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Tan-Tan Therapy - 2022 Reissue

    Tenniscoats' 2007 album "Tan-Tan Therapy" for the first time on vinyl.

    Just over a decade ago, Japanese indie-pop duo Tenniscoats recorded "Papa's Ear" (2012) and "Tan-Tan Therapy" (2007), two albums made with musical and production help from Swedish post-rock/folk trio Tape. They are beautiful documents of the exploratory music made by a close-knit collective of musicians, playing songs written by Tenniscoats and arranging them in gentle and generous ways. Released during a prolific phase of collaboration for Tenniscoats -, they would also collaborate with Jad Fair, The Pastels, Secai and Pastacas - they have, however, never been available on vinyl. In collaboration with Alien Transistor, Morr Music is now reissuing these albums with bonus material.


    Papa's Ear

      Just over a decade ago, Japanese indie-pop duo Tenniscoats recorded "Papa's Ear" (2012) and "Tan-Tan Therapy" (2007), two albums made with musical and production help from Swedish post-rock/folk trio Tape. Originally released on Häpna, they are beautiful documents of the exploratory music made by a close- knit collective of musicians, fully at ease with each other, playing songs written by Tenniscoats and arranging them in gentle and generous ways. Released during a particularly productive time for Tenniscoats - during the late '00s and early '10s, they would also collaborate with Jad Fair, The Pastels, Secai and Pastacas - they have, however, never been available on vinyl. In collaboration with Alien Transistor, Morr Music is now reissuing these albums both digitally and on double vinyl, with extra tracks.

      This reissue mini-series starts with "Papa's Ear". The second album from this expanded line-up of Tenniscoats, you can hear the musicians are immediately comfortable in each other's presence, and they've almost intuitively understood what they can offer to one another. Saya and Ueno of Tenniscoats bring their magical, gentle folk-pop sensibility, and their winning way with straightforward, yet lush melodies. Johan Berthling, along with fellow Tape member Tomas Hallonsten, plus guests Fredrik Ljungkvist, Lars Skoglund, Andreas Söderstrom and Andreas Werlin, all generous and creative presences in the Swedish jazz underground, shades in the songs with endlessly inventive arrangements, highlighting the warmth and curiosity at the core of the Tenniscoats' aesthetic - sometimes taking the songs in unexpected directions, other times pillowing the melodies with the softest of brushstrokes and the kindest of tones.

      "Papa's Ear" includes some of Tenniscoats' most memorable songs. "Papaya" is a lustrous dreamland of a song, with the Swedish musicians singing 'pa-pa-ya' as an enchanted tattoo, while Saya's piano and melodica clank and huff out, further expanding the song's horizon. It's followed by the spindly and mysterious "Sappolondon", where drums and double-bass shuffle and pulse under weeping accordion and bittersweet clarinet. Saya's voice sighs into the frame while the musicians breathe lungfuls of sweet drones and flick glittering countermelodies across the song's surface. It reminds a little of the wild kindness of Movietone, or the regal charm of Carla Bley's compositions.

      Elsewhere, you can hear Tape and their friends embracing the freedom offered by the songs of Tenniscoats: see, for example, the glistening electronics in "På floden", like a keyboard conducting a music box on a distant planet; or the descending phrase for winds on "Sabaku", dovetailing beautifully into a creek of moon-lit texturology. The double-LP ends with two extra tracks, drawn from the 2008 Tenniscoats/Tape split single, also released by Häpna., "Lutie Lutie" is a sweet delight, driven by a clacking drum machine, the Tenniscoats duo joined by Hallonsten on glockenspiel and synthesizer, and special guest, Japanese indie-pop legend Kazumi Nikaido, as choir. "Come Maddalena" rounds off the set, a brooding cover of an Ennio Morricone tune, the music by Tape, the vocals by Tenniscoats and Nikaido. Open-hearted and full of puckish spirit, "Papa's Ear" is an album of great tenderness and warm friendship.


      1. Higa Noboru / The Sun Rises (2022 Remaster) 04:39
      2. Hikoki / Airplane (2022 Remaster) 08:12
      3. Kuki No Soko / The Bottom Of The Air (2022 Remaster) 04:29
      4. Papaya (2022 Remaster) 04:42
      5. Sappolondon (2022 Remaster) 03:57
      6. New Seasons Dead (2022 Remaster) 05:15
      7. På Floden / On The River (2022 Remaster) 03:27
      8. Sabaku / Desert (2022 Remaster) 06:00
      9. Tanjobi No Yokan / Expectation Of Birth (2022 Remaster) 04:10
      10. Nigor / Cloudy Air Is Not So Bad (2022 Remaster) 02:11
      11. Come Maddalena (2022 Remaster) 05:17
      12. Lutie Lutie (2022 Remaster) 04:17

      Sin Fang, Soley & Orvar Smarason

      Dream Is Murder

        Three of Reykjavík's most prolific and creative musicians have joined hands once again on this track-focused project. Each month in 2021 has seen a new digital single by the project, which are now all collected on this album. Some people say it's the hope that kills you, but statistically dreams are responsible for a lot more casualties. The second album from the Icelandic supergroup, not only acknowledges this but celebrates it. To dream is to slowly digest oneself from the inside.



          Jimmy Tamborello returns with a collection of 10 pop-infused vocal hymns – simultaneously perfect dance floor fillers and lullabies. "Away" is the second of two Dntel albums to be released in 2021 by Morr Music in collaboration with Les Albums Claus. While "The Seas Trees See" showcased Tamborello's more intricate and quiet side, "Away" embraces his love for pop music. A genre which like no other has been resonating the advancements of technology from the very beginning. Songwriting was sequenced and computerized on such a large scale that it would change the sonic aesthetics of the charts forever. Dntel is a musician who changed pop music forever - and still works in this never-ending labour of love, both effortless and highly focused, constantly tweaking the universe of our musical perception. Whether beatless or uncompromisingly embracing the limelight of collective ecstasy with one of his most remembered tunes "(This Is) The Dream Of Evan And Chan", his almost forgotten anthem "Don't Get Your Hopes Up" or his work as James Figurine. "Away" features 10 of these extravaganzas - uniting his audience once more in hope and future-bound optimism.

          "I grew up with 80s techno-pop - these influences always come through in my music", Jimmy writes from Los Angeles. For this album, though, "I was thinking more of 80s indie pop or labels like 4AD. It is a mix of those influences along with trying to figure out what elements of my own discography I still connect with. I wanted it to reflect old Dntel records as well as the techno-pop band Figurine I used to be in. I have always considered my music basically being techno-pop, but not referring to pop as popular music - I just like pretty melodies. But with the Dntel moniker, I never had the ambition to produce music for a really big audience."

          It is exactly that looseness in approaching music which makes Tamborello's style of composing so unique. On "Away" he combines a healthy dose of distortion with the most-sticking melodies, vocals and bitter-sweet lyrics he ever came up with – performing all vocals himself, with the help of technology. "My voice has a limited range. When I applied this vocal processing it seemed to bring out the emotions more. I don't see it as the same as the more artificial, autotuned style of modern pop music. I think it still sounds like it could be a real person singing, just not me." Using this technique, Dntel disembodies himself from his own art, welcoming all kinds of interpretations re. his current state as an artist. "Somehow this processed voice feels closer to how I see myself than my normal voice, for better or worse…", he writes. Pop music is a fragile entity, making its kingpins vulnerable. Many emotions reveal a lot of the originator's personality -this is something one has to be prepared for. On "Away", Jimmy Tamborello finds the perfect way of marrying his unique musical personality with both the demands and possibilities of pop music. Just listen to "Connect" and you'll know what we're talking about. A perfect, yet timeless album for less than perfect times.


          Barry says: 'Away' mixes the static-filled atmospherics of his much-lauded earlier work with a brighter and more poppy melodic angle, landing on a dreamlike, filmic juxtaposition of euphoric melody and glitchy dream pop.


          1 Shell
          2 Moonlight
          3 Connect
          4 From The Window
          5 No Common
          6 Hiding
          7 Bridge
          8 Fleeting Feeling
          9 I Made Something
          10 A Sense Of Dread


          The Seas Trees See

            Hailing from Los Angeles, Jimmy Tamborello has been a key figure in refining what today is considered electronica for over 20 years. "The Seas Trees See" is the first of two Dntel albums to be released in 2021 by Morr Music in collaboration with Les Albums Claus: a free-floating and rather loose stroke of musical genius, giving ambience a whole new meaningful context. It combines crackles and hiss with deep, yet modest, synths and poignant, yet elegant, vocals and lyrics.

            "Away", its counterpart album, will follow later in 2021. It will showcase Dntel's unapologetic love for pop music from a long-gone era, presenting yet another aspect of his multi-faceted personality. Dntel has always covered many musical grounds - from the pop-infused hits on "Life Is Full Of Possibilities" (Plug Research, 2001) to his much more abstract works on "Aimlessness" (Pampa Records, 2012), "Human Voice" (Leaving Records, 2014), and his electronics for The Postal Service (Sub Pop). Whatever his style - Tamborello has retained his very own musical voice. When it comes to producing music, it can be a good idea to get away from the studio and find a more relaxed environment. Inspiration does not necessarily require huge bass bins. Fewer pieces of gear make it easier to really focus on ideas first and let them be. After recording "Hate In My Heart" - his most recent album, released in 2018 - this way, Tamborello continued working in that fashion, mainly jamming and getting ideas together for upcoming live shows. One of the first results of this creative process was the opening track of "The Seas Trees See" - a cover version of "The Lilac and the Apple", originally recorded by Californian folk singer Kate Wolf in 1977. Tamborello turns the acapella song into a vocoder-like extravaganza.

            Working with the original recording, the track perfectly sets the tone for what "The Seas Trees See" turns out to be - a quiet yet mesmerizing journey through sound and emotion, bringing together his very own sound design, disguised samples and an incredible feel for moods and atmospheres. "I thought a lot about making an album that you would find in a thrift store", Tamborello remembers. Something "like a mysterious collection of sketches that leaves a lot unanswered. It doesn't beg for attention or have any big moments." Despite its perfect and gentle flow, it is worth digging deeper, to surrender oneself to all the painstakingly placed details.

            Whether the beautiful and haunting piano work on "Movie Tears" or the almost sidechained-sounding "Yoga App" - every aspect of this album has been beautifully crafted, often bringing one of life's biggest questions to the table: What if? What would have happened if Tamborello would have done this on that track or that on this track? It is good that he did not. Small things add up to something great, diverse and riveting. The subtlety of his latest endeavor is fascinating. It opens up a new world, in which small musical sketches mean at least as much as perfectly produced pop anthems - if not more.

            TRACK LISTING

            1 The Lilac And The Apple (remix)
            2 The Seas
            3 Whimsy
            4 The Man On The Mountain
            5 Back Home
            6 What I Made
            7 Movie Tears
            8 Fall In Love
            9 Yoga App
            10 After All
            11 Hard Weather 

            The Notwist

            Vertigo Days

              First studio album by The Notwist in seven years Featuring Saya (Tenniscoats), Ben LaMar Gay, Angel Bat Dawid & Juana Molina On Vertigo Days, the first album in seven years for The Notwist, one of Germany's most iconic independent groups are alive to the possibilities of the moment. Their music has long been open-minded and exploratory, but from its engrossing structure, through its combination of melancholy pop, clangorous electronics, hypnotic Krautrock and driftwork ballads, to its international musical guests, Vertigo Days is both a new step for The Notwist, and a reminder of just how singular they've always been. Most importantly, the core trio of Markus and Micha Acher and Cico Beck are reaching out: as Markus reflects, "we wanted to question the concept of a band by adding other voices and ideas, other languages, and also question or blur the idea of national identity." It's been seven years since The Notwist's last album, Close To The Glass, and in that time the various members of the group have been busy with side projects (Spirit Fest, Hochzeitskapelle, Alien Ensemble, Joasihno), guest appearances, a record label (Alien Transistor), movie scoring, helping organise the Minna Miteru compilation of Japanese indie pop & running a festival (Alien Disko).

              Those divergent paths feed back into Vertigo Days in surprising ways, from its structure, built from group improvisations, with songs flowing and melting into one another in a collective haze, to its spirit, which feels refreshed and alive. There's something cinematic about Vertigo Days too, reflective of the group's time working on soundtracks, and reflected in the rich, moody photographic artwork by Lieko Shiga that adorns the cover. The first sign of this newfound openness was the album's lead single, "Ship", where the group were joined by Saya of Japanese pop duo Tenniscoats, her disarmingly hymnal voice sighing over a propulsive, Krautrocking beat. Elsewhere, American multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay sings on "Oh Sweet Fire", also contributing "a l ove lyric for these times, imagining two lovers in an uprising hand in hand." American jazz clarinettist and composer Angel Bat Dawid adds clarinet to the spaced-out dream- pop of "Into The Ice Age", while Argentinian electronica songwriter Juana Molina gifts some gorgeous singing and electronics to "Al Sur". Saya also reappears as a member of Japanese brass band Zayaendo, who guest on the album.

              Throughout, The Notwist also capture the openness of their live performances, too, where they mix and link their songs in unexpected ways. Indeed, what's most impressive about Vertigo Days is the way it sits together as one long, flowing suite, the album conceptualised as a whole entity - it's perfect for the long-distance, dedicated listening experience. This is also captured by the album's lyrics, which Markus states, "feel more like one long poem." The dimensions of that poem are multi-faceted, something intensified by the geopolitical weirdness of its times: "As the situation changed so dramatically, while we were working on the record, the theme of 'the impossible can happen anytime,' more about personal relationships in the beginning, became a global and political story." But it also works at a level of poetic abstraction, such that each song gestures in multiple directions - the deeply private pans out to the global. The one certainty is that there is no certainty. "It's maybe mostly about learning and how you never arrive anywhere," Markus concurs. To sit within uncertainty is brave, but it's also where we feel most alive, and Vertigo Days is an album that is brimming with life, with enthusiasm and love for music and for community, all wide- eyed and dreaming.

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: The Notwist are back! One of the Germany's greatest exports (except Mine, obviously) bring a stunning new album of rich electronics, skittering percussion and silky smooth vocals for the first time in FAR TOO LONG.

              TRACK LISTING

              1 Al Norte 01:00
              2 Into Love / Stars 05:44
              3 Exit Strategy To Myself 03:08
              4 Where You Find Me 02:31
              5 Ship 04:04
              6 Loose Ends 05:31
              7 Into The Ice Age 06:21
              8 Oh Sweet Fire 03:50
              9 Ghost 01:23
              10 Sans Soleil 03:16
              11 Night's Too Dark 02:55
              12 *stars* 01:10
              13 Al Sur 03:18
              14 Into Love Again 05:08


              Lamenting Machine

                Antony Ryan and Robin Saville - the inventors of electronica - are returning with their ninth studio album. Three years in the making, "The Lamenting Machine" will go down in history as the deepest and most satisfying chapter yet in the ongoing musical conversation between these brilliant musicians. Subtle yet mesmerizing melodies evoking long forgotten memories, calmly throbbing bass figurines pulsing gently along - all paying tribute to free-floating rhythms and their eternal noises. ISAN has always been an intimate and personal take on electronic music.

                System W/ Nils Frahm


                  New recordings by Danish electronic trio System (aka Future 3) in collaboration with Berlin based composer Nils Frahm. His purpose-built improvisations on synth, organ and piano served as source material for the members of System (Thomas Knak, Anders Remmer & Jesper Skaaning), who merged his warm acoustic tones with their minimalist digitalism and set out to translate their distinctive clicks 'n' cuts electronics into vivid soundscapes. The blending of piano and digital tones and noises into emotive pieces might instantly recall the work of Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, though System and Frahm come to quite different results.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side 1
                  1. Open (6:03)
                  2. Drift (5:35)
                  3. Gebiet (4:29)
                  Side 2
                  1. Piste (6:01)
                  2. Stille (4:30)
                  Side 3
                  1. Minus (6:38)
                  2. Add (5:59)
                  Side 4
                  1. Frem (4:45)
                  2. Plus (9:40)

                  Spirit Fest


                    Flowing and brimming with life, Anohito', the second album by indie supergroup Spirit Fest, has come ashore. The group is comprised of Tokyo-based duo Tenniscoats (Saya and Takashi Ueno), Markus Acher (The Notwist, Rayon), Cico Beck (Aloa Input, The Notwist) and Mat Fowler (Jam Money, Bons). 

                    Lali Puna

                    Two Windows

                      The world has changed rapidly since Lali Puna released Our Inventions in 2010, a fact that is also reflected in the band's fifth album, Two Windows. Written and produced over almost two years, these twelve new songs meet those changes head-on both musically and lyrically. Keith Tenniswood (Two Lone Swordsmen) contributed as Radioactive Man. Dntel aka Jimmy Tamborello, another old friend of the band, is featured as well as harpist / Ghostly International alumna Mary Lattimore and experimental artist Midori Hirano (here under her MimiCof moniker).

                      On their first album in six years, ISAN once more weave together electronic soundscapes, delicate rhythms and the occasional odd sound into a pulsating, ever-morphing whole. Glass Bird Movement is Antony Ryan and Robin Saville's eighth studio album since they have started the project two decades ago. Exchanging ideas between England and Denmark, where Ryan currently resides, ISAN have crafted an album which is reminiscent of heyday Boards Of Canada productions, the friendlier ventures of Aphex Twin or the most focused moments of Ulrich Schnauss, if you will. However, this album (as well their impressive back catalogue, as subtle it may seem) displays a strong signature. ISAN constantly move forwards without leaving their respective studios. And why should they - it's warm and dry in there and the kettle is always boiling.

                      The title Glass Bird Movement, like those of many of their records and songs, is the product of an free associative process which reflects ISAN's creative methods and frames the eleven songs in a way that triggers the imagination. Communicating less about their music than rather with their music, Ryan and Saville together immerse themselves in complex structures without shutting out their audience. Instead, the friendly bouncing grooves of songs like "Napier Deltic", the washed out harmonies of the aptly titled "Risefallsleep" or the circular rhythms of the album's opener, "Cuckoo Down", have dream-like, inviting qualities to them. ISAN are particular about incorporating the element of chance, a sort of second-hand human touch, in their music. If it's a cheap keyboard that is only good for one note in one song alone or a tape loop cut by hand, anything can find its way into an ISAN song. Even though they take most of their inspiration from the machines they work with, they do not fetishise their gear - but play with it.

                      Glass Bird Movement relies just as heavily on all those sonic idiosynkrasies as it does on the sophisticated rhythms and throbbing basses that form its foundation. Like the colourful art of Morr Music's in-house designer Julia Guther, which was based on Saville and Ryan's visual ideas, it is a record that very politely defies categorisation. One might call the music that ISAN make Intelligence Dance Music, as it has often been done. However, be aware that there has reportedly only ever been one person seen dancing to it. Glass Bird Movement is likely best enjoyed where it is warm and dry, while the kettle is boiling.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Cuckoo Down
                      2.  Lace Murex
                      3.  Parley Glove
                      4.  Glass Bird Movement
                      5.  Leonardo's Formula
                      6.  Every Since And Then
                      7.  Napier Deltic
                      8.  Rattling Downhill
                      9.  Slow Rings
                      10.  Risefallsleep
                      11.  Linnæus


                      Walzer Oder Nicht

                        Duo505 is Bernhard Fleischmann and Herbert Weixelbaum.

                        Duo 505’s new recordings are somewhat reminiscent of Velvet Underground (at their catchiest), of Yo La Tengo’s sense of melody, or the kind of ballads Brian Eno or Zach Condon are known for. Make no mistake: Even though “Walzer Oder Nicht” certainly has its noisier moments, some Tall Dwarfs-style clank and clatter even, the new album is even more thoughtful, quiet and warm-hearted than its predecessors.

                        “Walzer Oder Nicht” is an album that sounds very much complete and very dense and full of hidden layers; an album that evokes childlike enthusiasm with its magnificent melodies. Fleischmann and Weixelbaum are currently looking for a way to present this new sound on stage.

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