Kalakuta Soul Records is back and starts the year with a new collaboration with one of the most inspiring record stores and well of fortune for all music lovers, especially for those who enjoy carribean music and the profound musical heritage of Jamaica - the infamous Bahlo Records. For this first release, both have created a new imprint that brings both labels together and goes by the name KABA that stands for (well…) Kalakuta Soul Bahlo Records. For their first collaborative release, they were able to license two songs originally released on a private pressed LP by the mighty “Golden Sunshine Steel Band” in 1980 that will definitely wave you through day and night, whether you’re listening to it at home, on the road or in a furious set on a mind-blowing sound system. More releases will follow through 2020!! Vital Sales Points: - Taken. From hard to find private pressed Jamaican LP - Mastering by Sean P. - Limited to 500 copies
Wayne Perry & Randy Mcnutt decided to record a version of Pain in a power Soul Rock mode which were all the range in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time of the recording around 1973.The Boys In The Band version features Wayne singing solo but was never released. What was released was the Little Flint version (a name that Wayne had chosen as an alto ego guise ) and assisted with that version by an uncredited vocalist from Alaska singing live singing on top of the same rhythm track. Other band members included Roger 'Jellyroll' Troy on bass,Jerry Love on drums,Gary Boston on guitar,Craig Shenafield & Terry Burnside on brass (all five had played on sessions/backed James Brown at certain points in their careers)plus the young B-3 Organist Terry Hoskins who was just 17 at the time.
Just Like Moby Dick, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, takes its title from the archetypal monster of American literature and the American imaginary. (Coincidentally—or not—his label Paradise of Bachelors also takes its name from a Herman Melville story.) “Memory shot her crystals as the clear ice most forms of noiseless twilights,” Melville writes, and for most of the novel, Moby Dick himself remains hidden, haunting Ahab as a crystalline monster of fathomless memory, a terrible fever dream from the depths. The whale remains a specter on Allen’s record too, appearing explicitly only in the briny final line of the last song “Sailin’ On Through,” and on the artist’s Side D vinyl etching and CD insert drawings, where he lurks menacingly beneath the roiling seas of Thomas Chambers, the 19th-century maritime painter whose floridly freaky nautical scenes adorn the album jacket.
RIYL: David Byrne, Guy Clark, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Silver Jews, Sturgill Simpson, Townes Van Zandt.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xDeluxe LP Info: Moby Dick etching artwork on side 4.
2xDeluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.
"Wordy Soca" is an electric affair with big boogie synths, a James Mason-esque proto-house drum pattern and large, killer bass.
"Noice" sees fizzy disco drums and an echo-drenched vox vie for attention on the master tape. With recording levels red hot and 'nuff saturation we're left with a scorched groove until Nick & Dan allow more of the quirky Jamaican vocal part through toward the end. Crazy. Good!
"Can You See My Big Pan" merges steel drum lines with classic disco drums for a tropical disco flurry of jovial, pleasant vibrations full of good vibes.
Finally, we get all the echo artifacts and tape delay detritus from second track, "Noice (Dub Debris)" for the more leftfield-learning, Idjuts-adoring DJs out there in the field...
Top stuff here and as always, limited copies so get those orders in quick folks!
STAFF COMMENTSSil says: Floor fillers for the world music inclined DJ. Touching many genres and bringing the right amount of effects and elongation of breaks a la Todd Terje to make this an essential 12". Bomba!
Ticking all the boxes that attract freak folk enthusiasts and synthusiasts alike, the combined efforts of Steve Shill and Graeme Miller deployed thumb pianos, backwards tape effects, wooden pipes and a Wasp synthesiser (the almost affordable post punk synth of choice) to replace the original 70s German jazz soundtrack, thus dramatically mutating the tonality of the one- hundred-episode-long saga. Miller and Shill’s unique DIY approach follows characters like Moomintroll, Sniff, Snuffkin and the Snork Maiden as they encounter hobgoblins, sand lions and the mysterious Groke complete with their individual detuned electronic voices and thereminesque whimpers.
Based on the original sprites invented by Tove Jansson, the modified fuzzy felt figurines were designed by animator Lucjan Debinski at the legendary Se Ma For studios in Poland for German syndication resulting in what many regard as the definitive and most enigmatic version of the story succeeding further animated adaptations from Japan and Russia. Sharing the same nostalgia and oblique exoticism as The Singing Ringing Tree, The Little Mole, The Magic Roundabout and other reconstituted imports seen on programmes like Granada TV’s Picturebox, The Moomins and its synonymous theme tune and sound effects render this limited 7” vinyl release an essential addition to the record shelves of soundtrack collectors, domestic electronic fans and absent bygone tele-addicts as well as animation and design enthusiasts on account of its unique imagery and packaging. The single comprises an extended take of ‘Woodland Band’ and a never before heard cue from the forthcoming ‘Lost Tapes’ album.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 7" Info: Housed in a custom-made felt backed sleeve.
The album includes many of The Band’s best-known and critically acclaimed songs, including “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” which Rolling Stone named the 249th greatest song of all time. The magazine also ranked the album number 45 in their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Time magazine included it in their unranked 2006 list of the 100 greatest albums.
Robert Christgau, who spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, declared it better than Abbey Road, which had been released four days following, writing that The Band’s LP is an “A-plus record if I’ve ever rated one.”
The album is preserved in the National Recording Registry and is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
“In many ways the idea behind the album was to make an audio representation of the house.“ And this enigmatic manor becomes Girl Band’s sonic playground: to place yourself within a space, and to work with that space harmoniously. Dan continues, “We recorded all the drums twice: once on the landing and once in the cellar” -The Well of Souls- “and during production we could actually cut in between both these sounds”. The Talkies vacillates between being big, ambient, and atmospheric to suddenly terribly intimate and up close.
The Talkies is living, breathing, in a continual state of metamorphosis. It encompasses everything there is to love about Girl Band while simultaneously causing an exciting level of discomfort. The moaning and sawing guitars, atonal blankets of sound, abstractive lyrical repetition, chugging snare and ascending/descending snakes and ladders noise-rock guitar deliver something that is so distinctively Girl Band.
…Eregenis. Album closes to steady breathing. It drips with catharsis, slow and mindful and purging over the familiar key and darkly syncopated grooves which closes the door to Girl Band’s sonic universe and brings ‘The Talkies’ to its first and final silence.
‘Keep Me On Fire’ is a funk-powered, strutting gem of infectious grooves, full frontal bass and rousing vocal refrains. Classy and considered, this re-beefed edit is straight up incendiary business destined to ignite any dancefloor it’s put before.
Taking to the B side, ‘Tried To Help It’ is a mouth-watering mix of squelching melodies, sumptuous falsetto vocals and heavy low-end weight, tape delayed exquisitely to echo out across the ether.
The peak time ‘Termination’ closes out the EP. Cosmic sirens lead the way for a tension amping build up, full of space echoed reverberations, divine synths and peppering guitar licks. By the time those swaggering vocals are laid to bare its fever pitch point with this astronomical edit.
The rhythm section on this recording consists of two former members of Taiwan Housing Project (Adam Charles Cooper on bass and Pat Ganley on drums). They manage to lay down a solid but decidedly streamlined groove that perfectly compliments the songs. “This Is One” utilizes a re-discovered drum track laid down by the legendary Letha Rodman Melchior to great effect
Jerome Derradji & Past Due Records present “Head Games (The Story of Larry Akles & CBM Records)”. Released on a double LP with printed inner sleeves (or booklet) that include never seen before pictures of the band and a story written by Jacob Arnold. Artwork is by the mighty Al Kent.
This compilation includes every song released by the Chocolate Buttermilk Band, remastered and reissued for the first time. Needless to say, this is an essential release for fans of Boogie, Soul and Funk as the Chocolate Buttermilk Band releases are known to fetch thousands in the collectors market.
In Larry Akles own words, “This girl in Atlanta told me one time, she said ‘Larry, I heard on the radio that Chocolate Buttermilk was going to be on the show, and I told my girlfriend, Oh, it’s gonna be onnnn if Chocolate Buttermilk on there, ’cause whoever come behind them, they got to go!’” He continues, “When we hit the stage, boy it’d be some fire. We wouldn’t have to get warmed up. We’d start off hot!”
Lou Clarke spent most of the 70's not of this Earth, a greatly formative time for him and those around him. The intervening period was spent retrospectively constructing a back catalogue of music to rival even the most seasoned of 'straight to charity shop' vinyl ghosts.
The All-Scars are a collection of well-trodden troubadours from a variety of Mancunian haunts who've generously come together to present these songs in something close to their original form as once might have been heard.
The 'Greatest Hits' album is a preventative measure precluding necessary high standards for a second work. All of the tracks have been taken from the future back catalogue including the upcoming demand avoidant '4th Album'.
Informed by New Orleans, built in Manchester, songs to drink dance or drown to.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Encompassing all the best gloomy moments of Nick Cave and the sozzled pub-rock of the Pogues, but drawing in perfectly measured elements of jazz, lounge and classic rock, Clarke et. al. perfectly soundtrack our austere political climate with wry, tipsy tongue-in-cheek commentary and damn good music to boot. Great stuff.
An all analog production, recorded live on stage at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles by Steve Albini (via mobile unit onto two-inch tape!) and mixed with Steve in Chicago at Electrical Audio, Deforming Lobes witnesses the blunt-force traumpact of The Freedom Band in full effect, updating (and upending) numbers from Melted, Emotional Mugger, Twins, Manipulator, $ingle$ 2 and Self-Titled. From the start, the “Warm Hands” suite shows the growth of the group since recording the original version for the 2017 Self-Titled album—the jam has a new life all its own, and the band explores every song with similar unrestrained curiosity, never forgetting the collective experience they’re sharing. The feeling between audience and band at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom on those January nights was its own special thing; here, the band is somehow even more front and center, making Deforming Lobes the first wholly original statement from The Freedom Band and bookending the Goblin experience with a fuck of an exclamation point.
A year-plus later, another rock album exists—but what’s to be done with the guitar? These guys did everything they could get away with to a certain degree of (well-focused) depravity. Maybe now it’s time for a transition, away from live band rawk into whatever, who knows? But before you grieve your speculative future loss too hard, you really oughta get Deforming Lobes.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: By all accounts, Ty Segall are one of the most dominant forces in live music around today, and this perfectly captures the energy and visceral heft of this momentous experience. Grooves are stretched out and worked around, turning a simple riff into a multi-layered tapestry, rich with distortion and so huge you can almost feel the sweat dripping off the stage.
Meanwhile on the B side it's not one but two mixes by the king of disco, Mr. Joey Negro, including his main remix and the additional "Beats" version that is out for the first time. Dave accentuates the massive energy dynamics between break and drop, using the percussion lines and that keyboard motif as the main focus and generally ramping up the energy levels +11. Killer!
The group’s debut album, Checkmate Savage, immediately attracts widespread acclaim from critics in the national music press and newspapers.
“A record as auspicious and accomplished as it is unforeseen” – Keith Cameron, Mojo. 4/5 stars
“This kraut-folk groove-fest could have been bashed out by The Beta Band’s little brothers” – Camille Pia, NME. 8/10
“Were they from Brooklyn rather than Glasgow, Checkmate Savage would have been acclaimed as a benchmark album of 2009” – Michael Hann, The Guardian. 4/5 stars
“This debut is fearlessly ambitious and unexpectedly commercial” – Steve Jelbert, The Times. 4/5
Fans of the group’s heady brew swiftly snap up all vinyl copies of the album, the result being stratospheric prices for those searching for it on the secondhand vinyl market.
A decade on, Chemikal Underground is proud to announce the imminent rebirth of an album that remains as spectacularly imaginative as it was the first time round, presented in a package that does 100% justice to the original songs, which were deftly produced by Paul Savage – whose credits include Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, King Creosote, Deacon Blue and many more – at the label’s affiliated recording studio Chem 19 in Lanarkshire and Franz Ferdinand’s studio in Glasgow.
Deserving of a place in every record collection worth its salt, the stylistically wide-open, moonstruck delights of Checkmate Savage are, for the first time, spread over four sides of heavyweight vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve, with a download code for MP3 versions of the album’s nine songs. The record will be available exactly 10 years on from the release date of the original album.
This new edition – cut from the original masters – is an essential acquisition for those with an appetite for wildly creative, mischievous and aurally captivating music. A no-brainer, in other words.
The Phantom Band went on to release three more albums on Chemikal Underground – The Wants (2010), Strange Friend (2014) and Fears Trending (2015) – while Anthony, under the name Rick Redbeard, has released two solo records on the label, No Selfish Heart (2013) and Awake Unto (2016). The group has been on hiatus since the theft of their equipment while touring in Europe in October 2015.
STAFF COMMENTSLaura says: Given the volume of records released these days, it's easy for things to disappear into your record collection after a few months, never to be unearthed again, but this is still one of my go-to albums, years after it's release.
The synthetic, metallic chill of the motorik rhythms and wooshing synths is balanced perfectly with heavy percussion and Rick's rich vocals adding more organic tones. It's just an amazing, inventive album that while hinting at a multitude of reference point, sounds like nothing else.
“Heroes to Zeros” is the third and final studio album by The Beta Band released in 2004. It was mixed by famed producer Nigel Godrich and rose to number 18 in the UK charts.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: LP+CD edition with one black vinyl in gatefold sleeve with printed inner-sleeve. CD included.
CD Info: CD edition in 2-panel digipack.
After a short hiatus the band gradually gravitated back into the studio and recruited noted UK producer Colin Emmanuel, aka C-Swing, to oversee the process of “Hot Shots II” which was released in mid 2001. Notoriously the band had intended to release "Squares", which featured a sample from the Günter Kallmann Choir's 1970 version of Wallace Collection's "Daydream", as the lead single. However after filming the music video and taking the single to radio it suddenly transpired that another single "Daydream in Blue" by I Monster featuring the sample from Günter Kallmann Choir recording was also to be released at the same time causing the band to release "Broke" instead. Touring extensively and supporting Radiohead in August 2002, they made No. 3 on Q magazine's list of "50 Bands to See Before You Die".
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: A killer second (full-length) outing from The Beta Band sees Mason & Co. straying away slightly from the longing indie of their debut (and first three EP's) into anthemic minimalist acousticry, dancefloor rhythms and throbbing background electronics, whilst still retaining their melodic thread.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xColoured LP Info: 2LP+CD limited coloured edition in gatefold sleeve. One golden vinyl and one silver vinyl, both with printed inner-sleeves. CD included.
Released in 1999, the album “The Beta Band” followed the critically acclaimed compilation “The Three E.P.'s” (1998). With high anticipation for The Beta Band, the band originally planned to record the album in four separate continents, but financial constraints slimmed the recording locations down; however, the album was still recorded in a variety of locations and pulling inspiration from sources as diverse as Jamaican reggae, Disney's movie “The Black Hole” and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
The band also originally intended the album to contain a bonus disc of two long form ambient pieces, ‘Happiness and Colour’ and ‘The Hut’, both of which lasted over 20 minutes and represented the band's desire to "make a record of sound as a description for something like happiness, where a distinct first part gives way to a distinct second part”. However, the band and label ultimately decided to remove these tracks from the album prior to release.
FORMAT INFORMATION3xDeluxe LP Info: Deluxe 3LP+2CD edition with double black vinyl album in gatefold sleeve with printed inner-sleeves and CD included, plus a single black vinyl bonus EP in single sleeve with 3mm spine, printed inner-sleeve and CD included. Both vinyl sleeves are hold together with an obi strip.
2xLtd LP Info: 2LP+CD edition with two black vinyl in gatefold sleeve with printed inner-sleeves. CD included.
2xCD Info: 2CD edition in 3-panel digisleeve with 24-page stapled booklet.
Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most exciting and cherished bands of their generation.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLtd LP Info: 2LP+CD REISSUE.
Includes the ‘Champion Versions’ EP, ‘The Patty Patty Sound’ EP and ‘Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos’ EP. CD included in clear plastic sleeve with flap.
After acquiring the Beta Band’s catalogue last year, Because Music will reissue their releases, starting on September 14th with a deluxe vinyl edition gathering in a slipcase the EPs ‘Champion Versions’, ‘The Patty Patty Sound’ and ‘Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos’ with remastered tracks and coloured vinyls, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1998 compilation. Because Music will release at the same time a double CD Best-Of compiling all their best hits and a live show recorded at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London) in 2004.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd Box Set Info: 3x12” EP + CD.
NUMBERED SLIPCASE featuring ‘Champion Versions’ EP (red vinyl 12” in single sleeve), ‘The Patty Patty Sound’ EP (double yellow 12” vinyl ) and ‘Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos’ EP (blue 12” vinyl in single sleeve).
CD included in clear plastic sleeve with flap (includes all tracks)
Arguably one of the most acclaimed and loved bands of the past 20 years, by both fans and their musical peers alike, The Beta Band formed in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1996.
Innovative and singular, their unique musical and aesthetic approach to everything they did set them far apart from their musical contemporaries. Together for a relatively short period of time, the three albums and three EPs they released between 1996 and 2004 would nonetheless help define them as one of the most exciting and cherished bands of their generation.
After acquiring the Beta Band’s catalogue last year, Because Music will reissue their releases, starting on September 14th with a double CD Best-Of compiling all their best hits and a live show recorded at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London) in 2004.
Because Music will also celebrate at the same time the 20th anniversary of their 1998 compilation ‘The Three EPs’ by releasing a deluxe vinyl edition gathering in a slipcase the EPs ‘Champion Versions’, ‘The Patty Patty Sound’ and ‘Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos’ with remastered tracks and coloured vinyls.
‘I Love My Job’ is the first album release in 5 years from the former Inspiral Carpets and Lovers lynch-pin and his current outfit: The Tom Hingley Band.
Arriving as the follow-up to his remarkable double album ‘Sand’ & ’Paper’ (released in 2013, with Pledge Music), the THB’s latest effort is an equally ambitious outing of vision and voice. On ‘I Love My Job’, Hingley and co. seek to offer a snapshot of the political revolution, anger, and aggression that have formed the backdrop for him, and us all, over the last three years.
Using the freedom of expression and amplification to communicate with the masses that is gifted to those in the job that Hingley finds himself in (though is so often shied away from by many of his musical contemporaries), ‘I Love My Job’ sees the singer using his platform to both shout to the heavens and put the world to rights. Someone has to right?
Getting it all of his chest, the record is very much a rejection and reaction to the here and now, with Hingley providing a loquacious outpouring of his own pure emotion, as well as socio-political commentary of wider contemporary issues that grip the current world, all wrapped up in 11 tracks of unbridled rock’n’roll….
“Nasty People” is a short sharp snap at the cowardly trolling culture that has developed and dominates the online realm, whereas the recoil of ‘Bullet’ is a revenge song that sees Hingley take direct aim at the convicted paedophile and Lost Prophets frontman Ian Watkins along with those who would use their power for acts of such despicable evil. “Beggar’s Hand” decries the shameful homelessness that plagues the streets of Manchester under the current government, whereas “White Sheep” is a song for those who feel oppressed by the corporate world of ‘too big to fail banks’ and utility companies in which extortion and profit at the expense of innocent consumers are business of the day.
But on a more personal level, there’s an outpouring of emotions in tribute to the sounds and loved ones who have inspired Hingley throughout his life. “Introduction” glistens with the chimes with bells to honour the many lost souls that have departed over the past few years, not least his own mother and sister-in-law who he also pays homage to on “Black Light”:
Skip forward a generation and it’s revealed that they’ve been spending all these years meticulously sculpting the most impressive album of their career. Recorded in fits and starts and all over the map, from basic tracks in San Francisco to overdubs in Italy and mixing in Memphis, the band comes through with a surprisingly cohesive sound; though, like their six previous studio albums, the genrebending and boundary-pushing song-writing continues. Any lesser band would have destroyed all sense of spontaneity going this route; not fuck. The casual off-thecuff attitude remains, but now with added depth and clarity. The highs got higher, the hard hits harder. And it only took ten years!
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: 180 gram black vinyl edition.
• Upped the ante on past solo releases with a full-throttle, go-for-the-throat bombast
• Once on double 10-inch, now expanded to double 12-inch
A reissue of the 2012 debut release by the Ty Segall Band on In The Red, featuring a bonus song not on the original release! The Ty Segall Band is Ty Segall (obviously), Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moonheart and Emily Rose Epstein. While Segall has released many incredible solo releases, Slaughterhouse marks the first time he recorded with his touring band. For this mini-album (originally released as a double 10-inch, but now expanded to a double 12-inch) the band recorded with Chris Woodhouse at the Hangar, turned their amps all the way up, set their fuzz pedals on “obliterate” and commenced to kick ass and take names. Seriously, this record will melt your face. All of Segall’s usual psych-pop sensibilities are present but Slaughterhouse adds the fullthrottle, go-for-the-throat bombast that the band delivers in the live setting. The fuzz riffs, bratty howl and Cro-Magnon bashing culminate with a feedback freakout that’s clearly the only sensible way to end a workout of this magnitude in shit to announce the debut release by the Ty Segall Band.
Since a self-imposed hiatus in 2008, Michael Head has been working with a fluid concept of an ever-rotating band format to provide a flexible platform for the range of his new live and recorded works.
‘Under the guise of Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band in 2013, they released their sought-after debut EP, Artorius Revisited, and followed this with a double A sided 7”, Velvets In The Dark / Koala Bears in 2015.
A soulful and poetic genius, fate, bad luck and circumstance and often conspired to deny him his rightful dues. Loved and lauded by fellow artists and critics alike, he started out in the early 1980s with The Pale Fountains, with whom he recorded a brace of acclaimed albums, Pacific Street (1984) and …From Across The Kitchen Table (1985). He subsequently formed Shack with his brother John and went on to record five albums over almost twenty years including the much loved and acclaimed Waterpistol and HMS Fable in 1999 which saw the band briefly flirt with chart success and hailed from the cover of the NME as “our greatest songwriter”
He also released, what is often regarded as his classic album, The Magical World Of The Strands under the name of Michael Head & The Strands in 1997, and with Shack currently on hiatus he has been performing under the Red Elastic Band guise for the past few years.
The album features the following musicians:
Michael Head - Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Steve Powell - Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Phil Murphy - Drums
Tom Powell - Bass Guitar
Nina - Piano
Dan Rogers - Electric Guitar
Rod Skipp - Cello
Dewi Tudor Jones - Violin
Helen Tonge - Viola
Martin Smith - Trumpet
Andy Diagram - Trumpet
Simon James - Saxophone
Steve Powell, Joanne Head, Phil Murphy, Mary McCombs - Backing Vocals
Michael Head, Phil Murphy, Karina Townsend - Percussion
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Good things come to those who wait! It's been 11 long years and here it is: a modern day singer-songwriter, folk pop classic! Sounding closer to his work as The Strands than Shack, this uses his love of The Byrds and late-60's folkies to create a modern masterpiece, timeless and true. Our "Greatest Living Songwriter" (thanks NME!) has delivered. It better hadn't be 11 years 'til the next one!
The resulting album mines a rich seam of influences, with key album track 'Last Night (I Dreamt of Killing You)' and the grungy 'Wasted Eyes' highlighting the band's love of American indie rock, but still with that Mancunian twist nodding to Elbow and I Am Kloot. 'Mopping Forwards' draws on their time spent in East Nashville and the almost Satie-like melancholic ballad 'Loser' belies the darker turn that Jo and Adam's lyrics have taken.
The album, recorded in 3 days, is an exploration of relationships and, at its heart, it’s the sound of a friendship being made. Darren explains further: It’s only happened a few times but just once or twice I have seen someone on stage and thought, “I want to be in a band with them.” But I thought it the first time I saw Emma playing with her magnificent and under-rated band Standard Fare. I met her properly a little later in Sheffield when we played together. Before the gig I said I was suspicious of bands that wore hats. She wore a hat on stage. They say imitation is a form of flattery and I was glad that I noticed when I wrote the song “Boy, Look at What you Can’t Have Now” that it sounded like the sort of thing Emma might write. I covered up my theft by asking her to sing on it. When we were recording the song I suggested that we should write a whole album of duets. Musicians suggest things like this all the time because they are stupid or drunk. A few months later Emma told me she had started writing the album. This is what Emma does; she says something then does it. I race to play catch up. The songs were written over 3 weekends at her house and mine. Co-writing is something I’m not used to. It’s very intimate and me and Emma became friends through the process. Emma’s lyrics are sharp and precise whereas mine are more metaphoric. We talked about relationships and that’s what the album is about. It’s about our fears and paranoias and the search for trust and love. We deliberately swapped lines and genders so the narrative is never truly that of traditional duets. We wanted a band to make the album and chose Michael Wood and Cat Loye.
“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney in his newly-penned introduction for the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition.
“‘Sgt. Pepper’ seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.
This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.
FORMAT INFORMATIONCD Info: Standard CD featuring the new ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix, complete with the original U.K. album’s “Edit for LP End” run-out groove.
The band’s previous albums have been released in the US on Goner Records and they last toured the US in support of their previous album ‘Order Of Operation’ in 2014.
Ausmuteants are not the band of the future or the past. Ausmuteants are just a band. Not punk, new wave, hardcore, boogie, darkwave, oi, hyphenaterock or pet rock. Not drug users and not straight edge. Ausmuteants are regular dudes practising the sound of things falling apart.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Just as good as the first, maybe without the same impact. Includes the world-classic "The Night They Drove Old Whiskey Down".
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: Back to black vinyl edition.
LP includes MP3 Download Code.
Featuring his international band, this new album of soulful alternative Folk/Americana has been garnering rave reviews.
**** MOJO "A dark triumph"
**** Q Magazine "finds real beauty in despair"
8/10 UNCUT, "a thrilling air of doom...beautiful"
Taking their cue from Lorca and La Argentinita's infectious 1931 recording of the songs, Josephine Foster and her partner Spanish musician Victor Herrero arranged the poetically rich collection for their acoustic band, formed while living in the Grenadine Sierra. Anda Jaleo is the band's live recording of "Las Canciones"; a visceral celebration of the persistence of popular anonymous song.
This new edition includes an additional track not featured on the original release, an interpretation of ‘Sones de Asturias’. La colección de "Canciones Populares Españolas" recopiladas y armonizadas por Federico García Lorca fue censurada en tiempos de Franco, y hoy en día la música sobrevive aunque de una manera vaga en el subconsciente del pueblo español. Inspirados por la contagiosa grabación de las canciones de Lorca y La Argentinita de 1931, Josephine Foster y su compañero el músico español Víctor Herrero han arreglado esta poética y rica colección para su banda acústica , formada mientras vivían en la sierra de Granada. Anda Jaleo es la grabación en directo de su versión de "Las Canciones"; una celebración visceral de la canción popular anónima y su persistencia. Following from Anda Jaleo, Josephine Foster and the Victor Herrero Band created a superb follow-up entitled Perlas (Pearls). It is a jewel of a collection, with songs and poems selected by Josephine herself, gathered from dusty old scores and brought vividly to the present with warm performances full of flesh-and-blood emotion. Made with a variety of stringed instruments and simple percussion, the songs were recorded live in the studio on to analogue tape by Paco Loco in Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain. Foster breathes new life into timeless traditional melodies, drawing from the Spanish-folk traditions of Castile, the Basque, Santander and the Costa Brava.
Lauded last spring pretty much across the board, Strange Friend’s instant hit to the senses was the sound of a band pulling a thread tight through their naturally wandering creative tendencies and affecting a sense of positivity, even amidst quiet doubts over living in a world simultaneously hyper-connected and disconnected through the internet. For those who saw through the likes of ‘Clapshot’s’ irrepressible anti-anthem swell, though, Fears Trending is a resounding confirmation that the band’s recent recording sessions also bore out something of a darker hue.
“Maybe it's the evil twin of Strange Friend,” comments guitarist Duncan Marquiss. “They're stranger friends, oddball vestiges and hybrids.” Chief vocalist Rick Anthony agrees, pointing out that although Fears Trending merely came about as an anagram of their third record’s title, its connotations ring true, with a greater focus on themes of online isolation that they pawed at previously. “The reference is obviously there,” Marquiss explains. “Maybe it reflects our wariness of communications technology just now – which paradoxically seem to alienate people from themselves. We're all swamped with information so I question whether the band would necessarily want to add to the clickstream.”
Certainly the tone of the record matches this apprehension; the opening ‘Tender Castle’ – one of just two tracks, alongside ‘Spectrelegs’, that date back before the Strange Friend sessions – runs on in, imbued with the band’s recently heard gusto, yet quickly swivels on a tumbling floor of murmuring electronics and cautious intonations, setting the scene for some of the band’s weightiest music yet. There are familiar tropes here; the aforementioned ‘Spectrelegs’ introduces itself by way of a wavering electronic organ, Iain Stewart’s drumming is never less than forthright and punchy, stomping through ‘Local Zero’ with accustomed vigour. But then there are songs like the ominous slow-build tumult of ‘Black Tape’, and the poignant final track ‘Golden Olden’, which sees the band in some-part return to the Scottish folk routes that partly informed their first record (cult Scottish folk favourite Alasdair Roberts also appears on opening track ‘Tender Castles’.) “If Thomas Pynchon was asked to write the screenplay for Young Guns 3 I hope this song would be the soundtrack,” Marquiss reflects.
‘Denise Hopper’ differs again, taking on a melodic structure whipped up as though on an Estesian gust across Turkey, Anthony’s vocal rising and falling in its oscillating breeze. Delivered with steeliness beyond the usual dry wit that’s occasionally hinted at within the group’s usual off-kilter meanderings, the track cracks and breaks amidst a storm of guitar detritus. “That melt down at end could be one of my favourite Phantom Band moments on record to date,” Marquiss comments.
It’d be too broad to call Fears Trending the dark side to Strange Friends’ light. The playful intricacies and deviations of The Phantom Band remain and, after all, the album was recorded at the same time as its sister. “I think it's more about the atmosphere than the writing process that splits the two albums” Anthony reflects. “I guess there was a desire with Strange Friends to come back with no baggage attached and release a record that seemed really straight to the point. This record is straight to the point too but it's just that it's making a different point.” So it goes with The Phantom Band, a group forever changing, each new evolution more often than not a prescient for what’s to come.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: Very limited edition 180g heavyweight vinyl.
Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.
‘Elephants Never Forget’ was the band’s debut album, produced by Miqui Puig and released on LAV Records. The record sums up The Free Fall Band perfectly: echoes of The Beatles, Jonathan Richman, The Shins, The Zombies… fun and emotion in equal measure, carefully assembled arrangements and a youthful image.
2013 put them at the forefront of Spanish pop, thanks to landmark moments such as their performance at the Primavera Sound Festival and supporting Rodriguez in Barcelona. They also released their first step on El Segell del Primavera, an EP with covers of The Strokes, Violent Femmes, New Order, Booker T. & The MGs and Jonathan Richman.
And now their second album arrives. It’s called ‘The Münster Sights’ and shows the band in another level: the songs reflect a band that have been playing and growing as musicians. The album was produced by Darren Hayman (he used to play in Hefner and has a long and amazing solo career) and engineered by Giles Barrett (from London popsters Tigercats), a perfect choice for The Free Fall Band as they’ve long been fans of both musicians. As a result ‘The Münster Sights’ sounds richer and fatter than their previous efforts and contains such great numbers as ‘Fontana’ and ‘I Want To Know’.
Singer Rick Redbeard on the song "The verses have a kind of nursery rhyme musical naivety and we wanted the choruses to just sort of blast in. The lyrics were kind of stream of consciousness that alludes somewhat to the inherent meaninglessness and randomness of artistic creation. The whole track acts as a nice opener and first single; a sort of a statement of intent after being away for so long."
Strange Friend, like their previous outings, is the sound of six clearly distinct personalities attempting to inflict their will on the rest of the group – it’s no surprise the phrase “love/hate” is brought up repeatedly by all its members in an attempt to describe their relationship with the band as an entity – but it’s that fission between each other’s contributions that provides the intangible individuality of their music. “Like all true utopias it can feel impossible to maintain,” admits guitarist Duncan Marquiss. “But we'd have fallen apart long ago if any one band member took the reins, and that friction between people throws up music that no single person in the band would have imagined otherwise. I still hope our utopia will turn into whisky fountains and flying sandwiches.” It’s something that you can’t help but feel would be fully deserved for these most strange but wonderful returning friends.
STAFF COMMENTSLaura says: There’s always the danger that when six people with disparate influences come together to make music , the songs can get pulled in so many different directions that they come apart at the seams. The Phantoms have the knack of grabbing all these threads and weaving (tangling?) them into inventive near perfect pop songs. The band have already demonstrated this on their previous two albums, but now after a four year gap they’ve returned with possibly their most cohesive album so far. The metronomic bass and drums power through or drop down to suit the mood as guitars chime and riff in equal measure. Spacey analogue synth swirls add an other-worldy feel, and a whole cacophony of percussion embellish proceedings. At times this combination creates an almost euphoric feel while at others Rick’s rich folk-tinged vocals add a sense of gravity. It’s been a long time coming, but well worth the wait!
The Further Navigations EP is a continuation of the themes which informed The Memory Band album On The Chalk (Our Navigation Of The Line Of The Downs) also released on Static Caravan. Featuring remixes from Belbury Poly and Grantby and a brand new Memory Band track the EP draws inspiration from the ancient "lost road" that is the Harrow Way. The choice of collaborators are two producers who have had a profound impact on The Memory Band sound in different ways, but both bring to the fore the cinematic elements of Stephen Cracknell's approach to traditional music. In the decade since The Memory Band began one of its greatest contemporary influences has been the fine collection of work released by the Ghost Box label, in particular the Belbury Poly aka label boss Jim Jupp. Spectral, haunting and yet vibrant and knowing his work has established Jupp as a truly English original, making some of the essential electronic music of the new century. For "Hobby Horse" Belbury Poly takes the blueprint from the Memory Band's version of the traditional funeral march "When I Was On Horseback" transforms it by speeding it up, flicking the swing setting and produces something that sounds like David Munrow making music for schools on analogue synthesisers. Grantby aka Dan Grigson has a mysterious history, famed for the Timber EP and tracks for labels such as Mo-Wax in the mid ‘90s, his work defined and exceeded trip-hop and garnered a loyal international underground following who spoke of him as an English version of DJ Shadow. Memory Band leader Stephen Cracknell worked alongside Grigson on a one or two of those early recordings and when Grigson withdrew from music after an ill-starred move to Creation Records, Cracknell moved to focus on his own projects which lead to The Memory Band. Recently Grigson returned to music, working on music for film and television music before returning to remixes and production. Here Grantby takes the traditional ballad "As I Walked over Salisbury Plain" leads it into the military zone and the result is "The Ballad Of Imber Down" named after the "lost village" of Imber upon Salisbury Plain, from which its inhabitants were evacuated by the Army during the Second World War only to learn that after the War that it had been decided the village would remain the property of the military and that they could never return again. Their ultimately doomed campaign to return has itself passed into legend.The Memory Band original "Walk Along It" is a hymn to majesty of walking in the open air. It borrows heavily from the anonymous and haunting version of the traditional English tune The Lincolnshire Poacher, broadcast from a shortwave numbers station and believed to be operated by the British secret services.
The record sums up The Free Fall Band perfectly: echoes of The Beatles, Jonathan Richman, The Shins, The Zombies…fun and emotion in equal measure, carefully assembled arrangements and a youthful image.
2013 has put them at the forefront of national pop, thanks to landmark moments such as their performance at the Primavera Sound Festival and supporting Rodriguez in Barcelona. Before the year is out they will play at BAM and will also take part in the Primavera Sound Touring Party that will take them all around Spain.
This next step is a mini album of covers (their first record on El Segell Del Primavera) that includes covers of The Strokes, Violent Femmes, New Order, Booker T & The MGs and Jonathan Richman.
Their second album is planned for the beginning of 2014.
Me and My Kites are a new band, from Sweden.
Why is that relevant? They are named after a song on Fuchsia's album, which must say something about their influences and, on their first-ever single, it’s all the more appropriate as Fuchsia's original lead singer Tony Durant wrote and now sings a new version of Fuchsia's song 'The Band' on the a-side (remember those?) of this new 7” on FdM’s Regal Crabomophone label.
The b-side is dedicated to Kevin Ayers, and is an extended version of the Me And My Kites song, Isis’ Adventure, from the band’s new album, ‘Like A Dream Back Then’)
I hope you like it.
FORMAT INFORMATION7" Info: Limited coloured vinyl pressing.
Vinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.
Made of eleven songs spread across haunting horn noises, crackles, drones, blissed-out beats and tender piano melodies, this fourth studio album marks the tenth anniversary of one the most invigorating and much loved folk acts around, a group described by NME as “a disorientating, drugged-up soundtrack for the 21st Century… genuinely beautiful.” And speaking of monumental journeys, it’s been quite a road to this moment for Cracknell and his ever evolving cast of collaborators.“I’ve had a decade of marginal poverty, nice trips and the company of wonderful dreamers,” laughs the mercurial composer, formerly seen fronting much loved outfits The Accidental and Balearic Folk Orchestra. “The idea with this record was it to be sort of a road trip along a mythical track way, an irreverent and episodic journey across a landscape inundated with history and the marks of change and transformation, some striking and immediate, others slow and imperceptible.”
He may as well be describing his own sounds to be found in On The Chalk… – for every jaw-dropping shimmer of harp or arresting moment of reed organ, there’s an avalanche of clever quiet detail to be unearthed, with cinematic overtones that recall his Wicker Man touring soundtrack that Cracknell has taken to fields everywhere from Glastonbury, Green Man to a castle in Jersey.Cracknell says: “There’s been a real revival of interest lately in old roads and green lanes, in literature, art and film. This has run parallel to so much of the renewed interest in folklore and folk music. One supposedly ancient trackway that I'd hear referenced again and again was the Harrow Way, which stretched from the Straits Of Dover all the way to the west country by an overland route on chalk ridgeways. I grew up in a place supposedly along its route.”What followed was a period of extensive research, digging deep into his own past and the World around him, listening to a strange combination of traditional folk-songs and seminal British landscape music such as Chill Out by acid house pranksters the KLF, tracing old roads and creating ambient recordings on site for use on the album. ”It was all a lot of fun, running round the country playing at psycho-geography,” recalls Cracknell. “Like the landscape that inspired it, it’s an album that at times is dark and imposing and at others more peaceful and serene.”Recorded in the songwriter’s home studio in East London (“an empty schoolroom overlooking a park… quite a peaceful place for London, really”), this is an album by a group who, like their subject matter, have changed and grown over time, but remain every bit as vital as ever.
For fans of: Johnny Foreigner, Pavement, Fight Like Apes, Wilco, Los Campesinos, Prefab Sprout Big melodic gutsy slacker pop!
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: 180 gram vinyl.
Hot 8 Brass Band boast a rare depth of vocal talent to illuminate their tales, and ‘The Life And Times Of…’ finds them exploring this further; switching from commanding, funky lead vocals, to rapped verses laid down with passion and skill, to melodic hooks and harmonies - that range from emotive, gravelly baritones through instinctively whooped falsettos - with abandon.
‘The Life And Times Of…’ is itself the first part of a two album project; showcasing the party side of the band, it is packed with joyful grooves to get feet moving. The next instalment - to follow in Spring 2013 accompanied by live dates in the UK and Europe - will be more reflective, an emotional tribute to fallen band members and the funeral parades which centre on this music.
Includes current single, a cover version of the Specials' "Ghost Town".
Once upon a time, Jimi Ben found himself lost in the jungle. He had been wandering in South East Asia for years and could find no way out. One night he was cruising for dirt and love, he got struck by sexedelic visions emerging from the red lights of go-go bars. An inner baboon voice told him: “Jimi ! Bad is good for you. Why don’t you set up a Rock’N’Roll band ?”. That’s exactly what he did. Back in his hometown (Stockton, Northern France), he was taught by long time friend Ricky Love how to play power chords on a guitar and recorded a first LP demo on a 4 tracks tape recorder in his kitchen.In December 2009, Johnny Boom (drums) joined Ricky Love (bass, vocals) and Jimi Ben (vocals, guitars) for their first show and further DIY tape recordings (Monkeys In Da House EP – 2011). Mainly influenced by American Garage bands, 60’s British Beat groups, Surf Music, Punk Rock and New Wave, these slackers like it rather cheesy, danceable and fun. The Jimi Ben Band started as a lo-fi garage trio. Since then, they have performed about 40 shows in France and Belgium and developed a degenerate style based on energy, coconut vocals and great amounts of reverb. They have made it quite clear that they wanted nothing but having girls dancing at gigs.
While Segall has released many incredible solo releases, 'Slaughterhouse' marks the first that he recorded with his touring band. For this album (it’s only ten inches, but you get two!) the band recorded with Chris Woodhouse at the Hangar, turned their amps all the way up, set their fuzz pedals on obliterate and commenced to kick ass and take names. Seriously, this record will melt your face.
All of Segall’s usual psych-pop sensibilities are present but 'Slaughterhouse' adds the full throttle, go-for-the-throat bombast that the band delivers in the live setting. The fuzz riffs, bratty howl and Cro-Magnon bashing culminate with a feedback freakout that’s clearly the only sensible way to end a workout of this magnitude.
FORMAT INFORMATION7" Info: Limited dinked reissue with replica US label artwork. 500 copies only.
‘My sound’s matured,’ is all she’ll say. ‘I’ll admit that. I’ve honed my craft. I’m very happy and settled where I wasn’t before. ‘ Lead single ‘In Your Head’ allows fans to connect with the party tempo of the first album. Its witty animated interactive promo, in which you can ‘choose’ which animal to be saved from an evil ringmaster, was produced by Gabby’s friend Georgina Hurcombe (Lovelove Films). A metaphor for the music industry? ‘Perhaps,’ sighs Gabby, with a smile. The slower tracks stand out particularly: The Answer’s In The Question’s incessant analysis of a relationship; the contemplative trumpet-tinged ‘Honey,’ Gabby’s personal favourite and, most impressively, ‘Male Version Of Me’, a quiet accordion-tinged paean to finding a soulmate. But fear not, there are hoedown moments aplenty too: ‘Horatio’ is one such, and closing track ‘The Band Called Out For More’ sees Gabby morph into some crazed Edith Piaf. ‘Segment’ opens quietly before building into an almighty strings-charged Arcade Fire-style workout, whilst the album’s masterpiece is the serpentine ‘Neither Beginning Nor The End’, a spine-tingling mid-tempo classic, complete with operatic flourishes, before an abrupt finish leaves the listener needing more.
Gabby Young’s twisting roots have carried her and that stunning voice from her native Wiltshire to land with a bang at the centre of London’s music scene. The youngest ever recruit to the National Youth Choir at the age of 12, Gabby was on track to become an opera singer until Jeff Buckley and the jazz greats inspired her to switch teams. In 2008 Gabby formed the 8-piece band who complete the magical musical fairground we know today, using a wide range of instruments, most notably trumpet, trombone, piano and clarinet – affectionately dubbed Circus Swing by those who realised there was no existing genre to encompass Young’s sound. It was crowd-funding her first album that really put her on the map. The Evening Standard ran a story on it, and the piece was picked up across the board – with an interview even on Sky News, and positive write-ups by many of the UK's major newspapers, including The Guardian, The Sunday Times and the London Evening Standard.
The 13-track album features songs written and recorded by Patton during his brief recording career, which came to an end upon his premature death in 1934.
During his lifetime and for nearly a quarter of a century afterward, Charley Patton was regarded almost universally as the preeminent Delta bluesman. He spent his formative years at Dockery Plantation near Ruleville, Mississippi, where he influenced future blues and gospel stars including the aforementioned Robert Johnson, as well as Son House, Willie Brown, Pops Staples, John Lee Hooker and Howlin‘ Wolf. His flamboyant performance style was widely emulated and his songs frequently covered. During a fiveyear period, Patton recorded nearly 60 songs for Paramount Records.
The release includes three radically different versions of ‘Some Of These Days I‘ll Be Gone’ featuring varying instrumentation and recorded in different keys and arrangements.
Although Patton sometimes recorded with other musicians, Rev. Peyton regards his hero‘s solo recordings as his best. For that reason, ‘Peyton On Patton’ is a largely solo affair with Reverend Peyton‘s growling vocals and searing guitar work placed front and centre. But while the rest of the Big Damn Band are used sparingly, they make a number of crucial contributions to the record. Washboard Breezy - wife of Reverend Peyton - contributes washboard percussion, Aaron ‘Cuz’ Persinger, whose thundering drums are a mainstay of the band‘s live shows, here plays in a starkly different manner, drumming with just his hands on a century-old tobacco barrel.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP Info: The LP format includes a two song 10” record that plays at 78RPM like an old Blues 78. The A side is ‘Mississippi Boweavil Blues’ and the B side is ‘Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker’, recorded live at Dockery Farms where Charley Patton grew up.
The band are named after a folk festival which takes place in the town of Whittlesey where Dominic Cooper grew up. Each year since at least the mid-19th century, a man dressed as a straw bear visits all the ale-houses in the town to entertain the patrons before being torched in a breathtaking finale (sadly, this event has lost much of it's charm since the intervention of health and safety executives).
For fans of Alasdair Roberts, The Owl Service, Cath & Phil Tyler.
If "Checkmate Savage" was the product of a band mulling over the human race’s inexorable slide into oblivion, then its follow-up found them turning feral and heading for the hills to ride out the storm. Holing up in Chem19 (Chemikal Underground’s studio in the wastelands of Blantyre), The Phantom Band immersed themselves in a primordial soup of influences before emerging six months later, emaciated and squinting in the pallid sunlight, cradling "The Wants": a nine-track musical folly and the soundtrack to their own personal apocalypse.
Charged with creating a second album more or less from scratch and in situ - an album upon which their creative and material survival depended - they contracted a virulent strain of cabin fever and promptly set sail into the mouth of madness. Keyboardist Andy Wake elaborates: 'As you know, The Phantom Band was built on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground, so every time we record it's like an emotional exorcism. It's painful, prolonged, confusing; at times it's hard to tell what's happening outside of this other-world'. Guiding them through this tortuous birthing process was the chimerical figure of Mungo Bang, 'a spiritual adviser of sorts who came highly recommended. He also added vibes'.
Their madness had method, because a lot came out in the mix: a forest of tuned percussion, poly-rhythmic group vocals, fuzz guitars and medieval electronics. Musical inspirations included David Lynch and John Carpenter soundtracks, German kosmische music of the 70’s, Tom Waits, digidub rhythms, R&B harmonies, doo-wop and rock'n'roll. Lyrical inspiration emerged from lycanthropy, vampires, doppelgangers and the Salem witch trials. That’s also Teenage Fanclub’s Wurlitzer organ you can hear on "Everybody Knows It’s True", alongside a host of other instruments, both homemade and hard-bought. Various bits of furniture, wood, a toy drum machine, some home-made drum triggers and FX pedals (aptly named the Phantosizer), shelvaphones, a dulcimer and the studio fire extinguisher - all had roles to play on the final recording. 'Sink [Greg Sinclair] appeared at rehearsal one day with what looked like a body bag containing at least one corpse. It turned out to be a full size vibrophone with all the trimmings', explains Wake. If any more evidence of creative initiative was required, the album opens with the sound of a baliphone being sawed into tune in preparation for a take.
The end product represents a major leap forward for the band, a sound more of their own. Juxtapositions are more apparent – arcane folk melodies and gothic lyrical imagery straddle vintage analogue synths and primitive drum machines. 'Where Checkmate Savage was varied, we've intensified those elements, because we've got no reason to be subtle with them', says Wake. 'It's much more concentrated, more skilfully executed and with more decoration. It’s "Checkmate Savage" - On Ice'.
The Phantom Band was pulled together from all four corners of Scotland, settling on Glasgow as PB HQ. Duncan Marquiss (guitar), Gerry Hart (bass), Andy Wake (keyboards), Rick Anthony (vocals) and Greg Sinclair (guitars) are a volatile cabal of creative contradictions: a disorientating amalgam of music, art and performance that defies categorisation and provides an object lesson in how to forge something distinct and unique from well-worn sources. "Checkmate Savage" won plaudits from the mainstream music press and the indie blogs alike, finding famous fans in Peter Buck and comic artist Frank Quitely, while the influential music emporium Piccadilly Records named it their album of the year. Their new album may be "The Wants", but what do The Phantom Band want for? 'Survival. For this album to lead to another after it, that's all. We think it's better than the last one, and if anyone agrees with us then brilliant, they can hop aboard. Those who disagree can hop aboard too, but they're sailing at the stern'.
STAFF COMMENTSLaura says: The mighty Phantom Band return with a superb follow up to their debut album, which was our Album Of The Year in 2009. "The Wants" picks up where "Checkmate Savage" left off adding more and more layers to their already complex sound. It's less motorik than their debut, but still with their distinctive pulsing rhythms at the heart of it. There's more analogue synth action and knob twiddling going on this time around and on each listen, you're plunged deeper into their world.
The first band to get a Piccadillly Album Of The Year in consecutive years? The competition is pretty stiff this year, but it's definitely in the running.....
While it has only been 18 months since Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band's self-titled debut, they have traveled what feels like thousands of miles. "Where The Messengers Meet" is in real time, an expansion of the sound of the band's eponymous debut. They take the same frantic and skewed elements and stretch them out, giving them room to breathe and blossom.
Thematically, "Where The Messengers Meet" is an exercise in contrasts: the delicate and gentle, the dark and furious. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band collects powerful compositions into one cohesive whole held together with lush production and a haunting atmosphere. They are imperceptibly inching away from an angular style influenced by Modest Mouse and Wolf Parade, instead incorporating an epic sound recalling both the modern masters such as Arcade Fire, and classic pioneers, like Pink Floyd.
1. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. With A Little Help From My Friends
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4. Getting Better
5. Fixing A Hole
6. She's Leaving Home
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!
8. Within You Without You
9. When I'm Sixty Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning Good Morning
12. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13. A Day In The Life
14. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Documentary
FORMAT INFORMATIONCD Info: The biggest band in rock history sees their original catalogue digitally remastered for the first time with improved packaging, including extra rare photographs, expanded and new essays and all enhanced with a video mini-documentary on the making of each album in the Beatles own words.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 7" Info: Limited to 500 hand numbered copies, with artwork based on one of Hayley's original oil paintings.
Keep an eye on this trio, we're expecting big things of them!
Ltd CDS Info: Hand numbered edition of 200 copies in a metal box.
A mixture of Darwish's songs in English and modern rearrangements of Turkish and Kurdish songs, this album successfully fuses lyrics in English, Turkish and two Kurdish languages. Anatolian folk songs, some thought to be over 300 years old, sit comfortably next to some of the most biting English lyrics to have been written in recent times. The whole album has a meaningful weight to it but never becomes trite or pompous like so many of its world music counterparts.
The country and eastern sound is both uplifting and adventurous, never more exemplified than in the stomping cover of Dolly Parton's classic song "Jolene". Every listen reveals a new detail from the many intricate layers that go together to set this album in a world of is own. With anthemic and poetical comments on immigration and the Iraq war it is firmly set in the 21st century but the breathtakingly original mixture of languages and sounds from east and west takes you to a world where the only borders really are in your mind.
After years of changing their identity with every gig that they performed, this remarkable Glasgow based six piece finally settled on the name of The Phantom Band in 2006. Their debut album “Checkmate Savage” was born, under the expert guidance of producer Paul Savage from the Delgados, from lengthy jam sessions that highlighted not only the band’s experimental side, but also their unique grasp of melodic looseness. Riding on a near perfect motorik beat, the songs sway and swoon with a knowing art-rock style, underpinned throughout with an earthy, almost mystical, folky Scottish vocal delivery.
“Checkmate Savage” is otherworldly, and hard to pin down, with a freeform spaciousness that band’s only usually discover on their third or fourth albums, and in that respect The Phantom Band are most certainly way ahead of the game, one can only wonder what their next album will bring. They’ve been compared to the Beta Band, krautrock legends Neu! and Can, as well the likes of Nick Cave, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, the Violent Femmes and Captain Beefheart, but The Phantom Band are truly out on their own. A quite fitting, and truly exceptional album of the year.
STAFF COMMENTSLaura says: Given the volume of records released these days, it's easy for things to disappear into your record collection after a few months, never to be unearthed again, but this is still one of my go-to albums, years after it's release.
The synthetic, metallic chill of the motorik rhythms and wooshing synths is balanced perfectly with heavy percussion and Rick's rich vocals adding more organic tones. It's just an amazing, inventive album that while hinting at a multitude of reference point, sounds like nothing else.
FORMAT INFORMATIONCD Info: This remastered and expanded edition includes five bonus tracks.
FORMAT INFORMATIONCD Info: This expanded remastered edition includes five bonus tracks.
FORMAT INFORMATIONCD Info: This expanded remastered edition includes six bonus tracks.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP Info: Double vinyl in Constellations trademark beautiful packaging and including a screen printed poster.
CD Info: Nicely packaged CD as you'd expect from Constellation.
5 NEW ITEMS
253 NEW ITEMS
Elements Of Life Featuring Jasper Street CompanyStand On The Word (Lost Souls Of Saturn And DJ Spen & Gary Hudgins Remixes)
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