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Penguin Cafe

Rain Before Seven... - 2024 Reissue

    Coloured vinyl repress of Penguin Cafe album Rain Before Seven… A sense of optimism infuses Penguin Cafe’s fifth studio album, not the braggadocious, overconfident kind, but more a blithe, self-effacing optimism in keeping with the national character. Even when all signs point to the contrary, it operates within the certainty that things are going to be alright. Probably.

    The title comes from an old weather proverb with the rhyming prognostication — fine before eleven — hinting at a happy ending, irrespective of the science: “I found it in a book and I'd never heard it before,” says Arthur Jeffes, leader of Penguin Cafe. “It has faintly optimistic overtones and I quite like it. It's fallen out of usage recently but it does describe English weather patterns coming in off the Atlantic.”

    From the widescreen reverie of opener ‘Welcome to London’ with its cheeky nod to Morricone to ‘Goldfinch Yodel’, the self-described “Maypole banger” at the denouement, there’s a welcome sense of sanguinity, always with an undercurrent of exotic rhythmic exuberance. Playfulness pervades, with a titular nod to A Matter of Life... from 2011, the last album title that concluded with an ellipsis. That Penguin Cafe debut is the bridge between the legendary Penguin Cafe Orchestra, led by Arthur’s father Simon Jeffes, and the much- loved descendent, led by Arthur.

    “Stylistically it's really satisfying to get back to playful rhythms and instruments,” says the younger Jeffes, who kept the group’s debut from 12 years ago in mind when writing the new album. “Certainly when starting out, I became aware that we’d stopped using quite a few of the textures that had been there at the beginning—and it was certainly there in my dad's earlier stuff. So there's a lot of balafon and textures from completely different parts of the world, musically and geographically: ukuleles, cuatros and melodicas that you can hear.”

    Encouraged by co-producer Robert Raths, the rhythmic elements of Rain Before Seven... have never been more to the fore and, at times, even hint at the electronic. ‘Find Your Feet’, for instance, is underpinned with more than just a pulse. Mixed by Tom Chichester-Clark, it brings to the musical melange what Arthur describes as a “near electronic feel”. He adds, excitedly: “There are elements of fun here which we haven't really done with the last three records.” Another ebullient highlight is ‘In Re Budd’, dedicated to the late ambient godfather Harold Budd, who Arthur discovered had died on the day he’d been writing the celebratory ear worm with a deceptively tricky syncopation. Played on an upright piano with some “prepared” felt to accentuate the bounce, Jeffes feels a track with an Afro Cuban Cafe vibe would appeal to Budd’s contrariness.

    Digital Sting

    Spring Rain Sweatpants

      Hand printed in house on 50/50 cotton / poly blend.
      Color: Sand
      Text: "Spring rain falls everywhere without discrimination but each grass and tree shows different colors" from Zen Harvest.
      These run slightly large.
      Size details:
      Small: Hip 21, Inseam 29, Waist 13
      Medium: Hip 22, Inseam 29.5, Waist 14
      Large: Hip 23, Inseam 30, Waist 15

      Mary Lattimore And Walt McClements

      Rain On The Road

        Mary Lattimore and Walt McClements are two of contemporary music’s most renowned innovators. Each has managed to expand the perception of their instrument’s capabilities.

        Lattimore’s inventive harp processing and looping has brought the instrument to a new audience. Her prolific run of celestial solo albums and evocative film scores have redefined the instrument in the modern consciousness. Her genre-agnostic collaborations include work with Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn, Jeff Zeigler, Meg Baird, and Thurston Moore. McClements, who tours as a member of Weyes Blood, is an acclaimed composer in his own right, sculpting glacial atmospherics from the accordion.

        The Los Angeles based duo became quick friends on overlapping tours, sharing both a drive to push the sonic possibilities of their instruments and roots in North Carolina.

        Mary Lattimore and Walt McClements’ debut collaboration, ‘Rain on the Road’, blossomed out of that time spent on the road together, capturing the liminal existence of touring life in deeply cinematic compositions.

        Recorded in the cozy setting of McClements’ apartment during a rainy December in LA, ‘Rain on the Road’ unfurls as a series of sonic vignettes, rolling landscapes hewn from longform improvisations for harp and accordion. Embellished with additional instrumentation such as the shimmering constellations of hand bells on ‘Stolen Bells’ that glisten like lights on wet pavement, or the stately piano figures on ‘The Top of Thomas Street’; their pastoral pieces manage to paint vivid images.


        1. Stolen Bells
        2. The Poppies, The Wild
        3. Mustard, The Blue-Eyed Grass
        4. We Waited For The Bears To Leave
        5. Nest Of Earrings
        6. The Top Of Thomas Street

        Les Big Byrd

        Diamonds, Rhinestones And Hard Rain

          Les Big Byrd, at this point, one probably has to call them veterans on the Swedish psych- and kraut scene, is back with a new album which sees them delving even deeper into the experimental side of themselves

          Long, improvisatory excursions and suggestive soundscapes unfold during some of the album's 6 tracks. Although they never lose touch with their melodic sensibility, offering up a look into a more suggestive and psychedelic side to the band.


          Curved Light
          Lycka Till Pa Farden
          Diamonds, Rhinestones And Hard Rain
          Ensam I Stan Pa Sommarlovet 
          The Night Bus

          The June Brides

          In The Rain - 2024 Reissue

            Brand New Remastered Versions.

            The June Brides debut single originally released in 1984 on The Pink Label.

            Both tracks are from fresh transfers from the master tapes which were then remastered by Jason Mitchell at LOUD Mastering in Taunton in early 2021.

            The June Brides are true innovators, hailing from the first wave of British indie, with fans that include Manic Street Preachers (who covered their song “The Instrumental” as a tribute) , Morrissey and Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch.

            They have always been regarded as pioneers, and one of the most beloved of the bands that formed the original UK independent music scene, which has since been tagged as C86.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side A
            In The Rain
            Side B
            Sunday To Saturday

            ‘Permanent Rain’ is introspective listening. Lean back and let your ears catch a source that moves, breaths, resonates and rises, until a quiet truth swells upon us.
            XII captures truth in all its honesty. Sometimes it feels so physical, it’s as if time and elements of nature are peeled of layer after layer.

            This record combines songwriting with sonic hypnosis. A rhythmic, esoteric oasis, containing currents of mysticism, yet accompanied by contemporary electronics. Its elements translate to a brew of mutant raga, neofolk and tripped out celtic fantasies.

            Ffo: Rapoon, Breadwoman, O Yuki Conjugate

            TRACK LISTING

            Rientro In Alona
            Ladnaday (Feat. Sabina Kaufman)
            Hardtmuth Feat. Hans Harsen
            The Distance
            Black Tropica Data
            Where Are You Now
            Il Calcio Della Rotta
            Addendo Dell Pietra Feat. Anna Homler


            I Killed Your Dog

              Multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer and curator L’Rain (Taja Cheek) returns with her third album I Killed Your Dog. Over-writing themes of grief and identity that informed her previous work, I Killed Your Dog considers what it means to hurt the people you love the most. Multi-layered in subject and form, L’Rain’s sonic explorations interrogate instead how multiplicities of emotion and experience intersect with identity. The experimental and the hyper-commercial; the expectation and the reality; the hope and the despair. “I’m envisioning a world of contradictions, as always,” Cheek explains. “Sensual, maybe even sexy, but terrifying, and strange.” Written amidst heartbreaks from the perspective of an earned maturity, I Killed Your Dog takes the sonic world laid out by L’Rain in 2021’s album Fatigue on a compelling new trajectory. Described by Cheek as an “anti-break-up” record, I Killed Your Dog takes the universal pop theme of love as its starting point – bold, bratty and even a touch diabolical – and inspects it through the form of a conversation with her younger self, untangling her relationship with femininity and the formal musical conventions that others have come to expect of her. Alongside long-time collaborators Andrew Lappin and Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Cheek has developed L’Rain into a shape-shifting entity that blurs the distinction between band and individual

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Sometimes
              2. Sincerity Commercial
              3. R(EMOTE)
              4. Our Funeral
              5. Uncertainty Principle
              6. Pet Rock
              7. Oh Wow A Bird
              8. I Hate My Best Friends
              9. Knead Bee
              10. I Killed Your Dog
              11. Monsoon Of Regret
              12. All The Days You Remember
              13. Clumsy
              14. 5 To 8 Hours A Day (WWwaG)
              15. What’s That Song?
              16. New Year’s UnResolution

              Andrew Cushin

              Waiting For The Rain

                Pre-order the album and receive a free poncho.

                23-year-old singer-songwriter Andrew Cushin is Newcastle’s fastest rising star. He has already recorded with Noel Gallagher and counts Paul Weller and Sam Fender among his biggest cheerleaders.

                Andrew grew up on a council estate in Heaton, Newcastle. His songs, delivered in a gorgeous baritone that sounds way beyond his years, are full of his experiences growing up, his lust for life, his grief at the loss of loved ones, his hopes and fears, his love and his stoicism.

                Andrew Cushin released his debut single It’s Gonna Get Better (2020) followed by Waiting For The Rain (2020); ’Where’s My Family Gone’ (2021) featuring production and guitar from Noel Gallagher and in 2022, through Peter Doherty’s Strap Originals label, You Don’t Belong EP and double A Side single You’ll Be Free / Dream For A Moment.

                “Cushin recalls acoustic Noel Gallagher circa Morning Glory.” – Sunday Times Culture.

                “The kitchen-sink realism of his songs, raised on the concrete turfs of council estates and smokefilled social clubs of Newcastle, is something the chart-topping Toms, Jacks and Georges of guitarpop are not only desperately lacking, but entirely unaware of.” - The Line of Best Fit.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Let Me Give It To You
                2. Just Like You’d Want Me To
                3. Comedown
                4. It’s Coming Round Again
                5. 4.5%
                6. Broken Love Song
                7. Waiting For The Rain
                8. Wor Flags
                9. Dream For A Moment
                10. I Want You To Be There
                11. You’ll Be Free
                12. The End

                Tom Waits

                Rain Dogs - 2023 Reissue

                  Noted as Tom Waits’ most critically acclaimed album, Rain Dogs follows the new musical path Waits had taken with Swordfishtrombones. Considered the middle of a de facto trilogy with Swordfishtrombones and Franks Wild Years, Rain Dogs is the first of Waits’ albums to be written in New York, in a Lower Manhattan basement. A 53-minute, 19-track monster, Rain Dogs is a kind of mutant, late 20th century musical “Canterbury Tales” with a shape-shifting band. There are banjos and marimbas and bowed saw and parade drum and howling horns (and Keith Richards and Marc Ribot) on this rollicking, rough-hewn opus—and Waits, using his voice in increasingly weird-and-wild ways. The songs are stories, sagas, laments, breakdowns, character studies, comedies and cabaret numbers. There’s the aching “Hang Down Your Head,” and the moving anthem, “Downtown Train,” which was covered by Patti Smith and Rod Stewart.Waits coined the term, “rain dog,” a reference to dogs who lose their way when touchstone scents are washed away in storms. Among the lost dogs on the album: gruff, wandering merchant marines (“Singapore”), an accordion player in a slaughterhouse (“Cemetery Polka”), a “jockey full of bourbon” (also the song title), an abandoned, withdrawn woman (“Time”), a “gun street girl,” the old drunks and hustlers of Union Square, and even Waits, himself: Aboard a shipwreck train / Give my umbrella to the Rain Dogs / For I am a Rain Dog, too...

                  Originally released in 1985 on Island Records, the album is newly remastered for the first time ever from the original ½” flat master tape and personally overseen by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering under the guidance of Waits’ longtime audio engineer, Karl Derfler. The album packaging has also been restored. Rain Dogs includes tracks such as “Downtown Train,” “Clap Hands” and “Jockey Full Of Bourbon.”

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side A
                  Clap Hands
                  Cemetery Polka
                  Jockey Full Of Bourbon
                  Tango Till They're Sore
                  Big Black Mariah
                  Diamonds And Gold
                  Hang Down Your Head
                  Side B
                  Rain Dogs
                  9th & Hennepin
                  Gun Street Girl
                  Union Square
                  Blind Love
                  Walking Spanish
                  Downtown Train
                  Bride Of Rain Dog
                  Anywhere I Lay My Head

                  Heels & Souls step back to 1988 for their sixth reissue, relicensing and remastering Flair's anthemic soul number 'Chasin' The Rain.' For the uninitiated, strap yourself in for six blissful minutes of heavy bass licks, soaring vocals, and infectious synth lines.

                  Consisting of Janet Rose (aka UK Soul queen JB Rose), Joe Matz, Peter Bielig, and Peter Shindler, Flair was a predominantly German affair, with Rose being the only UK band member and Bieling living in London during the late '80s. This is a curious detail considering 'Chasin' The Rain' is often lauded today as a UK Soul classic - partially due to its release on the prolific UK label Champion. However, it's squeaky-clean production values, and the fact it was mixed and mastered at the famous Jankowski studio in Stuttgart by three Germans, reveals a somewhat different story.

                  The track has that UK street soul heavy low-end, but with a synth-pop flavour sprinkled in the mix - swinging synth lines and gated snares aplenty. Yet from chatting to Peter Bielig, who's been instrumental in getting this record reissued, the sounds sweeping across the Atlantic from the likes of Jam and Lewis, who blended R&B, funk, soul and pop, were clearly a big influence too.

                  Those were heady days for four young twenty-something musicians, with Peter recalling cherished memories these tracks bring back, telling of his and JB's PA sessions at London's Gulliver's nightclub. However, while 'Chasin' The Rain' had all the hallmarks of a chart-breaking hit, Champion prioritised other projects and the record never broke. Sadly the group disbanded after only two releases, and this musical gem was consigned to the crates of those in the know. Soon after, Peter Bielig went to Jamaica to work at Tough Gong Studios, working on albums for Rita Marley Music. He now lives in Brazil, producing local artists in his studio in Salvador.

                  Unfortunately, the master tapes were nowhere to be found, so we had the maestro, Sean P, rip and restore a mint copy of the record, with award-winning mastering engineer Cicely Balston working her studio magic for that added punch.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1. Chasin' The Rain
                  B1. Chasin' The Rain (Dub)

                  Penguin Cafe

                  Rain Before Seven…

                    Penguin Cafe return with new album Rain Before Seven.. A sense of optimism infuses Penguin Cafe’s fifth studio album, not the braggadocious, overconfident kind, but more a blithe, self-effacing optimism in keeping with the national character. Even when all signs point to the contrary, it operates within the certainty that things are going to be alright. Probably.

                    The title comes from an old weather proverb with the rhyming prognostication — fine before eleven — hinting at a happy ending, irrespective of the science: “I found it in a book and I'd never heard it before,” says Arthur Jeffes, leader of Penguin Cafe. “It has faintly optimistic overtones and I quite like it. It's fallen out of usage recently but it does describe English weather patterns coming in off the Atlantic.”

                    From the widescreen reverie of opener ‘Welcome to London’ with its cheeky nod to Morricone to ‘Goldfinch Yodel’, the self-described “Maypole banger” at the denouement, there’s a welcome sense of sanguinity, always with an undercurrent of exotic rhythmic exuberance. Playfulness pervades, with a titular nod to A Matter of Life… from 2011, the last album title that concluded with an ellipsis. That Penguin Cafe debut is the bridge between the legendary Penguin Cafe Orchestra, led by Arthur’s father Simon Jeffes, and the muchloved descendent, led by Arthur.

                    “Stylistically it's really satisfying to get back to playful rhythms and instruments,” says the younger Jeffes, who kept the group’s debut from 12 years ago in mind when writing the new album. “Certainly when starting out, I became aware that we’d stopped using quite a few of the textures that had been there at the beginning—and it was certainly there in my dad's earlier stuff. So there's a lot of balafon and textures from completely different parts of the world, musically and geographically: ukuleles, cuatros and melodicas that you can hear.”

                    Encouraged by co-producer Robert Raths, the rhythmic elements of Rain Before Seven… have never been more to the fore and, at times, even hint at the electronic. ‘Find Your Feet’, for instance, is underpinned with more than just a pulse. Mixed by Tom Chichester-Clark, it brings to the musical melange what Arthur describes as a “near electronic feel”. He adds, excitedly: “There are elements of fun here which we haven't really done with the last three records.” Another ebullient highlight is ‘In Re Budd’, dedicated to the late ambient godfather Harold Budd, who Arthur discovered had died on the day he’d been writing the celebratory ear worm with a deceptively tricky syncopation. Played on an upright piano with some “prepared” felt to accentuate the bounce, Jeffes feels a track with an Afro Cuban Cafe vibe would appeal to Budd’s contrariness.

                    And then there’s the aforementioned ‘Welcome to London’, which got its name as the world started to open up and people were finally allowed to fly again. Jeffes, who touched down on home soil for the first time in a while, was struck by its cinematic John Barry-esque qualities as he took a taxi into West London from Heathrow with the mise-en-scène of the opulent twilight. The optimism is there, and maybe a little caustic irony too. “Robert [Raths] added a layer of nuance which I think is interesting, because many Londoners are not from London originally. So you pitch up to London as an outsider, and you haven't really found your tribe yet, you get mugged… and then ‘Welcome to London’ takes on a more sarcastic resonance.”

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Side A:
                    1 Welcome To London
                    2 Temporary Shelter From The Storm
                    3 In Re Budd
                    4 Second Variety
                    5 Galahad
                    Side B:
                    6 Might Be Something
                    7 No One Really Leaves…
                    8 Find Your Feet
                    9 Lamborghini 754
                    10 Goldfinch Yodel

                    Stacked maxi EP of heavily dubbed house from part-time rockstar and full-time posterchild of Detroit's next generation. 2Lanes turns in an impressive set for Cape St. Francis' second release.

                    "Mind Print" features Jonah Baseball on guitar.
                    "TX Pluck" features Jonah Baseball on bass guitar and synth keys.
                    "Everlast" features Natty G on vocals.

                    Mixed by Salar Ansari
                    Mastered by Rude66
                    Artwork by Zeevaarder

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Matt says: Brand new Detroit producer that's already garnered the attention of Mikey Don. With a handle on synthesis and sound design miles ahead of the pack (it's a Detroit thing); kinda reminds me of when we first heard Kyle Hall. Much like Manchester, the Motor City might be becoming gentrified but there's still a layer of underground artists still pushing the envelope and waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    Diamond Rain
                    Bootcut Chords
                    TX Pluck
                    Everlast Ft. Natty G
                    Mind Print


                    The Something Rain - 2023 Reissue

                      The Something Rain was recorded in bursts over approximately a year, from May 2010 to August 2011 and mixed in September- October 2011. It was a time of experimentation, of searching and honing down a shape and sound. Of the twenty or so ideas they set out with, nine songs became the final album.

                      The Something Rain was recorded in bursts over approximately a year, from May 2010 to August 2011 and mixed in September- October 2011. It was a time of experimentation, of searching and honing down a shape and sound. Of the twenty or so ideas they set out with, nine songs became the final album. 

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Chocolate
                      2. Show Me Everything
                      3. This Fire Of Autumn
                      4. A Night So Still
                      5. Slippin' Shoes
                      6. Medicine
                      7. Frozen
                      8. Come Inside
                      9. Goodbye Joe

                      Small’s “Don’t Leave Me In The Rain” is an infectious South African house-infused pop record from 1991 drawing on influences from some of the greats in the genre. Sounding like a long-lost Frankie Knuckles LP or something The Pasadena’s might have put out in the early 90s, it's an under-the-radar holy grail for all those seeking good time house music with an invigorating, life afirming vibe that'll slot into any party.

                      For all those that enjoyed the releases from Lucky Mereki or Bibbi this one is going to be right up your street. It's more of the same from the townships of S.As 1990’s pop, bubble gum, kwaito & house scene of the time. The sound was sweet, the message was positive, the clothes were loud and they seemed to be having the time of their lives. I guess much like our youth were doing over here as the global house phenomenon took hold. 

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Matt says: Uplifting and highly infectious bubble gum and house music from this barely known SA group. The only record they ever made and it's become highly collectable. A treasure of a reissue that house heads aren't gonna wanna be without.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Don't Leave Me In The Rain
                      2. Make My Life
                      3. Takes Two To Tango
                      4. Happy Song
                      5. Let's Stop The Fire
                      6. Melody Of Love
                      7. Keep On Trying
                      8. Without You


                      Spiders In The Rain

                        Since 2014, Wand have made five albums (and an EP) in the studio and a living playing on the road. Business / pleasure: the two sides of their (multiverticed, decagon) coin, flipping in the strobe light of ongoing self-actualization. And yet, by doing both at the same time - making a record of them playing live - they’ve now made their best one yet.

                        How do you get ‘Spiders in the Rain’? Start by going all the way back to January 2020. Do you remember? Wand do. They’d been touring ‘Laughing Matter’ for ten months. They’d done the coast, spanned the country, crossed the water twice, came back home and kept on going... driving, flying, occasionally floating, always on to the next town. They did all kinds of shows - clubs, ballrooms, festival gigs with no roof overhead - the songs expanding and contracting according to the dimensions of each day.

                        The essential truth of the live vibe - that it’s always better when everybody’s here - was clear, so they booked a few shows more in Cali, from LA up to Marin. They brought along light and projections from The Mad Alchemist Liquid Light Show and Mike Kreibel and Zac Hernandez too, to tape everything - to get the big-deck energy out of performances in SF and LA, but also to draw it out of the margins in Sacramento, Novato and Big Sur. It all happened, too. Everyone brought their experience - the kids in the audience and the folks behind the boards, all along with Wand, where it meant something different for everybody in the van:

                        Sofia: “At the end of 2019, the live show had become our (my) home. It was the most familiar and comfortable place to be after consistent touring for years. An access point into the language we created together, and something that was constantly evolving and refining.”

                        Lee: “Breakfast in Big Sur, lots of liquid lights, redwoods, a short mossy hike, a dark tunnel and seaspray, friends, my fav Echo shows, Bernie polls, Delany books from City Lights, mounds of elephant seals honking at dusk. God bless Zac and Mike.”

                        Evan: “Maybe this quiltwork of live recordings reflects a certain screwy, fugitive energy we bring that I think will feel familiar to people who have seen us at shows all these years, and that more or less refuses to be domesticated for posterity in recording studios. These shows were so much fun and so much else—loud and living. I hope this record can be a vivid little token of all those buzzing and broken and ecstatic times we shared that lately feel more fleeting, precious and poignant than ever.”

                        Robbie: “John Cage said that ‘art and our involvement in it... somehow introduc[ing] us to the very life that we are living...’ is for an artist the highest goal imaginable. If that’s the case then this record is Wand’s high water mark. Both because it accurately represents the way I have most often heard Wand’s music over the past six years (in rooms filled with other people) and because it is a document of the choice I made to seek out a life for myself through music. I’m happy it exists.”

                        Cory: “The live show has always been a means of cracking open the hi-fi-neuroticism of our studio records; to reach back into the essence of what made the composed music possible to begin with, and tap that essence as the basis for expressive unison improvisation, ‘Spiders in the Rain’ is a document of our live efforts, and I do believe it is our strongest record until we can produce a studio LP that adequately captures and expands on what is essentially displayed here.”

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1.  HARE
                        2.  WONDER
                        3.  PLUM
                        4.  WHITE CAT
                        5.  EVENING STAR
                        6.  BLUE CLOUD
                        7.  THE GIFT
                        8.  SELF HYPNOSIS
                        9.  MELTED ROPE

                        Lined up next on Cosmocities is this trance-indebted EP from Prism, the collaborative endeavour of French producer Pascal Eloy and UK-based Grant Wilkinson. The three-track EP “CMSR006” mixes unreleased music (“Refraction”), a 1996-issued goodie (“Rain”) and an exclusive remix from SYO, better known for his ambitiously retro-futuristic output under the S.O.N.S moniker.

                        Originally released as part of Planet Dog’s 1996 compilation “Feed Your Head”, “Rain” retains all of its original mystique and soulful use of modern production tools - letting a cascading flow of arpeggiated synths, stealth bass onslaughts and 303-borne trippiness pour down as a fully immersive digital shower for the senses.

                        An unheard gem from the vault, initially written and recorded in 1995, “Refraction” pulls further dynamic traction from a bubbling drum programming and damp, urban jungle-y atmosphere - beaming us straight back in the rave’s most compelling heyday with its feverish maelstrom of fluttering bleeps, spiraling tribal motifs and faux-organic, Neo-Easternmost harmonics.

                        Adding his ever innovative spin to the table, SYO cuts into the flesh of the original to deliver a further syncopated and spacious version, flush with complex rhythmic sleights of hand and subtle melodic trickery throughout, bound to keep you on the edge with every bar. 25 years on since it was first designed, Prism’s lasting relevancy shines bright on this all-road, bold-to-the-full trance epic that’s lost nothing of its flair.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Matt says: Early trance blueprints reimagined here whilst also catering to the kind of free party hedonism that swept through the country in the mid 90s. If you dug the Earth Leakage Trip 12" and the DJ Athome compilation - this ones for you!

                        TRACK LISTING

                        A1. Refraction
                        B1. Refraction (SYO Remix)
                        B2. Rain

                        The Suede Crocodiles

                        Stop The Rain - 2022 Reissue

                          Formed in post-Postcard Glasgow as Popgun, Kevin McDermott (vocals/ guitar), Davie McCormick (drums), and Ross Drummond (bass/vocals) were joined by Roddy Johnson (guitar/vocals). In 1983, they changed their name to The Suede Crocodiles and released ‘Stop the Rain’ on the NoStrings label.

                          Single of the Week in both NME and Melody Maker, this jagged-edged, spiky pop-punk single caught the ear of many. The Suede Crocodiles went on to tour the UK with Nick Heyward.

                          The band split before releasing their second single, ‘Paint Yourself A Rainbow’ with songwriter and lead vocalist Kevin McDermott going on to form the Kevin McDermott Orchestra and having a successful solo career.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          Side A
                          Stop The Rain
                          Side B
                          Pleasant Dreamer

                          Jessica’s Brother

                          Just Rain

                            ‘Just Rain’ is the second album from London 3 piece Jessica’s Brother, comprising songwriter Tom Charleston, The Wave Pictures’ Jonny Helm on drums and Charlie Higgs on bass. Stitching together a variety of influences, from crunching indie-rock, to gothic country and contemplative psych folk, Jessica’s Brother create the sound of a band coming together and getting caught up in the rush of starting afresh. The disintegration of a long-term relationship, coinciding with a global fracturing, provided a catalyst for ‘Just Rain’. The songs explore a relentless collision of melancholy and resilience alongside themes of comedy, agency, and hope. The title track lays this out with an opening burst of slacker rock as Tom reflects back over a passage of time that feels like persistent unrelenting rain.

                            Vacillating between despair and defiance, we uncover the strength to shrug it off as “just rain”; after all, as the track draws to its conclusion “losing sight can be relieving”. Interestingly, the lyric, “open up your heart, it can help to wear a mask”, was written before the pandemic had properly struck in the UK. ‘Finding Snowdrop’ is a spiritual rebirth gone wrong, influenced by the rambling poetry and hooks found in Yoni Wolf’s Why? and Bill Callahan. On 'Full Swing’ both the baritone of Tom’s delivery and lyrics conjure the darkness of the everyday: ”cut my own brakes, living in hiding of late” are reminiscent of The Handsome Family’s wonderful way of transposing the tradition of murder ballads and the bleakest tales to the modern.

                            A more expansive and luxuriant sound runs through ‘Just Rain’, than the sparser Silver Jews / Jason Molina atmosphere of their 2018 debut, from the gutsy alt-rock of the title track to the off kilter pop of ‘Little One', reminiscent of Sparklehorse, a tale of young love and youthful exuberance. Jessica’s Brother formed in 2016. Jonny and Charlie worked together in a framing business and had often talked about collaborating in a band together. Fate intervened when Jonny’s girlfriend Jessica introduced him to her brother Tom, and they found a songwriter in waiting. Their debut, eponymous, album released in 2018 was warmly received.

                            ‘Just Rain’ was produced and engineered by Shuta Shinoda (Hot Chip, Ghost Poet, Anna Meredith) at Hackney Road Studios during the summer of 2020. The album features Dan Mayfield’s elegant touch on violin (he has performed with artists from Daniel Johnston to Allo Darlin’), and new female voices from Polimana (a jazz vocalist from the SoCal suburbia) and Shantha Roberts (whose voice has graced Glasgow’s reggae sound system Argonaut Sounds). The eponymous Jessica Jane Charleston, a painter and printmaker, provides the meteorological juxtaposition to the album in the visuals, the warmth of a giant sun looming over the contorted figure, rising up to fight another day.

                            With an at times folkloric narrative, ‘Just Rain’ is both poetic and playful retaining throughout a thread of darkness. The record takes a step forward in terms of production while maintaining the band’s rough around the edges charm. It is an intimate affair punctuated with louder and more unwieldy moments. A true story revolving around a relationship and a world falling apart. 

                            TRACK LISTING

                            A1) Just Rain
                            A2) Finding Snowdrop
                            A3) Boat Song
                            A4) Land Ahoy! (Beyond Buoyed)
                            A5) Darling, I Wanted To Know

                            B1) Caroline
                            B2) Little One
                            B3) Full Swing
                            B4) Big Boy Now 

                            Howlin Rain

                            The Dharma Wheel

                              Presenting Howlin Rain’s grand-scale new studio album: The Dharma Wheel, a six-track, 52-minute dive into a joyous fantasy realm. A sonic travelogue of prog funk, psychedelia, bygone West Coast jam music and watermelon rock. The triumph of a working band!

                              Over nearly 20 years, Howlin Rain may have become the quintessential independent American rock ’n roll band: a steam-spitting Hydra of cranked guitars, kicking asphalt dust through a kaleidoscoping travelogue of desert motels and dives, volleying forth transmissions of sci-fi poetry from the blacktop veins of this cracked and aching country.

                              Now, in America 2021, capping these strangest and sorest of times, the band returns with The Dharma Wheel, a six-track, 52-minute dive into a joyous fantasy realm of exaggerated present.

                              “I wanted The Dharma Wheel to be a portal from our everyday world, the one from which you stand on hard ground and hold the album in your hands and peer into the artwork, and into another universe,” says songwriter, guitarist and vocalist, Ethan Miller. “You enter into that universe with your eyes and ears and mind and take a ride through free-form meditation on these ideas — from big, fundamental concepts about our existence right down to the grease that rolls down the arm of a pulp novel killer as he eats a gas station hot dog in an old Dodge in an alleyway.”

                              Lyrically, Miller has completed his evolution into a mushroom-plucking Whitman of the West, singing outlandish tales in a topographic blend of Humbead’s Revised Map of the World and an inverted U.S. where downtrodden bodhisattvas roam the back streets and moonless country roads.

                              “Down in Florida swamps, run by nature’s law, standing in the water, Eden gone. Two men loading rifles, beasts making time, they shot a boy from an orange tree and watched the colored birds take flight, watch the colors as they soar and dive.” — ‘Under the Wheels.’

                              The band, Jeff McElroy (bass, backing vocals), Justin Smith (drums/percussion, backing vocals) and Dan Cervantes (guitar, backing vocals), again sounds hardwired into Miller’s vision, building tracks that swagger and sway in response to his verse. Lending a hand this time around is the legendary Scarlet Rivera (Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue) on violin, and the endlessly inventive Adam MacDougall (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Circles Around the Sun) on keys.

                              Songs were shaped via the blast furnace of endless gigs, then recorded often mere hours after the band slipped the stage.

                              “The captured sonic fact about this record is that it’s the sound of a band that rehearsed this material a lot and put a ton of work into its construction and was on the road a lot and recorded on days off in the tour schedule,” Miller says. “In some cases we were on stage on Saturday night playing these songs at quarter-to-2 in the morning and by Noon the next day we were sipping coffee in the studio playing them for the machine.”

                              Rivera’s violin is the first sound heard as the album dawns on the instrumental “Prelude.” Soon, the band joins, twirling the theme into a psychedelicized awakening. “Don’t Let the Tears” brings the boogie, with MacDougall’s madcap synth work and wah-wah guitars showering 70’s glitter upon a parquet dance floor of the mind. “Under the Wheels” and “Rotoscope” center the album with taut, compositional epics populated by murdering drifters and fuzz pedal explosions. The blue hour comedown of “Annabelle” meditates upon the weariness of lost love, with Rivera again amping the heartache via her violin strings.

                              “In the evening the trains go by, and shake the dust from dirty walls, sometimes I feel like a spider in an old mason jar, who threatens only convex light from down the hall. I’ve been lost to the world since the photos of the black hole, landed on my desktop screaming, perhaps the all and nothing all-in-one is just too much to take, for particles and matter that never found their way.” — ‘Annabelle’

                              The record closes with the 16-minute title track, a multi-movement suite which cycles from Crazy Horse-meets-Traffic jams through colossal, mass-moving funk stomp, eventually cresting and washing into a sing-along gospel lament.

                              The Dharma Wheel is an album of great depth, and one steeped in good vibes: a rich, glistening world of the ultra-vivid. As illustrated in Arik Roper’s cover art, the grand dharmachakra has been set in motion, churning off the California coast.

                              “We were trying to build a world big enough that the imagination won’t go soft on you after just a few listens and where our love for this music, and music in general — along with a good dose of audacity — create a magic carpet ride through the world of The Dharma Wheel,” Miller continues. “In pursuing that I think we also managed to make a record that has a lot of joy in it: the joy of playing music, the joy of experiencing music, the joy of storytelling and poetry, the kind of singular joy and extended ecstatic moment that only a real ‘band’ can express in just that way.”

                              And it’s this joy, this exuberance and dedication to the lines of cosmic expression — all centered in the exalted art of the everyday — that constructs the heart of the record. At its core, The Dharma Wheel is the triumph of a working band, a transmission from a never-paused before arriving for our strange, bruised, spectacular now.”

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Prelude
                              2. Don’t Let The Tears
                              3. Under The Wheels
                              4. Rotoscope
                              5. Annabelle
                              6. Dharma Wheel

                              Echo & The Bunnymen

                              Ocean Rain - 2021 Reissue

                                Echo & The Bunnymen released their fourth studio album Ocean Rain in 1984, enjoying an enamouring cult status following the success of their first three albums. Ocean Rain continued the band’s use of strings, creating a dark, ethereal aura throughout the album.

                                It produced three singles, Silver, Seven Seas and the massive anthem The Killing Moon; a track frontman Ian McCulloch once stated, “I know there isn’t a band in the world who’s got a song anywhere near that.” It reached #9 in the UK singles chart, and continues to transcend generations to this day, routinely featuring in films and television shows such as Donnie Darko.

                                The album’s iconic, atmospheric cover art was taken in the stunning Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall by photographer Brian Griffin, who shot their three previous album covers. Ocean Rain went on to reach #4 in the UK album charts, being certified gold in the process, as well as charting in the USA.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Side A
                                1. Silver
                                2. Nocturnal Me
                                3. Crystal Days
                                4. The Yo Yo Man
                                5. Thorn Of Crowns
                                Side B
                                1. The Killing Moon
                                2. Seven Seas
                                3. My Kingdom
                                4. Ocean Rain

                                Lucy Gooch

                                Rain's Break EP

                                  An exploration of repression, longing and ‘otherness’ amidst illusory landscapes, ‘Rain’s Break’ EP is inspired by the early technicolour films of Powell and Pressburger. Lucy Gooch uses synthesisers and vocal layering to concentrate elements of each film’s score and narrative into songs which move through different moods of yearning and renewal:
                                  “I first experienced their strange cinematic worlds in childhood, and they stayed with me, like waking dreams – their vibrancy seemed to capture the hidden emotional lives of everyday people. The films’ fantastical sets were often met with the complexities of the inner female experience, as portrayed by each heroine. People wrestling with post-war isolation, changing attitudes to women and sexual repression alongside their struggle to establish equality and autonomy of their own lives.”

                                  So, it is amidst 1940’s austerity that these films were an escape, an over-rich backdrop of possibilities. A snatched piece of dialogue, the film’s score, the crackle of uncertainty all succumbs to the layered ambience of Lucy’s music as she traces moods of yearning and renewal on ‘Rain’s Break’ EP.

                                  Originally from Norfolk, Lucy studied Fine Art and later moved to Bristol to join the emerging ambient scene there - gradually developing her writing and finally releasing her debut ‘Rushing’ EP in early 2020. Over the past year, she’s dipped into a wealth of long gone celluloid as the basis for a filmic journey, a five song EP that relives formative movies in her unique take on ecclesiastical pop.

                                  ‘Ash and Orange’ emerged after listening to old recordings of women’s choirs from the 1930’s, their stoic sopranos circling churches and halls. In two parts, it touches on an everyday person’s hidden life that leads to an emotional breaking-down. A change from Lucy’s trademarked looping style it takes its inspiration from choral composition.

                                  ‘Chained To A Woman’ by contrast, is more playful, nodding to ‘80s synth pop, a homage to some degree to Blue Nile, pop music tinged with melancholy.

                                  “I sought to stick to that tradition of talk-singing the verses, and it seemed to fit in with the feeling of the song, which is more ambiguous. I wanted the words to be about being devoted to something, like family, a person or religion and all the things that come with that kind of devotion.”

                                  Inspired by the monsoon scene at the end of Black Narcissus (1947), the title track ‘Rain’s Break’ takes its lead from the weather to reflect an emotional journey.

                                  “That amazing tradition in early film of using weather to reflect the character’s emotional journey - it seems cliched now but at the time it was revolutionary. This is my attempt at trying to recreate the feeling of total surrender to drama, of something totally sensual.”

                                  This is music that takes you places, shifts focus, paints large canvases.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: There are all sorts of musical touchstones flying out of the player for this one. It's essentially widescreen ambient music but with a focus on the walls of echo and reverb-effected synths more akin to shoegaze. Slowly building into crescentic waves of layered tones, brilliantly warm but undeniably massive.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Side A
                                  1 Rain's Break
                                  2 It Brings Me Back To You
                                  3 Chained To A Woman

                                  Side B
                                  4 6AM
                                  5 Ash And Orange



                                    Brooklyn-born and based experimentalist and multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek, aka L’Rain, is mapping the enormity of how to change. Her forthcoming second album, Fatigue, demands introspection from ready ears with an array of keyboards, synths, and hauntingly delicate vocals that create a genre entirely her own. Cheek has dipped her toes in every corner of the arts, through her work at some of the most prestigious art institutions in NYC and collaborations with the likes of Naama Tsabar, Kevin Beasley, Justin Allen, and others in contemporary arts. How do we think through, express for, attest to, commit within and embody a substantive change for ourselves? How do we enact change in the company of others? What does it mean to internally engage with an abolition politic? These questions compose and propel the sonic energy of Fatigue. Over the course of 14 tracks, L’Rain continues her careful plotting of where we travel when cruising along the side alleys and major roads of an emotional city. Fatigue progresses the psychic collage assembled from her self-titled debut. Fatigue, while still cycling the wheel of grief, veers into the self-reckoning of holding emotional multiplicities that do not and cannot remain static.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Kill Self
                                    2. Fly, Die
                                    3. Not Now
                                    4. Find It
                                    5. Two Face
                                    6. Round Sun
                                    7. Walk Through
                                    8. Blame Me
                                    9. I V
                                    10. Black Clap
                                    11. Suck Teeth
                                    12. Need Be
                                    13. Take Two
                                    14. Love Her


                                    Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Reissue

                                      Originally released in 1994, this was Pavement's second album, and it signaled the end of Pavement seeing themselves as a recording experiment and the beginning of Pavement as a full time touring band. One of the casualties of this change was the eccentric and usually drunk drummer Gary Young (included here are eight tracks of pre-album Gary Young sessions), whom was replaced by Steve West who bought a greater stability to the line up. The new line up recorded "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" in NYC, and it proved to be an instant indie classic, packed with superb tracks including singles such as the awesome "Cut Your Hair", "Range Life" and "Gold Soundz".

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      Silence Kid
                                      Elevate Me Later
                                      Stop Breathin
                                      Cut Your Hair
                                      Newark Wilder
                                      Gold Soundz
                                      Range Life
                                      Heaven Is A Truck
                                      Hit The Plane Down
                                      Fillmore Jive

                                      ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: LA’s Desert Origins’ 2CD Bonus Tracks:
                                      Coolin' By Sound
                                      Kneeling Bus
                                      Strings Of Nashville
                                      Exit Theory
                                      5-4 Vocal
                                      Jam Kids
                                      Haunt You Down
                                      Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence
                                      Nail Clinic
                                      All My Friends
                                      Soiled Little Filly
                                      Range Life
                                      Stop Breathing
                                      Ell Ess Two
                                      Flux = Rad
                                      Bad Version Of War
                                      Same Way Of Saying
                                      Hands Off The Bayou
                                      Heaven Is A Truck (Egg Shell)
                                      Kennel District
                                      Pueblo (Beach Boys)
                                      Fucking Righteous
                                      Dark Ages
                                      Flood Victim
                                      JMC Retro
                                      Rug Rat
                                      Strings Of Nashville
                                      Brink Of The Clouds
                                      Tartar Martyr
                                      Pueblo Domain
                                      The Sutcliffe Catering Song

                                      “Soul is My Salvation is a collection of dance friendly gospel songs. The mission is to simply uplift your spirit through music and word. Dance floor’s around the world mirror the reactions of Churches from the 70’s and 80’s when experiencing these recordings.” - Tone B. Nimble.

                                      Released as a series of eight limited vinyl-only 45, when assembled together the covers reveal a beautiful design courtesy of designer Charlotte McCrae. A true collectors item.

                                      Chapter 7 sees two prized cuts bursting with that unbridled gospel energy, Spiritual Souls 1982 number - ‘We Came To Show You The Way’ and Heaven’s Sound’s 1984 gem – ‘Fire’.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      A1. Spiritual Souls - We Came To Show You The Way
                                      B1. Heaven’s Sound - Fire

                                      The Psychedelic Furs

                                      Made Of Rain

                                        Highly influential post punk stars, The Psychedelic Furs release their new album, their first in nearly 30 years. From its exhilarating opening bars, Made Of Rain - sounds like The Psychedelic Furs and them alone. It’s a joy to hear again, fresher than ever. Their peerless permutations of art, aggression and ambience drive the dynamics, and it’s always been this originality which has set them apart, a cut above. The album was produced by Richard Fortus, whilst mixing duties were handled by Tim Palmer (David Bowie, U2, Robert Plant). 

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Barry says: From the outset, this absolutely sounds like a Psychedelic Furs album and after 30 years of not recording, that's quite an achievement. Walls of distortion and chorused guitar solos all behind Butler's instantly recognisable vocals.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        The Boy That Invented Rock & Roll
                                        Don’t Believe
                                        You’ll Be Mine
                                        Wrong Train
                                        This’ll Never Be Like Love
                                        Ash Wednesday
                                        Come All Ye Faithful
                                        Tiny Hands
                                        Hide The Medicine
                                        Turn Your Back On Me

                                        Lee 'Scratch' Perry

                                        Heavy Rain

                                          A dub companion to the critically-acclaimed "Rainford" album that sees the Upsetter and co-producer Adrian Sherwood radically re-version the original tapes with a host of guest musicians including Brian Eno and Vin Gordon.

                                          If "Rainford" is 2019’s "Roast Fish, Collie Weed & Corn Bread" then "Heavy Rain" is it’s "Super Ape".

                                          As well as highlighting the deft musicianship of the original backing band on the "Rainford" sessions (which include core On-U luminaries from Creation Rebel, Tackhead and Dub Syndicate) these re-works also invite some further players into the cosmic mix. Brian Eno makes an unexpected right channel entry into “Here Come The Warm Dreads”, a heavily processed sound system overhaul of Rainford highlight “Makumba Rock”, cheekily re-titled as a nod to Eno’s own debut solo album. This completes a circle started in 1981 with African Head Charge’s My Life In A Hole In The Ground similarly referencing the contemporary collaboration between Eno and David Byrne, and their “vision of a psychedelic Africa”.

                                          Elsewhere, legendary trombonist Vin Gordon (one of the hornsmen on Bob Marley & The Wailers Exodus amongst many other classic sides) lends his distinctively woozy blowing to tracks such as “Rattling Bones And Crowns” (a late night flipside to “Kill Them Dreams Money Worshippers”) and “Crickets In Moonlight” (“Cricket In The Moon” refracted through some beautifully louche late summer heat haze lens). On the closest the album has to a title track, “Heavy Rainford” strips back the narrative from “Autobiography Of The Upsetter” to ride the rhythm with all sorts of mixing desk tricks, anchored by the killer “I Am The Upsetter” hook from LSK.

                                          It’s important to note that it’s not all Rainford re-works though: “Dreams Come True” and “Above And Beyond” are Scratch and Sherwood originals, heard here for the first time and equally strong material for this purple patch in the career of an unstoppable Jamaican maverick and true musical pioneer.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          A1. Intro - Music Shall Echo
                                          A2. Here Come The Warm Dreads
                                          A3. Rattling Bones And Crowns
                                          A4. Mindworker
                                          A5. Enlightened
                                          A6. Hooligan Hank

                                          B1. Crickets In Moonlight
                                          B2. Space Craft
                                          B3. Dreams Come True
                                          B4. Above And Beyond
                                          B5. Heavy Rainford
                                          B6. Outro - Wisdom


                                          Hard Rain

                                            ’Hard Rain’ follows hot-on-the-heels from the acclaimed Ruby Rushton album ‘Ironside’, but whereas contemporary urban jazz was the focus there, Tender’s solo record marks a return to another of the multifaceted artist’s skills: dope house and beat music that oozes futuristic funk.

                                            This sparse but perfectly-populated masterpiece takes inspiration from J Dilla and echoes elements of vintage Blaze, Larry Heard and Carl Craig. Warm and soulful, but also spacious and clean, Tender extracts maximum flavour out of just a few ingredients.

                                            “Casey Jr.” kicks proceedings off with a neck-snapping bass heavy p-funk
                                            monster, like Slum Village or Platinum Pied Pipers by way of Surrey and
                                            onwards to south London. Real electro laced cosmic jazz funk keys and techno hi hats coalesce exquisitely on “Buffalo Gurl”, whilst the breathtakingly deep. ‘Hard Rain’ sounds both current and classic. “Low Tide” is an ambient jazz interlude that clears the palate, before “Another State Of Consciousness” trips the light on a kaleidoscopic discoball of pure synth ecstasy. Bumpy and blunted, the break-fuelled flute ride of “Aesop Thought” and LA style abstractscience of “Workin’ Me Out” shine a new light on trip hop, before the album closes with the smouldering, emotive brooder “Almost Time”.

                                            After a long studio hiatus, this is a sign of good things to come from Tenderlonious and the 22a camp!

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Matt says: Peckham rises once again as the 22a firm display some more sonic wares from their locale. Tenderlonious at the controls for a mellow, smoked-out modern jazz / electronics composition.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1. Casey Jnr
                                            2. Buffalo Gals
                                            3. Hard Rain
                                            4. GU22
                                            5. Low Tide
                                            6. Another State Of Concsiousness
                                            7. Aesop Thought
                                            8. Love You
                                            9. Workin Me Out
                                            10. Almost Time

                                            Liela Moss

                                            A Little Bit Of Rain (Covers EP)

                                              Fresh off the back of her critically-acclaimed album ‘My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth’, Liela Moss presents a beautiful collection of rain-themed cover versions.
                                              In her own words: “Maybe because I’m a bit neurotic about tidying, sorting and indexing things in my life, I thought that creating sets of cover versions would be a good thing to record this year. I began making lists and categorising things that are related in my mind but nobody else’s! I might do a collection about Weather, Elements, Utensils (watch out for that one)... Stuff that is so everyday that we forget to stop and give it a kiss. I wanted a plaything, for new ways of production. Making these covers has been a learning exercise and a way to pay homage to songs that have haunted my childhood, including the title which waves a little hello to luscious Karen Dalton.”

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              Here Comes The Rain Again (Eurythmics)
                                              I Can’t Stand The Rain (Ann Peebles)
                                              It’s Raining Today (Scott Walker)
                                              Prayers For Rain (The Cure)

                                              In The Rainbow Rain' - produced by Sheff and mixed by Shawn Everett (Perfume Genius, Alabama Shakes, The War on Drugs) - serves as showcase for Sheff's writing and the musical interplay of his new band mates, Benjamin Lazar Davis (bass), Will Graefe (guitar), Sarah Pedinotti (keys) and Cully Symington (percussion) - the same iteration of Okkervil River that joined Sheff on the Away tour. Recalls Sheff of that tour: "It was my favorite touring experience in many years... I felt like a kid again. I realized how phenomenally lucky I am that I've been able to play music for this long."

                                              Sheff and the band started work on the new album shortly after the end of that tour - and the presidential election. "If December 2016 was good for anything, it was good for writing songs," he says. Galvanized by the seismic events of that Fall and the following year, Sheff, sometimes co-writing with his new band, channeled his outrage and sadness into music intended to be hopeful, healing and uplifting. Inspired by the Quaker meetings he had been attending, Sheff injected the album with undercurrents of spirituality and gratitude. The result is something akin to a modern secular gospel record, and among the best music of his career.

                                              Highlights include driving, melodic anthems "Love Somebody" and "Pulled Up The Ribbon," and "Famous Tracheotomies," which chronicles notable figures who've endured the titular procedure, including Gary Coleman, Dylan Thomas, Ray Davies, and Sheff himself. "In places, the record deals with heavy things like trauma and betrayal and shame, but, actually, it's supposed to be a good time," says Sheff. "I hope it's something fun, that makes people feel happier

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Andy says: With hints of smooth synthpop mixed in with the usual swooning indie anthems, Sheff has managed to sacrifice none of his original appeal whilst bringing in the considerable talents of his new bandmates, somehow simmering into a cohesive and enjoyable whole.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1. Famous Tracheotomies
                                              2. The Dream And The Light
                                              3. Love Somebody
                                              4. Family Song
                                              5. Pulled Up The Ribbon
                                              6. Don't Move Back To LA
                                              7. Shelter Song
                                              8. How It Is
                                              9. External Actor
                                              10. Human Being Song

                                              Taking its influence from downtempo alt-pop and hip-hop, but with nods to blissed out dub plus trans-global influences, the Indian producer arrives on Berlin based label Film with "Creators of The Rain". Danny Wolfers takes control on the flip - turning in a gothy, highly on trend, EBM-style remix under his esteemed Legowelt alias.

                                              Live instrumentation provides the backbone of the work - dusty drums drive the music forward, complemented by shifting dub-guitar leads, off kilter bassline licks and delayed drum machine breaks. Singer Gio’s vocals sit comfortably at the back of the mix, soft but inviting - present but realised with a distinctly otherworldly energy. There’s a fine, organic feel to the recording - ambient surface noise shifts and warps between elements, and live FX pop and duck in and amongst instrument strikes giving the work a rolling, hypnotic feel. It’s a deep and fully realized piece of music - wonderfully three dimensional in its execution, and a striking homage to the artist’s wide frame of reference.

                                              On his remix, legendary synthesizer enthusiast Legowelt draws for a characteristically sci-fi finish, in keeping with the best of celebrated output for Clone, L.I.E.S., Creme Organisation and nodding to the ALFOS, new-EBM and Tapan camps respectively. Maintaining the tempo of the original piece, but augmenting the work with a growling 'Reece' bassline and hazy lead synths, the Dutch producer carefully shifts Keshvara’s recording up a gear. Where "Creators of The Rain" began life as a grooving, hip-hop indebted piece of dance exotica, Danny Wolfers injects a darker yet euphoria sentiment, highlighting the dub elements with a delayed drum machine line and pushing the vocals back with a touch of reverb to give his glorious synth-work space to breathe. It’s a wonderful take on an already accomplished piece of music; respectful but inspired - and no doubt some of the hardware occultist’s finest work. 

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              A1: Creators Of Rain (feat. Gío) 
                                              B1. Creators Of Rain (Legowelt Remix) 

                                              Rain Dries Your Eyes is a new double CD retrospective anthology of the best of singer-songwriter Jason McNiff. Spanning more than 15 years and including brand new tracks, previously unreleased material and songs from his six studio albums, the collection showcases his fragile, wistful and timeless blend of blues and folk. A modern day troubadour, McNiff started recording in the early 00s, but he has a sound that harks back to the great folk rock pioneers of the late 60s/early 70s.

                                              Jason McNiff is a London based Yorkshireman of Irish and Polish descent. With nods to Bob Dylan and the Band, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Wizz Jones, McNiff is often touted as one of the UK's most precious musical treasures – a great songwriter and top-notch finger-style guitarist. His 2011 album, April Cruel (Fledg’ling Records) was nominated for best album in the alt-country category at the Independent Music Awards in the US.

                                              Off The Rails was McNiff’s 2000 debut, which was produced by Andy Allen of the Hank Dogs (who was one time bass player with the Sex Pistols for their “Silly Thing” single). The album was recorded in a closing down tape studio in Wandsworth and engineered by Alun Lane, and also featured Geoff Spence on drums, who McNiff met whilst studying at Nottingham University; “Nearly 30 years my senior, he'd lived through an era I could only imagine through records… We did many gigs together, but it was the endless hours spent talking and thinking about music that was the most valuable time.”

                                              The 2003 follow-up, Nobody’s Son, maintained McNiff’s signature sound but included contributions from members of both the Hank Dogs and South London country rockers Grand Drive. The title track has been reworked for this collection and features guest vocals from London-based Italian folk singer Emma Tricca, with whom Jason as collaborated as the duo Tricca McNiff (whose album Southern Star was released in 2016).

                                              For his third album Another Man (Wonky Atlas in 2006), McNiff wanted to have a band so he put together a crack team of Steve Brooks (Ahab, Danny & the Champs) on drums, Graham Knight (Simple Kid, Ahab, Orphan Colours) on bass, and Andy Drummond on Organ. It was recorded live in the room of another soon-to-be-closed studio, this time in Bath, Somerset.

                                              In 2008, McNiff was anthologised on In My Time, which featured material from all three of his previous albums, along with a few newly recorded tracks. The album also featured Simon J Alpin of Willard Grant Conspiracy on lap steel on “Pilgrim Soul”.

                                              April Cruel, his 2011 album, was McNiff’s first to be recorded at Bark Studios in Walthamstow by Brian O'Shaughnessey – he has since returned many times. The track “Kissing the Wind” features Fryda, an instrumental duo from Italy.

                                              His 2014 album God Knows Why We Dream features the song “Heart of A Poet” on which he plays a hand-made Vicente Sanchis A 2 Spanish guitar, which he used in his job as resident flamenco guitarist at a Spanish restaurant in Waterloo.

                                              The new songs on the album include “Cairo” (which is a new song from an old idea using a Rob Armstrong guitar in open D tuning), “Sun Comes Up”, “Marry Him” (featuring Garry Smith on Dobro) and “Sicily” (written after touring round Sicily with his Dad as the tour manager).

                                              For all his talent for lyricism and effortlessness as a songwriter, McNiff has also shown his adeptness as a musician by way of cover versions, as demonstrated by the exclusive download-only version of Jackson C Frank’s “Blues Run the Game” with the digital release. Weaving inspiration from classic American songsmiths with strong roots in English folk, McNiff serves up astutely arranged ballads imbued with warmth and beautifully crafted imagery.

                                              “McNiff’s quiet, intimate, fragile-sounding vocals draw you into his world – an almost timeless place, through which he drifts, a romantic loner, a dreamer, at home with the blues.” Time Out.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1) Off The Rails
                                              2) Woody's Annie Hall
                                              3) Southbound Train
                                              4) I Remember You
                                              5) Another Man
                                              6) Blow Up The Bridge
                                              7) Hang On To Your Woman
                                              8) Kissing In The Wind
                                              9) Summertime In Soho
                                              10) Marry Him
                                              11) Nobody's Son *featuring Emma Tricca
                                              12) Adieu To Lausanne
                                              13) Students Of Love
                                              14) New York
                                              15) Hat
                                              16) Journey Home

                                              1) In Our Time
                                              2) Hills Of Rome
                                              3) Green
                                              4) A Different Word
                                              5) All Around America
                                              6) Tombola
                                              7) Delia
                                              8) Sun Comes Up
                                              9) Coming Back To Life
                                              10) Game Over
                                              11) Heart Of A Poet
                                              12) Bus Of Tears
                                              13) Pilgrim Soul
                                              14) The Picture
                                              15) Sicily
                                              16) Weeping Willows Weep
                                              17) Cairo (Stuck In The Past) 

                                              M. Ward returns with a stunning new album, ‘More Rain’, released on Bella Union. Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums over the past several years, along with five albums with Zooey Deschanel as She & Him and a 2009 collaborative album with My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis under the moniker Monsters Of Folk.

                                              In addition to his celebrated work as a musician, Ward is an accomplished producer, handling those duties for such luminaries as Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis and Carlos Forster as well as his own projects.

                                              M. Ward knows how to live with rain. Having spent the last decadeand- a-half based in the perennially damp Portland, Oregon, the singer-songwriter and producer has learned how to shine through the soggy gloom by simply embracing its inevitability. For Ward, there is inspiration in a dark sky and harmony in foreboding winds. With his new album ‘More Rain’ he has made a true gotta-stay-indoors, rainyseason record that looks upwards through the weather while reflecting on his past.

                                              “I think one of the biggest mysteries of America right now is this: How are we able to process unending bad news on Page One and then go about our lives the way the style section portrays us?” says Ward. “There must be a place in our brains that allows us to take a bird’s-eye view of humanity, and I think music is good at helping people - myself included - go to that place.”

                                              This album, Ward’s eighth solo affair, finds the artist picking up the tempo and volume a bit from his previous release, 2012’s ‘A Wasteland Companion’. Where that record introspectively looked in from the outside, ‘More Rain’ finds Ward on the inside, gazing out. Begun four years ago and imagined initially as a DIY doo-wop album that would feature Ward experimenting with layering his own voice, it soon branched out in different directions, a move that he credits largely to his collaborators here who include REM.’s Peter Buck, Neko Case, kd lang, The Secret Sisters and Joey Spampinato of NRBQ.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Andy says: More warm 50's/60's vibes from the golden voiced maestro. Another enveloping record where everything feels just right. Great songs, obviously.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              (More Rain)
                                              Pirate Dial
                                              Time Won’t Wait Up
                                              I’m Listening (Child’s Theme)
                                              Girl From Conejo Valley
                                              Slow Driving Man
                                              You’re So Good To Me
                                              Little Nany
                                              I’m Going Higher

                                              Pure Bathing Culture

                                              Pray For Rain

                                                The world of Pure Bathing Culture is not the real world. It’s a world filled with characters like Scotty and The Bubble King and a place called The Ivory Coast that’s not the real Ivory Coast. It’s also a world created for its protagonists, Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman, to travel to communicate abstract thought and remember all the things they want to remember. It’s a place where the night is magic and it will transform you.

                                                In the humdrum everyday world, the corporal version of Pure Bathing Culture has for the last few years been growing naturally and at a steady pace. However new album ‘Pray For Rain’ sees them make an evolutionary leap, taking their finely honed metaphysical pop to a new level.

                                                You can hear it in the opening notes of their anthemic title track: in Hindman’s clean yet serpentine guitar lines interacting with the live rhythm section and Versprille’s lucid vocals cutting through it all as she asks: “Is it pleasure? Is it pain? Did you pray for rain?” You can hear it in the sweet pop perfection of ‘Clover’ and the trembling beauty of ‘She Shakes’, a story of two fantasy characters from different worlds being brought to an intense, fragile state through the experience of falling in love.

                                                When it came time to write and record the follow-up to last year’s ‘Moon Tides’, the duo knew what they didn’t want. “We didn’t gravitate towards someone making indie dream-pop records,” Dan said. That was when producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Swans, Angel Olsen, The Walkmen) reached out to the band and invited them to come record with him in his Dallas, TX studio.

                                                It was a taxing yet ultimately rewarding experience when the album was completed. “It was shocking to hear what the finished product was,” Sarah said. “It was like being in a vortex and then we came out with this record.” She adds with a laugh something John Congleton told her when all was said and done: “You were very brave.”

                                                ‘Pray For Rain’ is the sound of Pure Bathing Culture transforming from who they were to who they will be, of finding their way, ready to take steps both small and momentous on their musical path.

                                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                                Andy says: Gently persuasive synth'n'guitar pop chimes, prettily topped with Sarah Versprille's engaging vocals. Gorgeous.

                                                Gayna Florence Perry and Robin Surtees are perhaps best known for their work with cult Eighties band Shiny Two Shiny. Signed to Red Flame Records, they released one mini LP entitled ‘Halfway Across The Rainbow’ and one single ‘Waiting For us’ c/w ‘Ritual Hate’, in 7” and 12” formats. A mixture of bright and breezy synth pop with some darker undercurrents both records made a dent in the indie charts gaining positive reviews in the music press for releases and live appearances and acclaim from John Peel as well as daytime airplay on Radio 1. They also toured Europe and appeared on TV. At the start of 1984 the band played at the ‘Big Brother’ music festival at the ICA in London, supporting Pink Industry. But by this time the writing was on the wall for Shiny Two Shiny.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Waiting For Us
                                                2. Razzamatazz
                                                3. Concentration
                                                4. Through The Glass
                                                5. Grey
                                                6. Moment To Moment
                                                7. Rain
                                                8. Ritual Hate
                                                9. Susquehanna
                                                10. Waiting For Us (12” Single Mix)
                                                11 . Seven Four ( Live In Brussels)
                                                12. Boy From Ipanema
                                                13. Waiting For Us 7”
                                                14. Wake

                                                'Dark Pool' is the new studio album from Black Rain, the project’s first in 18 years. Produced in New York City by Stuart Argabright, Black Rain’s founder and figurehead, 'Dark Pool' is a work of hard-edged sonic fiction rooted in cyberpunk's quintessential neo-noir cityscape / dataspace but projecting into a farther future of biotechnological advancement and alienation. Partly inspired by the writings of Philip K. Dick protégé K.W. Jeter (particularly 1996’s 'Edge Of Human', which picked up where Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner left off), and Paolo Bacigalupi’s 2009 novel The Windup Girl, a vision of 23rd century Thailand plagued by genetic and economic terrorism, 'Dark Pool’'s humid dystopia is also acutely Ballardian in its vision of manmade and natural worlds encroaching upon each other: a vivid psychogeography of half-submerged high-rises and hidden jungle laboratories.

                                                Stuart Argabright first landed in New York in 1978. By day, he worked as a landscape gardener for the upscale likes of Rock Hudson and Bob Dylan, while at night involving himself in all manner of subcultural activity. He co-founded seminal no wave minimalists Ike Yard (whose early 1980s work has been cited as an influence by the likes of Kode9, Young Echo and Silent Servant), collaborated with the late Rammellzee in futurist hip-hop outfit Death Comet Crew and as Dominatrix scored a bona fide club hit with the downtown electro classic ‘The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight’ (1984).

                                                In 2013 Black Rain released an EP of live recordings, 'Protoplasm', on BEB. Three of the EP’s four tracks appear here on 'Dark Pool' in radically revised and expanded form: the stuttering ribofunk of ‘Endourban’ is now anchored by ominous string pads faintly redolent of Argabright’s labelmates Raime, while ‘Data River’ revisits the accelerated beat-stream of 'Black Rain'’s 1996 album Nanarchy, and the low-slung ‘Protoplasm’ has evolved into a sprawling, syncopated techno epic - the sound of red dawn rising on an illegal replicant rave. A further seven new productions feature. ‘Burst’, its title perhaps a nod to Sogo Ishii’s 1982 biker gang saga Burst City, harks back to the scrap-metal-banging brutalism of 'Black Rain' mk.1; ‘Xibalba Road Metamorph’, the album's angry, anguished centrepiece, externalises the sadness and self-loathing of Jeter’s oppressed post-human workforce. ‘Night In New Chiang Saen’ reimagines dub as the viral product of one of AgriGen’s morally suspect scientific initiatives in The Windup Girl, before ‘Who Will Save The Tiger?’ calls upon spidery, Metalheadz-esque breakbeats and wailing guitar drones to summon a 23rd century Ark. Vocals (on 'Profusion' and 'Profusion II') from Zoe Zanias (Keluar), and a brief spoken intervention from Sean Young (who of course played Rachel in Blade Runner) are simply the most audible manifestations of a dejected feminine presence that haunts the entire album. For all its textual references, 'Dark Pool' is a visceral and straight-talking affair: its bodyhammer rhythms and brooding sound design require no explanation for their impact to be felt.

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                1. Dark Pool
                                                2. Profusion I
                                                3. Watering Hole
                                                4. Endourban
                                                5. Burst
                                                6. Xibalba Road Metamorph
                                                7. Data River
                                                8. Night In New Chiang Saen
                                                9. Protoplasm
                                                10. Profusion II: Fallofthehouseofagodofbiomechanics
                                                11. Who Will Save The Tiger?

                                                Howlin Rain

                                                Live Rain

                                                  LIVE RAIN, the first-ever official live album by Howlin Rain, is released via Agitated Records.

                                                  "A great rock guitarist needs a signature affectation. Ethan Miller's happens to be an abrupt upstrum that, combined with a backward stagger, probably makes him something of an onstage hazard to his bandmates. When he really gets into it, as he does with elemental regularity, the Howlin Rain leader resembles a spasmodic marionette under the influence of a power greater than himself - call it the power of rawk. With his long thinning hair and big black beard, Miller also sometimes resembles a defrocked rabbi on the run. And when he opens his mouth, the history of classic arena-rock vocals passes before your ears in a full-throated wail, embracing the combined spirits of Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Leslie West, Greg Rolie and the ghost of Freddy Mercury." - the Village Voice.

                                                  Recorded live in various locations on the 2012 worldwide tour for The Russian Wilds, the live 2XLP features vintage Howlin Rain originals including "Roll On The Rusted Days," "Dancers At The End Of Time" and "Hung Out In The Rain" plus The Russian Wilds' "Phantom In The Valley" and an 11-minute plus version of "Self Made Man."

                                                  Live Rain features the most honed and bombastic Howlin Rain line-up to date; songwriter Ethan Miller (lead vocals / guitars), Earthless' Isaiah Mitchell (guitars / backing vocals), Drunk Horse's Cyrus Comiskey (bass/ backing vocals) and Raj Ojha (drums).

                                                  Live Rain was recorded by David Streit, mixed by Tim Green and produced by Ethan P. Miller.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  Side 1:
                                                  Phantom In The Valley (8:45)
                                                  Self Made Man (11:04)

                                                  Side 2:
                                                  Can't Satisfy Me Now (6:34)
                                                  Beneath Wild Wings (4:19)
                                                  Lord Have Mercy (7:50)

                                                  Side 3:
                                                  Hung Out In The Rain (6:07)
                                                  Calling Lightning Pt 2 (8:16)
                                                  Dancers At The End Of Time (5:53)

                                                  Side 4:
                                                  Roll On The Rusted Days (7:49)

                                                  'Nearly a year since their rapturous home demo 'Trust Me… I'm A Genius' started pricking the ears of tastemakers and industry alike, The Family Rain are pleased to announce details of their debut album, Under The Volcano, recorded over four weeks at Berlin's famed Hansa Studios with Jim Abbiss (Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys). It's ten tracks of primal rock ‘n roll. From barnstorming singles such as the track 'Feel Better (Frank)', the crunching 'Reason To Die', and high octane belter 'Pushing It' - which led the band's first EP earlier this year - the noise and intensity of this record could only be produced by three brothers who know each other inside out. Nagging melodies combine with heavy, metallic riffs to produce a searing rock record of intelligence and wit. The Family Rain have spent the past 12 months relentlessly touring the UK and Europe, winning over legions of new fans wherever they play. An firm favourite at Reading and Leeds Festival this year, the band recently wrapped up an extensive UK tour with Miles Kane and went on tour with Jake Bugg. "Three bearded brothers playing blues-infused rock, it's no wonder the comparisons with the Kings Of Leon are coming thick and fast." BBC Introducing.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. Carnival
                                                  2. Trust Me... I'm A Genius
                                                  3. Feel Better (FRANK)
                                                  4. Don't Waste Your Time On Me
                                                  5. Reason To Die
                                                  6. Binocular
                                                  7. On My Back
                                                  8. Pushing It
                                                  9. Together
                                                  10. All The Best

                                                  Howlin Rain

                                                  Till The Morning Comes

                                                    Limited edition tour only 7" for the upcoming Howlin Rain tour, a-side is a great cover of the Grateful Dead song "Till The Morning Comes", b-side is demo version of the album track "Collage", itself a cover of a classic James Gang track..

                                                    1000 only being made, 500 clear blue vinyl, 500 clear vinyl...

                                                    Howlin Rain

                                                    The Russian Wilds

                                                      Howlin Rain emerged in 2004 from the incendiary embers of San Francisco's underground noise-psych legends Comets on Fire. A rag-tag trio of soulful chooglin' and fuzz-box triumph, the band forged their own trails into the Cosmic California sound with their 2006 self-titled debut on Birdman Records. Within a year, just before the release of their second album, Magnificent Fiend, producer Rick Rubin signed them to his American Recordings label. Between 2006 and 2009, the group toured the US and Europe extensively with The Black Crowes, Queens of The Stone Age, Black Mountain and Mudhoney-not to mention legends and Howlin Rain faves Terry Reid and Roky Erickson. Under Rubin's guidance, The Russian Wilds took nearly three years to complete, and the long, strange trip is engrained in every moment of its 61-minute rock 'n' roll journey.

                                                      Frontman Ethan Miller delivers literary-lyrical meditations on loss, sorrow and redemption above a dynamic din of deep grooves, soaring harmonies and blazing fuzz guitars, and the album's breadth and scope recalls great, sprawling albums of the late '60s and '70s like The Allmans' Live at the Fillmore East, Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, Santana's Lotus and Love's Forever Changes. At once bombastic and ethereal, The Russian Wilds stands on its own dark mountain in today's musical landscape.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1. Self Made Man
                                                      2. Phantom In The Valley
                                                      3. Can't Satisfy Me Now
                                                      4. Cherokee Werewolf
                                                      5. Strange Thunder
                                                      6. Plex Reception
                                                      7. Dark Side
                                                      8. Beneath Wild Wings
                                                      9. Collage
                                                      10. Walking Through Stone
                                                      11. ...Still Walking, Still Stone

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