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CEREMONY

Islandman are a musical trio from Istanbul and "Godless Ceremony" is their third album, released via our much treasured friends at Music For Dreams. Alligance with the label is bound to signify a degree of horizontal leaning, and across the double album Islandman explore slow-mo Balearic chug, eastern melodies, downtempo house, expansive horizons and sun scorched air. An incendiary, uplifting and psychedelic slew of music drawn from a world of make-believe, rooted in Anatolia and rich with exotic beauty.

These 13 tracks are awash with acid drenched electronic motifs and stuttering electronic drum machine syncopations. The group effortlessly sail the globe, dropping into the tropics of Ecuador ("Amarnos Ahora"), to Mali visiting North African desert blues masters Tamikrest ("Tarhamanine Assinegh") and North India ("Drums Of Colca") whilst never forgetting the music and poetry from the band's spiritual home, Anatolia ("Kara Toprak"). In "Godless Ceremony" we are withdrawn from time and place, delivered to a fantasy zone, dreamt up in the sea, gazing at the stars. It's a musical storyboard, that whilst conceived in Istanbul by producer, singer and multi instrumentalist Tolga Böyük, journeys to far off places, real and imagined. Hindustani tablas, Tibetan flutes, flamenco guitars, Anatolian Saz and Balinese (Bhasa) vocals all mesh within a concept (and coping mechanism) that contemplates daily routine as beautiful and meditative and as Tolga has appreciated over a testing two years i

The core members of Islandman are multi-instrumentalist & producer, Tolga Böyük and Eralp Güven (percussion) and Erdem Başer (guitars). Islandman have become known for their live performances, as anyone who has witnessed their live streams from Istanbul for the London Jazz Festival and Boiler Room can attest to.

Islandman simply avoids boundaries and "Godless Ceremony" is ultimately their most open-minded work to date. The subtleties and deft electronic touches bewilder and their clear appreciation of music on a global level is an education for us all.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Godless Ceremony sits perfectly in-between the dancefloor and the beach, with tropical rhythms and airy ambience beautifully twisting around a solid core of deep-house percussion and euphoric vocal melodies. Perfectly measured and beautifully rich.

TRACK LISTING

A1 Kara Toprak
A2 Sattva
A3 Aku Membawa - Radio Edit
A4 Sad Walk
B1 Tarhamanine Assinegh Feat. Tamikreast
B2 Drums Of Colca
B3 Istanbul Lockdown
C1 Amarnos Ahora
C2 Godless Ceremony
C3 Eros Dosco Bossa
D1 Dere Boyu Kavaklar
D2 Self Hypnosis
D3 Gaze Into An Abyss

Ceremony

In The Spirit World Now

    Ceremony make their Relapse Records debut with their highly ambitious new album, 'In the Spirit World Now'! The album sees Ceremony at the height of their creative output, as the always-evolving Rohnert Park quintet take various influences from post punk and rock to create one of the summer's most compelling and infectious records. "In the Spirit World Now" is full of layered sonic fury and anxiety, each song building up to a point and then descending down through a militant, catchy hook. “Turn Away the Bad Thing” sets the tone, guitars climbing around the driving bass line, as Ross Farrar sings, “It’s getting harder for me to be alright/Eyes adjusting to the dark/The momentum of all these last resorts built inside of me.” Songs like “Presaging the End” and “Calming Water” feel romantic and distressed, while “Further I Was” and “Years of Love” are driven by Farrar’s rebellious energy as he repeats the hook with a deadpan realness. “Years of love can be forgotten/In the hatred of a day.” But the true stand-out is the title track, “In the Spirit World Now”, a haunting pop gem with a sticky chorus and lead synth riff that plants itself in your head as Farrar chants the track’s name over and over like a mantra. “In the Spirit World Now" is a sort of nebulous and ectoplasmic place where things may not be quite what they seem,” he says. “It means sh*t is about to get weird.” The album marks a milestone for this Northern California punk outfit who have stayed true to themselves as songwriters throughout massive sonic growth throughout their storied career.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: From the fractured art-punk aesthetic of Wire or even bits of Sonic Youth, through wide-spanning cinematic shoegaze majesty and grungy snarling anthems, Ceremony have crafted a brilliantly varied and thoroughly enthralling collection of snappy punk anthems mixed with a huge variety of influences.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Turn Away The Bad Thing
    2. In The Spirit World Now
    3. Further I Was
    4. /
    5. Presaging The End
    6. Say Goodbye To Them
    7. We Can Be Free
    8. //
    9. Years Of Love
    10. Never Gonna Die Now
    11. I Want More
    12. From Another Age
    13. ///
    14. Calming Water

    Pia Fraus

    Field Ceremony

      Pia Fraus are releasing their first full-length album in almost a decade. Field Ceremony is a triumphant return for the band, bringing back their signature dreampop sounds alongside fresh takes on pop structures. From the beautifully composed pop delicacies of ‘No Filters Needed’ to the almost slowcore dreaminess of ‘Don’t Tell Me How’ to the explosive pop of ‘Sugar High of the Year’, Pia Fraus bring to the table a dreampop brightness tinged with the more somber elements of life. Fans will be pleased with the results and new listeners will be in for a treat as they encounter this long awaited new work from the dreampop masters.

      Polyop was formed in 2015 by producers Jack Driscoll, Harry Orso and visual artist and programmer Alex Kempton. Since then they have been researching and developing a visual-audio experience that fuses nature and tribal culture with the machine. "Ceremony" is the first exploration of that aesthetic, with their own take on acid house, they take the subject on a hypnotic journey through an alternate sonic-visual reality. Kemp mutates "Ceremony" into something between disco and techno, the kick and bassline thick and pulsing, whilst the percussion syncopates infectiously. The track progresses into a crescendo, which is amplified by the cavernous feel of the mix. This is certain to hypnotize 3am dancefloor-pagans into a state of worship. Top stuff from a new firm - don't sleep. 

      TRACK LISTING

      A. Polyop - Ceremony
      B. Polyop - Ceremony (Piers Kemp Remix)

      Lost LP from 1977, rebuilt from original tapes, by the creator of Black Devil Disco Club. The French electronic music pioneer behind Black Devil Disco Club, released three seminal library albums in the seventies: Suspense (1975), Cosmos 2043 (1977) and The Strange World of Bernard Fevre (1977). A fourth album called Orbit Ceremony, produced just a few months after remained in his home studio and never saw the light; sentenced to almost 40 years in the devil’s vault. By chance, while working on the re-issues, Bernard Fevre recently found the original lost tapes of Orbit Ceremony, including the multi-tracks, which he remixed and remastered himself. Spacy moogs, weird clavinet, and cosmic analog drum machines: it’s all here. The quirky, cosmic library music found on this long deleted 70′s science-fiction-themed album if full of burbling synths and off-kilter melodies. There’s only one man on this planet able to produce such a crazy sound.
      As soon as you press play you know you’ve embarked on a special and unique ‘back to the future’ trip. Don’t worry, fasten your seat belt and relax. Captain Fevre is taking care of everything.


      TRACK LISTING

      A1. That Is To Be
      A2. Foxy Spleen
      A3. Max Stroke
      A4. Mestophiles
      A5. Nebulous Melody
      B1. Not Be Wary
      B2. Out Of Dark
      B3. Paste Merge
      B4. Raw Beat
      B5. Space Angle
      B6. Testmaker

      Sunflower Bean

      Human Ceremony

      Sunflower Bean find magic within friction. The New York trio’s full-length debut album, Human Ceremony [Fat Possum Records], emerges at the intersection of dreamy modern psychedelica and urgent fuzzed-out bliss. That push-and-pull colours the aural tapestry of these three musicians—Jacob Faber [drums], Julia Cumming [vocals/bass], and Nick Kivlen [vocals/guitars].

      “Everything comes from a conflicting interest,” affirms Nick. “We love dream pop, but we also really love rock ‘n’ roll. It’s those two spectrums.”

      “You’re allowed to obsess over Black Sabbath as well as The Cure,” adds Julia. “It’d be boring if everything was just one way or the other.”

      That diversity defined the group’s approach since Nick and Jacob started jamming back in high school. They would hole up in Jacob’s Long Island basement for hours on end, channelling this vast cadre of influences. Julia’s addition would only expand that creative palette further in 2013. Through constant gigging around New York, Sunflower Bean sprouted into a sonic enigma, boasting a fiery musical call-and-response that serves as a centrepiece, giving the music what Jacob refers to as a “lyrical aspect” between the guitars, drums, and bass.

      They transferred this multi-headed energy into their 2015 Independent EP, Show Me Your Seven Secrets. At the same time, this distinct alchemy enchanted ever-growing audiences live. By the time, they entered the studio for Human Ceremony, Sunflower Bean had a lively aural cauldron from which to draw.

      They took the summer of 2015 off and retreated to Jacob’s basement to write together. Taking the ideas out of the basement, they hit a Brooklyn studio with producer Matt Molnar [Friends] and tracked eleven tunes in just seven days. Whereas the EP was recorded after Sunflower Bean played 100 shows in one year, Human Ceremony showed the band’s studio side with richer soundscapes, overdubs, and music that had yet to be debuted live.

      On the lead track “Easier Said,” Julia’s delicate vocals glide over a lilting clean guitar that spirals off into a vibrant hum.

      Sunflower Bean’s spell is cast on Human Ceremony.

      “When you’re in a band, you always dream about the first record,” Julia concludes. “It’s that moment where you explore everything that’s been inspiring you.”

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Human Ceremony
      2. Come On
      3. 2013
      4. Easier Said
      5. This Kinda Feeling
      6. I Was Home
      7. Creation Myth
      8. Wall Watcher
      9. I Want You To Give Me Enough Time
      10. Oh, I Just Don't Know
      11. Space Exploration Disaster

      Breakup albums mark a turning point for a band: the moment when their sound completely changes and reaches a new level of emotional clarity. All that heartbreak and malaise condensed into any single record often makes for a defining piece of work, no matter the genre. The best records explore the nooks and crannies of sadness, learning it inside and out - celebrating it.

      Ceremony's fifth studio album, The L-Shaped Man, uses singer Ross Farrar's recent breakup as a platform to explore loneliness and emotional weariness, but it is by no means a purely sad album. Rather than look inward, Farrar uses his experience to write about what it means to go through something heavy and come out the other side a different person.

      In order to tell Farrar's story, Ceremony have almost completely stripped back the propulsive hardcore of their previous records, turning every angry outburst into simmering despair. "We've always tried to be minimalists in writing, even if it's loud or fast or abrasive," says lead guitarist Anthony Anzaldo. "It's really intense when I hear it. Not in a way where you turn everything up to ten. Things are so bare, you're holding this one note for so long and you don't now where it's going-to me, that's intensity." That intensity is apparent on "Exit Fears," the first full song on the record. It meticulously pairs Justin Davis' loping bassline, which pulls the track along, with Anzaldo's icy, minimal guitar work. It brings to mind some alternate version of Joy Division that hasn't quite lost all hope. It gets close to exploding, but instead plays the shadows, never quite rising above a nervous simmer.

      "A lot of the content has to do with loss, and specifically the loss of someone who you care deeply about," Farrar says. "There is no way for you to go through something like this artistically and not have really strong emotions of loss and pain. There's not really any way to hide that." Farrar, for his part, is singing with a new kind of intensity, his baritone swooping and retreating from stressed angst to unsettling near-mutter as he sings, "You told your friends you were fine/ you thought you were fine too..." and later, "nothing is ever fine/ nothing ever feels right/ you have to tell yourself you tried." It's the first of many lyrically direct moments, and it should be hard to listen to, but Ceremony have so effortlessly nailed the sound of sadness that it feels great to live inside for awhile.

      The sound is abetted by producer John Reis, who honed his sound in seminal bands like Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, and Hot Snakes. Much of the gravelly aggression he experimented with in those bands is present on The L-Shaped Man.

      There's a story behind the title too. "I was speaking to our driver Stephen while on tour," Farrar says. "We were talking about men in general and what shape they are...their body type. I said, 'I guess men are in the shape of an L. The torso is straight. Vertical. And then you have the little feet at the end.' There's this painter named Leslie Lerner who was living in San Francisco in the '70s and '80s and made these beautiful paintings. He died on my 21st birthday. A lot of the record is about the similarities in our ideas. In what we're trying to make. Things that have to do with love and losing love."

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Hibernation
      2. Exit Fears
      3. Bleeder
      4. Your Life In France
      5. Your Life In America
      6. The Separation
      7. The Pattern
      8. Root Of The World
      9. The Party
      10. The Bridge
      11. The Understanding

      No Ceremony ///

      No Ceremony ///

        After building up huge excitement all over the internet, winning fans at specialist and daytime radio, and touring with the likes of Crystal Fighters, Friends and New Build, it’s fair to say that the release of the debut album by NO CEREMONY///, on their own NOC/// label, is eagerly awaited by many.

        A gorgeous, haunting, collection of the most exquisite pop songs with melodies that will lodge firmly in your head for days.


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