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Snapped Ankles

Forest Of Your Problems

    Snapped Ankles return to the forest, but it’s not as they left it. Trees planted in neat rows. A well-ordered monoculture with access roads and heavy machinery. The smell of greenwashed money in the air. There’s no sign of the ancient woodland they emerged from on debut album, Come Play The Trees. And it’s far cry from the gentrified East London they found themselves hawking on Stunning Luxury. All is not well in the face of progress. Welcome to the Forest Of Your Problems.

    Even among the famously close-knit woodwose community there are factions forming. Meet The Business Imp, The Cornucopian, The Nemophile and The Protester. Each with their own motivations and belief systems. Their own sense of injustice: contradictions, anxieties and guilt.

    Forest Of Your Problems runs the gamut of modern woodwose emotions. In this neat human approximation of the forest, it’s an increasingly knotted affair. Despite all of this, Snapped Ankles haven’t lost their innate ability to make you want to move your feet - their Teutonic forest rhythms are still shot through with post-punk lightning. Whether they’re exploring those opportunities which might arise when a Nigerian prince emails out of the blue on ‘The Evidence’, or referencing the crooked woodwose attempting to go straight on ‘Rhythm Is Our Business’, this is music to lose your inhibitions to. The moments of pure elation on ‘Shifting Basslines Of The Cornucopians’ are worth the admission price alone - “It’s a great time to be alive!” …apparently.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Laura says: A perfect amalgamation of 70's post punk, Fall-esque ramblings, tribal beats and driving Krautrock grooves. We like!!!

    Barry says: Snapped Ankles are back! Their first two outings went down super well in the shop, and this latest offering moves even further down the post-punk wormhole, but maintaining their bang-on dedication to a riff. It's a delicate mix, balancing the rawkous fire of their previous LP's while maintaining a cohesive audio narrative but is pulled off with aplomb here.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. A1. Forest Of Your Problems
    2. A2. The Evidence
    3. A3. Shifting Basslines Of The Cornucopians
    4. A4. Undilated Lovers
    5. A5. Susurrations (In The Forest)
    6. B1. Rhythm Is Our Business
    7. B2. Psithurhythm
    8. B3. The Prince Is Back
    9. B4. Xylophobia
    10. B5. Forest Of Your Problems (Outro)

    “The Alias Sessions” is the most ambitious and wide-ranging Murcof album to date - less about the individual components of a track and more about the cumulative force of the set as a whole. Corona has composed several film scores and that experience with atmosphere informs these tracks. The record benefits from careful and focused attention, preferably over longer periods - it’s too expressive and dynamic to remain in the background.

    Corona began work on this music in April 2017, when he met with choreographer Guilherme Botelho, leader of Geneva-based dance company Alias, about a new performance piece – “Contre-Mondes”. Versions of these compositions make up the first half of the album. Corona continued work with the organisation for a 2018 performance entitled “Normal.” which now forms the second part of the record.

    ‘I’m always looking for new unheard sounds,’ Corona says. ‘To create weird associations and contrasts between sounds of a different nature.’ “The Alias Sessions” is the glorious result of this desire put into practice.


    TRACK LISTING

    CD1 LP Contre-Mondes
    1. A1. Inner Hunt
    2. A2. Dandelion Heart
    3. A3. Unboxing Utopia
    4. B1. Nocturnal Sunrise
    5. B2. Underwater Lament
    6. B3. Inevitable Truth
    7. C1. Between Thoughts
    8. C2. Dropped Soul
    9. C3. Shadow Surfing

    CD2 LP Normal.
    1. D1. Surface Wear
    2. D2. Ideology Storm
    3. D3. Dividing Space
    4. E1. Fire Thief
    5. E2. Systemic Amnesia
    6. F1. Unread Letter
    7. F2. Void Glance

    This mini-album is Craven Faults’s second vinyl release on The Leaf Label.
    Thirty-seven minutes of music over three epic tracks - longform analogue electronic journeys across the north of England.

    Enclosures follows Craven Faults’ debut album Erratics & Unconformities. These 37 minutes of music are the start of the next journey. New terrain and more refined methods of travel. Dark clouds gathering.

    We’re out of the blocks quickly. German engineering carries us swiftly across the moors on a Saturday night rendezvous. Two almost identical mushroom shaped rocks are the destination. There’s evidence of previous rituals carried out. Two hours due north we go in search of the power source. Cascading. An experiment in performance over a fixed point. Tape loops recorded in 1967 at The Philadelphia College of Art. Woodwind purchased from a charity shop in Yeadon. The concept of work was forgotten. We’re back on the millstone grit of the Mid Craven Fault for an exercise in simplification. Familiar territory. Sometimes the theory isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and there’s still power in hammering a single note over two chords – a lesson learnt from the American South in the late 40s and early 50s and boiled down in the late 60s. Olympic Sound Studios, April 1967. The Hit Factory, April 1969.

    On Erratics & Unconformities, Craven Faults often found a calm inner space in the vistas. Here the tensions of the early EPs return, with a focus on how human ‘progress’ has impacted and shaped the landscape. How the land was divided now shapes our present and future, and retracing that journey is particularly pertinent.


    TRACK LISTING

    X1. Doubler Stones (10.20)
    X2. Hard Level Force (8.42)
    O. Weets Gate (17.16)

    Domenique Dumont

    People On Sunday

      People On Sunday is an original soundtrack to the 1930 silent film variously known as Menschen am Sonntag, Les Hommes le Dimanche and People On Sunday. The film is a key work of interwar German cinema, based on a screenplay by Billy Wilder.

      Like Domenique Dumont’s earlier albums, Comme Ça and Miniatures De Auto Rhythm, People On Sunday evokes a more innocent, carefree time conjured by wistful electronics full of warmth and melody. Touching on the hazy exotica that made those two records so alluring, here Dumont draws on his love of classical music, library music and early electronic experimentation to create a timeless, optimistic sound. If his past productions possessed a certain Mediterranean quality, across these 13 new pieces Dumont’s shimmering synth-pop has an enchanting simplicity.

      Part documentary, part fiction, the film People On Sunday follows a group of characters going about their business in Weimar-era Berlin over one weekend and shows normal life in Germany before dictatorship.

      “The film shows people and their surroundings shortly before all of it was destroyed,” says Dumont. “Ironically, watching this movie with the eyes of today, it looks more surreal than documentary. And I can’t help but think and reflect about the times we are living in now. We might have similar desires people had a hundred years ago, but we now have a completely different approach to life.”


      TRACK LISTING

      Side A:
      I I Arrival
      II II Gone For A Wander
      III III Sunshine In 1929
      IV IV Water Theme (Le Château De Corail)
      V V We Almost Got Lost
      VI VI Falling Asleep Under Pine Trees

      Side B:
      VII VII People On Sunday
      VIII VIII Merry-Go-Round
      IX IX Running Down The Hill
      X X Rituals
      XI XI Watching Boats Pass By
      XII XII Back To Everyday Life
      XIII XIII Everyday Life

      Keeley Forsyth

      Photograph

        For fans of Nico, Scott Walker, Aldous Harding, Karen Dalton, Susanna & The Magical Orchestra, Jenny Hval, PJ Harvey, Cat Power, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Fever Ray.

        Keeley Forsyth follows up her critically lauded debut album, Debris, with the Photograph EP. Across four tracks the domestic tensions remain, albeit taking a more introspective view. Forsyth’s striking vocals are cocooned within otherworldly synthesisers- they transport her words across continents before snapping back to the room. The walls closing in .There’s an aching sense of detachment, which resonates with the circumstances in which it was written.

        “I always work from home,” Forsyth explains. “This time, the isolation had a new influence on my lyrical ideas. I was contemplating the idea of homesickness within the home; when life is lived on the domestic grid, in rooms and in tasks. I was looking to reframe the day, to give sound to the picture.”

        Photograph takes two steps on from Debris’ electronic closer ‘Start Again’. Continuing the fruitful working relationship with composer Matthew Bourne and bringing Trestle Records’ Ross Downes into the fray, it hints at the vast possibilities open to Forsyth on her next album, and also brings the late period Scott Walker comparisons into focus, with traditional song structures giving way to something more expansive. Cloaked in darkness but seeking surreal beauty and art in the debris of modern life.


        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Photograph
        A2. Unravelling
        B1. Glass
        B2. Stab

        Snapped Ankles

        21 Metres To Hebden Bridge

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2020 RELEASE AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY AS PART OF THE SEPTEMBER 26TH DROP DAY AT 6PM.
          LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.


          Blistering live recordings from Snapped Ankles' triumphant sold out tour of the UK, recorded at the legendary Trades Club in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire.The unique Snapped Ankles live experience in your own home.Stunning Luxury indeed.On leaf green transparent vinyl exclusive to RSD, with printed outer sleeve and download code.

          Laurence Pike

          Prophecy

            Laurence Pike continues in a rich creative vein with the release of Prophecy, his third solo album in as many years. Inspired to write and record in response to the devastating wild fires in his native Australia, the percussionist, composer and producer has created a work for our times.

            Adopting the working formula of ‘one take’ studio performances for drum kit and sampler; channelling the moment through Pike’s singular, organic use of electronics, and intuitively constructed arrangements. There is an instinctive and emotional resonance here, driven by his reaction to the climate emergency.

            Laurence Pike on Prophecy:
            The music on Prophecy was made during an intense period of climate-related disasters in my home of Australia last summer that seemed to represent the beginning of a strange new way of existing on Earth.

            The pieces were developed in the space of four weeks at my home, and then captured in a single day of studio performances. As a result, the music is as much an assemblage of moments from the days leading up to the recording (stepping into my garden to be greeted by a dark pink sun against a brown sky, and ash gently raining on me) as it is a reflection of how I felt in the moment playing them live in the studio.

            In the short time since, we’ve gone from staying inside and wearing face masks because the city was completely surrounded by fire, and the air filled with acrid smoke, to staying indoors to stop the spread of a global pandemic…



            Nightports W/ Betamax

            Nightports W/ Betamax

              Nightports w/ Betamax is the second in a series of albums from musician-producers Adam Martin and Mark Slater to be released on The Leaf Label, following 2018’s Nightports w/ Matthew Bourne.

              This time, Nightports have enlisted the formidable talents of drummer and percussionist Betamax, the beating rhythmic heart of sonic explorers The Comet Is Coming.

              Nightports is based on a simple but unbreakable rule of restriction: only sounds produced by the featured musician can be used. Nothing else. These sounds can be transformed, distorted, translated, processed and reprocessed, stretched, cut, ordered and reordered without limitation.

              Nightports is about amplifying the characteristics of the musician – celebrating what’s particular about them, finding sounds that nobody else can make, constructing a complex sonic weave that, however radical the transformations, still bears the watermarks of its origin.

              “Within the depths of the drum takes, we found hidden melodies, chords, structures and bass lines which we distilled and exaggerated to realise this album,” Slater explains. “On the one hand, this album is fully improvised in that all drum performances were spontaneous, intuitive and responsive; however, they were then subjected to editing and manipulation to arrive at a sound that is neither purely improvised nor constructed.”

              Recorded in one day in February 2018 with The Comet Is Coming’s Betamax at Malcolm Catto’s Quatermass Sound Lab studio.

              The Comet Is Coming continue their stratospheric trajectory, this record follows 2019’s Trust In The Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery.
               


              TRACK LISTING

              1. A1. Ritual
              2. A2. Sirkel
              3. A3. I’ll Tell You What’s Happening
              4. A4. Frø
              5. A5. Fourteenth
              6. B1. Amalgam
              7. B2. Sparke
              8 B3. Hydro
              9. B4. Hidden
              10. B5. Sated
              11. B6. Composite

              Keeley Forsyth

              Debris

                The songs comprising Keeley Forsyth’s debut, are, she states simply, “like blocks of metal that drop from the sky”. Minimal arrangements place that elemental voice front and centre. Nerves are quietly frayed over its running time; an intimate document of personal change, we’re held in limbo until the final note is left to ring. Debris explores the darker corners of domestic life, balancing the need to create with the responsibilities that come with a family, a partner and a career. Seismic ruptures behind closed doors. “There was a lot going on in my life that was heavy and hard,” she adds. “Songs were made under that moment.”

                Born and raised in Oldham in the north-west of England, Forsyth first made her name as an actor. Her enigmatic voice is so indelible even she is sometimes provoked to refer to it as a third person, like the characters she’s inhabited as an actor, this time populating songs sharing tales of the high and low tides, of freedom and entrapment, and of hard-won triumphs. “They’ve been in my mind for a while,” she concludes. “I have sung them to my children, and at home alone, and making this album has been an opportunity for me to discover the voice and being who sings these songs. It has changed me, and will continue to. I recognise my life again.”

                With sparse arrangements by pianist and composer Matthew Bourne and producer Sam Hobbs, Keeley Forsyth’s music is centred around a singular, emotionally raw and magnetic vocal delivery


                TRACK LISTING

                A1. Debris
                A2. Black Bull
                A3. It’s Raining
                A4. Look To Yourself
                B1. Lost
                B2. Butterfly
                B3. Large Oak
                B4. Start Again

                Craven Faults

                Erratics & Unconformities

                Erratics & Unconformities is the first album by Craven Faults. It follows three EPs: Netherfield Works, Springhead Works and Nunroyd Works. Long-form analogue electronic journeys across decades and continents, and swathes of post-industrial northern Britain.

                The journey on Erratics & Unconformities picks up where Netherfield Works left off. We take the canal towpath out of the city. We fork north shortly afterwards. Is this where it started? The terrain gradually becomes more rugged. Familiar. Wild. Evidence of human activity is less immediate in this glacial landscape. It’s there if you seek it. But easy to ignore. If you listen carefully, you can still hear the weight of the ice-sheet carving its way through the rock.

                Everything in its own time. The output from the old textile mill Craven Faults calls home is no longer as linear as it once was. There was no clear start point for the project, rather simply rediscovering the joy in experimentation with no material goals. Some of the recordings that make up Erratics & Unconformities go back almost seven years. Tracks have come and gone in that time. They don’t leave until they’ve undertaken a stringent quality control process. It started slowly, but has picked up momentum in the last eighteen months. Recorded and re-recorded to the correct level of imperfection, and then left to breathe. Mixed and re-mixed. Carefully compiled when the time was right.

                The journey is just as important as the destination.


                STAFF COMMENTS

                Matt says: In a kinda Will Bevan / Burial type fiesco, Craven Faults has got us all eagerly scratching our heads trying to work out who this post-industrial-obsessed Northerner could possibly be! The music is phenomenal, glacial electronics conjuring desolate sonic canvasses of a forgotten North.

                TRACK LISTING

                3CD:    2LP:
                1-1.      A1. Vacca Wall (17:37)
                1-2.      B1. Deipkier (7:55)
                1-3.      B2. Cupola Smelt Mill (9:13)
                1-4.      C1. Slack Sley & Temple (18:24)
                1-5.      D1. Hangingstones (10:29)
                1-6.      D2. Signal Post (8:33)

                Warmduscher

                Tainted Lunch

                  Warmduscher return.

                  Heavy metals.

                  Disco Peanuts.

                  CCTV in the break room.

                  A little something to get you through the week. There’s enough to go around. Revenge is a dish best served bold. Melt in the mouth disco basslines on a fragrant bed of feedback. Try it with the boom bap tapenade. Here for a good time, not a long time.

                  If you made your way out of Whale City with your faculties intact, this one’s for you. Clams Baker, Lightnin’ Jack Everett, Mr Salt Fingers Lovecraft and The Witherer have been joined by Quicksand on cutting board and cheese wire and commis chef Cheeks on vibes. They’ve been cooking. Michelin stars. The finest ingredients money can buy: Kool Keith and Iggy Pop. Funk, punk, hip-hop and lounge rock. Love is real.

                  Band biographer and revered botanist Dr Alan Goldfarb describes the album as “a sample hole through which to taste another universe. A dramatic warning. A gilded aroma. It is a tale of wanton desire and limitless treachery. A tale of disillusionment – the refusal of exploitation.”

                  Tainted Lunch was recorded in just four days, with soupe du jour Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, black midi, Fontaines DC). Warmduscher continue to live on their razor-sharp wits. Or as Clams Baker puts it “there’s no way to stop now”. Delivering the goods you never knew you needed.

                  If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: Massive, throbby basslines and snappy disco percussion take the lead before giving way into sweaty club grooves and distorted post-punk. Warmduscher succeed just as easily at hypnotic indie-rock as they do anthemic dancefloor tackle. Never a dull moment, and every one as brilliantly done as the last.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  A1. Rules Of The Game (feat. Iggy Pop)
                  A2. Tainted Lunch
                  A3. Midnight Dipper
                  A4. Disco Peanuts
                  A5. Fill It, Don’t Spill It
                  A6. Burner (feat. Kool Keith)
                  B1. The Chimp
                  B2. Precious Things
                  B3. Grape Face
                  B4. Dream Lotion
                  B5. Blood Load
                  B6. Tiny Letters

                  Bonus 7”
                  A. Nelson’s Threads
                  B. The Pressure

                  Sarathy Korwar

                  More Arriving

                  Born in the US, raised in India and resident in the UK, Korwar has established himself as one of the most original and compelling voices in the UK jazz scene, collaborating with the likes of Shabaka Hutchings (The Comet Is Coming), clarinettist Arun Ghosh and producer Hieroglyphic Being

                  Korwar’s debut Day To Day (Ninja Tune, 2016), combined the folk rhythms of India’s Sidi community with contemporary electronics and jazz textures, earning praise from the likes of Four Tet, Gilles Peterson and Floating Points.

                  We live in divisive times. Multiculturalism rises hand-in-hand with racial tensions, and politicians seem powerless to even bring people within earshot of their convoluted message. It’s time for a different perspective.

                  On his second studio album, More Arriving, Sarathy Korwar blasts out his own vibrant, pluralistic missive for the world to hear. This is not necessarily a record of unity; it’s an honest reflection of Korwar’s experience of being an Indian in a divided Britain. Recorded over two and a half years in India and the UK, More Arriving draws on the nascent rap scenes of Mumbai and New Delhi, incorporating spoken word and Korwar’s own Indian classical and jazz instrumentation. This is a record born of confrontation; one for our confrontational times.

                  With this album, Korwar expands his politicised narrative to envelop the entire diaspora. “This is a modern brown record. The kind of record that a contemporary Indian living in the UK for the past 10 years would make,” Korwar says. “This is what Indian music sounds like to me right now.”

                  It all begins with the title: “More Arriving comes from the scaremongering around Brexit,” Korwar says. “It’s a tongue-in-cheek play on the fact that there are more people coming and you’ll have to deal with it!” Through this defiance, Korwar takes clear pride in the knotty mix of his identity – harking back to the new India of the Mumbai hip-hop kids, as well as identifying with London’s cultural diversity. “I want the idea of brown pride to come through,” he says. “My voice is one amongst a thousand, but this record is a snapshot of something much greater than myself. It’s the chance to send a message.” 


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: A highly political record, fitting in perfectly between the colourful sounds of modern India and the UK's flourishing appreciation for nu-jazz and hip-hop. Korwar has managed to craft a brilliantly immersive LP, seamlessly segueing between genres while retaining the parts of each that make them great. A true melting pot, and a necessary political statement.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. A1. Mumbay (featuring MC Mawali)
                  2. A2. Jallaad
                  3. A3. Coolie (featuring Delhi Sultanate & Prabh Deep)
                  4. A4. Bol (featuring Zia Ahmed & Aditya Prakash)
                  5. B1. Mango (featuring Zia Ahmed)
                  6. B2. City Of Words (featuring TRAP POJU & Mirande)
                  7. B3. Good Ol’ Vilayati (featuring Mirande)
                  8. B4. Pravasis (featuring Deepak Unnikrishnan)

                  Laurence is one third of Szun Waves, who released their second album New Hymn To Freedom last year to critical acclaim.

                  “I hope,” says Laurence Pike, “the listener is as excited – and at times confounded – by this music as I am.”
                  Holy Spring is an “article of faith” for Pike, expressing the sense that “The ritual of performance can transcend the confines of style, structure and concept to connect with something universal.”
                  The name of the album is beautifully ambiguous, evoking a wellspring, but also rebirth, and more besides. It sounds constantly, effervescently fresh, just as it should when its creation was a series of surprises to its own creator. And that happens not just with one listen, but with many: each time you hear it, it’s as if this music has been created anew. The listener, just like the musician, are privy to what Pike describes as “the music simply playing itself, achieving what I now understand to be, and can only describe as ‘freedom’.”
                  Improvisation has played a role throughout Pike’s long and diverse career in music. Whether as part of PVT, Triosk or Szun Waves, or collaborating with Liars, legendary jazz pianist Mike Nock, DD Dumbo or the mighty Bill Callahan, he has long been a responsive musician for whom sensitive listening leads to spontaneous invention. Every motion, from the most minuscule flicker to a primal groove, is an expression of what’s happening around him. Which is precisely how he, and the ensembles he’s been part of, have been able to navigate so deftly between the poles of the familiar. Pike’s work has always skirted around electronica, spiritual jazz, post-rock and many other recognisable sounds, without ever converging on one single style or resorting to obvious fusions.


                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. A1. Mystic Circles
                  2. A2. Daughter Of Mars
                  3. A3. Dance Of The Earth
                  4. A4. Transire
                  5. B1. Drum Chant
                  6. B2. Holy Spring
                  7. B3. The Shock Of Hope
                  8. B4. Taught By Spirits
                  9. B5. Rites

                  Snapped Ankles have taken on the guise of the very agents of their community’s demise – the property developers and brokers who heat the market on the promise of ‘Stunning Luxury’. With their adopted warehouse habitat under constant threat, the woodwose have taken this sharp-suited incarnation in order to infiltrate. The resistance starts here.

                  From humble forest beginnings via bohemian East London on debut album Come Play The Trees, Snapped Ankles are moving on. The log synths have been transformed into gaudy “To Let” and “For Sale” signs, which have become the new instrument of choice for the discerning woodwose. The sounds they eke out of the housing bubble are as frenzied and unstable as you’d expect. Dystopian bangers. Illicit thrills. Stunning Luxury moves quickly through life in the capital: microdosing mindfulness in the morning, a poisoned nod to the marketing department, investment portfolios and death by same day delivery.

                  The primal rhythms and forest chants are all present and correct. On the surface it’s hedonistic business as usual – a communal dance for the ages. But there’s a sense of discomfort too. There’s subversion, but it’s not clear who’s subverting who. There’s a message, but it’s often fragmented. Keep dancing. Keep foraging. Perhaps the woodwose are human after all…


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Darryl says: Throbbing pulses, primal motorik melodies and fiery post-punk aggression spew forth from the sophomore Snapped Ankles outing. Continuing on from 2017 triumphant debut ‘Come Play The Trees’, it’s as if they were born to make this sound. A destabilizing stew that moves the body and the mind.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  CD: LP:
                  1. A1. Pestisound (Moving Out)
                  2. A2. Tailpipe
                  3. A3. Letter From Hampi Mountain
                  4. A4. Rechargeable
                  5. A5. Delivery Van
                  6. B1. Three Steps To A Development
                  7. B2. Skirmish In The Suburbs
                  8. B3. Dial The Rings On A Tree
                  9. B4. Drink And Glide
                  10. B5. Dream And Formaldehyde

                  Julia Kent

                  Asperities

                    Asperities is the fourth solo album by acclaimed Vancouver-born, New York-based cellist Julia Kent.
                    Her extensive résumé includes recent work with Swans, Aidan Baker, Rachel Grimes, Rutger Zuydervelt, Barbara Morgenstern, Library Tapes and Khan of Finland. Utilising treated cello and electronics, Kent creates a world where the technological and the organic merge in perfect symbiosis, the layers of sound peeling back to reveal a beating, bloody human heart at its centre.
                    Accurately described as “elegant and intense” and “deeply personal”, Kent draws from a rich well of emotion. There is tension, darkness and masterful restraint in this work. Julia Kent rose to prominence with cello trio Rasputina and as arranger and performer in Antony & The Johnsons.

                    Julia Kent has also composed for film, theatre and dance. Recent cinematic work includes the documentaries The Boxing Girls of Kabul and Rwanda, L’Impossible Pardon, American feature AShort History of Decay, as well as the award-winning short film Oasis. Her first solo albums, Delay (2007) and Green and Grey (2011), were released by Important Records in North America. Her most recent solo record, Character (2013), was released to critical acclaim on The Leaf Label. As a solo artist Julia has toured extensively in Europe and North America and performed at festivals including Primavera Sound, Reeperbahn, Unsound, and Meltdown. Kent surrounds a fabric of gorgeous cello melodies with excerpts of burbling brooks and chirping cicadas, letting the sounds sit closely but distinctly in one same ruminative space. Strangely and surprisingly intimate.


                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. A1.Hellebore
                    2. A2. Lac Des Arcs
                    3. A3. The Leopard
                    4. A4. Flag Of No Country
                    5. B1. Terrain
                    6. B2. Empty States
                    7. B3. Heavy Eyes
                    8. B4. Invitation To The Voyage
                    9. B5. Tramontana

                    Szun Waves

                    New Hymn To Freedom

                      Sometimes in improvised music there can be a distance between listener and players, a sense you’re sitting back and admiring their interplay and abstraction – but with Szun Waves’ second album, you’re right in there with them, inside the playing, experiencing the absolute joy the three musicians feel as they circle around each other, exploring the spaces they’ve opened up.

                      The three members already have sparkling pedigrees of their own. Norfolk’s Luke Abbott is well known for his explorations of the zones between pure ambience and the leftmost fringes of club culture. With Portico Quartet and Circle Traps, Jack Wyllie has been in the vanguard of UK fusions of jazz, classical and club music. Australian drummer Laurence Pike has likewise found a unique voice in improvised and experimental music-making, whether in the bands Triosk or PVT, or as a solo artist.

                      The trio’s musical relationship has grown naturally and steadily, and it shows. From Wyllie adding shimmering sustained sax notes to Abbott’s gorgeous ambient pieces in 2013, Szun Waves emerged when Pike was added to the mix, energizing the sound but still keeping its levitational qualities. Their 2016 self-released debut album hit a natural groove, and now they’re in a place of pure spontaneity: "New Hymn To Freedom" is a document of six entirely live improvisations – no edits or overdubs – and its title couldn’t be more apt. 


                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. Constellation (video)
                      A2. Fall Into Water
                      B1. High Szun
                      B2. Temple
                      C1. Moon Runes
                      C2. New Hymn To Freedom
                      D. Slow Motion (vinyl Only Bonus Track)

                      Features the track ‘PNO' released to coincide with Piano Day 2018 (it made Nils Frahm’s official playlist).

                      3PE is the first in a series of releases by Portland, OR, based Luke Wyland under his new LWW moniker. In contrast to his previous work as AU, these are spontaneous explorations in repetition, alternate tuning systems and, for the most part, tempered minimalism.

                      After the spiritual rush of ‘CTP’, there are never more than two or three sounds interacting. Unadorned single takes unfold organically to explore the textural and rhythmic possibilities within those limitations.

                      Each piece has a distinct palette; from the rolling triumphant piano polyrhythms of ‘PNO’ (included on Nils Frahm’s official Piano Day 2018 playlist) to the unsettling oblique synthesiser angles on ‘DTE’ – Wyland stretches the boundaries of cadence and melody before snpping it all back into line. A direct link can be drawn from the tuned percussion work of ‘PRC’ to AU’s contribution to the influential Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers compilation series, which features the likes of Deerhoof and Juana Molina’s takes on the ‘Congotronics’ music of Kinshasa.

                      Many of these recordings date back to the period shortly after AU’s final release Both Lights. The bubbling energy remains, while Wyland’s musical dexterity is all the more startling in these stripped down, unrestricted forms. “There’s a certain fleeting magic to capturing unselfconscious improvisations to tape,” Wyland explains. “A quality that is often lost when tracking an album you intend to release to the public.” Opening epic ‘CTP’ serves to bridge the gap between AU and LWW – “the first track is the only improvisation that I’ve dissected and evolved into a more maximalist composition. The rest of these songs are simple one take snapshots into my process of research - essentially conversations with myself.”


                      TRACK LISTING

                      A1. 1. CTP
                      A2. 2. P&B
                      A3. 3. DTE
                      B1. 4. PNO
                      B2. 5. LSP
                      B3. 6. PRC

                      Let Warmduscher be your guide. Clams Baker: the man with the golden tongue. Fast-talking, no nonsense networker. The ‘legitimate’ front to the great rock ‘n’ roll swindle. No time for fact checking. No need for building regulations. Heading straight to the top. Consequence be damned. Lightnin’ Jack Everett is his man on point. The rhythm. The brains. The brawn. Let’s make lots of money. The Saulcano, Mr Salt Fingers Lovecraft and The Witherer operate in the shadows. The cogs. The machine. The bootleggers.

                      South London recidivists Warmduscher include members of Paranoid London, Fat White Family and Childhood.

                      Longtime Warmduscher biographer Dr Alan Goldfarb describes Whale City as “a rock opera so vast in magnitude that - were in not for my being strapped naked to a chair in a garage - could send a man hurtling towards the outer perimeters of uncharted space”.


                      TRACK LISTING

                      CD: LP:

                      1. A1. Bright Lights
                      2. A2. Standing On The Corner
                      3. A3. Big Wilma
                      4. A4. 1000 Whispers
                      5. A5. The Sweet Smell Of Florida
                      6. A6. No Way Out
                      7. B1. I Got Friends

                      "Distant Early Warning" is the debut solo album by Australian drummer, percussionist and composer Laurence Pike. For the best part of two decades Pike has operated at the cutting edge of the electronic and jazz music worlds, releasing albums to critical acclaim and touring the world with his bands PVT (formerly Pivot), Triosk and Szun Waves, and featuring on numerous albums, tours and soundtracks as a collaborator. On "Distant Early Warning" he carves himself a moment of reflection. The calm in the eye of the storm. An ominous portent as the rocks appear on the horizon.


                      Originally conceived as a technological and spiritual jazz suite for drums, "Distant Early Warning" is a series of solo performances for kit and sampler recorded live in a single day. 'For a long time I’ve been feeling there’s a central part of my musical voice that didn’t have an outlet,' Pike says. 'So this album is definitely a product of inner necessity.' 


                      TRACK LISTING

                      CD: LP:
                      1. A1. Life Hacks
                      2. A2. Distant Early Warning
                      3. A3. Cloud And Wires
                      4. B1. Hard Feelings
                      5. B2. Cyber Bully
                      6. B3. Corporate Memory

                      Nightports With Matthew Bourne

                      Nightports With Matthew Bourne

                        Nightports is based on a simple but unbreakable rule of restriction: only sounds produced by the featured musician can be used. Nothing else. These sounds can be transformed, distorted, translated, reworked, processed and reprocessed, stretched, cut, ordered and reordered without limitation.

                        Nightports was established by musician-producers Adam Martin (based in Leeds) and Mark Slater (Hull), and Nightports w/Matthew Bourne is the first of a series of collaborative albums to be released by The Leaf Label. Material for the album was recorded at Bourne’s home outside Keighley, West Yorkshire, and at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds. The recordings coax hitherto unheard sounds from a range of contrasting instruments - decrepit dusty uprights holding their own against the attack and precision of a modern concert grand. The lines between the source material and the manipulations are seamless, delivering an unexpected percussive drive and emotional impact.

                        The audiophile vinyl edition is half-speed mastered and pressed at Optimal in Germany Packaged in an intricate die-cut sleeve, the vinyl also includes a CD of the album The Nightports project follows Matthew Bourne’s beautiful skeletal piano and cello album "Isotach", which picked up four star reviews in Mojo and The Guardian and support from Mary Anne Hobbs at BBC 6 Music The album will be preceded by digital single "Exit" on January 5th Material from Nightports w/Matthew Bourne was premiered on three pianos with live manipulations at Middleton Halll as part of the Hull City Of Culture programme Nightports have picked up support from Gilles Peterson, with a track featured on the "Brownswood Bubblers 11" compilation. Very much in demand as a collaborator and co-conspirator, Bourne has his fingerprints on a huge number of projects, having worked with artists as diverse as John Zorn, Annette Peacock, Nostalgia 77, Amon Tobin and Broadway Project For fans of Nils Frahm, Hauschka, O?lafur Arnalds.


                        When the city starts to encroach on the forest, nature will find a way to reclaim what is rightfully hers. Snapped Ankles come as messengers. On debut album Come Play The Trees they hold a mirror up to us. They’re here to plant the seed. They’re here to have a good time, but never at the expense of their natural habitat.

                        Snapped Ankles have emerged from the woods clutching an album that feels simultaneously modern and ancient. This is what dance music will sounds like when computers finally fail us. Log synths, bass guitar and sticks on taut animal skin coalesce to form fearsome primal rhythms. Fuzz guitars rubbing up against dirty rolling arpeggiated synthesisers to ignite wild white noise fires. Forest folklore passed down through generations, has made its way onto the tracks. Subjects veer from dystopian futures to railing against Swedish flat-pack furniture, from the films of Jean-Luc Godard and Andrei Tarkovsky to throwaway YouTube comments. High art and cultural detritus are all fair game - a brave new world indeed.

                        • This is Snapped Ankles debut album

                        • Since relocating to bohemian East London, the woodwose have integrated seamlessly into the creative firmament, setting up camp at the Total Refreshment Centre

                        • The videos for singles ‘Jonny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin’ and ‘I Want My Minutes Back’ offer a glimpse into the off-kilter art-house minds of Snapped Ankles and display a certain preoccupation with spaghetti

                        • A dish best served live: wildmen dressed in ghillie suits coaxing unholy noise from a forest of logs, wires, drums and guitars.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Throbbing pulses, primal melodies and fiery aggression spew forth from the newest Snapped Ankles outing. It’s as if they were born to make this sound.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        CD: LP:
                        1. A1. Come Play The Trees
                        2. A2. Hanging With The Moon
                        3. A3. I Want My Minutes Back
                        4. A4. Jonny Guitar Calling Gosta Berlin
                        5. B1. Let’s Revel
                        6. B2. Tuesday Makes Me Cry
                        7. B3. The Invisible Real That Hurts
                        8. B4. True Ecology
                        9. B5. Come Play The Trees Outro

                        The Comet Is Coming

                        Channel The Spirits


                          “Great fire will fall from the sky, the cause will appear both stupefying and marvellous. Very soon after, the earth will tremble. ” The arrival of The Comet as prophesised by Nostradamus. And the earth did tremble.

                          Our saviours Danalogue The Conqueror , Betamax Killer (both Soccer96 ) and King Shabaka (Sons Of Kemet, The Ancestors ) bestowed upon us their debut album Channel The Spirits on April 1st 2016 CE. From simpler times, this was a prophetic document. A celeb ration. The beginning of the end.

                          For those recent converts, here is Channel The Spirits (Special Edition) . Here is the universe in a microcosm; the life-force distilled down to its raw essence : sex and dancing. Here is a package that includes the debut Prophecy EP from 2015CE. Here are three previously unheard tracks: the fabled Ancient Tapes.



                          TRACK LISTING

                          Disc A
                          Channel The Spirits
                          1. The Prophecy
                          2. Space Carnival
                          3. Journey Through The Asteroid Belt
                          4. Nano
                          5. New Age
                          6. Slam Dunk In A Black Hole
                          7. Cosmic Dust
                          8. Star Furnace
                          9. Channel The Spirits
                          10. Deep Within The Engine Deck
                          11. Lightyears (feat. Joshua Idehen)
                          12. End Of Earth

                          Disc B
                          Prophecy
                          1. Neon Baby
                          2. Star Exploding In Slow Motion
                          3. Do The Milky Way
                          4. Cosmic Serpent
                          5. Final Days Of The Apocalypse (feat. Joshua Idehen)

                          Ancient Tapes
                          6. Slammin
                          7. Transmission
                          8. Closing Credits 

                          Melt Yourself Down

                          Last Evenings On Earth

                            “We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end, just as we never stop living, although death is certain” - Roberto Bolaño, Last Evenings On Earth

                            Question: it’s the end of the world, how are you going to spend it?

                            Last Evenings On Earth is the apocalyptic second album by Melt Yourself Down, evangelical hawkers of DNA-rearranging post-punk exotica. Snatch your passport and let this hydra-headed serpent take you for a dizzying, continent-hopping voyage around a globe spinning ever more rapidly off its axis.

                            If MYD’s self-titled debut was a series of feverish nocturnal visions beamed from a sub-Saharan desert, where voodoo spirits were raised from dusty catacombs, then this is an even headier trip. Here the rhythm has migrated to the city to merge with the pulses and dark currents that run through it.

                            Capturing the raw energy and wild-eyed intensity of the MYD live show, this is music that speaks in tongues. In both sound and aesthetic, Melt Yourself Down have celebrated migration since day one. Theirs is musical unity through movement and sound.

                            If this is the end of the world, the Last Evening On Earth... bring it.

                            Melt Yourself Down are Kushal Gaya (vocals), Ruth Goller (bass), Shabaka Hutchings (saxophone), Satin Singh (percussion), Tom Skinner (drums) and Pete Wareham (saxophone), with Leafcutter John (electronics/production).

                            'Moogmemory' is the latest album from multi-award winning pianist and composer Matthew Bourne, who has turned his considerable talents to the world of analogue synthesizers.

                            Very much in demand as a collaborator and co-conspirator, Bourne has his fingerprints on a huge number of projects, having worked with artists as diverse as John Zorn, Annette Peacock, Nils Frahm, Nostalgia 77, Amon Tobin and Broadway Project.

                            Growing from spontaneous improvised live performances, the album took shape in the studio as Bourne explored and moulded the vast sonic possibilities of voltage-controlled oscillators, creating beautiful, brooding landscapes of thick impasto and translucent sunbursts.

                            The seed for this project was planted when Bourne acquired an uncooperative 1982 Memorymoog, having it painstakingly modified and upgraded by Rudi Linhard in Germany .

                            Created without the use of computers or sequencers,Moogmemory is the first album to be recorded using only the Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog.

                            Bourne will tour moogmemory in collaboration with brilliant visual artist Michael England, who has worked with Autechre, Bola, Leila, Demdike Stare and many more.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: Bringing to mind the more ambient, beat-less works of Alessandro Cortini (or indeed Nine Inch Nails), or the early electronics-heavy compositions by Nils Frahm ; Moogmemory is unsurprisingly, unashamed synth-worship. Through the impeccably textured compositions and characteristic, classic sound of a legendary instrument, this collection is breathtaking.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Somewhere I Have Never Travelled
                            2. Alex
                            3. Nils
                            4. On Rivock EdgeE
                            5. B2 Sam
                            6. B3 Andrew
                            7. A3 Horn And Vellum
                            8. B4 Daniziel
                            9. I Loved Her, Madly

                            Franck Vigroux & Matthew Bourne

                            Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited

                              Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited is a stunning reimagining of Kraftwerk’s seminal album, created to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

                              The perfect (post) Christmas gift for discerning fans of cutting edge analogue electronica. And Kraftwerk!

                              Radioland was initially devised as a breathtaking audio-visual live experience by the Anglo-French trio of Matthew Bourne (synthesisers, voice), Franck Vigroux (electronics) and visual artist Antoine Schmitt.

                              The original music has been transformed with hurricanes of modulated electronics, earth-shattering bass frequencies, vocoders ebbing and throbbing and the occasional drop into periods of eerie near-silence.

                              Using a variety of vintage analogue synthesisers and electronics, they have recreated the futuristic, industrial world of ominous darkness and dazzling light imagined by Kraftwerk in 1975 and reconstructed in this bold new manifestation for 2015.

                              The album is mastered by Denis Blackham, who mastered Kraftwerk’s classic 1974 album Autobahn.

                              “A darkly intriguing contemporary spin on the seminal Teutonic band Kraftwerk’s electronic concept… a mix of hard-edged industrial grooves and ethereal, moog-infused soundscapes” - Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise.

                              “Bourne, a staggeringly talented pianist, also has an ability to explore the synthesiser’s most Kraftwerkian properties” - John Lewis, The Guardian.


                              Polar Bear

                              Same As You

                                Given its short gestation, it is striking how far removed the new album is from its predecessor . After the dark complexity of recent output, Same As You is startlingly fresh, as inclusive and accessible as the title suggests, while still maintaining the playful experimentation on which the band has made its name.

                                Originally conceived as a single longform piece, the tempo remains constant but does not prevent the band from producing swells of raw, joyous, life-affirming energy within these self-imposed limits.

                                The vocal performances and the heartfelt, spiritual lyrics are an inspired addition to the rich instrumental mix: Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart (tenor sax), Tom Herbert (double bass) and Leafcutter John (guitar, electronics), with Shabaka Hutchings (Sons Of Kemet, Melt Yourself Down) making a guest appearance.

                                The album’s lead single ‘Dont Let The Feeling Go’ sees Rochford take on vocal duties alongside a choir of friends and collaborators: it’s Polar Bear at their most direct.

                                The use of vocals may catch the ear but that should come as no surprise given that Rochford has enjoyed working with singers as diverse as Beck, Spoek Mathambo, Paolo Nutini and Rokia Traoré over a 15 year career that has seen the drummer, composer and producer emerge as a pivotal figure in contemporary British music.

                                Recorded by Rochford in London, and mixed in the Mojave Desert with Ken Barrientos late 2014.


                                Wildbirds & Peacedrums

                                Rhythm

                                  ”We wanted an album that was 100% us. The two of us. The sound that feels like you’re in front of us, like you’re inside” Wildbirds & Peacedrums, August 2014

                                  Rhythm is the career-defining fourth album by Swedish husband and wife duo Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin

                                  Their first album in four years sees Wildbirds return lean, hungry and defiant . In returning to their roots they have discovered an unblinking directness, a taut muscularity honed from years of intensive live performance. For the first time, the pair wrote, recorded and produced everything in their own Stockholm studio “We wanted it to feel like a live experience. Almost every song is one take. We recorded standing in the same room, no screens or isolation, looking each other in the eyes”

                                  Second single ‘Keep Some Hope’ will be released in early October, accompanied by another extraordinary videoOver the course of three acclaimed albums - Heartcore (2008), The Snake (2009) and Rivers (2010) - Wildbirds have established themselves as a powerful, single-minded proposition

                                  They have built an incredible reputation for their uninhibited live performances, working with choirs and orchestras and gracing festival stages around the world including Fuji Rock, Roskilde, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Latitude, OFF Festival and Sziget

                                  In recent years, Mariam and Andreas have been involved in an impressive range of projects and collaborations. Wallentin released her first solo album as Mariam The Believer and starred in Ben Frost’s celebrated Wasp Factory opera. Werliin has been working as a producer and performing with Fire! and the Swedish Grammy-winning Tonbruket.

                                  Roll The Dice

                                  Until Silence

                                    Until Silence is the widescreen-epic third album from Stockholm based duo Roll The Dice. A monumental shift in both sonics and psychogeography. The characteristic framework of piano and synthesiser is reinforced with a newly conscripted 26-piece string section to startling effect.

                                    Roll The Dice are Peder Mannerfelt (who worked with Fever Ray and records as The Subliminal Kid) and Malcolm Pardon (who writes and records music for film and TV). The new chapter in an ongoing storyline which Pardon and Mannerfelt began crafting on their acclaimed 2010 self-titled debut: their protagonists now displaced from the factories of their last album In Dust, and cast into a Great War.

                                    Bringing light and shade to electronic architecture, the album features a 26-piece string ensemble with arrangements by Erik Arvinder whose credit include Lykke Li, Robyn and Primal Scream. The cinematic sound of mechanised warfare: life, death, hope and devastation

                                    Mastered and cut by Stefan Betke at Scape Mastering in Berlin who reworked tracks from In Dust under his Pole moniker for their 2012 EP In Dubs.

                                    Roll The Dice will premiere tracks from Until Silence at this year’s Sónar festival in Barcelona, and the duo will appear at events around the world over the coming months. A formidable live proposition: waves of analogue sound coaxed from walls of vintage synthesisers, without a computer in sight.

                                    Melt Yourself Down

                                    Live At The New Empowering Church

                                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                      Finally! The horn-wailing, mic-swinging, percussion-overloaded, call-and-response explosiveness of the Melt Yourself Down experience is captured on plastic in all its sweat-drenched fury
                                      This Record Store Day exclusive LP was recorded at MYD’s sold out show at The New Empowering Church in east London late last year: “the house band from hell” in the house of GodA raw and ragged document of sweet sonic violence in a small room, it’s a strobelit snapshot, warts and all, captured for you

                                      MYD twist jazz, punk, funk and afro-beat into strange and brilliant new shapes
                                      They’ve kept raising their game since the release of their self-titled debut album in June 2013 (appearing on Later… and hitting the album of the year charts in Rough Trade, Time Out and more), and will appear on festival stages throughout the land this summer. The campaign begins with shows at SXSW and in New York in March, and club nights with MYDJs will follow ahead of the festivals - all confirmed dates below. Strictly limited edition Record Store Day vinyl LP (900 copies for the world) also includes a download of the live album. The LP is packaged in a new, dayglo variant on the already iconic album artwork. MYD have already started work on their second album. Don’t take your eyes off them



                                      Melt Yourself Down

                                      Melt Yourself Down

                                        Melt Yourself Down’s self-titled debut album is the sound of Cairo 1957, Cologne 1972, New York 1978, and London 2013.

                                        The group is the brainchild of Pete Wareham (Acoustic Ladyland, Polar Bear), who’s roped in a distinguished crew of brilliant musicians, including Kushal Gaya (Zun Zun Egui), Shabaka Hutchings (Sons Of Kemet, Heliocentrics), Tom Skinner (Hello Skinny, Mulatu Astatke), Ruth Goller (Acoustic Ladyland, Rokia Traoré), and Satin Singh (Fela!)

                                        Together they make a primal, tribal stew of horns and drums and unhinged vocals that bring to mind the Bristol-based punk-jazz craziness of Rip, Rig & Panic, Pig Pag etc. The group's singles ‘We Are Enough’, ‘Fix My Life’ and ‘Release!’ (all featured on this long player, accompanied by brand new tracks) have been tearing up dancefloors and radio playlists since late 2012, with massive support from BBC 6 Music in particular.

                                        “A bazaar sax smackdown that has an iron in every furnace of global psychedelia, smelted into a structure of tungsten strength” - Pitchfork.

                                        “A lurching machine rhythm and lashings of synth squiggles and white noise, re-framing all that modal skronk in electro-industrial terms: it’s Addis Ababa meets Detroit in the year 3013” - Spin.

                                        “A scalp-frazzling chunk of psychedelic funk” - Time Out.


                                        Dancing is songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and performer Nancy Elizabeth’s third album, and her first new material since 2009.

                                        Nancy wrote and recorded almost everything herself over the course of two and half years in her tiny home studio in Manchester. For the first time Nancy used a computer as a compositional tool alongside her idiosyncratic palette of instruments, including a battered piano, guitar, and her own multi-layered vocals. The end result is more ambitious, more focused and more uplifting than anything she’s done before.

                                        While the adventurous sounds she used create a mesmeric physical effect, the emotional purity of the lyrics is just as powerful . First single ‘The Last Battle’ opens the album, a magnificent introduction to its trove of pure musical delights. A soaring, celestial-soprano array, the song recalls Ennio Morricone and Arthur Lee, building to an irresistible climax.

                                        Featuring artwork created by Nancy herself, the album will be available on CD in a gatefold card wallet, and on limited edition vinyl LP (including a CD of the album).


                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. The Last Battle
                                        2. Heart
                                        3. Indelible Day
                                        4. Mexico
                                        5. Simon Says Dance
                                        6. Death In A Sunny Room
                                        7. Debt
                                        8. Shimmering Song
                                        9. All Mouth
                                        10. Raven City
                                        11. Desire
                                        12. Early Sleep

                                        Almost four years in the making, Chicago trio Volcano! have delivered the long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s celebrated Paperwork album. Their outstanding third offering, Piñata, is well worth the wait - by any measure it's their best yet.

                                        Piñata is the sound of volcano! past distilled into a most potent formula for the present: unsparingly concise, stickily melodic, lyrically stronger and stranger, darkly humorous, ferociously driven, fabulously inventive. Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, the album has an aggressive energy that’s as exciting as it is unpredictable. It’s leaner and meaner than its predecessors, with the themes behind the songs drawn from more familiar sources. “They're mainly based on weird fantasies,” says frontman Aaron With. “Our goal was to tell stories with strange but universal sentiments.”

                                        The fantasies that form the foundations for certain songs are hardly commonplace musings on love and life. ‘Child Star’ imagines its protagonist (re)born with all the skills and experience of a previous life, gaining competitive advantage over a helpless peer group. ‘St. Mary Of Nazareth’ takes the listener on a tour of a spaceship disguised as Catholic hospital, where the nurses are nuns, and the nuns are aliens. Lead single ‘Piñata’ is a petty vision of posthumous karmic retribution, while ‘Fighter’, the album’s dramatic centrepiece, is a violent revenge fantasy set to music. But while the songs can be complex conceptually, the incisive compositions ensure they effortlessly get under your skin.

                                        More immediate than anything the trio has crafted before, it makes perfect sense that at the time of writing Piñata, volcano! were indulging themselves on radio hits alongside a steady diet of music from the outer reaches of the spectrum. Meanwhile the band has lost none of the playful, idiosyncratic elements that make them unique. “We kept the weird energy, the melodic tension, and the neurotic rhythm,” says With, “but we’ve made the framework a little more decipherable.” Not a second is wasted as volcano! gleefully take a baseball bat to musical convention in the name of great pop.

                                        Aaron With (vocals, guitar), Sam Scranton (drums, percussion) and Mark Cartwright (synths, bass) formed volcano! in 2003, and have stockpiled critical acclaim since the beginning. Their debut album Beautiful Seizure (2005) was awarded 10/10 by Drowned in Sound and was dubbed the “soundtrack to the Bible” by Fader; Paperwork garnered four stars in Mojo and Uncut, and the video for ‘Africa Just Wants To Have Fun’ has notched up 200,000 views. The two albums have become cult favourites among those fortunate enough to hear them, and the sense of anticipation for Piñata is palpable.


                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. A1. Piñata
                                        2. A2. So Many Lemons
                                        3. A3. Child Star
                                        4. A4. Platebreaker
                                        5. A5. Danceman
                                        6. B1. Fighter
                                        7. B2. St. Mary Of Nazareth
                                        8. B3. Supply And Demand
                                        9. B4. Long Gone

                                        Jherek Bischoff

                                        Composed

                                          In his 30-odd years, Seattle-based Jherek Bischoff has performed in numerous musical configurations, including Parenthetical Girls, Xiu Xiu, The Degenerate Art Ensemble, The Dead Science, Amanda Palmer and The Wordless Music Orchestra. Described as a “pop polymath” by The New York Times, he’s an instinctive collaborator, trusting himself to be his own best teacher. Indeed, all this music-making has largely been self-taught.

                                          This last may be the most remarkable, especially in the context of his new album Composed. A meticulously arranged, multi-tracked orchestral pop album, it features a host of guests, many of whom appeared at the sold-out Ecstatic Music Festival performance in New York that launched the project in February.

                                          David Byrne collaborates on ‘Eyes’, as sumptuous a slice of meta-pop as anything he’s produced in years, while Parenthetical Girls’ Zac Pennington and French singer/actor Soko duet on the brilliant ‘Young And Lovely’ (these two songs are released as a limited edition 7” for this year’s Record Store Day). Brazilian Tropicalismo legend Caetano Veloso guests on ‘The Secret Of The Machines’ singing lyrics adapted from a Rudyard Kipling poem. Other vocalists include Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers), Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think), Mirah and Dawn McCarthy (Faun Fables). Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier and Wilco’s Nels Cline sprinkle some additional instrumental magic over two of the album’s nine songs.

                                          Working in such esteemed company, an even more pleasant surprise is that Jherek manages to make the album his own, without ever falling into the trap of self-indulgence that often besets multi-vocalist projects of this kind. That the album proves to be a consistently rewarding and uplifting body of work is testament to the clarity of his vision.

                                          The genesis of this singular project was informed by Jherek’s history of playing in DIY bands, a fervent desire to make great pop music and a love affair with the potential of the orchestra. His approach was illuminated by a desire to shake up the business-as-usual routine of being an independent rock musician.

                                          I realised a few years ago that being in several serious touring bands at the same time could be really frustrating, because I tend to work on music at least eight hours a day at home, and on tour you only get to make music for an hour a day,” says Jherek of his experience. “I realised that by producing records, doing soundtracks and collaborating on music for dance, I could be creatively involved with a ton of exciting music, and let it have its own legs without having to always be on tour.”

                                          As an orchestral recording Composed is pretty much unique. Do-it-yourself in the purest sense, Jherek first composed the album on a ukulele. Next he arranged, produced and engineered the backing tracks, resolving to achieve an orchestral sound without the orchestral cost by recording the music one instrument at a time using a single microphone and a laptop.
                                          “I recorded each individual musician of the ‘orchestra’ in their own living rooms, and then I layered each instrument - sometimes one violinist playing one part twenty times - until it was the size of a huge orchestra. I spent the summer riding my bike from house to house recording each musician. I finished the album by taking a road trip to record all the singers in person, except for Caetano Veloso and David Byrne, who recorded their own parts at home.”

                                          The result of this extraordinary jigsaw puzzle is Composed. It took years. We hope you’ll agree it was worth it.


                                          AU are Portland, Oregon-based duo Luke Wyland and Dana Valatka. 'Both Lights' is AU’s third album and first for The Leaf Label, a joint release with US label Hometapes

                                          'Both Lights' is the closest their recorded incarnation has yet reached to the blissful force of an AU live show, while expanding outward in new directions. Since 2008’s 'Verbs' album, AU have slimmed down to an extraordinarily potent two-piece live band, with Valatka on percussion and Wyland taking care of everything else: vocals, keyboard, sampler, lap steel, banjo and melodica (often two or more at once). Wyland’s rich baritone takes centre stage on 'Both Lights', a one-man tug-of-war with love, loss, pain, anger and desire, while the music behind him flits with gleeful abandon between styles - choral folk, ferocious jazz-punk, wild percussive workouts, sumptuous indie-pop.

                                          AU contributed a track to the Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers collaboration in 2010, which featured versions of tracks by Konono No.1 and Kasai Allstars. The Congolese bands’ influence is strongly evident on 'Both Lights'.


                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          CD: Vinyl:
                                          1. A1. Epic
                                          2. A2. Get Alive
                                          3. A3. Crazy Idol
                                          4. A4. OJ
                                          5. A5. The Veil
                                          6. B1. Solid Gold
                                          7. B2. Today/Tonight
                                          8. B3. Why I Must
                                          9. B4. Go Slow
                                          10. B5. Old Friend
                                          11. B6. Don’t Lie Down

                                          Matthew Bourne

                                          Montauk Variations

                                            Matthew Bourne is the latest signing to The Leaf Label, and Montauk Variations is his first ever solo studio album.

                                            A phenomenal live performer, Bourne brings a breathtaking physicality to the piano that, once witnessed, is hard to forget (try searching for ‘Matthew Bourne piano’ on YouTube).

                                            A genuinely unique pianist and composer, whose music straddles jazz, classical and rock, Bourne uses every imaginable technique to wring the last drop of inspiration from his chosen instrument.

                                            Montauk Variations represents something of a change of direction for him – an album of beautiful, lyrical solo piano compositions, punctuated by visceral percussive pieces.

                                            The album was recorded in The Great Hall at Dartington College, Devon in May 2011, with additional recordings at St Margaret’s Rectory in Manchester and Rebel Elements studio close to his Yorkshire home.

                                            A restless, endlessly exploratory musician, don’t expect him to stand still - this is the first in a series of albums under the ‘Matthew Bourne presents’ banner, with future releases to include an audio-visual project recorded with his beloved Memorymoog analogue synthesizer, and an album with vocalist Seaming To under the name Billy Moon.

                                            The ‘Solid Gold’ 7” is limited to 500 copies for the world (just 150 for Europe), and is a joint release by The Leaf Label and Hometapes. Pressed on transparent yellow-orange vinyl, it’s packaged with full-colour transparent cover art in a heavy PVC sleeve, and includes a free digital download.

                                            Luke Wyland and Dana Valatka, the Portland, Oregon-based duo known as AU, embody a remarkable, cathartic energy that is immediately apparent on ‘Solid Gold’, the first single to be taken from their forthcoming album. Both Lights will be AU’s first album for The Leaf Label (released by Hometapes outside Europe). Fortifying Valatka’s adrenalised percussion and Wyland’s soaring vocals and multi-tentacled performance on keys / guitar, is man-machine Colin Stetson on alto and bass saxophone. The B-side, ‘Under / Epic’, is a reinterpretation of the album’s opening track, taking Stetson’s wild wind a notch higher and into the brightly lit stratosphere.

                                            AU reflect that light. ‘Solid Gold’ is the first taste of a sweeping aural experience that captures Wyland and Valatka’s journey through three years of love, loss, and levity. “The back and forth, the tug of war for love,” says Wyland, getting at the root of ‘Solid Gold’, in essence a love song, “exhausting, exhilarating, and so totally not sustainable.” Like the best songs, in some way or another, we can all sing along to that.

                                            Roll The Dice

                                            In Dust

                                              "An album of real musical weight, a slap in the face to the vapid music that washes over us ceaselessly. it is a thing of deep beauty, dexterously combining the gravitas of something very old with the excitement of something very new." - Dan Snaith (Caribou) in Music Week July 2011.

                                              'In Dust' is Roll The Dice’s stunning first full-length album for The Leaf Label, following the limited edition Live In Gothenburg – August 7 2010 12” EP, released for this year’s Record Store Day.

                                              Influenced by Steve Reich and the Kosmische music of the 70s, there are also parallels to be drawn with contemporary artists such as Emeralds, Oneohtrix Point Never and Gavin Russom & Delia Gonzalez.

                                              “Palpably unsequenced and semi-improvised, this set stylishly updates the analogue minimalism of Manuel Gottsching, Tangerine Dream and Conrad Schnitzler with a very 21st century grasp of dub-space and machine-swing. Recommended” Boomkat on Live In Gothenburg.

                                              Roll The Dice are Peder Mannerfelt (who produces and performs live with Fever Ray and records as The Subliminal Kid) and Malcolm Pardon (who writes and records music for film and TV) . Their emotive and slightly unsettling compositions summon the ghosts in the machine, resonating with pure analogue depth. The album was recorded in their own studio, mixed at the remote Ocean Sound studio in Norway, and mastered and cut by Stefan Betke (Pole) in Berlin.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Darryl says: Roll The Dice push the kosmische buttons here with their evocative and emotive analogue grooves. Reminiscent of Tangerine Dream, and Manuel Gottsching in their 70s Krautrock pomp, as well as latter day soundscapers like Emeralds and Oneohtrix Point Never. Superb!

                                              Polar Bear With Jyager

                                              Common Ground

                                                "Common Ground" is a collaboration between Sebastian Rochford’s Polar Bear and young London hip-hop MC Jyager. This nine-track, 25-minute mini album is the follow up to the highly acclaimed fourth Polar Bear album "Peepers", their first for The Leaf Label. "Common Ground" strips down original tracks from "Peepers", using samples taken from a vinyl copy of the original album to build new compositions, and then adding Jyager’s unique flow.


                                                Efterklang

                                                Parades & Under Giant Trees - Special Edition

                                                  One of two double CD reissues containing Efterklang’s first two full-length albums, together with their accompanying Eps, in deluxe foldout card packaging with new 16-page booklets containing sleeve notes written by the band.

                                                  Watershed second album "Parades" is now joined by the long-deleted "Under Giant Trees" mini-album. This also features two live recordings of tracks from the album.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  CD1:
                                                  1. Polygyne
                                                  2. Mirador
                                                  3. Him Poe Poe
                                                  4. Horseback Tenors
                                                  5. Mimeo
                                                  6. Frida Found A Friend
                                                  7. Maison De Réflexion
                                                  8. Blowing Lungs Like Bubbles
                                                  9. Caravan
                                                  10. Illuminant
                                                  11. Cutting Ice To Snow

                                                  CD2:
                                                  1. Falling Horses
                                                  2. Himmelbjerget
                                                  3. Hands Playing Butterfly
                                                  4. Towards The Bare Hill
                                                  5. Jojo
                                                  6. Mirador (Live)
                                                  7. Cutting Ice To Snow (Live)

                                                  Vladislav Delay

                                                  Tummaa

                                                    After several years of releasing albums through his own Huume label, and following his part in the Moritz Von Oswald Trio album, producer Vladislav Delay joins The Leaf Label to release "Tummaa", his most organic, acoustic record to date. "Tummaa" sees him collaborate with celebrated Scottish soundtrack composer Craig Armstrong (on piano and Rhodes) and Argentine saxophonist / clarinetist Lucio Capece, with Ripatti returning to his background as a jazz drummer and percussionist. Ripatti's reputation as a genuine musical maverick precedes him, with venerated work as Delay, Luomo, Uusitalo and with partner Antye Greie as AGF/Delay.


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