank and Jones are included with the summery “My Island” alongside new Danish artist “The Swan And The Lake“ with the exclusive mix of “Moments Of Lost Swans” (Remix) featuring Jonas Krag on pedal steel guitar. All in all, Moonboots has put together a dense collection of songs with a timeless feel. They will doubtless sound as good in the pub as they might at home on a Sunday or in a cabin in the woods. To top things off, the sleeve design comes from Aficionado’s graphic designer Topsy Van Salkeld.


                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        2xLtd LP Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

                                                        CD Info: Includes a free EOY 2017 CD sampler.

                                                        Khruangbin

                                                        Con Todo El Mundo

                                                          Comprising of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums, Khruangbin’s sounds are rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia. Their 2015 debut album "The Universe Smiles Upon You" was heavily influenced by 60’s and 70’s Thai cassettes the band listened to on their long car journeys to rehearsal in the Texan countryside. "Con Todo El Mundo" takes inspiration not just from South East Asia but similarly underdiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran. The sultry and humid grooves of their debut are alive and well, enhanced by a little extra funk, the lightly spiced flavours of Middle Eastern pop and maybe a little strung out Americana a la Cowboy Junkies. The hefty breaks on cuts like "Lady & Man" and "Maria Tambien" have that "Jungle Fever" toughness, while the woozy "August 10" and "Como Te Quiero" are classic examples of Khruangbin's languid style. "Shades Of Man" colours the trio's palette with a little country soul, while "A Hymn" preaches a gospel out of Death Valley. The perfect sophomore offering, "Con Todo El Mundo" retains all the tasty ingredients of the original and blends them with a new batch of exotic flavours.


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Patrick says: Shop faves Khruangbin continue their stroll through mellifluous melody with sophomore offering "Con Todo El Mundo", swapping the Thai tonalities of their debut for some distinctly Middle Eastern flavours. Every bit as languid and lovely as their debut, this new LP is different enough to show progression whilst remaining reassuringly familiar.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition numbered vinyl pressed on 180g “off white” virgin vinyl.

                                                          LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                                                          Frahm returns to Erased Tapes for his most beguiling outing yet. Kicking things off with the choral solemnity of the brief 'The Whole Universe Wants To Be Touched',  before 'Sunson' excellently displays the sort of percussive demi-trance that he and Olafur Arnalds excelled at in their collaborative output. 'My Friend The Forest' has perhaps the most semblance to Frahm's earlier work, with the gently hammered piano strings being subtly blunted with some sort of preparation. It doesn't sound quite as muted as his seminal work (perhaps the felt has worn out a little), and is unmistakeable in it's  rapid trills, separated by moments of acoustic ambience. 

                                                          'Forever Changeless' is again littered with moments of progressive beauty, but eases off a little on the sustain to give way to a slightly terse atmosphere, beautifully accentuated by Frahm's deft hands before moving into 'All Melody' which couldn't be more reminiscent of the spine-tingling electronic crescendo of 'Says' from 2013's 'Spaces'. 

                                                          With the percussive workout of '#2' and 'Momentum' taking a metaphorical breath from the more upbeat moments, it gives us time to relax and reflect before the mournful military requiem of 'Fundamental Values' gives way to it's own latter resolution and smooth segue into the tropical arps of 'Kaleidoscope' and the soul-soothing slow-mo beauty of 'Harm Hymn'. 

                                                          Another beautiful outing for Frahm, and further evidence of his credentials as one of today's most talented composers. 


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: Brittle pieces, flecked with ambient interludes and soaring, spine-tingling euphoric electronic elements. This is by far the most diverse, but thematically impeccable Frahm outing yet.

                                                          Freedom’s Goblin is the new Ty Segall album: 19 tracks strong, filling four sides of vinyl nonstop, with an unrestricted sense of coming together to make an album. It wants you to get your head straight — but first, the process will make your head spin! Back in the Twins days, we talked about the schizophrenia of Ty’s outlook; today, it’s super-dual, with loads of realities all folding back on each other. On any given side, we’re tracking five or six full-blown personalities, unconcerned with convention or continuity.

                                                          So drop the needle — who can say what it’ll sound like where it lands? This is Freedom’s Goblin — one track engendering, the next one oppressing, violence up in the mix — a look at everything around that Ty used to make the songs. What will you use it for when you listen? The songs came in the flow of the year: days of vomit and days of ecstasy and escape too, and days between. The rulebook may have been tossed, but Freedom’s Goblin is thick with deep songwriting resources, be it stomper, weeper, ballad, screamer, banger or funker-upper, all diverted into new Tydentities — each one marking a different impasse, like a flag whirling into a knot, exploding and burning on contact, in the name of love and loathing. Freedom’s Goblin wears a twisted production coat: tracks were cut all around, from L.A. to Chicago to Memphis, whether chilling at home or touring with the Freedom Band. Five studios were required to get all the sounds down, engineered by Steve Albini, F. Bermudez, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell and of course, Ty himself.

                                                          The goal was getting free, embracing any approach necessary to communicate new heights and depths, new places for the fuzz to land among octaving harmonies, dancefloor grooves, synths, saxes and horns, jams, post-Nicky-Hopkins r’n’b electric piano vibes, children-of-the-corn psycho-rebellions, old country waltzes and down-by-the-river shuffles. Basically, the free-est pop songs Ty’s ever put on tape. And one about his dog, too! We’re ALL Goblins and we ALL want our Freedom. The freedom to love or to be alone; to be pretty or pretty ugly; the freedom to turn the other cheek or to turn up the volume. And of course, the freedom to make just about any kind of song you think will free people when they hear it. But there’s that goblin of freedom too — and once you let it out of the bottle, it can fuck with you, so . . . take it or leave it. Go away or go all the way in. Live free and die! BUT be careful what you wish for . . . .

                                                          With the world around us bruised and bloodied with teeth already dug into the concrete curb, we fi nd ourselves with the shadow of a large boot looming overhead. What better time for No Age? Remember, they are the ones who fi rst brought you the hospital-bedfeel-good-anthem, “Get Hurt” (2007). They know how to ecstatically rage and power on thru pain, because what else are you gonna do? The future belongs to the cockroaches, and this record is made for the disparate band of misfi ts who 2017 couldn’t kill.

                                                          Yeah. New No Age! Not new age No Age (except for the odd “Sun Spots”/“Keechie”-style shimmer that only ever makes everything better), but defi nitely an age of album-making located somewhere beyond and back from where we last heard ’em in aught-13, when they’d wrapped their process in as much deconstruction as An Object could bear. Reimagined rippers, compelling ever forward; something that provokes challenges on the ear — that was always the goal, but after a few years spent not No Age-ing, just working on that thing called life, is it any wonder that Dean and Randy wanted to pump out some rock and roll for the black hole? Does time mean nothing to you? Don’t answer that.

                                                          Snares Like a Haircut sounds like the good shit, and smells like the buzzy burning off of an aura, the marine layer suddenly vanished, leaving a thin layer of smog over the songs, simmering sock gazing tunes, revved and displacing enormous amounts of sound soil. This is pure driving music, for the bus racer and the car driver, with too many signs, bells and little lites fl ashing, ticking away. This is a record for the Foothill and the Valley, with a chemical sunset fl owering at the end of every day. It’s a feeling made by driving music for driving music.

                                                          Recorded in a few days and mixed forever, Snares Like a Haircut finds No Age in full on mode, because there was nothing else to do but go full on. In the songs inside the songs, the thumpy/thwappy drums, the desperately voiced paens to determination, the churning and the stinging-but-shiny fuck-it built into the structure, a promise from the 1980s echoes once again across today, for the undetermined in-between generation reality seekers. With Snares Like a Haircut, No Age scrub the itch in the little moments, engage actively with the process and carve/plaster/shave something in an album shape that’ll last. You don’t have to drive, but you can’t stay here. Let No Age do all the driving for you. Snares Like a Haircut.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Laura says: A welcome return from Dean and Randy. This album follows in a similar vein to 2013's "An Object", combining their raucous, hook-filled guitar fuzz gems with spacey, experimental interludes. They seem to have got it pretty much spot on this time around too, balancing everything out perfectly and seemingly knowing exactly how much of each ingredient to throw into the mix at any one time.

                                                          After the brilliant, rave-shaped grooves and expansive arrangements of its predecessor, ‘Marble Skies’ is a more concise and focused offering which recalls the dynamic, genre-blurring music of their debut. It’s a return to form; an album which finds them returning to the handmade, cut-and-paste approach of the past. Upon finishing the ‘Born To Saturn’ tour, Dave ventured to LA to work on a production project, whilst the other band members went to India with the British Council. When they returned, the new album process began with a back-to-basics approach which recalled the DIY ethos of the band’s early days, Django Django – minus an absent Maclean – assembled at Urchin Studios in Tottenham, London with Metronomy drummer Anna Prior to experiment with the idea of coming up with new tracks through loose jamming sessions. After ten days of recording, there was plenty of raw material to send up to Dave (then back in his hometown of Dundee) for him to edit, refine and evolve. As ever, all four band members (completed by Tommy Grace on synths and bassist Jimmy Dixon) contributed to the band’s music, melodies and lyrics as the final album took shape. Parts of ‘Marble Skies’ find Django Django sailing into uncharted territories, not least the driving title track (propelled by Prior’s drumming), with its echoes of Krautrock and Suicide. Meanwhile, the hazy Zombies-like summer pop of ‘Champagne’, which explores the joys and ills of alcohol, was inspired by the band’s over-indulgence during a boat trip on the Seine that was hosted by their label. Those drawn to the more dance-orientated side of Django Django will find much to love in the twisted ‘80s electro pop of ‘In Your Beat’ and the dancehall-influenced ‘Surface To Air’, a dreamy-headed pop song fronted by Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club. The collaboration came as a result of the two bands meeting up at SXSW some years ago, where Rebecca and Dave in particular bonded over shared interests in R&B, hip-hop and dancehall. Another more surprising collaborator is Jan Hammer, the Czech-born, American-based jazz-fusion and electronic artist who shares writing credits with the band on the gorgeously floaty ‘Sundials’. If there’s a mood running through ‘Marble Skies’, it’s one of reflection on things past and present, and finding some kind of peace with your place in the grand scheme of things. 


                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive limited edition Pink + Blue coloured vinyl includes CD + Poster.

                                                          The ninth studio album from Calexico, The Thread That Keeps Us is a timely snapshot of the Arizona-bred band: a family portrait capturing their stylistic variety and unpredictability while still finding solace in limitless creativity. In bringing the album to life, vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino found a spiritual home in unusual surroundings—not in Arizona, but on the Northern California coast in a home-turned-studio called the Panoramic House. Built from debris and shipyard-salvaged timber—and dubbed “The Phantom Ship” by the band—the grandiose house and its edgeof-the-world-like ambience soon made their way into the songs.

                                                          The specter of California also had a powerful effect: as both dream state and nightmare, its infinite duality is mirrored in the music, giving Calexico a new direction and new edge. With less polish and more grit than ever before, The Thread That Keeps Us both honors enduring traditions and reveals Calexico’s confidence in songwriting, ultimately setting a whole new standard for the band.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xDeluxe LP Info: Limited edition double LP with 7 bonus songs. Initial copies come with a rather lovely pack of 10 postcards with artwork based on the album cover.

                                                          LP Info: Initial copies come with a rather lovely pack of 10 postcards with artwork based on the album cover.

                                                          2xDeluxe CD Info: Limited edition double CD with 7 bonus songs. Initial copies come with a rather lovely pack of 10 postcards with artwork based on the album cover.

                                                          When it comes to their sound, Dream Wife worships at the twin altars of David Bowie and Madonna. A scene unto themselves, their gigs are a riot of handmade props and stage sets that cover everything from space beaches to haunted graveyards, while their finely tuned show is the product of extreme DIY beginnings. It’s the songs too that make the shows, from the fiery fury of “FUU,” to the new wave politico-pop of “Somebody,” and euphoric old school indie hit “Fire.” These are songs in the classic mould – big, beautiful and crazily catchy. And, of course, there’s the three dynamic women at the band’s core. Get ready to fall under Dream Wife’s spell.

                                                          PRESS: Features and interviews in The Guardian, NME, DIY, Dork, with reviews expected in the aforementioned, plus Q, MOJO, Uncut, The Times and more. Features forthcoming, Time Out, Beat, The Skinny. More coverage across fashion magazines Vogue, Elle, expected.

                                                          “Punk rock trio Dream Wife make music that flips a middle finger to convention.” - The FADER

                                                          “Dream Wife‘s most recent singles are two of the most urgent, empowering, and subversive rock jams of 2017” - Gorilla vs. Bear

                                                          "a well-oiled machine worthy of the Strokes but performed with the righteous indignation of Bikini Kill...snappy, punk-informed rock 'n' roll." - Stereogum

                                                          "why they rule: Astounding musical precision, addictive melodies, and plenty of heart." - Entertainment Weekly

                                                          “Dream Wife offer a soundtrack ripe for a punk Sofia Coppola movie soundtrack” - NYLON

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies only limited-edition splatter blood red transparent vinyl

                                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                          LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                                                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                          Iconic Warp mainstay Nightmares on Wax can now announce his long-anticipated return with new album Shape The Future. The marriage of soul, hip-hop, dub and timeless club sounds that N.O.W. has been mutating and perfecting for years finds perhaps its most fluid form yet on Shape The Future. Energized by globetrotting runs of studio sessions and DJ sets, this latest salvo is a masterpiece of contemporary and classic genre-blending that solidifies Nightmares On Wax’s place as an inspirational electronic music figurehead. This includes the shamanistic vocals of recent single Back To Nature, and in particular the the arresting voices of Mozez alongside Kanye West and Flume collaborator Allan Kingdom, as featured on brand new cut Citizen Kane. Nightmares on Wax is one of the most influential artists of a generation, his music has inspired many musicians and producers across the globe over his quarter decade career. As Warp’s longest serving active artist, he has broadened the sound of the label and paved the way for artists such as Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Mount Kimbie.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                          Johnny Jewel

                                                          Digital Rain

                                                            Hot on the heels of the critically acclaimed 2017 LP "Windswept" - which soundtracked David Lynch's Twin Peaks, "Digital Rain" is Johnny Jewel’s latest album. Jewel is known for his extensive collaborations with film makers David Lynch, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Ryan Gosling, as well as for his work with groundbreaking musical groups such as Chromatics, Glass Candy, and Desire.
                                                            The 19 movements of Digital Rain are three dimensional beds of analogue warmth encompassed in raw electronic moisture. The result is an expansive pallet of soft color amid canyons of jagged oscillations. According to Jewel, "Digital Rain is a mirror image of itself designed to play as a singular liquid movement."
                                                            "After living a few years in a desert climate, I realized I was nostalgic for the constant presence of precipitation from every city I once called home. The sound of hail ricocheting off my roof in Houston...The floods crashing in from the Gulf of Mexico that would destroy my mother's house three times...The constant kiss of drizzle on the streets of Portland, and the morning rain against the windshield of Trimet city bus number 15 that I would ride home after recording all night...The snow buried row houses of Montreal where my daughter was born, and the rhythmic feel of ice cracking under my boots for six months straight."
                                                            "The desert is constant, and I love this repetitious ritual of Los Angeles so much. As moisture and humid weather seem more and more like a dream I once had or a fading memory of the places I fell in love with...I wanted to make a record without drums, without lyrics, vague in form. Each track morphing and eclipsing the next like the ever-changing movement of clouds obscuring the moon."


                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Barry says: It's pretty rare that Johnny Jewel / Chromatics / Italians Do It Better as a whole put anything bad out. This is no exception. Brimming with the sort of tender arpeggio's and kosmische atmospherics that make my eyes go all dewy, this is absolutely stunning.

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            Coloured LP Info: LP pressed on Pink Champagne coloured vinyl – limited to 2000 units world wide.

                                                            For the uninitiated, Cornelius is the brainchild of Japanese multi-instrumentalist KeigoOyamada. A performing musician since his teens, Oyamada created his creative alter-ego (the name is an homage to the Planet of the Apes), in the early 1990s from the ashes of his previous project, Flipper's Guitar.

                                                            With the 1997 release of Fantasma, Cornelius gained international recognition for his cut and paste style reminiscent of American counterparts Beck and The Beastie Boys and was released internationally by Matador Records. Being called a "modern day Brian Wilson" for his orchestral-style arrangements and production techniques, Cornelius subsequently became one of the most sought after producer/remixers in the world, working with a wide range of artists including Blur, Beck, Bloc Party, MGMT, and James Brown.

                                                            With 2002’s Point, Cornelius' music took a quantum shift, going from sampling “found sounds” to looping organic elements and creating lush soundscapes. Using water drops as the rhythmic backbone of “Drop” on his vocoder-infused cover of “Brazil”, the album dazed and amazed fans and set the path for the next phase of his career.

                                                            2007 brought this philosophy to an even higher level with the release of Sensuous. Cornelius’ live shows are known around the world for spectacular visuals (all perfectly synchronized to the performance), custom lighting that doesn't simply augment the performance, but becomes another instrument within it, and a full band of equally talented and diverse players.

                                                            Cornelius has recorded music for Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, scored the anime mega-film Ghost in the Shell Arise, performed as the backbone of Yoko Ono’s reformed Plastic Ono Band, played the Hollywood Bowl with Yellow Magic Orchestra, and co-wrote and produced the Japanese artist salyu x salyu.


                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Laura says: Cornelius returns after a 10 year hiatus, and although he employs the same genre-defying kleptomania of his past, there's a more fluid, (and as the title suggest) mellow flow to this album, with washes of lush synths and melodic guitars in the mix. It's still a playful mish mash of styles: funk, soul, jazz, pop, electronica, folk etc., as you'd expect, but it's less jarring and more laid back. More mature I suppose you could say, but in a good way!

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            Deluxe LP Info: limited deluxe edition pop-up gatefold vinyl (including phenakistoscope animation insert).

                                                            Stick In The Wheel

                                                            Follow Them True

                                                              East London five piece folk band Stick in the Wheel are headed by singer Nicola Kearey, and guitarist/producer Ian Carter. Their debut “From Here”(2015) was fRoots magazine Album of the Year and a MOJO Folk Album of the Year, with four BBC Folk Award nominations since their inception in 2013.

                                                              They are known for Kearey’s fierce, working-class delivery, culturally and politically switched on, the group have been widely commended for their timely appraisal of English Folk, and their skill in telling stories through song that reconnect modern audiences to the past - drawing unexpected parallels between then and now.

                                                              Their second album ‘Follow Them True’ examines Rituals and Cycles; how we have the power to change ourselves and the world around us, the past repeating itself, ghosts and death, land and place, thieves and beggars. It continues to question the notion of what folk music is, and what it means in 2018. The new album uses a broader sonic palette than previously and there is no-one else pushing the boundaries of this music in quite the way Stick in the Wheel are.

                                                              “A record of real vitality, Stick In The Wheel rip apart the preconceptions surrounding folk music and retrieve the tender, beating heart at the centre of so much traditional culture.” ClashMusic

                                                              “A shot in the arm for contemporary folk music” The Independent

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl.

                                                              H C McEntire

                                                              Lionheart

                                                                H.C. McEntire, frontwoman of Mount Moriah, strikes out on her own with her debut solo album LIONHEART, a collection of songs inspired by the American South and a desire to reclaim "country" music from the hetero-normative, homogenous schtick of tailgates and six-packs and men chasing women. Stereogum describes her voice as "weary, wise, and bright as morning sunshine all at once," and that sunshine glows throughout the triumphant LIONHEART. "LIONHEART is personal: from recording it mostly at my house, to inviting close friends to play on it and put themselves in it, to the deeply autobiographical narratives of place and people," writes McEntire. "In music, there are no rules.

                                                                You make your own language. You can be both the Southern rock outlier and the twangy gospel conduit. You can be both the cherubic, honey-tongued innocent and the ardent punk. To get here - to find my lion hear - I had to become them all."For the album, McEntire collaborated with many of her favorite musicians, including Kathleen Hanna, Angel Olsen, Amy Ray, Tift Merritt, William Tyler, and Phil Cook, while remaining bravely devoted to her most authentic self throughout the process. LIONHEART was recorded during the first few months of 2017 with additional recording and mixing taking place on the run as McEntire toured the world as a member of Angel Olsen's band. “I learned a great deal about who I am and how to trust myself while making this record,” muses McEntire. “In general, the songs feel more country to me, in a sincere way. There’s gospel. There’s more pop. There’s no hiding

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                Bert Jansch

                                                                A Man I’d Rather Be (Part 1)

                                                                  Comprising Bert’s seminal 1960s output (alongside his only album as a duet with Pentangle bandmate John Renbourn) this four disc set covers an era that forged creative paths for everyone from Neil Young to Johnny Marr. New listening notes from Bill Leader, as well as unseen photographs from Brian Shuel complete this special collection. Where to start with a career as prolific as that of Bert Jansch? Why, the beginning of course. Bert’s first studio (though as Bill Leader rightly points out, that’s a bit of a stretch) albums capture a man whose star is truly on the rise. It also marks his most prolific period - these four LPs were written, recorded and issued in just two years; a testament to not only Bert’s abundant musicality but to a time for music that was changing - excitedly - from minute to minute.

                                                                  From Bert’s masterclass in elegant, melodic, one-man-and-his-guitar fingerpicking on his self-titled LP, to the beginnings of something altogether more exotic on ‘Bert and John’, these records are nothing if not a remarkable insight into the changing face of folk music at the time. For those unfamiliar with Jansch’s oeuvre, this is a real treat; you won’t find a more comprehensively produced collection. ‘A Man I’d Rather Be’ includes all the original liner notes (from both Keith De Groot and Bert himself) as well as new ruminations from Bill Leader (who recorded much of Jansch’s nascent work) as well as never-before seen photographs by the illustrious Brian Shuel.

                                                                  For those in the know, this is a chance to revisit these extraordinary albums, revel in new insights and add some - perhaps more listenable LPs - to sit alongside their love-worn originals. “The Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar” - Neil Young // "At one point, I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. When I first heard that LP, I couldn’t believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America could touch that.” - Jimmy Page // "I particularly like his second record. The album before it [1965's Bert Jansch] is more revered and held up by most journalists as being the seminal one, but I think the songs are better on It Don't Bother Me, particularly the title track. The fact that they were both recorded in a kitchen at his mate's house is another reason why it has never dated.” 

                                                                  The Spook School

                                                                  Could It Be Different?

                                                                    If a debut LP is an artist’s introduction to the world and their sophomore release is their now-or-never moment, their third is their most cathartic: they’ve made it out, they’re here.

                                                                    Glasgow, Scotland’s indiepop optimists The Spook School, despite personal and political obstacle, made it out, and their latest full-length Could It Be Different? is here. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and feel-good realism; modern, dance-friendly indiepop fueling the fun. They made a name for themselves for their exultant and empowering pop, and now, they’ve shown real growth in nuance. Even at their most beaten down, The Spook School manage to find hope free of naivety. That’s clear the second the album opens with “Still Alive,” and its ascending chorus (and soon-to- be crowd favorite) of “Fuck You, I’m Still Alive,” written by Nye after surviving an emotionally abusive relationship. The song avoids villainizing the past, instead, it celebrates the present and welcomes the unknown future.

                                                                    The energy of working through the wicked exists all over Could It Be Different? “Bad Year” makes personal connections with universal ennui, the debilitating feeling of an atrocious political climate and the desire to do better. Could It Be Different? is a human release a record full of the insecurities and anxiety that arrive after self-awareness, in learning something new and potentially frightening about yourself. But at it’s heart is joy there’s no desolation on the LP, because The Spook School manage to find light in moments of darkness. All things glum must pass even if hope comes only in the form of acceptance.

                                                                    “A theatrical indie pop band that embrace’s life’s misinterpretations and messiness...their noise-pop jams remain as joyful as ever” - Pitchfork “The Spook School are that rare and beautiful thing: a band with something to say.” - The Guardian

                                                                    “Societal norms and gender stereotypes are in the crosshairs of these threadbare tunes...trans love songs that hit home no matter your orientation.” - NPR

                                                                    “Dance music for introverts, love songs for people who are too shy to be in love” - Stereogum

                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                    LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl.

                                                                    Releasing an album into the world is a special moment for any artist but when you're an artist who grew up in remote northern Ghana with no schooling, spending a life herding cows and goats, building your own instruments and teaching yourself to sing, then there's a particular sense of occasion and celebration in finding recognition and an audience for that music.

                                                                    This is the case for Guy One, an utterly unique artist who is writing and performing Frafra music, a style that originates from a small area in the north of Ghana. Whilst Guy One is already loved and adored locally by now - building up a fervent following in local villages in which no funeral or wedding would take place without his soaring voice and deeply rhythmic playing, before then transforming into an award-winning, TV appearing artist in Ghana - his music is now to find a much wider audience through Max Weissenfeldt's Philophon label (Jimi Tenor, Hailu Mergia, Alemayehu Eshete) on this Berlin meets Bolgatanga release.

                                                                    Guy One's international debut #1 is an album rooted in tradition as much as it is the contemporary ("Frafra music Made in Germany" says drummer producer Max Weissenfeldt if he's forced to put a label on it) but given the fact that the traditionalism of Frafra music itself is a largely unknown force, the results are more even more potent and stirring in their creations. Choirs, trumpet, organ, bass, drums, synthesiser, vibraphone, saxophone and piano, the album is as bursting with instrumentation as it is ideas and innovation.

                                                                    The album's perfect positioning between the old and the new and in taking that middle ground and launching it into completely new territory is enough to completely unglue the definitions of what music can be.





                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                    Millie says: Upbeat and soulful, Guy One provides the best feel-good atmosphere. Reading the story behind how he writes music in itself is powerful and compelling. A must listen!

                                                                    Holy

                                                                    All These Worlds Are Yours

                                                                      Starting out as a bedroom project for Swedish musician Hannes Ferm, HOLY released his debut “Stabs” in 2015. Whilst that record was a thrilling mix of 60s garage rock and lo-fi pop - drawing comparisons to the work of White Fence and Deerhunter- The long-awaited second LP, "All These Worlds Are Yours", sees a much bigger production all around. For All These Worlds Are Yours, Ferm spent almost a year in Stockholm's Studio Cobra, putting much more focus on Ferm's songwriting and building creative soundscapes.

                                                                      Musically, All These Worlds... bursts with the youthful joy of listening to David Bowies The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars or Todd Rundgrens A Wizard, a True Star for the first time. Underneath the layers of piano flourishes and psychedelic swirls, All These Worlds... is unmistakably and unashamedly inspired by the great glam-rock records. Taken as a whole, its a romanticised painting of the early 70s - full of Rocky Horror Picture Show swagger and Brian Eno-esque art pop. Its freaky, its theatrical, its alien - but above all us, its decidedly human.

                                                                      The Moonlandingz

                                                                      Interplanetary Class Classics: Deluxe Edition

                                                                      The Moonlandingz - the band born from a semi fictional concept album by Sheffield electronic analogue weirdos the Eccentronic Research Council and fronted by Fat White Familys legendary frontman, Lias Saoudi, release an extended deluxe version of the overwhelmingly critically acclaimed debut album ‘Interplanetary Class Classics’.

                                                                      The deluxe includes a single version of album closer ‘This Cities Undone’ featuring guest vocals from Yoko Ono and Human League’s Phil Oakey, alongside a Confidence Man remix, new cut ‘Dirty Red Rose’ from the band’s recent ‘Cities Undone’ EP and lots more previously unheard bonus material.

                                                                      Praise for ‘Interplanetary Class Classics’:

                                                                      “A rip-roaring busman’s holiday” - Q (****); “Top-drawer psycho-disco for malcontent and the disillusioned” - Mojo (****); “A grotesque yet groovy melting of minds” - Uncut (****); “Straddle the elusive line between the ridiculous and sublime” - Loud & Quiet (8/10); “Brilliant” - NME (4/5); “There will be more considered and crafted albums released this year, but few that are so much fun.” - The Guardian (4/5); “Their debut packs a far mightier punch than the output of almost any other contemporary group with whom they may share certain influences” - The Line of Best Fit (8/10)

                                                                      Nadine

                                                                      Oh My

                                                                        Here to remind us that music is not just an audible experience, Minneapolis/New York’s Nadine make melodies that transcend acoustics. Their debut album oh my is collection of sophisticated modern pop songs that resonate in the gaps, the space between deadlines and timelines.

                                                                        More akin to poetry set to music, Nadine is all about exploring feeling. Whilst most poets revel in the personal, Nadine's process is collaborative whose core is singer Nadia Hulett (part of the loose collective Phantom Posse) and Julian Fader and Carlos Hernandez (both of Ava Luna). The trio's practice is marked by their commitment to playfulness, curiosity, and fluidity.

                                                                        Nadine's songs have one foot standing firm in pop, but ebb and flow with exploration and experiment. Polyphonic melodies swing and gambol, instrumental layers take generous flourishes and unexpected turns with an ear to the wondrous and occasionally weird, crafting jazz-tinged lounge-pop all held together by Hulett’s characteristic vocals, strong with a sincerity and gentleness that holds the listener. Let go of old ideas. Listen for tricks of the light. What does it feel like?

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        LP Info: Limited edition bone coloured vinyl.

                                                                        LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                        ********[The Drink]

                                                                        The Drink [********]

                                                                          ******** are re-releasing their first and final record ‘The Drink’.

                                                                          ‘The Drink’ is a twelve-track album addressing a duo’s contemporary and indifferent existence in The West. ******** are comprised of Ailie Ormston, who works in a kitchen and Ω, one half of the partnership Edinburgh Leisure.

                                                                          ********’s vision of the world is portrayed through “rudimentary bass and de(con)structive guitar” (Neil Cooper). With hacked drum machines and preprogramed keyboards, they create compositions that complement their lyrical content, itself demonstrating a harsh and contemptuous reality. The album presents a series of theatrically characterised scenarios; universal summaries of the day-to-day; habitual and excessive; promising and disparaging.

                                                                          Recorded during a six-month period and originally released solely on YouTube, the album itself addresses new modes of working and an interest in musical versatility.

                                                                          Being unrehearsed, unknowing and capable of compromise are key to the ******** ethos, with an emphasis on changing the form of each song to suit different performative environments. Authorship and individualism are discouraged; preciousness of ownership is challenged. 85% honest, 15% misquoted; 100% sincere.

                                                                          You will find them in the pub. Drink the dark, depressive drink.

                                                                          “I’m a huge fan of ********!” - Saul Adamcweski, Insecure Men / ex-Fat Whites

                                                                          “******** are the future” - Rosy Bones, Goat Girl

                                                                          “Like having a pint with Brass Eye. One of my favourite albums, ever.” - Liam Ramsden, Mellah

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                          Dommengang

                                                                          Love Jail

                                                                            Dommengang, the LA-based power trio of guitarist Dan ‘Sig’ Wilson, bassist Brian Markham and drummer Adam Bulgasem, return with the desert cruiser’s dream album ‘Love Jail’.

                                                                            “The way in which they approach music is refreshing and honest. It is also damn catchy too and you will have a hard time keeping still whilst listening” - Echoes And Dust

                                                                            “Adrenalized motorik rhythms and burly riffage with the sort of panache heard on the better Hawkwind and Guru Guru albums. It’s fuckin’ intense, dude.” - Seattle Stranger

                                                                            “Lean, dirty, hungry” - The Quietus

                                                                            Dommengang have adapted to the arid climates and imbued their particular brand of rock with a heavy dose of the best of 1970’s rock aesthetics.

                                                                            The album was produced by The Fucking Champs guitarist and engineer Tim Green (Joanna Newson, Wolves In The Throne Room, Fresh & Onlys, Earthless), who perfectly captured the band’s sound while creating the space of older analogue recordings.

                                                                            ‘Love Jail’ includes Dommengang’s most melodic and lyric-heavy songs to date - a great road trip record and a dynamic listen that is of the moment, organic and earthy with a heavy nod to the clear, lean recordings of a time long before any of its members were born.

                                                                            Over the course of the last two decades, Toshiya Kawasaki has continually worked to introduce the world to a better class of electronic music, whether it be house, techno or ambient on Mule Musiq or weirder-strands of club tackle on Endless Flight. Now, the Mule family launch their latest stable, Studio Mule, taking a brief break from the club with a more diverse musical policy. In reaction to the recent appropriation of Japanese music by Western labels, Studio Mule's first release is a compilation of rare Japanese disco, boogie and soul, so far untouched by the Youtube algorithims. 
                                                                            Selecting tracks which they thought perfectly soundtracked a night in Tokyo, they arrived at a setlist as suited to home listening as club play, with a wonderful tone of City Pop running throughout. 


                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Patrick says: Mule's latest sub-section, Studio Mule opens its account with a great thirteen track selection of Japanese disco, boogie, soul and city pop, bringing something a little different to the current trend for Japanese music. I'm in, Ryan Horsebeach is in, how about you?

                                                                            Having co-compiled two albums, "The Real Sound of Chicago" and "The Real Sound of Chicago and Beyond" for BBE, DJ and producer Mark Grusane steps out of the shadows to present ‘The Real Sound Of Mark Grusane’. A highly personal selection of modern soul, disco and a little touch of boogie, these rare tracks have all been respectfully edited, chopped up or extended by Mark himself. Apart from the odd private vinyl pressing, or occasionally handing an edit over to close friends and DJs such as fellow BBE artist Sadar Bahar, Mark has never before made these tracks available (despite the throng of people waiting around to ask each time he finishes a set).

                                                                            Mark Grusane frst came to the attention of BBE Music back in 2010 when he was running specialist Chicago record shop Mr Peabody. He and his partner went on to create two of the label’s most sought-after soul compilations, thanks to the unmatched combination of rarity and quality expressed in the duo’s selections. Still living in Chicago, still buying and selling records, Mark has also built up a sizable discography of edits and original productions on various labels, now finding his prodigious DJ skills in high demand across the globe.

                                                                            Each track on "The Real Sound Of Mark Grusane" has a tale to tell, precious treasures unearthed by one of the hardest working and dedicated crate diggers in the game. From an edit he made at the age of 21 to a record he discovered last year whilst in London for a gig at The BBE Store, this collection is testament to a life spent completely immersed in music. 


                                                                            ‘Brasil’ was recorded in Rio de Janeiro in 1994 with a host of legendary Brazilian musicians including Sivuca, Raul de Souza and singer Joyce Moreno and has remained one of the key defining early releases from the Soul Jazz record label. Out-of-print for over 20 years, the album has now been fully digitally re-mastered for this new 2018 edition.

                                                                            The album was recorded at the height of the first wave of interest in Brazilian music in London in the 1990s. Joyce and a group led by husband, drummer Tutty Moreno, had just been brought to the UK for the first time ever by Gilles Peterson and Brazilian music obsessive Joe Davis (and future head of Far Out Records) to perform in front f over 2,000 new young fans.

                                                                            Singer-songwriter Joyce had been a living legend in her native Brazil ever since the Bossa Nova movement of the 1960s and had made her first record when she was just 20 and she was described by Antonio Carlos Jobim as “one of the greatest singers of all time.”

                                                                            Joyce Moreno agreed to be involved in the project to record an album in Brazil produced with a UK sensibility and Tutty Moreno’s group signed up as the house band for the project. Stuart Baker (founder of Soul Jazz Records) and Joe Davis then flew to Rio de Janeiro, searching out studios and rehearsal spaces.

                                                                            During this time in Brazil more artists signed up for the project, including legendary figureheads of the Brazilian music Sivuca (who brought his own group) and trombonist Raul de Souza. Other key figures included singer / guitarist Celia Vaz, who worked extensively as arranger with the legendary Quarteto Em Cy and drummer Dom Um Romao; Wanda Sá, who played in Sergio Mendes’ original seminal bossa nova group Brasil 65 (during which time she married the artist Edu Lobo) and legendary saxophone / flautist Teco Cardoso, whose bio reads like a who’s who of Brazilian music and includes work with Edu Lobo, Dori Caymmi, Baden Powell, Joao Donato, Carlos Lyra and others.

                                                                            The final piece to this Brazilian jigsaw was the addition of percussionist Pirulito, whose stunning display of self-made instruments allowed him to magically create the massive sound of Rio’s Samba Schools live inside the studio. The album was recorded over one hot summer, mixed in London and then released at the end of 1994.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                            French psych duo The Limiñanas have announced their new album 'Shadow People' which will be released on 19th January on Because Music. One of France’s most beloved treasures, The Limiñanas are Marie (drums/vocals) and Lionel (guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals). Hailing from Perpignan, the duo straddles the boundary between psych, shoegaze, and yé-yé. With hazy, reverb-laden hooks, combined at times with noisy distortion, and fronted by effortlessly cool vocals, reminiscent of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, the band is at once timeless and quintessentially French. 

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Smooth, psychedelic meanderings full of rich, warming guitar and soothing, softly spoken french vox. Spin along a couple tracks and you get hynotic, Floydian driven psychedelia and hushed, fuzzy guitars. Ace

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            LP Info: Released on 180G Black Vinyl (with CD) Gatefold sleeve, spot varnish, with a black inner sleeve.

                                                                            CD Info: Digipack CD.

                                                                            Swedish siblings Klara & Johanna Soderberg, release their eagerly anticipated new album "Ruins" via Columbia Records. This will be the girls' 4th studio album & a follow up to the critically acclaimed breakthrough album "Stay Gold", released in 2014. "Ruins" is a 10 song album, recorded in Portland, USA & produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Laura Veirs). Collaborators include Peter Buck (REM), Glenn Kotche (Wilco) & McKenzie Smith (Midlake).

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Swooning slides, haunting double-tracked vocals enriched with pitch-perfect harmonies and on-the-trail Americana anthems. Brilliantly presented, and as infectious as you'd imagine.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited to 2000 copies only on red vinyl.

                                                                            Tune-Yards

                                                                            I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

                                                                            Officially now a duo, Merrill Garbus is joined by long-time collaborator Nate Brenner. Their new album, I can feel you creep into my private life, tackles race, politics, intersectional feminism and environmental prophecies head on. But in the billows of intense subject matter, the album is their most immediate and upbeat yet – this is Tune-Yards’ music to dance to.

                                                                            The follow-up to 2014’s acclaimed album, Nikki Nack, much of I can feel you creep into my private life was recorded at John Vanderslice’s new Tiny Telephone studio in their hometown of Oakland, CA. To help finish this stunning record, they enlisted mixer Mikaelin “Blue” Bluespruce (Solange, Skepta, Kendrick Lamar) and mastered it in Harlem, NY with Dave Kutch (Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper).

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Sliding from floor-filling disco into hefty futuristic urban breakdowns within the space of a couple short minutes, this takes all the influence from an astounding line-up of collaborators, but manages to sound EXACTLY like tune-yards at their very best. Essential

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Limited indies only clear vinyl in alternate sleeve.

                                                                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                            The Go! Team have always been cheerleaders for a better world - an outpouring of collective joy in the face of small-mindedness and dismal careerism. They rejoice in the unifying urges and the chance encounters between cultures that lead to something new. They're a band that still has faith in the power of music to make things better. We need The Go! Team now more than ever.

                                                                            The Go! Team is the brainchild of one man: Brighton-based, melody-obsessed Ian Parton. But its membership has never been exclusive. Throughout the years, The Go! Team has included on its squad-sheet everyone from Deerhoof to Chuck D to a legion of undiscovered Bandcamp singers. Unlike the group's 2015 album, The Scene Between - which was essentially a solo project that followed the dissolution of the previous Go! Team lineup - their fifth album Semicircle sees Ian collaborating with current live players Simone Odaranile (drums) and Angela 'Maki' Won-Yin Mak (vocals), plus original Team members Sam Dook (guitar) and Ninja (irrepressible rapping).

                                                                            Ian had the idea of a school marching band gone rogue, chucking away their sheet music to blast out Northern soul stompers or Japanese indie-pop swooners or old-school hip-hop jams. "I like the swing and the toughness of marching bands, the physicality of feeling a beater walloping a bass drum," explains Ian, "but I wanted to reclaim them from patriotic or sporty associations. That was the kick-off for this record." But his extensive sample library could only take him so far. To fully realise his vision, he knew he had to reach out and entice a group of unlikely new collaborators into the Go! Team fold.

                                                                            So Ian made a pilgrimage to Detroit - city of Motown and The Stooges, of musical (and actual) revolution - where he hooked up with The Detroit Youth Choir. Their age was key; he didn't want kids (too twee), but he didn't want adults either, with all their emotional baggage and wariness and tendency to over sing. He also wanted to avoid the religious connotations of a church or gospel choir. "I've always had a thing for gang vocals and group singing, particularly the roughness of community choirs," says Ian. "Normally they might be singing show tunes or whatever, but I like the idea of getting people to do something they wouldn't normally do. I like making things happen that wouldn't otherwise happen. It's always a gamble, but in this case it paid off."

                                                                            These inspiring sessions began to define the album. The choir's ebullient chanting is all over the opening track "Mayday," a morse-code-inspired soul belter about a love emergency, in the proud lineage of "Rescue Me" and "SOS." They bring the album to a rousing, defiant conclusion on "Getting Back Up." In between, they reveal a little more about themselves on the heart warming "Semicircle Song." When Ian needed a lo-fi R&B vocal for "Chain Link Fence" - kooky and soulful but not slick or drenched in melisma - he approached a Detroit high school. "I love the idea of recording people who wouldn't think of themselves as singers, who perhaps have never been recorded before."

                                                                            But this is a Go! Team record, so routine is outlawed; there are a multitude of other voices to be heard, sometimes in the course of the same song. Best-known among them is probably Utrecht indie-rocker Annelotte de Graaf AKA Amber Arcades, whose Dutch-accented English lends a unique flavour to "Plans Are A Dream U Organise." Previous collaborator Julie Margat AKA Lispector delivers "Hey!''s breathy French interlude. And sassy girl group kiss-off "The Answer's No - Now What's The Question" is fronted by Houston based Darenda Weaver, a Texan Mod that Ian found on Bandcamp.

                                                                            The band's own Maki helms "If There's One Thing You Should Know" with panache, and of course no Go! Team record would be complete without an appearance from Ninja, who unleashes a volley of verbal stingers on "She Got Guns." Meanwhile, the charmingly unaffected rapping on "All The Way Live" is sampled from a 1983 "after-school hip-hop project" Ian found on one of his epic crate-digging adventures. He considered asking a contemporary rapper to re-record it, but decided it would be impossible for anyone to unlearn 35 years of hip-hop history. Capturing those moments of authentic joy, unburdened by cynicism and ambition, is what Semicircle is all about.

                                                                            In keeping with the album's marching band theme, Ian stacked up sousaphones, glockenspiels and steel drums, mic'ing them all from a distance to recreate that gymnasium sound. The effect is a kaleidoscopic cacophony, almost as if the sound itself is bent and refracted in the metallic curves of a trumpet - comforting and intoxicating at the same time. "It's recognisable as a Go! Team record but it takes the sound to a new place."

                                                                            Although Semicircle isn't bogged down by polemical responses to the issues of today, there are still some valuable life lessons to be learned. Ian emphasizes that the vibrant utopia he and his cohorts have created on their fifth album is not an escapist fantasy but a potentially achievable goal. "It's about reminding yourself of the good things in life," says Ian. "We don't want to be dumbly optimistic and say, 'Hey, isn't everything great!' but there's something to be said for just getting on with it, for getting organised and not letting the fuckers get you down. Party for your right to fight!"

                                                                            As always, it's good to know The Go! Team are on your side.

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: If I had a team, and I wanted them to go, i'd probably just expect them to know that that was their goal, and to do it prompt-free but that's probably what separates me from Ian Parton. Also the fact that i've not just released my brilliant new album, shining with insistent jangling chaos, and he has.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Neon pink vinyl.

                                                                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                            Starcrawler are a Los Angeles rock band who formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Shortly thereafter they were joined by the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). The foursome play with squalling riffs and thundering beats, and their incendiary live shows, fronted by de Wilde’s otherworldly magnetism, are truly captivating. Gigwise (UK) recently stated that “Starcrawler are simply the most exciting - and best - band Rough Trade have signed in years."

                                                                            Recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio, the 10 songs on the album prove that yes, they ARE making rock and roll exciting again! Ryan has been tweeting up a storm about them saying things like “This starcrawler record is gonna peel the paint off your brain!” and “Starcrawler are so fucking insanely good. Soon they will rule this galaxy.”

                                                                            The first single from the album is “I Love LA” and the video, directed by famed music photographer Autumn de Wilde (AKA Arrow’s mum) is a fun and feisty homage to the city of dreamers – watch it here: http://rtrecs.co/ilovela

                                                                            After signing to Rough Trade earlier this year, they quickly released their debut single “Ants”, which caught the ear of Elton John who played the track on his Beats 1 radio show. Soon after, they were on the cover of LA Weekly – their hometown paper. The headline was “With Fake Blood and Frenetic Songs, Starcrawler make rock feel dangerous again". In the article, Arrow describes that “bands are boring nowadays” and that “there’s no mystery”. That helps explain a little bit of why their shows have become the stuff of legend. They also recently played LA’s CalJam Festival, which is curated by Dave Grohl (Starcrawler was the first band he reached out to, and he raved about them the next day on KROQ.) Gerard Way is also a fan, describing them as a "mix of 70’s theatricality and Stooges electricity.”

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Think Siouxsie Sioux, PJ Harvey, NY hardcore, new-wave and mush them all up into a ball and you're still nowhere near to Starcrawler. Enthralling, hugely talented and they're all about to sit their Key Stage 3's. Properly great stuff.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

                                                                            James Mercer released "Heartworms" in March 2017. As a creative exercise, during those recording sessions, he flipped every song on its head, to re-record each song in the opposite way to the originals - Songs that were more rock & uptempo became slower & more acoustic, whilst the songs that were acoustic & slower in tempo, became more rocky & upbeat.

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: How impressive that Mercer can remake a superb addition to his canon, but reversed. How does that work? Well, it works very well as it goes and adds a layer of intreague to these already superb compositions.

                                                                            “A Small Flood” is the first long play by Tuomo Väänänen, co founder of the fine Ljudverket record label. All the label’s usual suspects are present - dub, techno and ambient mainly - and while the end result doesn’t directly fit to any of these genres, there’s enough familiar ground even for the style-specific listener.

                                                                            Mainly filled with outstanding, cultured, listenable techno, adroitly traversing dub and ambient. Nothing lunky or domineering, dystopian or Gothic, this debut LP generates senses of immediate, natural being out of field recordings (Waiting Halls, Winners, Temple) and the foibles and hiccups of the music-making process itself (New to the System, Sloth, A Small Flood). Highly recommended. 

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Sil says: Nice underrated, original and elusive LP when it comes to genre pigeonholing. Techno, ambient, dub? Maybe all of them together, at last. Great way to start the year. An album that can do wonders both on the safe realm of your home or in bars / clubs with decent sound systems. Enjoy.

                                                                            Following the release of their 2013 debut Consumer Complaints, and 2015’s follow up Why Choose, post-punk trio Shopping found themselves in an unrelenting cycle of touring, making their way across the UK, Europe, and the US.

                                                                            Meanwhile, in London, Power Lunches, a hub for the city’s DIY scene and the band’s usual rehearsal and writing space closed down. Then their drummer, Andrew Milk, relocated to Glasgow, and the band could suddenly no longer spontaneously get together to practice or write. The distance added an element of pressure: “As a band that only ever writes collaboratively, it’s essential for us to actually be together in the room before any songs start to formulate. It can be a little daunting when we all turn up, and we only have an afternoon to pull a song out of thin air”.

                                                                            Add to that a sprinkling of Brexit, Trump, a principally imploding world, and you’ve got yourself The Official Body— Shopping’s second album to be released on FatCat Records. Recorded over 10 days by Edwyn Collins at his Clashnarrow studio, The Official Body stays true to the minimal dance-punk ethos of Shopping’s previous releases, but seeks to "amp up the party vibe". Fans of earlier records will undoubtedly find this logical unfolding of their musical approach thoroughly satisfying.

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: Stomping lo-fi percussion, rolling bass and stabbing, vitriolic vocal lines mix into a dynamic, politically-charged whole. Brilliant fun and brilliantly made.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Indies Only White Vinyl

                                                                            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                            Half Japanese

                                                                            Why Not?

                                                                              Half Japanese have returned to peel further layers from their onion. They have a new album that's a square further on in their unpredictable musical snakes and ladders board. ‘Why Not?’ is a magical thing – it’s Springsteen’s ‘Born To Run’ recorded in a cupboard, it’s an ode to love, it’s a Wire song with two duelling guitarists being Zappa on helium, it’s Parquet Courts in a tantrum, it’s The Crickets contorted into? and The Mysterians, it’s everywhere and nowhere, baby, it’s where it’s at. On ‘Why Not?’ nuances are mused, situations explained, questions asked.

                                                                              Outside, zombies and demons roam and everyday aliens emerge from spaceships: it’s a technicolor film transcribed by Jad Fair and friends John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett, their faces at the cracked window of their subterranean habitat looking out at the real world. They’re on a high from their last release: “After all these years, his wiry voice still hits every song with a shock that’s equal parts joy buzzer and defibrillator, each barely in-key bleat alternating between laughable and life-affirming,” said Pitchfork of their last opus ‘Hear The Lion Roar’.

                                                                              To which All Music added that “after nearly 40 years of music-making, they're still creating some of the most engaging recordings of their lives, and that's truly something to believe in.” ‘Why Not?’ goes further. It’s an even more intense concoction, it’s further out there. It contains pieces of fluffy thought-provoking music, a bag of sentiments delivered with a real sense of wonderment at how the normal world revolves; all powered with heart and soul, some crunchy guitars, a cello and reverb set-to-kill infiltrating their storytelling. ‘Why’d They Do It?’ quizzes track 11. Because they can. 

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Barry says: Why not indeed?

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited white vinyl LP

                                                                              Nicklas Sørensen

                                                                              Solo 2

                                                                                Nicklas Sørensen's second solo effort away from his main stint as guitar player in Papir is a more placid, blissful listen than his first solo venture from 2016. On this set Nicklas digs deep into his love for vintage new age music, Brazilian bossa nova and the electronic side of kosmische, while still paying homage to the guitar heroes that has shaped his playing throughout the years, such as Vini Reilly, Manuel Göttsching and Michael Rother. Produced in collaboration with Causa Sui- and El Paraiso in-house maestro Jonas Munk in his Odense studio, the pair have conjured a set of tracks that are blistering and euphoric, yet relaxed and solemn. Sørensen's unique guitar sound, in combination with warm blankets of analog synths, vibrating filters and the occasional drum machine, paints colourful soundscapes that mediates the soul with both the ethos of new age and hints of classical minimalism and modern composition.

                                                                                Experimentation is at the heart of Sørensen's modus operandi, but he never forgets to keep his melodic guitar leads central to the proceedings. In these times – with the world's absurdity reaching new levels daily – no one should feel ashamed about leaving the world behind, slowing down for a while, and seek a state where one can emancipate oneself from reality. Chilling out simply cannot be reduced to the guilty pleasure it once was, and the album's B-side is unashamedly immersive – with Munk wrapping bubbly analog synths sequences around Sørensen's guitar loop patterns and panoramic slide guitars. The album ends on Sørensen's most inward-travelling note yet, bathing expressive guitar lines in a tender ocean of processing and reverb. Get that incense burning!
                                                                                Nicklas Sørensen is one of those artists who manages to filter ideas from the past through a modern, personal vision. ”Solo 2” is a piece of music for the present.


                                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                Barry says: El Paraiso are one of those labels who I completely trust. I know that each release will be different, but that's definitely a good thing. As for this one, we get a STUNNING mix of wandering Balearic, sky-piercing synth trails and heady, psychedelic bliss. Marvellous.

                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                Shitkid

                                                                                This Is It EP

                                                                                  Punk Slime Recordings are proud to present ShitKid and This Is It, which will be arriving on January 19 on limited edition vinyl and digitally. ShitKid is the project of Swedish artist Åsa Söderqvist, and This Is It is the follow-up to her acclaimed debut LP Fish which arrived earlier this year to praise from the likes of NPR, Noisey, i-D, The FADER, Bandcamp and many more.

                                                                                  ShitKid first appeared in the spring of 2016 with a self-titled debut EP and quickly rose to prominence as one of the most exciting new acts out of Scandinavia, with a unique DIY-edge and an unwillingness to conform to what an artist is supposed to be she’s been hailed as an anti-pop star and an antidote to slick radio pop. After the success of the debut album and multiple tours around Europe, and slots at festivals like Roskilde, Way Out West, The Great Escape, ShitKid is now back with new music – her fourth collection of tracks in under two years. This Is It is ShitKid’s strongest collection of tracks to date, while showcasing both a broader sound and a growth in songwriting, it retains the direct lo-fi qualities of her early recordings.

                                                                                  Pretty Lightning

                                                                                  The Rhythm Of Ooze

                                                                                    Christian Berghoff and Sebastian Haas are two lifelong friends from Saarbrucken, Germany who back in 2007 formed the band Pretty Lightning. The duo tick off a long list of influences – from 60s psych and delta blues through to krautrock and drone – and the end-product is a heady dose of raw, twisted psychedelic blues recalling an utterly visceral mix of Oh Sees, Wooden Shjips and early Black Keys. Fast forward ten years and the German two-piece have two highly-praised LPs behind them and are now gearing up for their third effort, 'The Rhythm Of Ooze' – due for release November 10th on Fuzz Club Records. Their latest long-player sees them dive even further down the rabbit-hole of stomping garage-rock blues and dizzying motoric drones. This is Pretty Lightning at their best - a head-heavy trip through their lysergic, rock'n'roll prowess. 

                                                                                    Xylouris White

                                                                                    Mother

                                                                                      A passion for exploration comes naturally to Xylouris White, the ruggedly visionary duo formed of Cretan lute player George Xylouris and revered Australian drummer Jim White. For their debut album, 2014’s Goats, Xylouris White compared themselves to the titular animals, wandering fearlessly through rough-hewn terrain. Two years later, they showed how far their horizons could reach on 2016’s majestically expansive Black Peak, named after a mountain top in Crete.

                                                                                      Just 15 well-toured months later, the duo’s exploratory instincts drive them further onwards still on their third album, Mother, named to denote “new life”. As Xylouris puts it, “Mother is the extension of Goats and Black Peak. Three things, all part of a whole. Goats are mothers, Zeus was raised on Amaltheia’s milk, Black Peak is Mother Earth… Mother Earth is the mother of everything.”

                                                                                      Across Mother’s nine tracks, Xylouris White nurture fecund growths from the spaces between their instruments. Sometimes the songs drive with an invigorating urgency; sometimes they brood, plead, yearn and lull. The duo seem to discover each other anew at every turn, teasing the songs out from their fluid chemistry with the kind of virtuosity that knows when to listen, accommodate and learn afresh. “A theme of the album is the significance of simplicity and a child-like approach,” Xylouris explains. “So, we connect mother and child and play instruments as toys. Xylouris White is still gestating.”

                                                                                      That ongoing gestation is a remarkable extension of already remarkable back-stories. Xylouris is a scion of one of Greece’s most revered musical families. His father is legendary singer / lyra player Psarantonis. A child when he began playing the lute, Xylouris would accompany his father in a backing role. Yet just as Psarantonis stretched the lyra’s range, so Xylouris elevated his eight-string laouto to the lead role in his Xylouris Ensemble.

                                                                                      Jim White has commanded international attention for more than two decades as part of Australia’s Dirty Three, storm’s-eye instrumental diviners whose emotionally choppy soundscapes brim with elemental force. Now New York-based, White has often been called on to collaborate with numerous alt-A-listers (including: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, PJ Harvey, Cat Power and Smog), where he redeploys the rolling momentum of free-jazz to variously supple, sensitive and seismic ends. Most recently he can be collaborated with Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett on their acclaimed album “Lotta Sea Lice”.

                                                                                      PJ Harvey likened White’s playing to dancing. Yet if dancers need partners, Mother also pays testimony to a friendship forged over almost three decades. Xylouris was performing with his Ensemble when he met White in Melbourne in the early 1990s; back then, the drummer was in his pre-Dirty Three avant-rock outfit Venom P Stinger. In retrospect, a cycle of influence emerges: Xylouris’s 1990s live contributions to the Dirty Three set a blueprint for Xylouris White, yet the Dirty Three were themselves inspired by Xylouris and Psarantonis.

                                                                                      That mutual exchange resonates throughout Mother. Album opener “In Medias Res” finds the duo already in motion, feeling their way around one another, seeking out ways to bring a song to full bloom. Proving they can also be thrillingly direct when the mood takes them, “Only Love” follows with a brilliantly barrelling sense of momentum, White’s powerhouse percussion urging Xylouris’s liquid-fingered lute-playing and impassioned baritone on to increasing heights of urgency.

                                                                                      From here, Xylouris White proceed as if by intuition, feeling their way around new terrain. “Motorcycle Kondilies” is muscular and epic, White’s rimshots providing on-alert accompaniment as Xylouris’s reaching vocal and dancing lute lines build in intensity. If the marching rhythm and pretty lute melody of “Spud’s Garden” highlights the duo’s occasional elegant side, “Daphne” and “Achilles Heel” showcase Xylouris White’s at their most hypnotic and brooding. “Woman from Anogeia” hosts a particularly emotive vocal from Xylouris; “Call and Response” is the duo at their freeform finest, circling each other querulously, again teasing at possibility. Finally, resolution is embraced openly on the tactile and reverberant “Lullaby”, as lovely a track as any Xylouris White have birthed.

                                                                                      As on Black Peak, Mother’s labours benefited from the midwifery of choice collaborators. Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto produced again. Also on hand this time was Anna Roberts-Gevalt of old-time folk duo Anna & Elizabeth, whose earthy violin/viola lines and exquisitely sighing vocals can be heard on the track “Lullaby”.

                                                                                      The result is an album of extraordinary accomplishment from two supremely seasoned players who’ve kept a close kinship with the richly, rewardingly inquisitive instincts of their youth. In Xylouris’s words, “It's the natural maturity of fruits as they ripen. As fruit matures by the rhythm of nature, so the music grows at its own pace. So, here are two maturing fruits giving the taste of their present maturity – and they’re still children.”

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                      Porches

                                                                                      The House

                                                                                        ‘The House’ is the third full-length album from New York musician Porches (aka Aaron Maine).

                                                                                        The 14-song affair features contributions from (Sandy) Alex G, Dev Hynes, Okay Kaya, Maya Laner (True Blue), Bryndon Cook (Starchild & The New Romantic), Cameron Wisch (Cende) and Maine’s own father Peter Maine.

                                                                                        ‘The House’ was written and recorded over an 18- month stretch, immediately following the completion of Porches’ breakthrough record ‘Pool’. Taking a diary-like approach, Aaron documents a period of time through the 14 gorgeous songs on this record.

                                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                        Barry says: Like an introspective mix of the synth-heavy downbeat vibes of James Blake, mixed with grand, room-filling layers of vocals and melody. Brimming with euphoria, but tinged with a covert despair. Stunning.

                                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                        LP Info: LP pressed on black 180g heavyweight vinyl, spot
                                                                                        gloss jacket, 11” x 22” fold out poster and
                                                                                        download code.

                                                                                        Various Artists

                                                                                        Stranger Things : Music From The Netflix Series

                                                                                          After furnishing us with three volumes of excellent mood-setting synth-dread from S U R V I V E's Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, the time has come for the real retroist deal, a double LP of the perfectly selected and precisely arranged period jams from the magnificent Stranger Things. A cursory scan of the tracklist reveals hits from The Police, The Clash and The Bangles, alternative anthems from Echo & The Bunnymen, Fad Gadget and Joy Division and pop smashes from Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran and Corey Heart. Stitched together with choice bits of dialogue from the show, this mixtape is an immersive trip into glorious nostalgia.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Patrick says: While Dixon & Stein have deservedly picked up the plaudits for their Carpenter-esque synthery, the music supervision of Stranger Things was every bit as important in setting the scene. This double vinyl set serves up winners from series 1 & 2 pieced together with dialogue from the show. Contains Joy Division, Cyndi Lauper and Devo - mint!

                                                                                          Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout debut LP Songs of Praise or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s shows, it’s all fueled by feeling. NPR’s Bob Boilen noted, “Of the 70 bands I saw at this year’s SXSW, the band Shame seemed to mean what they played more than any other.”

                                                                                          Comprised of vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist John Finerty, and drummer Charlie Forbes, the London-based five-piece began as school boys. From the outset, Shame built the band up from a foundation of DIY ethos while citing The Fall and Wire among its biggest musical influences.

                                                                                          Utilizing both the grit and sincerity of that musical background, Shame carved out a niche in the South London music scene and then barreled fearlessly into the angular, thrashing post-punk that would go on to make up Songs of Praise, their Dead Oceans debut. From “Gold Hole,” a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single “Concrete” detailing the overwhelming moment of realizing a relationship is doomed, to the frustrated “Tasteless” taking aim at the monotony of people droning through their day-to-day, Songs of Praise never pauses to catch its breath.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Brilliantly smooth but uncompromisingly melodic, shame intertwine the spirit of 80's hardcore with the precision playing and intricate structural flux of today's more dynamic musical frontrunners. Brilliant stuff.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive sky blue vinyl.

                                                                                          Back in stock Cover of Wrong Creatures by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
                                                                                          Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave, Arcade Fire) and recorded at Sunset Sound Los Angeles over the past few years, the band have taken many unlikely twists and turns, yet have always remained focused on the music and returning again to edge of the stage. “It’s a crazy making machine, it can chew you up as fast as it spits you out. A few years back we literally toured till the wheels came off and Leah’s brain literally started leaking out of her head” says the band’s Robert Levon Been. “It catches up with you, I know I’ve battled on and off with my own depression, and Pete’s head never came with any proper instructions. So you just gotta keep pushing buttons to see what happens.”

                                                                                          ‘Wrong Creatures’ returns to the core of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s alchemy, yet plunges the knife in even further. From the Cave-esque murder balladry of ‘Haunt’ to the garage punk of ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’, it runs the gamut allowing the band to flex every muscle in their armour. They remain opaque about the songs’ greater meanings, fearful of past misunderstandings. “I find myself writing about death a lot,” says Hayes. “I find myself having a discussion with death, which sounds dark. For me, it’s dark humor.” Talking about mortality allows Hayes to explore life’s great mistakes and regrets. Channelling them through rolling riffs and dirge-laden rhythms that stir the pot before reaching boiling point.

                                                                                          Ultimately, the band may well be survivors of an era where rock & roll can often be overshadowed by dance pop and garish commercialism. Robert Levon Been: “We are truly an island - come hell or high water, so it’s usually best to dress accordingly. Though I’m not sure what the proper attire is when drowning in fire. But leather usually goes with everything.”

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Filthy, downtuned rock groove, brilliantly accentuated swagger and thumping percussion turn into bold stadium anthems, without turning into a self-indulgent extended solo. It's a careful balancing act but one BRMC have once again stylishly, and successfully managed.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                          Those freaky French folks at Macadam Mambo serve up something special for their second release of 2017, inviting a crowd of friends and family to offer their own take on some lesser known new/neue/nouvelle/no wave winners. United under Sacha's 'metallic vibe', the weird and wired collection of post-punk, synth-pop and experimental oddities get twisted and tripped into dark dance-floor creepers for the Metal Dance / Pudel / Salon crowds. Whether you do der mussolini or dance the Adolf Hitler, this collection of ring modulated basslines, snapping drum machines, serrated synthery and monotone vocals should have you dancing like the mashed meccano man at the start of the Lowdown! 





                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Patrick says: Macadam Mambo enlist an all star line up for a double LP + bonus 7" set of weird 'wave' edits. Joining the dots between Gigolo's New Deutsch, Trevor Jackson's Metal Dance and Bahnsteig 23's reign of club craziness. Ace!

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          2xLP Info: Plus Bonus 7"

                                                                                          Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein

                                                                                          Stranger Things Season 2

                                                                                          Dixon and Stein return for the latest addition to their overwhelming spate of excellence over the past couple years. Following on from the first series waas never going to be easy for anyone involved, with it's 80's buddy-movie hauntology vibe being perfectly accentuated by Survive's less shadowy alter-ego on soundtrack duties, but series 2 has lived up to that expectation in every way. I know, that episode was pretty ridiculous, but you don't have to listen to it do you. 

                                                                                          We kick things off with the haunting melancholy beauty of 'Walkin In Hawkins', perfectly capturing the eerie ambience of the city streets after the discovery of an analogue hell, hidden behind a bit of your local school. It's a moment we're all familiar with i'm sure, but Dixon & Stein manage to make its duality seem alluring, pressing forwards with paddling apreggio's and swelling pads.  Pieces like 'Eulogy' and 'On The Bus' talking things slowly forwards, opening the filters into an edgy benzoed bliss.

                                                                                          As we move onwards, things shift from a resolved optimism, into the inevitable downturn of a threatened society, with pieces like 'Descent Into The Rift' and 'Escape' providing a darker edge to things, moving towards the inevitable crescentic audiovisual finale. It's a brilliant companion to the programme, and just as much a divine pleasure in it's own right. Impeccable. 

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Brilliant pulsing synths, eerie atmospheres and soaring, crackling pads. An equal amount of pastoral, suburban meanderings, and supernatural, hellish drive. Stunning stuff once again.

                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                          2xColoured LP Info: Crystal Clear Vinyl with Blue & White Splatter.

                                                                                          A vital reissue of one of Laurel Halo's earlier works around the time of her off-again on-again 'King Felix' moniker, sees the Brooklyn producer reprising her (almost) actual name for the stunning 'Hour Logic'. We kick things off with 'Aquifer', filling a logical space between the snapping futuristic drums of today's urban electronica, and the jagged, sample-laiden glitch of the 90's.  

                                                                                          We follow things up with 'Constant Index', an early look at the gothic multi-layered vocal aesthetic we'd later come to expect from the Halo camp before closing off the A-side with the dusty shadow-rave of 'Head' 

                                                                                          Kicking off the B-Side in style, 'Speed Of Rain' feels like the mid-point seratonin onslaught we'd come to expect from any good DJ set, with delayed sine pulses and scattered percussion culminating into a constantly evolving and rhythmically fluid whole. The eponymous track builds up tension slowly before jetting into the stratosphere with a swooning wave of powerful split-tempo synth melodies, only to break down into a crackling micro-groove once again. It's a furious cascade of emotion, and one nicely rounded off with the calming ambient flow of 'Strength In Free Space'.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Essential reissue, charting the rise of one of todays most enigmatic producers. Equal parts hypnotic ambience and loose, low-slung beats. Brilliantly evocative but stunningly direct. A must-have.

                                                                                          Almost a year after it dropped in digital format, Future's gargantuan fifth studio album finally lands on vinyl. Bombastic as ever, Future has gone for the eponymous approach, employing maximum flex on a vital LP which deserves its quadruple platinum status. Featuring production from Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, DJ Khaled (another one) and Southside amongst other, "Future" is a perfect embodiment of the contemporary rap sound. Rumbling subs, rattling hats and autotuned vocals abound as we sample peak trap, while Future takes to the booth to give us a no holds barred account of ballin in 2017. Another contemporary rap classic finally on vinyl.

                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Patrick says: "Percocets, Molly, Percocets" - here it is folks! The biggest commercial hip hop LP of 2017, finally on vinyl. Alongside the mega Tommy Butler sampling "Mask Off", singles "Draco" and the Zaytoven produced "Feds Did A Sweep" are your key cuts here.

                                                                                          Another first of year release, this time for Polytechnic Youth’s older sibling, the more kosmische / kraut enthused Deep Distance. Following hugely acclaimed releases for labels such as Kranky, Constellation Tatsu, Not Not Fun and Great Pop Supplement, Jesse Reiner’s esteemed JONAS REINHARDT return to the fray with the mighty “Conclave Surge” LP.

                                                                                          Having been a fan of Reinhardt for some time, I was pretty excited to hear of this one coming out on the great Deep Distance (moody sibling of the equally brilliant Polytechnic Youth). Reinhardt trades in a variety of synth moods, ranging from the Italo-tinged dystopian futurelands of 'Mask Of The Maker' to the more meandering airy excursions of 'Music For The Tactile Dome', his LP's have always been a fascinating and rewarding journey.  

                                                                                          The autonomous beginnings of 'Balk Moreau' set the scene, cleansing the palate with swathes of shimmering oscillators, soaring over the horizon as paddling drums blur into view before fading away into the industrial hum of 'Automatic Fanfare'. 

                                                                                          On the flipside, we get more of the static charged arpeggios fighting for space within a sea of electrical flotsam, threatening to burst out into ________ (insert euphoric overload / semi-conscious breakdown as required). 

                                                                                          It's interesting that Reinhardt has just released a split LP with Jurgen Muller (Panabrite / Norm Chambers), because trying frantically to find something that filled me with the same wide-eyed wonder as 'Pavilion' was what led me to Reinhardt in the first place, and is still the most perfect fit to my dream aesthetic. This is a wonder, full of spellbinding, hypnotic synthetic clouds. 






                                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                          Barry says: Properly gorgeous this, brittle stacks of oscillators swarm around a warm saturated core of buzzing heat, spinning swirls of static are broken by beams of neon light. Heavy in parts but lifted with touches of pure euphoric melody. Top tip.

                                                                                          Mythic Sunship

                                                                                          Upheaval

                                                                                            The zenith of anaconda rock! On their third album Mythic Sunship takes their deepest dive yet! Their own brand of wobbly Boogie Doom reaches new dimension of pure Sabbath-like proportions! Yet there’s also a new state of refined inner space. Mythic Sunship doesn’t only know how to let it rip and let loose - they are also masters of knowing when to turn down and zone out. The restless, manic beat of Frederik Denning rides on a dense blanket of fuzz from Rasmus Cleve’s bass. This rhythm section flows the ground for epic stoner sagas. Leaving ample space for the fuzzy, shimmering and downright crushing dual guitar excursions of Emil Thorenfeldt and Kasper Stougaard. Upheaval is the apex of the band’s journey so far. Mythic Sunship sounds mature and unified like never before on this set, but also maintaining their raw searching edge. it’s a culmination and refinement of their idea: the ethos of free jazz in a doom setting.

                                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                            LP Info: Limited to 750 copies only.

                                                                                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                            The Heartwood Institute

                                                                                            Secret Rites

                                                                                              First release on Polytechnic Youth for 2018, (after a jaw dropping 21 releases last year!) sees a first larger scale, vinyl release for the mighty Heartwood Institute. Preceded by a pair of wonderful, yet small run cassette and CDR releases, Jonathan Sharp’s esteemed HI project deservedly receives a wider scale outing here….

                                                                                              Entitled “Secret Rites”, imagine if you can, an unholy collision of TG style proto industrial, Kosmische / kraut grooves and 70’s folk horror soundtracks. “Secret Rites” delves deep into a series of forgotten occult documentaries from the late sixties and early seventies; “The Power Of The Witch”, “Witchcraft ’70” and “The Legend Of The Witches. Focusing on the superstars of the period: Alex & Maxine Sanders, self appointed King and Queen of the Witches. A hauntological dive into a time when the occult was making inroads into mainstream media, truly the Age of Aquarius…….

                                                                                              A wonderfully free-flowing, evolving record that grows with each listen and a fine start to the New Year for both artist and label. A one off pressing of 300 vinyl LPs.

                                                                                              RMFTM

                                                                                              Subversive III: Spelende De Mens

                                                                                                Following their recent collab LP with Gnod, under the Temple ov BBV pseudonym, Eindhoven art-punk collective RMFTM (fka Radar Men From The Moon) have announced the third and final instalment in their ‘Subversive’ album trilogy - 'Subversive III: De Spelende Mens', due for release December 1st on Fuzz Club Records. Influenced by the ground-breaking sonic industrialism of Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Coil, as well the transcendent kinetic rhythms of Neu!, Faust and Amon Duul II, 'Subversive III: De Spelende Mens' see’s their industrial art-punk take on it’s most incessant, angular and free-flowing form in a frenzy of metallic drones, thunderous feedback stabs of synths and throbbing, repetitive krautrock rhythms that at times border on techno territory. With the Subversive series, RMFTM have sought to deconstruct and rebuild their creative process, pushing themselves to the limit with each and every release and ‘Spelende De Mens’, translated as ‘the playing man’, is the perfect way to conclude the series. 

                                                                                                Arrows Of Love

                                                                                                PRODUCT: Your Soundtrack To The Impending Societal Collapse

                                                                                                  Arrows Of Love, the 5-piece led by co-writers Nima and Nuha, resemble more of a collective than a band, having collaborated onstage with musicians from Flamingods to Bo Ningen, Ulrika Spacek to Wolf Alice, and even a performance from newly-acclaimed LA director Eva Doloveska. Living a lifestyle of artistic warehouse communities, Arrows Of Love are a constantly evolving force, led by fiercely energetic live shows and wildly inventive yet diverse songwriting. Embarking upon their second album, ‘PRODUCT: Your Soundtrack To The Impending Societal Collapse’, the band found themselves backed by the UK's highly competitive PRS Foundation "Momentum Music Fund" and after accepting an invite from CMJ Music Marathon the band confirmed a string of DITfunded US showcases, followed by a support slot with British postpunk legends The Fall, and The Stooges’ Mike Watt (US). Arrows Of Love are, above all, a live phenomenon.

                                                                                                  Originally aligned with the early East London wave of bohemian rock bands, it was their fiercely independent and creative drive that took them across the globe, from Texas to Poland, SXSW to End of the Road Festival, and sharing stages with the likes of British Sea Power, 80’s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and The Wytches. Working to cut this live intensity to record is Godrich-mentored UK producer Mikko Gordon (Thom Yorke, Gaz Combes), and USA’s Bob Weston of Shellac, who pledged to work with the band for life after receiving singer Teranchi in his Chicago hub. This is a band made for the transatlantic, drawing comparisons to US bands with the discordant, emotive musicianship of Sonic Youth and the raw power of McClusky, delivered in their own, inimitable, distinct British style. Gearing up for the album release on Nottingham label I’m Not From London Records, the band are set to prove themselves the real deal. This second LP sees a band fully diversified, ready to release something truly unique.

                                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                  Indies Exclusive LP Info: Limited indies only white vinyl.

                                                                                                  Pictish Trail

                                                                                                  Future Echoes

                                                                                                    Future Echoes is the new album from Pictish Trail, AKA Scottish singer-songwriter Johnny Lynch. Something of a sonic hermit, Pictish Trail has spent large parts of the past few years tucked away in his caravan on the Hebridean isle of Eigg, feverishly working on the follow up to Secret Soundz Vol. 1&2, his critically-acclaimed double album of DIY electronic folk-tinged croft pop, released in 2014. Future Echoes is the mesmerising result.

                                                                                                    Written in remote seclusion but recorded in the bustling heart of London, it reunites Pictish Trail with Adem Ilhan, who produces the majority of the record. Johnny and Adem previously wrote music together in 2010 under the name Silver Columns, releasing the hugely well received album Yes And Dance via London taste-makers Moshi Moshi. Future Echoes features additional production and mixing from Rob Jones (Sweet Baboo, Slow Club) and drumming from Alex Thomas (Fridge, Squarepusher, Air, Bat For Lashes) and was mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering.

                                                                                                    Throughout his career Pictish Trail has resolutely furrowed his own path, steadily creating a unique catalogue of recordings and performances through his own labels (Lost Map / Fence Records) while eschewing the blueprint of the predictable singer-songwriter in favour of something untidily intriguing. Born out of a compulsion to make infectious, melody driven music from a treasure trove of secret sounds, Pictish Trail’s spectral songs are filtered through a sun-warped pop lens, where heart-pumping guitar shriek-outs collide with sampled gurgles and fractured lyrics figure-skate over sine-waves of glacial synth. A very personal musing on mortality, the death of friendships and the finality of things, Future Echoes represents the most confident, cohesive and pop-savvy collection of music Pictish Trail has written to date.

                                                                                                    The album’s opener and first single ‘Far Gone (Don’t Leave)’ takes its cues both musically and thematically from the Coen brothers’ Fargo, adding a tongue-in-cheek hip-hop beat, raspy Casio keyboard bassline and echo-slathered vocal over the top of a queasy sample based on that film’s theme tune. ‘Dead Connection’ is a dizzying and very danceable dispatch of ghostly electro all about attempted discourse with the dead and accepting that what is gone is gone. ‘Half-Life’ slows things down at the album’s half way stage for a by-turns shuddering and twinkling take on decaying and yet somehow still interminable relationships, while closer ‘After-Life’ is a twisted polyrhythmic psychedelic disco opus, with a chorus sung in a Jimmy Somerville-worthy falsetto, reflecting on reincarnation and life lived on repeat. 

                                                                                                    Strictly limited to 250 copies only, the first release on Swedish label Lila Baren Records is  compilation from cult Stockholm based bar/restaurant Riche. Enlisting the talents and tastebuds of their 10 favourite DJs, Riche have delivered a heart warming, foot tapping and mind expanding set spanning Afrobeat, funk, pitched down synth pop, French-Celtic folk funk, Polish psych and Northern Soul. I don't know a single one of these tracks, and I'm instantly in love with almost all of them. Maximum respect to all the diggers and DJs involved, but mostly to Piccadilly favourites Dom Thomas and Marcus Tornqranz.
                                                                                                    Housed in red velvet effect gold-embossed album cover, this is a special package.


                                                                                                    What exactly is Boogie? Is it a genre, an era, a style? Colours, clothes, textures are all part of its make up. Boogie is the “top shelf” music of the 80s. Anything from this era that brings along Moog synths, vocoders, DX7s, or triggered Oberheim drum sounds, is Boogie! Brasil has a huge archive of underground dancefloor heat. Dierent styles of music ranging from Macumba to Samba, MPB to Pop, Electro to early Hip-Hop, were all stung by this Brasilian “Boogie Bug”, cleverly orchestrated by geniuses of the style; Robson Jorge, Lincoln Olivetti, Junior Mendes, Mister Sam, Sergio Sá, to name a few, were the backbone of uncountable projects by big names of Brasil´s pop and underground music scene during the 80s.

                                                                                                    This compilation brings together a bunch of non-obvious “compactos” (33 RPM 7” singles), most of them, promos, which never saw the light of record store shelves, but instead sat for years in the dead-vaults of radio stations or ended up in second hand shops, flea markets, church basements to junkyards. Rare boogie hits from Brazilian titans Tim Maia, Cassiano and Tony Bizarro rub shoulders with underground artists like Elizio de Buzios with his only recording, the funky boogie joint “Tamanqueiro”, Gaby Whiskadão's disco hit “Super Amor”, the B-Boy Crew Electric Boogies with their very fresh early 80s rap hit “Break Mandrake” as well as the very obscure group called Let´s Dance featuring their version of “Riguera” sung in Portuguese entitled “Dance com a Gente”.

                                                                                                    Even after so many years, Brasil’s most obscure boogie gem is yet to be found on a long diggin’ session thru thousands of records full of weird looking haircuts, somewhere near São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. Keep diggin' guys! 

                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                    Patrick says: Maximum respect to SDB Discos! Each and every one of these Brazilian boogie rarities is a total bomb, packed with South American swing, tropical heat and loads of soul!

                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                    LP Info: Gold Vinyl.

                                                                                                    Following successful disco excavation from the Caribbean to South Africa, Boston-based label Cultures of Soul booked a first class ticket to Narita to bring you their latest release, "Tokyo Nights: Female J-Pop Boogie Funk: 1981 to 1988". This compilation presents 12 of the most memorable and sought-after songs of the era recorded by female artists. The music is a reflection of the unbridled optimism, technological achievement, excess and exuberance of Bubble-era Japan. More than catchy melodies and funky baselines, these are reflections of a time when Japan was the center, and future of the world. The Bubble can be characterized as an endless, extravagant party where personal and corporate wealth soared through the explosion of real estate and stock prices. Scores of young Japanese men and women moved to cities in search of affluence, transforming them into neon wonderlands.

                                                                                                    Changes in morals, values and gender roles followed suit. Prosperity leads to indulgence, and the taste for nightlife, from flashy restaurants to glitzy discotheques, was unquenchable. A soundtrack to this new, lavish lifestyle was necessary and the latest sound, City Pop (urban pop music for those with urban lifestyles), epitomized these attitudes. While influenced by American R&B and boogie, elements of fusion, YMO style Technopop, and adult-oriented rock (AOR) are front and center. Sung primarily in Japanese (with a word or two of English sprinkled in), City Pop is Japanese music for Japanese people. Producers like Tatsuro Yamashita, Toshiki Kadomatsu, and Haruomi Hosono were quick to embrace the latest studio equipment and technology. Synthesizers like the Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-60, ARP Quadra, Moog Polymoog and Oberheim OB-8, as well as drum machines like the Linndrum, were prevalent. Digital reverb was applied liberally. Compiled by Eli Cohen (Alliance Upholstery) and Deano Sounds (Cultures of Soul), Tokyo Nights includes tracks by Hitomi Tohyama, Junko Ohashi, Mizuki Koyama, Kaoru Akimoto, Aru Takamura, Mariko Tone, Rie Murakami, RA MU, Kikuchi Momoko and Yumi Seino. Each selection celebrates the unique traits and meticulous production that define the sound. Think sandy beaches and metropolitan skylines; illumination and romance. Embrace the feeling of movement, from a coastal highway stretching towards the horizon or the city sprawling into the future. Turn on the hi-fi and slip into these Tokyo Nights. 

                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                    Patrick says: As we prepare to wave our beloved Ryan off to the land of the rising sun, Cultures Of Soul serve up a superb selection of City Pop winners. Uplifting, exciting and coated in a neon shimmer, these glossy boogie blinders will fill the Horsebeach shaped hole in our lives...

                                                                                                    Heavy Metal

                                                                                                    The Nietzschean Supermen Of Dustbin Rock

                                                                                                      " You don't just 'throw this record on' , you put the needle down and watch it happen. Staring at it distrustfully all the while. These Berlin mystics have collected the spare parts from their fleet of wrecked punk vehicles and jammed them together to form this twisted taunting monster. Pop culture references abound. The lyric sheet reading like the musings of a modern day Dan Tracey if he were a speedhead instead of a smackie. When the whole thing's done you're gonna pick it up , pull it towards your face and back a few times as if it were a Magic Eye you were suddenly gonna 'get', then put it down and come back with a friend " - Onton Nordberg / Diat.The Nietzschean Supermen Of Dustbin Rock is the third album from Berlin's almost mythical band Heavy Metal. Don't let that name put you off. This is the most sarcastic snotty take on punk rock the modern age is going to throw at you. 12 tracks that are filled with a blatent disregard for everything. A limited edition on gold vinyl with gold printed sleeve and insert. Golden times.

                                                                                                      The legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal is a recipient of the 2017 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The record is a love letter to the iconic French city whose magnificent port and dazzling light have inspired numerous artists and filmmakers over the years.
                                                                                                      Although the album starts with the instrumental take of the title track it is the two vocal versions - the first a striking performance of spoken word by French rapper Abd Al Malik, the second a jazz vocal version with Mina Agossi - that immediately command attention, primarily because these kinds of collaboration are a daringly new departure for 87 year-old Jamal.
                                                                                                      Backing him are three musicians with whom he has developed an advanced musical empathy over time - drummer Herlin Riley, double bassist James Cammack and percussionist Manolo Badrena. Together they form a rhythm section that is both responsive and assertive, with each member making his presence felt.
                                                                                                      Jamal values consistent working relationships with musicians and he also believes in meaningful partnerships with record labels, as his fruitful tenure at Jazz Village proves. ‘Marseille’ is the bejeweled work of a master musician who never says more than he has to but always says enough to make the world sit up and listen.

                                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                      2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                      Prettiest Eyes

                                                                                                      Pools

                                                                                                        Los Angeles (formerly Puerto Rican) punk band sizzles the brain on their sophomore album.

                                                                                                        For fans of Screamers, Suicide, Chrome, and The Birthday Party.

                                                                                                        “Very pleased to be working with Prettiest Eyes. I first saw them ages ago at the Satellite and they were cake-takers that night. Now, they are stronger and weirder than ever. I couldn’t believe this new batch of tunes and their bananasenergy live show and, their fans are hard-core heads, just a soup of dance and mouths agog. Brutal, fractured, pogoing beats played by Pachy [Garcia], also the singer, belching out vocal smoke rings in the laser light above the din—they are flat out commands, militaristic in their delivery and yet catchy, like you like em. Marcos, an extro-sensual bassist who climbs inside of your mind-clothes while grinding out aggressively greasy throbs and pulls and Paco, the keyboardist, who at times plays reeling wailing lines that could be mistaken for a number of other instruments…and the hair on this dude! I have a hard time remembering how nice his face is offstage, all you can see is a whip wigging out.

                                                                                                        They are captivating, they are odd, they make strange and interesting choices. Futuristic and yet drawn from the same sonic sludge that all mankind derives from, they live and breathe early Los Angeles-punk vibes while still innovating at every turn. There is electricity in this sound, they simply rule and what a pleasure to hear Pools doesn’t stray far from what makes them just melt it in person. Recorded perfectly to harness the animal on a nice inanimate slab of plastic you can take home. For fans of Screamers, Suicide, Chrome, and yes, a hint of a down unda Birthday Party.” - John Dwyer.

                                                                                                        U-Men

                                                                                                        U-Men

                                                                                                          “The U-Men are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen. They were hypnotic, frenetic, powerful and compelling. It was impossible to resist getting sucked into their weird, darkly absurd world. They effortlessly blended The Sonics, Link Wray, Pere Ubu, and Captain Beefheart. Their shows were loose-limbed, drunken dance parties and no two shows were alike. The U-Men were avant-garage explorers and, most importantly, they fucking rocked. I was lucky enough to live in their hometown and I saw them every chance I could.

                                                                                                          “From 1983 to 1987, the U-Men were the undisputed kings of the Seattle Underground. No one else came close. They ruled a bleak backwater landscape populated by maybe 200 people. They were the only band that could unify the disparate sub-subcultures and get all 200 of those people to fill a room. Anglophilic, dress-dark Goths; neo-psych MDA acolytes; skate punks who shit in bathtubs at parties; Mod vigilantes who tormented the homeless with pellet guns; college kids who thought college kids were lame; Industrial Artistes; some random guy with a moustache; and eccentrics who insisted that they couldn’t be pigeonholed: all coalesced around the U-Men.

                                                                                                          “Sub Pop co-founder, Bruce Pavitt released the first record by the U-Men, a 4-song 12” EP on Bombshelter Records. By the time they had recorded songs for another record, Bruce was too broke to release it on his proto-Sub Pop label, so he hooked them up with Gerard Cosloy at Homestead Records. This was a big deal. Homestead had a heavy rep at the time with recent releases by Foetus, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, and Big Black. I was sure that the release of their second 12”, Stop Spinning, would propel the U-Men into the ranks of those Homestead acts and the worldwide underground would get hip to Seattle’s finest. Following the departure of bassist Jim Tillman (replaced by Tom Hazelmyer of Amphetamine Reptile Records, and then Tony Ransome), the band recorded two fantastic singles, and recorded their one full-length album, ‘Step On A Bug’, for Black Label, which was run out of Fallout Records. They became increasingly disenchanted with the direction the Seattle underground was heading and called it quits in 1989.

                                                                                                          “The U-Men had nothing to do with Grunge. They were their own unique thing. I loved them and I still miss them. I remember thinking at the time that most of their recordings were a little soft and didn’t capture the power of the band live. Now, thirty years later, their records sound great to me and we are lucky that they exist. I’m stoked that Sub Pop complied these long out-of-print records and scrounged up some unreleased songs so that everyone has a chance to take a trip back to old weird Seattle.” - Mark Arm, Seattle, August 2017

                                                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                          2xCD Info: This double CD collects the entire studio-recorded output of the U-Men, remastered, plus five unreleased songs, with 16 pages of photos, liner notes and interviews with the band. Executive produced by Jack Endino.

                                                                                                          3xLP Box Set Info: This 3xLP box set collects the entire studio-recorded output of the U-Men, remastered, plus five unreleased songs, with 16 pages of photos, liner notes and interviews with the band. Executive produced by Jack Endino.

                                                                                                          Profligate

                                                                                                          Somewhere Else

                                                                                                            ‘Somewhere Else’, Profligate’s first album since 2014, deftly balances seeming opposites - chaos and composition, melody and noise, programmed and live instrumentation.

                                                                                                            Featuring contributions by LA poet / musician Elaine Kahn and Chrissy Jones, this diverse yet cohesive album walks the line between dark pop and noise.

                                                                                                            “Synthesizers flutter airless and inviting and are grounded to solidity with brooding and distinguished bass” - Impose.

                                                                                                            “‘Black Plate’ features Kahn's lyrics and vocals, around which Profligate’s teetering synths and atonal crackles swirl like snakes on acid.” - The Fader.

                                                                                                            “Different facets of noise and structured arrangements that ebb and flow brilliantly and make for a fresh experience on every listen.” - Impose.

                                                                                                            “Based on the striking and natural contrast between pop and noise, distorted and clean sounds, the strident but functional and amazing juxtaposition of the ethereal slightly gloomy Elaine’s voice and Noah's crispy and discordant electronic textures” - WhiteLight / WhiteHeat.

                                                                                                            “You could never quite call Noah Anthony’s music hi-def, but this delectable slice of post-punk pop comes close.” - Resident Advisor.

                                                                                                            “Mixes noise, industrial and new wave synth pop.” - Warzawa.

                                                                                                            “A tense industrial track with tearing and bubbling sounds that, in context, are actually kind of soothing.” - The Fader.

                                                                                                            Thor & Friends

                                                                                                            The Subversive Nature Of Kindness

                                                                                                              The Subversive Nature of Kindness is the sophomore effort from Thor & Friends, the avant-chamber ensemble formed by its namesake, polymath percussionist Thor Harris. The album was recorded in Albuquerque, New Mexico, produced by Jeremy Barnes from A Hawk & A Hacksaw and engineered by Barnes and Deerhoof’s John Dietrich. It is hoped that the melodic meditations offered up will ease some of the terror of living in these uncertain times.

                                                                                                              The three primary members of the band are Peggy Ghorbani on marimba, Sarah “Goat” Gautier on marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, organ, voice, mellotron and piano, and Harris on sundry percussion and wind instruments, including some of his own devising. The band has toured extensively over the past year and have performed live with many guest musicians. All these players have influenced the way the group hears its music and this had a significant impact on this new album. On this recording voice plays a more prominent role with the core trio being joined by several guest singers who provide wordless vocals: Stine Janvin Motland, an opera singer from Oslo, Norway; Michael Gira from Swans; Enrique Soriah, a throat singer from Oregon. It features more fully developed string arrangements by Barnes and Heather Trost. There are also contributions from similarly adventurous musicians including Jhno Delicateer on Armenian Duduk, violin improvisationist Aisha Burn, and Adam Torres, who provides finger-picked guitar.

                                                                                                              The band draws on classic Minimalist composers including Terry Riley and Steve Reich, but also amalgamateS such diverse influences as Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Moondog and The Necks. They embody utopian optimism by rooting their art and operation in both improvisation and the involvement of neighbors and friends in their process, making use of what and who is around at any given moment. 

                                                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                              Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                                              Lee Moore

                                                                                                              A Gram Of Boogie (The Story Of Lee Moore / Score Records & LM Records)

                                                                                                                Arkansas native, Lee Moore moved to Memphis in 1975 with only one goal in mind: to make it big in the music industry and to release music that would be played in New York, L.A and everywhere in between.

                                                                                                                As a singer and songwriter Lee Moore spent the 1980s collaborating in Memphis with the best of the best session musicians and vocalists from labels like Volt and Stax Records to record and release futuristic boogie, soul, and funk. In his quest for a unique sound, he constantly reinvented himself, creating projects with new aliases and concepts, scraping together studio time, and hustling. Even today, Moore’s music sounds ahead of its time. Lee Moore unfortunately never got close to reach his goals of fame and fortune. Instead; with the assistance of legendary Stax musicians Darnell Smith, Ben Cauley, Mickey Gregory, Lester Snell, Willie Hall, Michael Toles, Ray Griffin, Donald Brown, Errol Thomas, Michael Toles, Frank Westbrook and many other; Lee Moore left behind a trail of incredibly rare albums and singles that became known as the holy grails of Memphis boogie funk to collectors worldwide.

                                                                                                                Jerome Derradji’s Past Due Records is more than proud to present “ A Gram Of Boogie - The story of Lee Moore - Score Records & LM Records.” a 5 LP box set and 3 CD set that includes Lee’s most praised and rarest recordings along with an insert / booklet of Lee Moore’s story written by Jacob Arnold.

                                                                                                                For the first time, Past Due Records is reissuing Lee’s incredible “Free & Easy” LP which was only released as a handful of test pressings in 1981. Also part of the box set is the West Coast inspired funk full length “Le Gamby - Double OO Too Sweet” along with a double LP compilation featuring Lee’s singles for Source Records, Score Records and the N.Y based L.M Records. Finally, under the Divine moniker, we get an album that illustrates Lee’s transition to gospel funkand the last record ever to be released on Score Records.

                                                                                                                “A Gram Of Boogie” is the story of a lost hero of Memphis boogie, funk and disco. All records are faithfully reproduced and remastered. They carry Lee Moore’s vision of future boogie for decades to come.

                                                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

                                                                                                                Rising out of the smoky Parisian Mai 68 shrapnel and claiming his stake as the first French vampire movie director, the inimitable father of European horrortica Jean Rollin (1938-2010) has smudged the painted face of surrealist cinema for over five decades. Dragging his roots from beneath the Letterist / Situationist movements, avant-garde theatre and Belgian fine art groups and entwining them around the minds of sexual revolutionaries, the European comic book cognoscenti and the Parisian free jazz and rock scenes, Rollin stopped at nothing to bring his macabre phantasies of zygotic vampyrism and backwoods blood cults to Gallic cinematheques and beyond.

                                                                                                                Celebrating the immortal legacy of the late director, Finders Keepers Records compile a detailed and comprehensive music cabinet of some of the finest musical moments from his initial directorial decade between 1968-1979, which provided a much-needed platform for the freak rock and free jazz that mirrored the distorted erotic visions in his own mind’s eye. Imagine Gong-gone-wrong meeting the Art Ensembles Of Châteauroux.
                                                                                                                Featuring tracks from Francois Tusques, Pierre Raph, Acanthus and Yvon Gerault. As the constant reappraisal of Jean Rollin’s body of work continues to pick up speed this important sonic snapshot of European horror scores brings together some of the most desirable and hard to find recordings from these important films.

                                                                                                                Various Artists

                                                                                                                Synthesise The Soul: Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From The Cape Verde Islands 1973-1988

                                                                                                                Through 18 diverse tracks, this compilation reveals how immigration from the Cape Verde Islands to Europe and the United States gave us an alternate history of the electronic music that dominated hearts and minds across the world in the late 1990s. But the story doesn't start in a major Western cultural hub, rather in the small cluster of islands 400 miles off the Senegalese coast, and offers an unparalleled insight into the long term cultural splendor catalyzed by migration.
                                                                                                                Movement and mobility are intrinsic aspirations of the human condition. What we've come to know as immigration is as old as civilization. Yet today we measure immigration through a series of cold data. Immigrants are either condemned as disposable threats or celebrated as entrepreneurial treasures, rarely occupying a space in between.
                                                                                                                Seldom do we peer back into the past to examine the tangible and timeless creations born from the movement of peoples, overlooking cultural innovations arguably ahead of their time, precursors to consuming global trends.
                                                                                                                Largely overlooked outside the Lusophone realm, Cape Verde's Astro-Atlantic gumbo of instrumentation and rhythm offers a timely lesson of migration's power to produce cultural innovations ahead of its time.
                                                                                                                Something we do well to remember in these turbulent days we live in.

                                                                                                                Various Artists

                                                                                                                Pantsula! - The Rise Of Electronic Dance Music In South Africa, 1988-90

                                                                                                                Late 80s South African dance floor winners only! Selected by DJ Okapi and Antal, the compilation holds tracks by Jivaro, The Hard Workers, Ayobayo Band, S.Y.B. & many more. This is the sharp electronic music that fuelled the local Pantsula dances during the 80s and 90s . A must have for fans of Bubblegum and Kwaito music. The 12 tracks selected for "Pantsula!" come from a very unique, very different time and place. They represent the birth of electronic dance music in South Africa, through the songs of one particular independent label from the time: Music Team. The sound represents the culmination of the bubblegum era, when South Africa’s disco artists outgrew their American influences and forged an increasingly electronic and ‘local’ pop sound. Evolving over time since long before the 80s, the distinctly South African subculture of "Pantsula" is more closely associated with an attitude, a style and a signature dance, rather than any specific sound. In the late 1980s and early 90s, Pantsula was also the name given to a new type of dance music taking over the streets of South Africa, influenced by earlier bubblegum and the rise of Shangaan Disco, but with a far broader appeal and a harder, purely electronic sound.

                                                                                                                Various Artists

                                                                                                                To The Outside Of Everything: A Story Of UK Post-Punk 1977-1981

                                                                                                                  Post-Punk was a belated term adopted to describe the creative outpouring of largely independent music which flourished in the wake of the Punk explosion. Named after a lyric from Magazine’s ground-breaking hit, ‘Shot By Both Sides’, "To The Outside Of Everything" tells a musical story of how the UK’s post-punk scene evolved from the spirit of 1977 and the arrival of key labels such as Fast, Rough Trade, Zoo, Factory and Cherry Red. Includes landmark singles by Joy Division, PiL, Wire, Gang Of Four, The Slits, Killing Joke, Echo And The Bunnymen, Scritti Politti, The Pop Group, Human League, The Fall, Alternative T.V., Tubeway Army, Adam And The Ants, Josef K, The Teardrop Explodes, Throbbing Gristle, The Psychedelic Furs, Theatre Of Hate, The Birthday Party, The Associates, Fire Engines, and Ultravox. Boasts a lengthy essay and band-by-band histories by ex-NME journalist Neil Taylor within a lavishly illustrated 48-page booklet. Post-punk pəʊstˈpʌŋk/ adjective: denoting a style of rock music inspired by punk but less aggressive in performance and musically more experimental. “Whereas Punk, in seemingly one violent moment, ripped and tore asunder the fabric of pop, Post Punk seeped into the gap, expanding into everything...

                                                                                                                  Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch

                                                                                                                  Blade Runner 2049 OST

                                                                                                                  Living up to the 35 year legacy of the greatest soundtrack ever written was always going to be a tall order, and director Denis Villeneuve replaced longterm collaborator and electronic genius Jóhann Jóhannsson (check out the sound design in Arrival!) with box office duo Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch in the hopes of harnessing the heart of Vangelis’s masterpiece. A perfect marriage of melody and sound design, Zimmer & Wallfisch succeeded in creating a score which echoed the plaintive synth tones and dystopian sonics of the original, while utilising every bit of contemporary sound science to soundtrack the action with wall shaking bass and frequencies you feel rather than hear. A worthy successor to Vangelis' legendary original.

                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                  Barry says: A superbly dystopian marriage of pulsing drone and brooding synths, slowly forming into a visceral maelstrom of atmospheric pressure. Beautifully realised, and every bit as important as Vangelis' seminal outing.

                                                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                  2xLtd LP Info: Limited double vinyl.

                                                                                                                  When this blistering debut was originally issued as a vinyl only release in May 2015, it immediately propelled the duo to a position of prominence in the revitalised London Jazz scene and brought them a wealth of unexpected accolades.  As the duo continue to make headlines with their landmark new album ‘Journey To The Mountain Of Forever’, this essential debut gets a full CD release for the first time as well as a vinyl repress.
                                                                                                                  Tenor saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd recorded the album at Mark Ronson’s Zelig Studio, never using more than two takes for each track, with minimal interference in the signal chain and no overdubs, then recorded direct to Gearbox's vintage Studer ¼” tape machine for true sonic purity.


                                                                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                  Millie says: Beautiful jazz percussion sweeping the stage with their album Dem Ones. This record can transport you vividly to a snazzy jazz bar where you're twitching your heels to all that glorious percussion. Sit back and relax!

                                                                                                                  Serpent Power

                                                                                                                  Electric Looneyland

                                                                                                                    Serpent Power, the audacious musical pairing of Ian Skelly (The Coral) and Paul Molloy (The Zutons, The Coral). Their strange musical odyssey continues with the release of Electric Looneyland, the duo's second long-player following on from 2015's eponymous debut.

                                                                                                                    Some bands invent and invite you into their worlds but none are quite like the technicolour horror landscape as evoked on Electric Looneyland. Imagine a nightmarish sonic theme-park of catacombs, occult mantras, fuzz wig-outs and spacey evocations, inhabited by a plethora of extra terrestrial mutants, far-out freaks and the undead.

                                                                                                                    Written, arranged, produced and performed by the pair after they stumbled across a skip full of mysterious keyboards, seemingly beamed in from a distant solar system. When plugged in and played they tapped into an unearthly Martian scale with the power to raise Edgar Allan Poe from the dead! Serpent Power make 21st century psychedelia that takes its cues from no-one, and is powered only by the twisted wheels of their own imagination.

                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                    Barry says: Sklly and Molloy pull together a predictably superb new LP as Serpent Power. Brimming with all the psychedelic hooks and hummable melodies you've come to expect from these indie veterans.

                                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                    Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.

                                                                                                                    In 2014 and 2015 TURTLE released two EPs to universal critical acclaim. His magical ability to paint diverse changing landscapes within electronic music gained him comparisons with the likes of Jon Hopkins, SOHN and Thom Yorke, and champions like Lauren Laverne, Gilles Peterson, Nemone and Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music, Huw Stephens BBC Radio 1. Now after a lengthily spell under the radar, Glaswegian based Jon Cooper emerges with his new album “Human”.

                                                                                                                    ‘Human’ (the album’s title track) is a driving, celestial soundscape full of swelling strings and ethereal pads completed with the epic vocal stylings of Iranian / Swedish songstress Mariam The Believer, whose harmonious tones provide a beautiful and sentimental accompaniment to the proceedings. ‘Human’ is a result of Jon confronting a dark period in his Life head on. A window into the deepest corners of his mind where he has created a collage of moods, transporting you to an introspective headphone experience wrapped in a glow of positivity. “Through my music, I found the way to let the light in” Cooper describes the recording process as being cathartic. Pouring his emotions into multi-layered soundscapes with cinematic builds, climatic releases and hypnotic, rhythmic beats. Organic and electronic sounds are mixed together in a colourful interplay

                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                    Millie says: I fell in love the second I heard this, beautifully ambient looping chords swirl into an array of breathtaking compositions. Distant vocals echo in the background which make this album truly delicate and harrowing. Fans of Julianna Barwick need to listen to this!

                                                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                                                    Coloured LP Info: Mint Green Colour Vinyl

                                                                                                                    Zomby's enjoyed an illustrious career thus far. His "Where Were U In '92" immediately saw the producer rocket into our stratosphere while collaborations with Burial have ensured his credentials and desirability throughout the underground. Last year's "Ultra" album saw him exploring new territory - stark, barren lands of low-life microcosms, radiation scorched landscapes and varying levels of gravity and pressure - making for a completely alien and otherworldly listen. Plummeting even further into said environment is "Mercury's Rainbow", an album totally befitting for interplantary exploration. Apparently created between 2008-2009, it was actually conceived more as an Eski-concept album, paying tribute to one of girme's most iconic artists and sounds. Innovating the structure with a bewildering, modal style, shimmering is a 3-dimensional world, it recalls fellow space explores Seekers International; whilst shunning said act's pursuit of interstellar dub and reggae in search of something altogether more supernova in its creation.

                                                                                                                    'While it’s difficult to say with certainty, if Mercury’s Rainbow was issued at the same time it was created, it may have arguably altered the course of UK grime instrumentals in much the same way Wiley’s original template coined a whole new genre, essentially making it the last word in grime futurism, proper.' (Boomkat).


                                                                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                                                    Barry says: Stark hi-octane arpeggios and bit-crushed chugs meet street-level kick-slinging, crackling videogame refrains and icy, progressive utopian futures. Fearless, and fantastic.

                                                                                                                    Erased Tapes has the privilege of reissuing Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s last studio album Union Cafe — out December 1st 2017 to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of Simon Jeffes’ passing in 1997.

                                                                                                                    "I was 17 when Simon Jeffes passed away and sadly I never got the chance to meet him whilst he was still walking this earth with his infamous Penguin Cafe Orchestra. There are some parallels between our lives that could simply be rationalised by the fact that anyone that loves music travels a lot. But from what I know about Simon we both seem to believe in something beyond that, something more magical that cannot be explained by numbers alone. For example, the fact that Kyoto had both a special impact on his and my life as the city where he found the harmonium on which he’d write his possibly most famous piece of music and the one where I found the love of my life. Or the fact that we both got severely poisoned by eating bad seafood in the south of France. Although admittedly I can’t say that my bed-bound days of hallucinations come anywhere close to the grandeur of his recurring vision; one of a George Orwell type of desolate future with people living in concrete buildings, hearing without listening, making love and music without touching. It was only the other day that I heard Simon’s son Arthur tell this story for a BBC documentary on the Erased Tapes tenth anniversary festivities inside one of London’s largest brutalist buildings, the Southbank Centre, and in a time when making music and love over the internet is seen as something perfectly normal. I wasn’t aware until then that our shared near-death experience in France propelled Simon to dream up a place called the Penguin Cafe, where penguins serve the Japanese soul food that is Okonomiyaki and wine that makes you feel lighter, float even — a colourful, magical place far away from those big grey buildings where everyone is neutral, numb and anonymous. And so he’d form the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and dedicate his life to writing the joyful music the band would play in that cafe.

                                                                                                                    The first song from Union Cafe that I’d unknowingly heard was Nothing Really Blue, performed live by Arthur and his successor band Penguin Cafe at the Barbican in summer 2016 — another icon in brutalist architecture. He simply announced it as “another one of my dad’s”, and left me wondering all night about which record it was from. Considering myself a decent collector of their music, I thought I’d heard it all. Well, I clearly hadn’t. Another mystery? I forgot to ask when I first met Arthur that night, but it marked the start of our relationship as kindred spirits. For everyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of witnessing it yet, hearing Arthur play his father’s songs with so much joy and gusto truly feels like meeting old friends. And it’s the most beautiful reminder of how everything in this world is connected. It’s one thing to accept growth and decay as a constant passing on of energy and knowledge, from one generation to the next. But I really can’t imagine the kind of love that Simon must feel if only he had the chance to see his son right now, performing his songs in front of thousands of people on both sides of the planet each night.

                                                                                                                    It wasn’t until summer 2017, a whole year later, that Arthur shared his father’s last studio recordings with me. Union Cafe is a record that somehow missed me, simply because it wasn’t available on vinyl like the other records were that I had gathered over the years. I couldn't help but feel privileged for the chance to discover another original PCO album. And so I put my headphones on and lay down at the foot of the small lake in Victoria Park to listen to this box of treasures. And as with all of Simon’s works, a whole world appeared in front of my closed eyelids — a world full of love and wonder, that manages to put tears in my eyes, shivers down my spine and a smile on my face. Scherzo And Trio would become the song that manages to brighten up my days, no matter how grey London sometimes gets. Organum would become the piece that Arthur played at my wedding. Cage Dead with its déjà vu-like character