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Opal Tapes Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Soft Issues
Soft Issues

Soft Issues, Leeds’ finest new power electronics outfit, release their debut full-length via Opal Tapes (Karen Gwyer, Wanda Group). A duo who also turn out for (among others) Cattle and The Shits, together they make a screeching racket of electronic drums, synths and machine malfunctions. This is all topped off by vocals that range from a snarl to a scream. We hear they love Afrobeat, though there's no evidence of that across these eleven tracks. 50p extra garlic.


R.H.G.T. - Red Hook Grain Terminal to you, Jordan Edge to his mum - drops a cassette of brutalised electronica through the always excellent Opal Tapes (D.U.D.S., Gondwana). Depersonalisation has three modes: abrasive deconstructed club fare that sits at the limit of what Yves Tumor could come up with; hissing lo-fi beats that sound like a really beaten-up Madlib record being played on a really beaten-up turntable; and forays into pure industrial noise ala Prurient. Depersonalisation is not exactly easy on the ears, but it’s very good stuff.
  • Label(s):
  • Opal Tapes

Positive Centre
The Leaf Switch

Opal Tapes. Very good label. One of the best, in fact. If you’re unfamiliar with the Teesside imprint then Positive Centre’s The Leaf Switch is as good a place to start as any. This is a record of terse, frosty electronics/found sound instrumentals. They range from dog-eared synth ambiences to the kind of obtuse anti-techno that The Trilogy Tapes has been so keen on recently.


Andrea Taeggi, one of the fellas from Lumisokea, brings back his Gondwanana alias for a super-punchy spacey trip. Miccaotli is crammed with bold drum programming and fresh synth sounds and sharp effects, but the production is still rigourous and tight: everything deployed very efficiently and with a good feel for space. Opal Tapes 12”.

Emra Grid
Shay’s Vacation House

More dark ambient devilry from the excellent Opal Tapes (Soft Issues, Fret) here. Emra Grid’s Shay’s Vacation House is a set of murky drones that will appeal to anyone who’s been enjoying The Stone Tapes’ recent output. Grouper and His Name Is Alive are also mixed up in Shay’s Vacation House.

Particles Of Life

Ok so this is not the sometime Cliff Richard fronted guitar twangers but instead a duo of of Andrew Bowen & Dimitri Ploumpidis who also play hard techno as AnD. Here they explore freeform electronic explorations all smudgy and smeared with detritus. It's bloody ugly but that's what you are here for right?  
  • Tape (OPAL119)
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Rapa Nui Clan

Kaumwald are too rhythmic to be a full-on electroacoustic / noise group, but too gorgeously messy to be straight techno producers. This isn’t some cheap ‘noise techno’ either, but a thick morass of textures: harsh bass blasts, fiddly clicks, heavily-processed vocals and plenty else besides. Something you can really sink your claws into. Latest LP Rapa Nui Clan is out on Opal Tapes.

Helm & Decimus
We Will Meet At Other Human Parties

Helm (of Luke Younger and Alter Records) & Decimus (Put Murano, NNCK, Kellipah) sees the two come together for a collaborative album, interestingly called; We Will Meet At Other Human Parties. The cover artwork for this one is unnerving enough but the looping, grinding and gurgling sounds within take it to a realm of its own. Desolate bells toll and synths gurgle as if alive, or indeed, undead.