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HazelEye And The Pad
HazelEye And The Pad

My immediate response to this CD was one of confusion. The goofy name, presented on the cover in about five different fonts, made me think it might be some kind of joke, but then when I look closer, and indeed listen, it’s actually quite serious, pretty, minimalist melodic folk son...view item »

Black Twig Pickers
Whompyjawed

Yee-haw!! When is an album not an album? I’d have said this was a 12”. It has two songs on it - albeit long ones. The first, ‘Merry Mountain Hoedown’, is just as you imagine, a banjo and fiddle workout with carefully placed yee-haws. It’s thoroughly enjoyable ...view item »

Bobby Womack
The Bravest Man In The Universe

Now that Gil Scott Heron has died,  XL have had to go scratting around for another legend to resurrect. And who better than one of the Womack’s  - Bobby. Remember, Bobby was not part of Womack and Womack whos...view item »

Volcano The Bear
Golden Rhythm / Ink Music

My unique selling point here at Norman Towers is my ability and willingness to review records nonstop for indefinite periods of time, and yet sometimes a band is so uncategorisable that it's pretty much impossible to encapsulate their essence in a couple of paragraphs of pearly prose....view item »

Mississippi John Hurt
Last Sessions

I listened to this album a few times before I noticed something unusual. The simple songs, the traditional lyrics, the rhythmic guitar, when added up, when listened to with something resembling sensitivity, convey a staggering and intense gentleness and peace. This guy RADIATES peace like some swami or guru. The beauty, though, is that he's not ...view item »

Jack White
Blunderbuss

Still keeping himself busy then and seemingly not content with playing on, producing, releasing and personally distributing to the stores every single record made by everyone from Tom Jones to ...view item »

The Sugarman Three
What The World Needs Now

Funk and jazz and fun. This recording by Sugarman Three contains that and some lovely standards done in their trademark style. That was a selling point for me compared to their other discs. This particular recording has class and style and does not falter in delivering the Funk goods - even if it's not as funky as "Pure Cane Sugar", but it's sol...view item »

Spiritualized
Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Think you know what to expect from Spiritualized by now? Well, you'd be right! Yup, the English band with the American spelling are back with a new platter of their ambitious indie-psych-pop-gospel-drug music packed with 11 cuts that sound jus...view item »

Michael Kiwanuka
I'm Getting Ready

This guy's getting a lot of positive attention at the moment and brought out a recent 10” that was quite lovely if I remember correctly. On this 7” there's a couple of short and slightly insubstantial songs that highlight his lovely voice and dreamy acoustic soul stylings. I'm ...view item »

Luke Roberts
The Iron Gates At Troop and Newport

How many lonesome singer songwriters does it take for someone to figure out that we don't need any more of them?  I'm not sure if there is an upper limit but if there was some kind of cull then Luke Roberts would be on the right side of the cut. He peddles a kind of back porch melanch...view item »

SYCH
Lunar Roulette

I used to be terrified of free jazz. Now I regularly go to dingy strip clubs with my mate Free Jazz Joe & we recklessly snort heroin in the humid, filth-caked toilets whilst talking about destroying form & structure & just letting rip on a piece of well-oiled brass and, like, letting your mind transcend your body and that kind of thi...view item »

Chuck Bettis
Urgency Renewal

Chuck Bettis is pals with that band Big Blood so they've put a CD out of his stuff on their own Don't Trust The Rain label. Bettis is one of them spontaneous composition types so, as you can imagine, 'Urgency Renewal' is chocker with systematically chaotic compositions. It was recorded over a period of time in different locations with...view item »

Bill Wells
Lemondale

Last night scratting through the obscure TV channels I came across an old episode of 'Last of the Summer Wine'. It culminated in the three old men hurtling down a hill, not in a bath this time but on a bike. You couldn't make it up. I mention this for no other reason that the opening melo...view item »

El Rego
El Rego

How exciting to have a really well selected comp of the great El Rego! My only quibble with this release is that some of the tracks overlap with the prior released compilation by Analog Africa called 'The Legends of Benin' (get it-it's great). With so many other fine tracks not compiled anywhere I wonder why they decided to release a bunch that ...view item »

Sweet Williams
Bliss

Funny that Charlottefield were one of the first bands ever to be played in our new office. Post-hardcore/emo types with a brittle yet simultaneously raging character, they probably never sold that many records but gave us many an hour's pleasure with their edgy dynamism and thorough pas...view item »

The Stepkids
The Stepkids

The Stepkids have created an unconventional and unlikely mash-up of 70s psychedelic soul with avant-garde electric jazz (a la Miles Davis's fusion period of the late 60s and early 70s) and a melodic rock sound that somehow creates a completely ageless and timeless feel. This is music that is both firmly rooted in its influences yet is also start...view item »

The Edgar Jones Free Peace Thing
Stormy Weather

What an odd career path Edgar 'Jones' Jones has had from The Stairs' marvellous '60s beat group racket to his excellent 'Soothing Music for Stray Cats' album to being hyped by Noel Gallagher and working with the Scouse mafia of McCulloch, Power and Mavers...view item »

Betty Davis
They Say I'm Different

Despite the "freaky" outfit on the cover, Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different" eschews the space alien/psychedelic/glam/absurdist themes of contemporaries like Parliament & co. If those groups are the Bob Dylans of funk, Betty Davis (one-time wife of Miles Davis) is the Janis Joplin. The music has the simplicity and punchiness of blues, the...view item »

Acid Birds
Acid Birds III

A superb double whammy wax hit this week from BR, the first of which is rotating right now. Acid Birds is the work of Andrew Barker (drums and percussion), Jaime Fennelly (harmonium and electronics) and Charles Waters (alto saxophone and bass clarinet). Things get straight into action with some clattering free j...view item »

Prop
Nebula

here is a 7" by Prop which is nice rhodes piano and questionable twiddling bass. The next track veers into miniature, sweeter Squarepusher territory. Final track funks a bit too much but has interesting sounds and beats. Nebula is 7" only on Inventing Zero records....view item »

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
Smoking In Heaven

Phil, God bless him, used to rave about these lot. Kitty, Daisy and Lewis are, I believe, the precocious offspring of the bloke who owns The Exchange mastering studio and the lady who used to be the drummer in The Raincoats no less. Both appear on this record, writing, playing and producing. A bit like my VAT inspector and shop assistant parents...view item »

Jackie O Motherfucker
Ballads of the Revolution

Jackie O Motherfucker, I like these sometimes but they're quite an unpredictable bunch.. Their weirdy folky bits on albums like Fig. 5 I'm particularly into but I do think they do droney psych oddness rather nicely too. Ballads of the Revolution starts off with the former, living up to its title with melancholic songs sung over quietly experimental...view item »

Shiggajon
Asconema

Shiggajon is an ongoing collective project centred around Danish lads Nikolai Brix Vartenberg and Mikkel Reher-Langberg. They specialise in free forms of music, primarily of a psychedelic nature. This is the first time Shiggajon's music has been documented on vinyl and what a fine document it is. Recorded on the final date of their UK tour 'Asco...view item »

Danielson
Best Of Gloucester County

Those who stumbled across the trailer for 'A Family Movie'  - a 2006 film about the ongoing multi limbed sprawl known as 'Danielson Famile' would have seen leader Daniel Smith performing in front of baffled onlookers dressed as a tree. They would have also been aware of the slightly disarming religious undertones to their ...view item »

The Sidewinders
Flatfoot Hustlin'

Jazzman continue the eternal quest for the ultimate rarities with their 'Holy Grail' series. This time around they've uncovered a rarely heard gem of an LP from Canadian (?) Funk & Soul outfit The Sidewinders. Nova Scotia seems like an unlikely place to discover a full on Funk band of any discernible quality but I guess if you're looking har...view item »

Tony Cook
Back to Reality

Interesting release from Stones Throw rather than an essential one. Tony Cook produced boogie funk disco tracks and in some quarters has been associated with assisting in the development of House music. It is this association that has undoubtedly lent to the desire to put this co...view item »

Callers
Life of Love

These guys are doing something a little unusual. They're an NY based outfit who blend folksy art-rock, gospel, Americana & and an abstracted form of psychedelic blues into something that sounds much more appealing than what I just said. The lady singer is the main draw here. Somewhere between the Karens Dalton & Carpenter with maybe a bi...view item »

Rev. Johnny L. Jones
The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta

It's not hard to be swept up by the spirit as this jam-packed anthology spins in the CD player. For gospel fervor and exhilaration, this is potent stuff: stomping feet, roiling organ, full-throttle vocal testimony, some surprisingly hard-grooving drums...it all adds up to a thrilling document of one of Atlanta's most beloved spiritual leaders. I...view item »

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
(Baby) Hold Me Tight / Buggin' Blues

I have a soft spot for Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. I think it's cos reminds me of yesteryear when things were less shit and less complicated than they are now. Maybe I'm just being all nostalgic and all that but it has that kind of appeal to me. (Baby) Hold Me Tight is poptastic slab of 50's Hawaiian influenced rock 'n roll. It's supremely quaint and...view item »

Martin Kuchen Keith Rowe & Seymour Wright
Kuchen - Rowe - Wright

Ex-AMM fella Keith Rowe's prepared guitar assaults are definitely the focus in this trio outing with the dual alto sax's of Martin Kuchen and Seymour Wright. They give him utmost respect and huge amounts of space to take the lead, an invitation he accepts more than willingly as he wrings out all manner of tones, drones and buzzes from his humble...view item »

Havard Volden & Toshimaru Nakamura
Crepuscular Rays

Duo between Havard Volden’s contact mic-ed acoustic guitar and Toshimaru Nakamura’s no-input mixing board, on Another Timbre. Nakamura is of course an absolute maestro with his ghostly electrical currents, and Volden is no slouch: what is fascinating is that the two instruments, enormously different ...view item »

Lucio Capece & Lee Patterson
Empty Matter

Two masters of tiny sounds meet up on this Another Timbre release. Lucio Capece predominantly plays soprano saxophone or bass clarinet, which he approaches more as tubes for breath than as traditional ‘instruments’. Lee Patterson uses all sorts of sound processes: on one track here, he amplifies the ...view item »

Charles Mingus
Mingus Ah Um

In 1959, Charles Mingus was at the height of his powers-- in the midst of a roll from a stream of fine music on Atlantic, he signed to Columbia and delivered his first album in early 1959, "Mingus Ah Um". Perhaps the best album Mingus ever recorded, Mingus augments his working band (saxophonists John Handy and Booker Ervin, pianist Horace Parlan...view item »

Chicago Underground Duo
Boca Negra

How you feel about this album will depend on how you feel about harmony, melody, and other typical ingredients of quasi-jazz composition. It sounds fresh every time I listen to it. It's as if Steve Reich took some ecstasy or some relaxing psycho-tropic substance. Morton Feldman tried to create music that was like a painting, meaning, I think, th...view item »

Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens
What Have You Done, My Brother?

This is Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens' record label debut on Daptone. The overall sound is a unique and immediately accessible mix of 1950s gospel (the Blind Boys of Alabama and pre-pop Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers) and 1960s soul, funk and r&b. The lyric themes are timeless, and the music is joyous and uplifting, with Naomi's gritt...view item »

The Heavy
Great Vengeance & Furious Fire

I checked this out after listening to The Glorious Dead and The House That Dirt Built, so I was kind of working backwards chronologically. GV&FF doesn't quite have the same spark that the subsequent albums possess, but it's still a really solid album; there isn't a lemon in the batch, and if you enjoyed their other work then this is a must-h...view item »

Little Barrie
Love You

LITTLE BARRIE is some funk dude on Genuine Records. Only on his new single Love You he seems to have dropped the funk and gone for an early 60's pop motif. I can't help feeling that if Jamiroquai was any good he'd make records like this. Quite bouncy sounding fun pop tune which doesn't fit in with any current trends. An enormous bonus in my book....view item »

Dudley Perkins
Come Here My Dear

More laidback funky soul goodness from the expressions 2012 a.u. album cooked up between Madlib and Declaime aka Dudley Perkins. This track carrying a slightly more hip hop flavour with M.E.D guesting and providing a smooth rap midway through. Really this project is all about Madl...view item »

Jamie Lidell
Multiply

Jamie Lidell has a new tune out on Warp on 12" and CD. Never really hear much from this guy so I didn't really know what to expect but it sounds exactly like some 60's black soul ala Otis Redding, Sam Moore, Marvin Gaye etc. Quite like it 'n all. At least it doesn't sound like everything else.... Also there's mixes on ...view item »

Artanker Convoy
Mature Fantasy

Never heard of The Social Registry label B4 but in our box from our lovely US distributor we have a new CD by 'em. First up is by Artanker Convoy. The first track sounds like David Holmes funking up Tortoise which is no bad thang, dude. In fact the whole 4 tracker is on a funky, jazzy post roc...view item »

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