MAGIC MIX

BEST SELLERS

OF THE WEEK

It's the best sellers of the week
Piccadilly customers, house music inclined Mancunians, the whole of Chicago (surely?!) and WHP attendees will have known about this for some time now - but that hasn't quelled any anticipation or excitement - yes you heard right - THE FIRST LARRY HEARD ALBUM IN TWENTY FIVE YEARS!!!!

Take a breath...

Famous as one of the most important heads in dance music around the world, Larry has enjoyed a successful career as a producer, remixer, collaborator, vocalist and DJ spanning 35 years. Out on his own Alleviated Records, "Cerebral Hemispheres" features 14 new pieces of music that allows the listener to fully immerse themselves and dig deep into Larry's musical world. Often regarded as one of the brightest stars to shine on deep house music, Larry's alter-ego Mr. Fingers has rarely put a note wrong across an illustrious and expansive career. Lucky for us, the fingered one has decided not to change the formula tooo drastically, so it's full of rich, textured piano, delicately played congas, dreamy xylophone licks and swinging house beats. There's a touch of Latin flavour, a stupendously rich and varied palette plus an advanced musical structure, owing itself to proper 'songs' than repetitive beats n trax that litter the modern day house scene. Larry's gone and brought home the bacon pop pickers, showing every mutha f***a how it's done in 2018. An imperative release. Every home needs one! 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Possibly the most antipated 'dance' album from the last...five years..? Anyway, ignore the hype just listen to the music and make up your own mind. Is there anyone that crafts house music like ol' Larry H. I doubt it. Impeccable - he's still on top!

Patrick says: Larry Heard follows up that spectacular 12" with his first album of new material in years. Ranging from the deep and soulful to the totally alien, this is top tackle from the real OG. Get your orders in, because this triple vinyl will fly...

All songs and lyrics by Cate Le Bon & Tim Presley Recorded by Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), Drums by “JT” John Thomas (Cate Le Bon/Islet), & mixed in Los Angeles by Samur Khouja at Seahorse Sound.

A month spent in an old mill in the under belly of France. River swimming thrice a day. Hot nights soundtracked by the rattle of randy frogs. Scorpion fear. In the sheets, on the face.

Hours of bird watching — no phone service. No wifi . 3 DVDs. Jurassic Park 1, 2 & 3. Violin practice. Bread scoffi ng. Early morning coffee drinking before the sun was too hot to do anything but snooze in the thick walled house. Music in the afternoon after a dip in the river and a cold beer on the square.

With all the ease and air needed, in this mysterious place, we made an album made for each other by one another with no hands, eyes or ears piercing the bubble other than our dear friend Steve who slid in under the door and took note of it all.

Cate Le Bon.

In a town, so very still and quiet. A month in St. Hippolyte Du Fort, South France.

Where completely all of their brave young men vanished forever from the death machine of the fi rst world war.

At one time left with only women and young girls. Only relics of time standing still. All the deceased names of men chiseled under a stone angel, that watches over the town square.

We set up a recording unit in an old stone mill turned house and began to write and record with the attention of tree trimmers or gardeners. It got so hot we had to swim in a local river near by just to be able to think, then back to our home to make sounds and songs. Any sounds we could think of or wanted. We used night sounds, night insects and used frogs as instruments. Did you know frogs have saxophones in their throats?

This is a broken music. a crumble. It’s the music of the building we called home for a month. We’ve never made & recorded music in such a simple living environment.

With all the ease, and air we needed. We were in a town 8 miles over from Robert Crumb’s hidden residence.

We lived in a mysterious place. We had a fl ock of bats over for dinner many nights. No internet, or a phone to look to.

We had a beautiful big stone house, a river, and from time to time a lovely elderly yet young-hearted couple who would visit.

It was the opposite of what a typical recording experience usually is for any of us.

We tried to capture all of this and put it on record.


Tim Presley

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: A favourite of mine, Cate Le Bon teamed with Tim Presley makes for this wonderfully original release. With disjointed guitar plucks, it holds both their musical styles and highlights their influences of writing this album in a quiet town with stripped back surroundings, this atmosphere is captured and beams into Hippo Lite. Absolutely lovely!

Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his expressive new album ‘Persona’ via Erased Tapes. The title ‘Persona’ was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name, specifically a shot in the opening credits of a child reaching out to touch a woman’s face on a screen, which is shifting between one face and another. This powerful image struck Ryan and it inspired the album’s main theme — an exploration of the persona, the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, the spaces in between; between states, people, light and dark, the inner persona and the outer persona. “My music is generally inward looking. I like finding something about the self within music, that doesn't have to be specific but maybe asks something or reveals something. This record is a continuation on the self through electronic sounds. Like Legowelt once said ‘a synthesiser is like a translator for unknown emotions’, which I think sums up what I am trying to do. I think all these emotions we have make up our persona. So in a way by finding new ones you alter or expand your persona. And that is what I want my music to try to do. I deliberately aimed to be more sonically diverse with this record. I wanted to experiment more. I wanted to create new sounds and new emotions.” — Rival Consoles.

Recorded at his studio in south-east London, ‘Persona’ benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesisers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. A greater depth of emotion and confidence can be heard across the album. From the deconstructed movements on ‘Unfolding’ that starts the album with a snap of delayed snares, the apocalyptic drones of the title track and thundering drums in ‘Phantom Grip’ to more restrained ambient feels of ‘Dreamer’s Wake’, ‘Rest’ and ‘Untravel’. The latter transverses six beatless minutes of undulating melodies representing “a limbo space, a feeling of ennui, of not really ever being known to others and others not ever really being known to you”.

‘Be Kind’ reveals a musical connection with fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm, with its minimal approach and improvisational nature. On the more complex sounding ‘I Think So’ Ryan aims to replicate a colour collage with sound. Like a musical kaleidoscope, a flashing and convoluted mass. Written after he saw Slowdive perform live last year, ‘Hidden’ builds from whispers to landscapes of controlled noise. In an interview with XLR8R magazine, Ryan explains: “once you start trying to make a sound loud, then you turn your back on thousands and thousands of sonic possibilities. One of the best things to do is to start a track with a really quiet, weak sound.” Taking this idea to its ultimate conclusion, ‘Fragment’ closes the album as an innocent sounding ambient piece, almost nursery rhyme like, yielding time for reflection on how the persona has changed.

‘Persona’ follows the success of a series of releases — the ‘Odyssey’ and ‘Sonne’ EPs, long player ‘Howl’, and 2016’s mini album ‘Night Melody’ — that saw Ryan mature into what Pitchfork has called a “forward-thinking electronic musician with his own ideas about sound”. Atypical of instrumental-electronic music, Ryan has achieved a signature sound that’s unmistakably identifiable as Rival Consoles. Going beyond typical electronic music production, Ryan defines it as “songwriting with an electronic palette of sounds”. The increasingly dynamic live audio-visual show, born from bespoke performances at the Tate and for Boiler Room at the V&A Museum featuring self-programmed visuals in Max/MSP, has propelled him to play around the world. Ryan launches ‘Persona’ at London’s XOYO on 12th April with further dates to be announced.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Like his 2015 opus 'Howl, 'Persona' treads the line between ambience and leftfield techno whilst staying resolutely listenable and thoroughly jaw-dropping. Less influenced by the interim EP's, and seemingly moew focused on the spine-tingling crescentic electronica that West does SO well. Highly recommended.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Limited indies only clear vinyl.

King Tuff

The Other

    When asked to describe the title track from his new record, Kyle Thomas—aka King Tuff—takes a deep breath. “It’s a song about hitting rock bottom,” he says. “I didn't even know what I wanted to do anymore, but I still had this urge, like there was this possibility of something else I could be doing… and then I just followed that possibility. To me, that’s what songwriting, and art in general, is about. You’re chasing something. ‘The Other’ is basically where songs come from. It’s the hidden world. It’s the invisible hand that guides you whenever you make something. It’s the thing I had to rediscover to bring me back to making music again in a way that felt true and good.” After years of non-stop touring, culminating in a particularly arduous stint in support of 2014’s Black Moon Spell, Thomas found himself back in Los Angeles experiencing the flipside of the ultimate rock and roll cliche. “I had literally been on tour for years,” recalls Thomas. “It was exhausting, physically and mentally. I’m essentially playing this character of King Tuff, this crazy party monster, and I don’t even drink or do drugs. It had become a weird persona, which people seemed to want from me, but it was no longer me. I just felt like it had gotten away from me.” The ten tracks that make up The Other represent a kind of psychic evolution for King Tuff. No less hooky than previous records, the new songs ditch the goofy rock-and-roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier records in favor of expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and a childlike, creative energy untarnished by cynicism. The soulful and cosmic new direction is apparent from the album’s first moments: introduced by the gentle ringing of a chime, acoustic guitar, and warm organ tones, “The Other” is a narrative of redemption born of creativity. As Thomas sings about being stuck in traffic, directionless, with no particular reason to be alive, he hears the call of “the other,” a kind of siren song that, instead of leading towards destruction, draws the narrator towards a creative rebirth. Elsewhere, tracks like “Thru the Cracks” and “Psycho Star” balance psychedelia with day-glo pop hooks. “The universe is probably an illusion, but isn’t it so beautifully bizarre?” he asks on “Psycho Star,” providing one of the record’s central tenets. At a time when everything in the world feels so deeply spoiled and the concept of making meaning out of the void seems both pointless and impossible, why not try? Thomas self-produced the record, as he did his 2007 debut, Was Dead, but on a far grander scale. He recorded it at The Pine Room, the home studio Thomas built to work on the record, and playing every instrument aside from drums and saxophone. He pulled Shawn Everett (War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes) in to assist with the mixing process. While it would be easy to think of The Other as a kind of reinvention for King Tuff, Thomas views the entire experience of the record as a kind of reset that’s not totally removed from what he’s done in the past. “I can’t help but sound like me,” he says. “It’s just that this time I let the songs lead me where they wanted to go, instead of trying to push them into a certain zone. King Tuff was always just supposed to be me. When I started doing this as a teenager, it was whatever I wanted it to be. King Tuff was never supposed to be just one thing. It was supposed to be everything.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A bleak but unbelievably addictive journey into the mind of King Tuff, through the euphoric highs and crushing lows, acoustic balladry and stoned musings. Simmering, heartfelt and absolutely worth every minute. Think the honest acoustic innocence of Daniel Johnston with Jeff Tweedy's perfectly emotive production, and you're somewhere close.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Loser edition coloured vinyl.

    Josh T. Pearson presents ‘The Straight Hits!’, an album which began as a mere creative exercise - each song had to follow certain parameters, described as The Five Pillars - and one that has given Pearson the freedom to write a lighter, more ‘straight’ album.

    In three days, Pearson had penned nine whole songs (the album also includes a cover of Austin Americana singer/songwriter Jonathan Terrell’s wonderful country tribute song ‘Damn Straight’). The album is a departure from years of long form songwriting with tunes meant to hit straight and to the point.

    ‘The Straight Hits!’ features multiple different flavours of country, rock and all points in between, taking in blasts of goofy shit-kicking country-punk (opener ‘Straight To The Top!’,); cataclysmic rock & roll playing its romantic drama at high-stakes (‘Loved Straight To Hell); aching folksy mourn (‘Dire Straights Of Love’) and even a bona fide love song, ‘A Love Song (Set Me Straight)’, which Pearson admits breaks several of the Five Pillars but obeys an unwritten Sixth Pillar: Musical rules are made to be broken. There’s new Josh T. Pearson music in the world and it’s joyful, giddy, lifeaffirming stuff.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Never one to shy away from his Texan roots, former frontman of Lift To Experience branches out into acoustic numbers and pulsing balladry, amongst the (not surprising) walls of catatonic, blissful noise.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: LP pressed on pink vinyl with digital download code.

    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Try, if only for a moment, to envision a scenario in which you could still be completely *surprised* by a rock band. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s increasingly rare.

    A couple of years ago, A Place to Bury Strangers were in search of a new drummer. Lia Simone Braswell, an L.A. native, had recently moved to New York, and was playing drums in shows around Brooklyn "just to keep her chops up." As it turned out, APTBS bassist Dion Lunadon caught one of those shows and, after seeing her play, was moved to ask her if she’d want to come to a band practice sometime.

    "I told some of my friends about it before I met up with them," Braswell says, of the rehearsal that would soon lead to her joining the band. "They told me, 'You’re just gonna have to keep up as much as you possibly can.’"

    "To be fair, she had also never seen us live," Lunadon adds. "She didn’t necessarily know what she was getting into."

    What she was getting into: For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers-Lunadon, founding guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann, and, officially, Braswell-have become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume. They don’t write setlists. They frequently write new songs mid-set. They deliberately provoke and sabotage sound people in a variety of cruel yet innovative ways. They can and will always surprise you. "When something goes wrong on-stage, a lot of bands will crumble under the pressure," says Ackermann. "We like the idea of embracing the moment when things go wrong and turning it into the best thing about the show."

    This April marks the release of Pinned, their fifth full-length and an album that finds them converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It’s their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where Ackerman lived, worked, and created with complete freedom. "After DBA closed, I moved to an apartment in Clinton Hill," he says. "I couldn’t make too much noise, couldn’t disturb my neighbors. I would just sit there and write with a drum machine. It had to be about writing a good song and not about being super, sonically loud."

    There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies ("Execution"), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate ("There’s Only One of Us"). It all opens with "Never Coming Back," a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Lunadon’s unrelenting bass. "That song is a big concept," Ackermann says. "You make these decisions in your life…you’re contemplating whether or not this will be the end. You think of your mortality, those moments you could die and what that means. You’re thinking about that edge of the end, deciding whether or not it’s over. When you’re close to that edge, you could teeter over."

    It’s a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for this band as a whole. "As things go on, you don’t want them to be stagnant," Ackermann says. "Being a band for ten years, it’s hard to keep things moving forward. I see so many bands that have been around and they’re a weaker version of what they used to be. This band is anti-that. We try to push ourselves constantly, with the live shows and the recordings. We always want to get better. You’ve got to dig deep and take chances, and sometimes, I questioned that. It took really breaking through to make it work. I think we did that."

    They definitely did. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Throbbing bass, snappy distorted vocals and churning, machinated minimal-wave vox and NIN-esque claustrophobic ambience, all held withing a solid and impenetrable shell of gnarly, saturated guitars. Superb.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Indies only double pink vinyl edition.

    A Hawk And A Hacksaw

    Forest Bathing

      Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

      “Taking in the forest atmosphere” became the inspiration for A Hawk and A Hacksaw’s newest album. Their forest bath of choice is the Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. This new album features ten original compositions by Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes. The opening track “Alexandria” features Barnes on the Persian Santur, an ancient hammer struck dulcimer, and Trost’s string and woodwind melodies. The composition evokes the long trader’s route between what is now Bulgaria and the wealthy cities of Istanbul and Alexandria.

      The band has always had a bird’s eye view of this part the world— looking for the connections between places and even eras: a belief in the power of music to reach across borders and unite. The band is based on the idea of collecting music and inspiration through travel. They are not of a place, but their music evokes places along a route. This is not urban music. It’s rural: songs of the woods and roads where there are no sidewalks or street lamps to light your way.

      While the bulk of the music heard on this record is played by Barnes and Trost, they do have some incredible guest performances, namely the clarinet virtouso Cüneyt Sepetçi, from Istanbul, Hungarian cimbalom master Unger Balász, and closer to home, Chicago trumpeter Sam Johnson, Deerhoof’s John Dieterich and Noah Martinez, of the band Lone Piñon.

      From Melbourne by way of Brisbane, Confidence Man are unarguably one of the hottest acts on the planet right now. A portable party that’s levelled dance floors and flattened festival crowds as it’s rolled out across the world, they are a machine custom designed to make you dance and lose your cool.

      Without doubt set to be this summer’s most joyously exciting new band, they have to be seen to be believed – upfront there’s a statuesque chap clad only in a pair of nothing-to-the-imagination hot pants next to a woman in a custom designed baby-doll dress and shorts combo while behind them lurk two shadowy mute figures on drums and keyboards, each stripped to the waist and veiled secretively in what look like a satanic beekeeper’s hats made of a material so black, the light seems to fall into it.

      If Janet Planet, Sugar Bones, Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild weren’t a band already you’d be snapping at their heels demanding they form one quick-sharp. Fact is, they are, and on Friday 13th April 2018 they release Confident Music For Confident People, their 11-track debut album for Heavenly Recordings.

      The band have already offered a glimpse of what’s in store on Confident Music For Confident People – recent tracks Boyfriend, Bubblegum and Better Sit Down Boy were big and brash and bright as hell, like Dee-Lite tooled up and ready for our berserk modern times.

      Confident Music for Confident People sets eleven tales of 21st century ennui to irresistible, irrepressible dance music. The opening lines of Try Your Luck (“I must confess/I’ve been sleeping with your ex/’Cos I heard he was the best/I must confess/I never would have guessed he would get so obsessed… I’m not surprised”) set the tone perfectly for what follows.

      Here is a set of songs that take the kind of all-consuming interior monologues that bored, disaffected youth are wrestling with the world over and places them square in the middle of the dance floor before adding call-and-response choruses for good measure – it’s the best collection of perfect pop music you’ll hear all year, the perfect embodiment of the characters that made it that somehow manages to be both wildly ambitious and deceptively simple at the same time.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: 'Don't You Know I'm In A Band' perfectly encapsulates the whole vibe behind Confidence Men, brash, bold and more than a little conceited, they take the stereotypical entitled hilarity of stardom and turn it into a bitingly ironic, brilliantly accomplished synth journey. It's ridiculous, but it's totally brilliant. Heavenly have gone out of their comfort zone on this one, and absolutely smashed it.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Initial pressing features a gold sleeve.

      Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      A prolific songwriter for nearly twenty years, Laura Veirs proves the depth of her musical skill on her tenth solo album, The Lookout, released via Bella Union. Here is a batch of inimitable, churning, exquisite folk-pop songs; a concept album about the fragility of precious things. Produced by Grammy-nominated Tucker Martine, Veirs’ longtime collaborator, The Lookout is a soundtrack for turbulent times, full of allusions to protectors: the camper stoking a watch fire, a mother tending her children, a sailor in a crows nest and a lightning rod channelling energy.

      “The Lookout is about the need to pay attention to the fleeting beauty of life and to not be complacent; it’s about the importance of looking out for each other,” says Veirs. “I’m addressing what’s happening around me with the chaos of post-election America, the racial divides in our country, and a personal reckoning with the realities of midlife: I have friends who’ve died; I struggle with how to balance life as an artist with parenting young children.”

      Written and produced on the heels of Veirs’ acclaimed album with Neko Case and k.d. Lang (case/lang/veirs), The Lookout integrates the fluency of collaboration with Veirs’ notorious work ethic. The twelve songs on the album are the result of a years’ worth of daily writing in her attic studio in Portland, Oregon.

      “Twenty years ago when I was just starting out with my punk band, it never occurred to me to write five versions of a song,” says Veirs. “I’ve learned to see how malleable lyrics and melodies can be. I have more tools as a musician so I write many versions of songs until I find the right fit.” Such range is demonstrated on the operatic vocals of “The Meadow” and the intricate finger picking on “Watch Fire.” “The Lookout,” the album’s title track, is an ecstatic anthem to trusted relationships.

      The Lookout draws on the talents of a time-tested crew of musicians: Karl Blau, Steve Moore, Eli Moore, Eyvind Kang and Martine. Says Veirs, “These guys are a good hang, ego-free and wonderful players who just want to serve the songs.” Sufjan Stevens and Jim James provide guest vocals.
      For Martine, who fell, almost two decades ago, for Veirs’ unique sound after listening to a tape cassette she’d sent him in the mail, this album reflects a bar that keeps getting raised. Both familiar and strange, The Lookout gets better with repeated listens, warming to the skin like a cherished saddlebag, critical for the journey ahead.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Sitting right in front of my desk is an LP-sized 'Best of 2004' scrapbook style collage Andy put together for Veirs' 'Carbon Glacier', she was brilliant then and is even more so now. This is a beautifully nuanced, refined expansion of Veirs' sound, and it's sure to be on the player for some time to come.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited gold vinyl.

      Note – the vinyl version of this is being released on RSD.

      In life and music, Emma Tricca is an explorer. Just as ‪Davey Graham set sail for Morocco and ‪Vashti Bunyan for the Outer Hebrides in search of their elusive ‪muse, Rome-raised singer-songwriter Tricca has journeyed to London, New York, Texas and further afield to seek the heart of her own music. And like those renowned voyagers, she's returned with a set of songs that refresh the tired old folk form. Tricca's new album St Peter – created with a cast of supporting artists including global icon ‪Judy Collins, ‪Sonic Youth's ‪Steve Shelley and Dream Syndicate guitarist Jason Victor – takes a bracing plunge into the unknown, leaving the folksinger tag far behind with a rolling collection of reverie-inducing raw diamonds.

      It was encouragement from ‪Pentangle legend ‪John Renbourn that started Tricca on her lifelong path. An aspiring young player, she met Renbourn after a solo gig in Rome and impressed him with her fresh-cut songs. A move to the UK was inevitable, gigging around folk clubs first in Oxford and later in London, honing her craft as a songwriter and a fingerstyle guitarist. Extended stays in New York and Texas followed, before Tricca returned to London to begin work on her first melancholic masterpiece, 2009's crystalline long-player Minor White.

      The album was released on Bird Records, an offshoot of Finders Keepers run by husband and wife team ‪Jane Weaver and ‪Andy Votel, who'd been thrilled by Tricca's talent (and her Italian leather boots) at the Green Man Festival in 2006. They secured her a show at ‪Jarvis Cocker's Meltdown Festival in London, ensuring international exposure, a major European tour and a run of shows with her old friend Renbourn.

      Five years later Tricca released Relic, an album even more poised and precise than its predecessor. Scoring rave reviews across the board – 4 stars in Record Collector and Mojo, 5 in Time Out – the album added gentle percussion and plaintive orchestration to the established pattern of hushed guitar and heartfelt vocals. A collaboration with longtime friend and guitar wizard Jason McNiff led to 2017's sparkling Southern Star EP, while a song on the soundtrack of Patrick Stewart-starring US indie film Match raised her profile. But encouraged by Weaver – who urged her to 'explore the weirdness' in her music – Emma Tricca was hungry for a new challenge.

      The road to St Peter began with a chance meeting at South by Southwest between Tricca and producer and musician Jason Victor, and the formation of an instant friendship. During a Skype call one Christmas morning the pair decided to start work on a new project together, hauling in ‪Sonic Youth drummer ‪Steve Shelley and New York bass hero Pete Galub to help Tricca explore the rougher sound that was in her head. Recorded near-live at Echo Canyon West in Hoboken, the album draws on crunchy country rock, homespun psychedelia, Morricone soundtracks, New York underground grit and English folk grandeur to weave a wholly unique and surprising spell.

      More musical guests soon joined the party – gruff songwriting hero ‪Howe Gelb put in a brief cameo, while Tricca was able to live out a childhood fantasy by inviting ‪Judy Collins to appear on the album's penultimate cut, Solomon Said. As a teenage folkie Tricca had recorded one of Collins's TV performances onto VHS, and worn the tape out trying to mimic her picking style. Now they were working together, on perhaps the album's most startling, transporting track.

      The album is one so loaded with texture that is almost feels tangible, a rare record that feels precise and pristine in its executions but never sterile or lifeless. Electric guitars fizz away like a controlled electricity, Tricca’s guitar playing flows gracefully at the core with her vocals existing in the perfect state between slight rasp and caramel-smoothness. Shelley’s drumming and percussion gives a steady heartbeat to the record which is further brought to life by a variety of deft instrumentation, including piano, bass, cello, violin, glockenspiel and of course the variety of guest backing vocalists.

      Whilst St Peter’s deep-seated roots can perhaps be traced to traditional folk music, its finished existence feels far from such a thing - its ever-flowing essence skipping through genres, tones, paces and rhythms with a gliding grace. Perhaps even a touch of the spirit of Hoboken’s own Yo La Tengo has seeped into the finish record in its quiet yet stirring beauty. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Moving from haunted demi-melodies and tenderly plucked guitar, imbued with tastefully echoing reverb and Tricca's delicate voice, influenced by decades of classic Americana and folk but sounding like none of the above. Brimming with emotion, and thoroughly enchanting. Superb.

      Alexis Taylor releases a new album on Domino. It is a very new, very individualist and – yes – very beautiful reflection of a life that's changed immeasurably since Alexis first started out in music. This is a musician, writer and singer who has carved his own unique path through the music of the 21st century, completely avoiding getting trapped along the way in dumb oppositions of pop vs avant-garde, dancefloor vs intellect, retro vs modernist and so on. He has worked with living legends from major pop stars to free improvisors in the furthest left field, played huge arenas and tiny clubs without ever privileging one over the other, and through all of it, never stopped listening and learning. All of this accumulated experience is put to work on Beautiful Thing in pursuit of something subtle and elusive but ultimately quite profound and beautifully human. Taylor’s fourth album also represents the first time Alexis has made a solo album with a producer, that producer being Tim Goldsworthy, co-founder of Mo Wax and DFA Recordings and member of UNKLE.

      The record is a bold and confident step forward for Alexis both sonically and in terms of his songwriting abilities. It has electronic thrills, dark spaces, memories of dancefloors, heartfelt writing; it's composed, it's improvised, it's accidental, it's strange, but it's also very immediate. It is a beautiful thing itself: a moving, modern and unique sounding long-player, to get lost in on repeated deep listens.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: Heavyweight orange vinyl.

      Lord Huron is an American indie folk band based in Los Angeles. The group's debut album, Lonesome Dreams, was released in 2012 on Iamsound in the US and Play It Again Sam in UK and Ireland in January 2013. The band released their second album, Strange Trails, in April 2015.

      The band's name was inspired by Lake Huron, the lake which band founder Ben Schneider grew up. 'Lord Huron invites you to stare into the abyss this spring with the release of their third full-length album, Vide Noir. Written and recorded over the past two years at Lord Huron’s Los Angeles studio and informal clubhouse, Whispering Pines. The album was mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips/MGMT) and engineered by Sonny DiPerri (Portugal. The Man, Animal Collective).

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: A brilliantly varied suite of thumping percussion, jagged guitar riffage, nuanced ambient interludes and neo-folk melodies, underpinned with a steadily growing melodic wash of ambience. Vide Noir is a brilliantly compiled journey from start to finish.

      Bonny sings Susanna, to simply try and save the world. Sonata Dwarf Mix Cosmos is an old companion of his and with the Chijimi house band +1 they bring it all back home again, this time to the space in Bonny’s place.

      “As other practitioners are leaving the room in favor of novel forms of recording and distro and consumption, we are left with a virtual PALACE, fantastical and real structures and practices. Like we are allowed into the museum at night. We can make a great essentially live record with great songs and great players because nobody else is? ‘Wolf Of The Cosmos’... is about, as much as anything, direct engagement with recorded music. So step right up to the replicant.” - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

      Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is joined by musicians Emmet Kelly (bass guitar, voice, acoustic guitar), Cheyenne Mize (violin, slide ukulele, voice), Chris Rodahaffer (banjo, voice, acoustic guitar) and Elsa Madeline Oldham (juice harp).

      “‘Wolf Of The Cosmos’ is a wonderful obsessive trip into the mind of one of the most important living singers” - Country Music

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Beautifully emotive country-tinged plucks, BPB's unmistakable voice and softly pulled strings make for an enchanting an absorbing journey. Yet more evidence of the unwavering excellence of one of today's most successful singer-songwriters. Brilliantly fresh, but comfortable and familiar.

      Across 19 tracks in just 40 minutes, Goat Girl’s self-titled debut creates a half-fantasy world out of a very dirty, ugly city reality.

      Goat Girl belong to a burgeoning, close-knit south London scene, born in venues like The Windmill in Brixton and including bands like Shame, Bat-Bike, Madonnatron, Horsey, Sorry, and many more. “We help each other - I put you on, you put me on - because we genuinely like each other’s music. We’d played gigs all over before but never really settled in a comfortable environment, which is what The Windmill is. It’s an important place for us, it was the first space that our music made sense to exist within. It’s a safe space where music is genuinely listened to and appreciated, and where laws and licensing haven't reached over to ruin the venue.”

      This live freedom enabled the band to think without constraints when it came to recording. Goat Girl enlisted producer Dan Carey (The Kills, Bat For Lashes, Franz Ferdinand) to help them capture their vision, set a goal to write and record a piece of music in a day in effort to capture that raw first-creation moment, and chose to record to tape.

      It’s a very English album -- sharp-eyed observations like The Kinks, louche rage like The Slits -- but it’s also full of swampy, swaggering guitars and singer Lottie’s filthy drawl. Each member brings a diverse range of influences and contributions, ranging from krautrock to bossa nova, jazz to blues. They resist being boxed in to an indie, guitar-based genre, and focused intensely on the layers and textures of each song as well as the different contexts they could sit within.

      The result, Goat Girl, succeeds in conjuring a complete world all unto itself, and is arranged in segments -- divided by improvised interludes -- that offer glimpses of an even stranger parallel universe. With each song acting as its own story of sorts that features different settings and characters, listeners are transported therewithin. It’s dark yet cheeky, varied yet cohesive, and striking in its vision; this world is populated by creeps and liars, lovers, dreamers, and wonderful lunatics. Lead single “Cracker Drool” is at once jaunty and sinister, a foreboding tale full of swirling guitar, echoing vocals and synthetic drum hits that stumbles and gurgles straight into “Slowly Reclines,” an equally menacing and considerably heavier track. “Creep” is, predictably and grimly enough, inspired by actual events: Creep on the train / I really want to smash your head in.

      On “Country Sleaze,” she sings about sex in a way that embraces visceral reality and defeats shame. “If you say you’re sexually free, as a woman, society still deems that a bad thing. But really it’s a beautiful thing to be confident in yourself - to know that you can have sex and it doesn’t have to mean anything and that doesn’t make you a bad person.” Ellie smiles: “That song is quite disgusting, in a good way. It’s not trying to be nice, it’s not a love song.” Goat Girl is altogether an album crafted with intention, and invites imaginations to run wild; it draws listeners in to its half-fantasy world from the slow fade, eerie instrumental intro “Salty Sounds,” to the gorgeous, unsettling closer “Tomorrow” -- a rendition of the song featured in Bugsy Malone -- which ends with dawn-chorus birds and the feeling of new possibilities after a long and messy night.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: A superbly textured and stylistically varied outing from Goat Girl, holding within it's 19 (!) tracks a fiery resolve and melodic leaning of the highest order. Brilliantly written and performed with heart, Goat Girl won't be off the shop stereo for some time to come.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive limited violet LP.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Where are we headed? What are we consuming, how is it affecting us, and why does everything feel so bad and weird sometimes? These are some of the questions posed on Ruban Nielson's fourth album as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sex & Food-a delightfully shapeshifting album that filters these real-deal serious themes through a vibrant sonic lens that spans battered drum-machine funk, doomy and thrashing rock, and pink-hued psychedelic disco. Recorded in a variety of locales from Seoul and Hanoi to Reykjavik, Mexico City, and Auckland, Sex & Food is a practical musical travelogue, with local musicians from the countries that Nielson and his band visited pitching in throughout.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: As singular as they are enthralling, Unknown Mortal Orchestra are finally back, and bringing everything we've come to expect. Jangly riffs, pitch-perfect falsetto and impeccable writing, 'Sex & Food' is their finest work to date.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition pink vinyl.

      2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Indies exclusive pink vinyl bundle, includes bonus limited edition black vinyl 12".

      2xIndies Exclusive LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      LP Info: Standard black vinyl edition.

      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Courteeners will mark the 10th anniversary of their debut album with a new, fully re-recorded version of the seminal record and two massive shows in London and Manchester.

      Following Liam Fray’s recent sold out acoustic tour of the UK, the band have recorded an unplugged version of St. Jude for release on 6th April 2018 via Ignition Records. St. Jude Re:Wired has been produced by Liam and Joe Cross. 

      Originally released in April 2008, St. Jude charted at no 4 in its first week and went on to win the inaugural Guardian First British Album award, beating albums by Duffy, Adele and Glasvegas. The record saw Courteeners present to the world outside a first set of songs that perfectly soundtracked modern life in the UK. Lead track Not Nineteen Forever has amassed over 20 million streams on Spotify alone.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Unforgettable acoustic versions of one of Manchester's most beloved modern indie staples. The acoustic versions on this reworks LP represent the drive of the originals but with a more nuanced outlook, each instrument and Fray's voice working together uninterrupted and unrivalled. Lovely.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Limited vinyl edition in special gatefold packaging.

      Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Spanish quartet Hinds - Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perrotte, Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen - announce their long-awaited second record I Don’t Run. Out April 6 via Lucky Number, the new album shows a bigger, better, faster, funnier, more dexterous Hinds. Co-produced by the band and Gordon Raphael [The Strokes, Regina Spektor], and engineered by Shawn Everett [Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, The War On Drugs, John Legend], I Don’t Run is the product of a band fighting for their place, a band unwilling to rely upon their successes, a band who have just begun to prove themselves, and a band who plays hard but works even harder.

      Some might expect them to write songs about being happy, young and carefree – “but we're not satisfied with that,” explains guitarist Ana Perrote. “On this album the struggles are clear. We want to be brave.” I Don’t Run is Hinds’ return with an honest reflection on a period that changed their lives beyond their wildest imaginations. After everything they’ve overcome, one might think a band like Hinds would have second album jitters, but think again. Hinds are chomping at the bit and with defiant confidence. “We loved making this album,” says Perrote. “We knew what we wanted and we have what we wanted. This is a new start for us and we're fucking ready.”

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Snarling punky sections segue into swooning, hazy melodic guitar and bass interplay. Simmering hazy indie-rock slowly moves into clanging garage and thrashing pop-punk choruses.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition indies exclusive transparent coloured vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Five years after his critically acclaimed debut Drone Logic, London-based producer Daniel Avery announces his highly anticipated second album Song For Alpha, set for release on March 9th 2018 through Phantasy. The album is preceded on January 19th by a 4-track limited edition 12” vinyl EP titled Slow Fade.

      The new long player, on which the track ‘Slow Fade’ will appear, follows 2013’s incendiary debut Drone Logic. Upon its release the latter was called “A mesmerising debut" by Mixmag, “Exceptional” by the Times and "A benchmark for so many other dance albums to aspire to" by Dummy, while Pitchfork proclaimed “Avery owns this space.” “Underground dance music with this sort of ambition hasn’t been heard in quite a while", noted Resident Advisor, and Q hailed  "The arrival of a new left­field dance superstar."

      In the years since, Avery has helmed a DJ-Kicks mix CD, resided over a monthly radio show for NTS Live, curated an extensive remix compilation and collaborated on a series of side-projects including a recent collaboration with Nine Inch Nails synth specialist Alessandro Cortini; he has toured relentlessly, cementing a reputation as one of the defining techno DJs of the decade. He has also worked studiously on what he wanted to say next as a producer. 

      With newfound energy and time to develop, Avery’s sonic vocabulary has expanded. Here, the booming sound of the big room is brilliantly countered by the music of the small hours. Where celestial ambient lullabies ‘First Light’ and ‘Days From Now’ sit perfectly next to the mesmeric techno assault of ‘Diminuendo’ and ‘Sensation’; where both ‘Projector’ and ‘Clear’ evoke early rave records, only ones engulfed by waves of beautiful cyclonic distortion. William Basinski, Warp’s Artificial Intelligence, Brian Eno plus his own excursions with Alessandro Cortini all serve as touchstones for a record that sees Avery take his signature psychedelic-electronic sound to new dimensions, a sound that plays to the head as much as the body.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Delicately presented electroacoustic compositions, supported with a finely honed backbone of melodic suggestion and hypnotic rhythmic pulse, Avery once again proves he is one of the masters of his craft.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLP Info: Double 180 gram vinyl.

      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Dr Octagon

      Moosebumps An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation

      For the uninitiated, Moosebumps should be considered the true follow up to the critically acclaimed 1996 Dr. Octagon album Dr. Octagonecologyst, the strange and beautiful fruit of an inspired musical collaboration between legendary artists/producers Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, MC Kool Keith (Keith Thornton) and turntablist DJ Q-Bert (Richard Quitevis). Though Kool Keith continued to perform and release new material under the alias “Dr. Octagon” sporadically over the years – it was without the original partners Automator and QBert. For the first time in over two decades, Moosebumps has reunited the dream team in the studio and on the stage!

      Also making a notable appearance on the Moosebumps album is rapper and frequent Automator collaborator, Del The Funky Homosapien, on the epic track “3030 Meets The Doc Pt.1”

      The character Dr. Octagon is an extraterrestrial surgeon from Jupiter who uses space technology and primitive tools to perform medical procedures on his patients, some of whom die as he conducts his rounds, while others are murdered by his careless, barbaric acts.

      Dan The Automator has worked with noteworthy artists including: Got a Girl, Miles Kane, DJ Shadow, Kasabian, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Gorillaz, Lovage, Head Automatica, Mike Patton, DJ Quest, Emily Wells, Depeche Mode, Pillowfight, Exodus, Primal Scream

      Kool Keith has collaborated and worked with: Ultramagnetic MCs, The Cenobites, Godfather Don Tim Dog, KutMasta Kurt, Motion Man, Analog Brothers, Masters of Illusion, Jacky Jasper, Thee Undatakerz, The Diesel Truckers, Peeping Tom, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Chilly Chill, The Prodigy, Spazz, Princess Superstar, Nu:Tone, Esham, MF DOOM, L'Orange

      DJ Q-Bert is one of the founding members of the band Invisibl Skratch Piklz, launched the Qbert Skratch University, an interactive online learning school and community for DJs, and has worked and collaborated with Mix Master Mike, DJ Shadow, Peanut Butter Wolf, A-Trak, Shortkut, Rasco, Dee Jay Bird, DJ Lord Wax, Herbie Hancock, The X-Ecutioners, Shock G, D-Styles, Motion Man, Praxis, N.A.S.A, L’Orange and Mr. Lif.

      Deltron has worked with noteworthy acts: Hieroglyphics, Deltron 3030, Gorillaz, Da Lench Mob, Chilly Chill, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Ice Cube, El-P, Tame One.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Alternate gatefold artwork, 12 instrumentals of album tracks on 140g double black vinyl, printed inner sleeves x2, original album in printed CD jacket.

      2xLP Info: 140/150gram double black vinyl in a gatefold jacket.

      2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Jane Weaver

      The Lightning Back

        An independent retailers exclusive.

        Widely considered the standout protonic pop song from Jane Weaver's unanimously revered Modern Kosmology, The Lightning Back sees the meteoric collision of micro-chip modulations and homespun harmonies courtesy of a self-sufficient artist who has in recent years become regarded as one of the countries finest in the field. This 3.5 minute pocket-pop implosion fuses subtle patch-bay arpeggios evoking the stylings of Wendy Carlos and (previous collaborator) Suzanne Ciani providing a deftly constructed framework for Weavers songwriting talents. Celebrating the intimacy and inhibition-free methodology found in her solo-power approach, The Lightning Back hears Jane's yearning lyricism rise through unique agile melodics seldom found in synthesised pop music. This limited vinyl single also comprises a B-side in the form of a remix from London based art-noise-jazz-rock supergruppen Sex Swing.

        After a four year wait, EELS will release their highly-anticipated new album The Deconstruction via E Works/[PIAS].

        “Here are 15 new EELS tracks that may or may not inspire, rock, or not rock you. The world is going nuts. But if you look for it, there is still great beauty to be found. Sometimes you don’t even have to look for it. Other times you have to try to make it yourself. And then there are times you have to tear something apart to find something beautiful inside.”

        EELS singer-songwriter E (Mark Oliver Everett).

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: From the bubblegum sweetness (and reticent unease) of Eels' early works to todays melancholic and refined productions, Mark Oliver everett has maintained his impeccable ear for melody and unrivalled attention to detail. 'The Deconstruction' is in many ways the pinnacle of their works to date, instantly recognisable but undeniably boundary-pushing.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xColoured LP Info: 2 x 10” Translucent Yellow Vinyl.

        2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        LP Box Set Info: Limited Edition Boxset Contents:
        2 x 12” Translucent Pink Vinyl in printed sleeves.
        Printed box on uncoated paper.
        CD Digitpack.
        28 page perfect bound lyric booklet with exclusive photos.
        12” artwork print.
        A4 digital handwritten “Rusty Pipes” lyrics signed by E.
        E “Tip & Strip” pen.

        FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

        Debut album by MIEN, the exciting new four piece band comprised of The Black Angels’ Alex Maas, The Horrors’ Tom Furse, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir and The Earlies’ John-Mark Lapham. The seeds were sown for this collaboration as long ago as 2004, when Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone) found himself in a chance encounter with Black Angels frontman Alex Maas whilst performing sitar with his former band on a bill at SXSW in Austin with The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Not long afterwards, he would also stumble across electronics guru and producer John Mark Lapham from Anglo-American band The Earlies, via a shared love for one song - the ‘classic sitar banger’ by The Association, ‘Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin’.

        Some years later, another piece of the puzzle came into place, when Dhir was now playing bass with The Black Angels in 2012, and found the band sharing several bills with The Horrors. Thus he made the acquaintance of Tom Furse, and yet another pact was made to work together. Several traversals of the globe by both plane and audio-file later, the result is an album that sees this quartet transcending their origins whilst maintaining a cohesive unity borne of a desire for outward exploration.

        John Mark’s vision, as he puts it, was “imagine the Black Angels as Nico in her 80’s industrial phase mixed with George Harrison and Conny Plank.” - true to form, it’s an album that finds equal room for radiant groove-based propulsion and ambient dreamscapes alike - as comfortable with the murky hallucinogenic voyage of ‘You Dreamt’ as the powerful widescreen sweep of ‘(I’m Tired Of) Western Shouting’, yet with songwriting acumen as potent as the production values are expansive and exploratory. This may have been a record put together at a distance - yet the chemistry between these four figures is manifest amidst a kaleidoscopic series of atmospheres and excursions whereby the fertile songwriting of the golden age of ‘60s psychedelia is transmitted into a transcendental realm above and beyond the second decade of the 21st century. 

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: It would be impossible to imagine a better line-up than these four veterans of psych and indie-rock, and the product of their hard work is every bit as brilliant as you'd imagine. Fuzzy-headed psychedelic swirls, thumping percussion and chugging, kosmische riffs.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: "Deep Mien" coloured vinyl.

        Tom Misch

        Geography

          Tom Misch announces the release of his highly anticipated debut album ‘Geography’ via his own label Beyond The Groove / Kobalt Music Recordings for an April 6th release. The first track to be lifted from the album is ‘Movie’, a melodic ode to romance written by Tom and his long term collaborator Carmody, and featuring guest vocals at the start by Tom’s sister Polly Misch The track displays a different side to Tom’s music as his calming voice lulls the listener into a daydream, giving us a taster of what is to come with the release of ‘Geography’.

          The idea for the track came to fruiti on with Tom wanti ng to base the song around old classic movies and the charm that came with them. The upcoming visual for ‘Movie’ is a culminati on of old footage from Tom’s grandparents in Germany in the 40’s adding a personal narrati ve for Tom and his music. The artwork was created by Tom’s mother Carol who has consistently contributed to visuals for his previous releases. The silhouettes of Tom facing himself represent challenging himself to create a new landscape in his diff erent moods and stages of creativity. Woven in with ideas of contour lines and illusion we see one thing, then another, in the same way that music has its own multi layered language.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Silky smooth slow-mo lounge, simmering soulful vocals and Misch's undeniable ear for melody and counterpoint. Shuffling percussion slowly works away behind beautifully warm atmospheric ambience. As soulful as they come.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Yellow Vinyl. Limited to 3,000 copies worldwide.

          Wye Oak

          The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs

          The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs—the triumphant fifth album by Wye Oak—begins with an explosion. For a few seconds, piano, drums, and a playful keyboard loop gather momentum; then, all at once, they burst, enormous bass flooding the elastic beat. “Suffering, I remember suffering,” sings Jenn Wasner, her voice stretched coolly across the tizzy. “Feeling heat and then the lack of it, but not so much what the difference is.” The moment declares the second coming of Wye Oak, a band that spent more than a decade preparing to write this record—their most gripping and powerful set of songs to date, built with melodies, movement, and emotions that transcend even the best of their catalogue.

          Louder is the third record that Wasner and Andy Stack, who launched Wye Oak in Baltimore, have made while living in separate cities—she in Durham, North Carolina, he in Marfa, Texas. They flew to one another for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak. The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music they’ve ever made. Louder pursues a litany of modern malaises, each track diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. The rapturous “Lifer,” for instance, ponders perseverance and survival in times of profound struggle. “Over and Over” finds Wasner alone at home, watching clips of violence abroad on repeat, her outrage outstripped only by her ineffectiveness.

          The music—a sophisticated tessellation of pounded piano and loping bass, scattered drums and chirping synthesizer—is as complex and ponderous as the issues themselves. For all the struggles Wye Oak confront here, Louder ultimately reflects a hopeful radiance, with the parting sense that human connection and our own internal resolve can outweigh even our heaviest worries. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Brilliantly driven synthy atmospheres dragged along by skittering percussion and Wasner's enchanting vocal offerings, Wye Oak give us cleverly anthemic pieces but missing all the pitfalls of the ever more common synth-driven indie rock. In parts brittle, but growing into spine-tingling crescentic anthems. Wye not?

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: double gatefold jacket w/ printed inner sleeve + beige/blue split vinyl

          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          CD Info: 4-panel wallet with booklet

          Volcano / The Beat Gangsters

          Vanonyana Lava / Chappies

          Johannesburg bastion of everything groovy, the mighty Afrosynth Records follow up their MASSIVE reissue of "Burnin' Beat" with a new 12" boasting two bass-heavy cuts of obscure '90s kwaito from the depths of DJ Okapi's vaults. 
          Founded in the early 80s by Richard Makhubele, Volcano’s signature brand of Shangaan disco made them one of the most popular bands of the ‘bubblegum’ era, releasing a string of big-selling albums with the Gallo label. But by 1993 things in South Africa were changing fast, both politically and musically. Volcano had left Gallo to join Eric Frisch Productions (EFP) in search of greater independence. On their 1993 album "Tshigubu Tshanga" they began to experiment with the new house-inspired sound of kwaito courtesy of producer Malcolm ‘X’ Makume, with one track in particular standing out: ‘Vanonyana Lava’. A Shangaan tale of thwarted courting in the local bars, this bass-led monster saw Volcano experiment with a tougher, heavier sound while absolutely nailing the uplifting chords of classic US house. Unmistakably South African, irresistibly danceable, "Vanonyana Lava" is the kind of record you can change lives with on a club system.
          On the flip-side of this new release is an even more obscure track plucked from DJ Okapi's high grade collection. The Beat Gangsters were a short-lived studio project made up of Willi Mau Mau and Mad T Doctor, in-house producers for Mob Music, an independent label set up by Eric Frisch (after the demise of EFP) that put out a string of influential club releases in the mid-90s, among the last albums to be pressed to vinyl in South Africa. Named after a popular South African brand of gum, ‘Chappies’ was originally released on the 1995 album Mob Table Dance. Powered by percolating drum programming, weighty bass and glistening keys, "Chappies" sounds a little like a South African take on a Peech Boys hit, bringing melancholy and dubspace to the heart of the dance floor.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Afrosynth main man DJ Okapi follows up the phenomenal success of "Burnin Beat" with a second 12", this time dedicated to a duo of Kwaito rarities. "Vanonyana Lava" leads us through euphoric chords and speaker freakin' bass on the A-side, while "Chappies" serves up a South African take on Levan's housier sound on the flip. Top stuff.

          "Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe, 1980-1991" is the second multiple artist compilation on Music From Memory and is compiled by record connoisseur Raphael Top-Secret and label man Jamie Tiller. The compilation brings together twenty one tracks from across the continent; exploring the more unusual and unexpected sides of Pop music produced during that period.

          Drawing material from cult experimental artists such as Steve Beresford, Brenda Ray and Bill Nelson alongside one-off independent musical projects rescued from the fringes, ’Uneven Paths’ focuses on a selection of tracks that go beyond the confines of mainstream pop music but which also transcend expectations of much of the ’experimental’ music of the time. This is music with one foot in the avant-garde and another foot firmly rooted within the sensibilities of Pop; where Jazz musicians detour into Synth-Pop, Punk bands break into Boogie jams, and student doctors jam out on odd melodies with synthesizers and drum machines during their night shifts.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Previous Music From Memory releases have seen the imprint explore the esoteric fringe of electronica, Brazilian synth wave and art-school ambient with the same exhaustive research and inspired selections. Now the Dutch label turn their attention to the underappreciated talent at the heart of Europe's outsider pop movement. There are too many tunes here to mention, and most are new to me, but I have to shout out Brenda & The Beachballs, Miko & Mubare and Violet Eves as favourites.

          Lipelis

          I Only Did These For Myself But Now It's For Everyone

          Animals Dancing takes another swipe at the dance floor with a dope double A-side from Russia's king of weirdo disco and tripped out house Lipelis. Plucked from his private arsenal of over-powered club cuts, "Children's Song" and "Video Track" are further examples of the producer's penchant for edit-not-edit / sample-based bangers, first evidenced on his L.I.E.S. Black release or recent Beard In Dust 12" on Bahnsteig.
          Lipelis brings the party to the village square with the fireside antics of A-side cut "Children's Song", fusing a grooving proto-house rhythm section with field recorded chants and addictive mallets. It's techno-tropical pop at its finest, and should find favour with open minded house DJs, the weirdo disco fringe and the acid house survivors on the Balearic dance floors. The B-side sticks with the African inflection, offering village chants and and sanza psychedelia atop a tough b-boy rhythm. Everything we've ever had from the producer or label has flown out the door, so get on this one ASAP.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Personal favourite Lipelis lets a couple of his secret club cuts slip into the collective consciousness with a dope two tracker on Animals Dancing. Tropical and tribal, but with plenty of nods to vintage funk and proto house, these cuts are destined for the setlists of all your DJ heroes. Buy now or spend double in six months...

          Hugely sought after repress of the first record on Tone Dropout, with original copies already fetching big bucks amongst the UKs ardent acid collectors. Coming out in 2013, and to some extent superseding what would become the nu-acid resurrection, this tasty battle pack featured three tracks by Dawl and Sween - who'd go on to contribute to much of the label's output. "TRK 1" from Dawl is a skeletal number characterized by compressed claps n snares and decorated by narcotic bleep melodies and rugged low end. "Strange World" takes us plummeting into subterranean world; its juddering beats and advanced sound design painting a multicoloured futurist environment for us to dance and be merry in. On side B Sween takes charge, dropping militant snare patterns of a serotonin-tickling piano line and more acid house infectious. The record that started a revolution! And sounding as fresh as ever, 5 years since its original release. An essential item for acid heads and warehouse DJs and not likely to hand around long.... Move quick!

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Matt says: Second chance saloon to own this guaranteed slice of future UK dance history. Tone Dropout have become one of the go-to stables, spearheading the new acid resurgence and this, their first record, is pure gold.

          It's been on the cards for a while, but Hell Yeah are finally making a foray into the reissue market with new offshoot Perdio (which sort of means lost in Portuguese). The aim of the game is to employ their knack for A&R expertise by finding only the finest forgotten gems, then pairing them up with the perfect remixer. As such, the primo Perdio is a newly remastered instrumental version and new Francisco Dub of Giorgia Morandi's 'Children of the Sky', a cover of the Italo-classic "Figli delle Stelle" by Alan Sorrenti which just happens to have been released 40 years ago. 
          The label has been two years in the planning and all started when label boss Marco was at the Gratis Club season closing party a few years ago when cult Italian figure Francisco (of Edizioni Mondo/Jolly Music) was DJing. "At some point, he came out with the instrumental of this tune, and I was in heaven," remembers Marco. "It was a super cheap Italo 12" from Ala Bianca in Italy, a "bad" cover of Figli delle Stelle... I asked Francisco if he was up for editing the track in case I got rights, and here we are."
          In its original instrumental form, the track packs all the coke-fuelled emotion, sparkling keys and synth brass you could ever hope for. As the pristine production soothes the speakers with flawless Italo chintz, you're instantly transported to the heat and humidity of a Mediterranean club, surrounded by beautiful women in daring eye shadow and coked up men in headbands. Over on the B-side, Italian hero Francisco strips things back a touch, locks into the groove and lets loose with the sampler serving up a classic 80s dub mix. 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Patrick says: Finally our good friend Marco unveils his reissue offshoot Perdio, in spectacular fashion no less. The first release sees the neon tinged cocktail joy of Italo/Balearic winner "Children Of The Sky" by Giorgia Morandi, presented in Instrumental fashion and backed with a flawless dub version from Italian legend Francisco.

          Alien Ballroom

          Makrophreakzville! EP

            Hailing from Liverpool, Alien Ballroom are a suitably skewed mix of 60’s punk, The Teardrop Explodes and the Mel-o-tones. The “Makrophreakzville! EP! Is out on April 6th on Sentinel…its sees them heading in a rawer dancefloor direction. Limited edition 4 track 7” 500 copies

            The EP is the first release for a the Liverpool based label SENTINEL. The label will cover new and old sounds from the NORTH WEST COAST.

            Chris Carter

            Chemistry Lessons Volume 1

            Seventeen years on from his last solo release, the twenty-five tracks collected on Chris Carter’s Chemistry Lessons Volume One (CCCL Volume 1) were the product of six years spent working on solo material in the Norfolk home studio he shares with Cosey Fanni Tutti. CCCL Volume 1 reinforces Carter’s significant but often under-appreciated role in the development of electronic music - a journey that for Carter started ahead of his work with Throbbing Gristle (alongside Cosey, Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge), and continued through Chris & Cosey, Carter Tutti, Carter Tutti Void as well as his own solo and collaborative releases under his own name.

            Here you will find music with a distinctly futuristic leaning, with insistent melodic patterns and a distinct sense of wonderment at the limitless possibilities of science. “If there’s an influence on the album, it’s definitely ‘60s radiophonic,” Carter agrees. “Over the last few years I’ve also been listening to old English folk music, almost like a guilty pleasure, and so some of tracks on the album hark back to an almost ingrained DNA we have for those kinds of melodies. They’re not dissimilar to nursery rhymes in some ways.”

            That combination of traditional music and the backing track for exciting, potential futures gives tracks like ‘Moon Two’ and ‘Tangerines’ a sheen of inquisitiveness and quiet euphoria, while ‘Modularity’ and ‘Roane’ have an anxious, sci-fi noir charm. Elsewhere, the skewed voices of the meditative ‘Cernubicua’ add a calming, human note to the album, even if deciphering any specific lyrical content is largely impossible. “That's completely intentional,” says Carter. “Sleazy and I had worked together on ways of developing a sort of artificial singing using software and hardware. This was me trying to take it a step further. I've taken lyrics, my own voice or people's voices from a collection that I'd put together with Sleazy, and I’ve chopped them up and done all sorts of weird things with them.”

            Carter began the foundation work for what became CCCL Volume 1 in the years before Sleazy passed away in 2010, and the death of Carter’s fellow TG journeyman had a profound effect on the development of the album. “I’d been accumulating a lot of material, just tracks and elements of tracks, and I was going to start putting it together just before Sleazy died,” he says. “That’s what completely threw me, and that’s partly why it’s taken so long, because of dealing with the shock of that.” Carter describes going through a long grieving process which manifested itself in some of the darker, more introspective tracks appearing on the album.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: There aren't many driving forces in electronic music as influential as throbbing gristle, and Chris Carter's role cannot be understated. Here we get a distillation of his influences from minimal wave industrial into cosmic and krautrock. Brilliantly evocative and enthralling.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xColoured LP Info: Coloured vinyl LP one 'Frost Bite' and LP two 'Ash Grey'.

            2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            In the near-twenty year period of Rocket Recordings’ existence, its ethos has expanded in untold directions, yet always with the destruction of boundaries and the expansion of consciousness high on the agenda. Nonetheless, the original spirit of the label remains a universe that revolves around the twin planets of Fuzz and Wah - the mind-frying six-string duality that warps sound spectrums and overheats speaker cones in pursuit of reckless sensory overload.

            What’s more, few guitarists have been richer exponents of just these two ingredients than Paul Allen, who not only appeared on the very first Rocket 7” of 1998 with The Heads, but who also fronts Anthroprophh, an outfit who take both garage-bound filth and wayward, abstract artistry to zones beyond comprehension. ‘OMEGAVILLE’ - the third release on Rocket for this power trio alongside bassist Gareth Turner and drummer Jesse Webb - lives up to its name in driving just such demented predilections into head-spinning chaos. Structured by Allen’s admission akin to Can’s ‘Tago Mago’, this is a cliff-edge into sanity-risking overload which has much in common with the glory days of 1971- the Nurse-With-Wound list realm of record-collector gold where heavy rock, nascent prog and wilfully art-damaged netherscapes thrived. OMEGAVILLE’ finds equal space for everything-on-11 riffage of a distinctly Stoogian/stygian stripe, bracing musique concrete, Butthole Surfers-esque bedlam, Chrome-style sci-fi noise-pop, surreal British humour, and what sounds essentially like a ‘60s NASA HQ going up in flames.

            At the forefront of much of this, however, is Allen’s guitar playing itself - taking Hendrix and Asheton-esque shapes and warping them beyond recognition into new paradigms. Who’s to say exactly where Anthroprophh move on from this guileless aural endtime mission. Yet ‘OMEGAVILLE - in the tradition of most great out-rock and psych-noise - feels very much like a foot placed firmly on the accelerator in search of dimensions unknown - a liminal zone where fuzz and wah transcend space and time

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Thrashing, manic distortion, full-force psychedelia and thumping, heavy AF percussion. Anthroprophh are back.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            2xColoured LP Info: Limited green and black double entropy swirl vinyl.

            After the success of 'Galaxies Like Grains of Sand', Warren and Greg retreated back to the Isle of Wight to start work on long discussed concept album based on a fictional children's book The Honey Bear. Each track a chapter of the book, hypnotic folk pieces mixed with ambient field recordings that Warren and Greg collected around the beaches, cliffs and gardens of the island.

            They brought everything together at home, organically forming this beautiful ambient folk tale during the island's idyllic summer evenings. After finishing the initial mixes on the island they brought the tapes up to Scotland and overdubbed with Strings, Oboe and Flute. Whether your 5 or 50, the charm and beauty of The Honeybear is undeniable.

            Children fairytale book concept album
            Limited Edition pressing



            STAFF COMMENTS

            Millie says: The Honeybear beautifully captures the soft mystical tones of this harrowing ambient folk album following their previous record 'Galaxies Like Grain Of Sand'. The inspiration behind the album of it being a children’s fairytale, you can immediately get the sense of the whimsical innocence by the lovely fluttering of string instruments.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            LP Info: On transparent 'honey'coloured gold vinyl

            Cabbage have finally released their highly anticipated debut album, following on from a trio of EP's, released under the delightfully tactful 'Young, Dumb & Full Of...' (Rum, I assume.) 

            We start off with the thrashing garage rock of 'Preach To The Converted' with twanging distorted guitar and the sort of snarling vocals you could imagine being venemously spat from the edge of the stage before launching into the fuzzy off-kilter rock of Arms of Pleonexia, reminiscent of a younger Ty Segall swagging around the stage before a baying croud after one too many bottles of corner-shop white lightning. Things continue at this frenetic pace with 'Molotov Alcopop' providing a bit of nuanced rhythm before the gothic rock of 'Disinfect Us' suggests a more mature suite of influences, from the militant march and languid blues overtones of early White Stripes. 

            Further on, we get syncopated guitars over a meandering drum machine on the brilliantly swaying 'Pendurabo' and jangling hazy indie, topped with a curiously (but effectively) distorted vocal affectation over the top. 

            Brilliantly varied, but held together with a persistent narrative thread, 'Nihilistic Glamour Shots' lives up to the hype of the earlier 3 EP's, with a willingnes to experiment but a knowing nod to all of their numerous influences. 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Thrashing garage rock, thudding post-punk and jagged riffage all round, Cabbage manage to surpass their excellent musical form with a well-heeled and cleverly written debut.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: RSD stores exclusive limited edition red heavyweight vinyl.

            CD Info: Digi file soft pack inc pull out poster.

            Rising from the wreckage of a war torn planet, Czarface joins forces with MF Doom in the epic "Czarface Meets Metal Face"! Blending Doom's trademark abstractions and Czarface's in-your-face lyrical attack, this album is ripe with cartoon violence, societal observations and pop culture musings. Over banging beats provided by The Czar-Keys, the armored team give you the witty unpredictable treats any hip-hop fan can sink their fangs into. Expect beats, rhymes, and metal as Czarface controlled by Wu-Tang Clan powerhouse Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric team up with everyone's favorite villain, MF Doom.

            With track titles like "Nautical Depth","Meddle With Metal", "Astral Traveling" to "Madness of Badness" this album packs a punch with 16 brand new tracks. Add that with features from Open Mike Eagle and Jedi Mind Tricks' Vinnie Paz, we promise you mind-bending metaphors and brain-melting beats as this powerful pairing sounds off in March 2018! Long time rumored full length collaboration album from Czarface and MF Doom, fan favorite "Ka-Bang" from Czarface's 2015 sophomore LP "Every Hero Needs A Villain" had fans begging for more. Cover Art by clothing brand Mishka's head designer Lamour Supreme. Album features Vinnie Paz of the legendary Jedi Mind Tricks, and Open Mike Eagle, who's most recent album "Brick Body Kids Still Daydream" was on Rolling Stone & Pitchforks top 50 albums of 2017 list. The albums lead video "Meddle With Metal" done by Animation Firm TFU Studios who have worked with MF Doom prior on the "All Caps" video as well as with Mayer Hawthorne, Biz Markie, Cut Chemist and more! 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: As groundbreaking as you'd expect from artists of this calibre, Czarface and MF Doom provide a united and unflinchingly brilliant outing.

            After the smash success of Talking Drums, Delicate Wash become the latest in a new wave of cosmic collectors sifting through the pound bins and flea markets in search of tweakable tackle. Their debut release is a synth-heavy selection of spaced out jams, floating freely between the Balearic, Italo and disco realms. "Oh, Michela" opens the party in dreamy fashion, drifting through Laurel Canyon strum and somnolent groove like a long lost Fleetwood Mac experiment - destined to be big with Picko-d on a One Million Sunsets tip I reckon. From there we blast into the cosmos with the sparkling arps and disco shuffle of "Web Objects", a jazzy blend of funked up riffing and far out vibrations that'll have the dance floor soaring. Flip it for a little trip to the cosmic homeland with "Meravigliare Di Salvazione", another essential cosmic groover who's ribbiting bassline underpins all sorts of sci-fi madness in the synth department. Last but not least, "Christian Does It Better" drops us into the low slung swirl of the mirrorball dimension, serving wild sine waves and launch pad fx over a perfect marriage of bass and drums. You'll struggle to pick a favourite from this quartet of quality, but you'll be everyone's favourite DJ whichever track you drop.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Patrick says: Mega cosmic/Balearic tackle here from new outfit Delicate Wash. Synth-heavy and uber funky, these four cuts each explore a different corner of the dance floor universe while keeping the quality sky high. Don't miss out!

            New York-native songwriter Greta Kline has shared a bounty of her innermost thoughts and experiences via the massive number of songs she has released since 2011. Like many of her peers, Kline’s prolific output was initially born from the ease of bedroom recording and self-releasing offered by digital technology and the internet. But, as she’s grown as a writer and performer, devising more complex albums and playing to larger audiences, Kline has begun to make her mark on modern independent music. Her newest record, Vessel, is the 52nd release from Kline and the third studio album by her indie pop outfit Frankie Cosmos. On it, Kline explores all of the changes that have come in her life as a result of the music she has shared with the world, as well as the parts of her life that have remained irrevocable.

             Frankie Cosmos has taken several different shapes since their first full-band album, 2014’s Zentropy, erupted in New York’s DIY music scene. For Vessel the band’s lineup comprises multi-instrumentalists David Maine, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson, and Kline. The album’s 18 tracks employ a range of instrumentations and recording methods not found on the band’s prior albums, while maintaining the succinctly sincere nature of Kline’s songwriting. The album’s opening track, “Caramelize,” serves as the thematic overture for Vessel, alluding to topics like dependency, growth, and love, which reemerge throughout the record. Although many of the scenarios and personalities written about on Vessel are familiar territory for Frankie Cosmos, Kline brings a freshly nuanced point of view, and a desire to constantly question the latent meaning of her experiences. Kline’s dissonant lyrics pair with the band’s driving, jangly grooves to create striking moments of musical chemistry.
            Vessel’s 34-minute run time is exactly double the length of Frankie Cosmos’ breakout record, Zentropy, and it is an enormous leap forward. Typically, albums by artists at a similar stage in their careers are written with the weight of knowing that someone is on the other end listening. Yet, despite being fully aware of their ever-growing audience, Kline and band have written Vessel with a clarity not muddled by the fear of anyone’s expectations. Vessel’s unique sensibility, esoteric narratives, and reveling energy lace it comfortably in Kline’s ongoing musical auto-biography.

             Vessel was recorded in Binghamton, New York with Hunter Davidsohn, the producer and engineer who helped craft Zentropy and Next Thing, and at Gravesend Recordings in Brooklyn with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader. It features contributions from Alex Bailey (formerly of Warehouse, and now part of the live configuration of Frankie Cosmos), Vishal Narang (of Airhead DC), and singer/songwriter Anna McClellan, all of whom have played on bills with Frankie Cosmos and collaborated on-stage with the band. The final mixes were done by Davidsohn, and the album was mastered by Josh Bonati. 


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: Inventive chord progressions, hummable choruses and an innate understanding of melody, Kline is amongst the most bafflingly capable and intensely talented songwriters out there. Highly recommended.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Loser Indies Only Vinyl Colour = Translucent Blue!

            Whenyoung

            Pretty Pure

              The fourth release on Yala! Records. Whenyoung from Limerick release their second single and it's another sugar coated golden pop nugget that sparkles with a slick production and a song that demands repeated plays. Pretty Pure sits between the powerhouse sound of The Pixies and the indie jangle of Sleeper. On the flip The Collector starts all skeletal and delicate before things pick up and it moves in the same circle as some of Big moon's more delicate moments. It shows a different side to Whenyoung's canon. Both sides are worth the admission price alone.

              Graham Coxon

              The End Of The F***ing World (Original Songs And Score)

                The release of the debut original soundtrack score from Graham Coxon to accompany Channel 4/Netflix series ‘The End of the F***ing World’. .

                Recorded in Graham’ home studio in Summer 2017 the album was written, composed and performed by Coxon and marks Coxon’s original soundtrack debut. The first track to be released from the album is titled Walking All Day

                The project saw Coxon write over 40 original pieces for the show. He said:

                “There were days were I wrote and finished three or four new songs in a single day. It was mental, I’ve never worked to that kind of schedule before. But the creative process around observation and interpretation is one that is very familiar to me. I feel very comfortable reacting to things and adding my bit.

                And this show particularly appealed to both my appreciation of dark music as well as my dark sense of humour. It felt like a good fit.”

                The End of the F****ing World is an eight part darkly comic TV series based on the 2011 graphic novel by Charles Forsman which follows teenage runaways James and Alyssa (Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden) as they embark on a road trip across England. Directed by Jonathan Entwhislte and Lucy Tcherniak, the critically acclaimed series is described by Noisey as “Richard Ayoade's Submarine meets David Lynch's Wild At Heart with a splash of Black Mirror's bleakness and ink-black humour thrown in.”

                Flame 1

                Fog / Shrine

                The Bug and Burial come together like Voltron for two bass-bin heaters as Flame 1, cementing the first release on his freshly formed label Pressure. Following on from The Bug's recent sidewinding 12"s for Ninja Tune and a colossal album recorded with Earth, Fog / Shrine is possibly Kevin Martin's most soundsystem decimating collaboration yet, joining forces with the most elusive figure within the UK underground and Hyperdub mainstay, Burial. ‘Fog’ rolls along at half-speed steppers tempo, submerged deep within the roots 'n' future aesthetic of The Bug's signature beats, yet perfectly balanced by Burial's hollowed out and haunted night vision. ‘Shrine’ delves deeper inwards with the beats slowed to a crawl, the bassline hanging heavy in an atmosphere thick with smoke.

                Since their widely-acclaimed self-titled debut album released in 1999 Dead Meadow have released seven studio albums - three via Matador records (Shivering King and Others (2003), Feathers (2005), and Old Growth (2008)) and two live albums which includes Three Kings, a feature length live film and soundtrack. Their unique marriage of Sabbath riffs, dreamy layers of guitar-fuzz bliss with singer Jason Simon’s melodic croon has won over psychedelic pop/rock and stoner rock fans alike and with their new album The Nothing They Need (Xemu Records) the band show that in 2018, they continue to fuse their love of early-’70s hard rock and ’60s psychedelia into their own distinct sound.

                The album was recorded in Dead Meadows’ studio/rehearsal space, The Wiggle Room and it celebrates twenty years of the band with eight songs that feature everyone that has been musically involved with the band over the years. Jason and Steve Kille are joined by original drummer Mark Laughlin, Stephen McCarty ( the drummer throughout the Matador years), and current drummer Juan Londono. Cory Shane joins them on guitar for some Feathers era dual guitar interplay.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Woozy, warbling guitars and throbbing bass kicks bolster the psychedelic maelstrom that only Dead Meadow could provide. A wholly mesmerising trip through progressive psychedelia and staggered rock. Superb.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                In creating Freedom, McMahon brought in a powerful set of collaborators and old friends. Along with core band members, including Parker Kindred (Antony & The Johnsons, Jeff Buckley) on drums, came Chris Coady (Beach House) as producer, and Delicate Steve on guitars. This is the first Amen Dunes record that looks back to the electronic influences of McMahon’s youth with the aid of revered underground musician Panoram from Rome, who finds his place as a significant, if subtle, contributor to the record. The bulk of the songs were recorded at Electric Lady in New York, and finished at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, where McMahon, Nick Zinner, and session bass player Gus Seyffert (Beck, Bedouine) fleshed out the recordings.

                On the surface, Freedom is a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording. The characters that populate the musical world of the album are a colourful mix of reality and fantasy. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past.

                Yet, if anything, these eleven songs are a relinquishing of all of them through exposition; a gradual reorientation of being away from the acquired definitions of self we all cling to and towards something closer to what's stated in the Agnes Martin quote that opens the record, “I don’t have any ideas myself; I have a vacant mind” and in the swirling, pitched down utterances of “That's all not me” that close it.

                “Miki Dora was arguably the most gifted and innovative surfer of his generation and the foremost opponent of surfing’s commercialization. He was also a lifelong criminal and retrograde: a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche. He was a living contradiction; both a symbol of free-living and inspiration, and of the false heroics American culture has always celebrated. With lyrics of regret and redemption at the end of one’s youth, the song is about Dora, and McMahon, but ultimately it is a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions.” – Damon McMahon.


                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Coloured LP Info: Limited navy blue vinyl edition.

                Various Artists

                The Voyager Golden Record

                  In 1977, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and into the mysteries of interstellar space. Attached to each of these probes is a beautiful golden phonograph record containing a message for any extraterrestrial intelligence that might encounter it, perhaps billions of years from now. This enchanting artifact, known as the Voyager Golden Record, may be the last vestige of our civilization after we are gone forever. Curated by a visionary committee led by Carl Sagan, the golden record tells a story of our planet expressed in music, sounds, images, and science. Etched on the record’s gold-plated aluminum jacket is a diagram explaining where it came from and how to play it.

                  The golden record was a gift from humanity to the cosmos. But it is also a gift to humanity. It’s a reminder of what we can achieve when we are at our best—and that our future really is up to all of us.


                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  3xColoured LP Info: * Three translucent gold 140 gram vinyl LPs in poly-lined paper sleeves.
                  * Three heavyweight jackets, gold ink on black.
                  * Full-color 96-page softcover book containing all images included on the original Voyager Interstellar Record, gallery of images transmitted back from the Voyager probes, and a new essay by Timothy Ferris, producer of the original golden record.
                  * Gold foil print of Voyager Golden Record cover diagram, archival paper, 12″ × 12″.
                  * Voyager trajectories turntable mat.

                  FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

                  Big Brother, Dom Jolly, Playstation 2, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Ronaldo, weak pills and cheap skunk, 3310s, foot and mouth, Soham and Pual Burrell - that was the world when "Original Pirate Material" first dropped in 2002 - blowing up Kazaa and Audiogalaxy and finding its way to your mate's CD player on an iffy CDr. To say it was a breath of fresh air is an understatement, this groundbreaking album filled the air with a green fug, challenged the yanks for the MCing crown and twisted the polished sheen of UKG into a laptop-crafted fusion of skanking bass and housey beats. While breakthough hit "Has It Come To This?", "Turn The Page" and "Let's Push Things Forward" remain era-defining anthems, every single track here is the tits. "Sharp Darts" sounds like an utterly wrong Wu Tang joint, "Same Old Thing" and "Geezer's Need Excitement" are rough, tough and proper grimey and "It's Too Late" is bloke-poetry on a heartbreaking anthem tip. Elsewhere "Don't Mug Yourself" royally takes the piss out of you on the back of the bus and "The Irony Of It All" offers a hilarious review of boozed up townies and stoned students. And then there's "Weak Become Heroes", the e'd up ravers anthem that's still the best track of that decade. 

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Patrick says: A lot's changed since 2002, but "Original Pirate Material" retains a flawless, genre defining classic and the best thing Mike Skinner's ever done. Stick it on, and stick your middle finger up at the Criminal Justice Bill - mega!

                  When faced with the unenviable task of following up the instant classic that was his genre defining debut, Mike Skinner decided to channel his observational lyricism and home made beats into a concept album about a geezer on holiday, on the prowl, on the con and out of luck. Whereas 'Original Pirate Material' was a record that garnered acclaim from the electronic / dance fraternity and the forward-thinking wings of the rock / mainstream press, 'A Grand Don’t Come For Free' swept the board in prompting critical praise. This was the album that saw Skinner compared to the likes of Ray Davies and Paul Weller in evoking the glorious mess of everyday life. A striking concept album set to an inventive sonic backdrop, the seemingly prosaic tale of a young man unlucky in love (and, so it seems, money) is brought brilliantly to life in a barrage of astute lyrics, lurid tales and memorable hooks. Deservedly awarded a 9.1 review from Pitchfork, the record sees Skinner reveal his most vulnerable self: 'Dry Your Eyes' and 'Blinded By The Lights', in particular, manage to articulate painfully familiar feelings that appeal to music fans of every hue. This record marked Skinner’s creative peak, received international acclaim and, thanks to its distinctiveness, propelled its maker to the top of the musical tree.


                  Theater De Kreet was a short lived theatre collective that existed between 1979 and 1981. In that period the troupe presented just one performance, a musical called 'Adeline' which had a run of six shows during 1981.

                  The members of Theater De Kreet were originally part of a bigger group called Grasgroen, which was founded by art history students from the Leuven University. The collective mainly focused on so called ‘animations’ in the public space. After a while, Grasgroen split into two different groups (theatre and performance), and Theater De Kreet came into existence. Its core members were Walter Verdin, Guy Dermul, Hilde Wils, Gaby Geysens and Nicole Boffin. Mainly using improvisatory methods, the collective started working on 'Adeline' in 1979. The premiere took place in October 1981 and was met with very mixed critical reviews. Walter Verdin was in charge of the music for 'Adeline'. Originally an art history and visual art student, Verdin was introduced to the Belgian music scene through his record sleeve and poster designs. Prior to the music for 'Adeline', he released a solo album and a 7” white man reggae project with Grasgroen ('Storingen' by Specimen & The Rizikoos). Later in his career, he had his biggest commercial success with Pas de deux, the band that represented Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest in Munich (1983). After the Pas de deux adventure, Verdin gave up on popular music and had a blooming career in video art, working on video concerts and installations and later on with renowned theatre and dance companies from all over the world.

                  To write the soundtrack for 'Adeline', Verdin took to the studio of the Audiovisual Services of the KU Leuven, which was his audio and video laboratorium for around 20 years, and subsequently to the ICP Recording Studios in Brussels for post-production. Verdin & co. didn't compose behind a writing desk or a piano. Music for them meant playing - with an instrument, but also with non-traditional instruments. The spring of a desk lamp for instance, could be used to produce music too. 

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Patrick says: Stroom just don't slip up! The Belgian label keep us coming back with a wonderful collection of improvisational electronic grooves from Pas De Deux man Walter Verdin. Combining all your favourite bits of minimal wave, Balearic, synth funk and cosmic pop, the eight tracks on "Voor Adeline" are the kind of wonderful oddities that litter all the best mixtapes.

                  Cavern Of Anti-Matter return for their third studio album on their own Duophonic label. Hormone Lemonade sees the band heavily utilising the sounds of modular synths and home built drum machines, yet still keeping the loose, improvised sound familiar to fans of their first two albums, with minimal guitar melodies and live drum kit helping to build hypnotic layers of texture.

                  The albums genesis was in the self-constructed rhythm machines of band member Holger Zapf, the Taktron Z3 and Taktron Z2, being recorded to tape during three one-hour sessions. These sessions also included the use of 70s Hohner and Eko drum machines. Holger played his parts in a free-form way and the bpm varied wildly as it was not possible to sync it to any outside controllers.

                  Tim Gane edited these initial jams into useable chunks and proceeded to overdub each new rhythmic “chunk” with some basic musical ideas, keeping in tune to the hum of the machines and retaining the “feel” of the inherent pulse. Joe Dilworth arrived to lay down a beat over these minimal backing tracks, going with the flow as best he could.

                  In the following months the music was fleshed out using various synths and sequencers from Roland, Arp, Oberheim and Holger’s modular synth set up. As well as many of the bass and sequencer parts the modular also supplied the chords by tuning each one of it’s five oscillators to specific notes and intervals.



                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Another superb outing for COAM, with the throbbing synth pulses and hypnotic motorik beats returning with aplomb. Things take a little more of an orchestral turn this time, with simmering progressions halting to make room for nuanced passages of ambient bliss. Incredible.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Clear Vinyl 2LP in mirriboard sleeve with printed insert, includes download card.

                  Ltd LP Info: Black Vinyl 2LP in mirriboard sleeve with printed insert, includes download card.

                  Boarding House Reach sees Jack White expanding his musical palate with perhaps his most ambitious work thus far, a collection of songs that are simultaneously timeless and modern. Written and conceived while holed up in a Spartan apartment with literally no outside world distractions, White exclusively used the same kind of gear he had when he was 15 years old (a quarter-inch four-track tape recorder, a simple mixer, and the most basic of instrumentation). The album explores a remarkable range of sonic terrain - crunching rock 'n' roll, electro and hard funk, proto punk, hip hop, gospel blues, and even country - all remapped and born anew to fit White's matchless vision and sense of restless experimentation. Boarding House Reach is a testament to the breadth of Jack White's creative power and his bold artistic ambition.

                  Boarding House Reach was produced by Jack White III and recorded at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, Sear Sound in New York, NY, and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, CA; the album was mixed by Bill Skibbe, Joshua V. Smith, and White at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Existential questions, grooving rock and/or roll riffage, White's unmistakable vocals, and an impeccable attention to detail. Thoroughly brilliant, and completely essential. Get this up your ears.

                  Preoccupations’ songs have always worked through themes of creation, destruction, and futility, and they’ve always done it with singular post-punk grit. The textures are evocative and razor-sharp. The wire is always a live one. But while that darker side may have been well-explored, that’s not quite the same as it being fully, intensely lived. This time it was, and the result is ’New Material’, a collection that broadens and deepens Preoccupations to a true mastery of their sound. In it lies the difference between witnessing a car crash and crashing your own, between jumping into an ocean and starting to swallow the water.

                  “It’s an ode to depression,’ singer Matt Flegel says plainly. “To depression and self-sabotage, and looking inward at yourself with extreme hatred.” Typically resilient, the months leading up to recording ‘New Material’ brought a new order of magnitude to feelings that had been creeping up on Flegel for some time. He’d written bits and pieces of lyrics through the course of it, small snippets he hadn’t assigned to any one thought or feeling but were emblematic of a deeper issue, something germinating that was dense and numb and fully unshakeable. As the band began writing music, that process gave shape to the sheer tonnage of what he’d been carrying. With virtually nothing written or demoed before the band sat down together, the process was more collaborative than before. It was almost architectural, building some things up, tearing others down to the beams, sitting down and writing songs not knowing what they were about. But for Flegel, it led to a reckoning. “Finishing ‘Espionage’ was when I realized,” says Flegel. “I looked at the rest of the lyrics and realized the magnitude of what was wrong.”

                  ‘New Material’ builds a world for that feeling, playing through its layers and complexities while hiding almost nothing. That inscrutable side is part of the magic, here, and a necessary counterweight to the straight-jab clarity of Flegel’s lyrics. You can deep-dive the lyrics or zone into a riff; you can face it or you can get lost in it. “My ultimate goal would be to make a record where nobody knows what instrument is playing ever,” says multi-instrumentalist Scott Munro, “and I think we’ve come closer than ever, here. It shouldn’t sound robotic — it should sound human, like people playing instruments. It’s just maybe no one knows what they are.”

                  Opener “Espionage” lives up to Munro’s goals, kicking off with a clattering, rhythmic echo that gives way to sprinting percussion and a melody in the orbit of Manchester’s classics. “Manipulation” explores the futility of going through the motions, balancing a droney, minimal march with a thunder roll that brings it to the brink, and to the doomed romantic declaration, “please don’t remember me like I’ll always remember you.” “Disarray” bursts up like a blackened confetti cannon, the song’s undeniably bright melody dancing over a refrain of “disarray, disarray, disarray” and literally nothing else. “A lot of this is about futility,” he says, “trying to find something where there’s nothing to be found.” That hunt turns into a search-and-destroy mission on “Decompose”, a tense, speedy, “blow yourself up and start again” type of song, the very picture of creation and destruction, as Flegel writes “for better or worse, we are cursed in the ways that we tend to be.” And while calling an album ’New Material’ might seem like a smartass move, the truth is it’s as matter-of-fact a title as Espionage, Disarray, or anything else on the record. Why fight that?

                  If the through-line unifying Preoccupations’ work is a furious, almost punishing cyclical quality, ‘New Material’ does offer some relief. “This is somehow the most uptempo thing we’ve ever done,” observes Flegel. That propulsive, itchy quality rescues ‘New Material’ from the proverbial bottom of the pit. To write these songs is to force oneself to reignite, to play them is to stand up and reengage. Closer “Compliance” may not seem revelatory on first listen, but it is deeply elemental, a crucial finale and the band’s first standalone instrumental. Original versions were built to death, reexamined and re-destroyed until they landed on just two chords — something simple, fundamental — and resolved to make meaning out of that, to show instead of tell. Flegel acknowledges it is more affecting to him than any other song on the record. It’s not redemption, more like a forced reprieve.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: One of the greatest modern post-punk outfits return for one of their most blistering outings yet.Atmospheric and ambient in parts, and downright catatonic in others, this is the sound of a band at the peak of their game.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive grey and black splatter vinyl.

                  The highly anticipated follow up to Courtney Marie Andrews' critically acclaimed 2017 breakthrough album, Honest Life.
                  Courtney Marie Andrews’ new full-length album, May Your Kindness Remain, will be released March 23 on Loose in the UK & Europe and Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recording Co. in the USA. In advance of the release, the album’s title track is premiered as part of NPR Music’s “Songs We Love” series.
                  Produced by Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits), the album was recorded over eight days at a rented house-turned-studio in L.A.
                  UK fans fell for Courtney’s breakthrough album Honest Life last year, when as the BBC put it, she became an “overnight success” after 10 years trying to break into the business. UK media such as The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times compared her music to the work of classic artists such as Guy Clark, John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Glen Campbell alongside modern references such as Laura Marling and Julie Byrne. The album became one of the biggest breakthrough records of 2017 in the UK, with 4-5 star reviews from publications including Daily Telegraph, Uncut, Mojo and Q Magazine, as well as reaching #1 on the Official U.K. Americana Chart Independent Album Breakers Chart. In April 2017, Andrews made her debut on the BBC’s legendary “Later…With Jools Holland” programme.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: A beautiful mix of deep Americana, new country and the forward thrust of todays melodic indie, Courtney Marie Andrews has not failed to impress yet, and 'May Your Kindness...' is no different. Stunning.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive gold vinyl edition.

                  Co-produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait (who also mixed the record) and HC-producer Matt Molnar of Friends, Twentytwo in Blue shows Sunflower Bean stay true to their guitar band core and classic rock-inspired roots, while exploring new sonic textures with more direct and progressive themes. Unlike their debut, which was essentially a compilation of songs Sunflower Bean wrote while still in their teens, Twentytwo in Blue was made in the year between December 2016 and December 2017 and showcases how far the band has come since playing together in their high school days.

                  Sunflower Bean find a sublime maturity and progression to their sound and songwriting on Twentytwo in Blue. If there was a ragged beauty in the gauzy, groovy wall of sound of Human Ceremony, there’s a new directness to these songs, a product of the band’s growth and the insanity of the times we’re in. Sunflower Bean have gained a newly confident voice that they bring to the second album, one that doesn’t shy away from addressing the other events of those two years—political changes and cultural shifts that have left America and the world stupefied. “This has been such an unbelievable time,” says Kivlen. “I can’t imagine any artist of our ilk making a record and not have it be seen through the lens of the political climate of 2016 and 2017. So I think there’s a few songs on the record that are definitely heavily influenced by this sort of—whatever you want to say what the Trump administration has been.” “A shit show,” offers a helpful Faber.

                  Ultimately, this record is much more than a political statement or piece of commentary on today’s political climate. “I think one word that always comes to mind when I think about this record is lovable,” says Cumming. “We want the songs to be something that someone can get attached to, and have be a part of them. Because that’s what I look for in songs myself, and that’s the kind of experience we want to give to others.”

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Andy says: Not indie, but beautiful classic rock/pop from NYC's next big thing. With elements of sublime Pretenders-on-autopilot, Fleetwood Mac and even occasional Glam crunchers, this super- melodic 3 piece basically bring pristine jangling and classic riffing to superbly written pop songs, all sweetly delivered by lead singer Julia Cummings. It's a really good record.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive blue vinyl. Includes signed postcard while stocks last.

                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Bonny Doon

                  Longwave

                    Arriving in the early months of 2017, Bonny Doon’s self-titled debut was a warm introduction to the band for many. Hazy and bright, the album’s woozy melodies and swirling webs of summery guitar textures were easily ingested as low-key slacker pop. But the nonchalant breeziness belied a serious attention to songcraft, and hinted at depths yet unexplored. Lo and behold, before the ink was even dry on the first record, work had already begun on its follow-up Longwave, a conscious about-face from the sonic experimentation of the first album, and a journey inward.

                    In the spring of 2016 the band decamped to a remote part of Michigan, nesting near the evocatively named Mystic Lake, and spent a week uprooting former approaches and reinventing their sound anew. Moving into more improvisational territory, they wrote quickly and from the hip, using repetitive chord structures to aid in spontaneous generation. Attracted to the session’s spacious arrangements and unaffected sounds, they immediately went into the studio to capture the material. Working for the first time outside of home recording settings with engineer Bill Skibbe and longtime friend and collaborator Shelley Salant, the experience allowed for a focused concentration on bringing the intrinsic spirit of the group to the surface. Opting for spontaneity and simplicity over the exploration of layers and textures that defined the first record, the band architected an incredibly intimate sound for these new songs.

                    The album was tracked with minimal overdubs or production flourishes, constructing a frame that is spare and understated in the same way as the twilight-tinted third Velvet Underground album or the rusty glow of Bill Fay’s Time Of Last Persecution. These sessions aimed to capture the band at their essence. With the superfluous stripped away, a gentle but steadfast spiritual core is revealed as the backbone of Bonny Doon’s cosmic American music.



                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Laura says: This is absolutely gorgeous: cosmic Americana that brings to mind Piccadilly favourites Kingsbury Manx. The songs have a languid, almost melancholic feel, but the super melodic guitar melodies that weave around the dead-pan vocals make

                    After blowing my mind with a couple of expert edit 12"s over recent months, Parisian crew of diggers and DJ’s Discomatin go official with fully licensed and remastered reissues. For this new adventure, they chose an incredible in-demand French boogie EP from Diva, an eighties funk band from Bordeaux. Diva only released only one EP "La Nuit", a sentimental, almost poetic boogie banger with great synth, guitar and vocal parts. The track could honestly have been a radio hit in the eighties with some real promotion. Today, it’s still time to make it right and it is already an anthem in the French underground disco scene. Originally on the B-side of the 1985 original release on Cactus, "La Nuit" is here available with its two different versions (12’’ and 7’’ mix) and comes also with “Prise Au Piège”, a more synth-pop influenced funk track which gave its name to the original release. The band was formed by Gabrielle Andriampanana, Alex Louisor and Olivier Renoir. Before Diva, these last two already played together in the local new-wave band Bolton (twinned with Le Mans remember!) which was one of the first of the area to use synthetisers. Even if they had a small recognition at the time, the original release stood quite underground. Thanks to Discomatin, it’s now available to the real connoisseurs and still with the fantastic illustrations of French artist Camille de Cussac on the back cover.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: Anyone who's seen my summer wardrobe (socks, sandals, pastel shorts and an Aloha shirt) could probably guess that I'm all over this! Parisian diggers Discomatin make my month complete with a great reissue of this sunkissed boogie Francais, nicely spiced with the kind of gauche, holiday on the continent naffness I adore! Tres Balearic!

                    Cosmic Ground

                    Legacy / The Plague

                    More from Dirk Jan Muller's incredible Cosmic Ground project. Two cuts taken off the most revered, self titled LP from 2014. “Legacy” (Dirk’s first ever piece using the Cosmic Ground moniker) and a rawer, earlier mix (previously unreleased) of “The Plague”. Both remastered by Dirk for this release in 2018.

                    Two wonderfully enveloping, side long pieces, epic in ambition and breadth, which again showcase Dirk’s mastery of the revered Berlin School groove, heavy on leanings to Schulze, Froese and Co. yet instantly and incessantly of it’s time now. Fiery, evocative soundscapes which is some of the strongest in its class. Magical, sequencer heavy, electronic psych: hike up the volume to the max and off you go into the stratosphere.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Matt says: Brooding and fiery synthscapes from supreme sound harnesser Cosmic Ground on the always delectable Deep Distance.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Mini LP Info: Edition of 300 on vinyl only for Deep Distance.

                    Following the freak beat festival of Wolf and Wandt’s ‘Instrumentalmusik’ comes a release that’s been in the pipeline since the organic imprint first took root; the first reissue of the beautiful ’Señora’. Beguiling and brilliant, this private press princess makes you want to dance, dream and do cartwheels, then breaks your heart when you realise you’ll never meet her - a rare beauty indeed. So it’s time to let Basso play cupid and introduce you to the love of your life.

                    Eagle eyed associates might recognise the sleeve as Basso’s everyday avatar, chosen in tribute to his favourite jazz-funk record of all time. Originally released in limited quantities back in 1981, the self titled ‘Señora’ was the sole release from a quartet of German groove greats, coming together in one ecstatic union of rhythmic precision, smooth riffing and melodic mastery.
                    Take opener ‘Paul’ for example; a continent away from the West End, this sublime slice of raw guitar, silken keys and gliding bass could have made Mel Cheren proud. From there we’re taken on a journey through the syncopated slide of the jazzy ‘My Way, Your Way’, the samba sway of the mild and mellow ‘Easy Going’ and the poetic piano of ‘Pearl’, a triumphantly esoteric tone poem to close the A-side. ‘Señora’ ups the tempo on the flipside, galloping through tight triplets, fusion guitar and mind expanding synth play. The B2 brings a strolling bassline and tender tonality, executed with all the ease of the Sunday morning which dawns on the extended and expansive cooler which brings the LP to its final emotional release.

                    Light a candle, change the linen and put the rosé on chill, you’re about to fall in love with Señora.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Patrick says: Gorgeous, glorious and groovy, 'Señora' is the German jazz-funk holy grail, long lusted after but only rarely spotted. Now, thanks to Hamburg's Growing Bin, you can finally put this masterpiece of rhythmic precision, melodic magic and soothing samba on your turntable and in your ears.

                    Jazzman soars over to Japan with the latest release of Spiritual Jazz of the 20th Century. The liberating force of jazz has been created and felt all around the world, but few nations on earth embraced the jazz message with the passion and intensity of Japan. From the dawn of the jazz age to the present day, Japanese audiences have been renowned tastemakers, enthusiasts and champions of the music – in the 1980s, Japan was the biggest per capita market in the world for jazz records, and it has even been said that Japanese jazz fans kept the jazz record industry alive through the lean years of the 1970s, when the music fell from commercial favour in the land of its birth. But while the jazz aficionados of Japan are celebrated as sophisticated fans and consumers of the music, comparatively little is known outside Japan of the remarkable and abundant music produced by generations of Japanese jazz musicians. Numerous Japanese jazzers have found enormous success on the international stage – Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sadao Watanabe, Teramasu Hino, and many others are household names among jazz listeners all over the world, and with good reason. But if such global figures are put aside, the stunning heritage of Japanese jazz remains poorly understood outside Japan. As a result, the work of many celebrated Japanese jazumen has remained largely unknown to international audiences, and the extraordinary scope and depth of Japanese jazz has not been widely recognised.



                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Millie says: Soothingly smooth jazz with a twist, a clear winner has to be the version of ‘My Favourite Things’, pure joy!

                    Jazzman soars over to Japan with the latest release of Spiritual Jazz of the 20th Century. The liberating force of jazz has been created and felt all around the world, but few nations on earth embraced the jazz message with the passion and intensity of Japan. From the dawn of the jazz age to the present day, Japanese audiences have been renowned tastemakers, enthusiasts and champions of the music – in the 1980s, Japan was the biggest per capita market in the world for jazz records, and it has even been said that Japanese jazz fans kept the jazz record industry alive through the lean years of the 1970s, when the music fell from commercial favour in the land of its birth. But while the jazz aficionados of Japan are celebrated as sophisticated fans and consumers of the music, comparatively little is known outside Japan of the remarkable and abundant music produced by generations of Japanese jazz musicians. Numerous Japanese jazzers have found enormous success on the international stage – Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sadao Watanabe, Teramasu Hino, and many others are household names among jazz listeners all over the world, and with good reason. But if such global figures are put aside, the stunning heritage of Japanese jazz remains poorly understood outside Japan. As a result, the work of many celebrated Japanese jazumen has remained largely unknown to international audiences, and the extraordinary scope and depth of Japanese jazz has not been widely recognised.



                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Millie says: Following on from Part 1, Spiritual Jazz continues to reach for the most beautiful sounds from Japan to present on this stunning record.

                    Hatis Noit

                    Illogical Dance

                      Japanese vocal performer Hatis Noit releases her enigmatic EP Illogical Dance via Erased Tapes. The arresting 4-track record creates unique song-worlds with transcendent vocal interpretations that at once deconstruct and recombine Western Classical, Japanese folk and nature’s own ambience atmosphere. Illogical Dance also features Björk-collaborators Matmos, who were so impressed with Hatis Noit’s recordings, they volunteered to edit the lead track Illogical Lullaby.
                      Hailing from the distant Shiretoko, a small town in Hokkaido, which is the largest island in north Japan, Hatis Noit’s accomplished range is astonishingly self-taught, inspired by everything she could find from Gagaku — Japanese classical music — and operatic styles, Bulgarian and Gregorian chanting, to avant-garde and pop vocalists. The sounds she created on Illogical Dance, co-produced by Haruhisa Tanaka and Matmos, bring to mind the experimental vocal patterns of Meredith Monk with the attentive production of Holly Herndon. It was at the age of 16, during a trek in Nepal to the Buddha’s birthplace, when she realised singing was her calling. While staying at a women’s temple in Lumbini, one morning on a walk Hatis Noit heard someone singing. On further investigation it was a female monk singing Buddhist chants, alone. The sound moved her so intensely she was instantly aware of the visceral power of the human voice; a primal and instinctive instrument that connects us to the very essence of humanity, nature and our universe.

                      The name Hatis Noit itself is taken from Japanese folklore, meaning the stem of the lotus flower. The lotus represents the living world, while its root the spirit world, therefore Hatis Noit is what connects the two. For Hatis Noit, music represents the same netherworld with its ability to move and transport us to the other side; the past, a memory, our subconscious. It is the same for Illogical Dance, a set of transformative songs that taps into our most primal instincts.

                      “The human voice is our oldest, most primal yet most powerful instrument. I use it to describe nature’s many sounds, a language that isn’t logical. Yet it forms a beautiful conversation that isn’t restricted to words like the human language is. I want my music to remind us of that.” — Hatis Noit
                      Wanting to interpret and mimic the sounds Hatis Noit hears in nature, Illogical Dance is as unpredictable, beautiful and mysterious as the world around us. Each track is made up from multi layers of vocals, all improvised and without words, before being carefully pieced together. Astonishingly no samples are used throughout, even the sound of crushing leaves came from Hatis Noit’s own vocal chords. The result is a stunning array of sound sculptures that see her switching between multiple styles with great ease. From the sweet operatics on Illogical Lullaby, the manipulated vocal loops duplicating electronic production on Anagram c.i.y. to the primordial chanting call to arms of Angelus Novus, a 10-minute odyssey that features whispering and leaves crunching, it showcases Hatis Noit’s full range and introduces a truly original artist. 

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: A stunning, complex mix of vocal layering, serene ambience and brittle, modern-classical compositions that could really be on no other label than the legendary Erased Tapes.

                      After the well deserved critical success of Tornado Wallace's 'Lonely Planet' (No.5 in the only chart that matters...) Running Back enlist a crack team of remix heroes to transform the Talk Talk-inspired Balearic pop of "Today" and the new age thrust of "Trance Encounters" into the floor filling club cuts the DJs have been dying for. First among equals is Versatile boss I:Cube, who calls on decades of dance floor experience to twist "Today" into a esoteric, Asiatic, Balearic house groover awash with precision percussion and a rolling boogie bassline. So far so fantastic, but then the Frenchman blows us away with his beats mix, a rambunctious rhythm track topped with fx soaked vocal idents and mixed to within an inch of its life. Say YES! Elsewhere, semi-professional sommelier and deep house deity Move D delivers his own version of "Today", treating the light and airy elements of the OG to a burrowing bassline and pulsating 4/4, before Prins Thomas offers an interdimensional acid disco overhaul of "Trance Encounters", reminding everyone exactly why he's the Prins.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Patrick says: I'm having this! The best bits of our No.5 LP of 2017 get pulled apart and re-rendered by I:Cube, Prins Thomas and Move D. Expect deep house drama, Balearic bounce, lysergic space disco and powerhouse percussion across these four mixes...

                      I first heard "Tick Of The Clock" on Chromatics' 2007 LP "Night Drive", tucked away amid a variety of Italo disco rompers and synth pop serenades to provide a moment of Carpenter style suspense. So far, so brilliant, but the track really came into its own when Nicolas Winding Refn picked it out to soundtrack a particularly intense chase scene in the neo-noir classic Drive. This new two-tone 12" features that condensed "Film Edit", a chuggy, lo-fi, drum-machine-heavy cut with a gorgeous bassline and intricate atmospherics, alongside two new versions; the Visione The Stroke Of Midnight edit is louder and packs a meaner punch in its groove; the extended overdrive mix goes back to the original but plays around with the arrangement more, darting in and out of the dark for added suspense.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Patrick says: One of the finest moments in the Italians Do It Better gets a welcome revisit here, as the Carpenter styled "Tick Of The Clock" finally gets its moment in the spotlight. Alongside an extended version which flips the arrangement for added drama, we have the condensed intensity of the "Drive" version alongside the Daft Punk punch of Visione's chugging re-edit.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd 12" Info: 180g vinyl pressed on ultra-clear dipped in icy blue vinyl.

                      Holger Czukay

                      Cinema

                        “Holger has been probably the best editor with tape I ever came across,” says producer and recording engineer René Tinner, who worked closely with his studio partner Czukay from the seventies to the nineties. “He could have 90 or 100 slices of tape on a table, and he could by magic put them back together with music, perfectly. In that, he was a pure master.”

                        The music in this box set does indeed demonstrate masterful arrangements of sounds and sources, movement and melody, humour and seriousness, that can well be described as magical. It is also a set of unpredictable keys and ciphers, revealing a unique worldview where high artistic rigour meets continual openness to chance and serendipity. In this, Holger not only cut and pasted music, but time, place and mindsets, when such things in popular culture were not only technically near impossible, but virtually unprecedented. (Ian Harrison / Mojo)

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        4xLP Box Set Info: This boxset contains 5 vinyl including previously unreleased material, a DVD, a VinylVideo, a lush 36page booklet and a download code

                        FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

                        Stupendously strong album (debut?) from The Maghreban here. His dusky grooves, heavy bass pressure and clanking drum breaks sound like they were dredged from the bottom of the river Nile, imbued with a maverick, before being laced with a dramatic tension more akin to a sci-fi apocalypse movie.

                        Ayman Rostom has previously released on his own label, Zoot, as well as Versatile and Black Acre - carving out a distinctive and engaging sound which has seen him garner some seriously devoted fans. Also known as acclaimed hip-hop producer Dr Zygote (also one half of Eglo’s Strange U), Rostom is already a favourite of Benji B, Ben UFO, Nicolas Jaar, Trevor Jackson and many others.

                        After the extended clamor for a Maghreban long player R&S happily enlisted this dynamic star onto their roster: 'The 12” format is great for the club, but I wanted to go a bit deeper with it, and explore different moods and ideas,' Rostom explains. Packed with richly satisfying cuts, the album draws on the producer's usual musical themes; 90s home counties rave, '93 dark jungle, 80s steppers reggae, broken beat, dark modal jazz, colonial afro rock and psychedelia - uniting such a collection of influences under a concise and coherent aesthetic. 'I make heavy, dark music.. I think growing up with some Arabic music allowed me to appreciate minor key stuff. And the Arabic music is big and dramatic. It’s one reason I liked death metal and hip-hop in my early teens alongside old hardcore/rave and jungle. It’s all heavy, head banging music. I’m usually trying to make the heaviest sounding thing that I can.' Joined by a stellar cast of guests including Brighton based songstress Victoria Port of Anushka, Zimbabwean vocalist Rutendo Machiridza, rapper A-F-R-O, and best friend Gatto Fritto, "01Deas" skirts around mystic themes and modern production, yet due to certain production processes (sampling from cassette, old mixing desks etc), there's a familiar sense of dance music history permeating through the tracks; like your discovering a long forgotten species that's actually existed, undisturbed, in the depths of some unknown rainforest for eternity; its fruits and riches only just coming into focus to us as we slowly enter the environment. Excellent stuff here - most recommended.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: A smörgåsbord of world rhythms and bass, The Maghreban opens the lid off a cauldron of influences and atmospheres.

                        Mark Pritchard returns with ‘The Four Worlds’, an eight-track collection further exploring the sonic worlds first encountered on 2016’s opus "Under The Sun". Mark has once again collaborated with acclaimed visual artist Jonathan Zawada on artwork and visuals.

                        "The Four Worlds" features a collection of underground poets and musicians including Colorado’s psychedelic heroine Space Lady on "S.O.S" and eighties cult radio artist Gregory Whitehead on "Come Let Us".

                        Mark Pritchard has been releasing music under different guises for nearly three decades (Global Communication, Reload, Africa Hitech, Harmonic 313, Harmonic 33, to name a few). Mark has become a figurehead in his field with artists such as Thom Yorke, Linda Perhacs, The Space Lady, Bibio, Clark and Wiley all queuing up to work with him. Luckily for long term fans, there's still bucket loads of underground spirit permeating through the album. "Glasspops" opens with one of his characteristic, growling sawtooths, paired with technoid perc and a steady incline it introduces the rest of the album's smaller missives perfectly, occupying most of side A and building the air of anticipation and drama perfectly for what follows - a haunting set of poems matched with sublimely astute sound design! From Gregory Whitehead's occultist delivery on "Come Let Us" to the instantly celestial hymnal of "The Arched Window", the air of otherworldliness and spirituality is omnipresent throughout. We're loving this concept here at Picc HQ - it's great to finally see some dramatic spoken word interwoven with sound design and sonic textures so well. 


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: The last outing from Pritchard gained a hefty following in the shop, and this one is set to do the same. Deep, rhythmic basslines, outsider electronics and snapping bitcrushed percussion all form together into a brilliantly engrossing whole.

                        When Acid Jazz founder Eddie Piller asked Martin Freeman (‘The Hobbit’, ‘Sherlock’, ‘The Office’) to do a jazz radio show they could hardly imagine the response. From around the world emails and tweets inundated the show and they swore to themselves that they couldn’t leave it there.

                        Now, two years on, this compilation of their favourite jazz has arrived. From the rolling hard bop of Lee Morgan and Art Blakey, via screaming soul organ, jazz funk original acid jazz onwards to the post modern spiritual jazz of Kasami Washington, this is an incredible journey.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xDeluxe LP Info: Awaiting a re-press, should be in around 25th May.

                        Morrissey

                        My Love, I'd Do Anything For You / Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (Live)

                          My Love, I'd Do Anything for You / Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (Live) is the third 7" release from Morrissey's album 'Low In High School'. Low in High School is Morrissey’s first studio album since 2014 and was recorded at La Fabrique Studios in France and in Rome at Ennio Morricone’s Forum Studios. The record is produced by Joe Chiccarelli (who has worked with Frank Zappa, The Strokes, Beck and The White Stripes to name a few). Morrissey’s talent for combining political statements and beautiful melodies is more prevalent than ever on Low in High-School, capturing the zeitgeist of an ever-changing world.

                          Last we heard from Aiwo, the Dusseldorf label were flipping our lids with jungle mysticism from Bufiman and DJ Normal 4 (a Piccadilly Records single of the year don't you know...) and now they blow our hive-mind with the loose, limber, languid and lysergic sounds of the Phaserboys. The mysterious debutants open the EP with "Ice", a robotic, hydraulic roller which falls in between a Street Sounds Electro classic and that Space Garage 7" on Periodica last month. Thick with unorthodox funk and percussive idiosyncracies, this is the kind of freakbeat you only get from Dusseldorf. From there we bound into the neon tinged synth pop / white boogie / cosmic jiggle of "Including No Information", a mystical, melodic and moody slow jam that could easily of landed on an Originals comp alongside "Stars & Bars" and "Don't Turn Me Away". The tempo takes a bump on the B-side, soaring into the mid twenties for the trancey tribalism of "Phase Energie", a breakbeat acid outing in vintage R&S style. The free party vibe continues to the close as "Hallo!" romps through reach for the lasers sequences, breakbeats and bass weight without neglecting the shamanic stylings its hometown has become known for.



                          HAllo! Here are the Phaserboys with their full Debut on Aiwo rec. and they show up with a full equiped dance floor record including Love Mission Disco Adventures and Sequenced Breakbeat Dream Dance - be fast and take the ICE as long as you can - Winter is coming! *All rec. at Aiwo Railway-View Studios Ddorf

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Patrick says: The Aiwo stable show us exactly why they're one of the hottest labels around right now with this mega debut from the Phaserboys. Possibly another alias for Bufiman and DJ Normal 4, this 12" picks up where AIWO003 left off, powering through free party mysticism and wonky wave jams from start to stop.

                          There's a riot going on. You don't need me, or Yo La Tengo, to tell you that. These are dark times, in our heads as much as in the streets. It's easy to lose contact with the ground, flying through endless banks of storm clouds day after day. Confusion and anxiety intrude into daily life and cause you to lose your compass. There are times that call for anthems, something to lift you out of your slump and put fire in your feet. And then there are times when what is indicated is a balm, a sound that will wrap around you and work out the knots in your neck.

                          While there's a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it's like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, ghostly flamingos calling "shoo-bop shoo-bop." You are there. And even if your mind is not unclouded--shaken, misdirected, out of words and out of time--you can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries, above the sound and above the Sound.

                          For Yo La Tengo this is a slow-motion action painting, and Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no outside engineer (John McEntire later did the mix). They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You'd never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush. You'd imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. Within two listens you will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of "Shades of Blue," will involuntarily hear "She May, She Might" on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and "Let's Do It Wrong" late at night. While there's a riot going on you will feel capable of bobbing through like a cork.

                          In 1971, when the nation appeared to be on the brink of violently coming apart, Sly and the Family Stone released There's a Riot Goin’ On, an album of dark, brooding energy. Now, under similar circumstances, Yo La Tengo have issued a record with the same name but with a different force, an album that proposes an alternative to anger and despair. Their first proper full-length since 2013’s Fade, There's a Riot Goin’ On is an expression of freedom and sanity and emotional expansion, a declaration of common humanity as liberating as it is soft-spoken. 

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: As far as dreamy post-shoegaze indie goes, it doesn't get any better than Yo La Tengo's own brand of whimsical haze and soaring atmospherics. Drowning under a delightful wave of swirling percussion and psychedelic guitar scree, Kaplan's voice is beguiling as ever, anchoring the whole affair from floating away on a blissful cloud.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xColoured LP Info: Independent stores only orange vinyl.

                          Brainfeeder presents a special "chopped not slopped” mix of Thundercat’s incredible album “Drunk” (2017) by DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C of legendary Houston DJ collective The Chopstars. Slowed down, chopped up and pressed on purple vinyl, the mix has been appropriately re-titled “Drank”. “If you got ‘Drunk’ it’s only right that you get ‘Drank’. I feel like they go together” declares Thundercat.

                          Recommended if you like… Flying Lotus, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Screw ∙ 2LP limited edition purple vinyl edition housed in artworked inners inside a 5mm spined outer sleeve. Photography by Eddie Alcazar and artwork by Zack Fox.

                          Includes MP3 download code.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Millie says: In the words of Kendrick Lamar 'Pour up, drank, head shot, drank, sit down, drank, stand up, drank'. Drank is the sequel to Thundercat’s previous release last year ‘Drunk’, remixed and all freshened up to provide the jazziest of vibes you could ever need.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xColoured LP Info: Double LP on purple vinyl housed in artworked inners inside a 5mm spined outer sleeve with digital download code.

                          Creep Show (John Grant & Wrangler)

                          Mr. Dynamite

                          Creep Show brings together John Grant with the dark funk of analogue electronic band Wrangler (Stephen Mallinder/Phil Winter/Benge) to create Mr Dynamite - a debut album packed with experimental pop and surreal funk. Recorded in Cornwall with a lifetime’s collection of drum machines and synthesisers assembled by Benge and explored by every member of Creep Show, there’s a real sense of freedom in the shackles-off grooves, channelling the early pioneering spirit of the Sugarhill Gang through wires and random electric noise. This sense of adventure is also part of the interplay between the two vocalists, John Grant and former Cabaret Voltaire frontman Stephen Mallinder, who switch between oblique wordplay to sinister humour as Phil Winter and Benge continue to man-handle the machines. The creepy ‘alter-ego’ title track, ‘Pink Squirrel’’s vocoder kaleidoscope and Grant’s exhilarating croon on the nine minute ‘Safe And Sound’ are just some of the twists and hooks to be explored on this consistently inventive record.

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: So, imagine John Grant's unmistakeable vocal serenades over the top of some rhythmic Bureau B synth pulses, swirling synth patterns and sickly-sweet Linn stabs. What could possibly go wrong? Absolutely nothing is what, it's superb, like we'd expect any different from our John.

                          Hot Snakes

                          Jericho Sirens

                            After a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes have triumphantly kicked down the door back into our lives with their new album, Jericho Sirens. And amid the mania of non-stop political rhetoric, doom-and-gloom prognostications and omnipresent technology, it’s not a moment too soon.

                             Hot Snakes formed in 2000, after the release of their first record, Automatic Midnight. They were John Reis, Jason Kourkounis, Rick Froberg and Gar Wood. The band’s sound represented a return to the unrealized past of its members. This time, their musics would be direct, undraped and rock ‘n’ roll while still maintaining the dense and turbulent character of the members’ previous work. That year, Hot Snakes found their live sound and established themselves as primo, down-stroke warlords. They followed with a pair of great albums – 2002’s Suicide Invoice, with drummer Jason Kourkounis, and 2004’s Audit in Progress, with Mario Rubalcaba on drums – that broadened the band’s sound while pleasing many a fan. However, the band eventually spiraled downward into a mid-life punk crisis, and by 2005 they had stopped performing.

                            BUT! 2011 saw the return of Hot Snakes, with a string of festival shows. Both drummers performed with the band on the songs which they recorded, and the group discussed writing new material. After an additional 6 years of discussions, Hot Snakes returned to the studio in 2017 to commence recording, and the results are, finally, revealed in Jericho Sirens.

                            Musically, Jericho Sirens incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the pounding downstrokes of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down,” one of the first written for the project during a New Year’s Eve 2017 session in Philadelphia. Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to classic-rock titans such as AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne, with Froberg admitting, “I’m as much a hesher as I am anything else, that’s for sure.” For Reis, reactivating his creative partnership with Froberg was one of the most rewarding aspects of the process: “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. We work really well together. And what more is there to say? Rick totally outdid himself on this record, vocally and lyrically.”

                            Jericho Sirens was recorded in short bursts over the past year in Philadelphia and San Diego, with assistance from longtime bassist Gar Wood. Kourkounis and Rubalcaba, both of whom drummed on prior Hot Snakes releases but never on the same one, contributed throughout.


                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Coloured LP Info: White vinyl edition.

                            Indies Exclusive LP Info: Limited "Loser Edition" on black vinyl.
                            (Yes it's confusing!)

                            For the third Marfa Myths release, we’re proud to present seven all-new songs written and recorded by Stockholm’s psychedelic masters Dungen and adventurous Brooklyn indie-folk pioneers Woods. As the Myths record series progresses, the spirit of the collaborations between the artists chosen – one a member of the Mexican Summer family, the other for which we share deep admiration – deepens as well. Dungen and Woods were tourmates in the summer of 2009, traversing America and bonding with one another in the process. The familiarity with one another’s music and personalities was already well in place, but the eight years that passed between the tour and the making of this record reveal that nothing was lost in the interim. That this is the most music assembled for a Marfa Myths release to date is telling of a rare and special connection, reignited by the circumstances of the occasion.

                            Dungen’s Gustav Ejstes and Reine Fiske, and Woods’ Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere were provided the freedom to acclimate themselves to the unique frequencies of the Marfa experience without distraction. Marfa Myths 003 showcases a seamless merging of two bands following the same track to different locations throughout their career, as if they’d been playing together for decades, an exhilarating and buoyant example of how shared experiences can foster truly wonderful music.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Like the 'In The Fishtank' series from Konkurrent, 'Myths' from the superb Mexican Summer has managed to take two differing acts and force them together to great effect. The dark, psychedelic underbelly of Dungen meet the light, airy bliss of Woods perfectly. A future classic, and a superb benchmark for future collaborative efforts.

                            Klaus Schulze

                            La Vie Electronique Volume 1.0

                              Klaus Schulze is a German electronic music pioneer, composer and musician that needs very little introduction. In the late sixties & early seventies he was a member of several iconic bands such as ‘Tangerine Dream’, ‘The Cosmic Jokers’ & ‘Ash Ra Tempel’ before launching a solo career consisting of more than 60 albums released across five decades. Collaborations were numerous and highlights include working with Steve Winwood, Brian Eno & Alphaville… just to name a few.

                              Klaus Schulze’s proto moog-synthesizer work is regarded as a milestone in electronic music & during the decades he released landmark albums in genres catalogued as ‘Ambient’, ‘Electronic’, ‘New Age’, ‘Berlin School’, ‘Experimental’, ‘Kosmische Musik’ & ‘Krautrock’. Mr. Schulze had a more organic sound than most electronic artists of the time, often he would throw in decidedly non-electronic sounds such as acoustic guitar and a male operatic voice. Schulze is also known for developing a Minimoog technique that sounds uncannily like an electric guitar, which is quite impressive in concert.

                              On occasions he would also compose film scores such as Body Love (1977), Barracuda (1978), Next of Kin (1982), & Angst (1983). His best known song ‘Freeze’ has been used in films like Manhunter (1986) and more recently in Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Bling Ring’ from 2013.

                              In 2009, producer Klaus D. Mueller and Schulze began releasing La Vie Electronique (“The Electronic Life”), a series of sets that collected rare sought-after early works & unreleased tracks put in chronological sequence. These sets contain some of the best music Klaus ever created and are early 70’s masterworks that will appeal to both fans and collectors.

                              Now available for the first time on vinyl, One Way Static Records presents the first volume in our new archival series ‘La Vie Electronique’. This volume (1.0) focuses on the years 1968-1971 and is spread over two glorious LP’s containing +78 minutes of Klaus Shulze rarities. This deluxe vinyl set also comes with an insert containing extensive liner notes.


                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              2xDeluxe LP Info: Released for the first time on vinyl.
                              The ultimate collection of rare early materials by this electronic music pioneer.
                              Comes as a deluxe double LP set with insert and extensive liner notes.
                              Limited black vinyl pressing (700 copies) with obi strip.

                              'I first met Spandex when we were both 16. Before we were old enough to drink in bars he used to steal his mum's car and we'd drive to raves over Snake's Pass off the party line; to Tribal Sessions and Red Light at Sankey's; to Floppy Disc at One Central St, Sequence @ the Attic and of course forays to the subterranean pleasure dome that is the Music Box (RIP)... When the night or day ground to a half we'd high-tail it back in his mum's Vauxhall Cavalier and stay awake until it was safe to go home to our parents. At that point Spandex would get out whatever gear he'd amassed and start recreating the sounds and feels of the previous night....often to incredibly devastating effect. He's basically been doing that for the last 15 years - constantly honing his craft, adding new equipment and, in time, finding his own, completely unique sound. I can honestly say that in 2018 there is no one out there that sounds like Ste Spandex.' - Kickin' Pigeon.


                              And so it's with great pleasure we announce the arrival of "Home Extraction EP" - the first vinyl release on Cerberus Future Technologies (which previously housed Spandex and friend's wild experiments on c60 cassette tape) and dedicated to the art of DIY DMT manufacture. We start off with "Naptha", which my limited chemistry knowledge suggests is the 'base' for extraction. Anyway, it's an incendiary and quite sexualized number, that patented Spandex throb ever present as a coital groove thrusts itself into our nether regions. "Mimosa", the precursor is next up. As the key ingredient in the extraction and the bit that 'holds the magic', the track lives up to its expectations as one 5d-traversing space shuttle vortex cruiser. If you've ever plucked up the courage for the modern day magic carpet trip into the Other, then these vibrations should resonate inwards dear explorer, take heed! Ste Spandex has just gone and raised the bar of space techno well into the stratosphere - yeah booooiiii! "Caustic", the catalyst, sees the lively, unpredictable stage of the process represented sonically through highly frenetic beats and thick acidic slabs. Heavy n hypnotic, one of Spandex's many styles displayed here in superb form as he pairs volatility with harmony in ways you'd never expect. "Water", the simplest of elements needed here is given just as much importance as Ste drops some polychromatic synth shards over one of the most squashed and saturated mechanics off the whole EP - a nod to some of his previous work whilst taking his methodology and sonic philosophy spiraling into a future as yet unchartered. For those familiar with one of our city's finest producers, you'll know this EP's been a long time coming. To anyone that's seen his historical live sets at Wet Play - this your moment to grab that energy onto timeless black plastic.... to anyone else, this is as close to inter dimensional travel as you're likely to get on a slab of wax - take the trip!

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Matt says: Finally it's here - the vinyl debut from the Northwest's most highly charged synth molester / groove generator. Never-come-down greatness that only a few can authentically create. We heart this!

                              The Decemberists explore a new sound with a new producer on their inspired eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl, which will be released March 17 on Rough Trade Records. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Ray) and embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path, as can be heard on the synth-driven lead single “Severed”

                              I’ll Be Your Girl is the sound of a veteran band finding new inspiration, a unit unafraid of challenging itself to re-connect with its creativity. “Making music is an infinite choose-your-own-adventure,” says Colin Meloy, “and when you go down one path, the other paths get sealed off. So every time we could, we said, ‘If this is what our impulses would tell us to do, let’s try to imagine it in a different way.’”

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Barry says: A more direct affair than their previous outing, 'I'll Be Your Girl' flits between the full-sounding AOR melodicism of War On Drugs and the pseudo-country psychedelia of their previous iterations, 'I'll Be Your Girl' takes all the elements we love about The Decemberists and distills them into a cohesive and hugely satisfying whole.

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: Limited indies-only white vinyl LP.

                              The excellent Best Records Italy 'Do It Again' (sic) with a limited edition, official reissue of Asso's all out Italo masterpiece from 1983. The work of Victorio Pezzolla, "Do It Again" is a super groovy, synthy cover of the Steely Dan classic of the same, which takes the jazz-funk O.G. into an more Balearic territories. All those Becker/Fagen chord progressions and jazzy inversions are still there, but transplanted into something more driving and disco friendly. Speaking of disco-friendly, the boogie grooving jazz-funker "Don't Stop" on the flip is pure blissed-out dancefloor heaven and deservedly became a Loft and Garage classic as well as receiving heavy rotation on both the cosmic and Balearic scenes. With the coolest of laid-back jazzy piano grooves underpinned with driving funky squelching bass and superb syncopated drums. If you don't have a copy in your collection, I'd suggest you invest.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              Patrick says: Best Records continue to come up with the Italo classics, this time treating us with an official reissue of the cosmic, Balearic, Loft & Garage approved double header "Do It Again / Don't Stop" by Asso. This is certain to sell out, so snap up a copy sharpish.

                              Goat Girl

                              The Man

                                ‘The Man’ on 7” backed by exclusive B side ‘Topless Tit’.

                                Goat Girl head up an emerging set of groups from South London who have been inspired by the burgeoning local scene there.

                                A classic sketch by the late great comedian Bill Hicks inspired their band name.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Ltd 7" Info: Indies exclusive 7"!

                                Durand Jones & The Indications

                                Durand Jones & The Indications

                                The album, which was originally released in 2016, received praise from The Philadelphia Inquirer, who called it, “Smartly restrained music steeped in the Deep South” and Paste, who said, “With a tingling rasp that screams James Brown and coos Otis Redding, Jones simply has to be heard to be believed on these vintage R&B pleas.” Detroit Metro Times furthered, “Modern soul that pulls with as much power as Lee Fields and Charles Bradley.” Of their debut, the band reflects, “Three years ago we spent every Sunday in our basement with a 4-track tape machine and a goal: record an album inspired by not only the ubiquitous titans of soul music but also the should-have-beens and the never-weres. With that modest target in mind, we released the record and booked one show marking the occasion. The reception we saw was both humbling and invigorating, and what started as a recording project, became a touring unit with larger aspirations.”

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Laura says: Boy can these guys sing! Timeless sweet soul music.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive translucent red vinyl.

                                'Dipped in blues and marinated in jazz...' reveal the sales notes for this new record by Luca Musto for The Magic Movement. Reflecting on his father's immigration from Italy to Germany, "Once Upon A Grind" kicks things off with a bright and breezy downbeat number which recalls pot-drenched teenage bedrooms across the dimly lit northwest from 1996 - 2001, but with a touch more elegance and jazz than a 14 year skateboarder might pick up on. Littered with dub delay and a future world funk kinda groove, this melting pot of influences will keep THC-soaked minds active throughout whilst providing a stylish and classy setting for hotels snugs, All Bar Ones and over-hospitable craft food establishments across the UK. "Parabel" introduces itself with some exotic spoken word before dropping into a low slung chugger with token guitar part and rolling b-line. If this doesn't take you right back to 2008, dancing under the stars in Petrčane then I don't know what will - nu-cosmic never sounded so good! Soundtracking in the next day's sunrise comes "Let Me Down", the ultimate come-down number to languish in as the waves lap at your feet and the subject of your desires rushes off to source a Mojito and some extra boing, Musto's gently realized theme unfurls beautifully through its duration, making its intentions felt and making the whole record suddenly make sense. The story told, Iorie takes things to the Black Forest for a more polychromatic excursion; injecting the melodies with more dynamic, climaxing undertones high with desire and a coital lust. Mega stuff here, makes me wanna roll around naked in the sand whilst tripping my head off with a beautiful woman. And not many records make me wanna do that....

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Matt says: Mega stuff here, makes me wanna roll around naked in the sand whilst tripping my head off with a beautiful woman. And not many records make me do that....

                                The debut release by Afro-Canadian singer, songwriter, and cult figure within new age experimental sounds, has been long sought after. The soulful jazz release, was original recorded in 1970 alongside musicians Dough Bush, Don Thompson, Terry Clark, Lenny Breau, Jeremy Steig and Ray Charles collaborator Doug Riley a.k.a. Dr. Music. Written when she was 26, the album is a testament to Copeland's stand-out songwriting, and earnest, beautiful vocal talents, fitting into the realms of spiritual folk.
                                Born into a musical family in Ottawa Canada, Beverly Glenn​-​Copeland studied the classical piano repertoire, after being brought up listening to his father playing at home. Following his studies, Copeland moved on to songwriting, in order to weave all the different musical cultures he had come to love. He is best known for the 1986 release Keyboard Fantasies, re-issued in 2017 by Invisible City, a record described as a mixture of "digital new age and early experimental Detroit techno." Now going by his name Glenn Copeland after gender transitioning, the singer songwriter also made a name for himself writing children's music for TV shows Sesame Street, and Mr. Dressup.

                                Referring back to his debut record, Copeland states: "I was a fresh-faced kid of twenty-six when I wrote these songs, only a few years out of the classical music world in which I had been immersed since childhood, performing the European classical song repertoire in concerts both live and for radio broadcast. So I sold my oboe, bought a guitar and began tuning it in wild and wonderful ways to more easily find the chords I had no idea how to find in the regular tuning. I didn't want to study anymore. I just wanted to write." 

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Patrick says: If you come to Copeland's debut looking for the new age synth stylings of "Keyboard Fantasies", you may be disappointed. However the quality and clarity of these jazz folk gems should more than make up for it. Imagine a marriage of Terry Callier, Linda Perhacs and Vashti Bunyan and you'll be along the right lines.

                                Holy grail of early 80's UK boogie with originals going for £40 upwards on the second hand market, if you know this one then you'll already want it, if not then you'll definitely want to. 

                                Think Melody's 'Stop Fantasy', pulsing synths, portamento saw waves and swirling spacey key stabs, underpinned with a funky, sweetly polished edge. On The Flipside, we get a dubby redux, full of panned space echoes and barely restrained resonance, coupled with spoken word samples and cascading reverb on the 'Astro Mix', and an edited version for the truncgated but punchy 'Short Wave Mix'. Superb stuff, totally essential. 



                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Matt says: Ya might wince at the price tag but you simply CANNOT get a clean copy of this OG boogie bomb (from '83 no less) for less than forty sheets 2nd hand. Espacial Discos do the do and let us peasantry in on the action.

                                Whities introduce a fork and drop the first of their Blue sub-series. "Blue 01" features Tessla and Lanark Artefax and comes with a future-proof build guarantee. Tessela’s "Glisten" has been feverishly anticipated since Joy O's Essential Mix from 2016. With its pneumatic beats, techy stabs and strung out aesthetic you can completely understand why it got the taste defining DJ's attention and why you'll want it right at the front of your record box ready for your next attack. 'Longside is the Intimidating Stillness mix Of Lanark’s "Touch Absence", which was first released as a limited edition Whities dubplate back in 2016. One of those techno-breakbeat hybrids that always hits the spot, it has been remastered by Beau Thomas at Ten Eight Seven and sounds super crisp. Artwork as always by Alex McCullough. Top stuff. 

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Matt says: Firing up the pistons, "Glisten" should shake any club to its foundations... Whities providing more demolition ball technoid shizzle.

                                Cocteau Twins

                                Treasure - Vinyl Reissue

                                  4AD are repressing two more Cocteau Twins’ albums on vinyl this coming March, the albums Head Over Heels and Treasure. Both following on from the recent reissues of Blue Bell Knoll, Heaven or Las Vegas, Tiny Dynamine / Echoes In A Shallow Bay and The Pink Opaque.

                                  Using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes, both albums are being pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl and come with download codes.

                                  Treasure:
                                  The band returned to being a trio in 1984 with guitarist Simon Raymonde joining their ranks in time for third album, Treasure. Produced by Robin Guthrie and featuring tracks ‘Lorelei’, ‘Ivo’ and ‘Persephone’, Treasure is often celebrated as one of the band’s finest works.

                                  As Pitchfork put it when including the album in their Top 100 Albums of the 1980s, “Treasure was titled simply enough. An adjective for the endlessly inventive melodic lines you'd find buried in these songs, and a verb for what you'd do with them for years to come.”


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Andy says: Amazing record. Stunningly beautiful tunes and voice, incredible guitars, and not one bad track. We thought we'd all died and gone to heaven when this came out in the early 80's!

                                  Cocteau Twins

                                  Head Over Heels - Vinyl Reissue

                                    4AD are repressing two more Cocteau Twins’ albums on vinyl this coming March, the albums Head Over Heels and Treasure. Both following on from the recent reissues of Blue Bell Knoll, Heaven or Las Vegas, Tiny Dynamine / Echoes In A Shallow Bay and The Pink Opaque.

                                    Using new masters created from high definition files transferred from the original analogue tapes, both albums are being pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl and come with download codes.

                                    Head Over Heels:
                                    Released in late-1983, Head Over Heels is the Cocteau Twins’ second album and features classic tracks ‘Sugar Hiccup’ and ‘Musette And Drums’. Coming not long after original bassist Will Heggie had departed the band, the chemistry between remaining members Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie was flourishing and by moving the band on from the starkness of their debut, they were now making the music that would help them define the decade ahead; her wordless, dreamlike vocals a powerful instrument over his lush, textured guitars their trademark.

                                    Various Artists

                                    Typical Girls Volume 3

                                      Emotional Response continue their quest to highlight the finest in current female fronted punk, post-punk, hardcore and indie. Following on from the two previous vibrant volumes of Typical Girls, Emotional Response was quickly presented with a wealth of staggeringly high quality material. Rather than sit on tracks, or exclude material that the world needed to hear, it was feverishly decided to release two new breath-taking volumes simultaneously 

                                      Various Artists

                                      Typical Girls Volume 4

                                        Emotional Response continue their quest to highlight the finest in current female fronted punk, post-punk, hardcore and indie. Following on from the two previous vibrant volumes of Typical Girls, Emotional Response was quickly presented with a wealth of staggeringly high quality material. Rather than sit on tracks, or exclude material that the world needed to hear, it was feverishly decided to release two new breath-taking volumes simultaneously 

                                        New single by our the fun loving arty indie mob that is Django Django. "Surface To Air" is catchy AF, radio-ready and mixed and mastered ready for your all nite indie dancefloor! Featuring Self Esteem, it's got a slight MIA vibe to it - ready for scorching hot, empowering days with a riotous flavour. Comprise of solely electronic elements and not featuring the band's usual vocalists, this single is a step in a new direction for the band which has featured everywhere from Parklife stages to Soccer AM. Alongside the tasty instrumental come three remixes, with LuckyMe regular Lunice the first to twist up the stems. He transforms the track into a bass-ladled future beats jam, chopping up the vocal into a catchy vox pattern and adding piston drums and big bass rumbles for a Jeep-pleasing crunker for the purple mob. Nightwave lifts the track from the 42s / 5th Ave dancefloor and plonks it right in the middle of the more techno / bass inclined club spaces; with a hard hitting, hi-def take on the OG which the DJs'll surely get on board with. Finally, Body In The Thames dubs it out into a tech-house glider, super crisp and with a panoramic scope, it'll suit early evening moments of serenity across the playas of Ibiza and the more glitzy end of the holiday house market. Excellent!

                                        Fatboy Slim

                                        You've Come A Long Way Baby - Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition

                                        One of Fatboy Slim's crowning glories, "You've Come A Long Way Baby" saw the Brighton luminary take the big beat grenade and detonate it overground, taking the sound to the clubs, beaches, adverts and coffee tables of Great Britain and beyond. If you were conscious in 1998 it was impossible to ignore this album, with companies queuing up to align themselves with the coolest new trend in club land. Fatboy himself used the platform to elevate his Big Beach Boutique brand - two phenomenal parties on Brighton beach (the first seeing 65K revellers, the second - 250K!!); the likes of which sadly, I doubt, we will ever see again. I can personally remember exactly where I was the first time I heard "Rockafella Skank" and to me this is up there with "Dig Your Own Hole", "Music For The Jilted Generation" and "Homework" as one of the most iconic dance music albums of the nineties. I wasn't old enough to hear the tracks in the club, but its cultural impact travelled up and down the generational ladder from everyone at high school to people's Mum's cleaning the kitchen.

                                        A celebratory 20th anniversary reissue as part of BMG’s ‘Art of The Album’ series showcasing seminal albums that broke new ground in concept, production, song writing, and genre, leaving a lasting legacy as a complete album work of art. Deluxe edition CD and LP format packaging including 180g gatefold vinyl, 6 page 12” roll-fold booklet (LP), 12” display art card (LP) and 28 page booklet (CD).

                                        Exclusive anniversary sleeve notes from Ralph Moore (Editor at Large, Mixmag) and album timeline from Damian Harris (Skint Records).
                                        Number one on the UK albums chart, number one in New Zealand, number two in Australia and number thirty-four on the US Billboard 200 containing four top ten singles. These tell a beautifully story much better than I can hear and really give creedence to this golden age of dance music that Norman was spearheading.

                                        Ranked number 81 in Q magazine's readers' poll of the "100 Greatest British Albums Ever".

                                        Brit Awards: Best Dance Act 1999, 2001. Brit Awards: British Single 1999 (nominee), Male Solo Artist 1999 (nominee).


                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Matt says: Makin' me all teary eyed comes this 20th anniversary of THAT, seminal, big beat opus. The one that broke the sound overground, if you don't end up watching youtube videos of Brighton Beach I'll eat me slipmats...

                                        Soundway Records presents “Down In The Basement”, the debut EP from The Mauskovic Dance Band - a heady, tropical blend of cumbia, Afro- Caribbean rhythms and space disco, resulting in a vibrant hypnotic groove destined for bustling dancefloors. The Mauskovic Dance Band is the brainchild of the Amsterdam-based producer and musician, Nicola Mauskovic. A seasoned drummer, he finds himself constantly in demand - as part of Turkish psychedelic outfit Altin Gun, a recent tour with the revival of Zambian legends W.I.T.C.H., and a worldwide tour with psych-pop artist Jacco Gardner, with whom he then went on to form the dance-oriented duo Bruxas (released on Dekmantel).

                                        Throughout this hectic schedule Nic still found time to begin studio experiments that would eventually lead to several 7” singles, released on Swiss label Bongo Joe Records in 2017 under the name “The Mauskovic Dance Band”. Following this, he tapped long-time collaborators Donnie Mauskovic (vocals, keys, effects), Em Nix Mauskovic (guitar, synth, percussion), and Mano Mauskovic (bass) to make the jump from record to stage. Soon they caught the ear of fabled underground Cumbia producer Juan Hundred, who left his home on a Caribbean island to join the band on drums.

                                        With each band member of varying heritage, the group draws inspiration from diverse genres: primarily Afro-Colombian styles such as champeta, palenque, cumbia and the pic soundsystem culture, as well as the Afro-Disco and No-Wave scenes in their current base of Amsterdam. The city’s hotbed of underground producers has also brought an electronic edge to the band, with vintage drum machines and synthesizers effortlessly melding with Afro-Latin rhythms and slick guitar riffs to create a contemporary sound rich with cultural influence.


                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Millie says: The Mauskovic Dance Band providing all the tropical disco grooves, bright and zesty this is the exact sort of twelve inch to get the Summer vibes in full swing. Take a listen and float to a faraway island of your choice, ahhhhh.

                                        Shop favourites and all-round jangle-mongerers Whyte Horses finally release their (proper) follow-up to 2016's end of year LP, 'Pop Or Not'. We kick things off with the classic jangling stomp of 'Counting down The Years', breaking straight out of the starting gates with walking bass and stabbing guitars below the swirling psychedelic vocals and soaring dreamlike haze.  It seems as though the orchestral implimentation we saw in 'Pop Or Not' (and its excellent reinterpretation with St. Bart's Choir) has returned with aplomb, underpinning the whole structure of pieces like 'Never Took The Time', or the tender and stunning balladry of 'Watching T.V'.

                                        Elsewhere, we get funked-up walking bass and swooning soulful vocals courtesy of La Roux on 'The Best of It', bringing forth the run of more heartfelt, ambient numbers including the rhodes-led instrumental bliss of 'The Return' and the tentative Losing My Religion-y plucks of 'Fear is Such A...'. Sandwiched comfortably inbetween these two beautiful evening chillout pieces is the spine-tinglingly optimistic encore anthem 'Nighmares Aren't Real', slowly building into a majestic and euphoric orchestral release. 

                                        The Whyte Horses have confidently crafted a superb return, perfectly nuanced, brilliantly written and every bit the follow up to one of our favourite albums of all time. Impeccable. 





                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Andy says: They've done it again! Another classic pop gem with massive, heart-rending tunes, and an enchanted,starry-eyed 60's vibe. Perfect.

                                        Barry says: An unsurprisingly excellent return for the great Whyte Horses. Lengthy progressive melodicism, hazy jangles and heartwarming vocals over huge orchestration and perfect songwriting. Amazing stuff.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        2xIndies Exclusive LP Info: Very limited deluxe edition featuring the gatefold album sleeve housed in a yellow envelope style slip case. Numbered edition of 500 copies.

                                        2xLP Info: Standard gatefold sleeve edition.

                                        Cocoa Sugar, announced in November 2017 that Young Fathers had a brand new album and it has been highly anticipated since. The trio – Alloysious Massaquoi, Graham ‘G’ Hastings and Kayus Bankole – marked the news by previewing a brand-new song, ‘Lord’ and a subsequent accompanying video. Just like their previous standalone 2017 single ‘Only God Knows’ (written for the Trainspotting T2 film and described by director Danny Boyle as “the heartbeat of the film”), ‘Lord’ provided an enticing glimpse of what to expect from Young Fathers’ third full album; something typically unique and exhilarating, but leaner, more muscular and self-assured than ever before. Cocoa Sugar sees Young Fathers operating with a newfound clarity and direction, and is without doubt their most confident and complete statement to date.

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Millie says: Long awaited but is now finally here, Cocoa Sugar is refreshingly original as their new sound is bold and irresistibly good.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited edition for indies - 180g single blue vinyl gloss laminate printed 3mm spine outer sleeve designed by Hingston Studio with photography by Julia Noni. Lyric printed inner sleeve. Comes with Download code.

                                        CD Info: CD version housed in card wallet with a gloss laminate finish designed by Hingston Studio and photography by Julia Noni. Inner wallet also contains a lyric poster.

                                        American Utopia fits hand-in-hand with Byrne’s vision for his series ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ - an ongoing series curated by Byrne of hopeful writings, photos, music, and lectures – named for the song by the late Ian Dury. Over the last year, Byrne has been collecting stories, news, ideas, and other items that all either embody or identify examples of things that inspire optimism, such as a tech breakthrough, a musical act, a new idea in urban planning or transportation – something seen, heard, or tasted. Just as the album questions the current state of society while offering solace through song, the content of the series recognizes the darkness and complexity of today while showcasing alternatives to the despair that threatens us. 

                                        While David Byrne has collaborated on joint releases with Eno, Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), and most recently St. Vincent over the past decade, American Utopia is Byrne’s first solo album since, 2004’s Grown Backwards, also on Nonesuch. American Utopia morphed during the writing and recording process, beginning with longtime collaborator Eno, and eventually growing to include collaboration with producer Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, King Krule, Sampha, Savages) alongside a diverse cast of creative contributors including Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never), Jam City, Thomas Bartlett (St. Vincent producer, aka Doveman), Jack Peñate, and others. The album was recorded in New York City at David’s home studio, Reservoir Studios, Oscilloscope, XL Studios, and Crowdspacer Studio and in London at Livingston Studio 1.

                                        Speaking about the album, Byrne said:
                                        Is this meant ironically? Is it a joke? Do I mean this seriously? In what way? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political?

                                        These songs don’t describe an imaginary or possibly impossible place but rather attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with that world – the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves – well, does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking.

                                        This album is indirectly about those aspirational impulses. Sometimes to describe is to reveal, to see other possibilities. To ask a question is to begin the process of looking for an answer. To be descriptive is also to be prescriptive, in a way. The act of asking is a big step. The songs are sincere – the title is not ironic. The title refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible. The description, the discontent and the desire – I have a feeling that is what these songs touch on.

                                        I have no prescriptions or surefire answers, but I sense that I am not the only one looking and asking, wondering and still holding onto some tiny bit of hope, unwilling to succumb entirely to despair or cynicism.

                                        It’s not easy, but music helps. Music is a kind of model – it often tells us or points us toward how we can be.


                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Barry says: From what I garner from reading Byrne's comments on his newest release, he is commenting (possibly) sarcastically on the duality of American life... or possibly he wasn't. What is less ambiguous is just listening to the album, taking in the excellently written songs and the latent, wry politicism peppered throughout. It's wonderful, that's all you need to know.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                        Vashti Bunyan

                                        Just Another Diamond Day

                                          Vashti Bunyan’s legendary debut album from 1970 finally gets a UK vinyl repressing. Produced by Joe Boyd for Witchseason Productions and originally released on Philips in 1970, the album features contributions from Fairport Convention’s Simon Nicol and Dave Swarbrick and The Incredible String Band’s Robin Williamson.

                                          The songs mostly concern the events that took place when Vashti and her lover travelled to the Hebrides in a horse and cart to join up with Donovan’s artistic community but by the time they got there that community had all left. 


                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Ltd LP Info: First UK vinyl pressing since 2000.
                                          Limited edition of 1000 180g black vinyl.
                                          Deluxe replica gatefold sleeve with lyric inner sleeve and restored artwork.

                                          Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

                                          It's A Beautiful World

                                            Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds announce new single ‘It’s A Beautiful World’ – the second to be taken from the Number 1 album ‘Who Built the Moon?’, following the success of the first single ‘Holy Mountain’.

                                            The hypnotic track features ambient electronica and sharp production from acclaimed producer, DJ and composer David Holmes, and a French spoken word segment inspired by Gallic art house cinema.

                                            Producer David Holmes says: “The track had so much space and was feeling great. After Noel wrote the song he asked me about getting a French vocalist to do some kind of spoken word, so I called my friend Charlotte Courbe and played her an extract from a French short film that I always loved and wanted to borrow from. She then produced an astounding piece of writing that contrasted Noel’s song and music so beautifully.” 

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            Ltd 12" Info: Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl.

                                            Gengahr present their highly-anticipated new album ‘Where Wildness Grows’, out on Transgressive Records.

                                            Having released their much acclaimed debut ‘A Dream Outside’ in June 2015, the band spent a soul-searching two years writing and recording its follow up, a process which saw them reject multiple recordings and eventually return to the drawing board, re-group and head back to the studio with a clarity and conviction to deliver an album which sees them taking a bold and ambitious artistic stride.

                                            The album was recorded in London during summer 2017 by acclaimed producer Neil Comber (Glass Animals, M.I.A, Songhoy Blues) and features guest vocals from Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Despite sounding like someone who's just been punched in the stomach whilst eating a burrito, Gengahr pull together an entirely melodic but ruthlessly dynamic suite of dreamlike panned melodies and the chugging undercurrent of a beautifully varied by undeniably solid backline. Brilliantly written and evocative dancefloor syndie (I just made that up, it's synthy indie, obviously).

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                            Neil Diablo

                                            The Bobby Moore Release - Inc. Coyote, Tiago & Dawn Again Remixes

                                            In the week when West Ham's travelling fans were met with tribute t-shirts at Anfield, parallel scouse institution Rothmans mark the 25th anniversary of Bobby Moore's death with an EP from local legend Neil Diablo. While Neil's never lifted the world cup, tackled Pele or made 90 appearances as England captain, he does hold the Piccadilly Record for most 12" bangers and longest lunch break. As you'd expect from one legend paying tribute to another, Neil knocks this fucker out of the park, delivering a deep and ravey cut somewhere between acid, house disco and boogie. The wallshaking bass and taut 909's lend the cut a vintage R&S feel, warm vamps suggest a little West End uplift, while blaring sirens and a killer drop bring the same pilled up euphoria as the recent DJ Absolutely Shit 12". Mega vibes and dancefloor insanity guaranteed.  And what we can we say about his team mates . Coyote , Tiago & Dawn Again on the same record ??!! yes please !!!. The Coyote boys dont mess around at all .Straight into a ravey , sweeping banger. Teasing balaerica but keepng it a fully loaded dance floor bomb. Tiago does what Tiago does . His signiture sunshine vibe oozing out of the track from start to finish . The drums are something to behold and the piano riff drop packs a real punch. And last but not least our mate from Melbourne Dawn Again tears up the track and brings us a classic weird re-triangluation in true banging Dawn Again fashion. Big record from team Rothmans for their 15th release!

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Patrick says: DJ hero Neil Diablo makes a loan appearance on Rothmans with an A-grade banger. A bit ravey, but with the kind of discoid groove we expect from ND, "Berwuda" is a guaranteed club banger. Chuck in respectable performances from subs Coyote, Tiago and Dawn Again and you've got a great release.

                                            Psychemagik

                                            Trip / Sisters Of The Moon

                                            Those wizards of digging Psychemagik doing the business once again. Hot on the heels of last year's monstrous 'Gotta hold on me / Wildman' they're letting folks know that they were still out there searching in the darkest recesses of the last 40+ years of popular and unpopular music, and boy oh boy are they good at it!

                                            'The Trip' lives up to it's name. The track kicks off with some ultra beefed up psychedelic shenanigans, swirling, cacophonous sounds whirl and sweep and gradually drag us into the holographic tunnel, gradually giving way to some heavyweight drums and percussions and unfurling into a muscular psych-discoid beast. This one will send the kids crazy and will undoubtedly cause some damage in the club, both sonically and mentally. 'But what is the original?' we hear you say... answers on a postcard please.

                                            'Sisters of the moon' on the flip-side is a very different animal - All laid back, laconic steel-guitars and thundering slo-mo drums and percussion. The dark side of a rural witchcraft dream exposed here, almost menacing... and then? Those vocals spring out of the mix amidst the throbbing sexually charged atmosphere and drag us back into the realm of 'near reality' with sultry moans and groans. This one's woozy alright, but in the best possible way. So wrong, it's right and possibly the natural soundtrack to too many of those strange shots that that guy in the weird hat gave us earlier when we entered that country pub. 'What guy?' I hear you ask....

                                            Ultimate freak-disco and deepest druid Funk for the discerning and psychedelically inclined record consumer.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Sil says: More Psychemagik edit bliss brought to the masses. This time they give us and off the beaten track edit (The Trip on the A side) to turn you loose on the dancefloor, followed by the chilled, smooth and sensual 'Sisters of the Moon'. An absolute beauty this one. Buy on sight.

                                            Dr Alimantado

                                            Best Dressed Chicken In Town

                                              Reissue of the drop-dead classic album from 1978. Alimantado with Horace Andy, Lee Perry, King Tubby, Gregory Isaacs, Jah Woosh, Jimmy Radwell and Jackie Edwards. Recorded in several sessions, at the Black Ark, Channel One, Randy's and King Tubby's studios, it was the first album put out by Greensleeves, now reissued by the good Dr. himself on his Keyman label. Alimantado's graffiti, daubed round Westbourne Park and Notting Hill back in 1978 survived longer than any Banksy could, without a sliver of perspex in sight.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Patrick says: Greensleeves debut album back in 1978. A classic deejay (aka toasting) set featuring Horace Andy, Lee Perry, King Tubby, Gregory Isaacs, Jah Woosh, Jimmy Radwell and Jackie Edwards along with the good Dr. himself of course.

                                              Ady Suleiman announces his long-awaited debut, ‘Memories’. An album which has taken Suliman a long time to process and create dealing with issues close to him. It is a bold collection of uninhibited songs about mental health, relationships and family. With a rich era-spanning appreciation of music and an innate need to turn life experiences into narrative, Ady Suleiman has developed a timelessly classic yet fresh sound that blends R&B, Soul, Pop, Hip Hop and more. ‘Memories’ features the singles ‘Need Somebody To Love’, ‘Loving Arms’ and ‘Not Giving Up’.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Millie says: Refreshingly new, Ady Suleiman captures his thoughts and feelings in the album, Memories is an album which was very much needed this year.

                                              Editors

                                              Violence

                                                INITIAL COPIES COME WITH A FREE SIGNED ART PRINT.

                                                Album VI from the British indie-rock 5-piece.



                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Barry says: It's been a while hasn't it? Well, Editors are back with 'Violence', full of perfectly measured riffage, swooning synths and raw rock power. Massive, heavy and available to buy. What more could you want?

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                Deluxe LP Info: Ltd edition deluxe LP is pressed on 180g red vinyl and contains a download code including two bonus tracks. The vinyl sits inside a triple gatefold sleeve, which also contains 12 inserts.

                                                Deluxe CD Info: Ltd edition deluxe CD features two bonus tracks and is housed inside a rigid box, which also contains 2 fridge magnets, 12 inserts and a fold out poster.

                                                Man oh man, Isle Of Jura know how to pick out a reissue! This time round it's the all time Italo classic, "The Voice Of Q", a leftfield electro disco gem that's rocked the spot for everyone from IF to Morgan Geist to Il Bosco etc. While it's been readily available in recent years as a standalone 12" or on the Dark Disco comp, it's worth noting that these releases are BOOTLEGS and sound DOGSHIT. Now, those heroes at Isle Of Jura have secured the official rights, sent the masters to Matt Colton for a necessary clean, and chucked in a previously unreleased Q killer for good measure.
                                                If you're sat there thinking, "What the fuck is this dude on about? Has he been stood too close to Matt Ward's stash tin or something" then I'll fill you in. Back in 1982, Q picked up some interplanetary frequencies and laid down a gamechanger. "The Voice Of Q" delivers a discoid 4/4, spiced up with syncopated electro funk hats, a garbled sequence, slap bass, sci fi synth tones and killer vocoder work. The original mix introduces some peppy vocals for those who feel frisky, while the B-side keeps things stripped back for cybernetic dancefloor freaks. The previously unreleased "Keep It Strong" shifts gears a little, packing punchy piano licks over a shuffling garage groove to totally nail the proto house vibe. Warm, light and euphoric, this shoulder roller should sit perfectly next to "Casa Beat", "Free Yourself" and Soft House Company. 

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Sil says: At last a repress of The Voice of Q that has received the Matt Colton remaster love that it deserves. It sounds super. Lovely artwork too for an all-time classic!

                                                Nat Birchall

                                                Cosmic Language

                                                Nat Birchall charts new paths toward spiritual communion, connecting jazz with classical Indian influences guided by the wistful flow of the harmonium.

                                                Cosmic Language sees the UK-based saxophonist, composer and arranger return to Jazzman Records with a cross-cultural approach: an exploration of the parallel musical paths of jazz and Indian ragas. Here he takes influence from spiritual jazz forebears such as Alice Coltrane and Yusef Lateef and introduces the Indian harmonium to his band, where it takes the place of the piano. Making new connections to realise his transcendental ambitions, it's a logical next step in making music as spiritual cleanser.

                                                The idea for the album was spawned from a one-off performance at a meditation centre, the Maharishi Golden Dome in West Lancashire. Seeking to bring a band set-up that was fitting to the quiet-minded setting, Birchall brought the harmonium with him. A small pump organ, it's an instrument he'd been in possession of for many years but hadn't previously used in his music. Building on the spiritual context of that show, and the associations of that instrument, it led naturally to the musical approach undertaken on the album.

                                                Both the album and the show which preceded it were recorded with the same tight-knit group of players which have featured on Birchall's previous albums. All members of the group are part of the same like minded circle of Manchester-oriented jazz musicians, sharing stages and acquaintances with the likes of Matthew Halsall (a longtime collaborator with Birchall) and GoGo Penguin.

                                                Birchall has always channeled wide-ranging ideas into music that's simple to understand, and this album is no exception. Album opener 'Man From Varanasi' is an ode to Bismillah Khan, one of Birchall's heroes of Indian music who hailed from the northern Indian city named in the title. It also sees him taking cues from the Indian raga tradition which, as with most other traditional Indian music, is a foundation which underpinned Khan's music.

                                                Crucially, the ragas tap into the idea of of music as a means of spiritual release. As Birchall explains, "The whole act of making music is a spiritual experience. It's during performance and when playing music that I look for a kind of truth. It's with music where I find myself feel closest to attaining that 'enlightened' kind of feeling." "On rare occasions I've actually felt as though I was listening to the music being played rather than being involved in making it, almost like an out-of-body experience."

                                                This natural feeling comes from Birchall's attitude toward jazz music. He sees it as an essential part of day-to-day life: instead of brightly-lit, occasional entertainment in lugubrious concert halls, he considers it an everyday, vital source of inspiration. At a moment where jazz-influenced music is undergoing creative renewal and wider appreciation, it's an important perspective that's found resonance elsewhere. His experiences and the world around him are filtered through his music, and he looks to have his music – be it live or on record – absorbed in the same quotidian way. "To me, it's an integral part of society, an everyday thing," he says. "You should hear the music every day."


                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Millie says: Cosmic Language is a beautiful Jazz concept album, Birchall emphasises the important of filling our lives with music, and of course – lovely jazz music! If you are a fan of the Gondwana label, you should give this a try!

                                                The Velvet Underground

                                                1969

                                                  This vinyl reissue of The Velvet Underground's 1969 (not to be confused with 1969 Live) compiles 1969-era Velvet Underground classics, including some rare mixes, instrumentals and alternate takes on official vinyl for the first time.

                                                  Several original 1969 mixes from this era are featured here including “Foggy Notion,” “I’m Sticking with You,” “Andy’s Chest,” “I’m Gonna Move Right In,” and “Ocean,” as well as 2014 mixes of “One of These Days,” “Lisa Says,” and more.

                                                  180 gram vinyl with digital download code.

                                                  Released for the first time on vinyl is Basil Kirchin’s charming and affecting score made “in association” with his regular cohorts, Jack Nathan and John A. Coleman. The film, ‘I Start Counting!’ released in 1970, was directed by the multi-talented and quite radical David Greene. This genre of film, a coming of age thriller, the score for I Start Counting! allowed Kirchin to explore more dark edges of film music and composition: as a score it bubbles along with lots of classic Kirchin hallmarks, but here we are also treated to a beguiling opening song that is lyrically and musically developed and then slowly pulled apart over sequential cues. We also have a unusual Eastern tinge to some of the percussion and Kirchin’s distinctive pastoral oddness is here too. His sonic jumps between low drama and high tension are extraordinary, and his use of free jazz to bring about unease is both perfectly simple and effective.
                                                  Together the two different recordings show Kirchin constantly progressing with his sound, embracing new ideas and modern studio techniques too, but always somehow maintaining his distinctive voice. 


                                                  10LEC6 is a shape-shifting project formed around street-artist Simon and DJ-producer Jess (from the french DJ duo Jess & Crabbe which run together the label Bazzerk). What started as a project based on the need and compulsion to play loud and hard music has earned itself a nice reputation as a live act and on the dancefloors.

                                                  Influenced by the more danceable side of post-punk (Bad Brains, ESG, The Slits…), but also by disco, house and other electro-deviant sounds, 10LEC6 is back with a new formation that accentuates the unstructured (dyslexic) quality of the project. New singer Nicole has gospel roots and can also rap and shout in Bulu (a Bantou dialect spoken in the South of Cameroon), bringing a quality that is altogether Afro-punk, energetic, tribal, modern and, most of all, dancefloor. A great mix of rhythms and bass carried by traditional sounds and vocal incantations bursting out in a fiery flow.

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Matt says: Like a lot of great music, you've gotta stick this one out somewhat, until it firmly grabs you by your unsuspecting hand and ceases to release you from its awe-inspiring grip. New music that's direct and arresting as hell, but yet beautifully melodic and grooving. You need this in your life!

                                                  Elle Mary & The Bad Men

                                                  Constant Unfailing Night

                                                    Led by Elle’s guitar playing and beautiful, nuanced voice, ‘Constant Unfailing Night’ peels away layer after layer of expectation. Rhythmically challenging and yet unassuming, it leads you down a rabbit hole of emotions, sonics and stories, reminiscent of bands from Smog to Sharon Van Etten.

                                                    Though firmly grounded in folk-noir, the album carefully carves out its own space. From “Falling”, a song that seemingly gets more complicated after each listen, to the crescendo at the centre of “Behave”, where the vocals open the door from folk to anger, Elle Mary & the Bad Men have crafted a journey. Elle Mary explains: “This album has been written over the course of three years, a project started in response to a break up, a shift, a necessity to carry on. As I wrote and filtered out songs, the focus started to change and became about tapping into some part of the subconscious, looking for the part of me that knows better, but that I seem to ignore. The Bad Men, Michael Dubec and Pete Sitch, have joined me on this journey and probably know me too well as a result of it. The weight they add to the songs is incredible and I really couldn’t ask for a better band.

                                                    “Space and a minimal approach has always been the most important part of the music to me; to do more with less. It’s this that draws me in the most about the artists I love (Low, Julie Doiron, Bill Callahan etc.). The space allows my voice to sit on top and the words seep in. I don’t really enjoy telling people what the lyrics mean; I prefer them to interpret for themselves: that perspective interests me; I like the freedom of taking what you want from a song.”

                                                    For fans of: Jenny Hval, Sharon Van Etten, Low

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Beautiful tender string plucks and Elle Mary's haunting vocals soaring over the top, Constant Unfailing Night is another winner from Manchester's own Sideways Saloon.

                                                    All Nerve – the first new album from The Breeders in a decade – reunites band members Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson, the line-up behind the iconic and platinum-selling record, Last Splash.

                                                    The quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary and have been quietly working on new material since then.

                                                    Featuring singles ‘Wait in the Car’ and title track ‘All Nerve’, recording took place at Candyland, Dayton, Kentucky, with Mike Montgomery; Electrical Audio, Chicago, with Steve Albini and Greg Norman; and with Tom Rastikis at Fernwood Studios, Dayton, Ohio. Artwork was conceived by Chris Bigg, who has worked with The Breeders since their first album, Pod.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: It's hard to not to get tingles down the spine when hearing Kim Deal's voice. As one of the most recognisable vocals in grunge history. Deal's role in the pixies was unarguably important, but this really takes that iconic backing vocal and brings it rightfully to the forefront. This is a confident, rocking delight, as nuanced as it is heavy.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Coloured LP Info: limited LP version pressed on 180g orange vinyl and with different artwork is available exclusively for independent stores.

                                                    LP Info: 180g black vinyl LP.

                                                    Self-produced, written and recorded in the east London house-stroke-studio-stroke band HQ they all share together (imagine a squat version of the Brill Building, or a lo-fi, DIY take on Max Martin’s Cheiron studio), Superorganism is a spectacularly confident debut record that beams with a sense of wonky fun, a kaleidoscopic riot of sound and visuals. Influenced by the world-building depth of artists like Devo, Beck and The Avalanches, Superoganism soundtracks the band’s rapid trajectory from shared house side project to global audiovisual powerhouse and features previous singles ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’ and ‘It’s All Good / Nobody Cares’ as well as their brand single ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Brilliantly quirky oddball pop, twee synthy pads and glitched indie come together into this flourescent explosion of melodic power. Unforgettable and a truly exciting concept for the future.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Indies Exclusive LP Info: Deluxe edition comes in a glow in the dark gatefold sleeve.

                                                    Deluxe CD Info: Deluxe CD comes in mini gatefold with 16-page booklet

                                                    Jonathan Wilson had a busy 2017, producing Father John Misty's grammy nominated Pure Comedy and touring arenas around the globe as a guitarist and vocalist for Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters (for whom he also contributed to the lauded Is This The Life We Really Want? album.) Wilson also saw widespread acclaim heaped on Karen Elson’s sophomore LP Double Roses, which he recorded with her in Los Angeles in 2016.

                                                    But it's not looking like Wilson is going to get much of a rest in 2018 either, as he'll be continuing on with the worldwide Waters tour and is set to release his own new solo album Rare Birds in the spring. The highly anticipated long player - which features backing vocals from Lana Del Rey, Josh Tillman, fellow Roger Waters bandmates Lucius and an extraordinary musical gift from otherworldly Brian Eno collaborator Laraaji - will be released through Bella Union worldwide.

                                                    Although much of the album is comprised lyrically of meditations on a failed relationship and its aftermath, Wilson insists that Rare Birds is not really a concept album. "It's meant more as a healing affair, a rejuvenation, a reconciliation, for others, and for me. I wanted to balance personal narrative with the need I feel for calming healing music. I think we need journeys in sound, psychedelic gossamer-winged music that includes elements consciously and purposefully to incite hope, positivity, longing, reckless abandon and regret. It's all in there."

                                                    And, for this one, music critics will need to retire the comparisons to heritage rockers and Laurel Canyon troubadours as they’re hardly useful anymore. Wilson's new sound takes a synthetic/acoustic, best-of-both-worlds analog/digital hybrid approach to achieve the complexity, sonic density and glossy hi-fi coating of Rare Birds. Heard for the first time on a Jonathan Wilson album are the sounds of synthesizers and drum machines.


                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Andy says: Jonathan has eschewed the obvious Laurel Canyon trappings this time out, and the result is his best record yet. Still blissed-out, otherworldly, multi-layered and lonnnnng, but the sound is beautifully streamlined with even synths and drum machines gliding by. A headphone masterpiece.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    2xColoured LP Info: Gold coloured vinyl with a 28 page art + lyric booklet.

                                                    Written entirely in Cornish, Le Kov is exploration of the individual and collective subconscious, the myths and drolls of Cornwall, and the survival of Britain’s lesser known Brythonic language. As one of the language’s few fluent speakers, Gwenno felt a duty to make her second album entirely in Cornish: to create a document of a living language, explore her identity and the endless creative possibilities of a tongue that has a very small surviving artistic output, despite having been around for at least 15 centuries.
                                                    She dove deep into research, learning about attempts to protect and progress the language and the role of women throughout Cornish history. When Gwenno considered the legends of sunken Brythonic cities Cantre’r Gwaelod, Kêr-Is, Langarrow and Lyonesse, she knew she had her starting point. These cities evoked her idea of language as its own form of psychological territory, a concept perfectly distilled by the Cornish title for the album, Le Kov – the place of memory.

                                                    But Le Kov isn’t really a concept album—the city doesn’t loom that large through these 10 songs, and you don’t need the translation sheet to appreciate the gorgeous, sea-warped psychedelia that Gwenno has created alongside long-term collaborator and producer Rhys Edwards. Evoking the music of her childhood – Brenda Wootton, Alan Stivell, BUCCA – along with Broadcast, The United States of America, White Noise and Serge Gainsbourg, Le Kov is shimmering and tarnished, rust mingled with barnacles, moss entwined with weathered rope. It’s a huge step up from her debut album, Y Dydd Olaf, featuring forlorn piano, crisp drums, and searching synth lines that seem to reach across the horizon. The sounds of the language are similarly gorgeous: “Dha wolow jy yw splann” (“your light is bright”), Gwenno marvels on Hi A Skoellyas Liv A Dhagrow (She Shed A Flood Of Tears).

                                                    Sharp-eyed observers will note that that’s also a song from Aphex Twin’s 2001 album Drukqs. “I imagined Richard D. James coming across this ‘long lost Cornish 70s folk rock song’ on vinyl in a charity shop in the city of Le Kov, and stealing the title,” says Gwenno. It’s one of just two songs where she references the city directly. The next is Herdhya (Pushing), a hypnotic song “about the feeling of isolation after the Brexit vote, and realising that you’re stuck on an island—Britain—with perhaps many people who are trying to push society back to a regressive idea of the middle ages that has never existed, and imposing that on everyone else,” says Gwenno. By contrast, Le Kov is “dhyn ni oll” (for us all), a sanctuary city and analogue for the importance of understanding that diverse identities are the foundation of any place.
                                                    There’s darkness on Le Kov, but beauty, too. Tir Ha Mor (Land And Sea) is a tribute to Peter Lanyon, the St. Ives school painter who learned to fly a glider plane in order to “get a more complete knowledge of the landscape” where he lived, and died after crashing his aircraft in August 1964. “Marghek an Gwyns was his Bardic name,” says Gwenno. “Rider of the Winds.”
                                                    And Gwenno’s playful side shines through, too. Daromres Y’n Howl (Traffic In The Sun) is a low, groovy tribute to Cornwall’s clogged roads in the summertime, featuring Gruff Rhys rapping amid dissonant brass that evoke the angry horns of tourists on the A30. And Gwenno’s favourite song is Eus Keus? (Is There Cheese?). It comes from one of the oldest surviving Cornish phrases: “Is there cheese? Is there or isn’t there? If there’s cheese, bring cheese, and if there isn’t cheese, bring what there is!”

                                                    Over the course of making Le Kov, Gwenno reconciled her anxiety over her right to make a Cornish-language pop record, and realised that, in the age of Brexit, isolationism and hostility towards the rich cultures that make modern Britain, it had a wider resonance, too. “This album is a combination of accepting the culture which your parents have valued enough to want to pass on to you, regardless how small, and utilising it in a positive way to try and make sense of the world around you, it’s also about having to accept and respect the nuances that make us all different and discovering that all of our stories share the same truth.”

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Never one to shy away from walking the roads-less-travelled when it comes to language use (being fluent in both Welsh and Cornish), Gwenno is flying the flag for regional language pride, as well as dominating players around the globe when she puts out a new one. 'Le Kov' is no different, perfectly produced and brilliantly enjoyable.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                    Suuns are pleased to announced their new album, Felt, coming out March 2nd on Secretly Canadian. Singer/guitarist Ben Shemie says, “This record is definitely looser than our last one [2016’s Hold/Still]. It’s not as clinical. There’s more swagger.” You can hear this freedom flowing through the 11 tracks on Felt. It’s both a continuation and rebirth, the Montreal quartet returning to beloved local facility Breakglass Studios (where they cut their first two albums [Zeroes QC and Images Du Futur] with Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes) but this time recording themselves at their own pace, over five fertile sessions spanning several months. A simultaneous stretching out and honing in, mixed to audiophile perfection by St Vincent producer John Congleton (helmer of Hold/Still), who flew up especially from Dallas to deploy his award-winning skills in situ.

                                                    Complementing O’Neill are the ecstatic, Harmonia-meets-Game Boy patterns unleashed by electronics mastermind Max Henry. Eschewing presets, Henry devised fresh sounds for each song on Felt while also becoming a default musical director, orchestrating patches and oscillations. Quietly enthusing about “freaky post-techno” and Frank Ocean’s use of space, he’s among your more modest studio desk jockeys: “Yeah, I sat in the control room while the others played – hitting ‘record’ and ‘stop’. It also gave me the flexibility to move parts around and play with effects. I do have a sweet tooth for pop music.”



                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: Hypnotic synth throbs, dusty percussion workouts and flickering kosmische bass meet with ambient downtempo before thrashing forwards into dark dystopian minimal wave. Superb.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Coloured LP Info: Indies Exclusive on clear vinyl.

                                                    Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive, post punk trio comprised of Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after they met in L.A.’s DIY music scene. Their debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future.

                                                    The trio began regularly frequenting DIY institutions like The Smell and Pehrspace, eventually selling out dozens of their own shows at both venues with their first few bands. Solomon recalls, after a brief hiatus from playing together, Moaning’s conception came when he sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for “Don’t Go,” setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow.

                                                    The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heartbreak to inform the band’s conflicted sound. The band eventually landed on the apt moniker Moaning, admiring the ambiguity the name held and hoping to reference both an intimate wail and an anguished scream

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Laura says: Sub Pop really are on a roll at the moment! LA band Moaning bring us some doomy, abrasive guitar tunes, with skittering drums and rumbling fluid bass lines that nod to early 80s post punk. Add to that dead-pan vocals and big hooks and they've got me sold!

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Coloured LP Info: Limited Coloured LP

                                                    Soccer Mommy

                                                    Clean

                                                      Following on from last years compilation “Collection”, Nashville based Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy now brings us her debut album proper. Produced by Gabe Wax (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Beirut), the new album is a huge step up from her earlier bedroom recordings. The fuller sound works perfectly with Sophie’s finely crafted, bitter-sweet pop songs that have a world weary quality beyond her 20 years.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited Indies edition on 'Ultra Clear' vinyl.

                                                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                      Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock's most promising new voices, Dacus returns on March 2 with Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. "This is the album I needed to make," says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. "Everything after this is a bonus."

                                                      Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, re-teaming with No Burden producer Collin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with A-list studio wizard John Congleton. The sound they created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut — an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus' remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Barry says: Dacus' light Americana leanings of the superb No Burden are sidelined slightly for her grander, more expansive new outing, Historian. Though her smouldering guitar work and unmistakable voice are ever present, they are skillfully woven into an intricate and all-encompassing web of orchestration, grandeur and beauty. This is a stunner, and every bit the successful follow-up.

                                                      Sprechen sie rhythm? It's time for a new dance...

                                                      Welcome to the wonderful weird of Talking Drums - an unsafe space for poorly executed dance moves, misjudged vibes and narcotic bravery. Semi-Cosmic, way wonky and oozing grooves, this is music for the fringe class.

                                                      The party starts with a tripped out tribute to an Italian inspiration. 'C60 Lato A' sees the crew pluck a couple of killers off a well worn Cosmic tape, leave them out in the sun a little too long then stick them back together with an experimental blend of UHU and fufu. Springy bass, spangled brass and mangled electronics make for a motherload of funk, fried just long enough to make the walls melt. Bendy....

                                                      Over on the B-side the crew come through with a little bathsalt boogie, pitched down and loved up for all the slow dancers and romancers out there. Strutting like a stoned fox, 'Get Serious' wraps rubber-limbed bass around propulsive percussion, gets hooky with the horns then slaps you silly with its x-rated synth-smut. Pinched from the pound bin and taped over a CH 5 classic, this disco drooler will loosen up even the stickiest floors.

                                                      Freshly dressed and pressed to impress, the Drums are talking....

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Matt says: MASSIVE off kilter disco business from a new local firm here. Afro-electronix and space walking boogie twisted into the kind of wobbly cosmic tackle that brings on peak time enlightenment... Get yer orders in!

                                                      After announcing themselves on the world stage with the wonderful “Midnight In Tokyo”, Studio Mule treat us to a vinyl reissue of one of the best and most complex Japanese jazz fusion albums, 1987’S “Breeze” by group Atlas. Hiroyuki Namba is one of the most important Japanese keyboardists of the 80s with a legacy which includes Japanese cosmic classic “Who Done It?” and “Tropical Explosion”, a sought-after gem by diggers. In addition to his work with progressive rock band “Sense Of Wonder”, he’s also an integral part of Tatsuro Yamashita’s band. Eiji Kawamura is a highly respected arranger who has lent his ear and skill set to projects by major recording artists Kyoko Koizumi and Hideaki Tokunaga. The trio is rounded out by skilled studio musician Toshiro Imaizumi, whose innovative keys have graced releases by Ichiro Nitta and Tazumi Toyoshima amongst others. The album opens with the soothing sounds of ocean waves, an evocative introduction to the melancholic fusion number “Mediterranean Breeze”, which sets the Balearic mood for the whole album. “Simpatia” is an album highlight with a euphoric feel that could be Tokyo’s answer to the sounds of Ibiza―an obscure Japanese gem. 'After Brunch With You” is a sunny samba fusion with a playful, bright piano melody, followed by “Summer Breeze,” an electric fusion jam that sounds like a lost Holger Czukay composition. Breezy mellow tune “never come into your eyes” reminds you of the sentimental feeling one gets around the time summer’s about to be over. Another album highlight, “Indige,” is one of Japan’s most unique dance tracks of the time, an electric disco stomper that sound like it could’ve been produced by Todd Terje. “Breeze For Siesta” features Toshiro Imaizumi’s beautiful piano paying, a relaxing song that wouldn’t sound out of place on ECM. “Love Beach” blends prog influences with fusion in a way only Hiroyuki Namba can, while the album ends with “Madrigl,” a magical song with dramatic and melancholic moments, full of quintessentially Japanese sense of beauty.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Patrick says: Another week, another Japanese classic, and this time it's another gem I've been begging gets reissued. Thankfully Studio Mule have heard my prayers, delivering an excellent pressing of Atlas' uber-Balearic jazz fusion winner "Breeze". Alongside coastal coolers "Mediterranean Breeze" and "Simpatia" be sure to check out the electrodisco insanity of "Indige".

                                                      Tracey Thorn’s first solo album of entirely original material for seven years. 

                                                      Describing Queen, Tracey says: “It’s a great opener for the album - driven along by Ewan Pearson’s unashamedly glittering electro-pop production, drums and bass from Warpaint’s Stella and Jenny, it features me playing electric guitar for the first time in a while, and singing my heart out.”

                                                      As ever the personal has often been political in Tracey Thorn’s work. “Nine feminist bangers,” Tracey Thorn jokes when asked to describe ‘Record.’ If this album is in part about freedom and disenthrallment, new single ‘Queen’ is the opening broadside, all personal fire and desire. Her voice, self-assured and richly-textured, yet confessional and affecting, spits out the lyrics on ‘Record’ with a fresh compelling drive and remains one of the finest female pop voices of the last four decades.

                                                      ”I think I’ve always written songs which chronicle the milestones of a woman’s life.” she says. “Different ages and stages, different realities, not often discussed in pop lyrics. If 2010’s Love and Its Opposite was my mid-life album - full of divorce and hormones - then ‘Record’ represents that sense of liberation that comes in the aftermath, from embarking on a whole new 'no fucks given' phase of life."

                                                      On Record, the synth-driven tracks arrive and leave with a punchy sub-three-minute directness. “I wanted it to be a record you’d listen to in the daytime,” Tracey says. “On your headphones or on the move. Not necessarily in the evening, or in your bedroom.” For all its no-fuss pop brevity, the album rotates around Sister, a dubby nine-minute Compass Point-style disco jam where Tracey is joined again by Warpaint’s rhythm section and glorious backing vocals from Corinne Bailey Rae.

                                                      Across four decades Tracey’s songs and writing have offered up a clear-eyed woman’s view of the immediate world around her; from the acerbic teen love songs of her first early-eighties band Marine Girls, through sixteen years as one half of articulate multi-million-selling duo Everything But The Girl to her recent acclaimed memoirs and journalism."


                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Barry says: Superbly reminiscent 80's synth lines, bouncing Linn drums and Thorn's unmistakable vocal quality. Rich, heavy atmospheres forged through impeccable songwriting and brilliantly measured instrumentation.

                                                      UK hip hop’s original and best live band are back with brand new album ‘Bring Out The Sound’, released in February 2018 on BBE Music. Founded in the early 90s by Ollie Teeba and Jake Wherry, The Herbaliser have earned every single accolade they’ve received during almost 25 years of touring and recording. Best known for delivering a series of groundbreaking albums on Ninja Tune and providing one of the all-time highlights of the ‘Fabric Live’ mix series, The Herbaliser’s most recent LP ‘There Were Seven’ was issued on their own ‘Department H’ imprint back in 2012. Having worked with hip hop royalty such as Jazzy Jef and Pete Rock over the years, not to mention releasing J Dilla’s frst and last solo albums, BBE are delighted to share in The Herbaliser’s musical journey.

                                                      Inviting a carefully chosen group of guest vocalists to join them in their London studio, ‘Bring Out The Sound’ presents a diverse blend of soulful songs, hip hop bangers and original instrumental funk breaks, made all the more impressive by its complete absence of sampling, an album from the heat of The Herbaliser. Famous for his pop smash ‘Starz In Their Eyes’ (sadly as relevant now as it ever was), Camden vocalist Just Jack lays down an incredibly moving performance over lush horns and strings on the instant classic ‘Seize The Day’. The London Posse’s own Rodney P spits lyrical fre alongside 28Luchi over the reggae-infused, unmistakably British beats of ‘Like Shaft’. Former Senseless Things member and Libertines collaborator Mark Keds creates an almost uncomfortably intimate, confessional atmosphere on the intensely personal ’20 Years To The Day’. Compared by Mark Ronson to a young Minnie Ripperton, UK singer STAC’s voice cuts through with a breathy kind of clarity on ‘Over and Over’.

                                                      But the Herbaliser band has always been so much more than the sum of its collaborators. Languid, powerful hip hop beats and uncompromising production values underpin impressive performances by all the band members, especially the horn section who track after track, turn in vintage performances. These guys make it all sound so easy that by the time we reach ‘Takedown’, a track that sounds for all the world like a forgotten b-boy anthem by The Incredible Bongo Band.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Barry says: Brilliant classic hip-hop grooves, soulful breaks and vibes all brought up to date with crisp, modern production and the Herbaliser crew's considerable experience. Brilliantly soulful, and thoroughly enjoyable throughout.

                                                      When we last saw Raf Rundell he was stood in a clearing, dressed in a shaman’s robes with a modern day magik staff raised above his head. Looking like the special guest DJ at a post-apocalyptic orbital rave, South London’s finest looked ready to take on all comers.

                                                      As one half of the 2 Bears and the self-styled Selfie Boy, he was finding his feet as a solo artist - his first mini LP (‘The Adventures Of Selfie Boy Part 1’) was garnering glowing writeups in the rock press as well as electronic magazines. However, just after the record was released, the world around him changed forever.

                                                      Put side by side, the birth of a new child and the rapid rise of a generation of Post Truth politicians don’t appear to have much connection. Seen through the eyes of a sleep deprived postmillennial two-time dad, however, these seemingly separate occurrences knot together into one paranoid, helpless, loving whole called ‘Stop Lying’.

                                                      “I think ‘Stop Lying’ feels fairly apposite for our time; it’s my regular cry of help and sanity. It’s the result of a bit of pub talk between me and some mates, the best kind of ‘high’ concept really. It was a desperate cry in the lead up to the last General Election and it quickly became a mantra that I shouted at the TV the whole time. It’s ended up working pretty well with my children… and me.”

                                                      One can’t be certain if it’s the age we live in or the age of his youngest that’s most heavily influenced ‘Stop Lying’ - whichever it is, it’s managed to make something pretty close to a perfectly reflective post millennial pop record. It’s Raf’s most confident and strident set of songs to date.

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Barry says: Rundell brings glitzy keys, rolling grooves and early evening sunset tropicalia, before bringing things into darker territory with jagged downtempo, and weirdo Deconesque synth abstractions. Bonkers, and brilliant.

                                                      Stubb Feat. Jane Weaver & Mike Lindsay

                                                      We Are Launching / Boring Days

                                                      Paper Recordings' Ben Davis takes off his Flash Atkins cape and mask to launch a new project exploring things left of centre and Balearic. In these disposable times, Stubb will celebrate community and DIY with a limited run of 300 vinyl screen-printed kraft card sleeves of commissioned illustrations by artist Rachel Johns plus hand-drawn labels by Hebden Bridge's The Egg Factory.
                                                      "We Are Launching" is a journey into the psychedelic stream of the Balearic ocean, featuring the musical talents of the brilliant, Piccadilly approved Jane Weaver. The Stubb collaboration is a sublime head trip to the deep reaches of space and electronica with hallucinatory guitars, burbling synths and arpeggiators that are beautifully set off by Jane's ethereal vocals. Mike Lindsay is founder and producer of folktronica pioneers Tunng and his distinctive tones sing the praises of doing nothing on "Boring Days", which is psychedelic leftfield pop at its finest.The track is locked down by a nagging fifth bass with vocal pops, hand claps, muted afro guitar, washed synths and arps that build before the choruses hit in a wave of analogue keyboards and fuzz guitar. After that, a gloriously stretched outro takes you straight to the mediterranean. There's also an edited instrumental that brings out the sunshine... 

                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Patrick says: Local hero Ben Davies (paper recordings) gets well Balearic with this new project, enlisting Piccadilly favourite and synth-psych folk goddess Jane Weaver for a horizontal masterpiece. Over on the flipside the sunny stroll of "Boring Days" should have you dancing away, albeit slowly.

                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      12" Info: Limited to 300 records in screen-printed kraft card sleeves of commissioned illustrations by artist Rachel Johns plus hand-drawn labels by Hebden Bridge's The Egg Factory.

                                                      In a move that's sure to delight lager louts, craft ale kids and CAMRA, BEER is back, ready to make you unsteady all over again. Now at their fourth release, Kyodai's imprint have something truly special in store for your awaiting ears. Chesus's 'Special' was part of an EP called "Monster Munch" back in 2013.
                                                      It sold out in the blink of an eye, and rapidly gained cult status - but fear not - here's another chance to own it, in case you missed out, and with a special edit to mark the occasion too. In its original form "Special" sees Chesus get all DJ Sneak on our asses with the kind of Philly disco sampling house smasher you'd just love to gurn to. Big strings, sizzing 4/4 and tight congas ensure the feel good groove flows perfectly, while the tough bottom end and soulful vocals form a perfect partnership. In its brand new edited form, the track speeds up from slow and soulful disco origins (think slow dance on the love boat) to the filter heavy hitter we know and love. Ace!



                                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                                      Sil says: Solid beat, filtering where it should go, soulful samples, and top climax! It has all the elements a good edit must have. My favourite record this week. Dancefloor ammunition for the masses.

                                                      The Kills

                                                      List Of Demands (Reparations)

                                                        7" single from The Kills, featuring two covers, one is the powerful classic List Of Demands from Saul Williams alongside the reggae classic Steppin' Razor by Josh Higgs, Peter Tosh & The Wailers.

                                                        Insecure Men

                                                        Insecure Men

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

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

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

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive yellow coloured vinyl.

                                                          Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

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


                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

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

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


                                                          CD Info: Jewel case including poster.

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

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                          LP Info: Orange coloured vinyl.

                                                          LP includes MP3 Download Code.

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

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                          Various Artists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                          If you're gonna go about making the weirdest, most warped psychedelic disco around, it only makes sense that you'll eventually run into Cherrystones. The only surprise is that it's taken this long for the deep digger to make his debut on Bahnsteig 23 - but what a debut it is! The set starts with the wrong speed, afro-cosmic sizzle of "Simba Dub", a percussion laced slow groover with waaaay out vocals and hot horns - must have tackle for me! "Belly King" transports us to the Middle East with spacey keys, jazzy rhythms and a tripped out cabaret aesthetic, before "ExOhSkeletons" gnarls things up nicely with plenty of punk aggression. Onto the flip and "Tropical Meat Wave" works your hips, lips and heels with a weird and warbled bit of sunkissed French folk funk - essential for fans of Good Plus I feel. "KonGkinG" keeps up the pace with some spangled disco rock monkey business before the buzzing scuzzing big beats of "BouncerC-nt With A Shit Tash" takes the medal for best track name and freakiest NDW punk funk jam of the week.

                                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                                          Patrick says: Another week, another essential release from Bahnsteig 23. As ever, we're on a weirdo tip, but Cherrystones ups the oddball ante seriously here with some seriously spannered frequencies. Twisting Afro-funk, French pop, punk, Turkish tackle and NDW inside out, Godsy has done it again.

                                                          Olden Yolk

                                                          Olden Yolk

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

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

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

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                            Coloured LP Info: Clear vinyl edition with alternative sleeve.

                                                            Mamuthones

                                                            Fear On The Corner

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

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

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

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

                                                              STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

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

                                                              Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                              Death And Vanilla

                                                              The Tenant

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

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

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

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Coloured LP Info: Magenta LP with download card

                                                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                Gwen McCrae

                                                                Keep The Fire Burning / Funky Sensation

                                                                Expansion get a stadium-sized thumbs up from the Piccadilly peeps here, following last year's essential Norman Connors reissue with a fresh pressing of one of the all time disco classics, "Keep The Fire Burning" by Gwen McCrae. After a recent second hand price surge in recent years, presumably caused by a) the track's unparalleled brilliance, b) the fact that a whole load of A-listers have introduced it to the Boiler Room kids and c) the only affordable option was the well-snide, poorly pressed and totally dished bootleg from a few years ago. If "Keep The Fire Burning" is new to you, know this; it has never, ever failed to fill a dancefloor. Killer bass, perfect percussion and the finest groove you've ever heard, augmented by irresistible rhythm guitar and Gwen's occasionally spoken, outrageously sung vocal all come together in perfect disco harmony. Appearing here in its full 6:54 format, this is an absolute must have. On the flip, "Funky Sensation", possesses a timeless and universal groove, a song which has cemented itself as a darling of the boogie-scene, while gaining traction from the likes of Dam Funk and Nu Guinea. Bag a copy ASAP!

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                Patrick says: Definitely in the top ten disco records of all time, Gwen's soulful, sassy and stomping "Keep The Fire Burning" has raised the roof consistently for almost forty years now. Available here in its full length as an officially remastered reissue, with rare-groove classic "Funky Sensation" on the flip no less, it's gonna continue to do damage for the next forty years.

                                                                Jack Cutter / Paqua

                                                                Serpent Strut / Ruby Running Faker - Larry Heard / Emperor Machine Remixes

                                                                Bonus cuts from the Claremont 56 Box Set featuring tracks and mixes not featured on the original release. Chicago legend Larry Heard is joined by UK mainstay Andy Meecham in his EMperor Machine alias as they remix the amazing Paqua and Jack Cutter. First up, "Serpent Strutt" by Jack Cutter gets a spacious and soulful rerub by Mr. Fingers who emphasizes the relaxed nature of the track through a beachy, waves lapping at your ankles kinda vibe that really resonates with the OG whilst simultaneiously shining a light on Larry's unique, effortless style.On the flip, EM takes Paqua's "Ruby Running Faker" into squelchy new disco territory complete with boogie bass, dubbed out delays and echo laden hand claps. Rock solid but with a bit of give around the hips, this'll make ideal warm up tackle... Super limited and really quite good - you know what to do! 

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                Matt says: Nice Brucey bonus for fans of the ultimate Balearic collection. Larry Heard and Emperor Machine's remix never made the boxset, but they're more than worthy additions to this most pretigious collection. Super limited too so don't dilly dally.

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

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

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

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Coloured LP Info: Limited edition blue vinyl.

                                                                Wolf Müller & Niklas Wandt

                                                                Instrumentalmusik Von Der Mitte Der World

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

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


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                Dita Von Teese (Feat, Sebastien Tellier)

                                                                Dita Von Teese

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

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Coloured LP Info: First 2000 LP pressed on pink vinyl

                                                                Belle & Sebastian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Indies Exclusive LP Info: Loser edition clear vinyl

                                                                Kendrick Lamar

                                                                Damn (Collectors Clear Vinyl Edition)

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

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


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                2xColoured LP Info: Double transparent clear vinyl.

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

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


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

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

                                                                Everything Is Recorded

                                                                Everything Is Recorded By Richard Russell

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

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                Coloured LP Info: Yellow vinyl, independent store exclusive.

                                                                Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                LP Info: 180 gram vinyl.

                                                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

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

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

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


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                                Ltd CD Info: "Mintpack" CD edition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

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

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


                                                                STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

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

                                                                Last Of The Easy Riders

                                                                Unto The Earth

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

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

                                                                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

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

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

                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

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

                                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                                  LP Info: Limited edition lavendar vinyl.

                                                                  Microshift is the Leeds band's first new work in over 3 years and marks