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It's time for Clint's very charming weekly update! Also: a new podcast by Jon Brooks.

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New releases - CDs

New in: Friday 27th March 2015

Momus
Turpsycore

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3CD in six panel eco-wallet on American Patchwork. Turpsycore is the name of the Greek Goddess of delight and dancing and now of this 3CD release from Momus. Across the CDs are tracks of unusual electronic rhythms which crackle and pop below Momus’ deadpan, Jarvis Cocker style vocals. Inspired by the work of David Bowie, among others, the tracks on Turpsycore tell strange little tales about unusual folk,…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £18.69

Various
Hanoi Masters - War Is a Wound Peace Is a Scar

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CD on Glitterbeat. Hanoi Masters: War is a Wound, Peace is Scar is a recording from 2014 from producer Ian Brennan, who has worked with names such as Tinariwen, Malawi Mouse Boys, and The Good Ones. Recorded live by Vietnamese musicians on traditional instruments and capturing the haunting fractured psyche of what the Vietnamese called the American War. Vinyl and CD from Glitterbeat.…view full details.

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    CD £13.49

Polar Bear
Same As You

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CD on The Leaf Label. Not to be confused with the American band, or the Arctic carnivore, Polar Bear are back with their sixth album. Once again delving into the riches of double-saxophone-fueled jazz, Same As You is a double LP with outside ideas and at the same time appealing sounds. British avant-garde made available to the masses!…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.59

Grandbrothers
Dilation

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CD on Film. Minimalist, techno composers Grandbrothers present their debut album ‘Dilation’. Following their instant classic EP ‘Ezra Was Right’, Grandbrothers have taken their exploration into minimalist ambiance to pioneering new territory with techno structures and rhythmic dancefloor characteristics.…view full details.

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    CD £11.89

Ufomammut
Ecate

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CD on Neurot. ‘Ecate’ is the seventh album from Italian power trio Ufomammut. The album is composed of six separate tracks, each one is a representation of one of the many manifestations of ancient Greek goddess, Ecate of the three worlds; The World of Humans, The World of the Gods and The World of the Dead.…view full details.

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    CD £11.89

Marsen Jules
The Empire Of Silence

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CD on Oktaf. ‘Empire Of Silence’ is German ambient composer Marsen Jules long awaited follow up to his debut ‘Herbstlaub’ on CCO. ‘Empire of Silence’ is an impressive homage to the stunningly stark and powerful beauty of the Nordic landscape. Jules layers bittersweet string symphonies with a deeply conscious precision to create epic compositions that are at the same time warm, nostalgic and beautiful.…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £8.89

Only Real
Jerk At The End Of The Line

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CD on Virgin EMI. A collection of happy clappy singalongs from London youngster Niall Galvin a.k.a Only Real. Destined to soundtrack many people’s summer in 2015, Jerk At The End Of The Line operates in a sort of post Jamie T world with its half-rap vocals and distinctive London drawl. Out on CD and vinyl LP from Virgin EMI.…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £12.49

William Elliott Whitmore
Radium Death

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CD on Anti. It’s folk-punk time. What a great crossover. William Elliott Whitmore gives us some gravelly voiced, thumping guitar blues. Radium Death is proper storytelling to a fast beat which requires a few stomping hillbillies, a couple of barrels of something strong and a few tyres for the kids to play with. Electric stuff.…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £12.49

New in: Thursday 26th March 2015

Francis Macdonald
Music For String Quartet, Piano and Celeste

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8/10 according to our Clinton on 26th March 2015

My ears. My poor, poor ears. They've had Lightning Bolt vomiting in them for at least an hour today and yesterday someone presumably who doesn't have ears played Eddy Henderson at them. I shudder. So I need a lovely ear soothe and the man to do it is Teenage Fanclub drummer Francis Macdonald. He plays neo-cla…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.19

Follakzoid
III

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8/10 according to our Robin on 26th March 2015

The number III printed on the front of their new record like three identical towers, Föllakzoid betray their love of symmetry, their ability to take spaced out, kraut-leaning rock music and park it perfectly. They’ve already proved themselves to be aficionados of the slow, repetitive build, using little more than ominous guitar tones,…view full details.

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    CD £11.79

Portico
Living Fields

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CD on Ninja Tune in softpack with foldout poster + indies only bonus CD. Ninja Tune roll another release off their Ford motors like talent factory. This time its Portico, you may remember them from their previous name of, Portico Quartet. They are supplemented with Joe Newman of Alt-J & Jamie Woon adding vocals to the leftfield experimental sounds of the band. Having been nominated in the past for the Mercury Music Pr…view full details.

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    CD £10.19

Death Grips
The Powers That B

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6/10 according to our Robin on 26th March 2015

Oh Death Grips. Splitting up permanently and then reuniting the same week your final ever album comes out? That’s so Death Grips. Releasing half of your double album chock full of stems from Bjork songs? That’s so Death Grips. Grinding away at your fanbase with infuriating gestures until no one really care…view full details.

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    CD £15.39

Circa Waves
Young Chasers

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CD on Virgin EMI. Hyperactive Ramones-equse pop with a hint of the Arctic Monkeys on this debut album Young Chasers from new band on the scene Circa Waves who’ve already made a splash touring for the NME Awards. Recorded at the RAK studios in London back in late 2014 and bursting out at the end of March 2015.  One for fans of the Zutons.…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.59

Fort Romeau
Insides

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7/10 according to our Laurie on 26th March 2015

On Ghostly International we have some rather heart-wrenching electronic sounds from UK boy Mike Greene masquerading as Fort Romeau. Droolworthy production finesse meets some nice, steadily pumping slo house beats to either take you to space or bed, with definite parallels to smooth mover John Talabot’s gr…view full details.

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    CD £11.89

Houndstooth
No News From Home

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CD on No Quarter. Not the eccentric label who have the audacity to release all your favourite records, but an equally exciting band of psychedelic-influenced mavericks. Houndstooth continue to define their sound with No News From Home, which sees the band follow up Ride Out The Dark with another record of confessional and strikingly personal works, made real and relatable by way …view full details.

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    CD £10.19

Lower Dens
Escape From Evil

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Digipak CD on Ribbon Music. New album from Lower Dens, that features a sound that maintains the cold distance of their earlier work whilst also somehow feeling warmer. Single ‘To Die In L.A.’ sets the tone with a beautiful melody and arrangements sweeping around Jana Hunter’s gorgeously stark voice. Escape From Evil is released by Ribbon Music.…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.19

Akatombo
Sometime, Never

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9/10 according to our Laurie on 26th March 2015

We’re having to reduce reviewing time today as some Godspeed Empire band released a new LP and has got Norman Towers into one hell of an uproar. So here goes - the bare essentials. Crushing. Absolutely crushing! Sometime, Never is guaranteed to reduce your ears to rubble. If you are at all into apocalyptic electronica that…view full details.

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    CD £12.89

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Asunder, Sweet And Other Distress

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9/10 according to our Robin on 25th March 2015

Godspeed have always spoken through others. Our favourite anonymous band, their rise has been charted through phonies opening our eyes, nostalgics waxing lyrical, helicopter crews circling in; the nameless of North America, trying to stake their claim on it. The idea of them as a political band is just that: an idea. It is us who talked and list…view full details.

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    CD £10.99

Component#4
Into Memory

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7/10 according to our Clinton on 25th March 2015

Imagine if Stephin Merritt was English, had stood at bus stops in the rain for the last 20 years, was extremely depressed and worshipped early ‘80’s synth pop and you'll get close to the sound on this latest release on Wayside and Woodland (Epic 45 etc). On opener ‘Back 2 Basics&rsq…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £8.49

Wolf Solent
EP 2

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7/10 according to our Robin on 25th March 2015

Danny Barton’s newest EP is seven tracks, or thirteen minutes, of perish rock. Recorded in the deepest depths of the bedroom lo-fi galaxy, his work as Wolf Solvent always sounds like it’s crumbling and he’s watching it from a safe distance; his distorting whispers scatter around the arrangements for drum machines, screeching sh…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £5.99

Balthazar
Thin Walls

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7/10 according to our Clinton on 26th March 2015

If, like me, you kind of wish Alex Turner would have kept at his The Last Shadow Puppets side project going then you are going to love the opening track on this fourth album by this Belgian collective. It’s smooth, it’s cinematic, the vocals sound exactly…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.19

Reptar
Lurid Glow

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6/10 according to our Clinton on 26th March 2015

It’s electronic pop day in my bleak corner of the office but whereas you can imagine Jerry Paper sitting alone in his study, Reptar sound like the kind of guys to get the party started. There’s a lot of Cindy Lauper in opener ‘No One Will Ever Love You’ …view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £11.69

Jerry Paper
Carousel

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7/10 according to our Clinton on 26th March 2015

This weeks winner for madcap direction change goes to Dustin Payseur from Beach Fossils who puts away his jangling C86 guitars and instead concentrates on something that sounds like a more sober take on the nascent They Might Be Giants electronic quirk-pop. Paper (sorry Payseur) has a nice croon on him …view full details.

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    CD £11.69

New in: Wednesday 25th March 2015

Male Gaze
Gale Maze

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CD on Castle Face. Clattering energy fuzz oozes from between the grooves of this new album from Male Gaze, cannily named Gale Maze. Garage-punk action of the highest order, as we’ve all come to expect from Castle Face, the label of John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees). Pretty heavy, but fast and fun along with it. Boom boom boom.…view full details.

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    CD £12.89

The King Khan & BBQ Show
Bad News Boys

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CD on In The Red. A five year break doesn’t seem to have done The King Khan & BBQ Show any harm. A cracking mix of doo-wop, rock 'n' roll, punk and soul, high energy and fast paced. The duo, King Khan and Mark Sultan, started out as the Bad News Boys and that’s the title of the album. Always smiling, middle fingers aloft. CD and vinyl from In The Red.…view full details.

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    CD £12.89

8:58
8:58

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Deluxe bookbound 2CD on ACP Recordings. aka Paul Hartnoll of Orbital. Clock-themed solo album from Phil Hartnoll of Orbital fame, also featuring special guests including Cillian Murphy, The Unthanks, Ed Harcourt, and The Cure’s Robert Smith. Partly instrumental, and partly with spoken-word accompaniment, the self-titled …view full details.

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    CD £13.79

Merchandise
(Strange Songs) In the Dark

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CD on Katorga Works / Jagjaguwar. Straying from their post-punk EPs, Merchandise’s debut album is a festivity of noisy pop. Recorded at home and sounding very DIY, the album is marketed by their label (!) as “a sad bastard of a record”, but that’s selling it short. A little lo-fi never hurt anybody, and (Strange Songs) in the Dark is a testament to that.…view full details.

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    CD £11.69

Cath & Phil Tyler
The Song-Crowned King

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7/10 according to our Clinton on 25th March 2015

You’d think that they would have emerged from some dusty American one horse town but they actually reside in Newcastle Upon Tyne…. which has its fair share of horses if you look hard enough on the town moor (and there’s plenty of donkeys on the field of St James Park). But enough about equines, Cath and Phil Tyler play authent…view full details.

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    CD £5.99

New in: Tuesday 24th March 2015

Leandro Fresco
El Reino Invisible

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Ltd CD on Kompakt. Edition of 500 copies. This is the same guy who made electro heavy dancefloor compositions, now finally sharing his love and affiliation with ambient music in a full length record. Leandro Fresco’s El Reino Invisible is already hailed as an ambient masterpiece, which, if his releases in Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series are indication, may not be far off target.…view full details.

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    CD £13.89

gasansui
Gallery Six

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7/10 according to our Robin on 24th March 2015

Drone and daily life walk hand in hand on this blissful release from gasansui, a collection of pure ambient tones and wandering field recordings that move as if no one’s there to hear them. Interchanging between barely articulated, pillowy synth drone and dominant found sounds of water droplets and birds chirping, ‘Gallery Six’…view full details.

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    CD £12.69

Bad Guys
Bad Guynaecology

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Digipak CD on Riot Season. Edition of 500 copies. You just know that an album called Bad Guynaecology, with a grainy image of a very large and hairy man staring purposefully at you on the cover, is going to be a rough ride. And so it proves with this second album from Bad Guys. Heavy, grungey and probably quite sweaty. Also, obviously, lots and lots of fun.…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.59

New in: Monday 23rd March 2015

Various
Meditations 1

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CDr on Shimmering Moods inc. Sonornote, Warmth, user_ambiguous, Shea McGilvray, Adzuki, Aquarium etc. Edition of 125 hand-numbered copies in special packaging. Released through Shimmering Moods Records, Meditations 1 gives you just that; some beautifully light music which carries you into a meditative state. With 13 tracks from different artists, the CD is packaged in some beautiful packaging to fully complime…view full details.

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    CD £12.69

Various
Meditations 2

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CDr on Shimmering Moods inc. Echo Grid, Parallelism, Benjamin Finger, KIENE, WhoIsIR etc. Edition of 125 hand-numbered copies in special package. A lovely little package of blissful ambience from Shimmering Moods. Collecting works from the likes of Echo Grid, KIENE and Parallelism, Meditations 2 features songs with names like Through Mist and The Woods Are Not What They S…view full details.

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    CD £12.69

Surf City
Jekyll Island

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5/10 according to our Clinton on 19th March 2015

There’s only so many psych/retro records you can take. It may not be Surf City’s fault that we have reached crisis point but they don’t help themselves by doing the exact same thing that so many others are doing; namely motorik rhythms, druggy vocals and a vague sense of Spacemen 3 and '90&rsquo…view full details.

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    CD £11.69

Various
Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4 - Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco and Mbaqanga 1975-1985

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CD on Strut inc. The Actions, T.Y. Boys, The Movers, Almon Memela, Marumo etc.. Straight from late seventies/early eighties apartheid South Africa, Next Stop Soweto Vol. 4 is all about that warm waves of funk in Africa: Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco and Mbaqanga. Those precise genres perhaps hard to distinguish to the layman, but always a guaranteed listening pleasure. This 2xLP treats you to some of the most heartfelt…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.19

New in: Friday 20th March 2015

LoneLady
Hinterland

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8/10 according to our Clinton on 19th March 2015

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this new Lonelady album will appeal to many, many people. She has the funk, she has the pop, she has the icy cool and if Madonna met Liquid Liquid this might be the result. She writes pop songs that have a modernist chic but a spa…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £9.99

Alex G
Rules

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8/10 according to our Clinton on 20th March 2015

“Oh no, not more ‘90’s emo/slacker/complex-a-pop” I barked in the general direction of our Ian but for once he wasn’t playing some long lost (then) fresh-faced emo-ish album off his phone but it was one of these two re-issues timed to coincide with the moment where people who have enjoyed ‘DSU’ start to …view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £9.89

Scuba
Claustrophobia

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8/10 according to our Laurie on 20th March 2015

The proverbial word on the street hasn’t uttered Scuba’s name for a long time. This seems a bit odd as he was a figure about to take the world by storm circa 2011, with some extremely successful 12 inchers doing the club rounds and Personality poised for release. So what happened next? The infectious low-slung 4x4 gr…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £9.69

Cannibal Ox
Blade of the Ronin

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8/10 according to our Andy on 19th March 2015

Cannibal Ox - Remember them? Keeping fans waiting longer than the Stone Roses did for their 'Second Coming'. Vast Aire and Vordul Mega return with 'Blade of the Ronin' some 14 years after 'Cold Vein'. For their come-back they've roped in some heavy hitting friends, U-God of the …view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £11.69

Jlin
Dark Energy

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8/10 according to our Laurie on 18th March 2015

Footwork hasn’t quite reached the grim terraces of Burley yet so bear with me here. I guess it’s a new genre in which you….work your feet? Quality reviews and deductions courtesy of Norman Records. Whatever the hell it is, it’s urban as hell and nowhere near as shit as trap. Jlin is a US beatstress with a penchan…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.49

Jam City
Dream A Garden

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7/10 according to our Clinton on 20th March 2015

5/5 in the Guardian this morning plus a recommendation from a trusted friend is putting big pressure on this release. So I sit here with arms folded with the words ‘impress me’ creeping across my lips. Jam City makes modernist pop songs -  every single note it slathered with an effect of some sort creating a scrambled cl…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £11.09

M. Ostermeier
Still

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9/10 according to our Laurie on 19th March 2015

As I come to review a record full of minimal piano, the office idiots are blasting some screamo shite, forcing me to really crank an album titled Still. It’s days like these that Ian deserves a slap, and that pseudohuman Robin too. We’ll be witnessing the birth of Homo Slap-Ians, right here at Norman Towers. But yes,…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £9.99

Yamaoka
A BAOA Q

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8/10 according to our Laurie on 18th March 2015

DISQ AN are one of those no-bull old skool labels that puts all their CDrs in the same blank white sleeve, with only 6 capital letters to tantalise. It’s all about the music, right? Well, sort of, but luckily their output so far must have obliterated any doubt on their release quality. You may remember that pretty sweet …view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £6.99

Robin Guthrie & Mark Gardener
Universal Road

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CD on Soleil Apres Minuit. ‘Universal Road’ is the result of a collaborative writing project between Cocteau Twins’s Robin Guthrie and Ride’s Mark Gardener. Given the guitar driven, blissed out sounds of both Ride and Cocteau Twins this pairing seems like an obvious one with a fairly predictable outcome, however the two artists combined have created a record that has it’s own unique voice that stands it’s gr…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £10.19

Dune Rats
Dune Rats

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7/10 according to our Robin on 20th March 2015

Ian calls them a stoner Supergrass. To me they sound like the Vines as children’s TV presenters who get fired for talking about drugs. Laurie just popped his head in to say he likes the opening track, which features the lyrics “marijuana, marijuana, marijuana!” ad nau…view full details.

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    CD £10.19

The Staves
If I Was

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CD on Atlantic. ‘If I Was’ is English acoustic folk rock trio The Staves' follow up to their stunning 2012 debut 'Dead & Born & Grown'. Produced by American, indie folk band Bon Iver's Justin Vernon following an extensive tour together and a trip to Eau Claire in Wisconsin which resulted in the recording sessions that would form the basis of their collaboration. The result is a powerfully beautiful work of modern songw…view full details.

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    CD £11.49

Sonny & The Sunsets
Talent Night At The Ashram

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CD on Polyvinyl. The original concept for ‘Talent Night at the Ashram’ was a feature-length cinematic piece comprised of several short films, each represented by a different track on the album. Reminiscent of the work of Italian film director Fellini and Brazilian, psychedelic rock band Os Mutantes (The Mutants) the result is a cosmic merger of inventive, cinematic storytelling and sixties folk music played out on an eclectic colle…view full details.

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    CD £8.49

Hawkwind
This Is Your Captain Speaking… Your Captain Is Dead: The Albums & Singles 1970-1974

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11CD set in clamshell box. This brand new Hawkwind box set is a complete discography of one of the bands most productive and iconic periods of their career from 1970 – 1974, beginning with their  1970 self-titled album and covering four years of output across seven live studio albums, the compilation also includes a bonus disc compiling all their singles including the prog classic ‘Silver Machine’.…view full details.

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    CD box set £28.89

Soko
My Dreams Dictate My Reality

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6/10 according to our Clinton on 20th March 2015

Soko appeared on Ariel Pink’s latest album ‘Pom Pom’ but I wouldn’t hold that against her. She’s had 11.5 million people view a previous video. How many have you had? Yeah. What all this success has allowed her to do is to employ The Cure produc…view full details.

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    CD £11.89

Aloa Input
Mars Etc

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7/10 according to our Clinton on 20th March 2015

If Animal Collective hadn’t have been invented it would have prevented a good third of today’s indie groups from existing in their current form. Aloa Input are another band who throw a similarly minded  kitchen sink at things. Their opening ‘Far Away Sun’ is a joyous and vibran…view full details.

  • Available on:
    CD £13.49


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Your random quote:
'Some people just don't like floury baps'

Timestamp: Monday 30th March, 11:33:49 .