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The Norman Records Top 50s of 2013

OK, so the year isn't yet done and in theory the best record of 2013 could well be released after this list of ours has been published. Blame Father Christmas and his lazy elves for making it commercially unviable for the music industry to release stuff in December.

Anyway, here's the best and most important music that we've heard this year so far. We've even prepared a Songdrop mix of the whole lot for you. Have a listen »

A quick word about our Album Of The Year. If the polarisation of opinion within Norman Records about this one is reflected outside Norman Records, you will either hate it or you will love it. This is not a record we all agree on. It's not even one where we've all 'agreed to disagree'. Several members of staff think it's genius. Several members of staff think that Phil has lost his marbles in choosing this as the official Norman Records AOTY and want nothing to do with it. We leave it to you, gentle listener, to decide.

Oh, and after you've done with this list of our why not go and check out The Quietus Albums Of The Year 2013, many of which you can buy from this page?

1. Album Of The Year!

Sleaford Mods
Austerity Dogs

Nobody loves me. Be the 1st...

10/10 according to our Nathon

Months ago, back when I first started seeing this album on this site, I had it judged by its cover, title and band name. "Brilliant," I thought, "more wannabe 'Mod' twats selling that line about how important it is in working class culture to wear a sharp coat." Fully expecting it to contain the latest forgettable rehash of crappy Mod nostalgia, with some lazy political observations thrown in, I got mildly annoyed...until I read the press release, and got interested. Sometimes press r…view full details.

2.

Hookworms
Pearl Mystic

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10/10 according to our Mike

Finally, it’s here! The record you’ve all been waiting for ever since that first EP/mini-album dropped on Sun Ark, Leeds’s very own Hookworms have their debut full-length LP ‘Pearl Mystic’ out on the ever-reliable Gringo. Recorded at his own Suburban Home studio by Hooklord MJ, the quintet have taken their time to craft an absolutely monumental debut album of …view full details.

3.

Holden
The Inheritors

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Ever since our office promo of the new Holden album turned up it’s never been too far from the office stereo, since it’s one of the rare records that everyone here can agree on - a lengthy voyage of finely detailed analogue synths, stumbling beats and occasionally surprising instrumentation (check out that sax duet in ‘The Caterpillar’s Intervention’!) with so much going on over such a long period of time that I’ve reall…view full details.

4.

Parquet Courts
Light Up Gold

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10/10 according to our Mike

I’m convinced this lot have impressed me before somewhere but this seems to be the first of their records we’ve stocked so who knows where I previously encountered them. That’s not important, though. What’s important is that we’ve got their debut LP right here in our office to sell to you, and it’s really good. They’re one of those bands who throw together a hundred different influences into something which sounds deceptively casual.In ess…view full details.

5.

These New Puritans
Field of Reeds

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Okay, stop right there. Take everything you think you know about These New Puritans, throw it in the waste paper basket and let’s start again. One of my bigger gripes about modern day popular music is the lack of risk taking, the consensus seeming to be find your signature sound, spend the remainder of your career making paler versions of it and repeat ad nauseum. Not everybody of course, but too many for my liking. You could writ…view full details.

6.

Thee Oh Sees
Floating Coffin

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10/10 according to our Mike

We have a dilemma here at Norman Towers this week - do we award our coveted Album of the Week trophy to The Knife’s ambitious and sprawling new 3LP masterpiece or this latest offering from Californian garage rock overlords Thee Oh Sees? The notoriously prolific quartet have really been adding a bit of extra polish to their previously rough-around-the-edges recordings and this new album takes that to the next …view full details.

7.

The Haxan Cloak
Excavation

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9/10 according to our Ant

The cover on this looks uncannily like a Prurient sleeve, an indicator to the darkness that lurks within. This is the follow up to the well received self titled debut from Bobby Krilc on Aurora Borealis. An album high in many of 2012’s end of year lists. Imagine the slow motion dread of Wolf Eyes combined with the gloomy, doomy bass emissions of an even slower S…view full details.

8.

Forest Swords
Engravings

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

I just listened to the execrable new album from Money, or at least as much of it as the office could bear before Phil insisted I switch it off some way into track four. My despair has been eased somewhat by the fact that I have this absolute corker of a new album by Forest Swords to follow it up with, though. I’ve been saving it for such an occasion where the endless review slog descends into such drivel that it causes …view full details.

9.

Tropic of Cancer
Restless Idylls

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10/10 according to our Brian

I don't really know whether Henry Miller was an influence insofar as their elegantly alluring moniker goes but this increasingly renowned LA-based artist Camella Lobo somehow produces incredibly erotic and sensual music from the most spartan ingredients. Shame all her lyrics are about death, loss, depression and such cheery romance-slaying issues. Call it post-romantic if you will, a stripped-back doom-laden aura that has enveloped our musical souls in the past few years, fitting beau…view full details.

10.

Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld
Still Smiling

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

The promo for this album turned up a few years ago and has been on fairly regular rotation here at Norman Towers ever since, with former Einsturzende Neubauten/Bad Seeds character Blixa Bargeld teaming up with Italian composer Teho Teardo for a collection of dusky chamber pop with Bargeld singing in both English and German at different points. Phil is saying that it…view full details.

11.

Fuzz
Fuzz

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10/10 according to our Mike

Those of you who were a little put off by Ty Segall’s recent slow-down on the dreamy ‘Sleeper’ can put away your tissues and put on your air guitar shoes because Segall’s new trio Fuzz finally drop their debut LP on In The Red this week and it’s an acrobatic blast of blown-out ‘70s-worship the like of which the world has never seen the like of which. This is …view full details.


12.

Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest

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9/10 according to our Phil

I’ve been waiting far too long for this moment being a massive fanboy but finally I get to hear the long awaited Boards of Canada album! I found ‘Campfire Headphase’ a bit of a letdown (after liking pretty much every single track they did beforehand) so I’m hoping ‘Tomorrow‘s Harvest’ is gonna do the biz. In the run up to this I’ve been listening to the old albums again and ‘Campfire’ sou…view full details.

13.

Joanna Gruesome
Weird Sister

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9/10 according to our Brian

"Heard it all before blah blah blah". I'd like to be all "whatevers" about this album but it's so damn lovable and exuberant that I'd feel like some schoolyard shithead that's just knocked the specs off some poor shy kid and stolen his Monster Munch. I'd feel bad if I accused them merely of aping early Pains of Being Pure at Heart and my beloved old Swirlies from Boston. So yeah, I've heard American…view full details.

14.

Fuck Buttons
Slow Focus

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10/10 according to our Mike

Four years ago Fuck Buttons proved their phenomenal debut album was no fluke with a similarly amazing Weatherall-produced effort, and now for the first time they’re producing themselves on album number three, ‘Slow Focus’, further refining their uniquely accessible blend of ambient noise, overloaded analogue, subtly euphoric melodies and grinding buried beats. It doesn’t tak…view full details.

15.

Factory Floor
Factory Floor

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10/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Oh! Here’s the record that many of us have been waiting for for literally years. Yes, after what seems like an age of just putting out limited singles and EPs Factory Floor have finally taken the plunge and done a full-length album. My knowledge about the dance musics is limited, and countless column inches have been written about this band already by people far more clued up than me, but it has come to me to write a few words about it so I will do my…view full details.

16.

My Bloody Valentine
m b v

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9/10 according to our Clinton

It was the “where were you moment” for the ‘Loveless’ generation when My Bloody Valentine finally, halfway through Match Of The Day, decided enough is enough, it’s coming out. At no point in the last 20 years did such a thing seem remotely possible. A quote from a friend about Kevin Shields' state of mind circa early-2000s, “That man will not make a record for a very long time”, seemed to confirm that t…view full details.

17.

Hacker Farm
UHF

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10/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Hacker Farm are a Somerset collective of experimental electronic mavericks who have been raising all the right eyebrows lately with their spooky glitchtronic pastoral weirdness. In my haste to listen to all the other records I actually missed out on last year’s debut, but their new offering ‘UHF’ has sucked me right in to their demonic psychotronic soundworld.The textures on this mysterious CD range from…view full details.

18.

Laurel Halo
Chance Of Rain

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10/10 according to our Brian

Quite a stylistic departure from her last celebrated long player is 'Chance of Rain', the new freaky stylus-eater to burst forth from the excitable neurons of Ms. Halo, NY’s gorgeous queen of warped techno. There's not any vocals for a start and the whole shebang initially stumbles into the arena of our minds with a woozy jazz funk keyboard vignette that suggests there may be some real unexpected shizzle going down over the next 40 minutes or so. So there i…view full details.

19.

Grouper
The Man Who Died In His Boat

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9/10 according to our Brian

Well it's always nice when an artist you love casually unearths an entire album of unreleased material. Liz Harris is a favourite of many of us here, we love her somnolent ethereal ghost-folk and grainy drone-scapes to bits. As these tunes are from the 'Dragging a Dead Deer...' sessions they fall largely in the former category and hence often sound a little like Low playing in a room two doors down in a virtually deserted h…view full details.


20.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Push The Sky Away

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9/10 according to our Mike

The evergreen Aussie troubadour Nick Cave is back this week with the latest offering from his all-star Bad Seeds. This one is based on a notebook of observations he made from the window of his Brighton home, and is largely comprised of introspective, moody and often heartfelt numbers which showcase Cave’s downbeat skills in a way comparable to albums like ‘No More Shall We Part’ or ‘Nocturama’, but often with some subtle electron…view full details.

21.

Kurt Vile
Wakin On A Pretty Daze

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8/10 according to our Mike

I learned something today. I learned that Kurt Vile is not a pseudonym but in fact the actual name of popular singer and songwriter Kurt Vile. I know! Me neither! Anyway, Mr Vile’s got a new album out this week and he wants me to tell you about it. It’s called ‘Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze’ and it’s got 11 songs of masterfully hazy slacker pop, thankfully (in this writer’s opinion at least) stepping away from the …view full details.

22.

Oneohtrix Point Never
R Plus Seven

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10/10 according to our ReviewBot300

The prolific Daniel Lopatin is back this week with another Oneohtrix album, and this time he’s on Warp and I find myself in the difficult position of trying to describe this record in mere minutes. The friendly TNT delivery guy just helped me out a little bit by quipping “It’s like Jean Michel Jarre on acid” on his way out of the shop. He’s not far wrong. This …view full details.

23.

The Knife
Shaking The Habitual

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Oh gawd, look what I’ve landed on the review carousel today. None other than the welcome return of mysterious Swedish avant-techno-synth-poppers The Knife, a whopping seven years (is it really that long? I feel old) after their previous effort ‘Silent Shout’. Now I like The Knife as much as the next person (more, if said next person isn’t keen) but it’s a four-day week and this album is roughly one day long so writing any kind …view full details.

24.

Broadcast
Berberian Sound Studio

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Peter Strickland’s new film Berberian Sound Studio - a thriller centring around a foley artist working on a ‘70s giallo film - looks completely fascinating but sadly I’ve not seen it yet so I’m having to review this soundtrack out of context. Thankfully it’s a wonderful record in its own right so that shouldn’t be beyond me.As one might expect, there’s a big Italian horror influence thro…view full details.


25.

Anthroprophh
Anthroprophh

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9/10 according to our Mike

I know from our sales figures that a lot of you are already pretty into cult UK psych titans The Heads, so you probably don’t need me to tell you that Anthroprophh is the alter-ego of their visionary songwriter and axe-mangler Paul Allen, who here dishes out six lengthy tracks of krautrock-infused psychedelia which ranges from hard-riffing psych fuzz to burbling ritualistic mysticism like a trippy m…view full details.

26.

Autechre
Exai

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9/10 according to our Ian

Electronica legends Rob Brown and Sean Booth are back with their 11th long player and an extremely “long player” it is; clocking in at over two and a half hours it’s a pretty heavy listen! Over the last twenty years or so they have churned out some interesting works, some good and some not so good but this is real winner from start to finish in my mind.‘Exai’ is a mix of dark and light, ranging from pure Aphex acid &lsquo…view full details.


27.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
II

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8/10 according to our Brian

I'm the only person in this office who doesn't seem to like Tame Impala all that much, these fellow antipodeans are more my bag. Although they appear to plough a similar furrow of hazy psychedelic pop, Unknown Mortal Orchestra seem to be the more lo-fi, interesting proposition. That could start a war, eh? I'm all up for a fight. I don't think this is as immediate as their debut which came crashing into our office a couple of years back with its unusua…view full details.

28.

Lantern
Rock 'N' Roll Rorschach

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10/10 according to our Mike

Sophomore Lounge are an interesting label - they’re so dizzyingly diverse that every time we get something new from them I have to re-evaluate them, but more often than not I love what they’re bringing out, be it the anarchic noise punk of Tropical Trash or the clever confessional indie pop of Giving Up and Fat History Month or…view full details.

29.

Vision Fortune
Mas Fiestas con el Grupo Vision Fortune

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9/10 according to our Mike

Ah, what a treat! We were all well into Vision Fortune’s debut cassette a year or so back and now the hypno-punkers have got a full-length LP out, housed in one of the coolest sleeves I’ve seen in a while, with eight tracks each named with a Roman numeral. As a record it sucks you in with hypnotically repetitive dark post-punk reminiscent of the underappreciated Poison Arrows, before dumping you in a crumbling wasteland of analogue rumble and…view full details.

30.

Machinedrum
Vapor City

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Machinedrum has a long and varied history, initially pricking our then soft Norman ears years back with a kind of Prefuse 73 like avant-hop style that won him some of our very special plaudits. It wasn’t until 2011’s ‘Room(s)’ however that Machinedrum really hit paydirt and discovered a rag bag of a style all of his own. This bag includes elements of garage, techno, trance, house and dubstep all swirled…view full details.

31.

Mazzy Star
Seasons of Your Day

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8/10 according to our Clinton

Flicking to the reviews pages of The Guardian this morning, I was curious to see what their take was of Mazzy Star’s long awaited return. Instead their feature album is by Jessie J. What hope is there? Anyway the fact they gave the awful new MGMT record a good write-up shows that their opinion must be taken with a large dose of sodium sulphate. That said, there is a comically painful ‘interview’ where the jo…view full details.

32.

Zomby
With Love

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9/10 according to our Clinton

At last. When embarking on a reviewing marathon, it’s a challenge enough to try find a record you actually like. Phil has just wandered over with the new Zomby record. It’s a double album, 33 tracks and I have...what? 30 minutes to dissect it and tell you all about it. Luckily, my job has been made easier by the fact that it sounds abso-bloody-lutely brilliant. Zomby was one of the more peculiar signings to 4AD in recent years but his previous r…view full details.


33.

Colin Stetson
New History Warfare Vol. 3 : To See More Light

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9/10 according to our Mike

Sax machine Colin Stetson has been turning ever more heads of late with his innovative and unique playing style, and finally this week we have the third in his ‘New History Warfare’ trilogy available for your consumption, hot on the heels of his excellent collaboration with modern sax legend Mats Gustafsson. Those already familiar with the man’s work will already know to expect a tour de fo…view full details.

34.

Julianna Barwick
Nepenthe

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8/10 according to our Mike

The wonderful Julianna Barwick has a new album out this week, allowing me to start my day of reviews in uncontroversial territory as the sun streams through the windows and she bathes us in her ethereal loveliness. On this one she’s gone to Iceland to record with Alex Somers (Sigur Ros, Jonsi) and the press release informs me that members of Mum and …view full details.

35.

Plinth
Music For Smalls Lighthouse

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9/10 according to our Clinton

I utterly love the packaging on these Claypipe Records releases. This one comes in a lovely full colour sleeve with booklet complete with stories, illustrations, etc. Frances Castle’s illustrations are just gorgeous (she did the cover portrait on last week’s Music and Migration too) and I think I’d buy the record just to put the sleeve on the wall. Plinth have been a…view full details.

36.

Dirty Beaches
Drifters / Love Is The Devil

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Dirty Beaches, aka Alex Zhung Hungtai, has been peddling his own peculiarly murky brand of outsider analogue driftpop and reverb-drenched Suicidey paranoia for a few years now, reappropriating minimal analogue and rock’n’roll traditions into weird passages of blurred lo-fi nostalgia and intangible meditative darkness. Now on this sprawling double album he drops much of his crackling lo-fi guitar textures i…view full details.

37.

Sommet
Fugitive

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9/10 according to our Mike

Ooh, I’m liking this a lot. I don’t know a lot about Sommet and the press release isn’t giving a lot away but the sleeve to this LP indicates that this is the work of Clement Bonnet and Sebastien Rosat, who I’m assuming are French until instructed otherwise. They’ve pieced together seven tracks of pulsating soundtracky goodness using an impressive selection of classic synthesizers, and Desire Records have done those songs justice by…view full details.


38.

Roly Porter
Life Cycle Of A Massive Star

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9/10 according to our Ant

The space concept album is as old as time, from Holst, Louis & Bebe Barron, Jeff Mills, Jack Dangers, Lustmord, Nurse With Wound and so on. There’s been no shortage over the years but I’ve always got time for them. Especially in this case as I t…view full details.

39.

Rashad Becker
Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. I

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9/10 according to our Ant

I've been wildly curious about hearing this album after hearing Rashad Becker perform live at Islington Mill in Salford a few months ago. It was one of the strangest sounding performances I think I've ever heard live, unlike anything I think I've experienced before. Rashad Becker's name has been etched into the run out grooves of hundreds of records cut at Berlin's Dubplates and Mastering house where he works as mastering…view full details.

40.

Mount Kimbie
Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Despite its red herring sleeve featuring a big fat arse, Mount Kimbie’s ‘Crooks and Lovers’ was one of those slow burning classics, an unclassifiable post dubstep record which included elements of soulful hip hop and post-rock, whose deep late night atmospheres ingrained deeper into your soul on each spin. They’ve taken their time on the follow up but after a few initial misgivings it’s proving to be an extremely popular…view full details.

41.

The Pastels
Slow Summits

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9/10 according to our Ian

It’s been 16 long years since the last proper Pastels studio album, after an interesting collaboration with Japanese popsters Tenniscoats and ‘The Last Great Wilderness’ soundtrack, it’s great to see Glasgow’s finest back on true form. ‘Slow Summits’ seems to carry on exactly where they left off, perfect pop songs with that slight pinch of Jazz and a real back to basics approach…view full details.

42.

Vatican Shadow
Remember Your Black Day

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9/10 according to our Brian

Don't know why I grabbed the latest transmission from uber-dark noise puppy Dominick Fearn Cotton? NO! His general "furious hamster" demeanour and perpetual exploration of the darker side of life often leaves me feeling fairly bleaked out if I'm of a fragile state of mind, ie. most Autumn mornings. As it happens I'm erring on the perky 'n' pozzy side today, probably as I've not been wasting my life on Facebook or reading the world's media-rroeah for days, so yeah, I'm totally ready fo…view full details.

43.

The Oscillation
From Tomorrow

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9/10 according to our Brian

There's so much psychedelia and spacerock around these days I constantly feel like I'm on drugs man. Now Loop have reformed there's no escape, The Heads were once the un-coolest band in the UK, now they're the coolest. Too cool to play a country that once shunned them and laughed like schoolgirls at their hoary Hawkwind-meets-Sonic Youth style. They is having the last la…view full details.

44.

LA Machine
Phases & Repetition

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9/10 according to our Li'l Biz

I don’t hear phaser on drums as often as I’d like. I don’t know why it’s not common practice ‘cause it sounds sick. ‘Phases & Repetition’ starts with phased drums and a dub heavy Can groove possessing with it the promise of a classic from the outset. LA Machine don’t exist anymore but I’m sure back 1996 they were the unsung heroes of their local scene. Why? Because they somehow managed to make valid modern psy…view full details.

45.

Function
Incubation

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9/10 according to our Ant

David Sumner has been recording and releasing records as Function  since 1996 when he first emerged on fellow NYC techno don Damon Wild's Synewave label and later went on to spawn his Infrastructure New York label in 1998 with the release of  'The Dielectric Coefficient' which really blew me away at the time. He's been prolific in the 12" format but has never released an album as Function until now. His role as part of Sandwell District increase…view full details.

46.

M. Geddes Gengras
Collected Works Vol. 1, The Moog Years

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9/10 according to our Ant

Finally our copies of this absolute heart melting LP have arrived. M. Geddes Gengras has serious underground credentials, playing in LA Vampires, Pocahaunted, and Robedoor - and don't f…view full details.

47.

Maston
Shadows

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

...And here’s another psych-pop record, this time from Maston, Frank Maston, who approaches the ‘60s sound from a hazy, haunted angle which is reminding me a little of the cottony-sounding muffled airiness of Candy Claws squeezed into intelligible song structures with some cheeky instrumentation - nice little brass touches and crazy reverbed organ wheezes pipe up alongside the clearly enunciated vocals (there’s a touch of Scott Walker…view full details.

48.

Lawrence
Films & Windows

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10/10 according to our Brian

Been quite enamoured of this guy for a while, although his albums seem to be a little on the scarce side so I sadly don't own anything by him. However, this one is shaping up to be one of my favourite minimal albums of the modern age. Shaking off the old emo-house tag he and his own highly regarded Dial imprint once comically earned due to the graceful Autumnal melancholia of earlier releases, this beauty is inspired by cinema in all its forms and as such is…view full details.


49.

Amor De Dias
The House at Sea

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9/10 according to our Clinton

I’ve pulled back the blinds, the sun is streaming through and there is just the faintest glimpse that winter may be fading into a glorious spring. If that event does happen then I know exactly which album I will be sharing it with. First up, before we go any further this is a collaboration between Alasdair MacLean (The Clientele) and Spanish guitarist Lupe Núñez-Fernández. Now, I love The Clientele. I fell asleep the other nig…view full details.

50.

The Prophet Hens
Popular People Do Popular People

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Ah, this is what I’ve been after. The last few weeks have seen a slew of re-issues from bands of varying vintage emanating from New Zealand and they are all very good and we are always very nice and it’s good to see but it’s sooooo exciting to see a brand new band emerge out of the isle who, from the very first seconds, have everything intact to not only be able to compete with but to better their forefathers. The first time I heard this album I couldn’t believ…view full details.

1. Single Of The Year!

Fuck Buttons
The Red Wing

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Following on from the universally acclaimed ‘Tarot Sport’, Fuck Buttons are pushing their sound in new and challenging directions with this sonic spaghetti of a new single. The trancelike grooves have been replaced with something more choppy and schizoid. A peculiarly squeaky loop of synth squarks and drum is joined by the distinctive droned out fuzzy guitars and eventually layer upon layer of synths. It's like all t…view full details.

2.

Moin
EP

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9/10 according to our Phil

Moin AKA Raime have a new EP out following their split single with Pete Swanson. I don’t remember hearing that one so this is new music to my ears. I didn’t get the Raime album at all though so I’m not sure what to expect with this one. ‘Murphy’ is the opener and it’s a huge heavy syncopated repetitive slab of drumming which is the driving force of the tune. It’s smothered in disco…view full details.

3.

Mala
Changes (James Blake Harmonimix)

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9/10 according to our Mike

Here’s an exciting record which we probably won’t have on our shelves for very long - it’s a one-sided white label where two very different modern bass music icons meet head-to-head as James Blake mixes Mala’s ‘Changes’ - a mix which apparently was made almost three years ago but has only existed on dubplates up until now. It opens with some wibbly …view full details.

4.

Listening Center / Pye Corner Audio
Study Series 09 'Projections'

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9/10 according to our Ian

Ghost Box crack out another great Study Series seven incher, this time with New York's Listening Center. ‘Titoli’ is a super analogue synth pop tune in the same vein as one time Warp Records artists Plone or Jimi Tenor. It plonks along and sticks in your head without you even knowing it, a bossanova hi-hat shuffles along to a w…view full details.

5.

Morgan Delt
Barbarian Kings / Black Tuna Gang

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10/10 according to our Mike

This is deeply psychedelic. I’ve not come across Morgan Delt before today but I just put the needle down on this record and there’s all sorts of weirdness going on, backwards guitar melodies, crazy processed vocals and woozy rhythms kind of like Portishead and Candy Claws resculpting a Tame Impala or Connan Mockasin record, perhaps? There&rsqu…view full details.

6.

Goat
Stonegoat / Dreambuilding

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9/10 according to our Brian

Oh, hello! I’m sure Goat need no introduction by now since the blogs and broadsheets alike are in thrall to their unique blend of classic psych rock and rhythms, bursting onto the scene fully-formed with killer LP ‘World Music’ last year. After a select handful of ritualistic shows which saw the band performing in golden masks in a breathless voodoo carnival which really has to be seen to be believed, they’re back with another single on…view full details.


7.

Ghostwriter
Dimensions

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9/10 according to our Phil

Yo Yo Yo! I was most looking forward to this 7”. We got emailed about it, I got all excited, I got distracted by something shiny and then forgot about it, today it turns up and I’m excited again. It really happened just like that. This chap (Mark Brend) who’s an author and musician made a blinding CD on Second Language a coupla years ago. This is the first I’ve heard from him since and it features Jim ‘…view full details.

8.

Parquet Courts
Tally All the Things That You Broke

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9/10 according to our Brian

Our Mike was one of countless indie yank-rock aficionados who couldn't get enough of their smash hit second album 'Light Up Gold', the first to ignite hefty interest beyond their NY homebase. I was fairly impressed too as they mine a certain rough-hewn new wave slacker sound that's as familiar to me as it is engaging. This five track follow-up EP is cut very much from the same shambling melodic punky cloth, no wheel re-inventing here but who cares when there's such fun to be had eh? O…view full details.

9.

Jorge Elbrecht and Ariel Pink
Hang On to Life / No Real Friend

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9/10 according to our Li'l Biz

Can’t say I was over the moon with the last Ariel Pink record or the lacklustre gig I witnessed at the Brudenell last summer plus Mexican Summer ain’t the label it used to be so I’m looking on at this 7” (which ft. Violens’ Jorge Elbrecht) with deep suspicion. No disappointment pweese...I can’t take any more disappointment. Oh, it&rsqu…view full details.

10.

Death And Vanilla
From Above

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7” 45rpm single only. Blue Vinyl. Death And Vanilla followed up their first LP with more melodic 60’s psych- pop in the form of ‘From Above’. Originally released in 2013 the 7” came out on hand numbered red vinyl on Great Pop Supplement and was limited to 400 copies. It has been repressed twice each time selling out very quickly. Fire Records reissue the two-track ‘From Above’ on blue vinyl alongside Death And Vanilla’s debut sel…view full details.

11.

White Fence
Pink Gorilla

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Prolific garage psych dude Tim “White Fence” Presley is back with another 7” to get us all warmed up for his forthcoming album ‘Cyclops Reap’. On the A side there’s ‘Pink Gorilla’, which is classic White Fence - a tinny vocal line that sounds like it’s been phoned in, or perhaps hurriedly sung over the fence from next door’s garden, accompanies a slice of garagey psych-pop with clear British …view full details.

12.

Fuzz
Sleigh Ride/ You Won't See Me

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9/10 according to our Mike

Not satisfied with bestriding the garage rock world like a colossus with his solo work, Ty Segall has formed another band. This one’s called Fuzz and as you would expect they’re loud and distorted. I think Ty’s on drums this time round but I’m pretty sure he’s still singing. ‘Sleigh Ride’ is a bombastic chunk of stoned riff-rock like a more concise Heads or something, obnoxiously lo…view full details.

13.

The Declining Winter
Fragment#5

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9/10 according to our Ian

Here’s a new 10” by The Declining Winter who’ve been been away from the scene for couple of years at least. Lazy boys and girls!! Well now they are back and here’s a limited release which is part of a series of 12 records on French imprint Monopsone released in batches of three and this little beauty arrived with the Pan Aurora & Darko releases which C…view full details.

14.

Hookworms
Radio Tokyo

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9/10 according to our Mike

Currently riding high on a wave of critical and public acclaim, Leeds’ psychedelic heroes Hookworms return this week with a 7” on Too Pure featuring two brand new cuts not included on their ‘Pearl Mystic’ LP, which is a great album but lacking in obvious singles due to the drawn-out nature of their compositions. ‘Radio Tokyo’, then, is a pounding and concise bit of pop with call and response vocals, a catchy little …view full details.

15.

Dalglish
Venoyn

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9/10 according to our Ant

Chris Douglas makes a welcome return to his Dalglish handle with the first new material under the alias since 2011’s ‘Benacah Drann Deachd’ also on the Fluorescent Grey curated Record Label Records imprint. This 5 track 12” EP follows limite…view full details.

16.

Fuzz
Sunderberry Dream / 21st Century Schizoid Man

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9/10 according to our Mike

Ty Segall’s other band, Fuzz, drop 7” number three this week on In The Red. On the A side we’ve got ‘Sunderberry Dream’. Not too sure about the title, it seems a little like a Mighty Boosh-esque parody of flowery ‘60s psychedelia, but once you get past that you’ve got a big stomping dinosaur of a track waiting for you. It’s very much in the vein o…view full details.

17.

Anthony Naples
El Portal EP

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8/10 according to our ReviewBot300

We’ve got some very tasteful techno in this week from the mysterious Anthony Naples, last seen remixing Fourtet and this time showing off his minimal skills in a quartet of crisp, warm and restrained cuts that he made all by himself. The opening title track has womby synth drones and quite a lively beat, kind of a slight early Chicago house feel mixed with Germanic techno, while for the remainder of side A ‘Pueblo’ impresses wit…view full details.

18.

Temples
Colours To Life

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8/10 according to our Li'l Biz

Might as well not even bother reviewing this as it’s shitting out... If you managed to grab the coloured vinyl version you no doubt have a collector's item on your hands. Heavenly have managed to snag themselves the UK’s answer to Tame Impala, which is no bad thing really i guess. ‘Colour of Life’ is a bold psych-rock statement hinging on an absolutely massive Pink Floyd-esque orchestral synth sway and …view full details.

19.

Lone
Airglow Fires

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9/10 according to our Li'l Biz

The new Lone (a.k.a Matt Cutler) single is banging! If you thought last year’s ‘Galaxy Garden’ was killer then you’re totally gonna dig this. It takes the fundamental sonic template laid down on ‘GG’ and deconstructs the shit out of it introducing elements of hip-hop (there’s a tasty little break at the end just to reinforce the point) to the futuro-rave synths, abstracted afro-dance clusters and lush percussive hous…view full details.

20.

Klaus Johann Grobe
The Sound Of Salvation

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9/10 according to our Mike

Here’s a very limited 10” of very good krautrock from the young and mysterious Swiss duo Klaus Johann Grobe, who have come from nowhere with this homemade collection of repeato-pop gems which instantly ooze quality. The formula is pretty basic - simple, live drumbeats, warm and fruity bass loops, simple synth lines and detached Germanic vocals.It’s pretty well-worn territory in many respects, but there’s an infectious naive enthusiasm behind this, mixed wit…view full details.

21.

The Jellies
The Conversation

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9/10 according to our Li'l Biz

I’ve heard this track being talked up before and a rare treat it is too. Originally self released back in ‘81 this track is one of only two known recording by the group (the first ‘Jive Baby On A Saturday Night’ was re-released on Trunk a while back) and it’s an undeniable slice of bonged out funky post-punk goodness. Description? A simple bass/drum motif augmented with subtle sprinkles of wiry guitar plus a simple melodic female vocal hook, basically a skeletal …view full details.

22.

Inga Copeland
Don't Look Back, That's Not Where You're Going

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8/10 according to our Clinton

Nothing...Not. A. Sausage. No band name, no title. Just a picture of a girl. Please put your names on your records. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Any teaching assistants out there - do you despair when the children don’t have their names on their coats? Anyway I’m going to review it not knowing who it is, then I’m completely unbiased.The music is a strange burbling mess with fizzy synths playing a melody line as a kind of ‘hook&rsqu…view full details.

23.

The Dead Sea Apes & Black Tempest
The Sun Behind The Sun

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

At first I thought this record was a split between soundtracky doom-mongers Dead Sea Apes and cosmic tinkerer Black Tempest, but actually it’s a collaborative LP where everyone plays on all the songs. We just listened to the first side and I got so tranced out that I forgot to write anything, and now I don’t even remember what it sounds like. Proper hypno shit. I remember there was lots of repetition and dark psychedelic swooshy noises. Sort of …view full details.

24.

John Foxx & The Belbury Circle
Empty Avenues

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8/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Influential electronic pop veteran John Foxx teams up with Ghost Box’s finest on this latest EP, which sees Jim “Belbury Poly” Jupp and Jon “Advisory Circle” Brooks joining forces to back him as the Belbury Circle. It’s much more pop than I expected, with Foxx’s multitracked vocals taking the fore with bold harmonise…view full details.

25.

Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain
WWPRD

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Standing for “What Would Pussy Riot Do?” This is a call to arms from Jeffrey Lewis and pals for bands to think first before involving themselves in the likes of corporate sponsorship and basically not to snuggle up with “the man”. Back in the day, I remember being horrified that one of my favourite bands The Shins allowed their music to be used in a McDonalds ad and then Low g…view full details.

26.

SQURL
EP1

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9/10 according to our Mike

This is a picture disc which comes in a picture sleeve (and a very cool postcard as well) - you’ve got to admire the effort but an opaque sleeve does render the picture disc a little bit pointless. Still, who’s to quibble? It looks very nice, the price isn’t stupid, and what’s more it actually sounds good too! SQÜRL is Jim Jarmusch’s new band, a stoner-psych trio also featuring Carter Logan and Shane Stoneback, who mix sl…view full details.

27.

Powell
Fizz

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Here we have the latest EP from Oscar Powell who has caused a bit of commotion with his previous releases and this new one on Mute will live up to the excitement caused. He produces a kind of throbbing, technoid dark wave with pulsating bass and industrial clanks and fizzes running through. Its a pulsy, intoxicating brew which will appeal to fans of the original New York no wave scene but also more recent travellers in the genre such as Factory Floor…view full details.

28.

Meddicine / Vision Fortune
Split

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Here’s a split EP from the reliable Italian Beach Babes which pairs up analogue babe Meddicine with hypno-fuzzers Vision Fortune whose cassette debut so impressed us a few months ago. Apparently the Meddicine side showcases a warmer and more approachable side to her dark and damaged synth aesthetic but since I’ve not heard any of her previous stuff I’ll have to take their wor…view full details.

29.

Sauna Youth
False Jesii Pt. II / Oh Joel

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9/10 according to our Mike

Sauna Youth are one of the most interesting UK indie rock bands doing the rounds at the moment and I’m never really sure what to expect from them so imagine my surprise and delight when I started playing this 7” and it twigged that it’s a Pissed Jeans song! Not only that but this is done in a classic garage pop style with ‘60s girl ba…view full details.

30.

Helm
Silencer

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9/10 according to our Ant

Luke Younger follows up his excellent PAN debut album ‘Impossible Symmetry’ with his second release for the label. Here we have four trips further into darkened zones with the ‘Silencer’ white vinyl 12” in screen-printed PVC sleeve. Kicking off with with the downer tribalism of the title track coming across like the blackened zones of Raime or a …view full details.


31.

Cut Hands
Madwoman

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9/10 according to our Ant

Former Whitehouse speaker shredder William Bennett returns as Cut Hands following last years 12" for Blackest Ever Black and album for Very Friendly with the scorching Madwoman EP for none other than Downwards. Listening to 'Eat Them Like Bread' this makes perfect sense coming out on …view full details.

32.

Mark McGuire
The Instinct

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10/10 according to our Mike

Mark McGuire of Emeralds/Inner Tube/Mark McGuire fame is back this week with this LP on New Images which consists of two side-long meditations, ‘The Instinct’ and ‘New Adaptations (of the Human Spirit)’. I’m starting with side A, as any sensible person would. It opens with some of McGuire’s trademark palm-muted grooves building up a base of warm, head-nodding Dus…view full details.

33.

Teardrop Factory
Topshop EP

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Limited to just 300 copies, this is the debut effort from a Brighton group who are in thrall to all our sloppy indie rock heroes yet bring their own slant to the proceedings. Opener ‘Better Company’ is a tuneful little thing with a melodic resemblance to Buzzcocks’ ‘Ever Fallen in Love’ but with a neat chorus including some lovely reverbed female backing vocals - always a hit with me. The second track is sludgier with more o…view full details.

34.

Perc & Einstürzende Neubauten
Interpretations

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9/10 according to our Ant

Ginger scouser Cilla black sung “Life is full of surprises”. Well there are no surprise surprises here - when you read the names Perc and Einstürzende Neubauten on the same page you pretty much know what you’re getting - good heavy shit! Here Ali Wells reworks material from the 80’s Berlin industrial pioneers ‘Kollaps’ album into the kind of soun…view full details.

35.

Joanna Gruesome
Sugarcrush

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Joanna Gruesome’s ace debut LP ‘Weird Sister’ has been selling by the bucketload (and deservedly so), and they’re riding that wave of attention with another solid effort in the form of this 7” which features two live favourites from the indie popsters. ‘Sugarcrush’ is their regular set-closer, a peppy bit of ‘90s style indie rock like a girl-fronted Urusei Yatsura which d…view full details.

36.

L. Pierre
Surface Noise

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9/10 according to our Mike

Aidan Moffat’s most recent L Pierre album impressed me a lot, displaying a genuine knack for understated sampledelica in the former Arab Strap mumbler. On this 10” EP he celebrates surface noise in a six-movement suite of meticulously arranged samples of old vinyl with all its flickers and crackles, in a way which echoes both that most recent L. Pierre effort and also the ‘Good…view full details.

37.

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats
Poison Apple

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8/10 according to our Mike

Here’s the new single from the elusive and heavily hyped Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats (are they just calling themselves Uncle Acid now?), ahead of next month’s new album. ‘Poison Apple’ is led by a heavy stomping glam riff and some sweet vocal harmonies. The things which instantly spring to mind are golden-era Slade and ‘Elephant’ by Tame Impala, but maybe a littl…view full details.

38.

Bikes
Ocean Penis / Can't Wait

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10/10 according to our Mike

Oh lordy, look what just arrived. It’s the latest haul from Goodbye Boozy! There’s three singles from them this week by Drags, Sick Thoughts and this one by Bikes. The Bikes album was one of my favourites of last year, not only because of its mindblowingly awesome sleeve art but also because it had the most tightly crafted and infectious garage rock gems …view full details.

39.

Belbury Poly and Spacedog
The Study Series 10: Message and Method

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9/10 according to our Mike

Phil just told me this is the last of the Ghost Box ‘Study Series’ 7”s. What will they do now? They’ll be at a loose end. “They’ll just have to bring some other records out I guess,” proffers Phil, “maybe start another series.” Then again he did say that this single was by Belbury Poly and Spacehog so we must take all this with a grain of salt... Anyway, on this single we’ve got Belbury Poly…view full details.

40.

CN
Voyages

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9/10 according to our Mike

Norway’s Stian Gjevik has been wowing everyone of late with his ecstatic neo-acid house alias EOD, and on this new 12” he’s back to another of his alter-egos, CN, to drop four crisp, upbeat modern house cuts which you’ll never tire of. Sadly the track titles are on the disc itself but the opener is a totally blissed out bit of housetronic goodness with subtle F…view full details.

41.

Various
Dark Acid II

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9/10 according to our Mike

The first of these Dark Acid collections on Clan Destine sold out really fast and had to be repressed (and rightly so ‘cause it’s ace) and now here’s another with loads of familiar faces doing as advertised and making some dark acid house madness all over the place. It starts with Black/Tract (Ela Orleans & Marie Liden) knocking out a woozy sample-laden take on the genre …view full details.

42.

Boddika
Steam EP

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180 gram vinyl only release. Tracks: a Boddika - Steam b Boddika - Heat c Boddika - Black d Boddika - Crack…view full details.

43.

BEAK>
0898 / Welcome To The Machine

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ltd to 1000 copies exclusively released for Record Store Day 2013. side a) '0898' was recorded in the sessions for their 2nd (>>) album - is a live favourite and has never been released on Vinyl before side b) 'Welcome to the Machine' was originally recorded for a MOJO magazine covermount CD tribute to Pink Floyd - has never been released on Vinyl before. BEAK> are Geoff Barrow (portishead) / Billy Fuller (Robert Plant band) / Matt Williams (Fairhorns)…view full details.


44.

Necro Deathmort
EP1

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

London bleaktronica duo Necro Deathmort have been turning heads with a succession of CD releases in recent years but now they’ve finally taken the step to vinyl with this EP1, six tracks of their pitch-black doom techno where thudding danceable beats share a room with shivery horror synths and oppressive digi-dub manipulation in a queasy, grinding, at times almost industrial foray into your mechanical nightmares. The grinding, horror-in…view full details.

45.

The 15 Dead Minutes
Scheming Things

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9/10 according to our Mike

The reliable Trensmat this week follow their recent techno-bangin’ Gnod 12” with this lengthy debut EP from The 15 Dead Minutes, a trio whose “post-electro, nu-tech-industrial sound aesthetic” (says the press release) had up until now only been experienced live. Unsurprisingly, then, this doesn’t really sound like a debut release. The propulsive, pacey tech-tronic blast of ‘The Runway&rs…view full details.

46.

Burma Camp
Repulsion

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9/10 according to our Ant

Avian sub-label Mira is really coming into its own, with artists seemingly preferring to operate under new aliases for their contributions to the label; Shifted as Covered in Sand, Ventress as Worn, Bleaching Agent as... erm... Bleaching Agent…view full details.

47.

Triptides / Laser Background
Set You Free / Disappearing Ink

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

We’ve got this split 7” this week from office favourites Triptides and Laser Background, who I’ve never heard of. I’m listening to the Laser Background side first because I’m pretty sure I’ll like the Triptides one so I’m saving that for dessert. Thankfully this side is good anyway, it’s a lolloping bit of pop with cleverly layered vocals, cheeky interplay between guitar …view full details.

48.

Mark Fell
n-Dimensional Analysis

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9/10 according to our Ant

Mute's Liberation Technologies imprint is shaping up to be quite a label with releases from King Felix (Laurel Halo), British Murder Boys, Bandshell, …view full details.

49.

Yves De Mey
Metrics

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9/10 according to our Ant

It's a crime that this is only the third solo release from Yves De Mey as this guy is an excellent producer. Last heard on the now defunct Sandwell District label with the brilliant 'Counting Triggers' 2x12" and earlier on Line with 2009's 'Lichtung' album. He also records with Peter Van Hosen as Sendai with a …view full details.

50.

The See See
Featherman

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8/10 according to our Clinton

Sometimes I think I’d have been better off living in the ‘60s. I’d have been one groovy guy, until of course I grew the moustache but we’ll not talk about that. It seems the minute a ‘60s sounding disc comes of the radiogramme my ears prick up and this neat little disc is boss. On Side A we have two numbers, the first starts with hammond organ and jangly guitars and is a pop delight with lashings of lovely harmonies. Outta sight. The second track is slowe…view full details.

1. Reissue Of The Year!

Ruth White
Flowers Of Evil

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9/10 according to our Ant

I honestly can't think of a finer record than this that has passed through the walls in all the years I've been working at Norman Records. For me to score this holy grail on vinyl is an absolute joy. I gotta give props to the Creel Pone label for sharing this one back in 2006. I've never seen an original copy of this for sale and were one to come up it would be top dollar so also hats off to France's Black Mass Rising for this m…view full details.

2.

Vangelis
Blade Runner

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9/10 according to our Ian

This is truly the greatest soundtrack ever created, the now legendary Vangelis-produced ‘Blade Runner’ OST has made a long awaited comeback to the world of vinyl and it is worth the wait. Interspersed with dialogue from the film itself which gives it an even more atmospheric quality, Greek composer/musician Vangelis pulled out all the stops here, after 1981’s ‘Chariots Of Fire’ which really cemented his name in Hollywood, th…view full details.

3.

Can
Vinyl Box Set

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17 piece vinyl set on 180g vinyl, housed in a linen wrapped box.  The artwork for the individual albums is all in its original form, the box includes five posters and a 20 page 12” booklet featuring unseen photographs from the Can archive, and sleevenotes by the acclaimed author Alan Warner (‘Morven Caller’).  This box set features all 13 of the band’s classi…view full details.


4.

Oneohtrix Point Never
Betrayed in the Octagon

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10/10 according to our Brett

Oneohtrix Point Never took us by surprise the other day. I stuck it on thinking it sounded pretty intriguing from the label's description (often a dangerous thing to trust as I'm sure you all know) and it blew us all right away, sugars. Opening up with a long, droney hum that sounds as if it might be emanating from some far-flung radioactive beacon, the sole ray of light in the devastated wasteland of a post-nuclear winter world, it eventually opens up into a retro synth orgy that never bo…view full details.

5.

Edward Artemiev
Solaris - Original Soundtrack

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8/10 according to our Mike

It’s fair to say we love our old film soundtracks here at Norman, so I’m delighted to get my teeth into this new vinyl pressing (for the first time ever) of Edward Artemiev’s score to Tarkovsky’s influential 1972 sci-fi classic ‘Solaris’. Both film and score were way ahead of their time, with a mixtures of dystopic drones and grinding industrial minimalism, mounting dreadscapes full of white-knuckle claustrophobia, with it’s nightmarish futurism tempe…view full details.

6.

Boards of Canada
Music Has The Right To Children

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Here we have a vinyl re-press of one of the most lauded electronic albums of all time and certainly one that could be considered a ‘game changer’. Their particular brand of bleached out, saturated music is much copied but as this years ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ proves, no-one else really has come close to completely emulating. Taken in hindsight although the record still sounds superb, there is the odd clunky moment such as the ‘I love you’ sample …view full details.

7.

John Carpenter
The Fog

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Death Waltz is set to release a double vinyl album of THE FOG which includes the original movie score as released in 1984, along with a bonus vinyl including all of the original movie cues which have never been made available on vinyl before. The Fog was John Carpenter’s first film after the low-budget success of Halloween, and tells the story of a small North California fishing town terrorized by a glowing supernatural fog containing the vengeful ghost…view full details.

8.

Various
The Conet Project: Recordings Of Shortwave Numbers Stations

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Here’s a head-scrambling 5CD collection (the original 4CD set plus a book and a newly added fifth CD) of recordings of shortwave numbers stations called The Conet Project, which has had me thinking increasingly paranoid thoughts for the last hour or so. Numbers stations are an shadowy collection of shortwave broadcasts which transmit regularly throughout the world in various languages, with a variety of noises and tones and numbers being read out by all sorts of unusual voices, from chi…view full details.

9.

Arthur Russell
Another Thought

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9/10 according to our Mike

Here’s the first ever vinyl pressing of Arthur Russell’s ‘Another Thought’, a posthumous collection compiled from 800 tape reels recorded between 1982 and ‘90. What’s immediately surprising is how coherent it sounds as an album. The performances often hushed, sparse and soulful, largely performed solo with a handful of notable exceptions including the superb use of brass and conga on ‘This Is How We Walk On The Moo…view full details.

10.

Popol Vuh
Hosianna Mantra

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With its religious theme it shouldn't be heretic to consider Hosianna Mantra as a small miracle. Suddenly the dark, unmelodic Popol Vuh offer us an incredibly beautiful work of amazing gothic folk that, this time, fit perfectly in the Pilz catalogue - yet managing to sound as something completely unique. It was originally released in 1972 and featured a host of musicians that included Conny Veit on guitars, Robert Eliscu on oboe, Djong Yun on vocals and Klaus Wiesse on tamboura, le…view full details.

11.

WOO
Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Woo are one of those bands who, from the sound that they make, and their longevity, I should know about. But I didn’t...until very recently. They came to my attention via their excellent split 7” with Nite Jewel early this year and now we have a lovely re-issue of their debut album recorded way back in 1978. The opening track ‘Swingtime’ exemplifies everything that is great about this group. It’s an e…view full details.

12.

David Alexander Hess
The Last House on The Left

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Here’s the latest product of the current horror soundtrack reissue boom; a deluxe reissue of the score to Wes Craven’s grisly classic ‘The Last House On The Left’, unusually written and performed by the film’s star and the man performing a large portion of the on-screen violence, the late David Alexander Hess. It’s an enthralling and varied collection, with elements of hippie-ish folk, hillbilly bluegrass, ‘60s beat pop, haunting synth experim…view full details.

13.

Honey Ltd
The Complete LHI Recordings

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* Another GEM from the LHI catalogue.  * First time ever reissued * Comprehensive liner notes by Jessica Hundley interviewing all four band members * Unseen photos * Remastered from the original tapes  * 180 gram LP housed in gatefold tip-on jacket  * LP includes fold-out poster * Lee Hazlewood’s LHI label only put out interesting…view full details.

14.

Mike Ratledge
Riddles Of The Sphinx

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Here’s a fascinating discovery from Mordant Music, a synthesizer score from 1977 to Laura Mulvey’s experimental film ‘Riddles of the Sphinx’, performed by Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge on synthesizers developed in collaboration with Dennis Irving. On the record you’ll hear some lovely library synth sounds arranged in patient, repetitive patterns, often …view full details.

15.

The Breeders
LSXX (Last Splash 20th Anniversary Edition)

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4AD announce The Breeders’ ‘Last Splash’ 20th anniversary CD and vinyl sets.  ‘LSXX’ will be available as a deluxe three CD package and seven disc vinyl box set. Many of the recordings included in the set have never been released before, or are rare / fanclub only gems.  Cover and individual sleeve artwork has been created by renowned British graphic de…view full details.

16.

Nirvana
In Utero - 20th Anniversary - Deluxe

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10/10 according to our Mike

Once a grunge kid, always a grunge kid. Nirvana’s painfully prescient swansong ‘In Utero’ came out 20 years ago, which is making me feel old. I was only 11 when poor Kurt shuffled off the mortal coil but this album, and their other two for that matter, were a staple to me throughout my awkward teens and beyond. Songs I’ve heard so many times that they’re like nursery rhymes to me now. Kind of like the …view full details.


17.

Simply Saucer
Cyborgs Revisited

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Original 1974-75 recordings by Canadian PROTO-PUNK LEGENDS, Simply Saucer!! Formed in Hamilton Ontario in 1973, Simply Saucer played a “Rust Belt” style of proto-punk shared by bands like The Stooges, the Electric Eels and Pere Ubu, but that also harkened across the sea to the likes of Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd (in fact, the band’s name was a reference to PF’s “A Saucerful of Secrets”) and Can (due to their use of primitive electronics a l&a…view full details.

18.

BBC Radiophonic Workshop
BBC Radiophonic Music

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10/10 according to our Ant

Necessary vinyl reissues of this pair of classic LP’s from the legendary British institute that is the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. These LP’s have been unavailable individually on vinyl in their original format/ running order for donkeys years (Rephlex reissued both as a four 10” set back in 2004 with each record grouping tracks by the individual artists). Here they’ve been fully remas…view full details.

19.

BBC Radiophonic Workshop
The Radiophonic Workshop

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10/10 according to our Ant

Necessary vinyl reissues of this pair of classic LP’s from the legendary British institute that is the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. These LP’s have been unavailable individually on vinyl in their original format/ running order for donkeys years (Rephlex reissued both as a four 10” set back in 2004 with each record grouping tracks by the individual artists). Here they’ve been fully remastered from…view full details.

20.

Igor Wakhevitch
Docteur Faust

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Housed in a fantastic and menacing sci-fi cover courtesy of Druillet and bearing the famous dedication: "A mes grands amis Robert Wyatt et Mick Rattledge", Wakhevitch's second album was a step beyond it's predecessor into a music alchemy that defies categorisation and the one that started to define his trademark sonic collage of styles and moods. Like the previous record, this was the music for a Norbert Schmucki ballet "Ergonia", premiered at Festival D'Avignon 1971, and featured top french …view full details.

21.

John Harrison
Day Of The Dead (Original Score)

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9/10 according to our Mike

What a treat! The 2LP soundtracks to George Romero’s ‘Day Of The Dead’ just hit our office, with one LP on lurid yellow and the other on a spooky green marble. It’s in a chunky thick gatefold with lengthy liner notes from the Romero and composer John Harrison as well. This label Waxwork did a great job on the recent 'Re-Animator' repress so any of you who got that one will be confident in the quality of this one. The score is a len…view full details.

22.

epic45
Drakelow EP

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9/10 according to our Brian

This was a bit of a milestone in the E45 back catalogue as it centred greatly on their instrumental electronica constructing capabilities and much less on the chiming pastoral post-rock they won their fan-base with. I'd say if you like drone, glitch, minimal composition and ambient electronic styles this will probably be the E45 record for you. It is certainly the release I always pull out by them as it suits my pondering frame of mind the most. It is also…view full details.

23.

Vangelis
Sex Power

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9/10 according to our Mike

Here’s an intriguing reissue, well timed to coincide with the deluxe new ‘Blade Runner’ pressing is a very limited repress of Vangelis’s debut ‘Sex Power’, originally released in such limited quantities that originals fetch a fortune on the collectors’ market. Anyway, on this one the Greek soft synth legend offers a selection of therapeutic numbers ranging from his trademark soothing synth swells and gently finge…view full details.

24.

Silver Apples
The Garden

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9/10 according to our Phil

I'm enjoying this SILVER APPLES reissue jobber on Bully Records of Canada. Only got the vinyl here but to be honest vinyl is the only format you'd want for this beast. This is the missing 3rd album issued for the 2nd time (it came out about 5-6 years ago I think) but now it's on vinyl with oodles of extra tracks. Loads of new and unreleased tracks including Simeon playing the drums and noodling. Electronic psych wanderings into the brain wrongs of people who were probably taking fa…view full details.

25.

Craig Leon
Nommos

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9/10 according to our Phil

I checked a bit of this online a few weeks ago and it sounded so awesome that I decided to get a few in to see if you, the general public agree. One thing I didn’t realise about this release is that it originally came out on John Fahey’s Takoma label back in 1981. I thought Takoma was all about the 12 string guitar and US folk music! Obviously not!   Anyway Craig Leon was a producer back in the late…view full details.

26.

The Clean
Vehicle

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8/10 according to our Clinton

Christ on a sausage, I remember this album from my penny pinched youth when I would veer into Newcastle Our Price and raid the cheap cassette section. Everything for a pound was quite a bargain back then when we all had to pay if we wanted to listen to music. Listening again, I feel the exact same about this record that despite it not reaching the dizzy heights of their early work nor moving me in the way that similar-era guitar pop from the likes of The Feelies…view full details.

27.

Batsumi
Batsumi

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8/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Here’s a reissue of some classic African jazz from 1974, the latest in Matsuli’s series of rare Afro-jazz reissues. This Sowetan eight-piece put together an urgent, throbbing sound with pulsating rhythms on traditional and trap drums, warm repetitive bass cycles, energetic ivory-tinkling and breathy sax and flute over five tracks which vary in length from 3.25 to 16 minutes. It’s an absolute delight, steadily paced and rhythmically sophisticated but with a real sense of free…view full details.

28.

Robbie Basho
Visions Of The Country

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8/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Out of print for 35 years until Gnome Life decided to resurrect it, here’s the late, great Robbie Basho’s 1978 album ‘Visions of the Country’ making a welcome return to vinyl. For those who don’t know, Basho was a master of the folk/raga guitar picking style popularised by John Fahey, delving deeper into the cyclical Eastern styles and venturing further from the b…view full details.

29.

Michael Nyman
The Piano: Music From The Motion Picture

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Continuing with celebrating 40 years of disruption of the Virgin Records label, we’re pressing a very limited number of the some of the labels land mark albums as single and double vinyl LPs.…view full details.

30.

Devo
Hardcore Vol: 1

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

This is a bit special. Superior Viaduct have only gone and done a first ever vinyl pressing of DEVO’s Hardcore Vol I and Hardcore Vol II, with three LPs worth of four-track recordings from Akron, Ohio’s finest documenting their pre-punk de-evolved blues before their Eno-produced debut of ‘78. We’ve got all sorts here - the first volume which I’m listening to now has ‘(I Can&rsqu…view full details.

31.

Devo
Hardcore Vol: 2

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

This is a bit special. Superior Viaduct have only gone and done a first ever vinyl pressing of DEVO’s Hardcore Vol I and Hardcore Vol II, with three LPs worth of four-track recordings from Akron, Ohio’s finest documenting their pre-punk de-evolved blues before their Eno-produced debut of ‘78. We’ve got all sorts here - the first volume which I’m listening to now has ‘(I Can&rsqu…view full details.

32.

Cleaners From Venus
Cleaners From Venus Vol.2

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The legendary lo-fi band Cleaners from Venus formed in the small town of Wivenhoe, southeast England at the turn of 1980s by Martin Newell. The man, the myth, but to rock singer and part-time kitchen porter with a love of sunny 1960s pop music, punk rock and musical comedy. He never cared much for any kind of musical rule book and broke new ground with music that garnered a cult following and a highly-influential sound that continues to inspire. These 4 albums sp…view full details.

33.

Thee Mighty Caesars
Acropolis Now

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Thee Mighty Caesars were  formed by Billy Childish in 1985 after the demise of The Milkshakes. They influenced many American bands, especially The Mummies, and Sub Pop groups. They were arguably the group that brought about the resurgence of garage rock. * Four Classic Albums By Thee Mighty Caesars Re-Issued As Four Stand-Alone Vinyl Releases And Two 2-On-1 Cd's *…view full details.

34.

Missing Foundation
Missing Foundation

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In the 1980′s, New York City was a dismal wasteland filled with urban decay and creative miracles. It was only a matter of time before the suits saw an investment opportunity, with cash in hand they bought off NYC and started the criminal gentrification of downtown New York, sterilizing any sense of culture and fumigating all residents deemed financially worthless. This kind of invasion brought the perfect storm in the form of Missing Foundation. Founded by Peter Missing in the …view full details.

35.

Sacher-Pelz (Maurizio Bianchi)
Cease To Exist

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Before starting the complex and compelling production of many records and tapes in the early eighties under the M.B. trademark, Maurizio Bianchi was documenting the new music scene writing essays and reviews for independent magazines. It was August 1979 in Milan, Italy and his sound was strengthening when he felt the time had come to prove his desire for something new. So he started his first solo project, under the name Sacher-Pelz. He assembled a concrete equipment and during the…view full details.

36.

Sand
Golem

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The present album is a reissue of Golem, the legendary album from the cosmic and psychedelic genius that is Sand. Factory-noise, riveting hammers from the dockyards,agricultural machines, Starfighters low level flights, land manoeuvres by the British Forces in the mountainous countryside along the winding river were the culture medium for extended sound aesthetics. Sand was born and created the GOLEM. At first Sand dressed the Golem with Helicopter and dir ected …view full details.


37.

John Carpenter
They Live

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Well this is exciting. Death Waltz’s Carpenterpallooza continues with the soundtrack to his bleakly satirical dystopian sci-fi romp ‘They Live’, which you might remember saw wrestling icon Rowdy Roddy Piper up against an Icke-ian legion of body-snatching aliens bent on world domination. It’s one of my favourite John Carpenter films and also a very strong soundtrack from J…view full details.

38.

Four Tet (Fourtet)
Rounds

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9/10 according to our Phil

Hi Folks, Clinton here. First up in our mega review fest this week we have the new album by Fourtet. Well its not up to the standard of 'Pause'. Its pretty good, mind. The boy Hebden sure knows his way around a tune and puts in enough interesting/odd sounds to avoid the aural wallpaper of some of his contemporaries. Theres also a bit more of the jazzy stuff that appeared on Dialogue. A very pretty album for summer. Rounds is on LP and CD…view full details.

39.

Arab On Radar
Soak The Saddle

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New repress of Arab On Radar's breakthrough album. Powerful and cathartic, ARAB ON RADAR is a unique and unprecedented brand of psycho-neurological terrorism. This is Arab on Radar's third full length. Few rock bands carry the intensity that these Rhode Island boys have occasionally wielded. Their first album, Queen Hygiene II (and the first two 7"s) had the steady framework of a bassline. But, for their 2nd album (and recent split 7" with The Locust) they dropped the bass to pursue m…view full details.

40.

Primitive Calculators
Primitive Calculators

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The holy grail of the 70’s Punk/Synth-Punk Australian scène is now reissued in its original form for the first time on vinyl !  Desire is proud to release the very first Primitive Calculators debut album.  Originally out in 1982 in a very limited edition vinyl including a postcard, the eponymous album was recorded live in 1979 at Hearts, North Carlton, supporting the Boys Next Door. Often described as the Australian Screa…view full details.

41.

The Monochrome Set
Volume, Contrast, Brilliance... (Sessions & Singles Vol. 1)

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Tracks: A1 Eine Symphonie Des Grauens A2 The Jet Set Junta A3 Love Zombies A4 Silicon Carne A5 The Ruling Class A6 Viva Death Row A7 The Man With The Black Moustache B1 He's Frank (Slight Return) B2 Fun For All The Family B3 Lester Leaps In B4 Ici Les Enfants B5 Fat Fun B6 Alphaville B7 Avanti (Ten Don'ts For Honeymooners) B8 Reach For Your Gun …view full details.

42.

Winston Edwards
Natty Locks Dub

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Recorded at Lee Perry’s Black Ark and Joe Gibbs’ state of the art recording complex on Retirement Crescent ‘Natty Locks Dub’ is one of the holy grails of dub. Unavailable since its original 1974 release this limited edition vinyl re-press will not be around long! TRACKLISTING: Side A) 1 Natty Dub, 2 Big Daddy Amin, 3 Jah Shakin Dub, 4 Soul Fire Dub, 5 Macka Bee, …view full details.

43.

The Flaming Lips
Zaireeka

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Fans and critics agree that this is one of the most important and invigorating experimental albums in contemporary pop music. Four discs, designed to be played on cue and simultaneously, producing nothing short of a live performance effect. Remastered by the band especially for this release in celebration of this record and Record Store Day 2013 - with unique art and packaging exclusive to this release. Each disc is also pressed on different and unique coloured vinyl.Limited in…view full details.

44.

COUM Transmissions
Home Aged & The 18 Month Hope

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7/10 according to our Clinton

Opening (unbelievably) with an interview between a stuffy of-the-era BBC type and a very, very camp Genesis P- Orridge on Humberside radio in 1973,  this is a collection of unheard recordings from the pre- Throbbing Gristle outfit. We have a live performance opening for Hawkwind, obtuse poetry readings piano & violin compositions by Genesis P-Orridge and other lost detritus…view full details.

45.

Yoshi Wada
Earth Horns with Electronic Drones

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9/10 according to our Ant

Over the last few years drone music seems to have been slowly gaining momentum and popularity. At one point the market become so over saturated it seemed like every other release turning up was a drone record and I really got fed up with the whole drone thing as a lot of it was what our Brett once succinctly referred to as "cookie cutter drone". When drone music is done properly I adore it. This is a case in point. An early minimalism classic recorded back in 1974 created from Wada's …view full details.

46.

Butthole Surfers
Rembrandt Pussyhorse

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Latino Bugger Veil presents the long-awaited vinyl reissues of Butthole Surfers’ first four full-length albums.Originally released between 1984 and 1988, these classic and influential LPs capture the band at their peak, drawing from punk, rock, psychedelic and experimental influences for a truly inspired and unmistakably unique sound. Comes with coupons for free digital downloads.…view full details.

47.

Franz Waxman
The Bride Of Frankenstein OST

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8/10 according to our Phil

Horror film soundtrack time! Seeing as though everyone is shitting themselves left right and center to either release or buy horror soundtracks you can now sorta hear where it all started with this spanky new reissue of The Bride Of Frankenstein. Here’s a few bits of info... The film came out in 1935 and it starred Boris Karloff It was directed by James Whale (not the knob who u…view full details.

48.

Come
Eleven : Eleven

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"Enthralling, like watching someone howl into a rainstorm." - David Browne, Entertainment Weekly COME. A cornerstone of the Glitterhouse and Beggar's stable 20 years ago. A band that requires no introduction, but here's one for the uninitiated. New York, 1990. Guitarists Thalia Zedek (Live Skull) and Chris Brokaw (Codeine) both relocate (separately) to Boston from New York, where a year earlier, bassist Sean O'Brien (Kilkenny Kats) and drummer Arthur Johnson (Bar-B-Q Killers…view full details.

49.

U.S. Steel Cello Ensemble
Bitter Suites

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Those marvellous people at Holidays have sent us a couple more records this week which I’m pleased about because their output is at worst interesting. This one here is a deluxe reissue of an LP originally issued in 1979, containing music performed on Robert Rutman’s Bow Chime and Single String Steel Cello - astonishing devices which utilise the resonant qualities of large pieces of sheet metal by turning them into bowed instruments.…view full details.

50.

Orange Juice
Rip It Up

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Domino reissue four classic albums from Orange Juice, Glasgow’s finest purveyors of the Sound Of Young Scotland who, led by Edwyn Collins, blazed a trail of self-reliance and literate pop writing.  All four albums are remastered and include the original lyric sheets and printed inner sleeves (except ‘Texas Fever’, which had none).  The four reissues are: ‘You…view full details.

1. Top Selling Record Of The Year!

Hookworms
Pearl Mystic

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10/10 according to our Mike

Finally, it’s here! The record you’ve all been waiting for ever since that first EP/mini-album dropped on Sun Ark, Leeds’s very own Hookworms have their debut full-length LP ‘Pearl Mystic’ out on the ever-reliable Gringo. Recorded at his own Suburban Home studio by Hooklord MJ, the quintet have taken their time to craft an absolutely monumental debut album of …view full details.

2.

Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest

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9/10 according to our Phil

I’ve been waiting far too long for this moment being a massive fanboy but finally I get to hear the long awaited Boards of Canada album! I found ‘Campfire Headphase’ a bit of a letdown (after liking pretty much every single track they did beforehand) so I’m hoping ‘Tomorrow‘s Harvest’ is gonna do the biz. In the run up to this I’ve been listening to the old albums again and ‘Campfire’ sou…view full details.

3.

Grouper
The Man Who Died In His Boat

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9/10 according to our Brian

Well it's always nice when an artist you love casually unearths an entire album of unreleased material. Liz Harris is a favourite of many of us here, we love her somnolent ethereal ghost-folk and grainy drone-scapes to bits. As these tunes are from the 'Dragging a Dead Deer...' sessions they fall largely in the former category and hence often sound a little like Low playing in a room two doors down in a virtually deserted h…view full details.


4.

My Bloody Valentine
m b v

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9/10 according to our Clinton

It was the “where were you moment” for the ‘Loveless’ generation when My Bloody Valentine finally, halfway through Match Of The Day, decided enough is enough, it’s coming out. At no point in the last 20 years did such a thing seem remotely possible. A quote from a friend about Kevin Shields' state of mind circa early-2000s, “That man will not make a record for a very long time”, seemed to confirm that t…view full details.

5.

Vangelis
Blade Runner

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9/10 according to our Ian

This is truly the greatest soundtrack ever created, the now legendary Vangelis-produced ‘Blade Runner’ OST has made a long awaited comeback to the world of vinyl and it is worth the wait. Interspersed with dialogue from the film itself which gives it an even more atmospheric quality, Greek composer/musician Vangelis pulled out all the stops here, after 1981’s ‘Chariots Of Fire’ which really cemented his name in Hollywood, th…view full details.

6.

Sigur Ros
Kveikur

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9/10 according to our Ian

Norman Records have given me the absolute honour of saying a few words about the new Sigur Ros album ‘Kveikur’, perks of the job indeed. Now down to a three piece after the departure of keyboard/guitarist Kjartan Sveinsson, ‘Kveikur’ sees these Icelandic fellows entering into more darker, introspective waters. After the more uplifting, run around naked in the woods style album of ‘Við Spilum Endalaust’ and the mini…view full details.

7.

Parquet Courts
Light Up Gold

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10/10 according to our Mike

I’m convinced this lot have impressed me before somewhere but this seems to be the first of their records we’ve stocked so who knows where I previously encountered them. That’s not important, though. What’s important is that we’ve got their debut LP right here in our office to sell to you, and it’s really good. They’re one of those bands who throw together a hundred different influences into something which sounds deceptively casual.In ess…view full details.

8.

Death And Vanilla
From Above

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7” 45rpm single only. Blue Vinyl. Death And Vanilla followed up their first LP with more melodic 60’s psych- pop in the form of ‘From Above’. Originally released in 2013 the 7” came out on hand numbered red vinyl on Great Pop Supplement and was limited to 400 copies. It has been repressed twice each time selling out very quickly. Fire Records reissue the two-track ‘From Above’ on blue vinyl alongside Death And Vanilla’s debut sel…view full details.

9.

Fuck Buttons
Slow Focus

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10/10 according to our Mike

Four years ago Fuck Buttons proved their phenomenal debut album was no fluke with a similarly amazing Weatherall-produced effort, and now for the first time they’re producing themselves on album number three, ‘Slow Focus’, further refining their uniquely accessible blend of ambient noise, overloaded analogue, subtly euphoric melodies and grinding buried beats. It doesn’t tak…view full details.

10.

Goat
Stonegoat / Dreambuilding

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9/10 according to our Brian

Oh, hello! I’m sure Goat need no introduction by now since the blogs and broadsheets alike are in thrall to their unique blend of classic psych rock and rhythms, bursting onto the scene fully-formed with killer LP ‘World Music’ last year. After a select handful of ritualistic shows which saw the band performing in golden masks in a breathless voodoo carnival which really has to be seen to be believed, they’re back with another single on…view full details.


11.

Four Tet (Fourtet)
Beautiful Rewind

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8/10 according to our Clinton

The new way to release records seems to be with as little fanfare as possible. Just ‘drop’ it when no-ones looking and let the fans clamour themselves silly. Fourtet is a busy man, and gives the impression of being a confident one although I’m sure he is as drenched in doubt as everyone else. This new album pretty much appeared out of nowhere this week and is streaming all over the internet if you want to listen with your own ears rather than re…view full details.

12.

Kurt Vile
Wakin On A Pretty Daze

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8/10 according to our Mike

I learned something today. I learned that Kurt Vile is not a pseudonym but in fact the actual name of popular singer and songwriter Kurt Vile. I know! Me neither! Anyway, Mr Vile’s got a new album out this week and he wants me to tell you about it. It’s called ‘Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze’ and it’s got 11 songs of masterfully hazy slacker pop, thankfully (in this writer’s opinion at least) stepping away from the …view full details.

13.

Low
The Invisible Way

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8/10 according to our Clinton

There is no such thing as a bad Low album, just good, very good and mediocre. Their last effort ‘C’mon‘ had a few killer songs but also a fair few forgettable ones. It seems since the wild experimentation of the very good ‘Drums and Guns’ they have retreated into a safe Low-shaped hole and are content to repeat their slow moving tricks in slightly different ways. This new album, produced by Jeff Tweedy of the criminally overrated …view full details.


14.

The Haxan Cloak
Excavation

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9/10 according to our Ant

The cover on this looks uncannily like a Prurient sleeve, an indicator to the darkness that lurks within. This is the follow up to the well received self titled debut from Bobby Krilc on Aurora Borealis. An album high in many of 2012’s end of year lists. Imagine the slow motion dread of Wolf Eyes combined with the gloomy, doomy bass emissions of an even slower S…view full details.

15.

Forest Swords
Engravings

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

I just listened to the execrable new album from Money, or at least as much of it as the office could bear before Phil insisted I switch it off some way into track four. My despair has been eased somewhat by the fact that I have this absolute corker of a new album by Forest Swords to follow it up with, though. I’ve been saving it for such an occasion where the endless review slog descends into such drivel that it causes …view full details.

16.

EOD
EOD Volume 1

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10/10 according to our Brian

This Norwegian electronica super-kind has already amazed us with recent EPs 'Utrecht' and 'Questionmarks', the latter possibly still available from the label in America, the former sold out its two pressings on the amazing 030303 imprint in record time. Why? Because he's the latest in a long line of true braindance masters and his tracks are universally appealing, densely structured and hyper-funky but rooted in old-skool disciplines and inspiration. Classic old 3am rave, acid house and sharp…view full details.


17.

Sleaford Mods
Austerity Dogs

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10/10 according to our Nathon

Months ago, back when I first started seeing this album on this site, I had it judged by its cover, title and band name. "Brilliant," I thought, "more wannabe 'Mod' twats selling that line about how important it is in working class culture to wear a sharp coat." Fully expecting it to contain the latest forgettable rehash of crappy Mod nostalgia, with some lazy political observations thrown in, I got mildly annoyed...until I read the press release, and got interested. Sometimes press r…view full details.

18.

Joanna Gruesome
Weird Sister

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9/10 according to our Brian

"Heard it all before blah blah blah". I'd like to be all "whatevers" about this album but it's so damn lovable and exuberant that I'd feel like some schoolyard shithead that's just knocked the specs off some poor shy kid and stolen his Monster Munch. I'd feel bad if I accused them merely of aping early Pains of Being Pure at Heart and my beloved old Swirlies from Boston. So yeah, I've heard American…view full details.

19.

Edward Artemiev
Solaris - Original Soundtrack

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8/10 according to our Mike

It’s fair to say we love our old film soundtracks here at Norman, so I’m delighted to get my teeth into this new vinyl pressing (for the first time ever) of Edward Artemiev’s score to Tarkovsky’s influential 1972 sci-fi classic ‘Solaris’. Both film and score were way ahead of their time, with a mixtures of dystopic drones and grinding industrial minimalism, mounting dreadscapes full of white-knuckle claustrophobia, with it’s nightmarish futurism tempe…view full details.

20.

Thee Oh Sees
Floating Coffin

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10/10 according to our Mike

We have a dilemma here at Norman Towers this week - do we award our coveted Album of the Week trophy to The Knife’s ambitious and sprawling new 3LP masterpiece or this latest offering from Californian garage rock overlords Thee Oh Sees? The notoriously prolific quartet have really been adding a bit of extra polish to their previously rough-around-the-edges recordings and this new album takes that to the next …view full details.

21.

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats
Mind Control

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9/10 according to our Mike

Uncle Acid's previous album ‘Blood Lust’ triggered a flipper frenzy, with some copies of the first pressing going for frankly insulting prices on Discogs and eBay as collectors scrambled over one another to get a piece of the pie. I guess that’s a clear sign that ‘70s revivalism is alive and well, as this lot churn out a brand of hairy guitar-slinging testosterock which owes great debts to the likes of Slade, Led Zeppelin and Hawkwind…view full details.


22.

Public Service Broadcasting
Inform Educate Entertain

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8/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Here, finally, is the debut full-length from the acclaimed duo Public Service Broadcasting, who build accessible post-rocky pop instrumentals around archival samples from wartime broadcasts and public information films. The tracks remind me of a more concise, less intense Death In Vegas crossed with that Baz Luhrmann ‘Everybody’s Free...’ number and maybe a touch of (this an…view full details.

23.

Pet Shop Boys
Axis (Boys Noize Remix)

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Oh, excitement! There’s a box here from the Pet Shop Boys’ new label x2 containing this indies only 12” single and their brand new album ‘Electric’. After last year’s reflective ‘Elysium’ the PSBs have deliberately decided to make a dancefloor-oriented record, so what you can expect from album-opener ‘Axis’ is a slow building synth pumper with intense …view full details.

24.

Various
Deutsche Elektronische Musik 2; Experimental German Rock and Electronic Musik 1971

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9/10 according to our Mike

Sadly I missed the boat on the first of these awesome kraut comps on Soul Jazz, which is now long gone, but it only takes the most cursory glance at the tracklist to tell I’m in for a fun time here. There’s Can, Popol Vuh, Amon Duul II, Neu!, Pyrolator, …view full details.

25.

The Knife
Shaking The Habitual

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Oh gawd, look what I’ve landed on the review carousel today. None other than the welcome return of mysterious Swedish avant-techno-synth-poppers The Knife, a whopping seven years (is it really that long? I feel old) after their previous effort ‘Silent Shout’. Now I like The Knife as much as the next person (more, if said next person isn’t keen) but it’s a four-day week and this album is roughly one day long so writing any kind …view full details.

26.

The Cosmic Dead
The Cosmic Dead

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8/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Leeds psych label Cardinal Fuzz seem to be making quite a name for themselves over the past few months with mega-limited releases from the likes of The Heads and Hookworms (and a live Goat album on the cards!), and it’s becoming increasingly clear that label honcho Dave Cambridge really knows his fuzz. This double LP here is from some less well known but similarly out there spa…view full details.

27.

Mogwai
Les Revenants Soundtrack

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8/10 according to our Ian

Mogwai have been hard working boys recently, with the sounds of ‘Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will’ still ringing in our ears they’ve come back with this original soundtrack for French TV zombie fest ‘Les Revenants’!All the usual ‘Gwai trademarks are here but this is a much more low key affair. I guess with a soundtrack the music has to take more of a back seat to the images onscreen. ‘Kill Jester&rsq…view full details.

28.

Hookworms
Radio Tokyo

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9/10 according to our Mike

Currently riding high on a wave of critical and public acclaim, Leeds’ psychedelic heroes Hookworms return this week with a 7” on Too Pure featuring two brand new cuts not included on their ‘Pearl Mystic’ LP, which is a great album but lacking in obvious singles due to the drawn-out nature of their compositions. ‘Radio Tokyo’, then, is a pounding and concise bit of pop with call and response vocals, a catchy little …view full details.

29.

Ruth White
Flowers Of Evil

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9/10 according to our Ant

I honestly can't think of a finer record than this that has passed through the walls in all the years I've been working at Norman Records. For me to score this holy grail on vinyl is an absolute joy. I gotta give props to the Creel Pone label for sharing this one back in 2006. I've never seen an original copy of this for sale and were one to come up it would be top dollar so also hats off to France's Black Mass Rising for this m…view full details.

30.

Holden
The Inheritors

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Ever since our office promo of the new Holden album turned up it’s never been too far from the office stereo, since it’s one of the rare records that everyone here can agree on - a lengthy voyage of finely detailed analogue synths, stumbling beats and occasionally surprising instrumentation (check out that sax duet in ‘The Caterpillar’s Intervention’!) with so much going on over such a long period of time that I’ve reall…view full details.

31.

Mazzy Star
Seasons of Your Day

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8/10 according to our Clinton

Flicking to the reviews pages of The Guardian this morning, I was curious to see what their take was of Mazzy Star’s long awaited return. Instead their feature album is by Jessie J. What hope is there? Anyway the fact they gave the awful new MGMT record a good write-up shows that their opinion must be taken with a large dose of sodium sulphate. That said, there is a comically painful ‘interview’ where the jo…view full details.

32.

Temples
Colours To Life

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8/10 according to our Li'l Biz

Might as well not even bother reviewing this as it’s shitting out... If you managed to grab the coloured vinyl version you no doubt have a collector's item on your hands. Heavenly have managed to snag themselves the UK’s answer to Tame Impala, which is no bad thing really i guess. ‘Colour of Life’ is a bold psych-rock statement hinging on an absolutely massive Pink Floyd-esque orchestral synth sway and …view full details.

33.

Lorde
Tennis Court EP

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Review this item for us? Best review each week wins a £10 voucher!

Enigmatic 16-year old star in the making ‘Lorde’ is Ella Yelich O’Connor from New Zealand. Inspired by the likes of Burial, James Blake and David Lynch films – she’s inventing her own sound, writing music filled with inventive lyricism.  Currently recording her album for September release. iTunes #1’s on both Single and Album charts in native NZ and Australia with “Royals” and “The Love…view full details.

34.

Fuzz
Fuzz

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10/10 according to our Mike

Those of you who were a little put off by Ty Segall’s recent slow-down on the dreamy ‘Sleeper’ can put away your tissues and put on your air guitar shoes because Segall’s new trio Fuzz finally drop their debut LP on In The Red this week and it’s an acrobatic blast of blown-out ‘70s-worship the like of which the world has never seen the like of which. This is …view full details.


35.

Anthroprophh
Anthroprophh

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9/10 according to our Mike

I know from our sales figures that a lot of you are already pretty into cult UK psych titans The Heads, so you probably don’t need me to tell you that Anthroprophh is the alter-ego of their visionary songwriter and axe-mangler Paul Allen, who here dishes out six lengthy tracks of krautrock-infused psychedelia which ranges from hard-riffing psych fuzz to burbling ritualistic mysticism like a trippy m…view full details.

36.

Hookworms
Hookworms

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9/10 according to our Mike

Here's what our Mike had to say when the tape first came out on Sun Ark in 2011:   Yeeeeah!! Here we have the long-anticipated audio cassette from Leeds's finest psychedelic upstarts, Hookworms, who are full of nice people who've played in other bands as is the Leeds 6 way. Out in an edition of 150 so you'd better make sure you don't sit on it. They've long been a live favourite around Norman Towers. In fact Phil himself said that if he put out records, he'd want to put o…view full details.

37.

Factory Floor
Factory Floor

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10/10 according to our ReviewBot300

Oh! Here’s the record that many of us have been waiting for for literally years. Yes, after what seems like an age of just putting out limited singles and EPs Factory Floor have finally taken the plunge and done a full-length album. My knowledge about the dance musics is limited, and countless column inches have been written about this band already by people far more clued up than me, but it has come to me to write a few words about it so I will do my…view full details.

38.

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats
Poison Apple

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8/10 according to our Mike

Here’s the new single from the elusive and heavily hyped Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats (are they just calling themselves Uncle Acid now?), ahead of next month’s new album. ‘Poison Apple’ is led by a heavy stomping glam riff and some sweet vocal harmonies. The things which instantly spring to mind are golden-era Slade and ‘Elephant’ by Tame Impala, but maybe a littl…view full details.

39.

EOD
EOD Volume 2

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9/10 according to our Mike

Is it just me or is acid back with a vengeance lately? There’s been all sorts of ace comps, the new Ceephax is devastatingly good, Clan Destine have made a very strong start to a series of ‘Dark Acid’ 12”s and this Norwegian guy Stian Gjevik has turned up putting records out under the names EOD and CN which knock me flat on my arse…view full details.


40.

Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires Of The City

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6/10 according to our Clinton

I’ve heard so many good reports of Vampire Weekend’s new record that I was literally chomping at the bit to hear it. All of which evaporated in a tick at limp opener ‘Obvious Bicycle’...have I even put the correct CD in the tray? It’s a really dull plodder so I’m off to track two, ‘Unbelievers’. From what I’d read I was expecting something a little crazy, a little …view full details.

41.

Savages
Silence Yourself

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8/10 according to our Brian

These four wiry Londoners  have been experiencing some serious hype of late for their gritty post-punk pop posturings, looking to be the darlings of this summer’s festival circuit with their theatrical brand of Joy Division-meets-The Kills darkpop. Minimal pounding rhythms and clanking bass is joined by shrill trails of stop-start guitar and the theatrical yelpings of frontlady Jehnny Beth, kind of like a 21s…view full details.


42.

John Carpenter
The Fog

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Review this item for us? Best review each week wins a £10 voucher!

Death Waltz is set to release a double vinyl album of THE FOG which includes the original movie score as released in 1984, along with a bonus vinyl including all of the original movie cues which have never been made available on vinyl before. The Fog was John Carpenter’s first film after the low-budget success of Halloween, and tells the story of a small North California fishing town terrorized by a glowing supernatural fog containing the vengeful ghost…view full details.

43.

The Flaming Lips
The Terror

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8/10 according to our Ian

Thirteenth studio album from the mighty Flaming Lips and we’re subjected to a much more darker theme than other recent efforts like ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ and ‘At War With The Mystics’. Here Wayne Coyne speaks of a life without love and the “terror” of existing without having the experience of love in your life! Usual heavy stuff from Mr Coyne and musically it’s pretty dark too. ‘Look, …view full details.

44.

Deerhunter
Monomania

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9/10 according to our ReviewBot300

It’s been a strong morning today. First I had the delights of the new Still Corners and Georgiana Starlington LPs to review, and now the new Deerhunter has turned up! This job isn’t so bad sometimes, you know. Cox and co are in fine form, too, kicking off the album with a…view full details.


45.

Tropic of Cancer
Restless Idylls

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10/10 according to our Brian

I don't really know whether Henry Miller was an influence insofar as their elegantly alluring moniker goes but this increasingly renowned LA-based artist Camella Lobo somehow produces incredibly erotic and sensual music from the most spartan ingredients. Shame all her lyrics are about death, loss, depression and such cheery romance-slaying issues. Call it post-romantic if you will, a stripped-back doom-laden aura that has enveloped our musical souls in the past few years, fitting beau…view full details.

46.

These New Puritans
Field of Reeds

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9/10 according to our Clinton

Okay, stop right there. Take everything you think you know about These New Puritans, throw it in the waste paper basket and let’s start again. One of my bigger gripes about modern day popular music is the lack of risk taking, the consensus seeming to be find your signature sound, spend the remainder of your career making paler versions of it and repeat ad nauseum. Not everybody of course, but too many for my liking. You could writ…view full details.

47.

Jon Brooks
Shapwick

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9/10 according to our Ian

‘Shapwick’ is an album created by The Advisory Circle/Ghost Box Records composer Jon Brooks based on an imaginary impression of a quaint little village in Somerset. Brooks tells of an unplanned car journey one autumn evening through the village and the image created by the trees! The album begins with a melodic piece that has a very olde worlde type feel to it and you can almost believe you’re driv…view full details.

48.

Bill Callahan
Dream River

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7/10 according to our Clinton

I was thinking this morning: "Why don’t I own more Bill Callahan records?"   I tend to always like what I hear of him (certainly post-Smog, who didn’t always do it for me). For the uninitiated, he has a rich, chocolate-brown voice and sings sad, slow laments which could eventually see him become a sort of Leonard Cohen. The opener here, ‘The Sing’, is typical of his compositions although a little busier than on his rec…view full details.

49.

The Soundcarriers
The Other World Of…

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8/10 according to our Clinton

They’ve made the sleeve look like those ‘Music For Pleasure’ records from the ‘60s. You know, Mrs Mills, that lot. No-one could get away with looking like she did these days, she’d be dieted and scrubbed and plucked and airbrushed. So anyway this is a very limited vinyl edition of tracks taken from The Soundcarriers’ forthcoming album not out until autumn, but here presented in analogue remix form. So in a nutshel…view full details.

50.

Photodementia
Fig. 04

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8/10 according to our Clinton

The next installment in the series that has got Brian hot under the collar of late. A 15 year old recording that was strangely left unreleased at the time. Initially a collaboration between three mysterious boffin-like producers aiming to marry the sounds of their contemporaries  Dopplereffekt, Underground Resistance, Plaid, with the influence of earlier travellers such as …view full details.



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