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CHEMIKAL UNDERGROUND

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’.

    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 Remastered 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.

      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

          Arab Strap

          Philophobia

            Twenty-one years after its initial release, Arab Strap’s second album Philophobia is reissued on vinyl, having been out of print for twenty years. It was recorded on the outskirts of Glasgow in the early incarnation of CHEM19 Studios with engineer/producer Paul Savage & at Cava Studios in Glasgow with engineer Geoff Allan. Initially released in 1998, it was the follow up to the band’s 1996 debut The Week Never Starts Round Here. Instrumentally ambitious, Philophobia is adorned with sepulchral guitar, trumpet, cello & Scottish rainfall, providing a most beautiful backdrop to Aidan Moffat’s bold lyrical presentation as he articulates experiences most of us are too embarrassed to even think about; confessional, intimate, insightful and hilarious, ‘Philophobia’ remains a literate & musical revelation. ‘Philophobia’ - (from Greek "φιλέω-φιλώ" (love) and "φοβία" (phobia)), is the fear of falling in love / emotional attachment.

            TRACK LISTING

            Packs Of Three
            Soaps
            Here We Go
            New Birds
            One Day, After School
            Islands
            The Night Befrore The Funeral
            Not Quite A Yes
            Piglet
            Afterwards
            My Favourite Muse
            I Would’ve Liked Me A Lot Last Night
            The First Time You’re Unfaithful

            Arab Strap

            The Week Never Starts Round Here - Remastered Edition

              Twenty-three years after it first saw the light of day, Arab Strap’s debut album The Week Never Starts Round Here has been remastered and will see a late-summer release.

              Recorded on the outskirts of Glasgow at MCM – where labelmates Mogwai and The Delgados also recorded their debuts and which would become the first iteration of Chemikal Underground’s sister operation Chem19 – the master tapes have been meticulously refreshed by original recording engineer Paul Savage.

              The Week Never Starts Round Here contains arguably Arab Strap’s best-known song, ‘The First Big Weekend’, which they wrote during a B-side session after the album was supposedly finished.

              Although the prime lyrical concerns are typical of the record’s twentysomething creators – alcohol, relationships, going out – Moffat repudiates any notion that the album was sloppily conceived. “We always had a sober and professional approach to recording,” he says. “You’re not there to fuck about – you’re there to work, and studio time is expensive.”

              “It’s a very personal, almost insular record,” says Moffat, summing up The Week Never Starts Round Here. “It has a very distinct character and is unique, which is rare.”

               “It’s a funny wee thing,” adds Middleton. “I’ll always love it because it’s our first, but also because it’s naive and cheeky. ‘Real’ musicians probably hate it, but its strength is its lack of technicality.”

              TRACK LISTING

              Coming Down
              The Clearing
              Driving
              Gourmet
              I Work In A Saloon
              Wasting
              General Plea To A Girlfriend
              The First Big Weekend
              Kate Moss
              Little Girls
              Phone Me Tonight
              Blood
              Deeper

              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

                El Hombre Trajeado

                Fast Diagonal

                  Influential Glasgow fourpiece El Hombre Trajeado return from a 12 year hiatus with new album ‘Fast Diagonal’.

                  Their last release was 2004’s ‘Schlap’ which came out via Lost Dog Recordings.

                  ‘Fast Diagonal’ was produced by Chemikal Underground’s Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, King Creosote, Arab Strap) at Chem19 Studios in Hamilton.

                  ‘Fast Diagonal’ features guest vocals by Ela Orleans, Chris Mack (The James Orr Complex) and Sue Tompkins from the muchmissed Life Without Buildings.

                  Original El Hombre Trajeado members include SAY Awardwinning ‘flamenco punk’ RM Hubbert and the ubiquitous multiinstrumentalist Stevie Jones who has just completed a stint in Arab Strap’s reformed band and released the critically acclaimed album ‘Brocken Spectre’ in 2015 under his Sound Of Yell guise.

                  El Hombre Trajeado previously toured with the likes of Tortoise, Nick Cave and Sebadoh.

                  With beautifully intuitive artwork by award-winning Glasgow based artist Toby Paterson, ‘Fast Diagonal’ is a triumph of abstract melodicism or, as Paul Savage put it, “like a math rock band doing the soundtrack to ‘Gregory’s Girl’”.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Darkest Sea
                  Hearing Those Ears
                  Drumlin
                  Do It Puritan!
                  Talking Knots
                  Half Cab
                  Bare Bone Scree
                  Doppelganger
                  Above And Below
                  Nettles

                  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

                  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

                    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

                    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

                    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.


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