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SONIC CATHEDRAL

Echo Ladies

Overrated

    Cocteau Twins guitar legend Robin Guthrie has reworked one of the highlights of the Swedish shoegaze trio's acclaimed debut album 'Pink Noise'. He's taken the ‘Disintegration’-meets-slightly-out-of-focus-Saint-Etienne of the original and turned it into a classic indie-pop song – like Lush, The Primitives or even Strawberry Switchblade, with some nice Cocteaus-style bits in the background.

    On the flipside, there's an audacious cover of David Bowie's 'Rebel Rebel' (which often features in their live sets). They slow the song right down and turn it inside out, only adding the famous guitar riff as a synth motif near the end. 

    Echo Ladies

    Echo Ladies

      Their mixture of guitars, synths and drum machines is more like a Venn diagram of your favourite bands and records. At various points you can hear The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’, The Jesus And Mary Chain’s ‘Automatic’, New Order and A Place To Bury Strangers’ total sonic annihilation, but crossed with the soaring indie-pop melodies of The Radio Dept, Alvvays, Camera Obscura and even a little bit of Saint Etienne. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      10" Info: Gold vinyl version

      Sobrenadar

      Y

        Sobrenadar is the solo project of Buenos Aires-based Paula García and translates as supernatant – essentially floating on the surface of a liquid – the perfect description of the music she has been making since 2006. Inspired by “soundtracks, music of past times, ’70s, ’80s, ambient, downtempo, Air, Boards Of Canada, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Grouper”, her mix of reverby beats, electronica, guitars and vocals are like a deep-sea dreampop.

        Following her guest appearance on Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s album On The Echoing Green, this is Sobrenadar’s first international release. It is called y (and) because it combines her two most recent self-released EPs, Dromer and Habita – and follows a succession of singles and remixes by Slowdive, Gwenno, XAM (Hookworms) and Mark Peters. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Randomly Selected Aqua / Orange vinyl.

        Spectres

        WTF

          Bristol’s loudest band Spectres return with the brand new six-track ‘WTF’ EP.

          With recording on their third album almost complete, the band have decided it’s time for one final look back at last year’s album ‘Condition’, which was acclaimed at the time of release, but largely forgotten about by the end of a year which saw some major changes in the band, with frontman Joe Hatt relocating to Berlin and long-time producer Dominic Mitchison joining on bass.

          The EP pairs one of the highlights of ‘Condition’ – ‘Welcoming The Flowers’ (the video for which was premiered on The Line Of Best Fit recently) – with remixes of other album tracks by the likes of Metrist, who melts ‘Dissolve’ in an acid bath of broken techno; Elvin Brandhi (aka one half of Yeah You) and Mun Sing (aka one half of Giant Swan) who turn ‘End Waltz’ into, respectively, a glitchy explosion of sound and a tribal industrial monster (which was premiered last week on Mixmag); finally French Margot and Silver Waves place a noose of ethereal beauty and bloody-minded sonic terrorism around ‘Neck’.

          It’s not just the music that comes as a shock to the senses: the packaging of the limited-edition 12” (250 copies only) is, quite literally, a car crash in a bag. It’s pressed on what we’re calling “windscreen coloured” vinyl and comes wrapped in a sleeve covered with tyre marks; inside, alongside the familiar digital download card, you will find an air freshener and a lyric sheet in a child’s handwriting, as you might find near the scene of an accident.

          The eight-track album comes just a few months after their self-titled EP, which got the attention of BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X, Beats 1, The Line Of Best Fit and Clash, to name but a few, and sold out immediately upon release.

          The album mixes A Place To Bury Strangers-style total sonic annihilation with skewed synth-pop and the band cite the Cocteau Twins, Lowlife (not the Scottish dreampop band, but New Order’s 1985 album is as good a reference point) and The Jesus And Mary Chain as the main musical influences, but there’s also a nod to The Cure’s Disintegration and even Saint Etienne.

          Lyrically, it’s all about teen angst, which explains their perfect mixture of melancholy, euphoria, anger and tenderness. A sense of emotional confusion that is echoed by the title.

          “‘Pink noise’ is a setting on some old analogue synths,” they explain. “It pretty much sounds like the world is ending – the perfect way to describe this album.” 

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Just to clarify, 'Pink Noise' isn't technically a setting on analogue synths as the press release indicates, but it is apparently good to listen to whilst you're trying to sleep. This however, is not, because it's interesting and enjoyable and brilliantly written, unlike pink noise which sounds like when tv's used to have static.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          Coloured LP Info: Limited pink coloured vinyl.

          Mark Peters

          Innerland

            ‘Innerland’ is the first ever solo album by Engineers co-founder/songwriter and Ulrich Schnauss collaborator Mark Peters. It was originally released as a low-key limited-edition cassette late last year, but it sold out immediately through word of mouth and the backing of BBC Radio 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and Gideon Coe, Uncut magazine and Caught By The River, whose Robin Turner said it was “impossibly beautiful, evoking a bird’s-eye view of its own landscape, one untarnished by the blots and the palettes and the Tescos of the real world”. It has now been relandscaped into a larger-scale, eight-track album and will get a full release on vinyl, CD and digital on April 20. A collection of instrumentals, with nods to Brian Eno, Talk Talk, Richard Thompson, Vini Reilly and Felt’s Maurice Deebank, ‘Innerland’ highlights Mark’s incredible musicianship, positioning his guitar rather than his voice as the focal point of the music. It also finds him reconnecting with his youth and rediscovering a sense of place, following a move back home to northwest England in late 2016, with all the songs named after local places and landmarks. 

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Blue vinyl version.

            Moon Diagrams

            Remixes

              Limited-edition pink vinyl 7" featuring remixes by Happy Meals and Komodo Kolektif.

              300 copies only.

              The Early Years

              RemIIxes

                Songs from last year's second album 'II' reworked by Andrew Weatherall, Andy Bell from Ride and XAM.

                Limited-edition pressing of 300 copies on black vinyl. Plays at 33rpm and comes with a code for a free Bandcamp download in the digital format of your choice.

                Lifetime of Love is the debut album by Moon Diagrams, the solo recording project of Deerhunter co-founder and drummer Moses John Archuleta. Gradually pieced together over a ten-year period, it finds Archuleta processing various stages of love, loss and regeneration via forlorn outsider pop, minimal techno and warm, weightless experimentation. Hymnal opener “Playground” has echoes of Eno and Grouper; lengthy workouts such as “The Ghost and the Host” recall long-lost Harmonia outtakes, or something from one of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence compilations; the bitter pill pop of “End of Heartache” has the scratchy guitar of New Order circa Brotherhood and the square pegness of Dazzle Ships-era OMD. Several songs are instrumental, while “Bodymaker” features Sian Ahern (Eaux, Sian Alice Group). Subtly grandiose and quietly epic, Lifetime of Love really does live up to its title: a hopeful and curious beginning makes way for a morose middle, before a bittersweet, optimistic end. 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xColoured LP Info: One pink, one red LP

                Lorelle Meets The Obsolete

                The Sound Of All Things (Inc. Gnoomes Remix)

                Red vinyl 7" single coupling the original album version of 'The Sound Of All Things' with a remix by Russian trio Gnoomes.

                Limited-edition of 274.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: One of the highlights of their album, 'The Sound Of All Things' is a slice of motorik guitar-driven synth pop, psychedelic and bracing, all remixed on the flip by Gnoomes into a dystopian re-imagining of the original. Shadowy where it was glittering, but retaining the charm and skill of the original. Great stuff.

                New outfit formed by Matthew Benn of Hookworms and Christopher Duffin of Deadwall. Its six tracks of improvised ambient beauty are both meditative and peaceful, it is astral jazz with an experimental kosmische undercurrent; modular synths meet saxophones; Cluster meets Terry Riley; Laurie Spiegel meets Pharoah Sanders; Ohr meets Impulse!. A warm, immersive and downright musical record, it rewards repeat listens. XAM was originally Matthew’s solo project, the name borrowed from the closing song of latter-day Dusseldorf-via-Detroit cult classic ‘Subway II’. He recorded a number of tracks at home between Hookworms albums in 2014 which were released last year as the ‘Tone Systems’ EP on Deep Distance.

                Christopher says he approaches each song as a “mini-soundtrack to an imaginary film that doesn’t exist yet” and reveals that, while he was practising at home, he played along to clips of ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Mulholland Drive’ and ‘Synecdoche, New York’ to get the requisite atmosphere. Live sets are also completely improvised, meaning no two shows are ever the same. “I appreciate that improvised music isn’t for everyone, but it’s something I love doing,” Matthew concludes. “And, more often than not, Chris and I create something beautiful together

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Otherworldly developing ambience and celestial synth swells, gradual building and eventual fragmentation turn this into a tour-de-force of Reich-esque structural integrity. Jazzy interludes give way to churning echoes, while hints of percussion give just enough purpose to direct the cloud of blissful fog.

                Almost 10 years since they released their self-titled debut on Beggars Banquet, The Early Years return with a brand new album called, simply, ‘II’. It was recorded in their home studio in rural Cheshire before being mixed in Atlanta, Georgia by Jason Kingsland (Deerhunter) and mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Frank Arkwright (Mogwai, New Order). It’s a stunning record, the sound of a band who have matured and relaxed into their playing, created without any external pressures or expectations. It is also more relevant now than ever, despite their long absence; it towers above the legions of kraut-psych bands who came along in their wake with the sheer scale of its scope and vision. Opener and lead single ‘Nocturne’ is a ferocious collision of man and machine: guitars sounding like Will Sergeant has moved to Neil Young’s farm, Roland TB-303s squelching away and the wild-eyed energy of Julian Cope circa ‘Fried’. Cope and the Bunnymen are reference points throughout, but ‘II’ also takes in the elegiac New Order of ‘Fluxus’, the Dean Wareham duelling Tom Verlaine solos of ‘Out Of Signal’, the Spiritualized lullaby of ‘Hush’, and the Harmonia-meets-pre-definite-article-Verve of album closer ‘Memory Case’.

                Kraftwerk

                Ja Bitte

                  The ‘Kraftwerk? Ja Bitte!’ EP includes the two songs from the long-sold-out 7” we released back in 2013 – Disappears doing ‘Trans Europa Express’ and Cloudland Canyon covering ‘Radioaktivität’ – alongside a new version of ‘Neonlicht’ by Remover (a new band that is essentially three fifths of Hookworms: it was recorded by MB and JN and mixed by MJ) and a raucous reboot of ‘The Robots’ by Californian space-rockers White Manna, which was actually recorded live in soundcheck at Ramsgate Music Hall in September 2014.

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd 12" Info: Mega limited glow in the dark 12".

                  Disappears

                  Low : Live In Chicago

                    Recording of Disappears performing David Bowie’s classic 1977 album ‘Low’ in its entirety, mastered by Sonic Boom. Limited-edition orange vinyl, housed in a stunning see-through PVC sleeve, complete with the tracklisting on a sticker, as an homage to the original.

                    The band ran through the album twice on November 22 last year as part of a concert series entitled Bowie Changes, which featured several Chicago-based musicians reinterpreting the Bowie catalogue to mark the opening of the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition at the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art. “Naturally we chose the hardest one,” jokes guitarist/singer Brian Case. They succeed by being faithful to the original, while turning it into something that sounds very much like a Disappears record. The seven regular songs on the first side are buzzing and muscular, injected with steroids by the ferocious rhythm section of Noah Leger (drums) and Damon Carruesco (bass). However, it is the more avant-garde songs on the B-side that are the revelation. Stripped of Eno’s EMS Synthi AKS and Minimoogs, ‘Warszawa’ becomes an intense battleground between Brian and Jonathan van Herik’s treated guitars, ‘Subterraneans’ swaps saxophones for Rother-esque kosmiche curlicues and ‘Weeping Wall’ builds to an appropriate and fearsome (Berlin) wall of noise. It’s stunning.

                    We first met Brian when his old band The Ponys played a Sonic Cathedral show back in 2006. He formed Disappears a couple years later, and the band have since released five albums through venerable Chicago indie label Kranky, the most recent, ‘Irreal’, coming out last January. They were also recently namechecked in Kim Gordon’s book ‘Girl In A Band’, thanks to her ex-Sonic Youth bandmate Steve Shelley being Disappears’ drummer for a time. In 2013 we got them to record a cover of Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’ for a long sold-out split 7”, but with ‘Low: Live In Chicago’, they have excelled themselves.

                    Disappears are: Noah Leger: drums/tank drum Jonathan van Herik: guitar Damon Carruesco: bass/vocals Brian Case: guitar/vocals Recorded and mixed by: Mike Lust Mastered by: Sonic Boom. 

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Ltd LP Info: Orange vinyl.

                    Spectres

                    Spectre

                      Spectres’ alternative Bond theme is a dark and brooding duet between frontman Joe Hatt and chamber pop torch singer Ela Orleans, with strings, horns and a kitchen sink of looming feedback. ‘Spectre’ is beautiful, mysterious and deadly serious; like a shaken and stirred version of Blur’s ‘To The End’, or a cross between Sonic Youth’s cover of ‘Superstar’ and The Smiths’ ‘Death Of A Disco Dancer’.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd 7" Info: Limited edition gold vinyl.

                      Richard Fearless (ex-Death In Vegas) has reworked the already epic album closer ‘Sea Of Trees’ and, instead of playing up the original’s krautrock groove as you might expect, he loops a five-second sample of the song’s opening on a distorted synth, adds a pulsating techno groove and turns it into something that sounds like a long-lost Metroplex record. That slighty lo-fi edge is accidental – the track was finished not long after Richard DJ'd at Spectres’ album launch show at The Lexington in London earlier this year, but the very next day his studio was broken into and his computer stolen. It contained not only the master of this remix, but almost all of his work from the previous 15 years and, despite appeals for its return, it has never been recovered. But, as luck would have it, he had made an mp3 version to listen to, and it was good enough to master from.

                      There was less drama with Gabe Gurnsey’s Factory Floor remix on the flipside, but no less excitement, as Spectres are huge admirers of the post-industrial electronic trio, even supporting them at an instore show in Rise in their hometown of Bristol. Here the original’s wall of noise is held at bay, snippets of guitar and vocals breaking through as if phoned in from another dimension, while jerky, jittering rhythms hypnotise for just under seven minutes.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Ltd 12" Info: 12" in clear polythene sleeve with art print insert.

                      In an unprecedented burst of creativity, Dean Wareham follows his well-received solo mini-album ‘Emancipated Hearts’ just over four months later with his solo debut proper. Consisting of eight original songs and a cover of Michael Holland’s ‘Heartless People’, the self-titled album is a very different record to its predecessor, much less understated and more self-assured. No doubt partly due to its producer, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who also plays on some of the tracks here (and turns in a remix of ‘Happy & Free’ as the iTunes bonus track). Dean has admitted that Jim James pushed him in more of a “rock” direction, something which mini-album producer Jason Quever actively shied away from. This has resulted in surprisingly direct likes of ‘Holding Pattern’ (an ode to bicoastal commuting, which inexplicably turns into a list of AOR bands “Kansas, Boston, Toto, Journey, Foreigner and Styx”) and ‘I Can Only Give My All’, which sit comfortably alongside the countryfied rock of ‘Happy & Free’ and the retro-pop of ‘The Dancer Disappears’.

                      Between 1987 and 1991 Dean Wareham was singer/guitarist/ songwriter with Galaxie 500, who recorded three albums for Rough Trade (now available on Domino). His next band, New York-based quartet Luna, recorded seven studio albums for Elektra and Beggars Banquet between 1992 and 2004. He has since released three albums with his wife Britta Phillips as Dean & Britta. Their most recent release was a soundtrack to accompany their multi-media show ‘13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests’. Dean has recently acted in the film ‘Frances Ha’, directed by Noah Baumbach, and written a memoir, ‘Black Postcards’, for Penguin Books.

                      The first ever solo album from Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna, Dean & Britta). Produced by Jason Quever (Papercuts). Includes the single ‘Love Is Colder Than Death’, as premiered on Pitchfork. ‘Emancipated Hearts’ is a downbeat collection that suggests Galaxie 500 playing bucolic folk-rock. As if to underline this comparison, there’s a cover of The Incredible String Band’s ‘Air’. “I know they can be a bit silly, but they can be hilarious too,” says Dean. “Our version was recorded in Jason’s living room, just him and me.” Before this almost light-hearted conclusion, however, the album explores much darker territory, something that is evident from just the titles of the songs. It’s no so much political as politicised, as Dean explains: “Each of these songs started with a line or phrase I borrowed from a poem or film or newspaper headline. The idea is you steal a line and then build your own song around it…”

                      Between 1987 and 1991 Dean Wareham was singer/guitarist/ songwriter with Galaxie 500, who recorded three albums for Rough Trade (now available on Domino). His next band, New York-based quartet Luna, recorded seven studio albums for Elektra and Beggars Banquet between 1992 and 2004. He has since released three albums with his wife Britta Phillips as Dean & Britta. Their most recent release was a soundtrack to accompany their multi-media show ‘13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.

                      Happy Families

                      New Forgetting

                      Sonic Cathedral is very pleased to announce the release of the debut single by Happy Families, the new band formed by Lawrence Chandler (Bowery Electric) and Lucia Rivero.

                      ‘New Forgetting’ comes backed with a reworking of the Ramones’ ‘I Remember You’ and will be available on 7” vinyl and as a digital download.

                      Drenched in feedback and white noise masquerading as guitar, ‘New Forgetting’ is the loudest debut we’ve heard in quite some time; a wall of sound unashamedly built on the legacy of The Velvet Underground, Suicide, Joy Division, Spacemen 3, The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.

                      Following the split of New York-based shoegaze/post-rock pioneers Bowery Electric, Chandler, a former student of La Monte Young, opted for a more formal education in music. He studied composition at The Juilliard School, worked for Philip Glass and completed an MA at Goldsmiths in London. His most recent work was ‘The Tuning of the World’, a 24-hour sustained tone piece.

                      This is the musical debut of Rivero. Following art studies at Complutense University of Madrid and L’École Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc, Liége, she came to London to do an MA at Central Saint Martins. Her work has been shown at Guest Projects, Poppy Sebire and Zabludowicz Collection in London, as well as at LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre in Gijón, Spain where she recently contributed an installation for the show ‘Visualizing Sound’, alongside artists such as Ryoichi Kurokawa.

                      At the moment, though, for both Chandler and Rivero it’s all about Happy Families.

                      Limited edition bonus disc version also available - click here.

                      The incredible second album from Parisian psych-pop duo Yeti Lane, the follow-up to 2010’s hugely acclaimed self-titled debut.

                      Includes the track ‘Analog Wheel’, premiered on The Line Of Best Fit last December, and the single ‘Sparkling Sunbeam’, featuring guest vocals from Herman Dune.

                      Co-produced and mixed by Antoine Gaillet (M83, Zombie Zombie, The Berg Sans Nipple).

                      Artwork by Jean-Philippe Talaga, founder of the Gooom Disques label.

                      For fans of Kraftwerk, My Bloody Valentine, Broadcast, Stereolab, Can, Pavement and LCD Soundsystem.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Andy says: Grandaddy gone Krautrock. Heavenly.

                      Darryl says: Superb psyche-kosmische indie-pop mantras from this Parisian duo on the Sonic Cathedral label.

                      Fairewell is the new project of Sheffield-born, North London-based Johnny White, formerly of The Rollercoaster Project.

                      The debut album ‘Poor, Poor Grendel’ features ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’, which was featured on Lauren Laverne’s BBC 6 Music show.

                      ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’, with its video featuring a boy unwittingly leading a sheep to its untimely demise, became a blog hit.

                      Musically veers from elegiac post-rock to saturnine synth-pop. Radio Dept-style indie makes way for lengthy instrumentals which bring to mind M83 covering ‘Songs From The Big Chair’-era Tears For Fears.

                      Brand new four-track EP from Younghusband, following the success of their debut single, the double A-side single ‘Carousel’ and ‘Nothing, Nothing’, which was named Zane Lowe’s New Hype and is still being played on BBC 6 Music now.

                      The debut also received glowing reviews in The Guardian Guide, NME, Uncut and Artrocker.

                      The EP is available as a very limited double 7” pack (200 copies).

                      Various Artists

                      Cathedral Classics Volume One

                        Wow! This is really nice! The first 11 Sonic Cathedral 7", a set of 12 badges featuring the psychedelic designs from each of the labels (and the cover of the CD comp!), and a 7" square art print, all housed in a black box with gold embossed text. A real collectors item!

                        Daniel Land And The Modern Painters

                        Within The Boundaries

                        The 11th release on Sonic Cathedral Recordings is the debut single from the wonderful Daniel Land & The Modern Painters. The Manchester-based band was formed last year by songwriter and 4AD obsessive Daniel Land, after witnessing a DJ set by German electronica genius Ulrich Schnauss. 'He played probably 15 of the best shoegaze records I'd never heard,' recalls Daniel, who began an email relationship with Ulrich, who in turn recommended him to Sonic Cathedral as a support for his now legendary church show in Manchester earlier this year. Fast-forward six months and Ulrich, alongside former Engineers man Mark Peters, has reworked two tracks exclusively for this single release. The A-side, "Within The Boundaries", originally featured on Daniel Land & The Modern Painters' self-released "Voss" EP late last year, but has grown into something magical and monolithic. Over on the AA-side, the stunningly beautiful "Benjamin's Room" allows much more space for the vocals and also provides a tantalising glimpse behind Daniel Land & The Modern Painters' wall of sound.


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