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THE MIDNIGHT

'Beyond The Midnight Sun' expands upon ground first explored on Don Leisure's track 'All Praises Due', which also featured Amanda (with Angel Bat Dawid), and featured on his previous album 'Shaboo Strikes Back'. This is a full-length project that these two formidable Welsh artists have collaborated on together.

To bring you up to speed, Cardiff DJ and beat-maker Don Leisure has been twice nominated for the Welsh Music Prize, with the afore-mentioned album 'Shaboo Strikes Back', and a previous project, 'Steel Zakusi'. As well as being 50% of Darkhouse Family with Earl Jeffers, he's released music under various monikers on labels such as Metalheadz, International Anthem, Fat City, Earnest Endeavours, Group BraCil and on Rough Trade with another regular collaborator, Gruff Rhys. Other collabs have included Charlotte Church, Om'Mas Keith, DJ Spinna and First Word label-mate Tyler Daley (Children of Zeus).

His DJ portfolio includes sets for BBC 6 Music, NTS, Rinse FM, Solid Steel, Boxout FM (India), The Jazz Cafe, Fabric and Boiler Room, while previous support has come from Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, Huw Stephens, Lefto, Rob Da Bank, Huey Morgan, Jon1st, Om Unit, Kid Fonque, Mr Thing and many more. His album 'Shaboo' was named "the best album of its kind since J Dilla's 'Donuts'" by Piccadilly Records.

Joining him throughout this project, we have the pleasure of welcoming the phenomenal talents of highly-acclaimed harpist Amanda Whiting to the First Word label. A virtuoso in her field, this classically trained musician quickly established herself as an essential player in the UK jazz scene, carving her unique sound following the paths forged by Ashby and Coltrane.

She's toured extensively with her own band, as well as with Matthew Halsall, Chip Wickham, DJ Yoda and Rebecca Vasmant, whilst previously releasing three solo albums on Jazzman Records, and a remix project for Scrimshire's Albert's Favourites imprint. Along the way, there's been a nomination for 'Instrumentalist of the Year' from Jazz FM and she's garnered the support of DJs such as Radio 2's Jamie Cullum ("highly recommended") and 6 Music's Cerys Matthews ("my highlight of the Cheltenham Jazz festival 2023").

Don explains more…

"The project is a journey down the road that was revealed to me on 'All Praises Due' on 'Shaboo Strikes Back'. Amanda's willingness and eagerness to continue collaborating was a dream come true. Being able to get harp parts from someone who is so open minded is such a rare treat that a deeper project was inevitable.

I wanted to move in a different direction from the beat tape format on my previous releases while still maintaining the core Don Leisure sound, fused with live instrumentation and vocals etc".

The talents of Deborah Jordan are also featured on a couple of the album's tracks. Deborah is a stalwart in the UK soul and jazz scene in her own right, working over the years with artists like 4Hero, Bugz In The Attic, Ty, Jneiro Jarel, K15, Robert Mitchell and Kaidi Tatham (someone who's collaborated with all the players on this release at some point).

'Beyond The Midnight Sun' is a 7-track affair comprised of delectable spiritual jazz fused with hip hop beats, psychedelic electronics and a touch of soul.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: A beautifully rendered mix of chilled lounge percussion and downbeat atmospherics with Whiting's beautiful harp floating atop the deep roots. It's propulsive and dynamic without being frantic, calm without being one-dimensional. Gorgous psychedelic nu jazz flavours in a beautiful package.

TRACK LISTING

1. Walk With Us (feat. Amanda Whiting)
2. Just Be (Free) [feat. Amanda Whiting & Deborah Jordan]
3. The First Chant (feat. Amanda Whiting)
4. Beyond The Midnight Sun (feat. Amanda Whiting)
5. Peace Of Mind (feat. Amanda Whiting & Deborah Jordan)
6. Crying Tiger (feat. Amanda Whiting)
7. Third Bass (feat. Amanda Whiting)

Doxa Sinistra

The Other Stranger / Strange

Mysterious Dutch outfit Doxa Sinistra have been operating on the fringes of the industrial-experimental and sound collage tape scenes since the very early 1980s. Their output has long been coveted by fans of DIY and left-field music since their earliest transmissions, and this featured 1983 recording 'The Other Stranger' might well be one of their most known. A truly strange offering, the track is a cascading acidic and minimal stripped piece, bathed in disparate resonant sample sources that could possibly have been recorded straight from the TV set. Nobody really knows what it all means, but it doesn't matter as the end result is an engaging mesmerising hypnagogic masterpiece of sampling and rhythmic free sound. A true classic from the outer reaches of electronic music.

Midnight Drive label owner Brian Not Brian featured 'The Other Stranger' on his now infamous 'Holywell Session' cassette tape for the sadly missed Blackest Ever Black ever label in 2014, and the track was also a highlight of Boards Of Canada's cult 'Societas X Tape' for NTS in 2019. This special 7" vinyl only edition also features the more stripped back rhythm track version entitled 'Strange' on the b-side that is a slightly longer mix with a different arrangement and no samples, letting the minimalist acid and drum machine workout unfurl at its own steady woozy pace. This is the first time both versions have been remastered and have appeared together as a single and it is presented here with the blessing and involvement of Doxa Sinistra.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Batshit genius from these mythical Dutch industrialists. Cultishly coveted by those who know it; I can't think of any other record quite like it.

TRACK LISTING

A. The Other Stranger
B. Strange 

Clive Stevens And Brainchild

Mystery Man - Inc. Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold Remix

The third release on Midnight Drive takes us back to the heady days of 1984, New York City. We find Clive Stevens, a UK born saxophonist, producer, writer and poet at the helm of a truly staggering cast of international musicians known as 'Brainchild', recording an LP entitled 'Semjase' for Brazilian label Vôo Livre. The LP featured incredible session musicians whose CV's include work with some of the biggest names in popular music including Chic, Kate Bush, Miles Davis, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and more (the list is endless). One track from this fairly obscure LP - 'Mystery Man' - somehow managed to find its way into the hands of the one and only Daniele Baldelli, who swiftly turned it into a cosmic classic. Present and correct on a number of the cosmic tapes, "Mystery Man" is a truly unique record melding electro-style programming, live percussion, synthesizers and vocals into a blistering slow motion disco jam that'll have you dancing like a loon and scratching your head trying to work out when, where and how it was made. Not content with offering us ucky bunch a first official reissue of this classic, Midnight Drive procured the original 1984 session parts from Clive himself, enabling a brand new remix from Gerry Rooney and Joel Martin aka Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold. Stretching the track to new tripped out heights, Gerry and Joel transform the cosmic roller into a dreamy and dubby tropical pop killer perfect for your next Balearic dancefloor set.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Holy interplanetary beach resort Batman! Midnight Drive pluck one of the finest Cosmic classics from the Baldelli tapes and deliver a first official reissue of the mega "Mystery Man". Alongside the original mix of this totally tropical electro-funk killer we get the dubby delight of a brand new extension from Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold. Top one!

TRACK LISTING

A. Mystery Man (Disco Mix) 
B. Mystery Man (Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold Special Disco Mix) 

The Cult

Under The Midnight Sun

    The Cult has reveled in a storied career. From the pre-millennial iconic Love album bursting with idealism and the full on blast of 2001’s Beyond Good & Evil to the recent biting truth of Hidden City, the band has lived their art. How the future unfolds will be decided in part by current culture's response and the group’s response. One thing is for sure, The Cult will respond. It’s what they do.

    TRACK LISTING

    1 Mirror
    2 A Cut Inside
    3 Vendetta X
    4 Give Me Mercy
    5 Outer Heaven
    6 Knife Through Butterfly Heart
    7 Impermanence
    8 Under The Midnight Sun

    The Midnight

    Heroes

      On their new album, ‘Heroes’, The Midnight fuse cinematic synths, arena rock chords and euphoric pop hooks with slivers of Springsteen. It’s an album that celebrates our connected nature, the way we overcome loss by coming together under one sky and singing songs at the top of our lungs.

      Launched by the propulsive jolt of guitar-laden singles like ‘Change Your Heart or Die’ and lauded as “one of the next iconic rock acts of the generation,” having sold out O2 Brixton Academy in May of this year, The Midnight’s new era is their biggest and boldest yet.

      For fans of The War On Drugs, CHVRCHES, DON BROCO, Bruce Springsteen, Muse, ‘Stranger Things’ OST.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Golden Gate
      2. Brooklyn. Friday. Love.
      3. Heartbeat
      4. A Place Of Her Own
      5. Heroes
      6. Heart Worth Breaking
      7. Loved By You
      8. Aerostar
      9. Change Your Heart Or Die
      10. Avalanche
      11. Souvenir
      12. Photograph
      13. Energy Never Dies, It Just Transforms

      Various Artists

      Midnight Massiera: The B-Music Of Jean Pierre-Massiera - 2022 Reissue

        Eighteen sacred psychedelic suppositories from the laboratory of mad scientist and scalpel-happy pop mutilator Jean-Pierre Massiera. Includes the rarest and most sought after fuzz funk, spooked surf and interplanetary prog from ‘The French Joe Meek’ and all his schizoid splitpersonalities and freakish friends - The Maledictus Sound, Chico Magnetic Band, Visitors, Human Egg, The Pirhana Sound and Jesus himself.

        Let Finders Keepers introduce you to some old friends of theirs - Charlie Mike Sierra, Jean-Pierre Areisam, JPM and Co. Erik, The Horrific Child, Jesus, Les Maledictus Sound, Human Egg... This might sound like they’re flicking through the imaginary LP racks in the record shop from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ or perhaps congratulating the runners up in a Halloween fancy dress competition but for the previously uninitiated you have just been ordained into the congregation of the many split personalities of one Mr. Jean-Pierre Bernard Massiera. Bow down to the nine-headed monster as he mutates and shape-shifts back through time to his humble beginnings in a Buenos Aires province ravaging and pillaging the music of the European people for his own twisted benediction along the way.

        This might, as intended, sound a little bit dramatic but if there is one single ingredient that gives the eccentric Jean-Pierre Massiera his distinct flavour it’s a large dollop of drama. Add sprinklings of schizophrenia, shock, myth and macabre and you are on the way to a Bmovie broth with an acquired taste that has, like all the best cheese, taken over thirty years to mature to perfection. Like all the best monsters, his split personality is the key to his infamy and the secret of his blood sucking success.

        This is why Jean-Pierre Massiera is (un)commonly known for two key periods in his career which, like a worm, can be split down the middle to thrive and flourish independently. To cut a long story short, Massiera is, above all, a lover and purveyor of musique fantastique, and is willing and able to hijack whichever stylistic vehicle that passes him buy in order to do feed his lust. In the earlier part of his career he honed his sordid craft amongst psychedelic circles in Nice and Quebec. From late 1972 onwards he moved to Antibes and started a disco revolution and became an in demand cosmic record producer. For years, prog rock obsessives and disco aficionados have wondered if there was two unrelated freak merchants called Jean-Pierre Massiera but, in this rare instance, exploito-maniacs from both sides of the cosmic coin are united by the work of this singular, single-handed monstrous music manufactory.

        Remastered and available once again on deluxe black vinyl since the initial Finders Keepers limited edition 2009 pressing.

        TRACK LISTING

        Visitors - Visitors
        S.E.M. Studios - Ivresse Des Profondeurs
        Jesus - L’Electrocute
        Les Chats - Bizarre
        The Starlights - Mao Mao
        Basile - Itubo Del Anno
        Chico Magnetic Band - Pop Or Not
        Les Maledictus Sound - Kriminal Theme
        Jesus - Songe Mortuaire
        Basile - Engins Bizarres
        Human Egg - Onomatopaeia
        Les Monegasques - Psychose
        Chris Gallbert - Sing Sing
        Hermans Rockets - Space Woman
        Piranhas - La Turbie Pirhanienne
        Human Egg - Egg
        Les Maledictus Sound - Inside My Brain
        After Life - (Le Secret De) La Vieille Dame

        Norfolk & Midnight Love

        Mamas Baby Boy / You Are My Doll Baby

        One of America's finest guitarists, Gordon Banks is most well known as Marvin Gaye's tour bass player in the 70s and co-writer in the 80s (as well as becoming his brother-in-law). He has also played with New Birth, Edwin Hawkins & Gladys Knight & The Pips. Norfolk and Midnight love were Gordon's post Marvin (Passed in 84) local bands, these two tracks were recorded between 86-88. You can hear Gordon's writing skills coming through with a far more late 80s pop vibe, like late Marvin joints, which I love.

        Personally it's an honour to work with such a huge talent, Gordon's bass playing on 'Life is For Learning' still give me goosebumps every time.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Millie says: Disco heaven with Norfolk & Midnight Love seven, loved up soulful happiness pressed on wax right here for your listening pleasure. A welcomed reissue of these two tracks, more where that came from please

        TRACK LISTING

        1. You Are My Doll Baby
        2. Mamas Baby Boy

        Midnight Sister

        Painting The Roses

          As Midnight Sister, multi-disciplinary LA artists Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian make motion pictures. Yes, sometimes with moving images - but most often only with the music they create together. Balouzian’s serpentine, string compositions are movie scenes that allow Giraffe, a brilliant character actor, to cloak herself in a new roles and voices. A bit of Jon Brion’s score work; some old Hollywood strings; a solid dose of glam and outsider disco from 70s independent cinema. Any perceived artifice is always matched by an indelible human fingerprint, something perfectly off. Giraffe and Balouzian’s respective work in fashion, visual art, video and film scoring - along with the gang of virtuosos with which they surround themselves - all wonderfully coalesce as Midnight Sister. If 2017’s ‘Saturn Over Sunset’ was their collection of short films about outcast life in The San Fernando Valley, then their new album ‘Paining The Roses’ is the inventive, meta motion picture that cements them as auteurs.

          ‘Painting The Roses’ is in many ways a fairy tale -- not so much the sweet-and-happy ending kind as something richer, packed with imagination and rooted in the complex human messiness beneath a story’s artifice. Frontwoman Giraffe describes it as “this tightrope of being real yet synthetic, organic yet staged, light yet dark, logical yet irrational, beautiful yet dilapidated. Joyful nonsense.” Here, disguises like masks and paint are not meant to hide but to liberate, to “set a part of us free” and Midnight Sister often embody this themselves, appearing highly stylized, curious, warm and inviting but a little askew. ‘Painting the Roses’ is a story told through the looking glass, one where we examine ourselves in a funhouse mirror but find clarity in its twists.

          Giraffe travelled to visit family in Argentina during the making of the album and reconnected greatly with that part of her family history, art and culture. Balouzian created the core album opener ‘Doctor Says’ during a session in the desert outside of LA. The guitar, which reminded Giraffe of South America, has a slow, sweltering surf-tango to it, like Dick Dale doing Carlos Gardel. And even though the song was inspired by Giraffe’s reconnection with Argentina, the song is about the fading of some close friendships during the making of the album. “Man, you have changed,” Giraffe sings, unclear if it’s directed to a friend or to herself.

          TRACK LISTING

          Doctor Says
          Satellite
          Foxes
          Sirens
          Escalators
          Dearly Departed
          Tomorrowland
          My Elevator Song
          Wednesday Baby
          Limousine
          Song For The Trees
          Painting The Roses

          Local band The Grey Skys make their vinyl debut on Midnight Hallucination. Two track 7" produced by Daniel Rowley and mastered by Chris Hughes (Courteeners, Pete Doherty & Peter Hook).

          Stylistically landing somewhere between Arctic Monkeys, Hey Bulldog and the afremonetioned Courteeners, with a kinda abstract yet tangible commentry guiding the lyrics. Stick it on at your next indie dance party and watch them jive!




          TRACK LISTING

          A. Lever
          B. Dance Dance

          Frightened Rabbit

          Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of The Midnight Organ Fight

            Context to ‘Tiny Changes: A celebration of the Midnight Organ Fight’:

            Before Scott died, an idea was formed to celebrate 10 years of their seminal album The Midnight Organ Fight by asking some of their talented buds in music to take a crack at their own versions of a song on the album. The whole album was recorded and was due to be released last summer, but then unfortunately Scott passed away last May.

            The band have decided they still want to release the record as a testament to the album, and to Scott. It’s going to be released on 12th July via Atlantic, and the band are going to be very much behind the release

            History of the band:

            Frightened Rabbit are a Scottish indie rock band from Selkirk, formed in 2003. Initially a solo project for vocalist and guitarist Scott Hutchison, the line-up currently consists of Grant Hutchison (drums), Billy Kennedy (guitar, bass), Andy Monaghan (guitar, keyboards), and Simon Liddell (guitar). From 2004 the band were based in Glasgow.

            Frightened Rabbit's first studio album, Sing the Greys, was recorded as a duo by the Hutchison brothers, and released on independent label Hits the Fan in 2006. The band subsequently signed to Fat Cat Records, in 2007, and became a three-piece with the addition of guitarist Billy Kennedy for its second studio album, The Midnight Organ Fight (2008). The album was released to strongly positive reviews and extensive touring, with guitarist and keyboardist Andy Monaghan joining the band to flesh-out its live performances.

            The band's third studio album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, was released in 2010, with former Make Model guitarist Gordon Skene joining the band for its accompanying tour. Frightened Rabbit signed to Atlantic Records later that year, and issued two EPs, A Frightened Rabbit EP (2011) and State Hospital (EP) (2012), before the release of its fourth studio album, Pedestrian Verse in 2013. A critical and commercial success in the UK, the album peaked at number nine on the UK Albums Chart, with additional guitarist Simon Liddell joining the band on its subsequent tour.

            Disillusioned from touring, Hutchison, Monaghan, and Liddell recorded a studio album without the band, entitled Owl John (2014). Gordon Skene departed from the band in early 2014, and the band recorded Painting of a Panic Attack the following year with producer Aaron Dessner (The National), in New York, with Liddell joining the band as a full contributing member.

            Scott Hutchison died in May 2018 after going missing. In December 2018, the remaining members of the band played together for the first time since Hutchison's death, at a charity gig in Glasgow.


            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: There is no better a dedication to a hugely talented songwriter and superb band than a variety of artists covering your songs and retaining all of the appeal they held in the first place. From huge, folk crescendos and punky drive to gently electronic shimmerers and gently throbbing ambience, this has everything, and goes to show how timeless Scott Hutchison's writing is. Gorgeous.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. The Modern Leper – Biffy Clyro
            2. I Feel Better – Oxford Collapse
            3. Good Arms Vs Bad Arms - Fiskur
            4. Fast Blood – Right On Dynamite
            5. Old Old Fashioned – Josh Ritter
            6. The Twist – Wintersleep
            7. Bright Pink Bookmark – Peter Katis
            8. Head Rolls Off – Craig Finn
            9. My Backwards Walk – Katie Harkin & Sarah Silverman
            10. Keep Yourself Warm – Benjamin Gibbard
            11. Extrasupervery – Jeff Zeigler
            12. Poke – Daughter
            13. Floating In The Forth – The Twilight Sad
            14. Who’d You Kill Now – Aaron Dessner & Lauren Mayberry
            15. The Modern Leper – Julien Baker
            16. The Twist – Piano Bar Fight
            17. My Backwards Walk – Manchester Orchestra

            The Buttertones

            Midnight In A Moonless Dream

              The first word of the album says it all: 'Bang!' On their new album Midnight In A Moonless Dream the Buttertones dig deep and discover something dark. Where their previous album Gravedigging played like the soundtrack of a good spaghetti-western heist movie, Midnight moves to the dark cityscapes of '70s New York and tells the story itself - a perfect and intricate crime executed by a crew of professionals under cover of night; a biting sound befitting of CBGB's while staying true to their LA roots. There are echoes of Suicide and Bauhaus, nods to the spirit of sax and violence that powered the Deadbeats. Midnight is music made for dancers but also for doomed romancers that will appeal to fans of The Cramps, The Gun Club, Car Seat Headrest, Black Lips, King Tuff, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall,
and Parquet Courts. Released on Innovative Leisure, the LA label that also brought you the Allah-Las, BADBADNOTGOOD, Hanni El Khatib, Nick Waterhouse, and more.

              For fans of The Cramps, The Gun Club, Car Seat Headrest, Black Lips, King Tuff, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts

              TRACK LISTING

              1. At The Dojo
              2. Baby C4
              3. Midnight In A Moonless Dream
              4. Old Nick's Still Got It
              5. Winks And Smiles
              6. Don't Cry Alone
              7. Jungle
              8. Darling, I Need Time But Don't Really Know Why
              9. You And Your Knife
              10. Brickhead
              11. Eros

              Skullflower

              Werecats Powers Of The Crossroads At Midnight

                The continuation of the audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt: the shadow stuff from whence dark dreams come. The Triad: dark, light and the animating serpent power are delineated by the Egyptian Gods Set, Horus and the Apep serpent. The second parting of the ways, lord of the crossroads, the double horizon, the xroads of day and night, the mauve zone, the death posture. We brought back: a twilight mechanism, and hymns to the charnel ground, ashes, jackals and the bulto hyaena, pacing the departure lounges of abandoned airports. Matthew Bower & Samantha Davies West Yorks, UK Winter Solstice Evening 2017 

                TRACK LISTING

                A1:We Move On Points Of Shattered Mirrors
                B1:Charnel Ground
                B2:Departure Lounge 

                St Gregory Orange

                Midnight At The Sycamore Lounge

                  A work of wonder and endlessly collapsing beauty from one of the country’s most unique and engaging bands' - Rhubarb Bomb.

                  'The sparkle of this album is it's ability to create their own universe...an album that is at times difficult, frequently clever and above all different.' - Neon Filler.

                  'If Pulp and Arab Strap had a child, then this would be it.' - Bubblegunked.

                  'St Gregory Orange have produced an album that's something more than the sum of it's influences.' - Tasty Fanzine.

                  'An excellent record...keeps you entertained for the duration.' - Improperganda.

                  The Kills

                  Midnight Boom

                    The eagerly anticipated "Midnight Boom" sees The Kills offering their most stunning album yet. The production on this album, featuring beats and studio smarts from Spank Rock's producer Alex Epton aka Armani XXXchange, combined with Alison's confidently teasing vocals, creates a truly forward thinking, fresh new sound for the band. Taking inspiration from Pizza Pizza Daddio, a Sixties documentary about kids in inner-city schools in the USA, The Kills' Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart started building rhythms influenced by the children's dark playground songs, on an old school hand-punched MPC-60 hip hop drum sequencer. The results are shown in some of the hypnotic original tracks on the album, like "Cheap And Cheerful".


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