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The Leaf Label Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Wildbirds & Peacedrums

This is the second of two mini 12" EP's from Wildbirds & Peacedrums. The first passed me by but this one is all up in my face so i'll get on and tell you something about it. Wildbirds...specialise in high concept pop music much like Sade, Bjork, Kate Bush and those types so they've got a great front lady thing going on and they enlist the he...view item »


LWW is none other than Portland, Oregon's Luke Wyland with a three-lettered moniker describing his explorations in joyous repetition and softly-stated minimalism. Harsh vowels need not apply, but some rounded ones may accidentally appear. The project has already acquired the Nils Frahm / ...view item »

Whale City

Obviously it goes without saying that there's nothing I detest more than confident, cocaine-addled London bands. The sorts championed by those fellow snorting music press people still left hanging about since the decline of their 90s heyday. Initially Warmduscher are the very worst example. I mean look at t...view item »

Nightports with Matthew Bourne
Nightports with Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne, then. Which side of Matthew Bourne will we be getting here, the melodic Matthew or Experimental Matthew? Or both? This latter option would appear to be the case, for the Nightports project -- Nightports being the name of the challenge put to Bourne by Adam Martin and Mark Slater. This most Piano of keyboard men recorded the piano...view item »

Jherek Bischoff

Jherek Bischoff is a composer who has helped do all those Bowie tribute things in New York of late which means he must be something dead special. He also recently clambered into a massive water vat in order to improvise the pieces that have become 'Cistern'. No toilet jokes.     First up, what a fresh new way ...view item »

The Comet Is Coming
Channel The Spirits

The.. COMET! is.. COMING! But be not afraid, for this is no harbinger of the apocalypse (well, it might be actually) but it is also, significantly, a time for wild gyrating and head shaking! Danalogue and Betamax (Soccer 96) are here with the beats! Shabaka Hutchings has well and truly brought his funky rhythmic sax to the proceedings! I...view item »

Matthew Bourne

Something of a departure for Bourne, this; in that, as a hitherto unquestionably supreme tinkler of the ivories especially within the arena of improvised jazz, this album consists of him playing solely on a vintage electonic instrument, the oddity that is the memorymoog. It's a sound that oscillates, frequently if not wildly. You couldn't really...view item »

Polar Bear with Jyager
Common Ground

Polar Bear have taken samples from a vinyl copy of their Peepers LP (in true hip-hop style!!) to build new tracks with the addition of London MC Jyager. An unexpected move but a most welcome one. Jyager straddles the hip-hop grime bridge with slick flow and well decent lyrics. Polar Bear's new compositions really shine and the pair gel brilliant...view item »

Melt Yourself Down
Last Evenings On Earth

Hello. It is the return of party fusion contingent Melt Yourself Down and that is good. I am RSVPing to them with this review. We’ve already had hints of their return this year with a side-project by way of the Comet Is Coming, a more cerebral and often more psychedelic workout. ‘Last Evening...view item »

Matthew Bourne

Isotach. A line on a map connecting points of equal wind speed on a graph... So it’s welcome back, local man -- and apparently weather-obsessed -- Matthew Bourne. That Yorkshire does have some weather, right enough. Mostly w...view item »

Oh No Ono

Right then, one thing I can say about this new Oh No Ono record 'Eggs' is that its my favourite album of the year so far. It was my official 'waking up' music this morning and after a madcap dash through the snow to assist in hyperactive world of Norman Records I find its the first record on my pile to review. Strangely for such a super album the f...view item »

Vladislav Delay

Vladislav Delay has brought a new one out and its called "Tumma". Strangely enough if I hadn't got out of my seat to change the CD over (yes we are still old school) then I would have thought the first track was a continuation of the Mount Eerie record as it has lots of lovely ambient sounds and banging noises. Phil, bless him, did think ...view item »

Snapped Ankles
Come Play The Trees

Occasionally I look up from my desk to peer at what musics might be playing in the office. If I can bear to tear myself away from my Suzanne Vega album I might even ask what it is. More often than not of late the answer has been 'Snapped Ankles'. Firstly they are good because they dress as trees and we like trees but secondly they produc...view item »

Snapped Ankles
The Best Light Is The Last Light

Bizarre woodland creatures-slash-post-punk noise mongers Snapped Ankles sign with The Leaf Label, presenting their first physical release.  Delving into cinema as of late their tracks have taken an almost chase scene-like quality, hyper energised mixing the driving arpeggiator-like pulse of Apparat Organ Quartet...view item »

Opposite Corners

As part of our Leaf Label discount bonanza, here is a nice little transparent 7” single from 310, available for a staggeringly affordable price. Opposite Corners is a...view item »

Prague Rock

As part of our Leaf Label discount bonanza, here is a fully-fledged 12” EP from 310, made available for a staggeringly affordable price. The Frosty Bardum Affair feat...view item »

Jherek Bischoff

Scores is an instrumental version of Jherek Bischoff’s 2012 album Composed. While that record featured a bunch of guests providing vocals, Scores takes it back to just the music, revealing these busy little pieces in their full exquisite detail! Featuring what sounds like a decent-sized string en...view item »

Franck Vigroux & Matthew Bourne
Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited

Wow. This album is a covers album, in that it covers one album, Kraftwerk’s 1975 release Radio-Activity. You may be wondering what the point of that is, but don’t worry, I am too. I mean, they’ve even gone to the trouble of assembling vintage analog synths and enlisting the same engineer...view item »

Roll The Dice
In Dust

The Swedish duo of Malcolm Pardon and Peder Mannerfelt dropped an amazing record for Digitalis a wee while ago and then a limited edition 12" for the Leaf label. Both records had got me quite excited to hear another and here it is. A brilliant full album for Leaf. Let's face it, Leaf have acquired some top artist...view item »

Solid Gold

A collaboration between Portland duo Au and clever sax honker Colin Stetson.  Stetson amazed me earlier this year with his album of sax vignettes and here he really brings something to the party (a big fat sax in fact). The A side is your typically post Arcade Fire/Mumford and Sons ...view item »


Loud drums these lot. Very loud drums with vocals that border on caterwauling, and guitars which have your regulation trebly Vampire Weekend sound and a general vibe of  David Byrne goofed up on too many E numbers. I wouldn...view item »

Jherek Bischoff

Leaf have scooped up a nice li'l record here from Jherek Bischoff - a Seattle based composer and arranger who has collaborated and performed in groups as diverse as ...view item »

Start Breaking My Heart

Repress of Caribou(Dan Snaith)’s second full length album on Leaf. If you got into Caribou mainly by Our Love this is a wonderful bit of homework. Originally released under his Manitoba moniker before repackaging as Caribou in 2001. Start Brea...view item »

Julia Kent

It's fucking cold. But part of that reason is because I'm sitting here with the window wide open (don't ask). The fog hasn't lifted for days and everything is gloomy. I may be freezing but my working conditions suit this music perfectly. Kent has worked with everyone from Swans to ...view item »

Asa-Chang & Junray
Jun Ray Song Chang

Jun Ray Song Chang brought Asa-Chang (working here with Junray) to the attention of many back in 2001 when it was first release, thanks partly to the championing John Peel. The melding of East-Asian percussion, delicate melodies and tiny tweaks of electronic processing makes for an...view item »

Roll The Dice meets Pole
In Dubs

I met Pole once - he could be described in one word - cuddly. Never met Roll the Dice though but I’m sure they are cuddly in their own way. Here they’ve hooked up with Pole who has re-worked their composit...view item »

Melt Yourself Down
Dot To Dot

It’s the pre-party for the afterparty! It’s been a minute since we were graced with Melt Yourself Down’s first tight jazz-funk party, but they now return with the first single from their new (as of yet speculative) album. Peter Wareham sounds like he’s in a good mood, bursting into a sax jam as and when. So does ...view item »

Polar Bear
Same As You

Must admit I've never been that familiar with Polar Bear other than they are one of the country's most pre-eminent exponents of modern avant-jazz or something. Plus the drummer has an afro the size of which makes grown bald men weep with bitter envy and has played in many great UK jazz fusion units such as Fulborn Teversham and ...view item »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

This promo's been causing waves all around the office, to the point where I'm already being hassled to return the promo I'm reviewing so that other people can listen to it. It's been four years since Wildbirds & Peacedrums have released an album so you can be forgiven for not knowing who they are - which is the husband-and-wife duo of percus...view item »

Roll The Dice
Until Silence

I've tried with these Swedes before and I still haven't got 'em figured out on their third album so maybe I should just give up. It's not that I actively dislike them as I don't, There is just something a little laboured, authoritarian and pompous about their music, especially at its most dramatic and symphonic. That's not to say it isn't all RE...view item »

Melt Yourself Down
Melt Yourself Down

Pete Wareham from Acoustic Ladyland/Polar Bear has gathered together another of his supergroups for a cheeky Afro-dance jazz party which includes a Heliocentric, a Zun Zun Egui and a ...view item »

Polar Bear
In Each And Every One

The Mercury Music Prize nominated jazz combo Polar Bear are back with their fifth album ‘In Each And Every One’, it’s business as usual with their amazing mix of free jazz, hip-hop beats and avant garde noise scronk. This album though takes this sound further into more progressive territories with ...view item »

Both Lights

We played this in the office the other day and there was moaning. There often is but there was extra moaning. I've blocked it all out now but I wanted to hear these guys properly so I chucked it in my bag to give it a spin at home. It's only been on for a couple of minutes and I don't rem...view item »

Matthew Bourne
Montauk Variations

Undoubtedly a superior tinkler of the ivories, I'm finding this album just a little sophisticated for my tastes. Bourne's up and down that keyboard, showing the flair and dexterity that would come from someone who won the 'innovation' gong at the BBC Jazz awards in 2002. It plays a jazzy ...view item »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw

I'm utterly obsessed by this new A Hawk And A Hacksaw album. I've quite liked bits by 'em before but nothing has really grabbed by them as much as Delivrance, their brand new album on Leaf. I think it probably helped seeing them live the other week.... it was like being at a jewish wedding on crack. The music was so fast and furious I've no idea ho...view item »

Phelan Sheppard
Harps Old Master

Here I have the second album by PHELAN SHEPPARD of State River Widening fame, entitled 'Harps Old Master', proudly released on the Leaf label. This is a very beautiful and hypnotic album which would make a lovely film montage to stroke the head of a loved one to. This is a great study of the relationship between the heav...view item »

Nancy Elizabeth
I Used To Try

A 7" is available by the lady once known to her schoolmates as Cunliffe. I'm sure it got twisted a little into an unpleasant bastardisation at some point by some horrid reprobates. So she's now just known as Nancy Elizabeth. 'I Used to Try' is raggedy, slightly psychedelic tribalistic folk somewhere between Beth Orton & Sandy Denny. It's q...view item »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

These peeps never fail to impress me, a Swedish M/F duo that produce soulful, otherworldly percussive pop with scintillating use of abstract angles & bluesy vocal stylings. Her voice has a tendency to grate on some folk but I think she proudly straddles the boundary between Beth Gibbons & Beach House's Victoria Legrand, possessing an aff...view item »


Efterklang release their brand new album. I managed to play it all the way through and the only thing I can tell you about is that is extremly twinkly. I think I need to sepnd more time with it but what I heard I quite enjoyed. It's not an album you can hear the once to get the most out of it. 'Parades' is its name.... ...view item »

Adrian Klumpes
Be Still

ADRIAN KLUMPES is some dude from Triosk. He plays keyboard in said band in fact. His solo album on LEAF is here and it's a purdy sounding thing indeed...Piano is the key word here.... loads of the frickin' thing.  It's mixing classical and electronics (there's a lot of that this week) which I can't get enough of at the...view item »

Les Ondes Silencieuses

Colleen is some French artist from France. She has a new album out on 2 formats. One is a long playing 12" size LP format and the other format is a small shiny digital CD. I'm sure it's available on download but that's not really a format now is it? And you'll miss out on the gorgeous sleeve as well.... so you'll really be needing the vinyl for ...view item »

Oh No Ono

I can't remember a great deal about the Oh No Ono album except for the fact that Clinton was pretty keen on it. Not much of a frame of references for this set of remixes but I'll give it a shot.. Man of the moment Caribou contributes a surprisingly straight-up techno banger that's undoubtedly the main draw with its waves of satisfyingly batterin...view item »

Polar Bear

Yuk, the press release for this is a bit dodge.. Banging about how the nippers are stepping away from their crunky wonkstep and spraypainting "Hey, jazz is kewl!" all over your dad's Mondeo. Whatever Trevor. In any case is does mention sterling local heroes TrioVD who Polar Bear do share a vague similarity with in some senses, albeit with...view item »

Murcof, Colleen, Psapp, Caribou, Various
Check The Water

Leaf Records is ten years old and to celebrate this remarkable phenomenon they have branched out and released a cheap as chips double CD of selected music from their 10 years of being. So spread over the 2 discs you have Boymerang, Susumu Yokota, Four Tet, Caribou, Murcof, Colleen, Psapp, Efterklang, Boom Bip, 310, Icarus, Bill Wells...view item »

Efterklang & The Danish National Chamber Orchestra
Performing Parades

'Performing Parades' is the latest release from Efterklang performing their 2007 album 'Parades' accompanied by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. I'm not familiar with the original record nor am I familiar with the previous works of the band but on first listen this sounds like an intriging record. I'll assume that the band play some form of d...view item »

Everyone Alive Wants Answers

Colleen’s debut album Everyone Alive Wants Answers was first released in 2003, to the joy of those who heard it. The album is a sensitive suite of electronically-tweaked instrumentals, small-sounding melodic material spliced, looped and spun-around into something entrancing. This Leaf Label reissue (LP with CD) is...view item »

Et les Boites a Musique

Cos I'm busy listening to the new COLLEEN (French for Colin) CD on Leaf rather Frenchily titled Colleen Et Les Boites A Musique. This album has been entirely built using music boxes. I actually really like music boxes a lot and was seriously considering collecting 'em a while back but decided not to bother cos it seemed too much ...view item »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums
The Snake

Wildbirds & Peacedrums seem to have totally polarised the office with The Snake which can't be a bad thing now, can it? Getting a reaction's always a good thing. Phil and Business Lady aren't fans at all but Brian and I like it, the neurotic lady vocals and percussion heavy arrangements no doubt appealing to our post-punk sensibilities. Imagine...view item »


So the new Volcano! album has come in and reading the reviews down the bottom of the page here I've got to say I'm completely baffled.. 'Will appeal to fans of Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof, Why?, Liars, Battles and even Sparks!' it says, 'Will appeal to fans of OK Computer and Muse' I say. There seems to be quite a big disparity between wha...view item »

Africa Just Wants To Have Fun

Anything's going to be an improvement after The Fratellis so Volcano! have got it pretty lucky this week, in this context it sounds like the greatest artistic work produced by mankind since Commando. The peculiarly titled 'Africa Just Wants To Have Fun' is apparently a dig at goons like Bono which is always nice to hear, not that you'd be able to...view item »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw
The Way The Wind Blows

My own personal album of the week would be the new A HAWK & A HACKSAW album (I do like The Nightingales but this speaks to me in special ways...). 'The Way The Wind Blows' is a tremendous thing of a thing. Apparently there's a new phenomenon called 'Gypsy folk'. Wow! Actually it's just a phrase coined by journalists in a vain ...view item »

Up In Flames

On a similiar tip is the new Manitoba album which sounds much more Fourtet-ee than the last one. If you want an indication of what yr getting it's something like Fourtet having eaten Sun Ra and then being eaten by a bloody great big My Bloody Valentine monster. That make sen...view item »

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