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Alter Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Trevor
Becoming A Bed

Melbourne-based Total Control drummer James Vinciguerra releases his debut solo album as Trevor, titled Becoming A Bed, via Alter Records. Spanning seven tracks, this often bewildering collection sprawls across everything between gibbering computer hardware meltdowns and unsettling spoken-word pieces. 
  • Label(s):
  • Alter

Fabulous Diamonds
Plain Songs

Australian musicians Jarrod Zlatic and Nisa Venerosa formed Fabulous Diamonds back in the early Noughties, and produced a series of lauded records for assorted small labels that explored the more minimalist end of psychedelic rock. But Plain Songs is a departure for the duo, utilising electronics to weave a haunting yet intimate late-night atmosphere. 

Hey Colossus
Carcass / Medal

A bite-sized portion of psych / psychotic rock music from the Hey Colossus stable. 'Carcass' is as near to pop as you might expect this crew to get, whereas 'Medal' on the flip-side is a fast and furious blast-crunch. A well-selected single really, showing off different modes of the Colossus. 7” on Alter.

Total Control
Laughing At The System

Laughing At The System is the first music from Melbourne’s Total Control since their second LP, Typical System in 2014. The band are essentially a post-punk band influenced by the likes of Joy Division, but throw a bit of ‘80s electro in the mix too. The band don’t necessarily always tour with the full line-up, and they like the fact that this makes them a bit enigmatic, however, they are happy to point out that the full five-piece contributed to this. 12” EP on Alter.

The Pheromoans
County Lines

The Pheromoans started life as a sort-of-garage-rock band before introducing electronics to their music, which upped the experimentation somewhat. Their fifth and latest album, County Lines, brings together all their past sounds into what is, arguably, a more coherent record. Think Clinic but weirder.

Hey Colossus
Four Bibles

Hey Colossus make it a dozen studio LPs with new record Four Bibles. This is at once some of the most direct and the most daring full-length that the sextet have made yet. Tracks like ‘Memory Gore’ are monolithic lopes that blur the boundaries between noise-rock and metal. The risk-taking comes in the instrumentation and ephemera - piano, electronics and violin all crop up on Four Bibles (the latter of which is proffered by This Is Not This Heat/Grumbling Fur man Daniel O’Sullivan), and bassist Joe Thompson has written a book to coincide with the album’s release.

Various
ALERT!

Alter, the label of Luke Younger (a.k.a. Helm) has been a consistently essential source for releases which fall through the cracks. Whether it be The Bomber Jackets, Yeah You, or Low Life, this label provides a home for D.I.Y aesthetics and ethics, irrespective of anything as trivial as genre. This compilation ALERT! can be seen as a user's manual to the modern underground, including artists as form shattering as Teresa Winter, Tomaga, and The Modern Institute.

Low Life
Downer Edn

Second album by Aussie punks Low Life after their killer 2014 debut. Although Downer Edn ("Edition" in Strayan) features arguably less intense cover art, the music will match your expectations. Think Protomartyr but darker and more urgent, accelerated sun-bleached post-punk. So if you're into that, this album might actually not be a downer at all. 

Christoph de Babalon
Hectic Shakes

Christoph de Babalon joins the excellent Alter label for an EP of dark and doomy experiments in breakbeats and drum and bass. Babalon's long been canonised for the brilliant If You're Into It, I'm Out of It and here proves that his mix of unsettling ambience and lethal drum patterns is just as potent as ever.

Liberez
Way Through Vulnerability

Alter bring you Southend-on-Sea duo Liberez and their mysterious, billowing lineup of guests with new album Way Through Vulnerability. This one’s a strange broth of cultural signifiers and styles. You’ve got your flamenco rhythms, ritualistic clapping, nods to classic Italian experimentalism and grim industrial music. You’ve also got your lyrics in Basque, Hungarian and Ancient Russian.

Acolytes
Rupture

(8) Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir So that every mouth can be fed Pooooooor me Acolytes (8) That’s about the only thing that the work of Desmond Dekker shares with the racket made by this London group. On new LP Rupture, Acolytes combine computer music, IDM, noise and loops to create visceral, strangely trance-inducing numbers. Imagine if the very noisiest end of Yves Tumor spilled over into Hidden-era These New Puritans.

Yeah You‎
VHOD

You want father/daughter lo-fi noise pop on cassette? Well Yeah You have just the thing for you, yeah, you. Distorted beats and synths melded with field recordings and stream-of-consciousness lyrics, recorded ostensibly anywhere - roadsides, car parks, and really wherever takes their fancy when out and about. VHOD, the title of this here recording translates from Slovenian as Entrance. Cassette on Alter.

Helm
World In Action Remixed

Fan’s of Helm’s recent EP World In Action will want to lap up this new release pronto: it’s stacked to the gills with quality remixes by killer producers like Laurel Halo, Low Jack, Sky H1 and Parris. Helm’s original sound-slabs are transformed into club pounders and sloooow jams in a very varied selection. 12” on Alter.

Nick Klein
The Lonesome Dealer

Nick Klein comes to the dancefloor from a performance and sound-art background, mixing up noise-damaged industrial techno with a real kick to it. The 4 tracks of The Lonesome Dealer are heavy and woozy and carefully constructed for precision impact. This 12” is released by Luke Younger (aka Helm)’s Alter label.

Low Life
Dogging

Mmmmmm, fucked-up sleazy dredge-rock from Australian gang Low Life. Dogging feels like a document of bad goings-on (as pictured in the album artwork), approached with a wry nihilism and sharp guitars and synthesisers. Released in Australia in 2014, and now reissued by Luke Younger’s Alter label

The Bomber Jackets
Kudos To The Bomber Jackets

The absolute state of that cover art. Continuing their usual tightrope walk between poignant and crass the Bomber Jackets follow up their Alter debut with more scattershot pop hits, breaking everything into a kinda silly, drunken stupor where the vocals are plain and wobbly against lazy beats and shiny and amused keys. Sounds like the kinda DIY you might've made when you were young and in your best pal's attic room, bridging sillinesses from novelty pop to deconstructed hardcore.

Love Theme
Love Theme

Alex Zhang Hungtai of Dirty Beaches, joined by Austin Milne and Simon Frank present a deeply melancholic blend of avant-garde drone and improvisation, made up of saxophones, synths and percussion. Recording their improv session they return to their very distant homes (London, LA and Taipei) to begin editing separately. Love Theme is looming, sorrowful yet graceful.

Chain of Flowers
Let Your Light In / Flesh, Blood and Bone

Double A-side single from Cardiff’s premier post-punk-shoegaze-pop outfit Chain Of Flowers. Let Your Light In / Flesh, Blood and Bone sounds like it could play to get the crowd excited before a Cure gig, with moody vocals and dramatic synth and guitar lines. Released as a 7” single on the Alter label.

Basic House
I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me

Second full-length album from Basic House. I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me delivers on the simmering threat of its title with a set of creeping collages that push out-of-focus beats into an ooze of dubby abstract sounds. High on atmosphere and low on resolution, that’s what we like to hear! On Alter.

Tomutonttu
Kevätjuhla

Tomutonttu (aka Finnish artist Jan Anderzén) presents a vinyl distillation of the sound aspect of his Kevätjuhla installation work. The tone is garishly colourful and bizarrely fragmented all at the same time, with poppy fragments swimming around in a sea of bright electronics, all directed by some invisible alien logic. The LP is released by Helm’s label Alter.

Chain of Flowers
Cadwyn O Flodau

Don’t be deceived by the pretty name and LP cover. Chain of Flowers is the heavy-hitting debut from the Welsh heavy shoegaze rockers of the same name. Guitars swirl around, crashing into a mix of sonic drawl. There’s an urgency and drive to the songs but also some more tender moments within it all. For fans of TOY and Bo Ningen.  

Croatian Amor
Love Means Taking Action

Croatian Amor is one of many projects helmed by Loke Rahbek of Posh Isolation. It leans away from the sharp noise he often dabbles in, instead presenting some pretty shimmery synth songs. Love Means Taking Action  is a joint release between Posh Isolation and Luke Younger’s Alter label: one handles the LP, the other the CD.

M Ax Noi Mach
On The Edge

On The Edge is the first full-length record we’ve heard from M Ax Noi Mach in 6 years. Pleasingly, the time away hasn’t resulted in him cleaning up his act: his negative feelings are still as raw as ever, and the soundscapes are mostly stark synth and industrial beats. It’s a menacing listen, the product of rage and frustration. On Alter.

The Pheromoans
I’m On Nights

The Pheromoans have been around for nine years now and have a comprehensive back catalogue of guitar-based indie rock. On their new album I’m On Nights, guitars take a back seat as analogue synths, drum machines and keyboards create the backdrop for vocalist Russell Walker’s frosty poems.

Shallow Sanction
Without Light

Release number two from Shallow Sanction, who seem to make a kind of punk rock that is informed by a noise perspective. Indeed, harsh noise creator Cremation Lily turns up to add extra (power) electronics into the mix. Without Light is pretty ferocious, and the 7” is limited to just 250 copies, so don’t hang around. On Luke Younger (Helm’s) Alter label.

Lumisokea
Mnemosyne

Drone time baby! Not just any old drones though: Lumisokea have been working with recordings of such resonant acoustic instruments as gamelan and cello, and have processed and re-engineered them into the pieces you hear on Mnemosyne. Detailed electroacoustic sound caverns, pressed to vinyl on the Alter label.

Uniform
Perfect World

Uniform is a group made up of two New York individuals, channeling their creativity through determinedly cheap equipment. The sound they aim for isn’t exactly lo-fi, though it comes across as a sort of Suicide if most of the synth was instead guitar. Crucially, they have that dogged repetition thing down. Perfect World is on Alter.
  • Label(s):
  • Alter

Acolytes
Acolytes

Difficult to pin down debut album from Acolytes. With guest appearances from D. Aird (Vindicatrix) and D. Bolger (The Pheromoans), Acolytes mixes tribal rhythms with 8-bit bleeps and stop-start song structures to intriguing effect. If Ensemble Economique was born in London. Out on Vinyl LP from Alter.