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CHEMIKAL UNDERGROUND

Broken Chanter

Chorus Of Doubt

    David MacGregor’s Broken Chanter bristle with energy and empathy on their incendiary third album Chorus Of Doubt. Recorded over 2023’s spring and summer months in Chemikal Underground’s in-house studio Chem 19 by Paul Savage.

    Featuring frequent collaborators Charlotte Printer, Bart Owl and Martin Johnston, Broken Chanter’s world is populated by hope and vitriol rendered in ecstatic rock music, visceral post-punk, terse agit-Funk, and soaring choruses. The most immediate Broken Chanter record to date, Chorus Of Doubt is David MacGregor’s open love letter to never giving up, a personal road map out of collective lethargy.

    “A chorus of doubt often soundtracks those who hope for better, as it comes from the press, those in power, and anyone who has in an interest in the status quo being presented as the least bad, and only, option. A chorus of doubt can also come from within your own head. Both need to be challenged and drowned out. These are songs that look to reassure the listener that better things are possible, despite the managed decline we are constantly offered as the only option, and that small personal actions when performed together can affect real change." David MacGregor (Broken Chanter).

    TRACK LISTING

    Don’t You Think That Something Needs To Be Done?
    You’ve Got To Stop Worrying All The Time
    The Rain Doesn’t Only Fall On You
    Costner Interjection
    Something More Useful Than Flowers
    Knock My Pan In
    Who’s Asking?
    Gloom Bop
    Your Latest Moment Of Alarming Clarity
    Actual Bonehead Contact
    So Much For The End Of History (I’m Still Here)

    The Delgados

    Hate - 2023 Reissue

      Following their recent reunion, The Delgados reissue their fourth studio album Hate on transparent curacao coloured vinyl and CD for its 21st anniversary.

      Hate was the sound of The Delgados completely fulfilling their potential, a fully realised vision buoyed by the weight of coming through a darkness into light.

      Ushering in a new era of emotionally vulnerable and cinematic songwriting for celebrated Glasgow group The Delgados, 2002’s Hate is the group’s most ambitious recorded statement to date.

      Recorded in Glasgow and New York with Tony Doogan, Dave Fridmann and the band as producers and using over 20 additional musicians, Hate grabs the baton from the group’s breakthrough critical and commercial success The Great Eastern.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. The Light Before We Land
      2. All You Need Is Hate
      3. Woke From Dreaming
      4. The Drowning Years
      5. Coming In From The Cold
      6. Child Killers
      7. Favours
      8. All Rise
      9. Never Look At The Sun
      10. If This Is A Plan

      Mogwai

      Mogwai Young Team - 2023 Remastered Edition

        Mogwai’s groundbreaking debut album ‘Mogwai Young Team’, originally released in October 1997 is to be reissued in February 2023, remastered and refreshed on coloured vinyl, CD and digital. Housed in a gatefold sleeve with original artwork, the sky-blue vinyl will come with a digital download code.

        The original recording engineer for the album, Paul Savage, whose production credits include Franz Ferdinand and The Twilight Sad, has remastered the album for this special reissue.

        Recorded in what was soon to become Chemikal Underground’s own Chem19 studios by label owner and The Delgados’ drummer Paul Savage (for the princely sum of £1.5000), the sessions were, by the band’s own admission, ‘turbulent, disorganised and hastily mixed’.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: The genesis of one of the greatest bands around for the past few decades is finally available again on vinyl! Some absolute classics have fared really well from a remaster, so while the original Young Team was indeed (and is still) a shining tour-de-force, this is without the version you need to hear. Stunning album, and a wonderful pressing finally available again.

        TRACK LISTING

        Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home
        Like Herod
        Katrien
        Radar Maker
        Tracy
        Summer (Priority Version)
        With Portfolio
        R U Still In 2 It
        A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youngsters
        Mogwai Fear Satan

        Mogwai

        Come On Die Young - 2023 Reissue Edition

          24 years after its initial release, Mogwai’s iconic second album ‘Come On Die Young’ is to be reissued on coloured vinyl. Presented in a gatefold sleeve with original artwork, the white vinyl will come with a digital download code.

          Originally released in March 1999, ‘Come On Die Young’s artwork references The Exorcist and a title scalped from a well-known Glasgow gang slogan. Instead of the cover’s suggested apocalypse-harbouring, pre-millennial assault on the senses however, this second offering from the band was a darkly elegiac – and surprisingly restrained – response to the aural fireworks of their ‘Young Team’ debut from two years earlier.

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: CODY was quite a sidestep from the incendiary heft of Mogwai's debut, but showcases the side of the band that (for me) is their best iteration. Quiet, contemplative melody and shadowy vocals below oft-beautiful and also oft-crushing post-rock instrumentation. Absolutely classic 'Gwai.

          TRACK LISTING

          Punk Rock:
          Cody
          Helps Both Ways
          Year 2000 Non-Compliant Cardia
          Kappa
          Waltz For Aidan
          May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door
          Oh! How The Dogs Stack Up
          Ex-Cowboy
          Chocky
          Christmas Steps
          Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/Antichrist

          Mogwai

          EPx3

            A beautiful triple vinyl reissue of the 3 EPs originally released in the 1990s, presented in their original artwork inside a 7mm wide spine outer sleeve.

            Each EP was originally released in limited numbers between 1997 and 1999 and quickly sold out. Although packaged as the CD and download compilation album EP+6, this is the first time 4 Satin, No Education = No Future (Fuck the Curfew) and E.P. have been available on vinyl since the initial pressings.

            “I’m incredibly proud of these EPs,” says guitarist and singer Stuart Braithwaite. “I think they’re interesting as we were experimenting with so many things back then. A lot of what we tried out on those records are things that went on to define us.”

            TRACK LISTING

            4 Satin Ep
            A1. Superheroes Of Bmx
            A2. Now You’re Taken
            B1. Strereodee

            no Education = No Future (fuck The Curfew) Ep
            A1. Xmas Steps
            B1. Rollerball
            B2. Small Children In The Background

            e.p.
            A1. Stanley Kubrick
            A2. Christmas Song
            B1. Burn Girl Prom Queen
            B2. Rage: Man

            Admiral Fallow

            The Idea Of You

              Admiral Fallow are thrilled to announce their new album, ‘The Idea Of You’, their first in six years, on Chemikal Underground.

              Written and mostly recorded in 2019, ‘The Idea Of You’ is a captivating collection of songs - generously melodic, confidently executed and festooned with intricacies. In true Admiral Fallow fashion, these tales of friendship and carefree adventure take the road less travelled, rarely finding their terminus where it might be most expected.

              Warmth, empathy and contentment course through the nine songs, a response to its makers having navigated personal and professional challenges to emerge with their identity - both as a group and as individuals - intact. ‘The Idea Of You’ traverses Philly soul, sophisticated pop and guitar-driven rock, delivering humbly anthemic choruses by the barrowload.

              The recording of ‘The Idea Of You’ took place in Chem19 on the outskirts of Glasgow under the aegis of producer Paul Savage, who worked on the group’s first three albums - ‘Boots Met My Face’ (2010), ‘Tree Bursts In Snow’ (2012) and ‘Tiny Rewards’ (2015). Written and recorded pre-pandemic, the album inadvertently bears the hallmarks of a less fretful era, concerned with themes of growth and bloom in contrast to those of anxiety and fear.

              TRACK LISTING

              Sleepwalking
              Electric Eyes
              Three Weeks
              The Grand Naional, 1993
              Dragonfly
              Night, Shortly
              Tuesday Grey
              The Possiblity
              Soliton

              Sound Of Yell

              Leapling

                ‘Leapling’ is the follow up to the 2014 debut ‘Brocken Spectre’. The title refers to a person born on 29 February. An acoustic compendium of fingerstyle guitar, idiosyncratic strings and woodwind and free-spirited percussion, ‘Leapling’ is a humble yet masterful collection of instrumentals and songs written and produced by Stevie Jones. Jones, whose balance of the deliberate and the spontaneous has become a signature developed through countless collaborations - including Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, Alasdair Roberts, Emma Pollock and Arab Strap - the groundbreaking quartet El Hombre Trajeado (alongside guitarist RM Hubbert) and stints composing music and sound design for Scotland’s leading theatre companies.

                On ‘Leapling’ the Glasgow native marshals most of the impressive cast with whom he made the debut, including Alex Neilson of Alex Rex and formerly Trembling Bells on drums, artist Vikki Morton (AMOR, Muscles Of Joy, Rev Magnetic), Alasdair Roberts, Aby Vulliamy and Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian. Jones himself contributes acoustic guitar, double bass, chimes, percussion and piano.

                TRACK LISTING

                Boneless One
                Leapling
                Helio Ramp
                Burn Bridged
                Flame Soaked Seer
                Slice The Spray
                Winged Cadence
                Halo Jones
                Angel Lights

                Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald & Friends

                Return To Y'Hup - The World Of Ivor Cutler

                  Return To Y'Hup - The World Of Ivor Cutler Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald and a host of friends from the crème de la crème of Scotland’s music scene present Return To Y'Hup: The World of Ivor Cutler, a celebration of the life and work of an artist of unrivalled musical and poetic vision. This ambitious project is a pioneering experiment in the field of imaginary archaeology: a sonic conjuring of a decades-old fictional island. The underlying concept of the album was to resurrect the mythical island of Y’Hup - a territory which Ivor Cutler dreamt up and described throughout his early recordings.

                  Here, the island has been populated with distinct Scottish voices alongside new arrangements of Cutler's music, featuring a large number of high profile guest artists, including: Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura), Kris Drever (Lau), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Stuart Murdoch (Belle & Sebastian), Pictish Trail, Emma Pollock (Delgados), Karine Polwart, Rick Redbeard (Phantom Band) and James Yorkston. Visiting the island as distinguished guests are two English vocalists, Phyllis King (Ivor Cutler’s longtime companion and collaborator) and living legend, Robert Wyatt.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1 Here's A Health For Simon
                  2 Latitude And Longitude (with Phyllis King)
                  3 Size Nine And A Half (with Emma Pollock)
                  4 Mary's A Cow (with Malcolm Benzie)
                  5 Instance The Yam (with Alex Kapranos)
                  6 Pickle Your Knees (with Karine Polwart)
                  7 Gravity Begins At Home (with Rick Redbeard)
                  8 A Cow Puncher And A Bird (with Zoe Graham)
                  9 Boo Boo Bird (with Heather Leigh)
                  10 Vitamin P (with Duglas T. Stewart)
                  11 Green Rain (with Sarah Hayes)
                  12 A Tooth Song (with Adam Stafford)
                  13 Sh Chi (with Stuart Murdoch)
                  14 Women Of The World (with Tracyanne Campbell)
                  15 A Real Man (with James Yorkston)
                  16 Yellow Fly (with Kris Drever)
                  17 Shoplifters (with Future Pilot AKA Vs. Stranded Astronaut)
                  18 The Path (with Stuart Braithwaite)
                  19 Muscular Tree (with Megan Airlie & Limelight Ensemble)
                  20 Who Tore Your Trousers James? (with Rachel Sermanni & Chris Thomson)
                  21 I Got No Common Sense
                  22 When I Stand On An Open Cart (with Kapil Seshasayee)
                  23 I Believe In Bugs (with Jo Mango)
                  24 Good Morning! How Are You? Shut Up! (with Pictish Trail)
                  25 Out Of Decency (with Robert Wyatt)
                  26 Beautiful Cosmos (with Anna Miles)

                  Adrian Crowley

                  Dark Eyed Messenger

                    Dublin based Adrian Crowley returns with his eighth studio album and follow up to 2014’s ‘Some Blue Morning’.

                    Recorded in four days in May 2016 in Thomas Bartlett’s New York studio, the record captures not merely Crowley at the apex of his songwriting powers but also the creative lava that can flow when two perfectly aligned musical minds come together.

                    American producer and musician Bartlett, aka Doveman, has worked with an array of artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Martha Wainwright, The Magnetic Fields and Anna Calvi. Bartlett’s contribution to ‘Dark Eyed Messenger’ is variously unsettling, comforting and effervescent, eliciting a sweeping array of dream-like sounds and deploying dissonance where the listener might least expect it. The result is an immersive record that inhabits a world of dusk, dreams and desire.

                    Evoking fragments of such diverse works as ‘A Walk Across The Rooftops’ by The Blue Nile and ‘Deserter’s Songs’ by Mercury Rev, ‘Dark Eyed Messenger’ sounds like it took ten times as long to make as it did, an illusion that is testament to the strength of the partnership that forged it.

                    While crowned as ever with Crowley’s mahoganied baritone, ‘Dark Eyed Messenger’ is the artist’s first set untouched by the instrument with which he is most associated, guitar.

                    The striking cover art for ‘Dark Eyed Messenger’ comes courtesy of Galway-based visual artist Louise Manifold.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    The Wish
                    Halfway To Andalucia
                    Silver Birch Tree
                    Little Breath
                    Valley Of Tears
                    The Photographs
                    Unhappy Seamstress
                    Catherine In The Dunes
                    Lullaby To A Lost
                    Astronaut
                    And S Goes The Night
                    Still This Desire

                    Legendary Falkirk duo Arab Strap present a double album compilation celebrating with ‘20 songs for 20 years’, complementing a clutch of feverishly anticipated anniversary shows.

                    Reflecting on a 20 year career that was as influential as it was controversial, the compilation highlights an extraordinary output that staunchly refused to conform to expectation. From the string-led sashay of ‘Shy Retirer’ to the piano-driven noir of ‘Love Detective’; the lo-fi crunch of ‘The Clearing’ to the spartan electronica of ‘Rocket, Take Your Turn’, Arab Strap were a fearless and resolutely original proposition from the minute the band regaled us all with tales of their ‘First Big Weekend’ back in 1996.

                    Here’s Aidan on the tracklisting for ‘Arab Strap’: “We chose 20 songs - one for each year since we started - and decided to split them into two lots of 10. The first disc’s a kind of best-of, but we just stuck to the more electronic stuff for this - there’s so many different sounds going on in Arab Strap albums, so we wanted to make it a more coherent whole.

                    “The second disc’s filled with rarities from EPs and b-sides and out-takes and stuff, so there’s some louder rock stuff on there. I think all of these songs could’ve been on the albums they were recorded for, but sometimes you’re trying to tell a story and they just don’t fit. This disc is more live drums and rock-y too, so anyone looking for the noise should hopefully be satisfied.”

                    TRACK LISTING

                    The First Big Weekend
                    Love Detective
                    Cherubs
                    (Afternoon) Soaps
                    Here We Go
                    Rocket, Take Your Turn
                    The Clearing
                    Don’t Ask Me To Dance
                    The Shy Retirer
                    Turbulence
                    The New Saturday
                    We Know Where You Live
                    Where We’ve Left Our Love
                    To All A Goodnight
                    Dead Air
                    Daughters Of Darkness
                    I Still Miss You
                    Toy Fights
                    Blackness
                    Mustard

                    Awake Unto is the second mesmerising collection of songs by Rick Redbeard, aka Rick Anthony of cosmic rock magicians The Phantom Band, and comes three years after his delicately poetic solo debut No Selfish Heart. Quarried from similar stone to that of Michael Hurley, Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan and wrapped in layers redolent of Angelo Badalamenti, Awake Unto weaves folk, balladry and filmic impulses into a tapestry of song so deftly detailed the rewards multiply with every listen.

                    Where his debut trod an uncluttered path, employing little more than Anthony's burnished baritone, acoustic guitar, piano and violin, Awake Unto brings a far broader spectrum to bear on its heavenly melodicism — banjo, accordion, reversed keyboards, drums, widescreen electric guitar — while still leaving space for the simple formula which lit up its predecessor. There’s a larger pool of contributors here too: Rick’s sister Josephine duets on “Get Friendly (Blood)” while a cohort of his Phantom Band colleagues (Duncan Marquiss, Gerry Hart and Iain Stewart; Derek O’ Neill mixing) also manage to join the cèilidh. The family connections continue, with Awake Unto’s vivid artwork supplied by Anthony’s mother, providing yet another contrast to No Selfish Heart’s austere, monochrome woodland.

                    While lyrical themes suffuse both albums — love, sex, death, dreams and memory loom large — Awake Unto’s approach is less allusive and more confident as Anthony learns to stretch his limbs as a solo performer. Rick Redbeard is no maudlin troubadour either: in “The Golden Age” you find a loping, rainbow-bright paean to positivity; “What Fine People” salutes the human spirit over an almost too beautiful haar of classical guitar and harmonium; and the closing “Let It Rust” makes the case for reality versus reverie as a painterly series of textures unfolds and dazzles, the mystical heart of the music a counterpoint to the plea underpinning the lyrics.

                    Following in the wake of two Phantom Band albums - Strange Friend (2014) and Fears Trending (2015), and the music he wrote for Theresa Moerman’s New Talent BAFTA-winning documentary ‘The Third Dad’, it’s hardly surprising Awake Unto marks an assured shift in scope, colour and tone from its spartan forerunner. Rick: “If No Selfish Heart was a tasteful black and white pencil sketch, Awake Unto gets the crayons out to colour it in.” He’s too modest by half of course, as even the most cursory listen will demonstrate. Awake Unto takes the core elements of Rick’s debut — his towering, mahoganied voice and melodic imagination — and cloaks them in fabrics and hues; elevating them to giddying new heights in the process.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Laura says: Another wonderful solo album from the Phantom Band front man. Although we've not had Summer yet, this makes me long for cold Winter nights - it feels like you should be curled up in front of a roaring fire with a nice single malt listening to this!

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Wild Young Country
                    In My Wake
                    The Golden Age
                    Unfound
                    The Night Is All Ours
                    Field Years Get Friendly (Blood)
                    Yuki Onna
                    What Fine People
                    Let It Rust

                    Five and a half years after the angular splendidness of ‘The Law Of Large Numbers’, Emma Pollock has finally delivered not only its follow-up but an album that’s up there with the very best in Chemikal Underground’s catalogue.

                    With nods to Kate Bush, Kristin Hersh, Dusty Springfield and Sandy Denny, Emma’s songwriting has never been better with her vocals recalling the likes of Annie Lennox or Siouxsie Sioux.

                    Produced by ex-Delgado Paul Savage at Chem19, ‘In Search Of Harperfield’ showcases Emma’s flamboyant, sophisticated and unerringly melodic style and should cement her reputation as one of our most gifted alternative artists.

                    There’s a lot to comfort any bereft Delgados fans out there, with tracks like ‘Parks And Recreation’ and ‘Don’t’ Make Me Wait’ recalling her old band’s flair for leftfield pop and the elegant oddities of ‘Alabaster’, ‘Monster In The Pack’ and ‘Old Ghosts’ easily surpassing any high watermark reached by The Delgados in their 10-year career.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Cannot Keep A Secret
                    Don’t Make Me Wait
                    Alabaster
                    Clemency
                    Intermission
                    Parks And Recreation
                    Vacant Stare
                    In The Company Of The Damned
                    Dark Skies
                    Monster In The Pack
                    Old Ghosts

                    Found

                    Cloning

                      Long-awaited return from ridiculously inventive BAFTA-winning robot-makers, sound installation artists and 7” ‘vinyl’ chocolatiers FOUND.

                      Fundamental changes have taken place since FOUND launched ‘factorycraft’, their first on Chemikal Undergound, in 2011. More than four years have passed. The trio are now a duo of Ziggy Campbell and Kev Sim.

                      On ‘Cloning’, the group’s new album, the sound of FOUND is wreathed in a haar of analogue synthesizers where once it buzzed with brittle guitars.

                      Campbell acknowledges his and Sim’s thoughts turned to matters apocalyptic as a means of defeating the monotony of touring ‘factorycraft’. At the same time they were plugging into Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter, electronic music pioneers Beaver & Krause and Tristram Cary and composers Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      A Souvenir For Every Hope You Had
                      Hit The Clone Button
                      The First Catastrophe
                      Halfway Cured
                      End Sequence
                      Centrepiece
                      Main Title
                      Wheel Out Apocalypse
                      Clone Your Own
                      The Second Catastrophe
                      Credits

                      Long awaited second album from Glasgow-based producer Miaoux Miaoux, channelling Prince, Scritti Politti and LCD Soundsystem to create a dazzlingly eclectic slice of jaunty indie-friendly (electro) pop.

                      Almost three years since the band’s debut album, ‘Light Of The North’, Chemikal Underground are proud to announce the release of the exceptional follow up, ‘School Of Velocity’.

                      The album picks up the baton from the high gloss, hook-laden electronic pop of ‘Light Of The North’ and, as the title suggests, sprints through time and hyperspace at a pace that is little short of breathtaking.

                      The vinyl format is limited to 300 copies on heavyweight vinyl and includes a download code.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Launch Loop
                      A Flutter Echo
                      Star Sickness
                      Luxury Discovery
                      School Of Velocity
                      Giga Shrug
                      It’s The Quick
                      Peaks Beyond Peaks
                      Ubeatable Slow Machine
                      Mostly Love, Now

                      If you’ve followed The Phantom Band throughout their career to-date then you’ll know two things of the Glaswegian six-piece: feast often follows famine, and you should never accept them merely at face value. Just as two wildly singular, diverse albums in Checkmate Savage and The Wants sprung up one after another between 2009 and 2010, before a period of quiet (solo projects notwithstanding), so the group’s more direct third record released in June 2014 - Strange Friend – more art-rock than rock-art – comes followed by seven tracks cut largely from the same recording sessions at Chem 19 in Blantyre, in the form of Fears Trending.

                      Lauded last spring pretty much across the board, Strange Friend’s instant hit to the senses was the sound of a band pulling a thread tight through their naturally wandering creative tendencies and affecting a sense of positivity, even amidst quiet doubts over living in a world simultaneously hyper-connected and disconnected through the internet. For those who saw through the likes of ‘Clapshot’s’ irrepressible anti-anthem swell, though, Fears Trending is a resounding confirmation that the band’s recent recording sessions also bore out something of a darker hue.

                      “Maybe it's the evil twin of Strange Friend,” comments guitarist Duncan Marquiss. “They're stranger friends, oddball vestiges and hybrids.” Chief vocalist Rick Anthony agrees, pointing out that although Fears Trending merely came about as an anagram of their third record’s title, its connotations ring true, with a greater focus on themes of online isolation that they pawed at previously. “The reference is obviously there,” Marquiss explains. “Maybe it reflects our wariness of communications technology just now – which paradoxically seem to alienate people from themselves. We're all swamped with information so I question whether the band would necessarily want to add to the clickstream.”

                      Certainly the tone of the record matches this apprehension; the opening ‘Tender Castle’ – one of just two tracks, alongside ‘Spectrelegs’, that date back before the Strange Friend sessions – runs on in, imbued with the band’s recently heard gusto, yet quickly swivels on a tumbling floor of murmuring electronics and cautious intonations, setting the scene for some of the band’s weightiest music yet. There are familiar tropes here; the aforementioned ‘Spectrelegs’ introduces itself by way of a wavering electronic organ, Iain Stewart’s drumming is never less than forthright and punchy, stomping through ‘Local Zero’ with accustomed vigour. But then there are songs like the ominous slow-build tumult of ‘Black Tape’, and the poignant final track ‘Golden Olden’, which sees the band in some-part return to the Scottish folk routes that partly informed their first record (cult Scottish folk favourite Alasdair Roberts also appears on opening track ‘Tender Castles’.) “If Thomas Pynchon was asked to write the screenplay for Young Guns 3 I hope this song would be the soundtrack,” Marquiss reflects.

                      ‘Denise Hopper’ differs again, taking on a melodic structure whipped up as though on an Estesian gust across Turkey, Anthony’s vocal rising and falling in its oscillating breeze. Delivered with steeliness beyond the usual dry wit that’s occasionally hinted at within the group’s usual off-kilter meanderings, the track cracks and breaks amidst a storm of guitar detritus. “That melt down at end could be one of my favourite Phantom Band moments on record to date,” Marquiss comments.

                      It’d be too broad to call Fears Trending the dark side to Strange Friends’ light. The playful intricacies and deviations of The Phantom Band remain and, after all, the album was recorded at the same time as its sister. “I think it's more about the atmosphere than the writing process that splits the two albums” Anthony reflects. “I guess there was a desire with Strange Friends to come back with no baggage attached and release a record that seemed really straight to the point. This record is straight to the point too but it's just that it's making a different point.” So it goes with The Phantom Band, a group forever changing, each new evolution more often than not a prescient for what’s to come.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Tender Castle
                      2. Local Zero
                      3. Denise Hopper
                      4. Black Tape
                      5. Spectrelegs
                      6. The Kingfisher
                      7. Olden Golden

                      El Hombre Trajeado co-founder and erstwhile Arab Strap and RM Hubbert collaborator Stevie Jones takes the spotlight with mesmerising collective of his very own.

                      ‘Brocken Spectre’ - named after the immense, halo-crested shadow cast by hill climbers on faraway clouds when backlit by the sun - is the first album on which Jones places his typically participatory ethic aside and assumes responsibility for writing, arranging and producing every note of its eight entirely acoustic songs.

                      Jones corrals the talents of around a dozen musicians with whom he has previously worked, including Stevie Jackson (Belle And Sebastian), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Alasdair Roberts, Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells), Aby Vuillamy and sound artist Kim Moore.

                      A feast of flute, violin, cello, woodwind and the results are irresistible, ebbing and flowing like the swell of the ocean.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Scuttling
                      Hitherto
                      Sated Eyrie
                      Iguacu
                      Caiman
                      Brocken Spectre
                      Crescent
                      Ossicles

                      Adrian Crowley

                      Some Blue Morning

                        Adrian Crowley returns with his seventh studio album, ‘Some Blue Morning’, which is the follow up to 2012′s Choice Music Prize-nominated ‘I See Three Birds Flying’.

                        Crowley achieves a number of interesting and brilliant advances with this collection. The compositions move between sparse dreamstate ghost songs and song-stories to all-out epic numbers with tense nerve-ending strings.

                        Long recognised as one of Ireland’s most evocative lyricists and gifted songwriters, Crowley’s latest album is irresistibly affecting, recalling at times the spare, reflective potency of Lambchop or Leonard Cohen.

                        RM Hubbert

                        Breaks & Bone

                          ‘Breaks & Bone’ is the follow up to RM Hubbert’s SAY Award winning album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’.

                          ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ was named Scottish Album Of The Year in June, defeating the likes of Django Django, Admiral Fallow, Paul Buchanan and Lau.

                          Following ‘First & Last’ and ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’, ‘Breaks & Bone’ concludes a confessional triptych Hubby refers to as ‘The Ampersand Trilogy’.

                          ‘Breaks & Bone’ heralds a return to solo performing for RM Hubbert, having retired the collaborative approach he employed so effectively on ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’.

                          While Hubbert’s guitar work retains the flamenco structures and techniques of his earlier material, it’s augmented on ‘Breaks & Bone’ with vocals - the first time Hubby has sang on record since his El Hombre Trajeado days.

                          Production on the album is purposefully spartan, picking up the conspicuous creaks and squeaks of his instrument - a custombuilt guitar made by Luthier Anders Eliasson in South West Spain.

                          The album’s cover star is Hubby’s dog, D Bone: named in tribute to one of the guitarist’s musical heroes, the late D Boon of Californian punk trio Minutemen. His canine friend is also the subject of the album’s instrumental opener ‘Son Of Princess, Brother Of Rambo’.

                          Conquering Animal Sound

                          On Floating Bodies

                            ‘On Floating Bodies’ is Conquering Animal Sound’s first album on Chemikal Underground, and the follow up to their SAY Award shortlisted debut, 2011’s ‘Kammerspiel’, released via Gizeh Records.

                            A compelling slice of ethereal, multi-layered electronica, the Glasgow duo’s work is characterised by Anneke’s extraordinary vocals.

                            21st Century pop refracted through the prism of keen minds: atomised, deconstructed and reassembled; an ouroboros of ideas and ideals, endlessly innovating itself.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            Ultimate Heat Death Of The Universe
                            The Future Does Not Require
                            Warn Me
                            No Dream
                            I’ll Be Your Mirror
                            Gloss
                            A Noise Remains
                            Ipse
                            Mimese
                            Treehouse
                            Inner / Outer / Other

                            Loch Lomond

                            Dresses

                              ‘Dresses’ is the follow up album to 2010’s well received ‘Little Me Will Start A Storm’.

                              The band hail from Portland, Oregon, USA and have been the project of singer and songwriter Ritchie Young since 2003.

                              The vinyl format is limited to 500 copies and includes an artwork print and a CD copy of the album.

                              The album had an array of well known producers and mixers working on it, such as Doug Jenkins (Portland Cello Project), Tony Lash (Elliott Smith / Dandy Warhols), Chris Funk (The Decemberists) and artists Kelly Blair Bauman and Peter Broderick.

                              ‘Dresses’ is a spectacular and moving piece of work. Employing piano, cello, flugelhorn, vibraphone, dulcimer, banjo, belle plates and, perhaps most affectingly of all, some dazzling choral arrangements.

                              The album evokes comparisons to such contemporaries as The Mountain Goats, Grandaddy and The Decemberists.

                              Rick Redbeard

                              No Selfish Heart

                                Debut solo album by Rick Redbeard of The Phantom Band. Eight years in the making, ‘No Selfish Heart’ is a warming, darkly poignant collection that navigates universal themes of love, place and the passage of time.

                                Recorded at his parents’ house in rural Aberdeenshire and the flat he calls home in the West End of Glasgow, ‘No Selfish Heart’ has an intimate, homely feel to it which only adds to the album’s sense of timelessness.

                                While the album evokes certain elements of Leonard Cohen, Bill Callahan and Bruce Springsteen, the album remains undeniably Scottish, harking back to the dark (often macabre) lovelorn tragedies of that country’s folk tradition.

                                The Unwinding Hours follow up their 2010 self-titled debut with the much anticipated album ‘Afterlives’.

                                Craig B and Iain Cook were formerly one half of the critically acclaimed band Aereogramme, who split up in 2007.

                                ‘Afterlives’ was written, performed and produced by The Unwinding Hours at Alucard Studios in Glasgow.

                                ‘Afterlives’ features The Unwinding Hours’ emotive brand of uplifting rock, influenced by the likes of Flaming Lips, Max Richter, The Cocteau Twins and even Laurie Anderson.

                                Craig B’s lyrics and heart-rending vocals bring to mind the melancholic grandeur of Mark Eitzel’s American Music Club with the propulsive dynamic recalling Bob Mould’s Sugar.

                                The album artwork was taken from an etching by an American artist called Jack Baumgartner. The artwork depicts the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Break
                                I’ve Loved You For So Long
                                The Right To Know
                                Saimaa
                                The Promised Land
                                Wayward
                                Say My Name
                                The Dogs
                                Skin On Skin
                                Day By Day

                                Miaoux Miaoux

                                Light Of The North

                                  Chemikal Underground Records are proud to announce the arrival of Miaoux Miaoux's longawaited debut album 'Light Of The North‘.

                                  Miaoux Miaoux is actually Glasgow-based Londoner / DJ / producer Julian Corrie.

                                  ‘Light Of The North’ was produced and mixed by Paul Savage (Mogwai, The Phantom Band, WuLyf) at Chem19 Studios.

                                  ‘Light Of The North’ features 10 tracks of sublime electronic pop, including guest spots from Edinburgh MC Profisee (‘Virtua Fighter’), and a show-stopping vocal from Anna Miles (‘Is It A Dream’).

                                  The extraordinary cover art was designed by James Houston, who created the cover version of Radiohead’s ‘Nude’ / ’Big Ideas: Don’t Get Any’.

                                  Human Don't Be Angry

                                  Human Don't Be Angry

                                    Former Arab Strapper Malcolm Middleton returns to Glasgow’s seminal alternative label Chemikal Underground with his self-titled debut album as Human Don’t Be Angry.

                                    Named in honour of the German version of board game ‘Frustration’ (‘Mensch ärgere Dich nicht’), the album was recorded at Chem19 studios during October 2011 alongside producer and drum programmer Paul Savage, with live drum parts from Middleton’s old Arab Strap partner Aidan Moffat.

                                    The album is influenced by Malcolm’s childhood in the 1980s. The album features melodious guitar hooks juxtaposed with programmed beats, beeps and, of course, the influence of Jan Hammer and Iron Maiden.

                                    RM Hubbert

                                    Thirteen Lost & Found

                                      Follow up to RM Hubbert’s debut album ‘First & Last’ which came out in February 2011.

                                      The album was produced by Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) and engineered by Paul Savage. The album was recorded between Chem19 and Alex’s studio in the Scottish Borders.

                                      The album features collaborations with some very special artists including Hanna Tuulikki (Nalle), Emma Pollock (The Delgados), Luke Sutherland (Long Fin Killie, Mogwai), Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap), Alex Kapranos and Alasdair Roberts amongst others.

                                      ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ was conceived by Hubbert as a way of reacquainting himself with old friends while making some new ones. Each piece was written collaboratively with the respective artists placing the emphasis on spontaneity and experimentation.

                                      The resulting collection is eclectic and beautiful: voice, percussion, violin, piano, banjo, accordion, vibraphone and gu zheng all joining Hubbert’s idiosyncratic guitar over the eleven songs.

                                      Despite their name, Loch Lomond hail from Portland, Oregon in the US and this is their first release for Chemikal Underground.

                                      ‘Little Me Will Start A Storm’ is the follow up to their second album ‘Paper The Walls’, which was released in 2007.

                                      The band originated as the solo project of singer / songwriter Ritchie Young in 2003 but has since involved a rotating stream of over 30 musicians.

                                      The album has an array of well known producers and mixers at the helm: Tucker Martine (REM / The Decemberists), Tony Lash (Elliott Smith / Dandy Warhols), Kevin Robinson (Viva Voce), Adam Selzer (M Ward / Norfolk & Western) and Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Stephen Malkmus / Sleater Kinney).

                                      The band provided music for Danny MacAskill’s recent film ‘Way Back Home’, resulting in a significant boost to their international profile - the film has over 13 million views.

                                      Loch Lomond’s music has an artful, understated melodicism, their songs redolent of early REM, the psychfolk musings of Mercury Rev and the multi-instrumental fables of The Decemberists.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Blue Lead Fences
                                      2. Elephants & Little Girls
                                      3. I Love Me
                                      4. Tic
                                      5. Blood Bank
                                      6. Water Bells
                                      7. Earth Has Moved Again
                                      8. Water In Astoria
                                      9. Made Of Ink
                                      10. Egg Song
                                      11. Alice Left With Stockings And Earrings

                                      RM Hubbert

                                      First & Last

                                        "First & Last" brings Glasgow music scene mainstay and longtime friend of the label RM Hubbert onto Chemikal Underground for the first time.

                                        Following several years in Glasgow outfit El Hombre Trajeado, Hubbert took a few years off to study guitar before self releasing "First & Last", his debut solo album.

                                        Chemikal Underground have come on board to provide their support, coinciding with Hubbert’s upcoming support slot on Mogwai’s mammoth European tour.

                                        The album also receives its virgin pressing on deluxe vinyl.

                                        RM Hubbert’s debut is a collection of beautifully contemplative instrumentals which highlights his undeniable virtuosity without any hint of self-indulgence or technical bravado.

                                        The tracks incorporate elements of folk, flamenco and samba, and were often inspired by dark events in Hubby’s past, notably the death of his parents and his diagnosis with depression.

                                        That these traumatic events resulted in an album of such beauty is testament to Hubbert’s considered and subtle strengths as a composer.

                                        Awkward comparisons with folk and flamenco artists can give the wrong impression – best to note that RM Hubbert has been asked to support Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra Band, Alasdair Roberts and King Creosote, and is about to embark on a five week European tour with Mogwai.

                                        ‘No man is an island’ wrote John Donne, but what about bands? Well, they’re probably not islands either, but like most things in life, you need exceptions to prove the rule. That’s why it was so remarkable when The Phantom Band, with their legion of musical references, still managed to sound quite unlike anyone else when they released "Checkmate Savage" in 2009, a debut that earned mass critical applause and made them the cult success of the year. Twelve months later, they’re still in a movement of one, and their follow-up, "The Wants", looks set to cement their reputation as one of the most inventive and vital units at work today.

                                        If "Checkmate Savage" was the product of a band mulling over the human race’s inexorable slide into oblivion, then its follow-up found them turning feral and heading for the hills to ride out the storm. Holing up in Chem19 (Chemikal Underground’s studio in the wastelands of Blantyre), The Phantom Band immersed themselves in a primordial soup of influences before emerging six months later, emaciated and squinting in the pallid sunlight, cradling "The Wants": a nine-track musical folly and the soundtrack to their own personal apocalypse.

                                        Charged with creating a second album more or less from scratch and in situ - an album upon which their creative and material survival depended - they contracted a virulent strain of cabin fever and promptly set sail into the mouth of madness. Keyboardist Andy Wake elaborates: 'As you know, The Phantom Band was built on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground, so every time we record it's like an emotional exorcism. It's painful, prolonged, confusing; at times it's hard to tell what's happening outside of this other-world'. Guiding them through this tortuous birthing process was the chimerical figure of Mungo Bang, 'a spiritual adviser of sorts who came highly recommended. He also added vibes'.

                                        Their madness had method, because a lot came out in the mix: a forest of tuned percussion, poly-rhythmic group vocals, fuzz guitars and medieval electronics. Musical inspirations included David Lynch and John Carpenter soundtracks, German kosmische music of the 70’s, Tom Waits, digidub rhythms, R&B harmonies, doo-wop and rock'n'roll. Lyrical inspiration emerged from lycanthropy, vampires, doppelgangers and the Salem witch trials. That’s also Teenage Fanclub’s Wurlitzer organ you can hear on "Everybody Knows It’s True", alongside a host of other instruments, both homemade and hard-bought. Various bits of furniture, wood, a toy drum machine, some home-made drum triggers and FX pedals (aptly named the Phantosizer), shelvaphones, a dulcimer and the studio fire extinguisher - all had roles to play on the final recording. 'Sink [Greg Sinclair] appeared at rehearsal one day with what looked like a body bag containing at least one corpse. It turned out to be a full size vibrophone with all the trimmings', explains Wake. If any more evidence of creative initiative was required, the album opens with the sound of a baliphone being sawed into tune in preparation for a take.

                                        The end product represents a major leap forward for the band, a sound more of their own. Juxtapositions are more apparent – arcane folk melodies and gothic lyrical imagery straddle vintage analogue synths and primitive drum machines. 'Where Checkmate Savage was varied, we've intensified those elements, because we've got no reason to be subtle with them', says Wake. 'It's much more concentrated, more skilfully executed and with more decoration. It’s "Checkmate Savage" - On Ice'.

                                        The Phantom Band was pulled together from all four corners of Scotland, settling on Glasgow as PB HQ. Duncan Marquiss (guitar), Gerry Hart (bass), Andy Wake (keyboards), Rick Anthony (vocals) and Greg Sinclair (guitars) are a volatile cabal of creative contradictions: a disorientating amalgam of music, art and performance that defies categorisation and provides an object lesson in how to forge something distinct and unique from well-worn sources. "Checkmate Savage" won plaudits from the mainstream music press and the indie blogs alike, finding famous fans in Peter Buck and comic artist Frank Quitely, while the influential music emporium Piccadilly Records named it their album of the year. Their new album may be "The Wants", but what do The Phantom Band want for? 'Survival. For this album to lead to another after it, that's all. We think it's better than the last one, and if anyone agrees with us then brilliant, they can hop aboard. Those who disagree can hop aboard too, but they're sailing at the stern'.

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Laura says: The mighty Phantom Band return with a superb follow up to their debut album, which was our Album Of The Year in 2009. "The Wants" picks up where "Checkmate Savage" left off adding more and more layers to their already complex sound. It's less motorik than their debut, but still with their distinctive pulsing rhythms at the heart of it. There's more analogue synth action and knob twiddling going on this time around and on each listen, you're plunged deeper into their world.
                                        The first band to get a Piccadillly Album Of The Year in consecutive years? The competition is pretty stiff this year, but it's definitely in the running.....

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. A Glamour
                                        2. O
                                        3. Everybody Knows It's True
                                        4. The None Of One
                                        5. Mr. Natural
                                        6. Come Away In The Dark
                                        7. Walls
                                        8. Into The Corn
                                        9. Goodnight Arrow

                                        Panico

                                        Kick

                                          Panico, Franz Ferdinand’s favourite band, release their debut album for Chemikal Underground entitled "Kick".

                                          Recorded by Paul Savage (Mogwai, Twilight Sad and The Phantom Band) at Franz Ferdinand’s studio in Govan, Glasgow.

                                          "Kick" signals a return to Panico’s roots: 90’s indie rock and shoegaze; Gang Of Four’s angular edge; The Horrors with a tropical twist.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. Illumination
                                          2. Bright Lights
                                          3. Icon
                                          4. Reverberation Mambo
                                          5. Algodon
                                          6. Waka Chiki
                                          7. Guadalupe
                                          8. Uptown Boy
                                          9. I Wanna Be Your Needle
                                          10. Distant Shore

                                          Angil & Hiddentracks

                                          Ouilposaliva

                                            This album was mainly composed on an untuned 1904 piano, salvaged from a defunct clothes shop. The entire album is 'e-less'. There are no echords and no lyrics with the letter 'e'. The CD comes in gatefold packaging with a 16 page lyric sheet illustrated by acclaimed French comic artist Guillaume Long.

                                            Arab Strap

                                            The Weekend Never Starts Round Here

                                              The debut album from Glasgow's finest, "The Week Never Starts Round Here" is collection of tales about love, life and alcohol. A bleak and dark affair focussing on the pain and turmoil of a failed relationship, rubbish jobs with worse wages and a love for Kate Moss - all set to the most brooding music. It includes surely one of the best debut singles ever, the fantastic "The First Big Weekend".

                                              Arab Strap

                                              Monday At The Hug And Pint

                                                After a short break to work on solo projects (Lucky Pierre and Malcolm's solo album), Arab Strap return with a brand new album. Bolstered by the full-time involvement of Stacey Sievwright and Jenny Reeve on violin and cello, the album tells tales on familiar Arab Strap themes of love, loss, depression and hope. The intervention of various friends: Conor and Mike from Bright Eyes, Bill Wells and Barry Burns from Mogwai, makes the album their most diverse to date, switching from piano ballads to spiteful guitars to wistfull Scottish folk and glassy eyed bar-room sing-a-longs.

                                                Malcolm Middleton

                                                5:14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine

                                                  After the Lucky Pierre (AKA Aidan Moffat) album last week, it's now the turn of the other half of Scottish misery legends Arab Strap. Originally recorded as acoustic tracks, but reworked for this album, with a little help from friends Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap), Jenny Reeve (Eva) and Barry Burns (Mogwai).


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