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Shoegaze / Post-Rock / Math / Experimental Indie

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Shellac
Excellent Italian Greyhound

The year of our lord Thursday May 31st 2007 AD. A box arrives at Norman HQ from one of our distros. We are fully aware of its contents. We can barely contain the excitement. I start fumbling as I attempt to open the box... I'm in.... Behold in all its glory 'Excellent Italian Greyhound' the new LP from Shellac !!!!In my teens I was somewhat of...view item »

A Silver Mt Zion
Born Into Trouble

The A Silver Mt Zion LP (Born Into Trouble) sounds really good on first hearing. Very floaty in places, incredibly intense at others, big dollops of atmosphere dripping from every available orifice. Folks from Godspeed in case you didn't know. And the vinyl comes with a free poster. Nice!...view item »

Slint
Glenn / Rhoda (untitled)

Sort of named after the strangely stork-like man who used to manage Newcastle United, this is an appendage to Slint's two classic albums 'Tweez' and 'Spiderland'. If I remember correctly it takes one unused track from the sessions for each of the albums. Essential stuff particularly as they didn't release anything else after this. ...view item »

The Sea and Cake
Everybody

The Sea & The Cake release oh, what must be their tenth or eleventh long player. "Everybody" contains simple, understated music presented with an effortless poise that makes this bunch of musicians a joy to listen to. Who'd fail not to like a record with John McEntire at the helm. If you know anything about these Thrill Jockey stalwar...view item »

Gonjasufi
MU.ZZ.LE

Gonjasufi - the name you know. After wowing the world with his Warp debut 'A Sufi And A Killer' in 2010 Sumach Valentine returns with what I would consider to be a full album,  though it's been touted as a mini LP. So, we've got ten new tracks from the mind of  Valentine to mull ...view item »

Rachel's
Selenography

Firstly we have a new album by the magnificent Rachel's. It has 19 tracks on it and on first listen it sounds utterly compelling. For the uninitiated this is a neo classical collective from Kentucky who make some of the worlds most gorgeous music. It's all pianos and cellos, violas and violins that take your breat...view item »

Koolaid (Global Tyranny)
Koolaid (Global Tyranny)

Well, this one's madder than a box of frogs. It comes with a wildly diverse mixtape (WHICH HAVE ALL GONE NOW... SORRY!), awesomely bonkers sleeve art and a CD of the material on the LP, and even the label themselves (claim they) don't know who these guys actually are. As for that material ...view item »

Stephen / Steven and The Urxed
Split

This is a weird lad. It's a split between Stephen/Steven (a pseudonym of Brendan “BARR” Fowler) and The Urxed, which is High Places' Rob Barber. Fowler's side is a confusing lump of concrete, with tiny little piano samples clicking in and out like a scratched up CD. It's not re...view item »

Porcelain Raft
Strange Weekend

Porcelain Raft is the work of Mauro Remiddi, a native of Rome, Italy who has relocated a number of times before settling in New York where I'm assuming this record was made. 'Strange Weekend' is one of those very contemporary sounding records sitting somewhere between the blissful indie p...view item »

Russian Circles
Empros

Russian Circles have been refining their post-metal chops for years now, with this being their fourth full-length offering to date. It's a total monster, too. I'm totally in awe of how huge this sounds, and it's probably their most sophisticated offering in many respects, too. The guitar ...view item »

Matt Bartram
The Dreaming Invisible

You may know Matt Bartram's name if you're a fan of his main squeeze - Air Formation, a band that make Shoegaze music like it's going out of fashion. Bartram is generally regarded as one of the finest musicians to embrace the second wave of Shoegaze and make it his own. Always keen to sta...view item »

Neon Indian
Era Extrana

Neon Indian is back! In fairness though I didn't really get on the boat first time round so I'm having to rely on what Business Lady says about the previous record to some extent. She says it was a totally great slice of bedroom pop from around the time that Washed Out and Passion Pit were also putting out their high quality debuts. She also...view item »

Ural Umbo
Delusion Of Hope

Sometimes music can be brilliant and uplifting. The world can feel like a much lighter place to live in when you hear a Motown track, or a really sharp blast of Bob Pollard or mebbe a slice of Fine Young Cannibals and hey presto...everything's probably gonna be o.k. Then sometimes music ca...view item »

Kontakte
We Move Through Negative Spaces

This reminds me a little (or possibly a great deal, simultaneously) of Maps, early Mogwai, EITS, 65daysofstatic & Epic 45. Their last effort was a motorik Krauty affair but this is all proper "epic guitar cathedral walls", whispering, fluttery electronics & galloping, stomping, clattering drum machines with stately arpegiated guitar line...view item »

Eric Copeland
Alien In A Garbage Dump

Eric Copeland from Black dice has his second solo release out on Paw Tracks. 'Alien In A Garbage Dump' is a pretty messed up record. He takes some samples, loops them, filters and time stretches them, then sequences to give a disorientating effect with a twisted sense of funk. It's pretty weird and you'll either think its pretty cool or it will irr...view item »

The Do
Both Ways Open Jaws

This is sounding proper amazing on second listen. A Parisian duo specialising in sultry grown-up pop and tender mature indie with intricate arrangements and delectable hooks, I'm utterly entranced by the conclusion of the second song, 'Gonna Be Sick', a luscious emotive number I find very...view item »

Big Black
Pigpile

I need to get my facts straight on this, but I think this was the final release from Albini's wonderful experiment in sonic violence called Big Black. Either you love this kind of stuff or you hate it, but if you are looking for unique hard rocking greatness, you need to catch up with these guys. This is the ultimate live Big Black show, perform...view item »

M+A
Things.Yes

M+A are an Italian duo who make music in the vein of Postal Service, Panda Bear and mebbe even Tunng.They use delicate instrumentation and repetitive vocal loops to create a rich sound that is very nostalgic sounding, yet quite futuristic at the same time. Which makes about as much sense ...view item »

Gang Gang Dance
God's Money

Gang Gang Dance who are geniuses from another dimension. Everything about this progressively bonkers band screams inventive, barking mad, tribal & breathtaking. Imagine The Slits taking a ton of very wobbly narcotics  round Thinking Fellers Union Local 282's house before Sun City Girls come round & build...view item »

Sandro Perri
Impossible Spaces

You may be more familiar with Sandro Perri's work under the Polmo Polpo moniker. I missed the boat on his previous material under his own name so this is actually the first I've heard of it. He's certainly moved on since putting out his drone classic 'Like Hearts Swelling' a decade or so ...view item »

Stafraenn Hakon/ Emery Reel
Split

And sister label Awkward Silence (who possess a small yappy type dog with big friendly lick) has a brand new split 7" between Stafraenn Hakon & Emery Reel. T'Reel you may remember had a super CD on First Flight that we raved about last year & guess what? It shat out at the rate you wouldn't believe. And the tra...view item »

Trans Am
Thing

The latest LP from Trans Am has all the correct ingredients. Bass guitars sounding like they have been beamed in from the future. Rotor tom fills that remind me of Ghostbusters 2. Vocoder vocals that Frampton would wank off a tramp for. Massive production on some parts, minimalist electro on others. These guys have their houses in order. Some of th...view item »

My Autumn Empire
The Village Compass

My Autumn Empire is Benjamin Thomas Holton from pastoral superkings Epic 45. My Autumn Empire is Mr Ben's side project which he does when Epic 45 are on fag breaks or something. Hey we all need a vice. Mine? I like watching people put shoes on and then taking them off.... it's brilliant. Anyway here sees Ben on a more singer songwritery/ folky t...view item »

Cocteau Twins
Victorialand

Both shimmery and overpowering, this is a recording with both vastness and intricacy, like the massive snowpack made up of individual crystals which covers the territory the release is named for. Of all of their releases this is perhaps the most personal, and certainly the most haunting, plunging listeners into their own transcendent interior la...view item »

Salli Lunn
Heresy & Rite

Salli Lunn are a Danish four piece from the town of Frederikshavn. 'Heresy And Rite' was originally made available at the back end of 2010 via Australian label Hidden Shoals (as well as on their own imprint) but it has only just made its way into our hands. First up, this is a hands...view item »

Siinai
Olympic Games

The debut album from Finnish rockers SIINAI is a sly homage to the wonder and unification that only the Olympic games can produce. The passion, the drama, the failed drug tests. Mebbe not the last part but you catch my drift. It really does remind you of Chariots Of Fire in some of it...view item »

Evangelista
Hello Voyager

Carla Bozulich is one of those performers I'd like to class as an angry woman. Anyone remember those 're/search' books from ages ago? It had Lydia Lunch in and other such types talking about violence, death and menstruating... you know... a light hearted holiday read. Well if that book was being written now Carla would be in it I'm pretty sure. Her...view item »

Cant
Dreams Come True

Cant is the solo pseudonym of Grizzly Bear drummer Chris Taylor and 'Dreams Come True' is his debut solo album. Also known for his lavish productions for Dirty Projectors, Jamie Lidell, Solange Knowles, Twin Shadow and Blood Orange amongst others, this Taylor lad is obviously a talented fella. 'Dreams Come True' is chocker with the kind of t...view item »

Angela Valid
Angela Valid

There's somebody at the door. Angela Valid is here to invite you into her chuntering sound-hole. This is an LP which comprises three long improvised pieces which transport you into the dark mechanical realms of her twisted mind. This seems to be a combination of live improvisations and tape manipulation, building tones on top of one another ...view item »

Sierpinski
Evening Water Project

This is the most eagerly awaited thing since living memory. Yep I'm talking about the brand new Sierpinski CD on Jonathon Whiskey of all things. Yep we've come out of hibernation for one last fling at the world. Its our first release for 2 years and most likely our last (unless Sierpinski want us to do anymore and we'll ...view item »

Oldman
Son, Father And Son

Here's a CD by Oldman on the French Arbouse label. This is an odd beast. It starts off with a throbbing solo bass which reminds me of a Neubauten track from Tabula Rasa. Some eerie theremin noise and then some shuffling kicks in making one of the oddest tracks I've heard in a while. Then comes the old twiddly dee folk guitar. I swear I didn't know ...view item »

Blues Control
Puff

Here we have a repress of the third Woodsist release, recorded way back in the balmy days of '06. I don't know about you, but that was the craziest year of my life. What we've got here is some fuzzy, hazy, minimal psych of the highest order. It starts out a bit directionless for the first couple of minutes, but as soon as they hit a groove t...view item »

Pony
(I Forgot) To Turn You On

'(I Forgot) To Turn You On' is the work of the Toronto born, Netherlands based singer-songwriter known (for now) as Audrey. Can't help you with a second name, maybe Audrey doesn't have one...who knows? Anyway, her album is a beautifully crafted peice that has an air of melancholy without straying into full-on miserable territory. This is ach...view item »

Moonface
Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped

I wasn't sure what to expect with this album. Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade are two of my favourite bands. The repetition and sense of looping/cyclical rhythm in this album is expertly crafted and recalls elements of Philip Glass. The opening song "Return to the Violence of the Ocean Floor" is an epic synth based anthem with a very dark underto...view item »

Marzipan Marzipan
Marzipan Marzipan

Marzipan Marzipan: "S/T" (Sound Of Perpetual Astonishment) One girl vocal antics with sparse guitars, fx and electronic instrumentation. Lurching from the semi- harsh to the playfully melodic. Sing-song/half spoken word delivery for fans of Chicks on Speed or any of those femminist Berlin girls with DIY agendas....view item »

Roman Ruins
Pastor/al

Everything on this label comes on coloured wax with download codes. That's because they care about you. Instantly you feel loved and that's no bad thing. This oranged up beast is one of the chillwave variety. Smothered in 80's synth washes and that acceptable cheese sound of chill wave I'm immediately thinking Washed Out and folks like Toro Y Mo...view item »

Kimonophonic/ Transbeauce
Split

"I struggled over to the record player and shoved on this 7" by Kimonophonic and Transbeauce. Some prat had called it Chloe. Don't know what that's about. I ate one but it tasted shit but it sounded alright to listen to. Anyway Kimonophonic (from Canada) do 2 tracks of instrumental lovelyness...view item »

Shit & Shine
229 2299 Girls Against Shit

Oh Man the latest Shit and Shine record is totally awesome. From the moment I hit play I'm smashed over the head with some ugly, nasty overloaded distorted repetitive heavy rock music. 'Have you Really Thought About Your Presentation?' is a blistering opening track to say the least. It's nuts! It's ridiculous and I LOVE IT! I could quite...view item »

Lachrymose One/ Sansava
Split

Split 7"s eh? We have one here featuring the delightful post Dinosaur/Sebadoh style lo-fi rock of Lachrymose One sharing a sexy slab of sweet vinyl with the much gentler Sansava introducing  their sweet, blissed out Broken Dog/Mazzy Star inspired melancholic loveliness. This is the follow up to that nice...view item »

Kasha
What a Colourful Mouth

This is the second release from this quartet who hail from Caneberra in the upsidedown land. As my brain has turned to jelly I shall do the lazy cop out thing of copying something directly from the press release, here you go: "rework the traditional notion of rock music, approaching tension and repetition with dissonance and metric imbalance - t...view item »

Expansion Hall
Left Behind

Right, first thing's first, there are only 100 of these in the whole wide world. It's very winsome acoustic pop, the lead track shamelessly nicks the melody from Blondie 'Heart of Glass' I think. This nagged at me all day when the promo came in last week but I suppose a nicked melody is better than none at all. The set up is simple, acoustic...view item »

No Balls
Less

Dirgey repeato riff rock with a loose punky edge is always gonna make this office swing. No Balls have a similar nihilistic outlook to Shit & Shine, their new album is a bit slacker & rawer than the 'Come Clean' record but by side two you're truly sucked into that wonderful vortex of cyclic scuzz rifferama, flailing drums & general e...view item »

Burmese
Lun Yurn

This is certainly by far the most violent release I've heard this week. Burmese are a five-piece from San Francisco, apparently, although all the text in the artwork is in Japanese except the band's names - Mike, Mike, Mark, Weasel and Tissue. I can't help but wonder if Tissue is his actual name or an elective pseudonym, and if it is th...view item »

Plantagenet 3
Modern Myths and Fairy Tales

Atmospheric almost surf style music from this Lahndann group. It sounds like the soundtrack to an unmade film...probably (I'd hope) a surf style spaghetti western starring Wayne Sleep as a light-footed sheriff who rides a surfboard on a horse trying to keep a group of bandits (led by the rather excellent Mel Gibs...view item »

Efrim Manuel Menuck
High Gospel

This is the bloke who elongated The Silver Mount Zion's set to even more mammoth proportions when I saw them last year with rambling go nowhere stories between songs like a coked up 80's Rod Stewart on a particularly gruesome edition of the Russell Harty show. I'm being overly harsh, of course, I was so tired ...view item »

The Pattern Theory
The Pattern Theory

Blooming post-rock time now. I'm unsure how to accurately describe this, it's a very melodic and sweetly executed instrumental rock album with progressive and electronic undertones. Lots of dynamic, playful percussion; woozy old analogue synths adding a really spacious, exploratory dimension; inspired splashes of...view item »

Elika
Snuggle Bunnies

Well I was reading the press release for this and it goes on about synths, field recordings, sound installations etc and I was expecting a right load of "beard". What I did get was a total pop album, the vocals of which sound reminiscent of Madonna (especially the 'Ray of Light' era). Listening to it with headphones on though I'm hearing a lot m...view item »

Thisquietarmy
Vessels

Eric Quach records under a number of different monikers but he's possibly more famous for Thisquietarmy (now known as TQA for review purposes because my fingers are tired). His music tends to be quite varied as well (the big multi headed beast he is) as he treads from genre to genre like a tip-toeing Canadian doom pixie. This album is kinda doom...view item »

Gang Gang Dance
Eye Contact

So Gang Gang Dance's journey has seen them release material on the Social Registry, Warp, Young Turks and eventually landed them on 4AD whom they now have presenting this full length following the 'Glass Jar' 12". I can't help but feel that 4AD have lost their identity a little in recent times, both musically and aesthetically. Whether that's a ...view item »

Jookabox
The Eyes of the Fly

We liked this Jookabox CD, at least a couple of us did here at the diversely staffed & attitude-rich compendium of rickety towers that is Norman. It seems only people with really stupid names make good music these days. Like Badger Flour & Horse Goblin. They're my new bands. But they're not as fun as David 'Moose' Adamson's project which...view item »

Emphemetry
A Lullaby Hum For Tired Streets

Ahhhh close my eyes and I'm transported from this dingy office into green pastures as opener 'After Catalunya' evokes pastoral scenes with its delicate ambience and meandering almost folky guitar. This is the work of the talented Richard Birkin Of Derby who plays guitar, piano, loop pedals and also sings. You just get the feeling that an inc...view item »

Buk Buk Bigups
Buk Buk Bigups

Yeah! This is theeeee SHIT! Wonky, druggy new-wave disco funk. Gimme gimme gimme. This S/T effort is decidedly spilling with odd flavas. A wired, itchy, possessed motorik workout with some proper groovy old organ and tripped out guitar licks all over the shop - this is what a hybrid of Stranger Son of WB, LCD Soundsystem, an almost comatose Do...view item »

Shearing Pinx
Weaponry

Shearing Pinx have a great album cover on Weaponry. It's a pastel print of a lion coming out of the darkness and the lion is trying to swipe an 18th century fop off his bicycle! It could be an 18th century fop, or a member of some urchin rock band.. Who knows,you never see them at the same gig. The record's a beast too, a really filthy sound that s...view item »

Hiking
Trenches / Bikini Atol

Didn't realise X-mist was still going so that's some good news right there. Nice! Hiking are a new outfit featuring members of Bad Dudes, Silver Daggers and Bipolar Bear and they make a righteous party racket that sounds instantly appealing the moment the needle hits the wax. The press release suggests that they sound like Les Savy Fav reinterpr...view item »

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