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Room40 Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Mass Observation (Expanded)

Originally released in 1994, the Mass Observation LP was Robin Rimbaud's groundbreaking record as Scanner. Part of a wider interest and study in surveillance -- very relevant in today's climate, with a society obsessed with virtual media, Big Brother and Love Island -- this previously unreleased and expanded edition inc...view item »

M.Geddes Gengras
Light Pipe

Light Pipe is the 10th album from synth maestro M.Geddes Gengras. For him, it's his most ambitious work yet, running at over two and a half hours long and written in response to a number of site specific installations, one disc covering those that were inside, while the other on those out. He reflects these spac...view item »

Olivia Block
132 Ranks

Personally, I am of the opinion that anything by Olivia Block immediately deserves serious attention, but in case you need convincing… Block is a maestro of blurring the boundaries between acoustic and electronic sound, and on 132 Ranks she achieves this in live performance. This is a recording o...view item »

Tony Buck

It's been fifteen long years since we last heard solo work from Tony Buck. Having spent a long time working as the clairvoyant drummer in improvisational noise trio the Necks, it may be a surprise to many that he has strong compositional chops. The appropriately titled Unearth reveal...view item »

Indelicate Slices

On his newest album, Pinkcourtesyphone, is rehabilitating mood music. Its status as musical self-help means it’s rarely taken seriously, so Richard Chartier’s solution? Negativity. Indefinite Slices comes on a limited edition CD featuring seven tracks which plumb atmospheric depths, ...view item »

Norman Westberg

It’s that bloke, the guitarist from SWANS. Yep, here’s Norman Westberg’s solo work and he has been a prolific contributor to various projects over the years; from film appearances to bands Five Dollar Priest and The Heroine Sheiks. On 13, Westb...view item »

Norman Westberg

Long-time Swans man Norman Westberg follows up on last solo reissue 13 with MRI, also for Lawrence English’s Room40 label. These recordings, which feature Westberg pulling his guitar through some deep and heavy processes, were initially self-released: thi...view item »

Norman Westberg
Jasper Sits Out

As well as beng the guitarist in Swans, Norman Westberg has had a fair few other side projects as well as working on his own, much more minimal pieces. Originally self-released with only 100 copies in 2014 Room40 are bringing Jasper Sits to a larger audience. The precise and conscious manipulation of to...view item »


‘Qoosui’ is a remarkably gorgeous album from Haco, founding member of the legendary Japanese avant-pop group, After Dinner. Her angelic voice is sublime and just melts wonderfully into her liquid ambient soundscapes, creating an immersive dreamworld that has me imagining I’m hanging out in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Ear...view item »

Thembi Soddell
Love Songs

Oh my goodness, what have I done? Hitting play on this album has been something akin to opening Pandora's box and unleashing a dark force into my home. I think I had better go hide the children under the bed before some bad dudes from the Black Lodge show up… hang on.. They’re already here…. Arghhh! I jest of course, ...view item »

Joana Gama | Luís Fernandes
The Still Point Of The Turning World

Gorgeous, deeply atmospheric minimalist-inspired work from Orquestra de Guimarães composed and directed by Joana Gama and Luís Fernandes with arrangements from José Alberto Gomes. This outstanding modern composition was commissioned by Câmara Municipal de Guimarães and A Oficina / Westway Lab Festival in 2017 and has been mixed and pro...view item »

Ueno Takashi
Smoke Under The Water

Japanese guitarist Ueno Takashi is a prolific solo artist and a key collaborator, both as part of Tenniscoats and in one-offs with the likes of Keiji Haino...view item »

Nicola Ratti
The Collection

Bellows band member Nicola Ratti caught our attention with the excellent Pressure Loss release on Where To Now? and now shores up on the ever-essential Room40 with a new suite of refined, rhythmic minimalism. The pitter patter of Ratti’s percussion is austere, but there’s a sense of fun rubbed into the ...view item »

Rafael Toral
Moon Field

Highly skilled and storied Portugese sound artist Rafael Toral makes a welcome appearance on Lawrence English’s Room40 label. The sound field Toral employs on this latest album is stark and clinical, but the tones vibrating within are etched deep with studious character, whether it’s a measured guita...view item »

Ross Manning
Reflex In Waves

Based on the south side of Brisbane with a laboratory full of custom-built contraptions, Ross Manning has been patiently exploring waves and their resulting vibrations on a scientific level. Having displayed his findings in an exhibition at the Brisbane Institute of Modern Art, he now gathers together the key points in this coll...view item »

Chihei Hatakeyama

Expansive ambient soundscapes based around audio structures and the effect of space and architecture on sound. Japanese musician Chihei Hatakeyama, of Opitope crafts glorious and peaceful walls of reverberated tone that whilst grand is never overbearing. FFO Stars Of The Lid, Dead Texan...view item »

Mike Cooper

Guitar lopsider Mike Cooper has been making some of the best improvisations of the last lifetime. At seventy-five years old he's still finding extraordinary new non-shapes to mould his lap steel into, here joining Lawrence English's room40 imprint for a record of discombobulated ambient ...view item »

Anthea Caddy/ Thembi Soddell

Room 40 have been delivering experimental music for quite some time now and if you thought they'd been quiet of late then think again as here's a new release by Aussie duo Anthea Caddy & Thembi Soddell. For their second release they're reshaping (and I quote from the press release) 'a...view item »

Rafael Anton Irisarri
A Fragile Geography

Room40, the Australian experimental label run by Lawrence English, has just ticked over to its fifteenth year of operation. To usher in the new era, here is a new record from Rafael Anton Irisarri. A Fragile Geography is a very Room40 LP, a densely layered mass of sound that forms a gorgeous heavy-ambie...view item »

Factory Photographs

Lawrence English and Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) have done a remarkable job of creating a “sonic response” to David Lynch’s series of factory photographs. The sounds the pair have conjured, effortle...view item »

Lawrence English
Cruel Optimism

Room40 bossman Lawrence English shows us why he is where he is with an excellent record of dense electronics. Cruel Optimism has the elemental drones that English is so good at, but also contributions from amazing guest musicians like Mats Gustafsson, Werner Dafeldecker...view item »

Chris Abrahams
Fluid To The Influence

Chris Abrahams is of course the pianist in essential trio The Necks. His piano playing surfaces here, as does some organ work, but in addition this solo record is teeming with electronic slices and other instruments, assembled with a musique concréte approach. Fluid To The Influence is released b...view item »


Ambient bliss from Mirko Vogel, his debut full length, following a live CDr and digital EP for Room40. Apparently created as an antidote to the monotony of life on the road while he toured with Aussie electro-poppers Cut Copy, ...view item »

Tim Hecker
Norberg / Apondalifa

Room40, the Australian experimental label run by Lawrence English, has just ticked over to its fifteenth year of operation. To celebrate, they are re-pressing a number of works that have slipped out of print, such as Apondalifa by Tim Hecker. First released as a 7” many years ago, this heavy drone...view item »

Chihei Hatakeyama
Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains

Chihei Hatakeyama, of Tokyo, produces harmonically rich droning ambience, just the kind of thing that floats the Room40 label’s boat. Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains evokes just as much a sense of place as the title suggests: a clear image of a place at once specific and universal. CD on Room40....view item »

Ben Frost
Steel Wound

A new pressing of the 2012 reissue of the very first Ben Frost album, or ‘Frost’ as he was known then. It tracks his artistic outing pre-rasp, before the wolves snarled and the walls crumbled around him in a pile of rubbled amplifiers. While the noise onslaughts are yet to overcome him, the iciness is very much present. It&rs...view item »

Mike Cooper
Fratello Mare

Mike Cooper’s new album Fratello Mare is a rare thing: not only a record produced by a man fifty years into this music game, but also one that is inventive, interesting and fresh. Nice one Mike. This Pacific-themed sonic journey centres around lap-steel, with an array of other flavoursome sounds (...view item »

Chris Abrahams
Play Scar

This artist has a whole ton of instruments at his disposal: piano, Hammond, Rhodes, church organ, guitar, tambourine, bells, DX7, Nord, Waldorf Q+, Prophet VS, Kurzweil K2600 and auto harp. Most impressive, and to his credit he really uses them in very interesting ways. The tracks have a very reflective, occasionally somber feel and the way he i...view item »

Lawrence English
The Peregrine

Another record of cosmic goodness, 'The Peregrine' is an aural tribute to a book by J.A. Baker conducted in seven musical movements that segue immaculately into one another (bar the bridge between the the last on side one and the first on side two!!). As rich, absorbing fuzzy drones swell and fall whilst sounding very much like Tim ...view item »

Simon James Phillips

I tried to give this LP a preliminary listen at dinner time last night, but it quickly became apparent that its obtuse minimal piano tinklings were a bit too eyebrow for my long-suffering housemate so it didn't last long. 'Chair' is a very peculiar record, with six movements of minimal treated piano which ranges from Melnyk-esque flurries of n...view item »

Lawrence English
Wilderness Of Mirrors

Wilderness of Mirrors is the new album from Lawrence English. It is two years in the making and the first album created since the release of his 2011 ode to J.A Baker’s novel, The Peregrine. It is English’s most tectonic auditory offering to date, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation....view item »

John Chantler
Even Clean Hands Damage The Work

With Mike on holiday it falls to me to wade through acres of synth explorations. Here is a new album by John Chantler, an Australian man now living in good old England. Here he comes with some fractured blissed out synth worship. There are two pieces that each run over a side of the vinyl which sound like a fist mashed into a keyboard whilst som...view item »

Austin Buckett
Grain Loops

Here's an LP called 'Grain Loops'. When Phil gave it to me he said "I think it's literally just loops of somebody pouring grain" but on closer inspection that doesn't seem to be the case. This is in fact "30 works for sandpaper and 4 snare drums". Anybody who wants a record with tunes on should turn away now, for no good will come of this. ...view item »

Rafael Anton Irisarri
The Unintentional Sea

With a sleeve as grey as the dismal view out of what passes itself off as a window in our cavernous 60s tower block, the music is equally as bleak, consisting of dirge-like low washes of sound and foggy distant loops. The album was partly inspired by the true story of the Salton Sea, a failed river redirection to assist Californian agric...view item »

Andrea Belfi
Dubbing & Doubling

We’ve got a peculiar and bewilderingly limited (just 50 as far as I can tell!) 12” here from maverick Berlin-based experimental percussionist Andrea Belfi with a playful and charming concept behind it and a very pretty screenpri...view item »

Marina Rosenfeld
P.A - Hard Love

Marina Rosenfeld follows up her ‘Plastic Materials’ album for Room 40 with another release for the label. On this occasion for some of the tracks she has enlisted the vocal talents of MC Warrior Queen who is an arti...view item »

Chris Abrahams
Memory Night

I’m about to clear out my shed. If I set up my tape recorder whilst I do it then I’m sure I will come up with a sound very similar to the first track on this CD. It’s basically the sound of a man in an iron outbuilding moving bits of sheet metal around. Horrid. The second track contains shards of splintered electronics married ...view item »

Mike Cooper
White Shadows In The South Seas

Mike Cooper has lived a long and interesting life, but the septuagenarian shows no signs of slowing by the evidence of this delightful collection of delightfully weird, restless concrete exotica which is massaging my ears as I type. It’s a difficult album to describe because it spans so many styles over ...view item »

Bee Mask
Vaporware / Scanops

Wow, this initially reminds me of Global Communication’s languid astral grace but even more lush and cinematic. Not what I was expecting, I imagined Bee Mask to be a little more difficult or abstract...view item »

Elegant & Detached

More soundsourcery this time from from sound and installation artist Richard Chartier, lovely, dark, spooky electronic drifty stuff with intermittent blasts of unexpected sound.  The general feel is of soft washes of sound, the late night hum of factories, the sea, the waves, the thrill o...view item »

Andrea Belfi

Andrea Belfi has been knocking about for a bit now. This is his fourth album and he creates experimental soundscapes whilst being the king of all things percussion. The music has been created using a new device created by Belfi and in his own words... “This device creat...view item »


Oh my first non-rhythmical recording of the day from Erikm. On the ever dependable sound-art stable Room 40, this is a mad sounding disc of organic improv, insectoid scrunch, free jazz squawk and shuffle, wild-eyed primitivism and throbbing manic glitch. I always enjoy this stuff more on headphones where it isn't forcing Business Lady...view item »

John Chantler
Automatic Music For Erik Griswold

Ah, that Erik Griswold. You'd have to be bloody Shoestring to work out whats going on here. No title, no artist, no record label, no titles on the inner label. On the A side some kind of completely unlistenable modular synthesizer dirge, on the flip a bagpipe (ok its 'a reed organ' appare...view item »

The Oansome Orbit

Pimmon has been going for donkeys years now. I remember getting those cutesy 7”s on Static Caravan when they were released. That was 12 years ago which makes me feel old. Mind you almost anything makes me feel old these days. His new album 'The Oansome Obit' is 8 tracks of blissed ou...view item »


Oooooh I've not had much pastoral Japanese drone-folk in my pile this week. I feel well exotic. This CD sounds what I term as “very Room 40” which means minuscule trails, clusters and pockets of wide-eyed acoustic guitar notes are plucked in an enticing hypnotic fashion whilst ...view item »

Chris Abrahams/ Mike Cooper
Oceanic Feeling- Like

Chris Abrahams/ Mike Cooper collaboration CD called 'Oceanic Feeling'- Like'. This album is one of the more experimental titles in this week. The music is largely constructed by piano and guitar and after listening to it twice I can say I quite enjoyed it. The guitar is put to some use on this record as it's barely recognisable as a guitar most of ...view item »

Chihei Hatakeyama

More reflective musical soundscapes from Room 40, this time from Tokyo's leading light in minimalist composition Chihei Hatakeyama. Mirror explores the concepts of reflection, ricochet and reverberation and uses the idea of a mirror to solidify these conceptual soundscapes. The detai...view item »


Ralph Steinbrüchel is a new name to me but you power nerds out there are probably familiar with his previous work for Room 40. Steinbrüchel currently lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland (one of my favourite cities on earth) and seems to spend his time crafting intellectual...view item »

Rafael Anton Irisarri
The North Bend

Room 40 have come up trumps with a stormer of an LP by Rafael Anton Irisarri this week. Firstly it's packaged in a silk screened sleeve which is lovely and there's a download to boot too for you digital folks. As ever you get the usual mix of digital trickery and neo classical beauty which he blends together with adept skill. It's lovely stuff a...view item »

Richard Chartier
A Field For Mixing

Well, the sound clips for this will be about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Two tracks of searing "sounds that exist at the edges of perception" - i'm not sure if what i'm hearing is the distant hum of a jet engine whilst standing round scratching my bum in a plane station foyer or someone vacuuming the office next door; what actually...view item »

John Chantler
The Luminous Ground

This is the first solo album in seven years from the Room 40 label curator. Chantler wastes zero time and goes straight into complex intertwined modular synths sounds which appear to be constantly evolving as the vinyl rotates. The opener seems to climax at the beginning and gradually becomes less intense but no less potent and psychedelic. It's...view item »

Alasdair Roberts/ Jackie Oates
A Selection of Marches, Quicksteps, Strathspeys Reels and Country Dances

Trad Scots folkster Roberts is a guy we're all real fond of here. His contemporary re-assembling of deeply traditional modes (& moods) is further explored with this sweet collaboration with Jackie Oates, a charming, rustic fiddle player. Both sides on this limited Room 40 release have a warmth & playfulness that has me doing a clumsy, dr...view item »

Tomasz Bednarczyk
Painting Sky Together

Got a new one here on Room 40 from Tomasz Bednarczyk. 'Painting Sky Together' sounds very nice and is massaging my brain with its warm tones, static glitches and electronic pulses. The addition of field recordings of the natural world add an extra element of depth to the lush electronic sounds in a cool Raster Noton meets Chris Watson style. The ap...view item »

Tim Hecker

Tim Hecker is the man of fuzz. Everything I've heard by him is built from dense or denser layers of noise and feedback, with melodies bursting out from underneath and this new 7" on Room 40 is more of the same. The thing that sets him apart from other folks doing this business is he crams loads of emotion in to it and sometimes his music can be ...view item »

Eric La Casa
Two Site Specific Projects for Public Spaces

Mark E. Smith once sang about Oprah Winfrey studying bees and by the sound of Eric La Casa's 'Two Site Specific Projects for Public Spaces' CD he does as well. They're there, buzzing around and that. Bzz. Then they start beating their wings like BWOWBWOWBWOW. So yeah, 'Zone Sensible' is made up of bee recordings and demonstrates that the cute littl...view item »

Stephen Vitiello, Francisco Lopez, Various
Audible Geography

Got a various artists compilation called Audible Geography on Room 40 that immediately hits the spot with opener 'Dundee Law' from Eric La Casa. A fantastic sound like a swarm of digital wasps sweeps across the room and then the howl of a freezing arctic wind. Then Stephen Vittiello serves up some field recordings of birds and traffic. Oohh a cocke...view item »

Robbie Avenaim
Rhythmic Movement Disorder

Onto Robbie Avenaim on Room 40 with his new CD Rhythmic Movement Disorder. This is a heavily percussive electro acoustic avant garde beast of a thing. There's so much going on it's quite hard to follow. The easiest way I can describe it is it sounds like hundreds of mice in a kitchen causing havoc... knocking stuff all over the shop. That coupled w...view item »

Marina Rosenfeld
Plastic Materials

I always quite enjoy the releases on Room 40 these days. They're always pretty avant garde but as I'm getting older and my ears are needing something new and interesting and the label's output is keeping them reasonably sweet. The new CD 'Plastic Materials' by Marina Rosenfeld is certainly interesting. Plastic Materials 9 tracks all sound very eart...view item »

Chihei Hatakeyama

Chihei Hatakeyama is a Tokyo sound artist whose past credits include a sweet album for Kranky and now Room 40 are pleased, no doubt, to be curating his new collection, 'Saunter'. We were discussing this morning why drone/post ambient music is so damn popular at the moment with many musicians being particularly prolific in the field. I have many the...view item »


Here's an interesting one. It's a compilation CD on the Room 40 label called Fabrique and it's chocka full of live tracks and exclusives by folks who've played at the Fabrique festival in Brisbane. If (like me) you'd not heard of that particular festival then I can tell you it has been curated by Lawrence English over the last 8-9 years and he's ha...view item »

Taylor Deupree & Kenneth Kirschner

Well I've not been up long and here I am doing reviews. You try getting up and then writing some reviews first thing while your brain is unmelting from a sleep bashing. It's bloody hard. Still martyrs we are to the cause and we carry on like dogs runnign after gravy (gravy does un you see...). My first carry on this week is with Taylor Deupree and ...view item »

Totemo Aimasho

A rather nicely packaged CD from Tenniscoats and a bit of a departure from what I've heard from the Room 40 label. Although there are many electronic elements there is the addition of piano, bass, guitar, sax, drums, tapes, flute and field recordings. Its a thoroughly pleasant listen with haunting japanese vocals. Lawrence English adds his electron...view item »

Tujiko Noriko, Lawrence English & John Chantler

Room 40 is that Aussie label with the impeccable credentials, earned from showcasing the outer reaches of electronic & avant garde, uber minimal techno & futuristic ghost pop. They're like a big conceptual tree made out of origami orchids & unfolding, intricate birds constructed from snow crystals. That's what the Tujiko Noriko / Lawren...view item »

Dj Olive

DJ Olive. I always thought he was a trance DJ but it looks like he's more au fait with these crackle & glitch superstars like Fennesz, a man more famed for his clicks & cuts ambience & sound art chin strokery than any megaton floor burning rave explosion happening in yo area. Olive's new CD is called 'Triage' on the esteemed Room 40 bla...view item »


Takashi Ueno is a 12 string/Moog ring modulator abstracta-tron from the Takoma school of guitar manipulation. This involves dissolving established theories about melody and noteage and playing all the outsider notes in a seemingly slippery & random fashion to create a new music, summat what Uncle John Fahey and other like-minded progressive hea...view item »

Leighton Craig
11 Easy Pieces

Room 40 isn't a label for you non adventurous types. You indie kids who love a bit of fun should probably stay clear of the seriousness that is Room 40. Hey it's an interesting label though and if you feel like broadening your mind without getting spazzed off your cake on 'clarky cat' then maybe you should check it out. 2 new releases this week on ...view item »

Tujiko Noriko
Blurred In My Mirror

Also out this week is a 2nd CD by Tujiko Noriko (without fellow 28 year old Aoki) on Room 40. There were far too many numbers in that sentence.  Anyway this time she's aided and abetted by fellow experimenteur Lawrence English who does the music and Tujiko warbles amiably on in her own etheral way all o...view item »


Next up is a CD by Erikm who is a French experimentalist. Saucy. The album here in question is called 'Steme' and it's based around 10 minute long tracks which were burned onto a CD and deliberately damaged. It sounds like it too. This is what I'd call one of those electronic insect albums. In fact the whole thing sounds like it's been recorded in ...view item »

Dj Olive

DJ Olive on Room 40.  This is a very ambient clicks and cuts dub type ting. Quite lovely drifting ambience. ...view item »

John Chantler/ Function

A split 7" lathe cut has just arrive on Room 40. It's by FUNCTION and JOHN CHANTLER. Function's side ' Loving You (Maelstrom) is a strange little piece with distant melodies, bells, drones and fuzzy textures. Chantler's contribution is a lo-fi piece with experimental guitar weaving over a fa...view item »

Opaque (+Re)

First up is a new CD on the ever interesting Room 40 by Steinbruchel. The 1st track is the original composition and the other 5 tracks are interpretations of that track by a chap from The Necks (Chris Abrahams), Ben Frost, Taylor Deupree, Oren Ambarchi and Toshiya Tsunoda.  It ranges from nice floa...view item »

Chris Abrahams

We have not one but 2 x CD in on Room 40 this week. As you may or may not expect they lean towards the experimental side of things. Such is the nature of the label. The 1st CD is by Chris Abrahams which to me sounds like recorder led ambient drones with bizarre noises chucked in for't laugh. Other tracks are more percussive and...view item »