MAGIC MIX

STAFF PICKS

ALBUMS



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Blonde and brunette. Dog and cat. Lemon and onion. Friend and foam. The change has been made! You can scratch your seven-year itch freely now: Ty Segall and White Fence are become one again, regrooving what we once called Hair into what is now Joy.

Hair grew out of a simpler time, man! If, as the dyphrenic duo indeed affi rm on Joy, rock in 2018 is dead, don’t come around here looking for no burial. Instead, fi nd Joy caught up in the commencement of on-beyond rock; music made with the old tools, but emitted from a fresh new, single-celled organism. This time, the old “one and one make one” line does not apply. Hair had the quality of emulsion — drops of Segall suspended in Fence; a compound of White dispersed over sheets of Ty. With Joy, Tim and Ty arrive without travelling from the same place, occupy one single headspace, fi nishing the other’s phrases, pulling licks from each other’s places. Singing and thinking and laughing as one. Calling themselves from inside the house. C-c-c-creepy!

Both these fellows have been known to trifl e with tropic pasts and reactivate vintage visions within their new music. Not now. Now is the only time this time — Joy is their own sound of today, a shared individuality, prisming all possible stances into an unseamly metastasis that FLOWS for 15 ebbcentric tracks. Plus, since it ends at the beginning, it never has to stop. LOOP that shit!

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Ty Segall and White Fence bring it back for more of their collaborative journey through foggy psychedelia, simmering rock and roll and lysergic arm-swaying riffage. Yet another superb meeting of minds from these two top talents. Superb.

Picture yourself in front of your record collection, deciding which one you'll listen to next. You finally choose 'Kilimanjaro' by Teardrop Explodes; you haven't listened to it for a long time. In that moment, you notice that your partner placed your 'Face to Face' copy in an incorrect slot. It goes with you to the record player too. A few minutes later, you corroborate that both Cope and Davies made prevailing, lucid and brilliant records. And you dream thinking how would they sound together, in an hypotetic alloy that feels almost impossible straight away. There are only fourteen years away from one record to the other, but they seem made in different centuries, different planets. We find the answer at the Electric Duck studios in San Francisco, Kelley Stoltz's base of operations.

A Detroit-native, Kelley was an adolescent moved by post-punk and English new-age, and became an adult falling in love with the extensive pop legacy from the 60s. Both references define one of the strongest, most talented discographies of the last years. Filtering and tying those sounds together with freshness and distinction is what makes Kelley an unique composer. Stoltz gets ostentation and histrionics out of the best 80s pop and supplies it with outstanding melodies and sense of humor. What Brian Wilson doing a cover by Wire's 'The 15th' would feel like.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Definitely influenced by the hypnotic repetitions and incremental progressions of 70's Krautrock, Kelley Stoltz presents a gripping cosmic journey, ambient and soaring but with the sturdy backbone of post-punk holding things together. A brilliantly conceived, and impeccably realised juxtaposition, and an absolute joy to listen to.

An underwater adventure by young Parisian Shelter. Where previous releases have seen the synth-obsessed Frenchman take his inspiration from Caribbean rhythms or Balearic attitudes, this marine missive sees Shelter turn to the lavish world of the library, creating his alternate score to Jean Faurez’ 1960 documentary short.

More submersible than snorkel, our journey begins in the very dark of the deep, mystical harp trills echoing through the inky blackness, picking up the bioluminescent shimmer of an Abraliopsis Squid. Gradually we make our way into the light, cruising past shoals of silver scales and underwater forests. ‚Immersion’ offers a placid, percolating rhythm and billowing pads, providing sonic symmetry for the dancing leaves, while the spheric soundscape of ‘La Vie A L’Ombre’ bubbles away like an underwater volcano. The optimistic ambience of ‘Plenitude Azotee’, brimming with delicate melody and glistening sequences, perfectly captures the wide-eyed wonder of a reef dive, before drifting into the serenity of ‘Parade’, an aquatic acquaintance of A.R.T. Wilson’s ‘Overworld’. A brief foray into shark fin funk sees out the A-side, before we’re back amid the beauty of the ocean floor; ‘Variation Abyssale II’ echoing the album opener but with even more poetry. The exotic and otherworldly sine waves of ‘Dans La Jungle De Varech’ simultaneously sound like a rainforest canopy, alien landscape and coral microcosm, expanding our horizons nicely ahead of the adrenaline rush of ‘Hors D’Haleine’. Shelter then sets us at ease with the tidal tonality and subtle shuffle of ‘Fumeurs Noirs’, a sublime synthetic suite, then leaves us to marvel at the soft focus splendour of ‘Synthii Outro’.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Stunning sub-aquatic imagery and deep water ambience from Parisian producer Shelter here, who joins the Growing Bin ranks with one of their finest releases to date. Melodic, exotic and esoteric, this has been a regular presence on the Piccadilly promo-player, so expect to see it make a major dent in our end of year charts.

Since they made their entrance on the reissue stage in 2016 (with the essential reissue of "Fire In My Heart" no less), Isle Of Jura have dropped nothing but fire, proving to have a formidible ear for an unheard hit. Now the crew come through with the first in a series of compilations which blend Dub, Ambient, Downtempo, Boogie and Proto House with a focus on music never before released on Vinyl, sought after out of print titles and some special versions edited specifically for the album.
The intention with this project was to delve deeper into the reissue pond and unearth some lesser known tracks and artists. Highlights include Smackos' (AKA Legowelt) ambient epic ‘We Can Watch Alf In The Hotel Room’, never before released on Vinyl, the dub / psych hybrid of Minus Group’s ‘Black Shadow’, Kash’s sought after ‘Percussion Sundance’ and special edits of Ken Dang and Tabou Combo. As if that weren't enough to tickle your pickle, then the four ambient tools the Jura Soundsystem have cooked up for the finale totally take the cake.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: After a string of excellent reissues over the past two years, Isle Of Jura drop their first compilation, a mega set of not-on-vinyl heat, out of print excellence and specially edited bangers for disco, house, downtempo and dub fans. Maximum respect!

As with their previous albums, Across the Meridian mixes instrumentals and songs, weaving a gleeful path through the musical territory of film scores, 30s jazz, sun-drenched pop, electronica, and post-punk experimentation. Haunting and wistful vocals are set to a variety of soundscapes, sometimes appearing as a snatched fragment of the subconscious and dreamlike, at others crafting a story of longing or regret, drawing the listener into Pram’s uncanny world through the mirror. Newcomers to Pram will find a richly detailed collage of influences ranging from exotica, Krautrock and the forgotten film soundtracks that went on to inspire contemporaries Stereolab & Broadcast.

The band convened at the remote Foel studios in Wales to improvise on ideas and record some bases for tracks, before finishing them in their studio in Birmingham. Pram have a working process that has developed over many years and reflects shifts in band personnel and technological advancements. Across The Meridian is a testament to the band embracing these new approaches without losing any of their original allure.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Haunting, dusty melodies and slowly pulled strings mix with echoed vocals, simmering horns and clicking electronic percussion in this multi-faceted and smooth juxtaposition of post-rock, electronic and psychedelic instrumentation. Perfectly balanced and fully immersive.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Indies Only silver vinyl.

Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

Various Artists

Give Me My Flowers

    Founded in 1951 by independent record store owner and radio show promoter Ernie Young, Nashville, TN’s Nashboro Records recorded some of the most potent and forceful gospel music of the time period. Although initially begun in response to overwhelming demand for gospel locally, Nashboro quickly became nationally applauded for its curatorial prowess (under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Morgan Babb of the Radio Four) and signature production style.

    The lightly-reverbed, clear sound of a Nashboro record is unmistakable. Give Me My Flowers is a compilation of some of the finest cuts released by Nashboro Records, many of which have not been previously reissued. It kicks off with a total banger, The Hightower Brothers’ “Until He Comes,” which would have made an amazing cover song for Spacemen 3.

    Iola and Sullivan Pugh, also known as The Consolers, top off the A-side of the compilation with the intensely potent namesake track, “Give Me My Flowers”. A final highlight is “Almighty God” from Sister Pope and the Pearly Gates; dare you to get it out of your head after you hear the chorus even once. Not only are the featured artists endlessly skilled at their craft, their songs are absolutely explosive. This is the opposite of indifference or irony; there is a mission here, steeped in a full-heartedness that can only be derived from selfless devotion. Additionally, the songs featured on Give Me My Flowers are representative of a far too overlooked and important chapter in Nashville’s music history.

    These musicians, store employees and businesspeople played a critical role in building the infrastructure for independent music to flourish in their city. Naturally, it is a cornerstone in Third Man’s long-term mission to support and highlight the complete music histories of Tennessee and Michigan, from the most rightfully revered to the most critically under-represented. All of these tracks were assembled with producer and journalist Mike McGonigal (Detroit Gospel Reissue Project, Temperature’s Rising: An Oral History of Galaxie 500) and transferred directly from the 45 collection of Kevin Nutt (Case Quarter Records, Sinner’s Crossroads radio program).

    Written and produced by Maurice Fulton. 'An Original Dr. Scratch Mix'. Published by Buttrubb Music.

    Maurice Fulton re-instates his much lauded Syclops project for album number three. Joined by Hanna Sarkari on guitars, who was part of the original lineup, and with Zanzibar cum Sheffield songstress Mim Suleiman on drums and Karo Brandi doing... some other stuff? Maurice has always kept us been aloof with exact details of his (makebelive?) band.

    Anyway, as we've come to expect - a mix of Fulton's idiosyncratic, sativa-blend hyper-electronix, big bolshie drum breaks and a heady, cerebrum tickling musical style that covers new jazz, space funk and synth wig-outs in equal measure. There's no-one in the world that sounds like this 'band' and it's great to hear them sounding as assured and as creative as ever on their third outing!

    If anything Maurice has ramped up the intensity, with shuddering, monolithic drum crashes opening the record. "The Skipper" soon introduces us to a shimmering, dancefloor friendly cut with gurgling bass and suspended arps. Jason finds his K but Sarah loses her E, resulting in a pitch black, technoid thud that'll disorientate even the most ardent dancer. Elsewhere, there's moments of skeletal drum machine techno ("Kelly Is With Her"), bouncy house discord ("Five Left") and mind melting, cranium busting future jazz rampages such as "Karo B Is Not On Love & Hip Hop" and the eponymous album closer "Pink Eye", that'll leave you nothing short of breathless after its six minute onslaught of intensity.

    It's like Maurice and the Syclops have channeled all the aggression and energy of a thousand dinosaurs and let it loose across the myriad studio outboard resulting in a very busy, adventurous and dynamic album - easily set to be regarded as the best out of the three from this project. Why's it named after conjunctivitis though...?!?!?




    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Stone cold L E G Maurice returns with the Sycops in toe for perhaps their loudest, most crazed expedition to date. Your head'll be left in a spin by the end of the LP.

    Third release on Radioactive Man's highly, highly acclaimed imprint, Asking For Trouble...Victor Valiant is the pseudonym of the label head, Keith Tenniswood and Suade Bergemann working in collaboration and recorded in the latter's 'mega studio' deep in the Northeast of England.

    Recorded last year over two, 3-day sessions; produced, cut and mastered between the two producers, they have executed every level of production flair for this double pack vinyl release - with meticulous attention to detail.

    Suade Bergemann is a Newcastle-based producer, mastering engineer and founder of techno label Adapted Vinyl. He collaborates with Steve Legget and is a resident at Free Rotation.

    I really want to let the music speak for itself here, with little outside influence or hype affecting you, the listener's decision to purchase or indeed, future enjoyment. I'll go as far as to say that it's one of the best things I've heard this year: funky, advanced, accessible and ear-catching all at the same time. Obviously Keith's got enough of a cult fanbase to mean this'll sell out without question, but newcomers or anyone not familiar with Radioactive Man's many talents, don't miss an opportunity to get a seriously strong record from one of the underground's most enigmatic and multifaceted producers. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Keith's done it again. Collaborating with Suade Burgemann, this, for me, surpasses the exquisite double headers that opened up the label last year. A ridiculously good release I'm more than giddy to get stuck into.

    Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas

    Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas

    The Rainbow Studio in Oslo is a familiar name to anyone who follows the ECM label – many of its classic 1970s jazz albums were recorded there under the eye of resident producer Jan Erik Kongshaug. Bugge and Thomas booked a couple of sessions at the legendary space with Kongshaug at the controls, and improvised some tunes in the style and spirit of some of their favourite ECM moments, like the fresh, open sounds of Codona, Egberto Gismonti, Oregon and Kenny Wheeler. Bugge had previously done a remix of Thomas’s "Bobletekno" in 2015 but this is the first time they have worked together as active musicians. The results – also partly taped at Thomas’s home studio – fuse programmed rhythms, live synths and percussion, all captured in a sumptuously spacious acoustic.

    For an even more authentic touch they called up one of their all time local heroes and one of Norway’s most famous jazz drummers, Jon Christensen, who’s been the go-to guy for Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Keith Jarrett and many more. At 75 years old he’s still pretty spry behind the kit, as you’ll hear on several tracks here.

    Make no mistake, though, this is not retro pastiche but contemporary music, coasting on gently insistent programmed grooves and bubbling basslines. The whole thing feels not so much like a consciously hip fusion of DJ and jazz musician, more like two great musicians totally enjoying themselves. Which is exactly what it is.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Take one part Bugge Wesseltoft jazz, a generous helping of Prins Thomas Balearic and shake over ice until the whole thing starts to fizz. Mint and lime offer a little cocktail hour refreshment while the mellow guitar licks and kosmische sound design take over. I'm lighting the Balearic beacon as we speak...

    Liars

    1/1: Original Soundtrack To The Film

    Liars announce the release of their first original soundtrack - ‘1/1’.

    ‘1/1’ is the soundtrack to Jeremy Phillips’ directorial debut, due to be released in July 2018. Starring Lindsey Shaw (‘Pretty Little Liars’), Judd Nelson (‘Breakfast Club’, ‘St Elmo’s Fire’) and Dendrie Taylor (‘Star Trek Generations’, ‘Twins’), the film submerges the viewer into the mind of Lissa, a 20-year-old girl in rural Pennsylvania and her struggles with sex, drugs, love and loss. Liars have created an electronic soundtrack that reflects the film’s use of mixed media abstractions and multi-film formats, which undoubtedly stands up as an album in its own right.




    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Liars form a strong and driven backing to Philips's first outing with their nuanced and textured touch, with clicking, syncopated percussion, shimmering ambience and haunting shards of reversed guitars and tenderly plucked acoustics. Every bit the standalone piece, and perfectly fitted to the film as well. Great stuff.

    Third is the stunning third album by Nathan Salsburg, one of his generation’s most gifted and idiosyncratic acoustic guitarists. It’s been five years since his last solo record (Hard for to Win and Can’t Be Won, 2013) — but not because he hasn’t been playing guitar. In the intervening years he’s backed up Joan Shelley on three releases and several hundred live dates; put out a collection of guitar duets with multi-instrumentalist James Elkington; teamed up with fellow Louisvillian and neighbor Bonnie “Prince” Billy on an EP; and contributed playing to records by The Weather Station, Wooden Wand, Watter (what’s with the Ws?), Jake Fussell, and Red River Dialect. Meantime he’s also managed to keep his head above water at his day job as curator of the Alan Lomax Archive.

    The original pieces on Third, his first strictly solo guitar record—no singing, no guests—were composed in fragments of down-time, with little expectation that they would ever come to comprise a collection: Impossible Air, was written in a converted cow-shed outside of Eeklo, Belgium; Sketch from Life, while watching college basketball on TV. Exilic Excursions resisted completion for nearly four years. The songs, as others have before them, distill a love of old-time dance music and rural ragtime; the melody-centric compositions of American guitarists Peter Lang and William Ackerman; and the work of Scottish and English folk-revivalists like Dick Gaughan, Dolly Collins, and especially Nic Jones, whose monumental arrangement of the pipe tune Planxty Davis has been adapted here in turn. And they all display a notable increase in confidence and ease, as Salsburg has quietly, persistently established a style marked by a depth and a complexity that are utterly his own. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Beautiful, rhythmic guitar plucking forms a solid basis to Salsburg's sense of progression and pace, with lively hammer-on / pull-off trills lending a momentum to the traditional beauty and stripped-back simplicity of the acoustic guitar. Thoroughly beautiful.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Second self-recorded album from this Chicago punk quartet. Chicago punk band Negative Scanner return to the fray with their second long-player, the cheekily titled Nose Picker. Once again recorded by the band themselves in their Chicago practice space, Nose Picker opens with a question; “Is there anybody there?”, which acts as both a legitimate query as well as a rallying cry. Negative Scanner make it clear that they want your attention, as opening tune “T.V.”s stutter step guitar riff leans into an lean and mean, 4-on-the-floor churn. The rest of the album follows suit, either with raging punk snarl (”History Lesson”, “First Blood”, “Let it Die”), or angular, emotive jagged guitar riffage (”A Cross”, “10 Million Kids”, “The Only One”), punctuated by vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Valeriano- Flores’ voice, teetering between a full throated roar and a plaintive monotone.

    Her lyrics are insular, spitting accusatory and inquisitory barbs inward, talking to anyone who listen. Is there anybody there? Despite the darkness on the surface, Nose Picker has an unmistakable air of whimsy, and a sense of humor, punctuated by the very literal album cover, and by the sound of a toilet flushing at the album‘s closing. The past two years have seen the band step out of the Midwest DIY spaces and basement shows and tour the USA and Europe, support UK band Sleaford Mods on select dates in the UK and the USA and standing toe-to-toe with the underground’s finest acts, including Sheer Mag, Protomartyr and more. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Hi-octane punk and roll, snarling vox, screaming guitars and fuzzed-out overdrive mix brilliantly into a dynamic, exciting force to be reckoned with. Negative scanner have hit the nail on the head with this one, just what you need to brighten up these hazy summer days.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Indies Exclusive LP Info: Snot Green Coloured Vinyl.

    Skiffle Players

    Piffle Sayers

      Supergroup, side project, high-school-garage-band-of-brothers-from-other-mothers, whatever its called, this band formed to play a one-off show in Big Sur and had so much fun they’re still at it. On guitar, Neal Casal (Circles Around The Sun) sticks mostly to the acoustic allowing his elegant affinity towards melodic craft to shine. Cass McCombs’s guitar wizardry and acclaimed compositions are at their peak, and his raw, mostly first-take vocals bring the core of the song to the forefront. And when asking “what the hell was that sound”—it was probably Farmer Dave, the official leader and founder of the band, his keyboard / lap steel / harmonium work is the glue that holds the flotsam together.

      Dan Horne’s bass (Circles Around The Sun) and Aaron Sperske’s percussion (Beachwood Sparks) are so intertwined it sounds like each of them are both playing drums and bass at the same time.After the instant classic and record store rare find Skifflin’ (2015), The Skiffle Players are ready to release two new works. The Piffle Sayers EP ss made up of a few gems from the Skifflin’ sessions, and can be considered a companion piece to that debut LP. This foreshadows the release of a new full length album scheduled for this fall.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: There's no way with this calibre of musician, that the debut release by the Skiffle Players would be anything but brilliantly executed and immensely enjoyable, and you'll be happy to hear that everyone is indeed on top form. Beautifully evocative, brilliantly written and (as expected), played perfectly. Can't wait for the full-length!

      Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO

      Hallelujah Mystic Garden Part 1

        Halleluja Mystic Garden contains two long sides of blissed out, super tight AMT jams that somehow stretch into the future while staying strongly rooted in the group's celebrated psychedelic history. Hallelujah!, another essential AMT classic including vocals from Cotton Casino! A. Cometary Orbital Drive 2299 B. Third Eye From The Black Sun & Shadow Moon Cotton Casino : voice, astral mama

        Kawabata Makoto : guitar, fretless bass, bouzouki, organ, rhythm machine, electronics, tapes, speed guru Higashi Hiroshi : synthesizer, noodle king Mitsuko☆Tabata : guitar, guitar-synthesizer, voice, kisses & hugs Satoshima Nani : drums, another dimension

        S/T "Wolf" : bass, tapes, space & time recorded at Acid Mothers Temple, Jun. 2016 - Mar. 2017 produced and mixed by Kawabata Makoto.


        Jenn Champion

        Single Rider

          Fans of Jenn Champion (formerly “S”) have praised her open-hearted lyrics, expertly-deployed melancholia, technical skill, and willingness to forgo conventions, but mostly they’ve praised her for making albums they could cry to. With the release of Cool Choices in 2014, Champion made what many considered the best record of her career, and a lot of people cried to it.
          On Single Rider, Champion brings with her all those skills and vulnerabilities, but it is not a record for wallowing: it is a record for intense eye contact on the dancefloor. “Sometimes you are sad and you just want to dance about it,” said Champion. Side B of Cool Choices presaged Champion’s agit-pop transformation. “Let the Light In” and "Tell Me" signalled her move toward a more electronic sound, but it was the digital single “No One” (2016) that marked the clear delineation.

          “I feel like a door got opened in my mind with electronic and digital music. There was a room I hadn’t explored before and I stepped in,” said Champion. While she’d initially intended to follow Cool Choices with “a rock record - guitar, a lot of pedals, heavy riffs,” plans changed. “I couldn’t pull myself away from the synthesizers and I realized the record I really wanted to make was more of a cross between Drake and Billy Joel than Blue Oyster Cult.” Soon after the release of No One, Champion’s publishers partnered her with Brian Fennell, aka SYML, and the two co-wrote the song “Leave Like That” (featured on SYML’s Hurt For Me EP). The pair hit it off, and with nearly all of Champion’s Single Rider demos completed, the timing was perfect--she was looking for a producer. “I guess you could say I pursued Brian.” Fortunately, Fennell was open to being pursued and the two spent the next five months working on Single Rider. “In the studio with Brian, I was more open than I had ever been.” With Champion’s vision and Fennell’s expertise, the record evolved from synthy roughs to a hi-fi dance album.

          Despite the new direction in her sound, emotion cuts through on Single Rider in the classic Champion style, weaving simultaneously pleading-and-incensed vocals into anthemic pop songs. Champion wants her listeners to see that the rooms are all on fire and she has not given up. Taking a double “fuck you” approach to the world, to the patriarchy, all the things which screw you up and hold you back, she is dancing right on out of the disappointment apocalypse with her middle fingers in the air, and you can follow if you want to.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Ltd LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl.

          Features the track ‘PNO' released to coincide with Piano Day 2018 (it made Nils Frahm’s official playlist).

          3PE is the first in a series of releases by Portland, OR, based Luke Wyland under his new LWW moniker. In contrast to his previous work as AU, these are spontaneous explorations in repetition, alternate tuning systems and, for the most part, tempered minimalism.

          After the spiritual rush of ‘CTP’, there are never more than two or three sounds interacting. Unadorned single takes unfold organically to explore the textural and rhythmic possibilities within those limitations.

          Each piece has a distinct palette; from the rolling triumphant piano polyrhythms of ‘PNO’ (included on Nils Frahm’s official Piano Day 2018 playlist) to the unsettling oblique synthesiser angles on ‘DTE’ – Wyland stretches the boundaries of cadence and melody before snpping it all back into line. A direct link can be drawn from the tuned percussion work of ‘PRC’ to AU’s contribution to the influential Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers compilation series, which features the likes of Deerhoof and Juana Molina’s takes on the ‘Congotronics’ music of Kinshasa.

          Many of these recordings date back to the period shortly after AU’s final release Both Lights. The bubbling energy remains, while Wyland’s musical dexterity is all the more startling in these stripped down, unrestricted forms. “There’s a certain fleeting magic to capturing unselfconscious improvisations to tape,” Wyland explains. “A quality that is often lost when tracking an album you intend to release to the public.” Opening epic ‘CTP’ serves to bridge the gap between AU and LWW – “the first track is the only improvisation that I’ve dissected and evolved into a more maximalist composition. The rest of these songs are simple one take snapshots into my process of research - essentially conversations with myself.”


          Blacklab

          Under The Strawberry Moon

            Fuzz, fuzz, fuzz, doom, stoner, more fuzz. Welcome to the world of Blacklab. Blacklab describe themselves as ‘the Dark Witch Doom Duo from Osaka Japan’. However, when it comes to witches, they are more the spectral Sadako from ‘The Ring’ than campy ‘Countess Dracula’. Chilling cool with built in overdrive. Yuko and Chia are undoubtedly immersed in the Japanese stoner doom scene, and it’s no surprise that with this first offering, they’ve pulled out a calling card that is as ‘in yer face’ and arresting as anything out there. A full frontal assault of distorted riffs, howls and ghostly vocals, as well as bags of riot girrl attitude and lo-fi bravado. In fact, listening to them brings back that frisson of excitement you got (those who may be old enough to remember) when you heard Mudhoney’s ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff’ for the first time. But grunge they are not, and neither are they ‘occult rock’ as such.

            Being nominally a ‘Doom’ band, expect a bucket load of Sabbath worship for sure, but Blacklab have a vibe and experimental undertow akin more to their countrymen ‘Boris’ and the souped up lo-fi fuzz of Ty Segall or Comets On Fire. Tracks like ‘Black Moon’ ‘Hidden Garden’ ‘Spoon’ ‘Symptom Of The Blacklab’ (which starts like Sabbath … then thrashes somewhere else), twist, burn and boil into the red. ‘His Name Is …’ is a churning chunky throb. ‘Spoon’ and ‘Warm Death’ offer moments of relief and crushing noise. And ‘Big Muff’ is … well … 9 minutes of drum-less fuzz, that will probably do serious damage to your speakers.

            What’s not to love. This first Blacklab release on NHS, is a version of their ‘Under The Strawberry Moon’ album which was released in tiny numbers on CD only in Japan, a pull together of previous tracks and new songs recorded over 2017. But the NHS variant is different. Wayne Adams (Death Pedals, Shitwife, Vodun, Casual Nun) noise guru at Bear Bites Horse Studio, has remixed the tracks to maximum effect, upping the fuzz and weight of the originals, to create Under The Strawberry Moon 2.0. exclusively for NHS. You will not be disappointed. It’s an album full of promise, and we at New Heavy Sounds are super stoked to be working with ‘the Dark Witch Doom Duo from Osaka Japan’. 

            Cult Party

            And Then There Was This Sound

              Manchester band Cult Party have announced their first album in two years, And Then There Was This Sound, set for release on 21st July via Manchester's Icecapades Records (Slowcoaches, Joey Fourr, Sprinters, Sex Hands...)

              They've also shared 'I Got The Blues This Morning', a gorgeous folk effort which displays bandleader Leo Robinson's poignant vocals through his confessional storytelling

              Beginning life as the bedroom project of multi-disciplinary artist Leo Robinson - a specialist in the kind of hushed, evocative recordings which bring to mind the intimacy of well-loved acts like The Microphones and Thanksgiving - Cult Party has quickly blossomed into one of the most respected bands working out of Manchester.

              Recorded last year with a close-knit group of friends, including Moshi Moshi Records' signee Kiran Leonard, And Then There Was this Sound follows on from Leo's last full-length effort, the long sold out, Eternal Love & The Death of Everything. The new album was composed and recorded at the same time as Leo, who also works as a visual artist, was busy readying artwork for his debut solo show at the Tiwani Gallery.

              With his creativity at a peak, and ideas humming around his head, Leo and his band have produced a rich follow-up album with its eyes very much to the sky. Brimming with energy, inventiveness and positivity, it's a master-class in taut songwriting and economical arrangement.

              Buoyed by the assistance of some of the best musicians in Manchester, Leo's guitar playing delivers a transcendental, meditative quality, adding weight to a suite of beautifully arranged and generously orchestrated songs. Alongside a minimal set-up of guitar, vocals, organ, cello, violin and percussion, Leo's baritone croon intones a sequence of emotionally expressive lyrics, veering from free-associative poetry to intimate confessionals. All of this adds up to a wonderfully warm record that spans four tracks and over forty minutes of music, inviting you into the world of its creator.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Yeah! Icecapades return with another killer outing, this time from folk aficionado and hugely talented songwriter, Cult Party. Think The Microphones / Mount Eerie (early Noah And The Whale vox) with a bit of the dark looping guitar of Alexander tucker etc. Beautiful, and totally essential as always.

              When you listen to the Shacks' self-titled debut EP, you might imagine that Shannon Wise and Max Shrager are much older than their respective 18 and 20 years. But when Shannon’s whisper-vocals breeze through the speakers, you hear the youthfulness of their sound which then in turn explains the fearlessness of their songwriting. Both vaguely familiar and completely fresh, The Shacks are one of the most interesting NYC bands to surface in a minute. Since the release of their first single, "Strange Boy," which they recorded with El Michels Affair, The Shacks have been compared to 90’s indie icons like Mazzy Star, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Broadcast. As good as those bands are, you wouldn’t find a single one of their records in Max and Shannon’s music collection. All these bands are drinking from the same well, just 20 years apart. Highlights from The Shacks EP include a cover of the Ray Davies-penned "Strange Effect," which Shannon sings as if it were written for her, giving the song an unnerving edge that’s way more interesting than Dave Berry’s tepid original. Also included on the EP is "Orchids," one of Leon Michels and Max Shrager's first co-productions, recorded at the legendary Diamond Mine studios. "Orchids" is a truly original piece of music that showcases The Shacks’ adventurousness in the studio. "Left It With the Moon" is a lo-fi lullaby written by Shannon and recorded to 4 track cassette at Max’s home studio in Princeton, NJ. And "Hands In Your Pockets" features the Frightnrs rhythm section laying down a pitch-perfect rocksteady backing track behind Shannon’s deadpan delivery a la Jane Birkin. 

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Twanging indie-rock guitars and 70's influenced fuzzy harmonies interwoven with the soothing and silky vocals of Shannon Wise. A bracing and enchanting listen, full of irresistible hooks and undeniable charm.

              The Twisted Wheel in Manchester is one of the legendary names in British clubbing history. Originally launched in a coffee bar in 1963 it quickly developed a reputation as one of the country’s finest venues for hearing obscure, imported soul, R&B and ska records. Music fans would flock from all around the country to the weekly all-nighters to hear these records along with live sets from some of the finest soul artists of the time. The term ‘Northern Soul’ was in fact first coined by the journalist Dave Godin following a visit to the Twisted Wheel to describe the distinctive brand of music played there.

              Catapult yourself back to the mid-60’s with the biggest classics that were once spun at the Twisted Wheel. Featuring a host of legendary R&B artists including Bobby “Blue” Bland, Joe Haywood, The Sharpees, Benny Spellman, Alvin Robinson, Solomon Burke, Ernie K-Doe, The Rubaiyats, The Ad Libs, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino and more, all newly restored from the original analogue tapes.

              Various Artists

              Fabriclive 99: DJ Q

                A prolific artist, DJ Q and his speedy, bassline sound first gained notoriety via his 2007 smash hit ‘U Wot’. This secured him a six year stint as a DJ on BBC Radio 1Xtra. He has over one hundred productions and remixes under his belt. Album releases include his solo work - ‘Ineffable’, his collaborative ‘UKG’ which dropped in 2017 as one third of outfit TQD, followed by ‘All Night’ out this year.

                Bar one track, ‘FABRICLIVE 99’ contains all previously unreleased music and features 15 of his own productions alongside cuts from Todd Edwards, TQD, Royal-T, Flava D, Jack Junior, Swindle and others.

                Moving between bassline, UK garage, bumping house and beyond, Q’s mix captures the next-generation soundtrack from the Huddersfield-born DJ and producer.

                It’s a familiar story: fledgling singer does soul-sucking day job in order to fund their real passion during the nocturnal hours. Except Mattiel Brown, Atlanta’s rising star, is a rare exception to this time-honoured tradition: a fulfilled creative by day and night, albeit in different contexts. “It’s like I have two full-time jobs: designer and musician,” she says, humbly hip to her good fortune.

                During office hours, Brown works as an ad designer and illustrator at MailChimp, a position she’s enjoyed for four years. “I work with a great video production team, in a great studio. Luckily, they’re a company that encourage side gigs.” Out of office hours, Brown swaps the design studio for the stage, a softly-spoken, chilled-out design nerd turned rock & roll belter, performing bold, vintage soul as Mattiel (pronounced ‘maa-TEEL’).

                Brown grew up on a five-acre farm in rural Brooks, Georgia, the only child of a Detroit native. “My mom bought the farm in the early ‘90s. She had – still has – horses, so I learned to ride western-style when I was 6, 7 years-old,” (a skill Brown nods to in her cover art). “We had a vegetable garden and chickens. My mom would sell sheep’s wool and eggs. Before that, she’d been a professional set decorator working on films. She’s a really driven, creative person. I definitely inherited my work ethic from her.”

                As an adolescent, Brown delighted in the ‘60s folk and pop of her mother’s limited vinyl collection: Donovan, Peter Paul and Mary, and Joan Baez. As an adult, relocated in neighbouring Atlanta, she’d sing along to the radio on the long drives to work: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Andre 3000, Dylan, Marc Bolan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jack White.

                When Brown first began jamming with InCrowd, the Atlanta-based song-writing and production team behind her dynamite eponymous debut, she had no real designs on making a whole album and no game plan beyond the fun of “creating something out of nothing.” She said, “That process is always pretty astounding to me, and doing it with other people is even better.” But her producers, Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley, knew a good thing when they heard it: Brown and InCrowd had chemistry.

                InCrowd’s founders, both skilled multi-instrumentalists, met in 2014, as session musicians touring with soul man Curtis Harding. Michael – an experienced player who’d co-written with Harding and racked up impressive session spots with the likes of Bruno Mars, and The Next Day-era Bowie – played guitar, while Swilley ¬(producer, writer and performer since age 9 and younger brother of Black Lips bassist Jared) played drums. On the road, they bonded over a mutual love of vintage R&R and ‘90s rap. “We discovered we both loved The Beatles as much as Jay-Z, Dylan as much as the Arctic Monkeys,” remembers Swilley. Back in Atlanta, once the Harding tour had wrapped, the pair formed a band, Black Linen, writing reverb-washed guitar music inspired by Tarantino soundtracks, by way of ‘60s Cambodian psych. Brown knew Michael from his days in The Booze, a popular local act who’d tour with OK Go before their demise. She’d kept track of him, aware that they shared a musical kinship. “[Randy] was the only person I knew who was into the music I was into.” When she reached out, asking to cut a Donovon cover record at Michael’s garage-turned-studio, Toco Electric, he was dubious. “I thought she'd have this little, whispery voice, you know? But she blew me away! She sounded like ‘60s-era Cher doing Dylan or something. I just knew she’d be perfect for the Black Linen stuff.” “We knew immediately that we wanted to work with her,” Swilley concurs. By then, around 2014, InCrowd were deep on a ’50s Leiber and Stoller bend, says Michael: “The Coasters, The Drifters, all that good stuff.” Bored with Atlanta’s “ultra cool” enclaves, they’d built their own scene, says Michael. They’d put on and promote reviews-style gigs, a 12-man strong house band (“our very own Wrecking Crew”) backing various InCrowd vocalists. “We were just making it happen, doing it ourselves.”

                In the studio, Michael cut InCrowd records live, no overdubs, feeding everything through a rare analogue Peavey soundboard. “That’s how InCrowd rolls. What you hear on our records is everyone playing and singing together, in the same room, at the same time. We cut it right there, as it happens, and its either magic or its not.”

                Mattiel’s process was just so: InCrowd supplied the instrumental compositions – raucous, swinging medleys frilled with organs and brass – while Brown provided vocals and lyrics, the latter often written freestyle, in situ. “That’s where the parallels between music and design really happen,” says Brown. “Your limitations – time, space, expense – push you to be as creative as you can with what you have.”

                The resulting collection of songs is a dynamite salvo of retro-inspired rock & soul, from the gun-slinging stomp of “Whites Of Their Eyes,” to the string-laden self-affirmation of “Count Your Blessings,” penned by Brown after a spate of the blues brought on by a period of ill health. “Its a song I wrote for myself to myself, like 'you’re gonna get through this, you’re gonna be okay.'”

                Mattiel’s sound might borrow from the past, but their art direction – Brown’s inspiring handiwork, of course – is decidedly forward-thinking, all colour block aesthetics (á la the White Stripes) and artful, design-savvy music videos. “I don’t wanna hit people over the head with like, bell bottoms and long hair and a Jimmy Hendrix outfit,” Brown laughs. “People have seen all that before.”

                Mattiel is a “fresh mesh of retro and contemporary,” says Swilley, the latter thanks in large part to Brown’s vision, voice and on-stage energy. “She's very exciting to watch. She doesn't rehearse it or try to emulate anyone; she's just doing own her thing. And she's not fazed by the crowds [as evidenced during their shows to date: a recent, three-date support slot for Portugal The Man]. It’s kind of incredible really, because in person she's pretty chilled and softly spoken, but when she gets on stage...in the last six months, she's really been killing it.”

                With a European festival circuit tour scheduled for this summer, Mattiel is no longer Atlanta’s best kept secret. Look out, world.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Andy says: This ace debut is an explosion of 60's....ooh: EVERYTHING! Classic, warm, garage riffing, soully melodies but with a huskily honeyed folky voice. And the songwriting is superb!

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Crystal coloured vinyl. Comes with download that includes bonus tracks.

                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                The blueprint for a futuristic new dancehall style is laid out on this debut full-length release from Miss Red, produced by close collaborator Kevin Martin aka the Bug. A fully realised and precision-tooled longplayer that sits in an outernational beat continuum alongside the likes of Jamaica’s Equiknoxx, Canada’s Seekersinternational and Portugal’s Principe crew. Miss Red’s fierce flow rides roughshod over warped bashment anthems like “Shock Out” and “One Shot Killer”, but the album also showcases her ability to adapt to different flavours with the addition of ethereal harmonies to the psyched out arcade blips of “Clouds” or the plaintive dystopian lament of “War”. Similarly, the Bug’s riddims are a masterclass in restraint, retaining his trademark heaviness but taking a step back from the atmospheric ambience of his recent work with Burial and Earth. Instead this is an example of the dexterity with which Martin can deploy a minimal arrangement, taking a bassline, beat, FX and vocal and sharpening those elements for maximum dancefloor devastation.

                In 2015 she dropped her first solo mixtape, Murder, with The Bug’s riddims supplemented with contributions from other producers such as Mark Pritchard, Mumdance and Andy Stott. Subsequent singles on her own Red label and the in-house imprint of iconic London record shop Sounds Of The Universe have sold out straight away, and she has received acclaim for her collaborations with Warp Records artist Gaika. The Miss Red persona has developed over time spent in London and Berlin, and as a regular member of the Bug’s touring line-up alongside fellow MCs Flowdan, Daddy Freddy, Warrior Queen and Riko Dan. From before she left Tel Aviv she was magnetically attracted to the sound, style and fashion of the reggae scene in Jamaica: “ Nicodemus really influenced me, but as a girl, it wasn’t my voice, and it was listening to those 80s dancehall gyals that I gravitated towards, because they were chatting as proud girls, and from a female perspective, so it was vocalists like Sister Nancy and Lady Ann that really made the biggest impression on me”. Of K.O. specifically, she comments: “For me, reggae is the foundation of this record but the album’s movement is freer. It mirrors my need to move and keep challenging myself. As a white Israeli girl working as an MC in the music industry, and in particular as a singer, it’s a BIG battle to be taken seriously, and as a woman in the music industry, I am in an obvious minority, the situation is clear, the MAN is still in control - that has got to be addressed, and changed. ”


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                It's been a long road leading to this album for Tyler Daley and Konny Kon.

                They first embarked on their expedition into the music game two decades back - Tyler entered the scene as a songwriter, producer and vocalist, originally under the moniker Hoodman, whilst Konny began MCing, DJing and beat-making for hip hop crews The Microdisiacs and Broke'n'£nglish, along with DRS & Strategy.

                To date, Children of Zeus have released three sell-out singles on First Word ('Still Standing', 'I Can't Wait' and 'Slow Down') and a compilation EP comprised of tracks made by the duo over the last decade entitled 'The Story So Far…'.

                Children of Zeus are finally at the stage where they are releasing their debut album proper; the

                over-riding ethos of which is about keeping their eyes on the road ahead, whilst shedding the baggage they've accumulated over the years - 'Travel Light'.

                Features mainly come from Manny family; [ K S R ], LayFullStop, Metrodome (Levelz) and former Broke 'n' £nglish spar DRS. Guest production comes in the form of Switzerland's Sebb Bash, Nottingham's Juga-Naut, and London's Beat Butcha, and there's your favourite DJ's favourite DJ,

                Mr Thing, slicing up the turntables on two tracks too. There's a few extra special ingredients on this album, along with their trademark sub-heavy, rhodes-laden hip hop soul hybrid. Reggae music has always been an integral piece of the CoZ sound-system ethic, so we see Tyler putting on his lover's rock hat for 'Hard Work', and they invite soul queen Terri Walker to join them on the fierce 'Sling Shot Riddim', while the album closes with the epic K15-produced jazz-bruk opus, 'Vibrations', on which Konny breaks it down quite simply: "high frequency means that you travel light, so get lifted yo, we'll live gifted".

                Long as the journey has been, the time for looking back is over. This is about the present and future of Children of Zeus. A shining light in Manchester's now-school, and rightly heralded by many as the best new act to emerge in British soul music in the past decade. Aside from the above features, this project is written, performed and produced entirely by Tyler and Konny. Since the crew first took flight, the end destination has never changed, the aim remains the same - to create timeless music, in their own unique style, without compromise, irrespective of industry and life distractions. The moral being this - travel light.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Matt says: Are Children Of Zeus the most important thing to happen to Northwest hip-hop for the last ten years? Sorry, inabit everyone else! A homecoming triumph for these superstars...

                Dirty Projectors’ new album ‘Lamp Lit Prose’ is produced by Dave Longstreth at his studio Ivo Shandor in Los Angeles.

                The album features guest appearances from Syd, Empress Of, Amber Mark, Haim, Rostam, Robin Pecknold and Dear Nora, as well as longtime Dirty Projectors rhythm section Nat Baldwin and Mike Johnson.

                ‘Lamp Lit Prose’ arrives just over a year after 2017’s self-titled ‘Dirty Projectors’. Here Longstreth’s band returns with a new album that is the yang to the yin of the 2017 effort. The songs signal a page turned for Longstreth: hope instead of heartbreak, a restorative balance. Guitars have returned to the Dirty Projectors’ world, intricate vocal harmony too. ‘Lamp Lit Prose’ is a recommitment to the sounds and ideals of Dirty Projectors, embracing the band’s trademarks while pushing forward the sonic envelope.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Andy says: Luminous, dislocated, lushly produced warm vibes pervade on this gorgeous new record. Ace!

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition 180 gram coloured vinyl.

                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                Body/Head, the duo of Kim Gordon (CKM, Sonic Youth, Free Kitten) and guitarist Bill Nace (X.O.4, Vampire Belt, Ceylon Mange), release their second studio album, ‘The Switch’, on Matador Records.

                Their debut album together as Body/Head, ‘Coming Apart’, from 2013, was more of a rock record - heavy, emotional, cathartic, spellwork in shades of black and grey. ‘The Switch’ is their second studio full length and it finds the duo working with a more subtle palette, refining their ideas and identity. Some of it was sketched out live (if you’ve not had the fortune of seeing them in that natural environment yet, see 2016’s improvisational document ‘No Waves’) but much of it happened purely in the moment.

                On ‘The Switch’, their vision and focus feel truly unified. If ‘Coming Apart’ was dark magic, ‘The Switch’ works with light, though it never forgets that these approaches are two sides of the same coin and that binaries - black/white, near/far, emotion/analysis, body/head - are made to be broken open and that the truth of things is in the energy between.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Matt says: Stained with biker grease and fried on the engine heat, this basically drum-less excursion into exhaust fume biker blues hits like a spice-laced cigerette in Piccadilly Gardens. Y'ouch!

                Rayland Baxter

                Wide Awake

                  Thoreau had Walden Pond. Kerouac had Big Sur. Rayland Baxter? He had an old rubber band factory in Franklin, Kentucky, and it suited him just fine. As one of the hardest-touring artists on the road today, Baxter’s spent most of his professional life in transit, but ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of creative seclusion someplace lonely and isolated, somewhere he could sit still and devote his every waking hour to writing without interruption or distraction. When the opportunity finally presented itself in late 2016, the Nashville native pounced.

                  “I packed everything in my van and moved to Franklin for three months,” says Baxter. “It was the fist time I ever got to be alone and focus solely on songs like that. All I did was write, write, write all day every day. I was obsessed.”

                  By the time Baxter emerged, he’d penned more than 50 tunes and crafted a detailed blueprint for his spectacular new album, ‘Wide Awake.’ Deftly produced by Butch Walker, the record infuses Baxter’s easygoing, soulful sound with British Invasion melodies and rock and roll swagger, marrying lean, muscular songwriting with adventurous, inventive arrangements. It’s a cutting, insightful collection, one that takes a sardonic view the violence, greed, and division that seem to define the modern American landscape. Rather than point a finger, though, the music holds up a mirror, offering a sober reflection of the times thoughtfully bundled in bright, infectious hooks. There’s no judgment here, only keen observation, and Baxter implicates himself as much as his neighbor through it all.

                  “This is an album about decision making,” he explains. “It’s about being a human at the crossroads. Do I do good or do I do evil? Do I lie or do I tell the truth? Am I going to be happy or am I going to be sad? All of these questions and emotions are things I see in myself, and they’re the same things I see in everyone else no matter where I go.”

                  Baxter’s built a career on capturing those sorts of timeless, deeply human sentiments, bringing colorful characters to vivid life with equal parts humor and pathos. His debut album, ‘feathers & fishhooks,’ was a critical hit praised by Interview for its “well-worn maturity,” while NPR described “Yellow Eyes,” the lead single from his 2015 follow-up, ‘Imaginary Man,’ as “close-to-perfect.” Stereogum dubbed the record “an impeccable sophomore break-out,” and Rolling Stone hailed its pairing of “whimsical narrative with often deceptively complex arrangements.” The music earned Baxter festival appearances from Bonnaroo to Newport Folk in addition to tours with an astonishing array of artists, including Jason Isbell, The Lumineers, Kacey Musgraves, The Head and The Heart, Shakey Graves, Lauryn Hill, and Grace Potter.

                  “The six months leading up to the release of ‘Imaginary Man,’ that was the first time I really started playing electric guitar and performing with a band,” says Baxter. “We did my first headline run and toured that album for a year-and-a-half, and the experience really opened up this whole new sound for me. It helped me figure out more of who I was as an artist and a songwriter and a traveler and a human being.”

                  It was with that newfound sense of self that Baxter entered Thunder Sound, the abandoned rubber band factory-turned-studio in the cornfields of Kentucky that would become his home for three months of intensive soul searching and songwriting.

                  “I blanketed the windows so no one could see inside,” he explains. “I laid a mattress down next to an old Wurlitzer so I had somewhere to sleep. I had a guitar, a desk with a lamp and some paper and pencils, and that was it. For fifteen hours a day, I wrote.”

                  When it came time to record his mountain of new songs, Baxter relocated to Santa Monica, California, where he wrangled an all-star studio band that included Dr. Dog’s Erick Slick on drums, Butch Walker on bass, Cage The Elephant’s Nick Bockrath on guitar, and piano wizard Aaron Embry (Elliott Smith, Brian Eno) on keys. A producer and artist equally at home working with massive pop stars and indie stalwarts, Walker immediately embraced Baxter’s vision for the album, and the result is a sunny and altogether charming collection. Scratch beneath the surface, though, and you’ll find it’s populated by a cast of characters who project a vision of the good life as they struggle to keep it all together behind closed doors. On the punchy ‘Casanova,’ the singer reckons with debts he knows he’ll never be able to repay, while the volatile “Amelia Baker” charts the narrator’s descent into near-madness as he pines for a starlet perpetually out of reach.

                  “We have this society where we’re obsessed with celebrity and living on the top of the mountain,” says Baxter. “But what’s at the top? Maybe it’s a lonely place to wake up.”

                  Late 2016 was a particular tumultuous time in the country, and though Baxter did his best to isolate himself from the outside world while he wrote, it was inevitable that some of the chaos would seep in. On album opener “Strange American Dream,” a chiming piano and spare Motown groove give way to lush harmonies and unexpected melodic twists as Baxter sings, “I close my eyes and realize that I’m alive inside this strange American dream.” Meanwhile, the soaring “79 Shiny Revolvers” finds him reflecting, “you really wanna save the world, man / well, I wanna save it, too / we can blow ’em away / the American way.”

                  While ‘Wide Awake’ offers plenty of broad, wide-angle musings, some of its most arresting moments arrive bundled inside deeply personal memories and snapshots. The heartfelt “Everything To Me” is a tender tribute to family (Baxter’s father Bucky, who played pedal steel with Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams among others, contributes to the record), and the laidback “Let It All Go Man” is a reminder that there’s beauty in simply being alive.

                  “I actually started that song two years ago on a trip to South America,” says Baxter. “I was sitting on the porch of a house in this little town in Colombia, and I was all alone playing a gut string classical guitar, just staring out at the ocean and the beach in the middle of the night. It made me realize how much unnecessary stuff we hold on to, all the grinding away we do chasing success and money and missing the big picture. It made me realize what an incredibly beautiful gift it is to be human.”

                  That empty South American beach may have been a world away from the rubber band factory in Kentucky, but for Baxter, the effect was the same. The solitude offered a chance to observe, to reflect, to grow, to appreciate, and most importantly, to write.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Andy says: Effortlessly melodic pop craftsmanship in a Southern/ West Coast easy stylee. This is the perfect album for the summer.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  LP Info: Orange coloured vinyl.

                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  The Bleachés, pronounced ‘bleeshays’, formed in Manchester in 2016. One of their early shows were described by The Afterword as “Clearly in thrall to the Brian Jonestown Massacre, they’re a bit ramshackle but in a good way... they get a proper psychedelic, garagey racket going and they whip up some nice choppy guitar riffs that should stand them in good stead. I like them.” After supporting a number of touring bands such as Os Mutantes, Elephant Stone, Tracy Bryant and Flyying Colours, The Bleachés recorded and released their debut EP – “Easter Island” digitally in May 2018. The six track EP was recorded across two studios in Manchester by two friends Billy Morley & Alex Burnett-Scott. The tracks blend between hazy, melodic jams to upbeat garage rock, with Chloe’s soothing vocals entwined throughout. Easter Island was reviewed by Local Sound Focus shortly after its release: “There are hints of West Coast psychedelic pop, psych, a haze of dream pop, hints of 4AD bands like the Cocteau Twins, bits of strange freaky 60s European pop and that sort of post rave slightly fuzzy danceable rock… The best I can do is to say that if you like music made with care, music that takes you to a great place, music with a groove, music that takes a whole load of influences and puts them together in a way you’ve not heard before, then try this, you won’t be disappointed.”


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Mine says: Having seen almost every single gig they've played since they started out 2 years ago you might think that I am biased but let me tell you that these guys and gal have a seriously addictive sound. Easter Island is a collection of dreamy and hazy psych pop songs that is sure to sweeten your summer! RIYL: Holy Wave, Allah-Las, La Luz

                  Deafheaven

                  Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

                    Deafheaven’s new album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, finds them working with old friends again. The Jack Shirley-produced and Nick Steinhardt-art directed (of Touché Amoré) collection gets its title from Graham Greene’s novel The End of the Affair, referencing a moment when someone is looking for love, in all of its imperfection and simple beauty. This sentiment is carried throughout the hazy, yearning romanticism of the record with song titles and words as sumptuous as the sounds around them.

                    Clarke describes the composition of Ordinary Corrupt Human Love beginning with “small seeds of healing, repair, and rebirth,” and like each subsequent Deafheaven album, this record is, in fact, a revelation. Defeat has inspired some of our best art. If you survive something terrible, you surface on the other side, walk toward the light, and come back to life. If you’re an artist, this kind of new self-knowledge can lead to creating something universal and remembered, something that can live longer than you do.

                    While Deafheaven have managed to cross over this road in the past, they’ve nailed the feeling wholly with Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, a feeling that comes with experience and wisdom. Yes, everybody deals with hurt, everybody’s been the cause of their own implosions, and everybody has the capacity to overcome and love again. Deafheaven have found a way to externalize all of this, and in making their most complete record to date, they turn it into a balm and a cathartic exorcism.


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Matt says: Shimmering shoegaze interludes are soon destroyed by wrecking ball hardcore riffs and guilded metal rampages. Take cover!

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2xColoured LP Info: RSD Stores Exclusive ltd to 400 copies for the UK – Clear with solid purple.

                    LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                    Everyone to the rave cave! Speed For Lovers are here to make you dance! Originally from Sheffield, Liverpool & The Forest Of Dean, the three lovers met in the network of little mesters music studios on John Street in Sheffield. Initially engineering, producing and playing on each other's projects, they subsequently teamed up to form Speed For Lovers in 2010. 
                    The past eight years have been spent wearing out rave trainers, building studios in their attics and sheds, geeking out with Sound on Sound articles and faffing with tech. With two members who came and stayed and one who couldn't leave, 'Hot Yoga Emoji' is the band's ode to Sheffield. Field recordings of late nights out and early stumblings home link tracks together and place their moments of creation in the city. 
                    Spurred on by Sheffield's Kabal nights and trips to The Electric Chair in Mcr, 'Hot Yoga Emoji' mixes live drums and bass guitar with pocket sound generators, old synths and vocals to create an album of irresistible live dance music!

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: Somebody pinch me! I've darted back through some sort of temporal twister and found myself carefree and keyed up, losing my shit to a dance punk masterpiece. Recalling the best bits of golden era DFA, Gramme or Crazy P, this Sheffield crew are here to make you move.

                    Fresher than an Outlaw's margarita, bendy like a banana and sleazier than Holbeck Lane, Leeds Zmatsutsi level up from the singles bar into the tantric world of the long player. Joining the ranks of longterm party pals Macadam Mambo, Joe, Heidi and Tim, translate a lifetime of late nights, leftfield selections and loose-limbed moves into "Hooked Up" - a five tracker of freaky disco and eyeball licking fun.
                    The dominatrix is wide awake on opening cut "Slip Side" as Heidi gets nice and Cosey inside a slow and low machine groove pulled from the very heart of a K-hole. Fizzing with animal intensity and voodoo funk, this one keeps you dancing while the anaesthesic takes over. The dark wired wonder continues on "Endless Pavments", a deep black hit of bass sequence whose kosmische keys charters a night flight from Leeds Bradford to Flughafen Düsseldorf, just in time to catch last orders at Salon. Next up, the titular "Hooked Up" absolutely slays with a Bobby O bassline, slo-mo Italo chug and cocaine disco guitars, the beats bringing maximum energy and minimal tempo while Heidi and Dalek Heidi give the heavy breathers and peeping Toms a piece of their mind. "Keep An Eye" dials down the intensity a little after the full pump of the B1, Zmatsutsi opting instead to hook us on a hypnotic blend of mystic leadlines, fractal sequences and Sonoran guitar. Our rave renegades sign off with the grind and groove of "Neon Lights" a murky minimal wave meets fuck-funk wrong'un which filters about 40 years of fringe dance floor brilliance through the medicated minds of Leeds' finest. 


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: You lift a floorboard in your new house and find a VHS of unknown origin. Slipping it into your Philips you find an alternate reality recording of TOTP '84 which features a purple thonged Prince getting spanked by Cosey Fanni Tutti, Patrick Cowley live soundtracking a giantess pegging special and Baldelli serving coke in a gimp mask. This is so far up my strasse it's hitting my prostate...

                    Ground is an Osaka native, but his soul is truly that of a nomad, traversing the planet, befriending the kindred spirits found in humans, animals and plants. He is exceptionally receptive to the beauty in all that surrounds him -the incidental music of a busy city street, the orchestrated chaos of a scrambling radio, the syncopated grace of a migrating flock of birds, the simplicity of an isolated hand clap - and as his map continuously unfolds, he accumulates a vast catalogue of visceral tools to complex musically recount his experiences. "Sunizm" is a cross section of the artist’s process - an array of complex microcosms overlapping to comprise a thematic whole - gathering field recordings, found instrumentation, jagged electronics, and synthesized chanting, to be woven into a dense narrative that appears both obsessively constructed and divinely improvised. With each consecutive track, the artist gradually constructs hypnotic patterns that 1-up the mind as it struggles to break free from a seduction of loops, steadily intensifying until reaching an apex of sound collage so cerebral that the listener might consider a post-album shower. But alas, the fourth quarter releases a bit of pressure, our gobs still lay smacked but there is a warm confidence as the psychedelic trial delivers us home to nod out. Dear humans, animals and plants, Ground and the ESP Institute present, "Sunizm".

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: I've been all over DJ Ground since I heard his mega edit work on a massive Mori Ra 12". Picking up from where he left off on his Bartellow collab (Still in my record bag), the Osaka producer effortlessly combines futuristic electronic sound, precise sampler work and rich organic textures to create a groovy and psychedelic vision of shamanic house. Highly recommended for any daytrippers out there...

                    Donato Dozzy

                    Filo Loves The Acid

                    For its 303rd release, Tresor Records is glad to present a commissioned work by Donato Dozzy.

                    Rome based production maestro and DJ extraordinaire Donato Dozzy is unanimously considered as an illustrious leading light in all techno artforms.

                    Along his long career and extensive discography, Dozzy has proven to use his instruments most interesting ways, always re-inventing his music, always presenting new approaches to both the deeper and the more rhythmic forms of electronic music. It was self-evident to Tresor Records to enroll Donato Dozzy’s talents for this assignment, a nod to the seminal Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer.

                    The result is a relentless collection of radical, propulsive and bleeding-heart acid tracks. Donato Dozzy wishes to dedicate this work to his lifelong friend Filo. 


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Matt says: Brilliantly timed to conincide with Tresor's 303rd release, new school acid maverik Dozzy comes correct with a double disc set of his idiosyncratic Roland warblings.

                    David Sylvian & Holger Czukay

                    Plight & Premonition Flux & Mutability

                    "Plight & Premonition, Flux & Mutability", both titles are predicated on instability. Meanings are equally mutable, perhaps the beginning of a spiritual journey, a climate of uncertainty, the experience of improvisation, a door opening (that may quickly close again). That first nocturnal session in the Can studio began unconsciously, or at least without initial awareness that music was being made, Sylvian enjoying the opportunity to play a pump organ, then growing aware of a slippage in the room as Czukay played orchestral samples through the fold back system: “I fell into a trance.” Ethereal sounds looped through the space. He moved to the piano, searching for something concrete. After ten or fifteen minutes he found it, only to hear Czukay tell him to move on: “He’d only wanted the process, the uncertainty, the ambiguity of the searching out of ideas.” The night wore on; as soon as fixity or some compositional motif crept in, so the machines would be taken out of record, as if establishing an equilibrium between the transience of making and the indelibility of recording. 

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: Two superbly esoteric electronic recordings from the very late eighties get their first ever vinyl reissue thanks to those fine folks at Gronland. The work of musical auteurs David Sylvian and Holger Czukay, these four pieces offer a purity of sound, progressive approach to audio and immersive arrangement. Far out!

                    Kalita Records treat any deep disco diggers to the first ever official reissue of the four choice tracks from Randolph Baker's privately pressed elusive 1982 disco album 'Reaching For The Stars', plus an unreleased instrumental take of 'Party Life' sourced from the original 24-track analogue master tapes.

                    Originally recorded at Jim Morris and Rick Miller's Tampa-based Morrisound Studios, 'Getting Next To You' features a mixture of both local Florida talent plus jazz superstar Nat Adderley and bassist John Lamb at their finest. Originally pressed in a run of just one-thousand copies, with limited distribution, original copies have long been sought-after by both collectors and DJs alike, acknowledged as a true disco masterpiece and deservedly demanding extortionate figures to those lucky enough to find their own.

                    Here, in collaboration with Randolph, Kalita Records offer the four in-demand tracks from the album: ‘Getting Next To You’, ‘Jazzman’, ‘Callin’ Me’ and ‘Party Life’. The former is an in-demand horn and chant-filled disco masterpiece, which, as Randolph explains, concerns unity and “everyone on the same level… in other words, everyone just loving life”. It is arguably the song that Randolph is most well-known for in the disco and funk scene and perfect for the modern discerning dance floor. ‘Jazzman’ is an instrumental track with prominent trumpet and saxophone solos working with funky basslines to produce a truly great jazz-funk groove. ‘Callin’ Me’ is a soulful disco number featuring the lead vocals of Laurie Erickson and is “about being on the road and ensuring loved ones that you will always come back home no matter what. It was like a promise to ensure loved ones they didn't have to worry”. Lastly, ‘Party Life’ is a joyous disco track with a strong funk bassline and horns. Here, with access to the 24-track master tapes we have been able to include the original version plus an unreleased instrumental take, allowing us to focus on the infectious bassline and make it even more ready for the modern dance floor.


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: Flirty and frisky feel good disco here from Kalita who go deep on a digging mission to reissue one of the rarest private press gems from Tampa, Florida! Hands in the air time...

                    Producer Okzharp and vocalist//artist-cum-dancer Manthe Ribane both hail from South Africa, where Manthe still resides, while Okzharp lives in London where he is a DJ and producer, initially cutting his teeth in LV, who in 2007 were one of the very first acts signed to Hyperdub. Manthe has been at the forefront of South Africa's cutting edge fashion, art and dance worlds for over a decade. After leaving LV, Okzharp and Manthe started collaborating, going on to release two well-received EPs on Hyperdub, "Dumella 113" and "Tell Your Vision", recorded in Joburg and London respectively.

                    The recording of "Closer Apart" reflects the title. Okzharp says 'Most of the music came out of headphone moments in hotel rooms, planes and airports in the brief periods of time that we spent together.’ Describing Manthe as a co -producer, he continues ‘She selected instrumental sketches and we developed them together, sometimes just keeping the bare bones or a melody or rhythm, or trying different elements or sounds.’ Even though the album was built long distance, the short periods they spent together were the ground zero for creativity. Okzharp recalls 'One particular moment in Milan last year, we had a whole free day before our flight so we visited the Salone di Mobile design show. We were so inspired by an installation there just walking around, listening to the amazing soundtrack. That evening our flight was delayed, so we sat on the floor of the airport terminal putting musical ideas down for "Time Machine" on the laptop speakers and writing the lyrics. 'Tic Toc time, we'll be fine / Airport queues, cerulean blues / Viper trails cross the skies / Lights reflect in your eyes...' "Closer Apart" has a softness and openness that contrasts the tougher sound of the EPs. Manthe explains, 'The new music is a 360 turn, an expression of my Lady(like) side. I grew up listening to Jazz, Classic and Gospel, I am a very soft spoken person, and it resonates with being confident with that. It's been crazy finding balance and finding a smart way to strengthen my weaknesses, I had to trust the process.’ 


                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Matt says: Painfully fresh and emotional album here on Hyperdub. Evocative and heartfelt lyrics combine with cutting edge production and a skeletal, atmospheric and gaseous aesthetic. Well good!

                    Drake

                    Scorpion

                      A brand new studio album. The 2CD set will be his Fifth solo album and is released on 20th July. Scorpion is a double album and features JAY-Z, Michael Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Future, Ty Dolla $ign, and Static Major. Scorpion boasts 25 tracks, including his singles “God’s Plan,” “Nice for What,” and “I’m Upset.”

                      There will be an LP format at a later date - as yet we have no further details...

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Millie says: Drake has returned and is killing it once again with his fifth studio album. The album is culminated of twenty five tracks so you can eat your heart out, Scorpion is fierce and (of course) packed with emotion. Most importantly it features the hit single ‘Nice For Wha’t and ‘God’s Plan’.

                      Alex Somers & Sigur Rós

                      Black Mirror: Hang The DJ (Music From The Netflix Original Series)

                        Late last year Sigur Rós producer and frequent collaborator Alex Somers hooked up with the band once again to deliver original music for ‘Hang The DJ’, one of the flagship episodes of the most recent ‘Black Mirror’ series.

                        Now his acclaimed score for the Netflix programme, as well as two new songs made in collaboration with Sigur Rós for the programme, is released on Invada Records.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: White vinyl.

                        Jason Isbell

                        Sirens Of The Ditch: Deluxe Edition

                          The debut album from accomplished guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive By Truckers, is reissued with four unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions. The addition of those extra songs finds ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ clocking in at 15 total tracks.

                          ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’’s mystical quality can be partially attributed to the FAME recording studio (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding) in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, AL, where the album was recorded.

                          Co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood (Drive By Truckers), ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ features Isbell singing lead vocals and playing guitar throughout, joined by Shonna Tucker (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on bass and Brad Morgan (Drive By Truckers) on drums. Several musicians pop in for cameos including Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson’s father) on ‘Down In A Hole’, John Neff (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on ‘Dress Blues’ and Patterson himself guests on ‘Shotgun Wedding’.

                          “A strong debut, full of the kind of confident, charismatic songwriting that just can’t be taught.” - Pitckfork

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xLP Info: Double LP format pressed on 180 gram vinyl with
                          digital download code included.

                          "We spray our hair into submission, upright to attention. Marching to no orders, imagination has no borders. Well lucky that."  

                          “Me and Jasper,” from Luluc’s third album Sculptor, is a confident challenge to small-town insularity, lilting yet vigilant, and championed by a defiant guitar solo from the band’s friend J Mascis. It’s a reflection on a common pitfall of adolescence: limitless possibility battling constant obstruction. “My own experiences as a teen were often fraught” says songwriter and vocalist Zoe Randell. “The small town I grew up in provided a great study in gossip, scandal, character assassination, and the willingness of people to go along with it.” It’s a song about fighting for agency on an album that is in many ways about volition, potential, and how people can navigate difficulties and opportunities to create different paths.  

                          Sculptor can be consumed loud, because while Luluc's music is at times masterful in it’s minimalism, it is anything but quiet in impact. There’s a turning point people experience when hearing Luluc. Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney says “it’s music that, once you hear it, you can’t live without it.” The National’s Matt Berninger said that for months, Passerby was “the only album I wanted to listen to.” “What first hits is that voice,” writes Peter Blackstock (No Depression), “a peaceful serenity that reaches deep into the heart.” When NPR’s Bob Boilen named 2014’s Passerby his album of the year, he wrote: “I've listened to this record by Australia's Luluc more than any other this year. These songs feel like they've always been.” Legendary producer Joe Boyd, who discovered Nick Drake, told BBC radio he exclaimed “Who the hell is this?!” when he first heard Luluc’s debut, Dear Hamlyn.

                           That gripping quality pulses through Sculptor. Randell writes with more experimentation and possibility. “Broadly speaking, with these new songs I was interested in the difficulties that life can throw at us - what we can do with them, how they can shape us, and what say we have,” she explains. Sonically, the band have broadened their palette. Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer Steve Hassett mastered a spectrum of instruments to fully realize the album’s expansive and daring vision. Randell and Hassett did nearly all of the writing, recording, and producing themselves, but their vision is far from insular. In addition to Mascis, Sculptor features contributions from Aaron Dessner (The National, and producer of Passerby), Jim White of Dirty Three, Matt Eccles, and Dave Nelson. Recording took place in Luluc’s new Brooklyn studio, which they built themselves.  

                          That everyone has control of their own story is at the core of Sculptor. For Hassett, it’s illuminated by the last line of the album: “The most beautiful, serene sculpture my hands could make, could trace, could break.” “All of the songs are playing with those ideas,” he says. “Life is something you get, and you can get sidetracked for years and even destroy it, or you can remember that you've got some control over your life.” But listeners of Sculptor may yield some of that control, even if for a short time, to the mastery of the music itself.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Coloured LP Info: Loser edition Violet/Maroon coloured vinyl.

                          "Power" is the debut album from Lotic, an expansive exploration of the many ways in which power can be expressed and experienced. Those familiar with Lotic’s two 2015 EPs - "Heterocetera" (Tri Angle) and "Agitations" (Janus) - will trace a warm-blooded evolution: "Power" retains the Berlin musician’s inquisitive intensity, while mining the depths of nuance like never before.

                          Across its 11 songs, Lotic stretches their wings into unexpected new spaces, both compositionally, and, for the first time, vocally. "Hunted" returns the colonial gaze with an arched eyebrow and a hushed chant in one of the more pop-leaning moments on the album. "Distribution of Care" pulls Lotic’s rigorous club aesthetic into a symphonic context, pairing strings and drums in a wordless questioning of society’s priorities.

                          The playful "Nerve" serves up an icy hip hop beat over which they invoke their H-Town roots while issuing a warning. And, of course, there couldn’t be a sonic exposition of power without its most generous manifestation: "Heart" is a love ballad that finds Lotic and NON Records’s Moro, the album’s sole guest, trading vulnerable verses.

                          'It originally started as an empowerment album,' says Lotic. 'I felt that I needed to offer something outside of myself, as sort of a healing moment. And then I lost my apartment. Mentally, I could only work on music once every three months or something. The question of what would be empowering - the answer to that changed so often over a two-year period. I had to figure out who I was all over again. With this record, I went back and incorporated all of my musical selves.' 

                          Lotic was born in Houston and studied electronic music composition and saxophone at university. They moved to Berlin in 2012, where they helped form the Janus club collective. In 2015, they were commissioned to create two remixes for Björk’s "Vulnicura" and subsequently were invited to be the opening act at her live show in Berlin.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Mine says: Listening to the first few tracks on this album quickly made me turn to Patrick to ask whether this would be a likely candidate for our popular 'weird shit' section (spoiler: it isn't), which ended in a heated discussion about what genre, if not weird shit, 'Power' could be categorised as. Matt insisted it was synth pop, while Millie suggested that maybe it is simply 'unique'. I think I will go with the latter and say that it is so genre-bending that it doesn't fit in a box. 'Power' definitely isn't an easy listen but it is refreshingly different.

                          Primo

                          Amici

                            PRIMO is Vio (Shifters), Xanthe (Terry) and Suzanne (film expert), on bass, drums guitar and vox. Their songs sound like the places you go when you’re working hard nine-to-five and can’t go anywhere. From A to B, Kings Cross the magnetic strip, sound’s effect, ghost in New York we didn’t see, scenes of suburbia, sea a sonic mirage. ‘Amici’ is the Melbourne trio’s debut album.

                            Chastity

                            Death Lust

                              Chastity is a world of its own from the mind of Brandon Williams. Reflecting the working class background of Whitby, Ontario, Chastity’s songs are charged with the ethos of archetypal youth on the fringe. A project more aptly characterized by its intentions than specific sound or medium, Chastity stands to confront the struggles of those existing in the unseen, often silenced periphery. It is an artifact of youth culture constantly working to form community, bridging isolation with collectivity.

                              It was clear from the release of Chastity’s first demos that this was not “another punk band that can operate at only one speed .”Always concerned with the trending lack of accessibility and inclusivity in public spaces for the arts, the first Chastity show was held in Williams’ own bedroom where, packed wall-to-wall, the police were quickly called. But after the project’s second show supporting DC punk band Priests, Chastity was off to the races, sharing stages with the likes of Metz, Chelsea Wolfe and Fucked Up. All without a full length recording out.

                              Since signing with Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, Chastity has re-released those initial demos, along with 2 new singles and an EP, stoking the anticipation of Chastity’s debut full length record, Death Lust.

                              Death Lust follows the plot of suffering to survival. The album begins on a tortured note with ‘Come’ and builds toward the plummeting finale of ‘Chains’, evolving from start to finish in a crescendo of severity. Chastity explains, “Death Lust is about growing up death obsessed. It’s about the pain that it takes but the capacity that we have to overcome.”


                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              Sun Araw

                              Guarda In Alto - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

                              Cameron Stallones aka Sun Araw is the quintessential contemporary cosmic courier. Emerging from the fumes of an ancient Egyptian civilization and now settled in one of the meccas of the American lysergic experience, Austin, Texas, our hero boasts an endless discography and collaborations with luminaries of the caliber of Laraaji (a solo new age traveler discovered by Brian Eno) and the legendary Rastafarian group, Congos.

                              For the soundtrack of the feature film 'Guarda In Alto', directed by Fulvio Risuleo (the daring story of a baker who has access to a parallel universe on the roofs of the city) Sun Araw looks towards the possible horizons. Bypassing psych and electronic glitch, Sun Araw jets through a double album that seems to refer to the golden age of computer music as well as to the inventions of the Lovely house (the legendary New York label specializing in minimalism and 20th century avant-garde) and to a certain immeasurably psychotic dub aesthetic.

                              A disk composed of many micro-cells, which marries the adventure to the 'edge of heaven' of the protagonist, reiterating that dreamy feeling that the protagonist has accustomed us to for several years now. 


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Matt says: Texan cactus quaffer, new age dub pioneer and all out freakzoid poster boy, Cameron Stallones dips our faces slap bang in a puddle of thick lysergia while concocting a fab OST to a seriously intriging film! I wanna watch!

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              2xLtd LP Info: 3-sided 2LP with etching on the 4th side.

                              The first chapter of Armand Jakobsson’s musical career has been nothing short of remarkable. After establishing himself with rough but emotive house as Rimbaudian and jungle as Birds of Sweden, he unveiled his DJ Seinfeld alias to the world, first with underground hit single "U", then with his "Time Spent Away From U" album on Lobster Fury in November 2017. It was a post break-up love letter to the dance floor with heart-on-sleeve emotions colouring the dusty and analogue house grooves. Acclaim came in from far and wide, with everyone from Rolling Stone to Pitchfork fawning over its heart swelling nostalgia and melancholic immediacy.

                              Jakobsson approached his DJ-Kicks with the intention of representing all the things that made him fall in love with dance music more than a decade ago, as well as showing some of the progression that has occurred in that time and “reflecting the simultaneous fear of leaving something safe behind as well as the excitement of venturing into unknown territories, musically and emotionally.” In order to make it as personal as possible, he called upon the many talented people around him making music. They returned with an enthusiasm that reminded Jakobsson of his own early passion, and in turn invigorated him and the whole process of assembling the mix. It was finally recorded at Inkonst club in Malmo because, recently back from years in Barcelona, he has not yet set up a studio in his hometown.

                              DJ Seinfeld’s DJ-Kicks is not only a testament of his characterful DJ skills, but also a complete artistic statement that showcases his unique vision of dance music.


                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Matt says: Ok you've got me. I hold my hands up. Proper late to the party me with this cat, slept on him fer ages. Thought he was all style over substance but I was wrong. Absolutely devo'd I missed his first album - not gonna make the same mistake again! A true baton-carrier of house music spirit and a pivotal producer for 2018 onwards.

                              This is the second installment of deep roots Rastafarian reggae at Studio One and features classic music from some of the most important figures in reggae music - Alton Ellis, The Heptones, Jackie Mittoo, The Gladiators - alongside a host of rarities and little-known recordings, such as a truly rare Mystic Revelation of Rastafari 7” single, Willie William’s first ever recording - ‘Calling’ - and Horace Andy’s righteous (and equally rare) masterpiece ‘Illiteracy.’

                              ‘Black Man’s Pride 2’ extends the legacy of Studio One’s groundbreaking path in roots reggae which began at the end of the 1960s and continued throughout the 1970s. The album tells the story of how the rise of Studio One Records and the Rastafari movement were interconnected, through the adoption of the Rastafari faith by key reggae artists - everyone from the Skatalites and Wailers in the 1960s, major singers such as Alton Ellis and Horace Andy at the end of the decade, through to major roots artists such as The Gladiators in the 1970s - and how Clement Dodd consistently recorded this heavyweight roots music throughout Studio One’s history.

                              The sleeve-notes to this album also discuss the links between Rastafari and Studio One in time and place, noting how both the religion and Clement Dodd’s musical empire had their roots in the intense period of pre-independence Jamaica in Kingston, expanded in the 1960s following the visit of Haile Selassie in 1966 and how roots music then came to dominate reggae music in the early 1970s. Also discussed is how the outsider stance of both reggae music and the Rastafari movement relate back many hundreds of years to the original rebel stance of the Maroons, escaped slaves who set up self-sufficient enclaves in the hills of the Jamaican countryside. There is also a track-by-track history by the noted Studio One writer Rob Chapman (‘Never Grow Old’).


                              Debut album from Australian band RVG drawing on an array of influences from Echo and the Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, and The Go Betweens. A Quality of Mercy is made up of Eight songs. Classic songs. Songs recorded by the band, live off the floor, at Melbourne’s iconic rock’n’roll pub, The Tote. Songs that leant on the band’s heroes —the Go-Betweens, the Soft Boys, the Smiths— whilst never sounding like homage or pastiche. Songs hitting that sweet spot between light and dark, employing guitars both angular and jangling. Songs passionately sung by Romy Vager, the eponymous leader of a band once called, in full, Romy Vager Group. All of the songs on A Quality Of Mercy find Vager trying to move beyond ego, beyond the simple confessional of the songwriter, hoping to find perspective on both world and self. In such, these songs are at once personal and universal, intimate and grand, timely and timeless. They’re classic songs. And there’s eight of them. Adding up to a perfectly-formed debut that says so much, yet gets out in under half-an-hour.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Displaying a perfect mix between jangling guitars and evocative vocal aesthetic (there's definitely a bit of Jarvis in there somewhere), RVG manage to switch from syncopated rhythmic psychedelia to soaring anthemic post-punk without batting an eyelid. Perfectly produced, and brilliantly immersive throughout.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive coloured vinyl.

                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              ‘The best critique is self-critique’ is the mantra of Brooklyn art rock unit BODEGA. With wild minimalism and sharp wit, they revitalize the rock and roll vocabulary under the influence of post punk, contemporary pop, hip-hop, kraut rock, and folk-derived narrative songwriting.

                              BODEGA’s debut LP ‘ENDLESS SCROLL’ is a collective dialogue with the machine and the public. Ping-ponging vocals are set to Ben’s deconstructed guitar, Nikki’s samples of old and new technology, the driving minimalism of standing drummer Montana Simone (IDIO Gallery), the angular spasms of lead guitar Madison Velding-Vandam (The Wants) and the tight, hypnotic bass lines of Heather Elle (Please No Radio).

                              "ENDLESS SCROLL" was recorded and produced by Austin Brown (Parquet Courts) on the same Tascam 388 tape machine used for their LP "Light Up Gold". It was mixed and mastered by Jonathan Schenke (Eaters) at Dr. Wu's. The LP's fourteen songs offer a high-energy, humorous but earnest thirty-four minutes.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: The Parquet Courts influence is pretty clear here, the punky phrasing coupled with wry and dynamic lyricism definitely display echoes without being too reminiscent. Heavy but brilliantly crafted punk anthems segue into more tender riffage before breaking down into syncopated split-tempo drive. A superb outing, from start to finish.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive teal coloured vinyl.

                              77:78, the new project from Aaron Fletcher & Tim Parkin, card carrying members of the musical kaleidoscope that is The Bees.

                              Set to pick up where the Bees left off, the album was recorded at Studio Humbug on the Isle of Wight and musically picks it way from sublime west coast harmonies that recall the frayed beauty of the Beach Boys Smiley Smile , to the ramshackle dub of King Tubby via the playfulness of early Syd Barret. The album will be available on coloured orange vinyl.

                              “Some musicians and bands definitely have their sound and stick to it, which is fair enough, but that’s just not us. Whenever we’re in the studio we’re constantly inspired to go down different musical paths, which I suppose is why the record we’ve made sounds so diverse. “

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: Perfect hazy summer psychedelia, with echoes of 60's classics, imbued with the preceding decades of production knowledge and influences make this ex-Bees side-project more than the sum of it's considerable parts. Brimming with musicality and oozing vibes, this is a summer stormer.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Limited edition orange jelly coloured vinyl.

                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                              The Innocence Mission

                              Sun On The Square

                                For listeners of the innocence mission, the Lancaster, Pennsylvania trio are beyond a favorite band, more like a beloved companion, such is their intensity and fragility of their sound and vision, spearheaded by Karen Peris’ heartbreaking, breathtaking voice. Those fans include Sufjan Stevens and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), who have both covered innocence mission songs, and in whose company the trio deserve to be bracketed.

                                Now, with “Sun On The Square”, their first album in four years and first UK/European release in over a decade, the trio have joined the Bella Union family, following Karen’s guest appearance on “Ojalá” by Lost Horizons, the band collective co-created by label skipper Simon Raymonde.

                                “There’s less than a handful of artists on my Bella Union dream list,” he explains. “The Innocence Mission are on there but they’ve remained an elusive mystery, and believe me, I’ve tried! I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. From the second I heard Karen’s voice, I’ve been smitten. Birds Of My Neighborhood is in my Top Three albums of all time. It’s a heartbreaker though. Guarantees tears. But the more the tears fall, the deeper I go!”

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Barry says: Beautiful tender fingerpicked guitars, brittle ballads and more than a hint of that childlike Newsom vocal peeking through. Sun On The Square is a beautifully realised and enchantingly airy work, an essential for any folk fans.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition 180 gram clear vinyl.

                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                Jaye Jayle

                                No Trail And Other Unholy Paths

                                  Jaye Jayle, Evan Patterson’s Americana-noir project, has not only opened a new chapter for the Young Widows frontman—it’s blossomed into a universe all its own. The newest arc in the Jaye Jayle narrative has been revealed with the announcement of the band’s sophomore LP No Trail And Other Unholy Paths, set for release via Sargent House. The album’s first single— the smoky, hypnotic track “Ode To Betsy”— is streaming today via Paste Magazine (and directly via YouTube). Beginning as a flurry of 7” singles housed in bare-bones dust jackets, Jaye Jayle has evolved into a captivating persona alterna for the Louisville-based singer-guitarist. Imbuing negative space with hallucinatory mantras, Patterson has embraced his strengths as a storyteller while trekking into thickets of unmarked sonic terrain. With his cohorts Todd Cook on bass, Neal Argabright on drums, and Corey Smith on auxiliary instrumentation, Jaye Jayle unfurls a tapestry of neo-folk economy, krautrock-esque repetition, skid row’s darkest blues, Midwestern indie rock’s nihilism, and Tangerine Dream’s analog oscillations.

                                  Produced by Dean Hurley, David Lynch’s music supervisor of the last twelve years, No Trail And Other Unholy Paths has transcended the album format, elevating itself to a choose-your-own-adventure experience. Patterson notes that the album bears no specific beginning or ending—Side A and Side B are meant to be interchangeable. The album could open with the fluttering instrumental “No Trail,” or the slow burning synths of “As Soon As The Night,” even the spectral push-pull of “Marry Us,” featuring Emma Ruth Rundle’s spellbinding vocals. Regardless of track sequencing, No Trail And Other Unholy Paths is an album that drives its aural dimensions to the absolute threshold—and then some. 

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: A fascinating arrhythmic exploration of organic sound and electronic atmospherics from Jaye Jayle. Like a country NIN met up with Dylan Carlson over a mug of opium tea and some moonshine. Fantastically hypnotic droning gothic Americana.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  Icio Omegha

                                  Psycho Cruise - Private Home Recordings 1984 / 1991

                                  Not content with causing dancefloor brain melts left, right and centre on their main label, Periodica turn to off-kilter offshoot Futuribile for some serious strangeness on this LP. Icio Omegha's "Psyco Cruise" is a collection of songs and private recordings made between 1984 and 1991 in his studio on the island of Stromboli. Icio Omegha, formerly known as Maurizio Aghemo, is a guitarist, a sitarist and keyboard player who was a member of a world music band active in the late 70s (UCO, Universal Condition Orchestra). Maurizio today is a record collector and painter who runs his art gallery in Stromboli where he exhibits his works. Currently engaged in the assembly of a modular system, he continues to produce experimental music on the island. Over the years, he has explored various musical genres, from ethnic music with an Indian flavor, up to the typical electronic digressions of the mid 80s. The only available source of these recordings are original cassette tapes from which Futuribile made this selection of pieces that best describe his artistic career. The audio was cleaned, re-mastered and edited to make the best possible presentation of these unique recordings of Icio Omegha who is finalLy able to share them with the public. Recommended!!!

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Patrick says: Periodica offshoot Futuribile take a trip to Stromboli for this melon-twisting retrospective of Icio Omegha. Warped, weird and wavy, this ten track set switches between odd cosmic funk, library sleaze, esoteric ambience and Indian spiced esoterica.

                                  Clifford Brown & Jeen Bassa Ft. Ella Mae Sueref

                                  Samba Del Sol - Banoffee Pies Beats 03

                                  Banoffee Pies Records drop their third Beats release “Samba Del Sol” with Clifford Brown & Jeen Bassa Ft. Ella Mae Sueref - The album is influenced by Carnival and Latin sounds with Hip Hop drums and Soul roots - meeting in middle ground as an expression of the production duos upbringing, John’s heritage in Mauritius and Cliffords childhood in South America. Partnered with Ellas Spanish language fluency and soft Badhu acclaimed voice as previously heard on the single “Stop Rewind” credited by the like of Gilles Peterson and Mr. Scruff.
                                  The tracks were recorded on Garageband by Clifford Brown and Jeen Bassa with 2 Karaoke Microphones, mixed in Bath and later buried on a hard drive for over 6 years never to be heard again. Sliding into the forgotten darkness of lost tracks and rediscovered in 2017. The production, originally just an instrumental, was then found and reignited, revamped with a vocal insert from the wonderful Ella Mae Sueref.
                                  The 10 track album demonstrates a flurry of drums, latin inspired sampling, and mesmerizing vocals from start to finish. For the music and the lovers. Living room jams made in smoke. 

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: The story of forgotten tracks brought back to life is always a good one, but especially when it sounds as good as this does. Layered with Ella Mae’s vocals throughout makes for a perfect balance with the hip-hop soul Latin groove weaved into each song. Summer is in full swing, and this is the one to hear to finish the mood perfectly.

                                  Following on from two EPs released on First Word last year ('Changing Times' and 'Hard Times'), Kaidi has delivered us thirteen tracks that deftly illustrate his various talents as a multi-instrumentalist.

                                  Kaidi is probably best known for his work with Bugz In The Attic, though his musical contributions over the years have also included Amy Winehouse, Slum Village, Mulatu Astatke, Soul II Soul, Moonchild, Leroy Burgess, Amp Fiddler, Chris Dave, Macy Gray, King Britt, DJ Spinna, Mr Scruff and IG Culture to name but a few! In recent times, he's worked with DJ Jazzy Jeff on a variety of projects, including his most recent album 'M3', touring Europe for Jeff and Will Smith's reunion shows, and on the PLAYlist album 'Chasing Goosebumps', with Glenn Lewis, Stro Elliot (The Roots), Masego, Maimouna Youssef, Rich Medina, Daniel Crawford and more.

                                  All this in addition to heating up dances around Europe with his inimitable DJ sets, and working heavily with First Word label-mate, Eric Lau (who also mixed this album) on a variety of projects, and adding releases to his already impressive catalogue on 2000 Black, Eglo and Theo Parrish's Sound Signature, with regular compadre, Dego (who features on the album's title track).

                                  This album personifies Kaidi's diverse palette of sounds – bar Eric & Dego's features, every piece of music is played by himself. Largely flowing on a broken beat rhythm section, Kaidi effortlessly incorporates washes of afro, latin and funk throughout. From the harmonics of 'Your Dream Don't Mean A Thing', to the breakneck funk of 'Outta Audah', each and every riddim exudes energy. But this isn't simply a bruk record. The album is laced together with downtempo beats and future jazz interludes throughout, and some sweet synth boogie is never very far away, especially on the weighty vibes of 'It's About Who You Know'. To top it all off, there's two delightful nuggets of hip hop soul - Mancunian label-mates, Children of Zeus, feature on the neo-soul vibes of 'Out Here On My Own', and there's a feature from Amir Townes, better known as Uhmeer - an upcoming MC from Philadelphia, and son of one Jazzy Jeff Townes - who rides a sub-heavy, piano-led slice of boom bap, voicing an assortment of characters to tell the tale of 'Cupid'.

                                  'It's A World Before You' is set to cause serious damage to sound-systems over the Summer, and show and prove once again the skills of one of the UK's best unsung musical talents, Kaidi Tatham.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: Heated jazzy beats matched with a house broken beat throughout makes this latest release from Kaidi Tatham makes it a winner for Summer. It has a little hint of everything, house, funk, hip hop, soul, downtempo beats, you have it all. The guest appearance from Children of Zeus on the album is a highlight is a hip hop gem dropped in for good measure. Absolutely lovely.

                                  WEN (aka Owen Darby) releases his new album ‘EPHEM:ERA’ with Big Dada, following 2017’s ‘CARVE + GAZE’ EP. His first full length since his 2014 debut ‘Signals’ (Keysound), Darby describes the new record as “electronic studies - a sequence mapped out across the fringes of experimental club music.” The album is a further step outward, rendering the changing currents of UK-born ‘weightless’ iterations of grime across 12 tracks. For fans of Mumdance, Call Super, Pearson Sound, Actress.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Millie says: Electronic house beats laced with distorted synths makes this album sound out of this world. Silhouette is my personal favourite as the electronic plucks and violin-esque style adds a delicate touch while remaining the specific style element of experimental club music.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: LP on 180g clear vinyl housed in an uncoated, spined
                                  sleeve and black paper inner. Digital download code
                                  included.

                                  Nigeria Fuji Machine

                                  Synchro Sound System & Power

                                  ‘Synchro Sound System & Power’ features the music of Nigeria Fuji Machine, which includes some of the country’s finest ‘Fuji’ master drummers and singers and is newly recorded by Soul Jazz Records in Lagos, Nigeria.

                                  Fuji is the heavily percussive and improvisational style of Nigerian popular music, at once modern and yet deeply rooted in the traditional Islamic Yoruba culture of Nigeria.

                                  Here on this album Nigeria Fuji Machine’s striking and powerful lead vocalist Taofik Yemi Fagbenro soars above a wild and energetic backdrop of polyrhythms played on traditional talking drums, trap drums, electronic and street percussion to create a powerful wall of intense sound.

                                  Fuji is a hi-energy street music, heavily percussive which evolved out of the Islamic celebration of Ramadan, which became a major event in mid-20th century Lagos. Groups of young men walked through Muslim neighbourhoods at night singing improvised ‘wéré’ music to the accompaniment of pots, pans, drums, bells and anything else available, waking believers for the early morning prayer. By the early 1970s this music had crossed-over into popular Nigerian culture where it came to be known as Fuji, first made popular by the artist Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, as the music began to be performed commonly at parties and social events.

                                  In the 1970s and 1980s three Nigerian artists - King Sunny Adé, Chief Ebonezer Obey and Fela Kuti - all secured international major record deals bringing popularity to the Nigerian musical styles of Juju (Adé and Obey) and Afro-Beat (Fela Kuti’s unique mixture of highlife, funk and jazz) abroad, but in the process ignoring much of Nigeria’s rich musical landscape. Fuji is - alongside Highlife, Juju, Afro-Beat, Sakara, Afro-Reggae, Waka, Igbo rap, Apala and numerous others - one of the central styles of Nigerian music.

                                  The singer Barrister described the music as follows: “Fuji music is a combination of music consisting of Sakara, Apala, Juju, Aro, Afro, Gudugudu, and possibly Highlife.” Juju performer King Sunny Adé described the difference between the two styles of Fuji and Juju somewhat competitively thus: “Fuji music is more or less like my music without guitars. It’s like I’m singing in a major key and they are singing in a minor. The music itself is the music of Juju music.”

                                  Today Fuji remains a powerful popular music with deep and powerful Islamic roots which continues to modernise and attract new generations of young Nigerians and Nigeria Fuji Machine’s ‘Synchro Sound System & Power’ is a powerful and intense musical experience.

                                  Rumoured to be the last ever release on Freakout Cult - Jayda G and Fett Burger's genre-defying, trend-setting imprint - "358 Men" sees the Norwegian wildcard join forces with mastermind producer Stiletti Ana. Recorded in Ana's Helsinki based studio ('Haista II') it contains nine psycho-active active joints that deliberately skirt the far fringes of mutant boogie, wacked out dub and celestial-born shamanic house. Tempos and flavours vary greatly, but there's a cohesive, otherworldly spirit jelling everything together; a noxious alien patina formed of oxidized elements not familiar to us meager Earthlings.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Matt says: 4HO-DMT-flavoured fun and enchantment for all the family to enjoy. Hippi-house never sounded so good!

                                  Objeto

                                  Micromundos

                                    The first of two wonderful new full lengths for Polytechnic Youth for the first week in July. This is a debut release on vinyl for Spanish based Jordi Navarra whose musical oeuvre stretches between “Surf, Hippie / Space Rock and crude electronic music” often different yet coated in tons of reverb and echo for “it’s final catalepsy”!

                                    “Micromundos,” needless to say for PY devotees, concentrates on his cruder electronic soundscapes; incredible often ambient, drone themed pieces that on one hand dip their toes into the revered works of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius, and the sky back catalogue whilst equally conjuring up a collision of Spacemen 3 psych meets Wire, early Cabs or Magazine darker more atmospheric, post punk industrial / experimental workouts.

                                    Eight abstract, kosmische fuelled pieces that act as an interesting sister release to the label’s other July offering, the more overtly “in-yr-face” synth pop themed Mitra Mitra LP. Two beautiful releases expected to sell out pretty swiftly, and released together first week of July.

                                    Mitra Mitra

                                    Marionettes

                                      The second of Polytechnic Youth’s ace new LPs for July, sees a mighty set from Austria based synth pop duo Mitra Mitra. Following previous releases on Peripheral Minimal and their own Micromort label, not to mention a lathe cut right here on PY that sold out in 20 minutes in Dec. 2015.

                                      The band was formed in Vienna in late 2014 by Violet Candide and Mahk Rumbae. Originally from New Zealand, Violet Candide is a founding member of the Crazy Hospital DJ collective, and one of the organisers of the legendary “Future Echo” club night in Vienna, and is one half of ‘Anesthetic Hairpins’; whilst British musician Mahk Rumbae is known for his work as a member of the industrial/experimental project ‘Konstruktivists’, ‘Oppenheimer MkII’ (with Andy Oppenheimer of Oppenheimer Analysis) and his solo techno project ‘Codex Empire’.

                                      After working together on one of Violet's solo songs, “Heat”, the pair decided to continue working together and formed Mitra Mitra as a more full time project, with the aim of writing electronic songs not tied to any particular influence or style. However, if there was such a thing as a signature PY sound- arguably this LP (alongside last year’s Vorderhaus full length), encapsulates it most. Beautifully icy cold synth pop straight outta’ early prime era Mute / Blackwing studios output. Serene yet melodic, edgy, dry icy hooks and delicious grooves aplenty all over this record. Eight wonderful tracks where quality and sheer melodic guile of the song writing never dips and attention truly is held across the whole set, ….no mean feat indeed.


                                      Konrad Kraft

                                      Arctica

                                        Pioneering production from the Dusseldorf mid 80s electronic underground world. Transferred for the first ever time from the original cassette to vinyl and CD. Konrad Kraft (Detlef Funder) is one of the still overlooked producers of Dusseldorfs fertile electronic music scene. ARCTICA was originally released on Cassette on Funder's imprint SDV TONTRAGER in 1987 in a handmade edition of about 50 copies only, the prime sources of inspiration were records by Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Dome or Nocturnal Emissions. 

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Ltd LP Info: Limited to 400 with insert and download card.

                                        Some crate-digging compilations are often the result of someone handpicking their choice favourites from another country’s musical history, perhaps unaware or uninvolved with its cultural lineage in the process. On Soundway’s latest release - a treasure trove of synth jams, pop, samba boogie, balearic and electro from 1980 & ‘90s Brazil - the tracks are picked by Millos Kaiser, one half of the Brazilian duo Selvagem, who are at the helm of throwing some of the country’s best dance parties. It’s a rare compilation that offers Brazilian music actually picked by a Brazilian.

                                        Whilst names such as Ricardo Bomba, Villa Box, Fogo Baiano, Electric Boogies and Batista Junior may not be household names, they tell an untold, yet rich and important part of musical history in Brazil. If the 80s has a bad reputation amongst traditionalists in Brazil then the 1990s are even more derived and deplored. This going against the grain and plucking gold from such forgotten periods is what makes this such a charming, unique, character-loaded and fascinating collection of music. It’s a release that is loaded with smooth grooves, bubbling bass, glistening synthesisers, funk strutting guitar lines and sheen of production that undeniably marks it of its time.

                                        For Kaiser this compilation is about reintroducing music during a period of reappraisal, catching a new wave and hoping contemporary listeners will ride it with him. “The idea is to do justice to these songs. Songs that combine all the right ingredients that should have put them on radio playlists when I was growing up or at least in the cases of more adventurous DJs”.

                                        Millos Kaiser is a DJ, digger, vinyl junkie/dealer born in Rio de Janeiro and living in Sao Paulo for the past 8 years. He launched the dance party/club night Selvagem with partner Trepanado in 2010, bringing thousands of dancers one Sunday a month to a public square in the heart of Sao Paulo.

                                        As both a solo artist and part of the DJ duo with Trepanado, Millos Kaiser has played all over Brazil as well as touring in the US and Europe, including festivals such as Dekmantel. Selvagem has also had remixes and edits released on labels such as Disco Halal, Disco Deviance, Hello Sailor, Music For Dreams and Beats In Space Records

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Patrick says: Selvagem's Milos further cements his reputation as a total gee with this sunny set of MPB, Balearic boogie and synth-funk winners from his native Brazil. There's plenty of paradise to go around, but I'd suggest you start with V Nia Bastos' stellar Sade cover...

                                        Holly Golightly

                                        Singles Round-Up

                                          Holly Golightly (real name) started her musical career as a founder member of all girl garage band Thee Headcoatees, a Billy Childish /
                                          Thee Headcoats splinter group in 1991. She spent four years as a Headcoatee before breaking away to release her debut record, The Good Things, in 1995. Where the Headcoatees sound was a blend of girl group sounds and three-chord garage-rock with all the original songs coming from the pen of Billy Childish, Holly's solo sound is more a blend of pre-rock electric blues, folk rock, and less frantic rock 'n' roll. Apart from the wide range of covers of such artists as Willie Dixon, Ike Turner, Lee Hazelwood, Wreckless Eric, and Bill Withers, Golightly also writes most of her own material.

                                          Holly Golightly is definitely the most interesting and diverse artist to come out of the Billy Childish school and is certainly one of the better singer/songwriters of the post-grunge era who gets better with every album. Since her debut in 1995, Golightly has been very prolific, releasing a string of classic long play records and loads of singles for a wide variety of labels as well as touring extensively in America, Australia & Europe. This double vinyl LP, (or single CD newly packaged in a digipack) compiles Holly's first twelve 7” singles, A & B-sides. It includes the bluesy 'No Big Thing' with its bar-room piano and harmonica backing, the dirty guitar-driven 'Til I Get, the shuffling brushed drums and double bass of 'Come The Day, the haunting vocal and bottleneck guitar of 'Stain' and finishes with a brilliant up-tempo cover of Pavement's 'Box Elder'.

                                          Asylums

                                          Alien Human Emotions

                                            Asylums aren’t waiting for millennial redemption to find them, they’re making their own. Straight out of Essex and running at full throttle. The band have taken the challenge of the “difficult” second album and used it as a jump ramp to a higher plane. They’ve always been about massive, thrashing melodic anthems but this is, quite simply, the massivist. The band has changed fundamentally in the last two years, certainly older and potentially wiser. A project that started out as a fizzing ball of un-focused youthful energy (albeit one with great tunes) has morphed into something altogether darker and more intense. It's a slug of ice-cold Jagermeister coming after the two pints of lager and a vodka Red Bull of the debut.

                                            “Alien Human Emotions” tackles themes of bitter sex and soured relationships which swirl over bleak analyses of a disintegrating social and political landscape. Frustrated rage writhes below the surface on every track and occasionally bursts through with a shocking intensity. But everywhere are hooks both musical and lyrical that demand repeat listens. The music seeping thru owes as much to the brooding darkness of The Cure as it does to the disjointed mind of Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne, both of which only add to the dark danceability of the album.

                                            What you have to look forward to is twelve tracks of killer hooks, soaring melodies, moments of dark audio experimentalism and a social conscience worn like a high-viz jacket. Clear a space in your end-of-year lists now.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Coloured LP Info: 180g Silver Vinyl.

                                            Simon Love

                                            Sincerely, S. Love X

                                              If you're thinking of buying just one magnificent pop disc in 2018, you need look no further: I give you, ladies and gentlemen, SIMON FUCKING LOVE! ("The Ballad Of Simon Love"). "Sincerely, S. Love x" (the kiss is meant to be pronounced) is Simon's sophomore solo album (his 2015 debut It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time was released on the brilliant, now sadly defunct Fortuna Pop label) and it features at least ten hits. Proper pop hits, with ELO harmonies, Spectoresque production, strings and trumpets, the whole shebang. All recorded over the last two years in London, England. Big city pop!

                                              Various Artists

                                              Four Band Compilation (Ex-Sarah Records Bands) Even As We Speak, Boyracer, Action Painting!, Secret Shine

                                                In celebration of the recent flurry of interest regarding the SARAH RECORDS re-issues on EMOTIONAL RESPONSE, it was decided by the bands involved to also present NEW material alongside the original Sarah recordings. This album features new and previously unreleased tracks by all four bands, and proudly sports the original “Sarah” logo, with the lettering cheekily changed to spell out “punk”. Because, as you probably know, there were very few labels in the era of Sarah that stuck so steadfastly to their punk-rock principles! Anticipation and interest is running high, as all four bands will be touring together the UK in July 2018, with shows selling out months in advance. This album serves as a reminder that some bands of the Sarah Era also stuck steadfastly to their DIY principles, whilst continuing to move forward and make new music.

                                                Various Artists

                                                The Weekend Starts Here Vol. 2

                                                  The 2nd volume of the The Weekend Starts Here series deals exclusively with the Popcorn genre. Popcorn is a style of music and dancing first established in Belgium in the 1970s and 1980s. The style includes a wide variety of mostly American and British recordings of R&B and pop music made between the late 1950s and mid 1960s, often relatively obscure, and characterised by a slow or medium, rather than fast, tempo. This 10” features 12 pure Popcorn groovers from the golden era.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  10" LP Info: Ltd 10" LP - 500 only.

                                                  Let’s Eat Grandma return with their newest edition, ‘I’m All Ears’ which an even greater revelation than Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth’s globally acclaimed debut, I, Gemini. The second act from the British teenage vocalists, multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, is the most startling, infectious, innovative and thrilling record you’ll hear this year. It is alive with furious pop, unapologetic grandeur, intimate ballads; with loops, Logic, outrageous 80s drum solos, as well as production from David Wrench (The XX/Frank Ocean/Caribou), Sophie (famed for her own material and work with Madonna, Charli XCX and Vince Staples) and Faris Badwan (The Horrors). Their sound has developed a stronger electronic tone while remaining their upbeat young vocals throughout. It’s an album that cements Let’s Eat Grandma as one of the most creative and exciting bands in the world right now.

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Barry says: Let's eat Grandma enlist the help of some pretty stellar electronc talents on this album to boyster their already incredible breadth of talents. Grooving demi-soul, swinging synthpop and dancey percussive drive. A stunning collection, and a perfect starting point for anyone uninitiated with one of the most interesting bands around today. Ace.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive translucent yellow vinyl.

                                                  A brand new studio album from Gorillaz titled The Now Now will be released by Parlophone Records on 29th June.

                                                  The Now Now is 11 all-new songs from the World’s Most Successful Virtual Act, produced by Gorillaz, with James Ford and Remi Kabaka, and recorded in London, in February this year.

                                                  The album sessions for The Now Now saw the band largely eschewing guest stars, taking it back to the core creative crew: blue-haired, sweet-natured dreamer 2D on vocals; whip-smart Japanese badass Noodle on guitar; not forgetting Brooklyn-born philosopher and the meat–behind-the-beat Russel Hobbs on drums. And with Murdoc Niccals temporarily indisposed, bass duties on the new album have been taken up by erstwhile Gangreen Gang member Ace.


                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Andy says: Gorillaz return for this, their sixth studio LP, and most diverse outing yet. Sporting sleazed-out electronic funk, smooth synthetic jams and brimming with Albarn's latent creativity, 'The Now Now' is rich with groove and packed with all the elements that make us love them so. Another brilliant outing from Albarn et. al.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  LP Info: Heavyweight black vinyl 12” LP in spined sleeve with printed inner bag and download card.

                                                  CD Info: 11-track CD in jewelcase with 12-page booklet on gloss art paper.

                                                  LP Box Set Info: Deluxe Vinyl LP Box Set - 12” x 12” rigid board box set, with a lenticular image on lid, containing:
                                                  Heavyweight blue vinyl 12” LP, in spined sleeve with printed inner bag. The blue vinyl is exclusive to the box set. 52-page booklet, replicating 2-D’s original studio notebook including album lyrics. 4 x 12” x 12” art prints, 6 x 1” pin badges mounted on card and download card.

                                                  It was a year ago now that Twin Peaks: The Return arrived like a godsend and defied every plausible expectation. David Lynch and Mark Frost’s sprawling, unprecedented 18-part masterpiece proved unlike anything seen before on television.

                                                  Nobody will forget the moment the show’s uncanny two-part premiere drew to an enigmatic close, as Chromatics took the stage at the Roadhouse bathed in cobalt, inaugurating with their hypnotic performance of “Shadow”. This was only the beginning of Johnny Jewel’s sonic presence on the series. His mesmerizing, dreamlike “Windswept” became the bona fide theme song of Kyle MacLachlan’s Lodge-dazed Dougie Jones — a siren song of melancholic saxophone calling out to him from the beyond.
                                                  “I was about a year deep into recording what would become Windswept when I heard that David was making Season 3,” he explains. “It’s been a year since Chromatics performed at the Roadhouse. With disintegrated memory through the haze of television snow, I wanted to share a glimpse behind the red curtain.”
                                                  Themes for Television is an epic from the cutting room floor. A nearly hour-long foray into the blurry hours of night. “The project began as a sonic exploration of the sounds I was hearing in my nightmares,” Jewel says. “I wanted to find my way out of the maze by focusing on beauty over fear — like the way the fractured sunrise looks in a dream.”
                                                  Themes for Television is in keeping with the unpredictable twilit splendour one expects of Jewel. Working entirely without images, drawing from his own imagined version of what The Return might be, Jewel produced a monumental six hours of material. The 21 tracks that comprise this album have been culled from that prolific streak of inspiration, sequenced and edited last winter in Tokyo.

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Barry says: It's amazing that there keeps being more material from Johnny Jewel and Italians Do It Better in general, and it's even more amazing that it comes out this well every time. Brilliantly immersive glacial soundscapes and pristine pads all wrapped in the pitch-perfect production talents of a musician at the top of their game.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  2xColoured LP Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

                                                  Jim James third studio album ‘Uniform Distortion’ follows on from his previous success from being frontman of My Morning Jacket.Uniform Distortion was produced by Jim James and Kevin Ratterman at Louisville, KY’s La La Land, with Ratterman also serving as recording engineer. All songs were written by James, who is backed on the album by bassist Seth Kauffman (Floating Action) and longtime touring drummer Dave Givan, with backing vocals provided throughout by Dear Lemon Trees’ Leslie Stevens, Jamie Drake and Kathleen Grace. “The name of my new record is Uniform Distortion because I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our ‘news and important information. More and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth…and finding hope in places like the desert where I write this now...finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.” says James. Uniform Distortion is James’ finest work to date filled with compassion and brimming with meaningful ideology. 

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Andy says: Jim James does things differently on his solo records and this one's no exception. Raw, playful and rocking, but still with melodies galore, which other massive alt-rock stars keep things this fresh!

                                                  Florence & The Machine

                                                  High As Hope

                                                  Florence + the Machine announces new album, ‘High As Hope’. For perhaps the first time, ‘High As Hope’ is a record that is as intimate as it is epic, with the more restrained sound -relatively speaking; Florence knows herself well enough now to declare “I’m never going to be minimal” -mirroring this sense that happiness doesn’t always have to be big and dramatic:There’s a lot of love in this record, loneliness too, but a lot of love.”

                                                  An album that mixes high and low–from a tribute to Patti Smith one minute to being ghosted over text by a date the next –‘High As Hope’ is made up, says Florence, “of joy and fury”...

                                                  "Towering performer twirls back with power and poetry" - Evening Standard,
                                                  "A euphoric return by a singular talent" - Telegraph,
                                                  "an appealingly visceral force" - Guardian.

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Millie says: Florence returns with her distinctive billowing vocals, holding intimate feelings and powerful strength. ‘High As Hope’ is heaving with emotion and never fails to create the strongest cathartic feelings from the soaring variations weaved into each song. Truly beautiful.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited 180g YELLOW LP format with download card.

                                                  Sink Ya Teeth

                                                  Sink Ya Teeth

                                                    "Sink Ya Teeth’s sound arrives fully formed—a melding of post-punks like ESG and The Raincoats with the early machine patters of Chicago house.” - Pitchfork.

                                                    From the off, the self-titled debut album from Sink Ya Teeth drips with a cool menace. Weaving threads from post-punk, Chicago house and 80s/90s electronic music, the duo have produced an album of slick home-made pop that makes you wish it was the weekend again.

                                                    Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford partnered up two years ago in their hometown of Norwich to form Sink ya Teeth.The pair’s “…drifting, danceable music that runs a gratifying line between groove and gloom” (The Quietus) has seen them tour with dance-punk band !!!, and perform with Moon Duo, Confidence Man and Goat Girl. They are about to join A Certain Ratio on their UK dates this Spring /Summer.

                                                    The album was written, recorded and produced in their living rooms and is a synth-pop distillation of their world; often minimal, frequently playful, but always with bass and groove.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Smooth dubbed-out bass and snappy, soulful percussion all ridden by the perfectly measured vocal flourishes of Uzor and Cullingford. Swimming in rich, 80's synthesis and esoteric dancing grooves, this is a debut that should make you sit up and listen. Can't wait to see what's next for Sink Ya Teeth.

                                                    John Coltrane

                                                    Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Deluxe Edition)

                                                    These 2CD and 2LP formats features a further 7 tracks of different takes giving a further 40 minutes of music.

                                                    June 8, 2018 (New York, NY) – On March 6, 1963, John Coltrane and his Classic Quartet— McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones –recorded an entire studio album at the legendary Van Gelder Studios. This music, which features unheard originals, is now finally released 55 years later. This is, in short, the holy grail of jazz.
                                                    The first week of March in 1963 was busy for John Coltrane. He was in the midst of a two-week run at Birdland and was gearing up to record the famed John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album, which he did on March 7. But there was a session the day before that was the stuff of legend, until now.
                                                    On Wednesday, March 6, Coltrane and the quartet went to Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ and cut a complete album’s worth of material, including several original compositions that were never recorded elsewhere. They spent the day committing these to tape, taking time with some, rehearsing them two, three times, playing them in different ways and in different configurations.
                                                    At the end of the day, Coltrane left Van Gelder Studios with a reference tape and brought it to the home in Queens that he shared with his wife, Naima. These tapes remained untouched for the next 54 years until Impulse! approached the family about finally releasing this lost album. Though the master tape was never found—Rudy Van Gelder wasn’t one for clutter—the reference tape was discovered to be in excellent condition.
                                                    As the legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins so rightly put it, “This is like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid.” The musical implications of this album, the original compositions, the arrangements, the band, the year it was recorded, all amount to a rediscovery and re-contextualization of one of the most important musicians of our time.
                                                    Danny Bennett, President and CEO of the Verve Label Group and home of Impulse! records, says, “Jazz is more relevant today than ever. It’s becoming the alternative music of the 21st century, and no one embodies the boundary-breaking essence of jazz more than John Coltrane. He was a visionary who changed the course of music, and this lost album is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. It gives us insight into his creative process and connects us to his artistry. This album is a cultural moment and coincides perfectly with our relaunch of the iconic Impulse! label.”
                                                    On this album, there are two completely unknown and never-before-heard originals. “Untitled Original 11383” and “Untitled Original 11386,” both played on soprano sax. “11383” features an arco bass solo by Jimmy Garrison, a relative rarity, and “11386” marks a significant structural change for the quartet, in that they keep returning to the theme between solos, not typical in the quartet’s repertoire.
                                                    In addition to the two unheard originals, “One Up, One Down” – released previously only on a bootleg recording from Birdland – is heard here as a studio recording for the first and only time. It contains a fascinating exchange between Elvin Jones and Coltrane.
                                                    “Impressions”, one of Coltrane’s most famous and oft-recorded compositions, is played here in a piano-less trio. In fact, McCoy Tyner lays out a number of times during this recording session. It’s one of the more interesting aspects of this session and reflects the harmonic possibilities that Coltrane was known to be discussing regularly with Ornette Coleman around this time.
                                                    This studio session also yielded Coltrane’s first recording of “Nature Boy,” which he would record again in 1965, and the two versions differ greatly. The one we know is exploratory, meandering. This version is tight, solo-less and clocking in at just over three minutes. The other non-original composition on the album is “Vilia,” from Franz Lehár’s operetta “The Merry Widow”. The soprano version on the Deluxe Edition is the only track from this session to have been previously released.
                                                    This incredible, once-in-a-lifetime discovery reveals a number of creative balances at work, like developing original melodies while rethinking familiar standards. Like trying out some tunes first on tenor saxophone, then on soprano. Using older techniques like the arpeggio runs of his “sheets of sound” while experimenting with false fingerings and other newer sounds. This session was pivotal, though to call it such overlooks the fact Coltrane was ever on pivot, always pushing the pedal down while still calling on older, tested ideas and devices.
                                                    Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is a major addition to the Coltrane catalogue and the most important jazz discovery in recent memory.


                                                    Jambinai

                                                    Differance

                                                      Following much acclaim for their sophomore album ‘A Hermitage’, which was released in June 2016 via Bella Union, South Korean trio Jambinai announce that their debut album ‘Differance’ will be released on vinyl for the first time outside of South Korea. The debut full-length from Jambinai, originally released in February 2012, is a challenging and compelling affair that won them the prize for Best Crossover Album at the 2013 Korean Music Awards. A heady mixture of traditional instrumentation, crashing percussion and classic crescentic post-rock, Jambinai manage to maintain the brooding atmospherics and driven aesthetic through rapid-fire stylistic changes and skillful segues. Part metal, part instrumental and cinematic rock, and entirely fascinating, this is an excellent standalone outing, and a brilliant insight into the formation of the sound heard on their latest epic 'A Hermitage'.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Barry says: Gloomy, brooding instrumental rock meets crashing metallic bursts, all interspersed with forlorn strings, floating ambience and triumphant crescendos. A superb outing, and a vastly underappreciated gem now available on vinyl!

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                      Anglo-Mauritian producer, singer and percussionist Joseph Deenmamode aka Mo Kolours is set to release ‘Inner Symbols’, his third solo album, on 22ND June via Five Easy Pieces.

                                                      You won’t find many producers quoting Plato - ‘Inner Symbols’ takes its cue from the philosopher’s words "Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, charm and gaiety to life and everything''. Influences are many and all, ranging from colonization and African diaspora to Korean shamanism, Doug Hammond to Junior Byles.

                                                      “Inner symbols is a musical path that begins within, and reveals itself outwardly, only to return to the INNER. Themes are; introspection, truth, history, family, mental nature of reality, recognizing positivity, greed, honesty, unity, love, ignorance, lust, and of-course DRUMS!” - Mo Kolours

                                                      The entire album was created on a Electro Harmonix looper using samples and live instrumentation and a Roland drum machine. Similarly his energetic, improvised live show sees tracks layered up from loops of voice, percussion and drum machine before skewing in new directions. It’s a thrilling approach which has taken him to clubs and festival stages from Brighton to Brisbane, as well as to the BBC’s hallowed Maida Vale studios at the invitation of Gilles Peterson.

                                                      Raised on the traditional sega music of his father’s Indian Ocean homeland alongside records by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson, Mo Kolours adds hip hop, dub, soul and other electronic styles to his individual sound. His approach could find him placed alongside Madlib or The Gaslamp Killer but he would be equally happy in the company of James Blake, Erykah Badu, Theo Parrish or Moodymann.

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

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Millie says: Chilled out nu-jazz beautifully paired with hazy vocals. Fans of Maribou State and dilla-esque broken jazz beats should be all over this.

                                                      Left of centre experiments from the Dutch underground of yesteryear. Muziekkamer was the name of the home recording studio that gave birth to the twelve tracks on 'Popmuziek', an intriguing document of sketch arrangements and primitive, fairytale sampling wave cuts. This is music which excels due to its inherent naivety; the limitless ambition of 'Black Box' almost sounding like a precursor to the 90s ambient techno of Likemind or Stasis. On 'Being Home Tonight' we can hear an early form of what the likes of Tolouse Low Trax have been bringing to the forefront of contemporary club culture whilst the erratic art-rock of 'Walkman' mirrors what Leven Signs & co were doing over the pond. In trying to create something which represented 'intrusiveness' as a contrast to an earlier ambient tape the trio incidentally blurred the lines between various musical fashions to come. An amazing snapshot of time and place!

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Sil says: Serious retro gaming soundtrack biz going on here. Will put a smile on your face. Lots of analog synth and humour. Stunning underrated release. I salute you Muziekkamer!

                                                      Saint Ballantine

                                                      All Saint's Day

                                                      Before coming together to form Saint Ballantine, Brooklyn-based duo Andrew Thomas Reid and Brian “Sene” Marc were busy pushing creative boundaries on their own. As one half of Denitia & Sene, Brian notably caught the attention of Rolling Stone with the group’s lilting electro-soul and striking style. Andrew, an artist, creative director, producer, and visionary with a penchant for branding, helped to materialize a communal incubator for young artists in Brooklyn called the Clubhouse (aka ClubCasa).

                                                      The production duo pride themselves on blending aspects of various genres in both their musical elements and lyrical content. Dark and meaningful concepts are often encased in intricate downtempo jams, making each Saint Ballantine track worth exploring. Both musicians specialize in mixing numerous influences and shared priorities, but the music is never harsh or restrictive. “Although Saint Ballantine has sharp sonic opinions, it’s really accessible to a lot of people and I think that’s important,” says Reid.

                                                      He and Marc successfully touch on complex situations as well as lighter universal topics, allowing virtually anyone the chance to connect with the group. Hollis Wear, who previously appeared on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “White Walls” with memorable results, is the lone feature on a cross-cut album of minimal neo-soul, R&B and indie pop, with millennial takes on folk and psych. “All Saint’s Day” celebrates the moody and ethereal, its layered soundscapes as much a sharp, angular pop record as one that stays poised, watching in the wings as an outsider. The humanized synthetics are sure to catch the ears of fans of The Weeknd, H.E.R., Frank Ocean, Porches and Børns.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Patrick says: Soul-tinged synthPOP here from Brooklyn duo Saint Ballantine perfect for any Radio One playlisters or Hollyoaks production staff. Special mention goes to "We All Fall Down" for its similarity to the most recognisable pop hook of 2016, Neiked's "Sexual".

                                                      'Come To Canada You Will Like It' is a record about slowing down while finding a balance between rural and city living. Inspired by subjective memories and ideas about things and places: Looking back and moving forward. 
                                                      On his second album now, Canadian Patrick Holland, gives us a collection of excellent music. Will not disappoint to those who follow him as the formula is still the same: Lo fi house (breathtaking 'Tunstal' and the lovely squelchy beats and contagious bassline on 'Nanana' among others) and downtempo pieces ('No Interest') where melody is the centre piece via radiant synth chords. This LP will not fill dancefloors - more likely empty them, there are no tunes. But, it is ull of great music; music that is cool, calm and collected yet free and evocative. Excellent for home listening or driving. 
                                                      As always, Holland delivers and shows zero signs of fading out.
                                                      So, please do get a copy of this lovely thing because it will grow with each listening. A classic in disguise is what it is.


                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Sil says: Very very good second album by Project Pablo. If you know his style and like it, you know what to expect. Pure class.

                                                      "The Pool" contains a host of talented collaborators including Jamie Cullum, Ben Westbeech, Pete Josef, Rachel Sermanni, Olivier St Louis, Paul Randolph, Charlotte OC, and more. All bring their own distinctive flavours while retaining a real sense of Jazzanova’s musical identity - something that combines neo-soul, jazz, and pop songwriting with a unique knack for sampling and skills on everything from synth to piano, vibes to trombone, flugelhorn to guitar. The album flows from one track to the next, mixing up synthesised sounds, samples and acoustic instrumentation to paint a captivating picture.

                                                      It starts with the broody moods and jumbled drums of ‘Now (L.O.V.E. and You & I - Part 2)’ feat. Oddisee, before the haunting ‘Rain Makes The River’ feat. Rachel Sermanni carries you away. The heaviness subsides with Pete Josef’s soulful stylings on ‘Follow Your Feet’ and the sunny hip-hop of ‘No 9’ feat. KPTN. ‘Sincere’ feat. Noah Slee is a bristling mix of synth textures, bumping beats and swinging percussion while ‘Slow Rise’ dips into insular moods thanks to the intimate vocals of David Lemaitre.

                                                      The heavy-hearted piano of ‘Let’s Live Well’ is truly tender before Jamie Cullum transports you to a more positive place, and ‘Everything I Wanted’ feat Charlotte OC is a dynamic emotive blizzard of drums, trombones and percussion. Olivier St Louis delivers modern soul on the propulsive ‘Heatwave’ and frequent collaborator Paul Randolph brings vulnerable vocals to ‘It’s Beautiful.’ The breezy seaside bliss of ‘I’m Still Here’ feat Edward Vanzet and wonderfully catchy, carefree pop of ‘Summer Keeps On Passing Me By’ feat Ben Westbeech close the album out and complete a beautiful journey that takes you through a range of moods and grooves.


                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Sil says: Well, it seems that these bunch do not disappear. Formed back in the late 90s, they are still at it. Their sound has morphed, adapted and evolved. Maybe is not as in the early JCR but the spirit of the broken beat is still alive mixed with a good dose of soulful vocals and top draw production. A good addition to the already impressive discography they have.

                                                      In the world of electronic dance music, Âme stand apart. Since 2003, the duo of Frank Wiedemann and Kristian Beyer have cut a singular path through techno, house, minimal, ambient and more with their anthemic singles and mixes. Just the other day we (me, Dave and shop 'furniture' Francis Woof) were discussing their long list of club credentials But 2018 reveals their finest achievement yet, their debut full-length album "Dream House". It both sounds unmistakably like Âme and unlike anything you’ve ever heard from the duo, an evocative home listening journey enacted after 15 years spent crafting dancefloor weapons. It's more cinematic, sprawling and varied, however that keen ear for sound design, plus a unparalleled craft at carving out unique electronics rhythms remains intact; making this a thoroughly stimulating listen from beginning to end!

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Sil says: FUll length by veterans Ame offering you their own vision of house music. It is dreamy as the title suggests, hypnotic, moody at times. But it is also hopeful and melodic. In truth, if you know what they are all about, what you find in this LP is no surprise. It is just good old Ame.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      2xLtd LP Info: 2LP Gatefold Vinyl + Extensive Spot Varnish + Sticker.

                                                      CD Info: CD with Sleevepack + Extensive Spot Varnish + Sticker.

                                                      The Flaming Lips

                                                      Seeing The Unseeable: The Complete Studio Recordings Of The Flaming Lips 1986-1990

                                                        The Flaming Lips have pushed the envelope and bent boundaries for more than two decades with the band’s Grammy®-winning music and ground-breaking concerts.

                                                        Seeing The Unseeable brings back into print (physically – they are available digitally) all four studio albums that the band released on Restless Records between 1984 and 1990: Hear It Is (1986), Oh My Gawd!!!...The Flaming Lips (1987), Telepathic Surgery (1989) and In A Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990). Among the set’s many sonic treasures are: “Godzilla Flick,” “Unconsciously Screaming,” “One Million Billionth Of A Millisecond On A Sunday Morning” and their cover of the classic “(What A) Wonderful World.”

                                                        The set is also packed with rare recordings originally released as b-sides, flexi discs, and on various compilations like, the Sub Pop single “Strychnine/Peace, Love And Understanding” and a cover of “After The Gold Rush” from a 1989 Neil Young tribute album Also included is The Mushroom Tapes, the series of demos for the band’s final Restless album, In A Priest Driven Ambulance, only previously issued on the Rykodisc compilation CD, The Day They Shot A Hole In the Jesus Egg.

                                                        All of the music on Seeing The Unseeable has been remastered from original sources by the band’s longtime musical foil and producer, David Fridmann with help from the Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins.

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Barry says: It's hard to believe quite how many of these tracks have shaped my (and possibly your) teenage years, and continue to influence bands around today. This is all of the records released during the bands' time on Restless Records, one of the most fruitful times of their career. An epic collection, and great chronological document of the bands progression.

                                                        Andy says: Our favourite space cadets' early years in one neat treasure box. Open with caution!!

                                                        As one of the UK’s most prolific and beloved bands, it has become expected – nay, the fans have demanded - that The Wave Pictures release several albums a year. This year, they are releasing two albums and they’re kindly letting us know well in advance, so that we can set our calendars and save our pennies in anticipation. Starting with the spontaneous, recorded in one-day, minor-key, epic masterpiece that is Brushes with Happiness in June, the trio of Jonny Helm (drums), Dave Tattersall (guitar & vocals) and Franic Rozycki (bass), will be following up with a more up-beat party album, Look Inside Your Heart in October.

                                                        Brushes with Happiness sees The Wave Pictures in contemplative and expansive mood. Mellower and more reflective than last year’s rock’n’roll surf-garage-rock collaboration with Charles Watson from Slow Club, as new band The Surfing Magazines, or 2016’s blues driven Bamboo Diner in the Rain or 2015’s Billy Childish produced Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon. This album is more akin to 2016’s acoustic release A Season in Hull, which, like Brushes With Happiness, was recorded live in one room in a single January day.

                                                        Guitarist and songwriter Dave Tattersall explains the process of recording Brushes With Happiness; “We recorded this album live in a small room to tape on one night in January, playing music into the wee hours. Listening to the album feels like being in a ceremony. It takes you to that place. This is music that emanates from one group of people in one place in space and time. Listening to it is like being let in on a secret.”

                                                        They wanted to make an album that was as spontaneous as possible, emulating the jazz, folk, blues and live albums that they love so much. As Dave explains; “As music fans we treasure spontaneous recordings. When we put an album on we want to hear a little of the human spirit.”

                                                        The Wave Pictures undertook several steps in order to ensure that this was a magical album:

                                                        - Tattersall didn’t write any music prior to the recording sessions, just lyrics. “The lyrics were written in advance, but the music was an improvisation, completed in one night. You can thus hear how in tune we are with one another after ten years playing together in bars.”

                                                        - Everything on record is a first take and mostly material that Jonny and Franic had never heard before and Dave had never played. None of it existed in any shape or form before they put it to tape.

                                                        - They recorded it late at night so as to be as relaxed as possible. As Dave explains; “Lots of bands pretend that they have made their Tonight’s The Night or Astral Weeks, that special album which is recorded in those rare, late-night, pressure-free circumstances; that loose collection of inspired jams. They haven’t done it really. They’ve spent bloody ages working on the thing. They’ve lost their nerve. This is the real thing. A genuine shitfaced improvisation.”

                                                        - They got extremely high and inebriated, “We wanted to get rid of any self-consciousness together,” says Dave.

                                                        - The songs are predominantly in minor key. Dave explains; “I cannot help how I feel - for me this is the happiest kind of key to play in.”

                                                        For an album recorded in this way, Brushes with Happiness really does surpass all expectations. From the languid guitar licks to Dave’s faltering vocals, every note oozes emotional truth. The synchronicity of the band is evident in tracks like “Laces”, where you can hear the very process of composition or the Django Reinhardt inspired “Red Suitcase.” “The Burnt Match” is the kind of song they would have tried to do many times in the past but wouldn’t have been able to pull-off as they would have over-thought it. Yet in this live environment it turned out perfectly. As Dave explains; “We just improvised these songs on the fly, on the spur of the moment. So you can hear them come together with a lot more vitality than they would have done in the past.”

                                                        The album title double meaning is a nod to Jonny Helm’s completely original approach to drumming with brushes. As Dave enthuses; “The way he does it seems to me to come out of the natural world, like waves crashing on rocks, rather than to come out of some school of drumming textbook.” Dave also praises Franic Rozycki’s bass playing, saying, “He uses the bass guitar as a vehicle for personal expression, which is virtually unheard of outside of the jazz world.” Not to be outdone, Dave Tattersall himself has been hailed for his musicianship, with BBC 6 Music DJ Marc Riley calling him; “the greatest guitar player of his generation”.

                                                        Brushes With Happiness sees a band at the top of their game. No other band could just improvise an album out of thin air, no trouble at all, and have it sound THIS good.

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Laura says: This album was recorded in one night, in one room, in one take. They arrived to record with just some lyrics and everything else was improvised on the night. It's a lovely laid back affair, and the nature of the recording gives it a raw, intimate feel. It captures the trio on fine form, completely in synch, and as ever the songwriting is top notch.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        LP Info: Violet sparkle coloured vinyl.

                                                        Strut present the first ever compilation series to access the archives of one of the greatest of all French Caribbean labels, Disques Debs out of Guadeloupe. Set up by the late Henri Debs during the late ‘50s, the label and studio has continued for over 50 years, releasing over 300 7” singles and 200 LPs, covering styles varying from early biguine and bolero to zouk and reggae. Debs played a pivotal role in bringing the créole music of Guadeloupe and Martinique to a wider international audience.

                                                        Volume 1 of this series marks the first decade of the label’s existence and takes in big band orchestras, home-grown stars, touring bands and a new generation that would emerge at the end of the ‘60s. Early releases were recorded in the back of Henri’s shop in Pointe-a-Pitre, from his own sextet playing percussive biguines to young saxophonist Edouard Benoit, leader of Les Maxels and regular arranger for Debs bands. Other artists ranged from big bands like Orchestre Esperanza and Orchestre Caribbean Jazz to poet and radio personality Casimir “Caso” Létang and folkloric gwo ka artist Sydney Leremon. Debs also capitalised on recording foreign touring artists visiting Guadeloupe during the early ‘60s including Haitian trumpeter Raymond Cicault and Trinidadian bandleader Cyril Diaz.

                                                        Compiled by Hugo Mendez (Sofrito) and Emile Omar (Radio Nova), ‘Disques Debs International’ is released in conjunction with Henri Debs Et Fils and Air Caraibes. The package features a host of rare and unseen photos from the Debs archive with both formats featuring extensive sleeve notes and interviews with Philippe Debs and Max “Maxo” Severin of Les Vikings. Volumes 2 and 3 follow in 2019.

                                                        Follow up to the amazing "Backstreet Brit Funk". Volume 2 has been eight years in the making and continues to showcase the best of the genre from the late 70s to early 80s, compiled once again by Joey Negro. Perhaps one of the UK’s most under-appreciated genres and emerging in the late 70’s; it takes influences from jazz, funk, reggae and pop and by the early 80s it had spread all over the UK. Chart-topping mainstream bands like Wham!, Spandau Ballet and Haircut 100 tapped into the style and sound to help launch their careers, whilst Linx, Level 42, Light of The World, The Cool Notes and Hi Tension were all Brit Funk acts who troubled the UK top 40 with their own singles.

                                                        Brit Funk was essentially the UK’s answer to underground disco & boogie , with musicians at first imitating and eventually developing the sounds they heard on the US imports that made it across the pond. And like disco, the Brit Funk scene was significant in reducing racial boundaries in the clubs and raising the profile of black and white musicians who worked together. Back in 2010 Joey Negro complied the first volume of Back Street Brit Funk: a collection of obscure and forgotten gems of the scene that found favour across the board. The fact that it’s taken eight years for Volume 2 to see the light of day is a testament to the both the obscurity of the records included, and the logistical challenges involved in digitizing what started life as vinyl-only releases, with only a handful of 12”s remaining in some cases.
                                                        'I hadn’t planned a Volume 2 of BSBF when putting together the first, but after a while, I started to wonder if there was potential for a follow-up. Over the past 8 years I’ve kept my ears peeled for interesting UK productions that for some reason hadn’t come to my attention before.' Joey Negro.


                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Matt says: We've had 'nuff resurgences in disco, Italo and boogie thus far, but no-one's really popped the lid off the whole Brit Funk cannon. Save for that wonderful "In The Red" comp on Chuwanaga (and Volume 1 of this series of course) the scene has gone relatively 'Un-comp'ed'... until now! Maestro Joey Negro can always be relied upon to present to us the first sift off the crop. Here showing us the dizzying delights of this very British operation... High energy, high musicianship - high vibe! I used to roller-skate to this shit!! ;)

                                                        The long-awaited follow up to Washington’s debut "The Epic", "Heaven & Earth" is comprised of two halves, which find Washington confronting quotidian realities with cosmic themes. A further investigation of Washington’s world building ideas, the new album explores his reckoning with current global chaos and his vision for the future.

                                                        Washington convened his band, The Next Step, as well as members of the long running collective The West Coast Get Down at Henson Studios in Los Angeles to record the 16 tracks on Heaven & Earth. The music was composed, written and arranged by Washington, with new arrangements of jazz and bebop legend Freddie Hubbard’s “Hubtones” and iconic kung fu film theme “Fists of Fury,” as well as one song by bandmate Ryan Porter. Thundercat, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Cameron Graves, Brandon Coleman, Miles Mosley, Patrice Quinn, Tony Austin and many more contribute to the album.

                                                        Clocking in at two and a half colossal hours of music, "Heaven & Earth" is available on double deluxe CD and a four piece vinyl housed in bespoke double gatefold sleeve

                                                        “The world that my mind lives in, lives in my mind.” This idea inspired me to make this album Heaven & Earth. The reality we experience is a mere creation of our consciousness, but our consciousness creates this reality based on those very same experiences. We are simultaneously the creators of our personal universe and creations of our personal universe. The Earth side of this album represents the world as I see it outwardly, the world that I am a part of. The Heaven side of this album represents the world as I see it inwardly, the world that is a part of me. Who I am and the choices I make lie somewhere in between.”
                                                        Kamasi Washington

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Patrick says: The man responsible for turning a younger generation of music lovers onto the passion and power of jazz returns with the bombastic brilliance of his sophomore LP. Seriously spiritual and surprisingly groovy, "Heaven & Earth" incorporates Marvin-esque soul, Old Testament intensity and soaring, searing solos into a breathtaking vision of jazz's next incarnation.

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        4xLP Info: Four LP set housed in bespoke double gatefold sleeve.

                                                        2xCD Info: Double deluxe CD.

                                                        Comprised of 12 tracks, named "Essential One" – "Essential Twelve", each song on the album is based around the word ‘essential’. Recorded in just under two weeks, "Essential" was created using the gear they didn’t use for their celebrated 2017 LP "From Deewee", which was recorded with the band in one take.

                                                        The band elaborate: 'When we were approached to make an Essential Mix for the BBC in May 2017, we chose to do what every sane human being would do, we decided to lock ourselves into our studio for two weeks and make an hour of new music based around the word 'Essential', instead of preparing a mix of already existing music. The product of this otherwise unwise decision is something we ended up being very proud of and is now being released on the piece of plastic you’re are currently holding in your hands.'

                                                        Stylistically it's fist bumping to stadium-electro whilst it tips its hat respectfully to techno; nothing new there then, and fans of the OG Soulwax sound have got plenty to get stuck into here - it's like Modeselektor's nympho sister who's into roller derby and warehouse raves. 


                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Matt says: Fuckin' ell it seems like only yesterday that we were getting all dewy-eyed over the iconic "2 Many DJs" mix CD. Now everyone's favourite stadium dance superstars are back on Radio 1 AGAIN, and they've made a whole hour of BRAND NEW MUSIC. Yay!

                                                        “Like Arthur Russell before them, they give equal floorspace to the spiritual and the sensual.” Pitchfork

                                                        Gang Gang Dance – one of the most enduring and creatively vibrant musical acts of 21st Century New York – return with brand new album, Kazuashita.

                                                        Formed initially as an improvisational outfit in the early 2000s, Gang Gang Dance are Lizzi Bougatsos, Brian DeGraw and Josh Diamond. All independently operating artists in their own rights, they consistently blur the boundaries between music and art; as comfortable today performing at the Whitney Biennial as they are at Coachella, and count Dash Snow & Nate Lowman, Tinchy Stryder and the Boredoms as previous collaborators.

                                                        Held together by Lizzi Bougatsos and her otherworldly vocal, Kazuashita is an intoxicating mix of ethereal shoegaze and electronic ambience, self-produced by Brian DeGraw.

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Barry says: Seguing brilliantly between a swooning electronic swell and clicking, glitched-out histrionics, GGD manage to toe the line between downbeat post-shoegaze electronics and more driven elements without batting an eyelid. Perfectly balanced and brilliantly evocative.

                                                        New EP from breakout alternative R&B singer, violinist and producer Sudan Archives Sudan Archives was raised in Ohio and trained as a violinist, but she didn't study her namesake specialty — Sudanese violin traditions — until she relocated to Los Angeles. Her uncommon expertise makes her music ripe with culture, improvisation and myriad surprises. The songs on Sink evoke a grounded, almost retroflexed picture of nature. The title track balances disjointed synths with moans and muffled lyrics like weighty raindrops on a palm plant. The sound of a lively forest is the beckoning call of "Pay Attention" before you even hear Sudan Archives' invitation: "Let's go outside / You know, you know what I like." On "Nont For Sale," pizzicati strings tiptoe over the bassline as the artist's words glide over the beat with the elegance of a gull's wings in the breeze: "This is my light don't block the sun / This is my seat can't you tell / This is my time don't waste it up / This is my land nont for sale," she declares. By the time you get to "Escape," the project's crescendo of a closer, the unexpected blend of folk, Afrobeat and R&B feel like a euphoric sun shower.

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Millie says: Sudan Archives returns with her beautifully unique EP ‘Sink’, it’s got an electronic spin on things yet her graceful violinist side is still prominent and her glowing vocals are just a dream.

                                                        Stella Donnelly

                                                        Thrush Metal

                                                          Stella Donnelly quickly became one of Australia’s buzziest young singer-songwriters earlier this year with the release of her debut EP, Thrush Metal. Now release in the UK, it opens with the defiant, "Mechanical Bull" which is reminiscent of "Dry" era PJ Harvey. Next up is the stunning "Boys Will Be Boys". Atop delicate, singsongy acoustic fingerpicking, Donnelly confronts a man who raped her friend and takes to task the accompanying victim-blaming. “Why was she all alone? Wearing her shirt that low And they said boys will be boys Deaf to the word no,” she coos in the chorus, a slight vibrato flaring up at the corners of her lovely voice.
                                                          The stripped back melancholy of the following three tracks: "Mean To Me", "Grey" and "A Poem" show off her vocals in a slightly different light, and closing track "Talking", which is a new addition to the EP for this vinyl release, returns to the weightier content of the EPs start. 




                                                          This Hampshire & Foat project should not come as too much of a surprise to those familiar with Greg & Warren's music, influenced heavily by not just Jazz but the library sound of the 60s and 70s along with film soundtracks from the same golden era. Greg& Warren are avid collectors of this music, Greg sends me links night and day to LPs he has picked up digging on his travels. This constant search sends him down new musical pathways and often sparks a whole new concept for projects. Warren and Greg are both fiercely creative talented individuals which means we have to keep them working, a challenge for us all, but the music rewards the effort many times over. Side one is five tracks in very distinct styles, musical paintings for the big screen. The vast sound of the Japanese influenced Jasmine, The Spaghetti Western melancholy of Mariposa Lily, the call to action that is Antonio's Theme, The Breezy Vintage sports car in the sun that Coastal Drivepaints, and Lost in Nostalgia, a late night Poirotesk piece.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Matt says: If "The Honeybear" saw the band languidly exploring an enchanted woodland by day, then "Night Shade" encapsulates the magic of said woodland at night; full of beguiling spirits and esoteric wanderings...

                                                          Millie says: Hampshire & Foat have yet again created a captivating album, this one is clearly packed with things that have influenced that and the result is a beautiful mix of ambient and folk.

                                                          One year on from their highly praised mega-work ‘Journey To The Mountain Of Forever’ (Mojo Magazine Urban Album Of The Year), Binker And Moses return with a blistering assault on the senses.

                                                          Their third album in as many years, Binker Golding and Moses Boyd are trailblazers in arguably the most exciting jazz explosion London has ever witnessed.

                                                          Is it a studio recording? Is it a live recording? Does it matter when the music’s this good?

                                                          10 new tracks featuring a giant wealth of talent alongside Binker and Moses themselves (including UK free legend Evan Parker and one half of Yussef Kamaal), this album captures a momentous 45 minutes when spontaneity and composition combine to magical effect.

                                                          It’s a companion piece to ‘Journey’ but with a different energy - as North London is to South London, as West is to East.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Millie says: If you thought you were lacking some jazz in your life, get on this. From the London jazz scene Binker and Moses are loud and explosive, filled to the brim with energy; the dynamic duo are killing it.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          LP Info: LP pressed on 180gm vinyl.

                                                          Princess Nokia – aka New York rapper Destiny Frasqueri – has been releasing music via Youtube and Soundcloud since she was in High School and catapulted herself to the next level with last year’s critically acclaimed rap opus 1992 Deluxe -- selling out venues across the globe and steadily gaining tens of millions of streams. Now, this shapeshifting emcee returns with a brand new collection of songs titled A Girl Cried Red, a self-described “emo mixtape” which will undoubtedly cement her place in the Alternative underground as well as the Hip-Hop world. “Black people created punk — the band Death was way before The Ramones,” she stated in a recent interview, “If you think about it, the wool has been pulled over our eyes. This is our shit. Very naturally, that's why we return to it.” Drawing on influences as varied as the introverted acoustic sounds of Elliott Smith to the bombastic pop-punk energy of Paramore – A Girl Cried Red showcases another fully formed side of Destiny that still taps into the uncompromising feminist ideology of Princess Nokia.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Millie says: I am obsessed with this. Princess Nokia's emo side has emerged and it's fab. She clearly gives no cares on what people think and just does what she wants. I heart Princess Nokia!

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

                                                          A mutant offspring of diverse stylings, unlikely convergences and unfixed constellations, "Zebra", Alexis Georgopoulos’ - aka Arp - fifth full-length album, is a post-everything symbiosis of ancient to future psychotropics, emphasizing points of connectivity between far-flung traditions. "Zebra" is as naturalistic as it is alien, disrupting outdated boundaries between musical traditions, hierarchies and genre politics. Using forward-looking production techniques and an idiosyncratic instrumental palette - analog synthesizers, double bass, Fender Rhodes, electronic and acoustic drums, flute, vintage harmonizers and tape delay - Georgopoulos proposes a vast, shimmering prospect, floralizing an array of styles and smiles - Fourth World tremors, vibey Cosmic Jazz, 80s Japanese production, floating kosmische drum atmospherics. Emphasizing 'points of connectivity' in a time when reactive and fractious isolationism threaten in divisive ways, "Zebra" is the sound of interaction. "Zebra" seeks something beyond definition of singularity perspective and division. It is constructive instead of flippant: ecstatic instead of wallowing; clear-eyed instead of opiated, romantic instead of cynical. Like the zebra, Georgopoulos’ latest album revels in contrast / duality - Naturalistic + alien. Urban + rural. Calm + unsettling. Lucid + mysterious. Bold simplicity + fiendish complexity. The result is a portal to a more curious world that compels repeat visits.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Patrick says: I’ve long been a fan of Alexis Georopoulos, and I’m pleased to reveal that his fifth LP is his finest work to date. Inspired by the likes of Hiroshi Yoshimura, Lonnie Liston Smith, Klause Schultze and Jon Hassell, the producer treats us to a textured and tripped out New Age journey.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                          New album from Darling on Safe Trip records - Young Marco's psychedelically aligned label based in Amsterdam.

                                                          Sonically, it allies itself with Andras Fox, Moon B, Vakula & Dream House - delicately constructed, fathoms deep and with a tantalizing, humanoid palette which, though often electronically powered, prefers dusty retro sound boxes than the most up-to-date, speaker-crushing VST plug-ins.

                                                          It's playful in parts, naive in others, but seductive and caressing throughout. It fits perfectly with the Safe Trip ethos - fundamentally creating a rich and stimulating sonic environment in which to journey inwards, outwards and across dimensional barriers. Take the trip!


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Matt says: This one took me by surprise. Delicate and serene with big nods to Melbourne's box twiddlers; Darling has conjured up a heart felt, electronically powered album that traverses mood, genre and style effortlessly. A mini-masterpiece!

                                                          Kate NV

                                                          Для For

                                                          Moscow is mythologized for its grandeur and gravity but its parable pleasures offer splendor and even absurdity. Over the ten, symmetrical pieces of для FOR, Kate NV scores her native urban environment with just enough whimsy to gurgle through the city cracks and grow psychotropic foliage. Each sound assumes its own personality, moving through the album metropolis like miniature, mutating molecules viewed from NV’s apartment window.

                                                          Alternately a guitar-wielding, post-punker and one within the multitude of Moscow Scratch Orchestra’s avant-garde, NV is a versatile artist that maneuvers instinctively in whatever musical environs she finds herself. Her second solo album is an even more abstract endeavor than the hybrid pop of 2016’s "Binasu". Inspired by casual moments of ephemeral sound from within and beyond her apartment walls, the record has a clarity arrived altogether and from right under her nose. Recorded at home, NV says it was as if the music was not written by herself, but her chair.

                                                          "для FOR" inhabits a stage that Piero Milesi & Daniel Bacalov, Ann Southam, or Hiroshi Yoshimura may have written music for and dresses it with Viktor Pivovarov’s psychedelic depictions of Moscow – contorting bodies, flying pencils, and multi-dimensional faces dance with subtle arpeggiations, conversational voice synthesis, and anthropomorphic MIDI. Animating objects is essential to the album. Like a surreal still life, each piece is an alien arrangement of common elements that extend the everyday ritual into an eternal landscape of unconscious activity. Somewhere along that landscape, Kate awaits and greets with apples for hands and fish for feet.

                                                          Like the album title, each composition contained within is represented as a three letter word, in Russian and English. The first half of для FOR was written in the spring. Starting with “YXO EAR,” previously released on the Peaceful Protest compilation cassette in 2017, melodies meander and lollygag. “двA TWO” incorporates human breath played like notes on a pump organ. “дуб OAK” offers a warm tune to tango. “как HOW” loops curious notes that bump into each other with a chirpy acknowledgement. “вас YOU,” the only track on для FOR with lyrics, sets a Wassily Kadinsky poem to song.

                                                          The second half of the album was written in the autumn. The feathery edges of “раз ONE” extend like watercolors bleeding off a rubber scroll. “зря SEE” is a subdued, shadowy variation of “как HOW”, as if the same song were played in different weather, dimmer light, or by Kate’s devious doppelganger. The electronics unravel and unwind on “пес DOG” until the final track, “кто WHO,” ends with vague solemnity and rattled metals.

                                                          A short online film series by Shura Kulak will accompany the release of для FOR. The films follow a solitary figure performing ordinary tasks through a slow, warped lens — each song enacting a daily habit: waking, dressing, reading, and so on. In her live performances around the album, Kate NV will play each song from memory, allowing for variation from the recorded tracks, and scenes from the films will be re-created and improvised in the moment.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Patrick says: After the breathtaking vaporwave stylings of her mighty "Binasu" LP, Moscow's Kate NV turns to RVNG Int as the perfect home for her sophomore offering '??? For'. Playful and impressionistic, the LP offers the kind of post-Reich ambience we expect from Visible Cloaks or Brass Mechanics and is every bit as accomplished.

                                                          "Drumphilia" volume 1 is a rhythmic experiment that sits on the fault line between traditional instrumentation and analogue electronics. The project is a response to many years spent working with, learning about and listening to African and Caribbean percussion. Traditional rhythmic influences are combined with analogue drum machines and drum synths to create a hybrid sound that continues in the tradition of artists like Francis Bebey.

                                                          There are no traditional harmonic instruments on the recordings - the aim was to create melody and texture using only carefully tuned percussion instruments, whether organic or electronic. Basslines were created by blending drum synth tones with the acoustic marimbula, a traditional Caribbean instrument that was often used in place of a bass guitar. Melodies were created with everything from log drums and thumb pianos to early Soviet drum modules and the trailblazing Pearl Syncussion SY- 1.

                                                          Various time signatures and textures are used across the album to produce melody out of rhythm - hypnotic, evolving tracks that celebrate and highlight the importance of rhythm in modern music. All the sessions were recorded at the Mop Mop studio in Berlin between September and December, 2016. Instruments featured include: Log drum, marimbula, kalimba, sansula, krabebs. Pearl Syncussion SY-1, Vermona DRM1, MFB Tanzbär, MFB Tanzmaus RMIF Elsita, assorted drum machines and talkboxes.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Patrick says: Man-like Mop Mop goes by his birth name this time round for a hefty set of fascinating rhythms on Cristalline. Working with every drum machine I've ever heard with, along with all manner of obscure percussive and pitched instruments from around the globe, this is exotica for the 23rd century.

                                                          Orbiting somewhere between the interplanetary funk of Sun Ra and the cinematic experimentation of Floating Points lies the new album Earth from the spiritually awakened Brit-jazz collective Emanative. Led by drummer and producer Nick Woodmansey, Emanative have created a cosmic strand of multi-cultural UK jazz with African, Indian and Middle Eastern influences unlike any other act on the UK scene. Following on from their previous record on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label back in 2015, Earth celebrates the diverse backgrounds of its galaxy of contributors, which includes Idris Ackamoor of US spiritual jazz legends The Pyramids, Afrobeat legend Dele Sosimi(previously of Fela Kuti's Africa 80), key protagonist from Manchester's jazz scene Nat Birchall, India-raised Ninja Tune artist and Shabaka Hutchings-collaborator Sarathy Korwar, Ibibio Sound Machine player Ben Hadwen, Benjamin Page from RocketNumberNine, The Heliocentrics' Malcolm Catto and Flying Lotus collaborator Ahu. Initially Emanative was an output for Woodmansey's more beat-led productions which he began releasing in 2008. Over the course of a decade and a multitude of singles and three full-length albums, the project has morphed – emanated – into a collaborative, jazz-influenced, outward-facing globally-inspired collective. 2015's The Light Years of the Darkness album release was a key turning point and a record that saw Woodmansey work with a stellar cast of contributors featuring amongst others Keiran Hebden aka Four Tet and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah. All profits went to the Steve Reid Foundation, a charity which Gilles Peterson set up of which Woodmansey is a trustee – all in the name of the legendary jazz-drummer to help musicians in crisis as well as to support new talent.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Millie says: Emanative have their own unique sound, the album has been filled with inspiration and contributions from a whole range of talented artists and this really has produced a stunning album.

                                                          Fifteenth studio album and 30th anniversary release from the pioneering UK ambient house duo. Features guest contributions from Hollie Cook, Roger Eno, Youth (Killing Joke, The Fireman), Jah Wobble (PiL), Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd), Brother Culture. Includes singles "Rush Hill Road" and "Doughnuts Forever", with the album receiving positive press from Mixmag, Resident Advisor, Vents, XS Noize, Tiny Mix Tapes. The Orb have sold 700K+ albums worldwide and their catalog has been streamed 7M+ times. Previous album "COW/Chill Out, World!" (2016) received praise from Record Collector, PopMatters, Resident Advisor & Mixmag.

                                                          Existing, long serving fans know they're not gonna be disappointed by now - their brand of playful, low-slung, almost 'baggy'-era blend of electronics, downbeat and pop has more than stood the test of time; with The Orb a highly celebrated beacon of UK pop culture. They haven't changed direction, they've just come a long way... baby! 


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: The Orb, legendary purveyors of blissed-out house and mellow ambient electronica return for their newest LP, 'No Sounds Are Out Of Bounds'. Brimming with smooth, rolling percussives and simmering dubby breaks, all stitched together with the skill and lightness of touch that only such veterans could achieve. A stunning, evocative collection.

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive blue vinyl.

                                                          CV

                                                          Special Delivery Vol. 4 - A Collection Of Dysfunctional Edits By CV

                                                          The Edit Service is back and for the first time in album format. "Special Delivery Vol. 4 - A Collection of Dysfunctional Edits by CV" contains 8 tracks spread over two records: long edits, reworks or even remixes made from obscure music by the enigmatic CV (it shouldn’t be too hard for people to figure out who is behind it).
                                                          "Armazem" opens the record. One of the most dancefloor-friendly cuts on the LP, from a post-industrial and nearly trancey tune from Brazil.  "Canaille Bleu" comes from a mid-80s French film which soundtrack was never released. The edit uses the dialog from the film and live instruments. The result is a cinematic and dubby number with Gallic tendencies. "Fish Liquor" is an edit of a German synth wave tune from a limited run cassette released in the 80’s, extended and tailored for the dancefloor. On "Pieces Of A Sultan", the raw material comes from a highly popular rock band of the 70’s. New instruments were added and the producer takes the tune in a krautrock, almost experimental direction. 'Porte Doree' is another tune on this release with French vocals. The original comes from a rare and cult post-hippy art rock record from the late 70’s, condensed into a downtempo yet dancefloor edit. With 'Racines Incertaines', the producer slowed down a disco funk tune from the late 70s, then recreated it from scratch, giving a cosmic dimension to this groovy number. "Ship From Rimini" is the remix of a vocal italo tune from the early 80s. It has all the hallmarks of a classic of the genre, yet there is something about both its groove and melodies that stands out. Finally, 'Spanish Codeine' is an Iberian Eurodance record played at the wrong speed, to which elements were added in order to create an edit that goes to completely new directions.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Patrick says: Parisian digger, DJ, producer and gee, the mighty CV comes through with a mindbending set of non-Cliche breaks and wavy rarities here for Edit Select, slapping the good stuff on a double pack for extra pressure. If you're after twisted electrodisco, EBM, cosmic cuts and mad-capped metal dance then this is the disc for you!

                                                          Robin Van Velzen (Bambi Davidson)

                                                          Robin Van Velzen

                                                          After thoroughly pleasing our ears with a little woodland Balearic and motorik folk as part of Bambi Davidson, German musician Robin Van Velzen arrives on 9pm with a gorgeous solo debut. Stripped back and strung out, the self titled set boasts eight cryptic guitar ballads, as in debt to the gloomy poetry of Leonard Cohen as the sultry dub production of Lee Scratch Perry. Atmospheric, evocative and intimate, this moonlight music comes from a true bedroom troubadour.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Andy says: Beautiful, reflective, late night vibes permeate this gorgeous record from the Bambi Davidson guitarist and singer. The perfect blend of mood and melody.

                                                          King of the Slums started up in around 1985 in the 'Hulme', area of Manchester, England UK.

                                                          They never considered themselves a 'Manchester' band, just a band with an arty background, a little self-indulgent with story-type songs. A distorted electric violin was used all the time in early recordings, along with guitar, bass and drums. They continued developing this sound throughout their initial singles and albums. In 1991, following their 3rd studio album, they fell out with record companies, management and each other and disbanded. Their instruments damaged, their biro’s broken. They were on the verge of a tour in the USA, and were considered a vital LIVE act.

                                                          In 2009 the band embarked on a new album, but everyone fell out again and only developed 5 or 6 new songs. The resulting album, “The Orphaned Files”, was sold out many times and is now a collector’s item but the band did not pursue things further.

                                                          In 2016 the band got back together and released a full brand new album ‘Manco Diablo’ in 2017 which received widespread critical acclaim. The band are currently happy together and view their 6th studio Album ‘Artdog Gods’ as their finest piece of work to date. Notably the new album features the reintroduction of violin and viola. A live performance at Manchester’s Night and Day venue is scheduled for 23rd June 2018 in which the band will feature songs encompassing their full recorded history. 


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: Manchester's own King Of The Slums bring a perfectly balanced raucous assault, reminiscent of the off-beat snapping drive of Shame, and the fully-fledged punky snarl of Parquet Courts but with a distinctly laid-back Manchester swagger. A brilliantly innovative and fresh take on a classic sound.

                                                          Nine Inch Nails new full-length Bad Witch completes the trilogy that began with 2016’s Not The Actual Events and 2017’s Add Violence. 

                                                          We kick things off in spectacular style, with 'Shit Mirror' echoing the early days of NIN, all perilous ambient distortions and thumping machinated drums, while retaining the momentous drive of their later records. 'Ahead Of Ourselves' features Reznor's vox twisted out of all proportion, with a wizened percussive detritus trailing behind before snapping into a cutthroat about-turn into the trademark fuzzed-out static redux we've come to expect from them 

                                                          'Play The Goddamned Part' on the other hand is much more reminiscent of the scattered but cohesive ambience of their greatest full-scope cinematic epic, 'The Fragile, scattered insectile stutters and electronic static underpins the oft-uncomfortable dissonance of a chorus of horns and jazzed-out abstractions.  

                                                          Flipping over, we get a continuation of the horn-filled dissonance, but pulled along by a frenetic resonant saw-wave, lending an acidic undertone and momentous drive to proceedings before breaking down into a bleak and uncompromising closing duo of the full-spectrum gothic gloom of 'I'm Not From This World' and the twinkling syncopated shuffle of the chillingly deep 'Over And Out'.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Barry says: Encompassing all aspects of the lengthy and hugely succesful career of Reznor et. al., with a few extras thrown in for good measure (drunken horn section anyone?). All pulled together with the uncompromising sonic headspace and chillingly gothic industrial ambience they've become so well known for. Killer.

                                                          Field Division

                                                          Dark Matter Dreams

                                                            Field Division is Evelyn Taylor and Nicholas Frampton. Four years on from the sumptuous dream-folk of their debut EP, 2014’s Reverie State, the Des Moines duo flex all their lung-power on their debut album, Dark Matter Dreams. Written on the road, where the duo has been living even when not touring, it’s a sweeping album with rock vigour and the spark of deeply held convictions, nurtured in the face of widespread modern disillusionment. Vintage influences include Buckingham Nicks, Led Zeppelin, All Things Must Pass, The Beatles, and the 1960s/1970s Laurel Canyon scene, but make no mistake: this is an album that lives and breathes for today.

                                                            Miss Ludella Black

                                                            Till You Lie In Your Grave

                                                              Ex-Headcoatee - Back With A New LP! Featuring The Masonics! Miss Ludella Black is back with brand new LP Till You Lie In Your Grave, her follow up to 2008's From This Witness Stand. Yes, 10 long years but worth the wait! Till You Lie In Your Grave is the former Delmona and Headcoatee, Ludella's 3rd and favourite solo album released by Damaged Goods. It was recorded at Jim Riley's Ranscombe studio, in her home town of Rochester in Kent. The fourteen songs include twelve titles penned by Mick Hampshire, a cover of The Beatles' 'Wait', and a nod to her headbanging days with a rendition of Black Sabbath's 'Am I Going Insane'. Pour yourself a large Merlot, sit back, relax and enjoy! By the way,the sharp eyed of you may notice that the location of the photo shoot on the record cover bears an uncanny resemblance to that on the Headcoatees' Girlsville LP. Funny that! “Of all the creatures, man alone has ears on his stomach.”

                                                              Martyn releases new album "Voids" on German imprint Ostgut Ton. Dutch-born, Washington D.C.-based producer Martyn has undergone a metamorphosis - one that began with a medical emergency and has dovetailed into personal musical transformation. Having narrowly avoided death after suffering a heart attack, Martyn re-entered his studio and began a process of reassessing the elements that drive him to make music: sampling, unpredictability, melancholy, sci-fi, polyrhythms, texture, ecstatic oments, Detroit, interlocking percussion and bass. However, the initial spark to start producing again came through his experience listening to Max Roach’s 1979 ensemble percussion album "M’Boom".

                                                              In his own words: 'That was the first record I listened to in my studio after coming out of the hospital. It's a project where he works with a slew of top-notch percussionists and drummers and rotates them for every composition. Playing this record was such a surreal experience, the first music I consciously listened to after my recovery. I could hear so much space in the music, something I had never noticed before; almost like a 3D experience, with the most striking aspect being the emptiness between the players.' Over the next 8 months Martyn would go on to write "Voids", his first LP for Ostgut Ton and in a few other ways markedly different than previous records; it features no guest appearances or collaborations and at 9 tracks, is musically stripped down to the essentials. It’s also a highly personal take on forging new paths forward in genres where the Berghain / Panorama Bar resident has long been known for his production wizardry and innovation: post-dubstep and UK garage.

                                                              "Voids" is roughly split between these musical foundations, recontextualized with elements of Nyabinghi, drum ‘n‘ bass, and gqom to form snarling, bass-driven hybrids. The direction was hinted at last November on his GL Outtakes – reworks of his landmark 2009 album "Great Lengths". In contrast however, "Voids" is also an attempt to work through personal trauma and loss, including the passing of close friend and fellow producer Marcus Intalex aka Trevino, to whom the track “Manchester” is dedicated.

                                                              The sound of "Voids" is big and unapologetically rough around the edges. It is music as therapy, drawing on the healing elements of music past, but is far from retrospective.


                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Matt says: A powerful and really quite arresting listen, I felt like my head had been inside a tumble drier by the end of the LP - in a good way of course!

                                                              The sixth collaboration CD between Rough Trade Shops and End of The Road Festival. As always, the tracks are selected by festival co-founder and curator Simon Taffe from artists on this year’s line up. The 18 track compilation, featuring music from Vampire Weekend, St Vincent, Gruff Rhys, Julia Holter and many more, will be available exclusively from Rough Trade Shops on 1st June before going on general release on 22nd June.

                                                              “It always excites me to put this compilation together but condensing a whole weekend’s worth of incredible music into 74 minutes is almost impossible. What you hopefully get here is an impression, a feel for 2018 and a line up which we think has come together just right this year.” — Simon Taffe

                                                              It's rare that a band's debut album sounds as confident and self-assured as Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever's Hope Downs. To say that the first full-length from the Melbourne quintet improves on their buzz-building EPs from the last few years would be an understatement: the promise those early releases hinted at is fully realized here, with ten songs of urgent, passionate guitar pop that elicit warm memories of bands past, from the Go-Betweens' jangle to the charmingly lo-fi trappings of New Zealand's Flying Nun label. But don't mistake Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever for nostalgists: Hope Downs is the sound of a band finding its own collective voice.

                                                              The hard-hitting debut album is a testament to Rolling Blackouts C.F.’s tight-knit and hard-working bonafides. Prior to forming the band in 2013, singers/guitarists Fran Keaney, Tom Russo, and Joe White had played together in various garage bands, dating back to high school. When Rolling Blackouts C.F. started, with Joe Russo [Tom’s brother] on bass, Marcel [Tussie, Joe White's then-housemate] on drums, the chemistry was immediate. After a split EP with You Yangs (another Russo brother's band), released in the form of a frisbee, they self-released Talk Tight in 2015, which Sydney-based record label Ivy League gave a wider release the following year. Talk Tight garnered plaudits from critics, including legendary rock scribe Robert Christgau. In 2017, Sub Pop released The French Press EP, bringing the band's chugging and tuneful non-linear indie rock to the rest of the world as they settled into their sound with remarkable ease.

                                                              Hope Downs was largely written over the past year in the band's Melbourne rehearsal room where their previous releases were also written and recorded. The band's core trio of songwriters hunkered down and wrote as the chaos of the world outside unavoidably seeped into the songwriting process. "We were feeling like we were in a moment where the sands were shifting and the world was getting a lot weirder. There was a general sense that things were coming apart at the seams and people around us were too,” Russo explains. The album title, taken from the name of a vast open cut mine in the middle of Australia, refers to the feeling of “standing at the edge of the void of the big unknown, and finding something to hold on to.”

                                                              With the help of engineer/producer Liam Judson and his portable setup, the band recorded Hope Downs live, and co-produced ten guitar pop gems over the course of two weeks in Northern New South Wales during the winter of 2017. Hope Downs possesses a robust full-band sound that's all the more impressive considering the band's avoidance of traditional recording studios. If you loved Talk Tight and The French Press, you certainly won't be disappointed here—but you might also be surprised at how the band’s sound has grown. There's a richness and weight to these songs that was previously only hinted at, from the skyscraping chorus of “Sister's Jeans” to the thrilling climax of album closer “The Hammer.”

                                                              Hope Downs is as much about the people that populate the world around us—their stories, perspectives, and hopes in the face of disillusionment—as it is about the state of things at large. It's a record that focuses on finding the bright spots at a time when cynicism all too often feels like the natural state. Rolling Blackouts C.F. are here to remind us to keep our feet on the ground—and Hope Downs is as delicious a taste of terra firma as you're going to get from a rock band right now.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Laura says: This Melbourne five piece first caught our attention last year when Sub Pop released The French Press, their second EP; catchy, super melodic pop songs that ticked all the ‘indie guitar classic’ boxes. Next up came the re-release of Talk Tight, their debut EP; a bit rougher around the edges but still with the same dreamy melodies and chiming guitars. So, could their first album proper live up to the promise of their earlier efforts? Yes! Is the simple answer to that.
                                                              All the same reference points are there, but their sound has evolved. Subtly. It’s hard to put your finger on what’s different, but there’s a richness, an expansiveness to the sound, that was always there to some extent, but now seems more refined. With three guitarists, you’d expect the sound to be cluttered, but Tom Russo, Fran Keaney and Joe White, all play their own intricate melodies that ebb and flow in and out of the songs, colliding beautifully from time to time, and far from being chaotic, this gives the album a lush, layered sound. They also share vocal duties, sometimes solo, sometimes in harmony, sometimes relaying through the songs, providing an energy and momentum throughout, while Joe Russo and Marcel Tussie’s bass and drums hold everything together.
                                                              This album might have it’s roots in the city, and lyrically depict the sights, sounds and frustrations of urban living, but these are songs for wide open spaces, big skies, open roads, sunroof down, elbow’s in the breeze.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Loser edition marbled blue / clear vinyl.

                                                              Recorded with his band in Manchester at Marr’s Crazy Face studios, ‘Call The Comet’ is the third solo record from the Smiths guitarist and follows 2013’s critically acclaimed The Messenger and 2014’s Playland; both of which made the UK top 10. “Call The Comet is set in the not-too-distant future” says Marr, “and is mostly concerned with the idea of an alternative society. It’s my own magic realism.” Songs include Actor Attractor, Walk Into The Sea, Bug, and recent live favourite Spiral Cities. “The characters in the songs are searching for a new idealism, although there are some personal songs in there too. It’s something that people like me can relate to.” Says Marr.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Andy says: Easily his best solo album.

                                                              Barry says: Johnny Marr brings his most accomplished and forward-thinking album to date, brimming with cleverly penned lyricism, addictive hooks and his uncompromisingly immersive songwriting style. A stunning continuation of form, and a future classic.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited purple coloured vinyl.

                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              Melody’s Echo Chamber’s second album finally arrives more than five years after Melody Prochet’s debut, and it’s certainly been worth the wait. Bon Voyage is a mind-blowing mini-opus full to the gunwales with surprises. It’s a capricious trip that builds majestically upon what Pitchfork in 2012 called “enchanting, psychedelic-tinged pop with just the right amount of thematic darkness”. Made up of seven expansive new tracks, it marries Melody’s breathless soprano to the wildest sonic excursions, always pinned to an emphatic, clattering groove.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Brilliantly effervescent indie-pop from MEC, sporting chunky melodic riffage, bright soaring solos and stunningly perfect production. Amazing stuff.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Heavyweight violet 180g vinyl, comes with bonus phenakistiscope insert.

                                                              LP Info: Comes with bonus phenakistiscope insert.

                                                              Yuno – aka 27-year-old Carlton Joseph Moodie – is in a New York state of mind. He was born there in the Bronx, but from the age of nine months spent his entire life in Florida, and particularly Jacksonville. He's dreamed of returning to New York to live ever since. New York is what inspires his creative streak, even though he's only visited the big city four times. “I plan to move here one day,” he says defiantly, from a cafe in New York. The exotic lure of bright lights, brighter city, is one of the most relatable of tales, and it certainly makes a lot of sense once you've wrapped your ears around Moodie – Yuno's first EP, released via Sub Pop. Moodie is such a New York record. It veers from Tame Impala psych-pop to wonky Vampire Weekend college rock via backpacker hip-hop and, well, Len's “Steal My Sunshine.” It's a collection of songs that chimes with pop's increasing lack of concern for genre. It's the opposite of tribal, as multi-cultural and diverse as a ride on the New York City subway, across all five boroughs. It can't be attributed to one particular origin of sound or vision.  Yuno writes all his music alone at home, self-producing and engineering, playing all the instruments. “I don't really go anywhere in Jacksonville,” he says, drowsily. “I don't drive. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom.” The six-song collection thus sounds like a collage of bedroom posters. “So Slow,” for instance, would be a Washed Out flyer sat next to a piece of Kid Cudi artwork, whereas “Why For” with its squealing Wavves guitars would probably be represented by a big weed sticker or some Sleigh Bells ticket stubs. It's deeply creative and visual.

                                                              Sub Pop found Yuno via Ish Butler of Shabazz Palaces, who A&Rs for the label. He stumbled on Yuno on Soundcloud and kept a keen eye on him. Like Ish, Yuno is encouraged by the genre-bending age we're in, citing Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug as sources of influence. The EP's title clearly relates to his surname, but it's also channeling the emotional variety of the tracks. “It covers all the different feelings you have at the end of a relationship,” he notes. “Sometimes you're really happy to be moving on, other times you're really upset to see something go.”  New York, however, was the major muse. “Being here really changed things for me,” he says. “It feels like my pace here. All these things are in one place in New York. There's so much to experience.” Moodie is written from the perspective of being back in Jacksonville, missing the Big Apple. And while it plays out like longing, it's not all doom and gloom. Yuno's major hope is to make music that fills people with happiness. “That will make me happy,” he says, with a light laugh.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Laura says: Genre bending pop collages that meld left field hip hop beats with mellow guitars and reverbed vocals that bring to mind the likes of the debut Panda Bear album and early Grizzly Bear.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Loser edition white vinyl.

                                                              Here Lies Man took the music world by storm in 2017 with their self-titled debut positing the intriguing hypothesis: What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?

                                                              This June, the L.A. band comprised of Antibalas members quickly follow their auspicious debut with the even more thoroughly realized album You Will Know Nothing. Its 11 tracks expand upon the band’s exploration of heavy riff-based rock and psych within the ancient rhythmic formula of the clave.

                                                              “We’re very conscious of how the rhythms service the riffs,” explains founder and vocalist/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Marcos Garcia (who also plays guitar in Antibalas) of the band’s sound. “Tony Iommi’s (Black Sabbath) innovation was to make the riff the organizing principle of a song. We are taking that same approach but employing a different organizing principle: For Iommi it was the blues, for us it comes directly from Africa.”

                                                              Sonically, on You Will Know Nothing the dynamic range is thicker, crisper and more powerful. It glistens as much as it blasts. The songs are even catchier, more anthemic, and the production reflects that of a band truly come into its own. Lyrically, it’s an equally more conceptualized effort that reflects upon states of being and consciousness — a driving force that carries throughout the words and moods of all of the band’s releases, interconnected to their trancelike music. Here Lies Man have honed their sound and their focus, and soon, you will truly know Nothing.

                                                              “We wanted to go deeper with the sonic experience,” says Garcia. “Even though it sounds more hi-fi than the first record, it was important that it didn’t sound too polished.”

                                                              While You Will Know Nothing certainly maintains its gritty grooves, there’s an interesting conceptual mathematics to the entire proceedings. “There are interludes between each song that are 2/3 to 3/4 of the tempo of the previous song,” Garcia says. “The reason it breaks down to 2 over 3 or 3 over 4 is that everything in the music rhythmically corresponds to a set of mathematical algorithms known as the clave. The clave is an ancient organizing rhythmic principle developed in Africa.”

                                                              “We dove deep into the texture of the music, beyond the groove and the riff,” says HLM cofounder and drummer Geoff Mann (former Antibalas drummer and son of jazz musician Herbie Mann.) “Although something might sound like one instrument, there are subtle layers shifting through. It’s definitely a headphone album.”

                                                              Garcia and Mann recorded the album much like they did the debut, at their own L.A. studio on a Tascam 388 8-track tape machine. Congas were later recorded by percussionists Richard Panta and Reinaldo DeJesus. Then, Garcia went to NY to record interludes with former Antibalas keyboardist Victor Axelrod. Mixing took the most time in order to find the proper sonic space for each layer of musical detail, with first album engineer Jeremy Page mixing the drums and the band tackling the remainder while also juggling a hectic touring schedule.


                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Bringing the frantic, almost percussive snapping guitars over the top of galloping toms and distorted, psychedelic vox, Here Lies Man have presented a fascinating and head-nodding stoner throb to the masses. 'You Will Know Nothing' pits nuanced stoned heft against swooning, psychedelic groove to great effect.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: UK indies stores only exclusive light blue clear vinyl edition of 300 copies.

                                                              Protomartyr's ‘Consolation EP’, was recorded in part with friend Kelley Deal of The Breeders.

                                                              The release features four brand new tracks, delivered in their usual brusque uncompromising style, and follows last year’s superb ‘Relatives In Descent’ album.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Protomartyr are one of those bands that elicit a chorus of head-nods and a flurry of 'Who is this?' from anyone near enough to hear, and this EP will surely be no different. A Galloping and driven EP, led by Joe Casey's unmistakeable snarl, and buoyed by the perfectly precise and ferocious instrumental backing. A great vision for the future.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive on yellow
                                                              vinyl with 4 page booklet and digital download code.

                                                              Travel agents for inner journeys, Seahawks take us on a voyage ever deeper into the new age vortex. Their last album "Escape Hatch", described by Vice as a ‘modern masterpiece’ only hinted at the transcendent power of Seahawks' music. "Eternal Beams" goes further to create a whole new harmonial experience.

                                                              Side one sees the listener immersed in a soft storm of tape saturated raindrops and distant thunder, numinous waves of sound cascading to create whirlpools of womb-like warmth with gentle pulsations. Side two sees new age maestro Laraaji contribute flocculent flows of golden zither, rich vocal vibrations & dolphin tones in phantasy phase, all coalescing generously, bringing feelings of rebirth and light.

                                                              To conclude: a wondrous journey of resonant oscillations, inner exploration, a portal to other dimensions. It's Seahawks as we know and love them - entheogenic experts with sound and groove. 


                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Matt says: Our favourite psychedelic sea-farers return, in-toe with new age stalwart Laraaji, for another exercise in deep oceanic meditation.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              LP Info: Initial copies come with exclusive 12x12 art print.

                                                              Tenderlonious

                                                              The Shakedown Feat. The 22Archestra

                                                              ‘The Shakedown’ is Ed ‘Tenderlonious’ Cawthorne’s debut LP and features a dream team of top talent he named the 22archestra, who he leads seamlessly throughout. Listeners are exposed to the full breadth of Cawthorne’s technical and compositional skills, ranging from subtly meandering jazz, to hip hop, Afrobeat, Latin and exhilarating free form jazz.

                                                              The groups includes former Yussef Kamaal member Yussef Dayes on drums, Ruby Rushton bassist Fergus Ireland and producers Reginald Omas Mamode IV and Jeen Bassa on percussion.

                                                              The tracks include “SV Disco”, a nod to the mighty Slum Village, is a chunk of sensually-contorted disco vibes that brings on full party mode instantaneously, with the slinky bass licks and pitch-bent synthesiser recalling Roy Ayres’s blissed-out funk.

                                                              ”Maria” showcases Ed’s roots as sample-based producer, pulling influence from around the globe to create an undulating piece of flute-led Brazilian fusion that fans of Ruby Rushton will find familiar. The eastern-inspired embellishments raise the temperature further, whilst former Yussef Kamaal member Yussef Dayes’ sizzling cymbals and shuffling snare work propel the track forwards, locking down a signature 22a groove.

                                                              ”Yussef’s Groove” kicks off with driving drums, and each of the 22archestra enter steadily, fully utilising their virtuosic power, switching between low-slung bass, chic open piano solos and hazy electric piano. The 22archestra was conceived after Tenderlonious was invited to record at Abbey Road Studios. The whole crew was rounded-up and the album was recorded during a single 8 hour session - a testament to their musicianship and ability to nail a take.

                                                              Personnel: Ed ‘Tenderlonious’ Cawthorne (flute & synth), Hamish Balfour (keys), Fergus Ireland (bass), Yussef Dayes (drums), Reginald Omas Mamode IV, Jeen Bassa, Konrad (percussion)

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Millie says: Jazz with an innovative twist filled inspired by many people and places over the world, and this definitely shows in the style and production. The collaboration is overflowing with talented people who are absorbed in the world of everything jazz.

                                                              New York Jazz ensemble Onyx Collective release their debut album ‘Lower East Suite Part Three’ via Big Dada. It has been included in The Guardian’s Ones To Watch For 2018, the new album follows two acclaimed EPs released on Big Dada in 2017. Isaiah Barr, leader of Onyx Collective, has frequently collaborated with other New York musicians such as Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Nick Hakim, Julian Soto and Wiki (Ratking). Onyx Collective were also featured in Gilles Peterson’s Best Of 2017 list at Number 16. They will be supporting Kamasi Washington on his UK tour this May including London’s Roundhouse. For fans of Nick Hakim, Ezra Collective, Yussef Kamaal, BadBadNotGood, Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd. Isaiah accompanied Ibeyi for their debut performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in March. He also features on David Byrne’s 2018 album ‘American Utopia’.


                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Millie says: Big loud jazz, this hits the spot for any keen jazz-listener. With the list of names associated with supporting Onyx Collective like Dev Hynes, Giles Peterson and Kamasi Washingston you know you’re in save hands.

                                                              British musician and producer Leon Vynehall is part of a vanguard of artists expanding the ambition of electronic music. Highly respected for his musical output, he has established himself as a genuine artist, releasing bodies of work that are layered with musicality and craftsmanship. Previous releases have consistently received critical acclaim. "Music For The Uninvited’ was widely praised and featured heavily on many of 2014’s Best Of Year polls including XLR8R (#3 album), DJ Mag (#3 album) and Mixmag (#6 album). Follow up "Rojus" (2016) received another long list of accolades including DJ Mag’s Album Of The Year. It also featured in Pitchfork’s Top 20 Best Electronic Albums Of 2016.

                                                              "Nothing Is Still", released on Ninja Tune, sees the producer turn his hand to languid jazz meanderings, futuristic tropicalia and sun-baked downbeat. It's a slower and more deliberate operation than his frenetic, neon-tinged house music that's previously been his calling card. Here we find Leon in calm and sedate mood, rich in musicality and emotion and turning his back somewhat on the clubs and dancefloors occupied by the under 25s. 


                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Matt says: Nice to see ol' Leon Vynehall spreading his musical wings here and offering up summat completely fresh. Ambient, jazz-tinged and most tropical, this is the producer taking a well deserved, horizontally-aligned rest; and we should all revel in its glory.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              LP Info: Heavyweight vinyl.

                                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              After a string of stunning archival releases (Pablo's Eye anyone?) Belgium's tastemaking Stroom turn to the contemporary with their thirteenth release, inviting Jason Kolar to take us into his unique sonic world. Gently oscillating between the glassy synths of Satoshi & Makoto, the coastal cool of CFCF and the ephemeral ambient landscapes you get from Johnny Nash and Suzanne Kraft on Melody As Truth, Kolar creates an immersive ambient experience tinged with the emotional resonance of the New Age movement. Close your eyes and take off that tie, it's time to slip your mooring...

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Patrick says: Stroom step into the here and now with a killer set of contemporary ambient recordings from Jason Kolar. Optimism meets melancholy as we explore the spaces between Melody As Truth and the ambient arm of Growing Bin.

                                                              Will DiMaggio returns to Future Times with debut LP, "At Ease." Recorded 2016-17 at the now-illustrious Fairview Ave spot alongside roommates DJ Python, Anthony Naples, and the Exotic Dance crew, "At Ease" is equal parts dizzy street beats and live keyboard action. DiMaggio has a keen sense of dance music and how it gets to dancers, as evidenced in his stellar DJ mixes. “At Ease” is no different, navigating listeners through a lush array of sounds that hints at DiMaggio’s love of 90s hybrid techno, jazz(tronica) and deep house, all inna very now, very psychedelic fashion.

                                                              Drums juggle around the beat constantly during opener "Fairview Jam," before DiMaggio's synth work takes the tune to space. "Steppin W Friends" is pure mellow heat. "All Good (Jazz Mix)" and "UH UH OH" are two opulent, soulful cuts, funky in a way most can't do. On the second disc, "O God Dam (Sus Mix)" and "Ooze Mix" go in and out of fidelity, tape hiss giving way to clarity and back again, gritty drums and crystal pads, biting synths and soft keys. "Could Be The Look," in that mysterious D1 spot, turns inside-out with cascading synth work and impossible-to-grab kicks that slam in and out, while "For T" closes with hi speed but horizontal lovers techno. A proper record, detailed, thorough and concise - but most of all - enjoyable! Most recommended.

                                                              Matt Says: Reflecting the sweaty, claustrophobic heat of New York in the summer, yet still managing to hammer out a tune or two in the process. This new LP from Dimaggio epitomizes the street-beat sound with Future Times' level 5 psychedelia. Breakthrough guaranteed.


                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Matt says: Reflecting the sweaty, claustophobic heat of New York in the summer, yet still managing to hammer out a tune or two in the process. This new LP from Dimaggio epitomizes the street-beat sound with Future Times' level 5 psychedlia.

                                                              It stands to reason that many vital albums come critically close to never being made. The eight-track upshot of doubt, upheaval and financial strain, Stains on Silence by Girls Names is one such release. Following 2015’s blitzing Arms Around a Vision, and the parting of drummer Gib Cassidy just over a year later, the Belfast band suddenly found themselves facing down a looming void. “There was a finished – and then aborted – mix of the album, which was shelved for six months,” reveals Girls Names frontman Cathal Cully. “We then took a break from all music and went back to full-time work. We chilled out from the stress of rushing the record and not being happy with it, as well as being skint with no impending touring on the cards and constantly having to worry about rent.” The stumbling blocks that proved a strain became the album’s defining breakthrough. Recorded in various locations including Belfast’s Start Together Studio with Ben McAuley, Cully’s home and the band’s practice space, spontaneous creation, cut-up techniques and self-editing took centre-stage for the first time.

                                                              "We started tearing the material apart and rebuilding, re-editing and re-recording different parts in my home in early Autumn last year,” says Cully. “When we got them to a place we were happier with we went back into Start Together Studio with Ben McAuley to finalise the mixes to what they are now." Where AAAV proved a brazen statement of intent, Stains on Silence bounds forth as its feature-length comedown. What could have seen the band buckle became an opportunity for approaching things tabula rasa. During its two-year transmutation, Cully, bassist Claire Miskimmin and guitarist Philip Quinn had a single aim for their fourth album: to make an old-fashioned record clocking in around 30 to 35 minutes in length that made the listener reach straight for repeat. From the Bang Bang bar-summoning swoon of opener '25’ and the submerged disco doom of ‘Haus Proud’ to the rapt, dub-leaning ‘Fragments of a Portrait’, Girls Names have excelled in their goal by forging an LP of synchronous nuance and defiance.

                                                              Marked by the presence of drum machines and programming throughout, these eight masterfully-woven tales are once again commandeered by founder Cully, whose words, understated yet defiant, mine purpose and meaning from the mire ("I want to bathe again, I want to swim again / In a pool of twisting bodies, blackened gold." — ‘25’). But while Stains on Silence came critically close to never being made, having lived with it, reconfigured it, and guided its metamorphosis from flickers of inspiration and half-formed schemes, it’s both a statement of pure perseverance, and a head-on confrontation with ambivalence that couldn’t be more assured. (Brian Coney March 2018)

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Channeling the gothic spirit of 80's new-wave into a hazy filter of chorused guitars and flickering electronic drums, Girls Names have constructed a visceral and evocative landscape of lovecraftian atmospherics and simmering gothic melodicism.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited to 300 copies for UK Indies only it has a black sleeve with orange vinyl.

                                                              Stuart A. Staples releases his first solo album in thirteen years. Arrhythmia is immersive and experimental, both recognisably the work of the Tindersticks’ frontman and simultaneously a stand-alone, unique piece of work. It's a provocative album where electronic experimentations and rare multi-instrumentations interweave, wrapping themselves around unconventional but utterly spellbinding song structures.

                                                              Written in what Stuart A. Staples describes as “a lost year”, Arrhythmia began on Christmas day 2016 when he was drawn to the studio to record the beginnings of A new real, the album’s hypnotic opener of glitchy electronic loops with a sly nod to disco. A year later the entire album was complete, a process which involved Staples struggling between his own free sense of timing and more mechanical rhythms and what he describes as “a growing need for each song to take a turn, to lead them into strange places, keeping the feeling or effect of the song, but only as a memory.”

                                                              The second track Memories of love is indicative of Arrhythmia’s time-less experimentation and musical exploration. A stark and delicate melancholy opens up to rich and increasingly vivid chiming bells. There’s a feeling that the song has two diversely distinct parts unexpectedly, yet perfectly, married. Closing side 1, Step into the grey offers a dark romanticism reminiscent of early Tindersticks with a crescendo of freestyle percussion and strings.

                                                              Side 2 of the album consists of a 30 minute instrumental track Music for ‘A year in small paintings’. The piece began its evolution back in 2012 when filmmaker, and long-time Staples collaborator, Claire Denis first saw the serial of works by the painter (and Staples’ partner) Suzanne Osborne and wanted to turn these 365 oil paintings of the sky into a film. As friends and musicians passed through Staples’ studio he asked them to watch and react to the paintings. As Staples explains “From these recordings, I chipped away at its form, guiding and editing. Each time there was an exhibition of the work there was a newly evolved version of the music to accompany it.” Eventually the creative process came full circle when Claire Denis’ film Un beau soliel interieur (transl. Let the Sunshine In), featured the paintings, and their music became inextricably linked to the film’s soundtrack. Improvisations of the themes from Music for ‘A year in small paintings’ were also contributed by The Julian Siegel Quartet.

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                              Barry says: Evocative of the new movement of outsider synth artists of the 70's and early 80's, Arrhythmia builds tension through the gradual addition of instrumental layers to the seemingly minimal beginnings, before things grow into a beautiful and many-faceted blanket of euphoric polyrhythms and his instantly recognisable tender vocals.

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              Wilko Johnson

                                                              Blow Your Mind

                                                                "There are moments when you could be forgiven for thinking you're listening to excerpts from a great lost Dr Feelgood album from their mid-70s peak. The tales of good love, bad love, uppers and downers are all there, yet there's an energy to them which surely comes from the man and his band being back from the brink, enjoying what they do best."

                                                                Wilko's first album of new material in over 30 years. Recorded at Rockfield Studios, where famously Wilko and the Feelgoods parted company back in '77. Guests are Mick Talbot on keyboards and Steve Weston on harmonica, both of whom featured on the last record with Roger Daltrey. Produced by Dave Eringa who also produced Going Back Home (Manic Street Preachers, The Who). Photography by Lawrence Watson (Liam Gallagher, Grace Jones).


                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Ltd LP Info: 180 gram flipback format with download codes.

                                                                CD Info: Digi-pack sleeve.

                                                                On her Thrill Jockey debut, acclaimed guitarist Marisa Anderson’s music is boundless. Anderson is undeniably a master of the North American traditions of country, folk and blues on guitar. On ‘Cloud Corner’, Anderson expands on those styles as well as instrumentation.

                                                                The solo guitar work of Marisa Anderson owes its familiar tones to her awareness of history and her mastering of her instrument, yet it is completely new. Marisa Anderson filters musical history through her own personal experiences, as a traveller in life and in music. A curious and gifted player, Anderson has spent over 35 years of performing forging her singular, instantly recognizable voice. Marisa Anderson’s ‘Cloud Corner’ is hopeful in the face of any discord, a resplendent diverse sound sanctuary that shines, a mirror of the horizon it looks towards.

                                                                Anderson has contributed to recordings by Beth Ditto (The Gossip), Sharon Van Etten and Circuit Des Yeux among others, as well as creating music for short films and soundtracks.

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                Barry says: Reminiscent of the outsider folk-loop work of Alexander Tucker or the more oddball ambient moments of The Books, Marisa Anderson nonetheless inhabits a world of her own, with repeated motifs growing from inauspicious beginnings into hypnotic cacophonies of sound.

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                LP Info: LP version pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged with a free download
                                                                coupon.

                                                                Four years on from Lay Llamas’ Rocket Recordings debut Østro, this Italian-based astral-voyaging collective, led by Nicola Giunta - have manifested a revelatory official follow-up in the form of Thuban - a travelogue powered by a pan-global fascination with rhythmic hypnosis and an unquenchable experimental mindset. Dwelling in the night sky of the Northern hemisphere, Thuban was the star closest to the North pole from the fourth to the second millennium BC. For Giunta. this mysterious stellar icon offers pause for thought. “A polar star is something that drives the travellers towards a safe place. But in the age we’re living now it seems hard to recognise a polar star.” Indeed, his mission has been as much one of discovery for himself and listener alike “Everything around us is transforming, always!

                                                                You know, I’m not a proper songwriter, I consider myself a sound crafter. An experimental alchemist of sounds and visions” True to form, Thuban maps out terrain in which collaborators from Clinic and Goat contribute to the air of earthy vibrancy and fertile exploration. Moreover, Mark Stewart of The Pop Group’s spoken-word contributions to the searing ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ (styled by Nicola as ‘dystopian afrobeat’) steers the album to new pinnacles of intensity informed by science fiction yet with explicitly political force “Thuban talks about ancient sea travels, ancient cultures, ancient rites, but also about today’s travellers, travellers from all ages” Nicola surmises “Travellers that are still looking for their Thuban, for their polar star to reach a safe place to live with their family.” 

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                Barry says: It's pretty baggy this, so i'm just going to say this like it's Andy's words 'Eyy, it's proper good this lykk'

                                                                Ranging from swaying, swaggering psychedelic indie to pulsating, hypnotic grooves, Lay Llamas have crafted a wonderfully fascinating journey, a joy from beginning to end. (that bit wasn't as Andy)

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Indies Exclusive LP Info: Indies exclusive incandescent orange colour vinyl.

                                                                Arthur Buck

                                                                Arthur Buck

                                                                  Sometimes the catalyst for creating great art is simply being in the right place at the right time. For Arthur Buck, the new collaboration between singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and guitarist Peter Buck, that place was Mexico and that time was the fall of 2017. Specifically, a little town off the Baja coast named Todos Santos, with the Sierra de la Laguna mountains to the east and the bright blue Pacific stretching out infinitely to the west. It is here that Buck has held the Todos Santos Music Festival for the last several years, which he created in 2012 with his wife, Chloe Johnson, shortly after R.E.M. called it a day.

                                                                  Among the many artists who have played the festival is Joseph Arthur, who also happened to leave behind a guitar - a Dobro, specifically - after his last appearance there. And so last year he made the trek down to Todos Santos to pick up the instrument. Which is where he ran into Peter Buck. That was the beginning of Arthur Buck.

                                                                  The creative result of this relationship is a vibrant 11-song collection that captures the spontaneity at the heart of the project - right down to the 1-2-3-4 count off from Buck that opens the record - with sounds and styles meshed together in an easy, almost playful manner.

                                                                  Tchad Blake was brought in to mix the proceedings and the product is the new Arthur Buck - the outcome of a shockingly productive burst of inspiration.

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive split coloured (transparent blue / transparent red) vinyl.

                                                                  Brendon Anderegg

                                                                  June

                                                                    The music of Brendon Anderegg is a hall of mirrors, multi-layered and self-obscuring. Largely filtered through Mountains - his pioneering electronic project with Koen Holtkamp - Anderegg emerged as a solo artist in the late 90s. He returns now with ‘June’, a vinyl-exclusive release on Thrill Jockey.

                                                                    The music on ‘June’ is a complex network of layers, paradoxically a calm and soothing listen. Collapsing history into its own contemporary sonic movements, Andregg’s methodically created work falls in the lineage of electronic pioneers like Bernard Parmegiani and early ambient projects like Tangerine Dream, Popul Vuh and Cluster and puts his solo work in the realm of New Age figures like Michael Stearns and JD Emmanuel. ‘June’ is a singularly beautiful and challenging work that marks the long overdue re-emergence of Brendon Anderegg as a solo voice.

                                                                    Brendon Anderegg is a Brooklyn-based, Emmynominated composer with clients ranging from Pitchfork to ESPN.

                                                                    Available only on vinyl, ‘June’ is pressed on virgin vinyl and includes a free digital download coupon.

                                                                    Mourn

                                                                    Sorpresa Familia

                                                                      Catalonian quartet MOURN stormed onto the scene in 2014 with their self-titled debut - a work of angular indie rock and pointed lyricism delivered with confidence well beyond their teenage years. Two years later, they returned with the equally superb Ha, Ha, He. and proved themselves worthy of the early praise, squashing any remaining questions of fleeting hype. But with seemingly endless opportunities in front of them, MOURN found themselves caught in a legal dispute with their former Spanish label, rendering them unable to tour or effectively support their sophomore effort.

                                                                      Facing the sort of obstacles that might, understandably, derail a fledgling band’s career, MOURN instead forged ahead, and in typical fashion managed to harness their swirling anger, frustration, and passion from the past 2 years into new music. Now, only just recently freed from their legal binds, MOURN is back in full force to share their 3rd full-length album, Sorpresa Familia.

                                                                      Ironically, the obstacles and injustice MOURN have faced in recent years has provided a fertile foundation for new songs that display a palpable maturity and evolution, while retaining every bit of the fiery angst and attitude that has shaped their sound from the start. Chock full of tension and pent up frustration, Sorpresa Familia feels tonally right at home within MOURN’s catalog. But it also feels distinctly separate - more refined, more intentional. Railing against greedy businesses, exploitation, fake friends, dishonest figures of authority, and ever complicated global politics, it’s an album of decidedly higher stakes than their past outputs, delivered with the newfound poetic grace of a band rising up out of the ashes of those who stood in their way.

                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Barry says: Sorpresa Familia lurches from familiar but brilliantly executed angular indie-rock into more introspective moments, only to break out once again into rhythmic percussive madness. A superb maelstrom of driven anthemic guitars and aggressive vocal swathes.

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                      Ahwlee brings us his album Life2 which was originally released in 2016, this gem has taken a long time to reach the spotlight it deserves. The album is filled with flowering instrumental hip hop with structured jazz elements linked together in a lovely hip-hop-jazz marriage. Ahwlee perfectly balances the chilled out composition while keeping it fresh with raw instrumentals.

                                                                      If you are a fan of Abstract Orchestra, MF Doom Instrumentals and Dilla-esque, you will need to hear this and have it in your life. 


                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Millie says: I have fallen head over heels for this album, it’s everything I want wrapped up in one perfect package. From the instrumental hip hop in a laid-back effortlessness, and the swoonful soft vocals edging in add an extra something, really lovely!

                                                                      Rob

                                                                      Revenge: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

                                                                      Debut director Coralie Fargeat announces her stunning arrival, painting a crimson canvas of hypnotic beauty and bloody retribution in this razor-sharp feminist subversion of the revenge-thriller.
                                                                      The score by ROB (Maniac, Horns, Campfire Creepers) is an equally intense tour de force mixing traditional horror synth tropes alongside techno, brooding ambience and an almost industrial style assaults on your senses. He manages to deliver something that is brutal yet beautiful, unsettling yet melodic and ultimately masterful that proves he is working on a different level to almost every composer using synthesis today.

                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Barry says: Another killer outing from Rob, but this time on a BEAUTIFUL double LP from the DW massive. Saturated saw waves and twinkling arps atop snappy, flickering drum machines and chorused synth strings. Absolutely superb soundtrackery from the mysterious Rob.

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      2xColoured LP Info: One sand and one blood red coloured vinyl.
                                                                      Artwork by Sara Deck.
                                                                      Includes a download of the entire score.

                                                                      Rob

                                                                      Campfire Creepers: Original Music From The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Game

                                                                      From master of horror Alexandre Aja, the director of films such as The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha, and Horns, comes an original anthology series that brings classic campfire stories to life in stunning Virtual Reality. Produced by Oculus and Future Lighthouse, "Campfire Creepers" invites viewers to join the fire circle at a summer camp called Camp Coyote as a group of kids take turns telling spooky stories in the vein of cult classics like Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt.
                                                                      The score by ROB carries on the incredible work he started on Maniac, loading the soundtrack with super heavy synths, techno influenced beats and tons of melodies it really does feel like a sister piece to Maniac. 

                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                      Barry says: As is thoroughly my bag, Rob brings us machinated beats and beautifully saturated synth throbs, simmering Carpenterian progressions and snappy, syncopated drum machines. It's no secret i'm a massive fan of all things Ghost Box, PCA, Death Waltz etc, and this fits the bill perfectly. Straight in my 'To Buy' pile.

                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                      10" LP Info: Limited edition red vinyl.

                                                                      Compiled by soFa, the second instalment in his recent series ties together eighteen artists, each venturing down their own musical path, to produce an audio atlas that transverses not only styles but also cultures and continents.
                                                                      Disparate musicians come from far and wide have been brought together across two slabs of beautifully mastered vinyl and, somehow, someway, found a jittering, skittering and juddering balance.
                                                                      Tracks from Puma & Dolphin and Khidja conjure up images of thick jungle scenes as tribal rhythm patterns hypnotise and mesmerise alongside shamanic samples. The heady exotic aromas and tactile textures of the East are on display with Zatua traipsing through baked dunes and deserts before arriving to the shamanic organized chaos that is Bear Bones, Lay Low.
                                                                      Darker moods loom and lurk, skulking in the alleys of Konsistent or in t-woc’s lurid tones. These duskier elements are countered by the brightness of Velvet C’s future disco sounds or the laser synthwork of Rony & Suzy. The buzzing Chicago inspired sounds of Weird Dust, the dawning pulses of Twoonky and the triumphal charges of Föhn blur the lines between mystical places and the cruel reality of the modern world. A double vinyl ticket to eleven engaging and evocative destinations.A trip into the fantastical. An Oyster from Elsewhere…


                                                                      Various Artists

                                                                      Wanted 60’s Garage Rock



                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: A wealth of garage rock classics on this LP from Wagram, featuring The Seeds, Link Wray, The Standells etc. A perfect representation of that legendary sound, and a perfect overview of a highly regarded genre.

                                                                        Babelsberg is the fifth album by Gruff Rhys, his first record for Rough Trade since 2007’s classic Candylion. The album features orchestral scores by Swansea based composer Stephen McNeff and the incredible work of the 72 piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The result is Gruff’s best record to date - a ten song gazetteer of modern times, each track set to timeless, indelible melody. Amazingly, for a collection of songs written over two years ago, each one seems to pull very sharp focus on the times we’re living in.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: The legendary Gruff Rhys kills it once again for his newest outing, Babelsberg. Orchestral, nuanced and oozing with Gruff's singular vocal drawl, encompassing all aspects of his previous works and pulling together into a cohesive and essential whole.

                                                                        Snail Mail’s full-length debut album, Lush, is a debut for the record books — a refreshing marvel of songwriting and technical composition, that’s both cohesive and explosive — Her voice rises and falls with electricity throughout, spinning with bold excitement and new beginnings at every turn.

                                                                        Lush feels at times like an emotional rollercoaster, only fitting for Jordan’s explosive, dynamic personality. Growing up in Baltimore suburb Ellicot City, Jordan began her classical guitar training at age five, and a decade later wrote her first audacious songs as Snail Mail. Around that time, Jordan started frequenting local shows in Baltimore, where she formed close friendships within the local scene, the impetus for her to form a band. By the time she was sixteen, she had already released her debut EP, Habit, on local punk label Sister Polygon Records.

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: Superbly upbeat anthems, soaring melodic vox and highly refined writing for a DEBUT album. Unbelievable really, but true. 'Lush' is exactly that, a beautifully emotive and brilliantly constructed ride.

                                                                        Their favourite records are the perfect counterbalance of the considered and the superficial. Whether it’s Madonna, Talking Heads or Holger Czukay - we enjoy these artists in the background with friends or profoundly and alone. Virginia Wing both understand and embrace this concept fully as they return with Ecstatic Arrow, an album which finds them in a place of renewed strength, optimism and clarity.

                                                                        Recorded in Switzerland, in the family home of longtime friend and collaborator Misha Hering within the domesticity and gentle routine of communal life, the album represents a world as predisposed to solemn introspection as it is to blithe conviviality. Ecstatic Arrow borrows from the heterogeneous terrain of The Flying Lizard’s Fourth Wall, the exuberant technology assisted pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra and the playful sophistication of Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s Press Colour, arriving at the evergreen intersection of pop music and conceptual art.

                                                                        The resolute opener of Be Released and album centre point The Female Genius pair resonant Fourth World instrumentation with sonorous, loping drum patterns. Elsewhere, the sentimental march of single The Second Shift plays out like an after-hours ballad re-imagined by Wally Badarou and For Every Window There’s a Curtain is coloured by the blue-lit haze of an Eventide warped tenor saxophone. Three albums in, the voice of Alice Merida Richards is more compelling and expressive than ever. The glacial deadpan of previous records has given way to a more candid, self-possessed delivery, showing an appreciation for the humour and tragedy innate in the downtown Arcadia of Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley or even Lynn Goldsmith’s Will Powers. It’s with this voice that Richards outlines a simple ideality that fortifies the entirety of Ecstatic Arrow - inequality pervades, destructive behaviours are inherited and each subsequent generation has to reconcile the debts of its precursor - yet a space exists within ourselves and each other that houses a fact we must be reminded of - we have the ability to choose. Even in moments of frustration; the ascerbic eye-roll toward male entitlement, Glorious Idea or the world-weary Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, there persists a joy for living that refuses to be confined. A depiction of a group finally at ease with itself, Ecstatic Arrow is a tribute to the internal momentum that quietly guides us toward our destination. 

                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: Dreamy, floating melodies and drums with reverb for days, Virginia wing manage to craft a delicately airy sound without sacrificing any of the inherent melodic content. A cleverly balanced and thoroughly beautiful journey.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Blue colour vinyl LP includes A3 poster, zine and DL card, exclusive to Indie stores only.

                                                                        Ltd LP Info: Black vinyl LP, includes A3 poster, zine and DL card.

                                                                        Boy Azooga, the shape-shifting musical mystery tour piloted by Cardiff’s Davey Newington have announced details of the release of their debut album, 1,2 Kung Fu!, on Heavenly Recordings.

                                                                        A prodigous musical talent, Davey Newington is a young man with a rich musical heritage. One of his granddads was a jazzer who played drums for the Royal Marines. Davey’s dad (violin) and his mum (clarinet) both played, and met, in the BBC National Orchestra Of Wales. Davey himself took up drums at the age of six and also enjoyed orchestral engagement, playing in various Welsh Orchestra’s and Jazz bands as a teenager as well at latterly finding gainful employment playing drums as part of Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon.

                                                                        Inspired by his art teacher at school who sent him off to town to buy Can’s Ege Bamyasi, taking musical cues from the likes of Sly & The Family Stone, Caribou, Black Sabbath, Outkast, Van McCoy, Ty Segall and The Beastie Boys and with arrangements which carry the wonky tunefulness of The Super Furry Animals they nabbed their name from the 1994 film The Little Rascals.

                                                                        With a Davey recruiting friends Daf Davies, Dylan Morgan and Sam Barnes to form the Boy Azooga live quartet, an ensemble that swings smoothly from filmic instrumentals to a churning, rave-tinged rock that hints at both Can and their progeny, the Happy Mondays, the band played a number of headline and support shows across the U.K. at the end of last year, including a manic sold-out hometown show in Cardiff at Clwb Ifor Bach almost a year to the day they made their debut in the city at the same venue.

                                                                        They take their loose-limbed live show on the road later this year and the dates include their own headline shows, support slots with The Magic Gang & Rolling Blackouts and Coastal Fever and an appearance at this year’s Heavenly Weekender at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge.


                                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                        Barry says: Brilliant work here from Cardiff's newest prodigal talent, Boy Azooga. I have it on good opinion that Davey is a 'Lovely. happy chap' (Graf, 2018), but I can tell you that he is indeed a venerable talent, and deserving of every bit of praise this soaring psychedelic-indie-synthy wonder garners. Fully brilliant.

                                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited pink coloured vinyl.

                                                                        Hilary Woods

                                                                        Colt - Bonus Disc Edition

                                                                          Hilary Woods’ artistry is one of rare emotive reach. Her minimalist and compositional finesse combine with densely layered atmospheric instrumentation and dreamlike vocals to create music rich with both delicacy and intensity. The Sunday Times hailed her early solo recordings as “a revelation.”

                                                                          After the release of two critically acclaimed EPs, Woods spent 2017 writing and recording songs on an eight-track in an abandoned flat she was living in at the time. Layering piano, synth, tape machine, field recordings, vocals, drone, unadorned beats, and old string instruments, these songs culminate in her debut solo LP Colt. Straddling the acoustic and electronic worlds, Colt is an intensely personal journey through grief, abandonment, and mutating love. Woods navigates this journey with a lyrical potency that cuts through stark piano, sensuous synth work, and textural acoustics. Somewhere between Marissa Nadler, Grouper and Julee Cruise, these songs evoke both the anguish of their content and the ecstasy of their craft.

                                                                          Growing up in an artistic household on Dublin’s Northside, Woods studied film and literature, dropping in and out of fine art school. A singular vision and tenacious creativity has seen Woods cross multi-disciplinary thresholds, exploring visual and performance art alike. Her work has received critical acclaim all over Ireland with honors from the Dublin Fringe Festival and the Irish Film Institute.

                                                                          Written and recorded at home in Dublin, Colt was mixed by and co-produced with James Kelly (WIFE, Altar of Plagues) in Berlin in the winter of 2017.

                                                                          “Colt was created as a way to process and make sense of the everyday,” Woods imparts. “As a means to speak with inner voices, explore aloneness, and understand the complexities of desire. As a vehicle for imaginative flight, as a quest for resilience and connectivity to the outside world, as a medium through which to journey into the present, to temper the mind and inhabit the body.”

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Barry says: Brittle, cavernous melodies and tenderly reverbed vocals soar atop the river of simmering ambience and steady but understated percussive momentum. Beautiful and haunting in equal measure.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition blue vinyl.
                                                                          Includes 6 track bonus disc while stocks last.

                                                                          CD Info: Includes 6 track bonus disc while stocks last.

                                                                          Serpentwithfeet is an experimental R&B / gospel vocalist and performance artist whose growing body of work is rooted in dueling obsessions with the ephemeral and the everlasting – key components of his artistic journey from a childhood stint as a choirboy in Baltimore through his time at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied vocal performance before relocating to New York City. "Soil" is a return to the sensibilities and wide-eyed curiosity of his musical youth before symmetry and sterile soundscapes ruled the roost. With the release of "Soil" the chameleonic Serpentwithfeet (born Josiah Wise) rediscovers and ultimately returns to the unhinged version of himself he was sure he had outgrown.

                                                                          On "Soil", Serpentwithfeet trades glossolalia and peacocking showmanship for intricately layered harmonies, a sumptuous bottom register that appears for the first time to challenge his fluttering tenor, and ballsy sonic experimentation encouraged by Gately, whose talent he describes as 'making voices sound like elephants and elephants sound like car engines.' Together they develop an unctuous sound that suggests billowing clouds and the dense, plodding stomp of 12-bar blues. Once concerned with perfect execution of gospel runs and dishing up a gossamer falsetto, Serpentwithfeet is out of balance and reveling in the concept of mess on "Soil". Particularly, what it means to part ways with sterility and the urge to uncoil himself in order to occupy more space. "Soil" is the moment at which he unfolds himself with zero intention of closing back up.

                                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                          Barry says: Tender synthy ballads, simmering jazzy influence and reticent gothic turns all form together on Serpentwithfeet's newest outing, at once soulful and bracing, before launching into reticent and delicate urban beats. Stunning stuff.

                                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                          Coloured LP Info: Limited edition opaque yellow vinyl.

                                                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                          Evil Blizzard

                                                                          The Worst Show On Earth

                                                                            When Evil Blizzard emerged from the bowels of Lancashire with their debut album 5 years ago it is fair to say they caused a stir. Put on the front cover of The Guardian, and championed by Mark E. Smith (who gave the band the money to record their debut album out of his own pocket) their gruesome mix of four bass players blending Psyche, Krautrock, Post Punk and an unmistakable image saw them launched onto magazines and websites world-wide. Their new album 'The Worst Show On Earth' (on their own newly-founded Crackedankles Records label) presents a logical progression from the previous two, a third stepping stone on the journey into their peculiar sonic dream- or nightmare? -scape.

                                                                            Heavy, grinding, yet commercially viable, this release sees the band truly shake off the ‘gimmick’ tag of the past and stride forward into new musical dimensions. Yes, there’s still 4 basses. But also piano, cello, samples and a general disregard for the basic concept of a ‘pop song,’ with 2 tracks hitting the 10 minute mark. The introduction of keyboards into their live onslaught (you have seen them live, right? Right?!?) has developed their sound to incorporate techno and industrial elements, with recent single ‘Fast Forward Rewind’ hitting the nation’s airwaves aided by its freak show video shot illegally in an abandoned Victorian music hall.

                                                                            The album title came from a less than impressed reviewer. The band, ever self-deprecating, take great pleasure in antagonising their crowd to the point that their dedicated following greet live performances with booing rather than applause. One fan, who has the band logo tattooed on his arm, made his own ‘I Hate Evil Blizzard’ t-shirts. ‘People pay money to hate us. Win/Win.’ 

                                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                            Barry says: I've listened to this, and despite the name, I have a feeling that the nativity we did in primary school might be considerably worse. This is pretty good, and unlike my nativity, nobody is being sick.

                                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                            Coloured LP Info: Blood splattered vinyl.

                                                                            Picture Disc Info: Limited edition picture disc edition

                                                                            Sleaford Mods

                                                                            Bunch Of Kunst Documentary / Live At SO36

                                                                              Thanks to their sweary rants about modern England, Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods have been called "The world's greatest rock 'n' roll band" by Iggy Pop and "the soundtrack to post-Brexit Britain" by the Guardian.

                                                                              Jason Williamson, a former chicken factory worker and father of two, his band mate, beatmaker Andrew Fearn, and their manager Steve Underwood, avant-garde bedroom label owner and former bus driver, have won over fans with their brutally honest lyrics and DIY ethos.

                                                                              Following them on their two-year journey from Sherwood to chart success, award-winning music documentary Bunch of Kunst tells the story of three guys taking on the music business on their own terms.

                                                                              "This documentary film is the perfect antidote to those sexy, racy, rock’n’roll yawns most bands hide behind. We are indeed, a Bunch Of Kunst.“
                                                                              - Jason Williamson, Sleaford Mods .

                                                                              The CD was recorded at SO36 Berlin on June 19th, and features the complete unedited performance, originally released in an edited form as a vinyl LP on
                                                                              Harbinger Sound (HARBINGERUSA001)

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Barry says: The Mods are back with their long awaited Documentary, featuring footage up to today from their meteoric rise to success, this is an essential artifact for any fan, and also comes with a CD version of the highly regarded 'Live At SO36'.

                                                                              The eight-track album comes just a few months after their self-titled EP, which got the attention of BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X, Beats 1, The Line Of Best Fit and Clash, to name but a few, and sold out immediately upon release.

                                                                              The album mixes A Place To Bury Strangers-style total sonic annihilation with skewed synth-pop and the band cite the Cocteau Twins, Lowlife (not the Scottish dreampop band, but New Order’s 1985 album is as good a reference point) and The Jesus And Mary Chain as the main musical influences, but there’s also a nod to The Cure’s Disintegration and even Saint Etienne.

                                                                              Lyrically, it’s all about teen angst, which explains their perfect mixture of melancholy, euphoria, anger and tenderness. A sense of emotional confusion that is echoed by the title.

                                                                              “‘Pink noise’ is a setting on some old analogue synths,” they explain. “It pretty much sounds like the world is ending – the perfect way to describe this album.” 

                                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                              Barry says: Just to clarify, 'Pink Noise' isn't technically a setting on analogue synths as the press release indicates, but it is apparently good to listen to whilst you're trying to sleep. This however, is not, because it's interesting and enjoyable and brilliantly written, unlike pink noise which sounds like when tv's used to have static.

                                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                              Coloured LP Info: Limited pink coloured vinyl.

                                                                              Dave Evans

                                                                              The Words Inbetween

                                                                                The story goes that Ian A. Anderson and Gef Lucena were walking the streets of Clifton, trying to come up with a name for their new record label. At the time (the early 70s) Greenwich Village was naturally the mecca destination for any musician worth his 12-string, so the pair had taken to referring to their slice of Bristol as 'Clifton Village' (long before this was taken up by estate agents across the land, albeit in a very different fashion).

                                                                                And so The Village Thing was born; home to a great many extraordinary talents, not least of all Dave Evans, and his magnificent debut 'The Words In Between'. Like many albums of the era - and inclination - "Words" was recorded straight to tape in someone's home (in this instance, Ian Anderson's). Nothing unusual there – the DIY aspect of making records at this time was something of a necessity, rather than an aesthetic – but one has only to look a little further to realise that the sounds Dave Evans relayed to a shiny new Revox were unique. Not just the songs, but the guitar on which he played; every aspect of his sound was of his own design.

                                                                                No small feat during a time when most of his peers had to beg borrow or steal an instrument, just to fulfill their Saturday night slot at the Troubadour. Evans has rightfully earned cult status amongst anyone with an ear for the fingerpicking style of guitar. Even the most cursory glance at his 'Old Grey Whistle Test' session is enough to leave one spellbound, Lou Reed (in the audience at the time) was said to have been completely mesmerised by Evans' phenominal yet seemingly effortless touch.

                                                                                As far as comparisons go, Evans could easily sit alongside the likes of Robbie Basho or John Fahey in terms of technical ability, but the rarity of his talent lies in his gift for melody, which is relayed both instrumentally, and via his sweet Welsh lilt. In a world where it seems as though every guitar LP of the 60s and 70s has been scrutinised within an inch of its life, 'The Words In Between' might just be that rare thing: a wonderfully arcane gem. "The Words in Between' feels clear and effortless. It's a recording of just guitar and voice, and really does guide us to the spaces in-between, where we find solace, a calm warmth. Dave’s consoling voice comes through in his words, and his exquisite guitar playing guides us along on this lovely journey. 

                                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                Howlin Rain

                                                                                Alligator Bride

                                                                                  On June 8, Oakland, California’s Howlin Rain return with The Alligator Bride, their fourth album of swampy, ragged, unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll. Led by Ethan Miller (co-founder of psych rockers Comets On Fire and Heron Oblivion), the band recorded the album with Eric “King Riff” Bauer at the Mansion in San Francisco, direct to tape, in one or two takes. It’s their first release on Silver Current Records, the artist-run label owned by Miller, and gleefully indebted to classic rock formations like the Grateful Dead’s Europe ‘72 and Free’s masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist blues, 1969’s Fire And Water. “The guiding principle for The Alligator Bride was to create ‘Neal Cassady Rock,’” says Miller. “Which is to say, high energy, good-times adventure music, driving the hippie bus, shirtless and stoned, up for four days straight, and extremely fuzzy around the edges.” It’s a fitting vision for the band: torn between eras, fuzzed out but full of soul, an epic perspective on what’s come before and what lies ahead, woven into a cosmic tapestry of riffs, rhymes, and resonant frequencies.

                                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                  Coloured LP Info: Very limited coloured vinyl edition.

                                                                                  Flasher

                                                                                  Constant Image

                                                                                    Washington, DC trio Flasher release their debut album, ‘Constant Image’, via Domino.

                                                                                    Recorded in 2017 at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY, ‘Constant Image’ was produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, The War On Drugs) and crackles with invention. This isn’t the sound of a band finding their feet, it’s the rare sound of three people - Taylor Mulitz on guitar, bassist Daniel Saperstein and drummer Emma Baker - who know exactly what they want to achieve from the start.

                                                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive clear vinyl.

                                                                                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                    The Drowning Craze

                                                                                    Singles '81/'82

                                                                                      Both formats include a free cassette whilst stocks last.

                                                                                      The history of post punk is full of curious footnotes and sudden dead ends. Fascinating bands that flared up, intoxicated with the rush of ideas and sense of creative freedom in that fertile period where there were no rules and boundaries to creativity for groups, leaving a vapour trail of a handful of singles and inevitable John Peel sessions before disappearing back into the ether.

                                                                                      The Drowning Craze are typical of those bands. Their legacy is three singles and a John Peel session, a glimmer of possibility and a hint of something quite wonderful and then gone. Fortunately for them their constituent members re-emerged years later in other projects leaving them flagged up on the history train with the band’s bassist Simon Raymonde going on to play in the Cocteau Twins before setting up his own label, Bella Union and original vocalist, Angela Jaeger, joining Pigbag whilst their next singer, Frankie ‘Fun’ Nardiello, joined the esoteric Chicago industrial disco band Thrill Kill Kult.

                                                                                      The Drowning Craze had formed in early eighties London with Simon Raymonde - the son of Ivor Raymonde who wrote hits for Dusty Springfield, such as ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ and ‘Stay Awhile’ and then string arranging for all the Walker Brothers hits. Simon played piano and violin at school but took his own tangent when punk rock arrived and bought his first bass in 1977 aged 15 and learnt the whole of ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, the Sex Pistols’ first album, in one afternoon.

                                                                                      Inspired by punk rock / post punk and John Peel he was very much a child of those times. Glued to Peel’s lugubrious tones on the radio that were signposting a way out of the crashed car of punk rock and into new musical soundscapes he would also help to carve as a foot soldier with The Drowning Craze.

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl with a 16 page booklet.

                                                                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                      November 16th 2017 Tim Burgess tweeted, asking his followers who they would recruit if they were putting together a band: “Who would you have in your supergroup? Excluding Charlatans, mine would be: Vocals: Me & Ladyhawke Guitar: Josh Heyward (The Horrors) Keys: Martin Duffy (Primal Scream) Bass: Debbie Googe (My Bloody Valentine) Drums: Steffan Halperin (The Chavs/ Klaxons)” The difference was that Tim's band was not only a real band but they had also recorded an album. As I Was Now was recorded in Cheshire in December 2008 by a group of friends and is now being released, nearly ten years later.

                                                                                      “We were complaining about how boring things were between Christmas and New Year, so we got together to record some songs. Some songs were more complete than others, others appear on this record more finished than others.” Tim Burgess 

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      LP Info: Limited signed copies available!

                                                                                      Alfa Mist is considered a frontrunner in the new London jazz movement. ‘Antiphon’ was created around a conversation with his brothers, Alfa blends melancholy Jazz harmony with alternative hip-hop and soul. Beautifully mellow and soulful, this album beams with effortless grace and adding another gem to the London Jazz scene. On the label Black Acre, this double LP is on a special edition orange vinyl. If you like Yussef Kamaal/ Kamaal Williams, Ezra Collective and Kamasi Washington this will be right up your street.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Millie says: This is one of the most beautiful jazz albums of the year by far, an indication of that might be that this sold out before it could reach our shelves! Alfa Mist has created a wave of inspired nu-jazz broken beat, not one to be missed.

                                                                                      Energized by the funky sounds of 1970's West Africa but existing in a very modern space, Flammer Dance Band introduce their hybrid sound on new label Lyskestrekk Records. Packed with hip-shaking grooves, uplifting vibes, vibrating synths, screaming saxophones and crispy drum breaks all recorded in a warm and stuffy shack in Oslo and bolstered through some intricate but totally sympathetic electronic elements, "Flammer" is a charming and soulful homage to an era with a unique and rich sound: a truly raw and authentic sounding Afro-funk LP which brings new life to the existing cannon through some skilled and inspired musicianship and some brilliant writing. Fela eat your heart out! A precursor to, I imagine, an ambitious tour schedule; I'm already craving to see these perform live. With dreamy artwork to boot this is a lovely piece for Afro fans old and new - highly recommended!

                                                                                      Jorja Smith is delighted to announce details of her highly-anticipated debut album ‘Lost & Found’. Previous singles ‘Blue Lights’, ‘Teenage Fantasy’ and ‘Where Did I Go?’ will all be available as instant grats with the album. (Album artwork shot by Rashid Babiker.)

                                                                                      ‘Lost & Found’ is the rich fruit of Jorja’s past two years of work and an artistic statement. On her debut offering, Smith’s playfully infectious pop spirit intertwines with her youthful charisma, idiosyncratic storytelling, and informed opinions – attributes that have set her apart from her peers and seen her become one of the UK’s most-loved female-breakthrough stars of recent years. A sonic masterclass, ‘Lost & Found’ spans a number of personal, and observational yet relatable topics that only Jorja Smith could unite so compellingly. The album, which Jorja has written across the past 3 years, from the age of 17 to 20, includes previously released singles “Blue Lights’, ‘Teenage Fantasy’ and ‘Where Did I Go?’

                                                                                      With a BRIT Award win, millions of streams and 10 magazine front covers under her belt - all achieved in just two years - Jorja Smith’s rise to stardom has been nothing short of meteoric.

                                                                                      Kicking-off 2018 as BRITs Critics’ Choice winner, she followed with her sensational single ‘Let Me Down’; a stunning, frank, and honest track which featured an emotion-filled rap from British MC Stormzy. Shortly after, Jorja embarked on her third sold-out 8-date UK tour which concluded with two Shepherds Bush Empire dates, all reviewed to critical acclaim.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Millie says: Compelling and significant, this debut album by Jorja Smith has been long awaited from her many releases over the years and now we have the full album. Her artistic flow is a standout feature, her lyrics are also laced with meaning and strength. She’s on her way to the top and it looks like there’s no stopping her.

                                                                                      Joe Powers is from Edinburgh, far outside the network of the grime capital of London. His caffeinated productions as Proc Fiskal are faster than usual, with many clocking in at 160bpm. "The Highland Mob", his 2017 debut EP, opened up his music to open-eared footwork and drum’n’bass fans as well as the grime crowd. After following that up with a jungle-inflected EP on Cosmic Bridge, "Insula" switches the feel and intention towards a personal and melodic music with one foot in grime, infused with often a love of space and bolstered with wistful moments from his environment. He says ‘I wanted to be aware of where the music is coming from, referencing things I’m presently experiencing, like making grime, my Radar radio show, phone addiction, alcohol, my surroundings, girls, depression, positivity, being unemployed, being employed and hating it, my friends etc. Trying to be true to myself instead of relying on other peoples’ nostalgia, and focusing on now.’

                                                                                      The record is a huge leap in vision, with delicate, pointillist melodies and intricate edits reminiscent of grime producers such as Terror Danjah. It also resonates with Japanese video game music like that recently explored on the "Diggin' In The Carts" compilation. ‘I think I probably make tunes to get out emotions I don’t express in day-to-day life. I used clips of my friends talking, drunk folk, and general Scottish life to preserve and represent what my experience is like right now, like a time capsule. Social media notification sounds are designed to release serotonin, which is what I’d like my music to do, to make me, and other people happy, and in using these manipulative noises in a positive way, I like to think I’m taking back the power of the manipulation.’

                                                                                      Proc Fiskal is adventurous and thoughtful as a producer, and at the young age of 21, his debut album is very advanced in its ideas and execution and therefore finds an obvious and natural home on Kode9's cutting edge Hyperdub imprint.  

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Matt says: Possibly the best thing I've heard all week; an accomplished and inventive LP from this confident 21 year old with nods to Aphex, grime, Keith Tenniswood and soundsystem culture. A masterpiece!

                                                                                      There's no shortage of heat emanating from the Neapolitan scene right now, and Periodica's latest must have masterpiece comes from the expanded mind of E. Fierro, otherwise known as Space Garage and Mystic Jungle Tribe member Milord. Switching up the format for spectacular 7" to luxurious LP, the Italian keeps the palate reassuringly spacey, tripping us out with library-style synthesis, twisted space echo and killer funk arte facts. Ambient opener "Mnemonic Induction" chimes wonderfully with the retro-futurist sleeve art, bringing to mind Superman's Fortress of Solitude or that trippy crystalline bit in Bill & Ted. "Onironauta" introduces rhythm in the most syrupy cosmic style, serving up spaced out slow mo complete with churning sequencers and tasty FX. We take another plunge into the symphonic and synthetic with the soundscaping of "Sub-aquatic level" before "Virus Of Time" takes us on a subtle glide through sparkling circuitry and dub delay. Flipping the disc, we're instantly unhinged by the library-styled techno of "The Glass Maze", scattershot electro of "Third Layer" and deliriously disorienting synth squelch of "Static Rain". All that remains is for "False Awake" to fling us through an interdimensional portal of sleek sequencing, proggy tones and tripped out FX and we're entirely enlightened by another amazing Periodica release.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Patrick says: Naples in the house! The Italian city is totally killing it at the moment, dominating our staff picks with releases from Nu Guinea, Mystic Jungle Tribe, Space Garage and Whodamanny. Now Milord goes solo on Periodica with a killer LP of spaced out sounds, proggy electro funk and A-grade cosmic. As usual, it's buy on sight tackle.

                                                                                      Kadhja Bonet’s second album, Childqueen is something of a Hero’s Quest. In the opening Procession, above a muted drummer’s march, an unseen oracle announces to you, the listener: “every morning is a chance to renew, a chance to renew.” This is your first clue, setting you upon a path not to treasure, nor a grail, nor even a long lost love, but highest of all, what Kadhja has christened the “childqueen,” that innermost self that you were truthfully and instinctively before the press of the world came crushing in.

                                                                                      As with her 2016 debut The Visitor, the songs on Childqueen are never casual, never ditties. Instead they invite us into a world not wholly our own, a half-mythical atmosphere where past and future meet in a parallel, yet faraway, present. The lyrics and melodic lines nudge us along a path of self-discovery— or act as breadcrumbs along her own path. Everything that you hear on Childqueen was written, played, produced, and even mixed by Kadhja, who has always produced all her own music, insisting on a total vision that is nearly as difficult to co-create as a dream. The result is a soundscape the listener sinks into, a sound that combines softer enchantments with an ever-listenable experimentalism, unplaceable in genre and decade from beginning to end.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Millie says: This precious album ‘Childqueen’ is entirely created by Kadhja Bonet from start to finish. Her beautiful vocals are submersed in a lovely swoony softness. It’s unlike anything I’ve heard, her style is truly unique and a joy to listen to.

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive flume coloured vinyl.

                                                                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                                      It’s rare to come across a debut album that delights and surprises in equal measure, but that’s exactly what you can expect from Human Call, the first full-length excursion from daydreaming dancefloor fusionists Earthboogie.

                                                                                      The East London-based duo of Izaak Gray and Nicola Robinson has previous form when it comes to creating beautiful, funk-fuelled fusions of soundsystem-ready rhythms, humid instrumentation and intergalactic audio explorations. To date, they’ve released a pair of fine EPs on Leng, both of which did a splendid job in showcasing their unique musical vision.

                                                                                      Even so, this vision has never been clearer than it is on Human Call, a vibrant eight-track missive that fixes the sticky tropical cheeriness of African and South American dance music – be it Afro-disco, Afro-funk or samba – with a wide range of complimentary sounds, styles and influences, from spacey analogue electronics, sun-kissed Balearica and hazy West Coast jazz-rock, to chunky dub disco, snappy retro-futurist house and bouncy, dub-fuelled club workouts.

                                                                                      Throughout, Gray and Robinson showcase an impressive level of musicianship, variously combining crunchy drum machine hits and dusty old synthesizers with razor-sharp electric and acoustic guitars, rich bass, cascading saxophone solos and hazy, life-affirming vocal harmonies.

                                                                                      The result is a string of memorable highlights, from the sticky tropical-house-meets-dub disco futurism of “Human Call” and fuzzy disco-funk righteousness of opener “Overground”, to the post-punk disco jauntiness of “Stargazing” and samba-infused dancefloor bliss of Nina Miranda collaboration “Silken Moon”. Cheery, absorbing, imaginative and hugely entertaining, Human Call offers a perfect snapshot of Earthboogie’s distinctive musical world. 

                                                                                      Moog Recordings Library is the record arm of Moog Sound Lab which was created and loaned by Moog Music Inc as a celebration of the life and work of Dr Robert Moog. Across 2015 and 2016 the project invited a who's who of contemporary electronic artists for a 'conference' around the celebrated synthesizer. This week we see the fruits of these sessions via releases by Mika Vainio, Hieroglyphic Being and The Grid.

                                                                                      Who do you go to for your very first session when you have just been gifted your very own top-flight ‘Stradivarius of synth based studios’? enter ‘The Grid’ …Mr David Ball: One man band of pioneering electro-pop distorters Soft Cell, part time Psychic TV personality, film soundtrack composer and all round synth afficionado & Richard Norris: eclectic beat-meister & ambient DJ, record producer, commited psychedelicist from ‘Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve’. The 1990’s saw worldwide commercial success as The Grid Scored 10 uk chart hits, many a euro hit including 1994’s international mega-hit ‘Swamp Thing” featuring a twisted use of sampled banjos lifted from the 1970’s okie shocker movie ‘Providence. In 1996 The Grid went on a holiday and they didn't return till 2005. in the initial week of The Moog Sound-Lab in early 2015 as the studio was literally put together around them, our abiding memory was their absolutely delighted grins as each Moog unit was added to the lab. Dave & Richard created this benchmark album of deluxe ‘tronic trax that showcased their prarie wide knowledge of electronica & their ocean deep skills as both technicians & original soundscapers - Kraftwerk-Ian werk-outs, space noise jams, and slinky grooves with subtle pop-tones. The Tracklisting – One Way Traffic, Test One, Disturbia, Goldenfilter, ECG, DPM.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Barry says: Throbbing Kosmische arpeggios, stabbing percussive streaks and the unmistakeable Moog ladder filter all form into a heady and intoxicating synth journey. Possibly my favourite of the three, and that's saying something.

                                                                                      Hieroglyphic Being

                                                                                      The Replicant Dream Sequence (Blue PA14 Series)

                                                                                      Moog Recordings Library is the record arm of Moog Sound Lab which was created and loaned by Moog Music Inc as a celebration of the life and work of Dr Robert Moog. Across 2015 and 2016 the project invited a who's who of contempory electronic artists for a 'conference' around the celebrated synthesizer. This week we see the fruits of these sessions via releases by Mika Vainio, Hieroglyphic Being and The Grid.

                                                                                      Acclaimed Chicago artist Hieroglyphic Being / Jamal Moss visted the Moog Sound Lab in the end days of 2016. Testing the lab through his prismatic rhythmic cubism meets synth expressionism methodolgy resulted in some inspired results, coining the phrase 21st century afro-futurism. Both parties expressed their satisfaction with the encounter. 'I believe Bob Moog was (in the late 20th century) creating his modular system 55 synthesiser for artists yet to come….artists like Jamal Moss' (Eldon Tyrell) 

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Barry says: There really is no mistaking Jamal Moss' saturated VHS technoid excursions, and this one has the added intrigue of being composed and played entirely on the legendary Moog modular. A match made in heaven.

                                                                                      Mika Vainio

                                                                                      Lydspor One & Two (Blue TB7 Series)

                                                                                      Moog Recordings Library is the record arm of Moog Sound Lab which was created and loaned by Moog Music Inc as a celebration of the life and work of Dr Robert Moog. Across 2015 and 2016 the project invited a who's who of contempory electronic artists for a 'conference' around the celebrated synthesizer. This week we see the fruits of these sessions via releases by Mika Vainio, Hieroglyphic Being and The Grid.

                                                                                      Mika visited the Moog Sound-Lab in April 2015. He made one his last known solo studio recordings in the form of two vinyl sized side long pieces. Entitled "Lydspor" - Danish for ‘Soundtrack’. Mika worked almost exclusively with the lab’s Moog Modular System 55. This UK sound-lab instrument is the sole protoype model (containing several golden filters) of Moog’s recent sold out reverse-engineered edition (55 units only) recreating the 1970’s classic. On completion of his sessions Mika announced ‘I could work with this machine for the rest of my life….I would need nothing else”. A second Moog session was planned but tragically Mika died in an accident in April 2017, shortly after he had approved the vinyl mastering. 


                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Barry says: The late, great electronic genius Mika Vainio brings his imitable ambient electronics to Moog Recordings Library for his superb suite of simmering industrial electronics and crushing, static drone.

                                                                                      For the third volume of compilations curated by confirmed crate diggers, Spacetalk invites you to take a trip to the magical Mediterranean resort of Club Meduse in the company of Beachfreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals.

                                                                                      A creative director, designer and curator by trade, Bals spends the majority of his spare time searching for superb, unknown, small-run music releases made between the 1970s and 1990s. While some of these are made available for other enthusiasts to buy via Beachfreaks' mail-order service, many more make it into the racks of Bals' private collection. With Club Meduse, Bals is sharing rare, hard-to-find and just plain brilliant gems from his personal stash for the very first time.

                                                                                      For Club Meduse, Bals was inspired by countless magic childhood summers spent playing amongst the rocks, beaches and warm seas of the Cote D'Azur. The compilation, then, is a soundtrack to the greatest soft-focus, sunlit teenage summer holiday you've never had, with a gaggle of forgotten musicians and overlooked artists for company.

                                                                                      Take a barefoot stroll from the campsite to the beach with Ara Macao, whose warm and lucid "Canyon" is a softly-spun delight, before splashing in the crystal clear waters to the accompaniment of The Clean-Hands Group and their 1984 Balearic blue-eyed soul gems "Night Fly" and "Shake It On".

                                                                                      As the sun comes down, clamber across the cooling rocks with the tumbling, sun-kissed guitar solos and sparkling analogue synthesizer motifs of The Keyboys' leisurely "Savannah" ringing in your ears, before using the words of Gemini's "Take A Chance" – undoubtedly the most Balearic record to emerge from Sweden in the last 50 years – to get flirtatious under the moonlight.

                                                                                      Should you fancy a dance down the camp disco, Bals' selections will gently ease you onto the dancefloor and into the gaze of the boy or girl of your dreams. The fuzzy Italo-boogie of the C.V.Q Band's "Whatever You Do (Instrumental)" will get you going, while Miss's 1984 French electro gem "Hip Hop" should guarantee a celebratory conclusion to the night's party. 

                                                                                      Lump was born of good timing and predestined compatibility. It began when Mike Lindsay – a prolific, Mercury prize-winning producer – was introduced to Grammy-nominated, Brit award-winning singer-songwriter Laura Marling after her show supporting Neil Young in London.

                                                                                      Lump is a heady blend of wonked-out guitars, Moog synths and pattering drums, set against droning, coiling clouds of flutes and voices. The lyrics are inspired by early-20th-century Surrealism and the absurdist poetry of Edward Lear and Ivor Cutler - a bizarre but compelling narrative about the commodification of curated public personas, the mundane absurdity of individualism, and the lengths we go to escape our own meaninglessness.

                                                                                      The composers are keen to stress that LUMP is a creation that passed through them, and they look upon it parentally. It is their understanding that, now it has come into being, LUMP is the artist, and it will continue to create itself from here on. Lindsay and Marling will assist it as necessary.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Darryl says: Lump mixes the stunning, instantly recognisable vocal prowess of Marling with the off-kilter electronic folk-tinged oddness of Lindsay's band Tunng. An enchanting and fascinatingly diverse outing, one to listen to in it's entirety. Superb.

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited translucent green vinyl.

                                                                                      Written largely in New York between Summer 2016 and Winter 2017, Josh Tillman’s fourth Father John Misty LP, ‘God’s Favorite Customer’, reflects on the experience of being caught between the vertigo of heartbreak and the manic throes of freedom.

                                                                                      God’s Favorite Customer reveals a bittersweetness and directness in Tillman’s songwriting, without sacrificing any of his wit or taste for the absurd. From “Mr. Tillman,” where he trains his lens on his own misadventure, to the cavernous pain of estrangement in “Please Don’t Die,” Tillman plays with perspective throughout to alternatingly hilarious and devastating effect. “We’re Only People (And There’s Not Much Anyone Can Do About That)” is a meditation on our inner lives and the limitations we experience in our attempts to give and receive love. It stands in solidarity with the title track, which examines the ironic relationship between forgiveness and sin. Together, these are songs that demand to know either real love or what comes after, and as the album progresses, that entreaty leads to discovering the latter’s true stakes.

                                                                                      God's Favorite Customer was produced by Tillman and recorded with Jonathan Rado, Dave Cerminara, and Trevor Spencer. The album features contributions from Haxan Cloak, Natalie Merring of Weyes Blood, longtime collaborator Jonathan Wilson, and members of Misty’s touring band.

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Andy says: Tillman segues into Beck territory a little here, with falsetto harmonies and jagged college-rock melodies, tastefully accentuated with staggered percussion and swooning loungey piano. As ever, FJM smashes out another killer album, conceptually clever and brilliantly accomplished, exactly as you'd expect.

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited Edition Indie Exclusive - Purple vinyl + limited edition sleeve with foil ‘tears’.

                                                                                      LP Info: Standard black vinyl edition.

                                                                                      Daniel Lopatin has never been to afeared to tread a relatively unfollowed path, with his ambient synth excursions of the early 00's sending many a mind into the outer reaches of the stratosphere, before his major label debut with 'R Plus 7' for Warp in 2013. His follow-up outing, 'Garden Of Delete'  pushed what was becoming his trademark glitched-out synth excursions into exciting new territories with fragented patchworks and overlapping collages of sound forming a solid but oft missed melodic patchwork. 

                                                                                      The newest outing, "Age Of" is Daniel Lopatin’s most cohesive and richly composed work to date, weaving a tapestry of disparate musical histories — early music, country and folk balladry, melodic pop, computer music and much, much more — that demonstrate both the complexity and range of the artist's repertoire. With sounds that are unsettlingly familiar and uniquely his own, "Age Of" guides us through an unclassifiable new world. 

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Barry says: Oneohtric moves from strength to strength, with his newest outing eschewing the glitched-out cut/paste madness of 'Garden Of Delete' for a more refined, but still comfortingly bizarre robo-choral affair. I've been a big fan of Lopatin since the mid 2000's, and this continues the tradition of excellence. Killer.

                                                                                      Natalie Prass had her new album written, her band ready, the recording studio booked. Then the 2016 election happened, and out of her despair and disappointment in those results came an impulse she could not ignore: she rewrote the album to reflect these swirling emotions. The result is ‘The Future and The Past’ a stunning snapshot of a musician in a state of personal rediscovery and surging femininity. The celebratory and defiant ‘The Future and The Past’ also signals a significant artistic leap for Prass on the heels of her 2015 breakthrough debut album. It finds Prass tapping into deep, dancey grooves that glisten with 80s pop and 90s R&B, nestled alongside quivering, lushly orchestrated ballads.

                                                                                      Like her debut album, Prass made ‘The Future and The Past’ in Richmond, VA with long-time friend and collaborator Matthew E. White at his Spacebomb Studios. She added some new collaborations to the mix as well: Blue (Solange’s ‘A Seat At The Table,’ Blood Orange, Carly Rae Jepsen) and Michael Brauer (Elle King and James Bay). ‘Future’ is ripe with string orchestrations and piano flourishes, snaking synth lines and fuzzed out guitars.

                                                                                      ‘The Future And The Past’ is bursting with a myriad of grooves and Natalie’s vocals float on top, light as a feather and tough as nails. “Short Court Style” dials the tempo into 90s R&B territory – punctuated by handclaps, sampled “woos,” and a Dr. Dre-esque whistling synth line. Lyrically she wields a sharp knife as well. The love torn “Lost” begins with: “Turn up the fader, its like a lightning bolt / we can’t be saved, so now I’m listening on my own / Once there was a time when you had me hypnotized / you realized that your finger prints were on my bones.” Funky feminist anthem “Sisters” is an empowering rallying cry: “I want to say it loud / for all the ones held down / we gotta change the plan.”

                                                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                                      Barry says: A brilliantly smooth set of low-key soul, funky synth-pop and swooning groove-led summer anthems. Prass' perfectly emotive vox offset the choppy funk with aplomb, accentuating the groove and leading us through her latest opus. Superb.

                                                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition rust coloured vinyl.

                                                                                      Let Warmduscher be your guide. Clams Baker: the man with the golden tongue. Fast-talking, no nonsense networker. The ‘legitimate’ front to the great rock ‘n’ roll swindle. No time for fact checking. No need for building regulations. Heading straight to the top. Consequence be damned. Lightnin’ Jack Everett is his man on point. The rhythm. The brains. The brawn. Let’s make lots