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New releases - vinyl
Here come Swedish psych guys the Wands with a 10" on 10" loving label Fuzz Club. Nothing can prepare you for how much the vocals sound like Suede but they match Brett Anderson's whinny with big dark psych rock that reminds us of the Doors. So cosmic that they even have that word in a song title. Swirling atmospheric psych with big solos. …view full details.
9/10 according to our Clinton
Oh this is just lovely. Western Skies Motel is Danish guitar maestro René Gonzàlez Schelbeck who has managed to concoct one of those albums which from the very opening notes engulfs you band takes you to a place more peaceful than where you reside. The opening ‘Falling Leaves’ is delightful with expertly picked nylon strung acoustic guitar…view full details.
8/10 according to our Ant
Puce Mary has been accused of diluting the original formula of noise/ industrial music with “weedy synth”. I can see the point, although I don’t see it as strictly following the same lineage. I just see it as something different. Had the groundwork not been layed, someone surely would have eventually arrived at this music, weedy synth or not. An…view full details.
8/10 according to our Clinton
2008 seems a long time ago but that is in fact the last time the Early Years dipped their heads above the precipice. This is their first album in ages and they burst out of the traps on the title track as if those years of pent up energy have exploded in a five minute burst of kraut influenced psych rock. The track is an absolute blitzkrieg of ambition held back only by it’s vocal similar…view full details.
9/10 according to our Robin
God, it’s been so fucking long since I’ve been able to type-yell a review to the theme of “This new Constellation release is amazing!!!”. All year, the CST crew have been quiet, but now they hit with three brand new records for fall (call it autumn, if you must, but fall sounds so much better). Each record is instrumental, combining into a triple-treat offering …view full details.
Your favourite uncle of noise rock, ok, maybe more like wisen parents, Sonic Youth’s 1983 album Confusion Is Sex is a dark backwards step into their more primitive state. Noisy, disjointed and clanky as hell. Guitars being destroyed for your listening pleasure. Repressed by Goofin’, good work guys. Yes. Just Yes.…view full details.
8/10 according to our Clinton
Yet another imaginary film album but don't let that put you off as this is a very pleasant listen indeed. Marisa Anderson is a guitar slinger from Portland who I imagine has long, slender and very nimble fingers. The album is a collection of shimmering instrumentals using picked electric and steel guitars that could easily soundtrack a lonesome person crossing the desert towards t…view full details.
Are these stoner doom bands just having us on now? At least you won’t mistake a band called Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard for anything else… That said, Y Proffwyd Dwyll has other tricks up its sleeve, with more than the usually mandated quantity of synth. New Heavy Sounds are releasing this on CD and two different kinds of limited edition coloured vinyl.…view full details.
The Bevis Frond are the indie rock outfit led by Nick Saloman, who have been working away at the edges of the British music scene for decades now. The Fire label are now reissuing a number of key Frond releases to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group. 1995’s Superseeder has a fair bit of garage-rock and even quasi-Indian sounds as well as the indie. CD / 2LP reissue.…view full details.
7/10 according to our Clinton
Right then, we have an issue here. Warehouse are a band from Athens Georgia who make an amazing, truly inventive form of rock music that references pretty much every lop sided rock band of the past two decades. I hear great, weird melodies that recall Talking Heads, REM, Deerhunter and …view full details.
Melbourne band Exek have their first full-length album to show off. Their sound is not a sunny one: this music feels like it was made in some shady garage, late at night. The production on these post-punk songs is laced with dub, with a coldly groovy effect. Biased Advice is out on Another Dark Age.…view full details.
Swedish psych-crew Flowers Must Die release this new 12” EP on the UK’s Rocket Recordings, the natural home for all fuzzed-out modern psychedelics. Sista Valsen contains 4 jammed-out tracks recorded just after violinist and vocalist Lisa Ekelund joined the group: hear her being integrated into the band in real time!…view full details.
8/10 according to our Robin
With a very apt name and a lot of synth-twiddling, Off World unleash ‘1’, one of the year’s most peculiar electronic records and by the way it includes a banjo player. One of three new instrumental set-pieces being released by Constellation (ever heard of ‘em?), it comes from the brain of seven improv pals, with skewed songwriter and label mainstay …view full details.
8/10 according to our Laurie
Prior to working here I had no idea that Constellation even released electronic music in any form. Yet here I am, sitting next to a pile of melted plastic bags listening to a soon-to-be-released angular ambient techno album that Robin apparently ‘didn’t understand’. And that’s coming from a philosophy graduate. It’s almost a fair statement actually; at arou…view full details.
Hailing from fair Dublin, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly composes music for many mediums and in many forms. His new nature-oriented collection The Weathered Stone contains sung songs and soaring string quartets alike, with a thick harmonic core running through the middle of each of these four pieces. The LP is released on Ergodos.…view full details.
Vintage Belgian electro action in the style that the Dark Entries label loves so dearly. Zwischenfall recorded and released the Heute EP in 1983, although two tracks heard here have never been pressed to vinyl before. Reissued by Dark Entries in a replica of the original sleeve along with a 6-page booklet of tasty lyrics and photos.…view full details.
8/10 according to our Clinton
Ultimate Painting are an example of one of those times where the side project becomes the main band. These members of Veronica Falls and Mazes would be hard pressed to find time for any other musical projects these days with the runaway success of this prolific thing. If stuck think of them somewhere between an English …view full details.
7/10 according to our Clinton
There are some things that should just not happen - a new Dodgy album for instance. And there’s some things that it’s nice to happen but a part of you wishes hadn’t. Half way through listening to this new album from ancient creaking synth pioneers Silver Apples I suddenly started to feel very depressed indeed. Now, find me another 80 year old person…view full details.
7/10 according to our Jamie
Dead Sea Apes: a Manchester band offer us something undeniably psychedelic and unavoidably cosmic. Let’s let the space synonyms fly. In fact I’m reviewing this album from the vinyl record, because -- wait for it -- in space, nobody can hear you stream. (Note to self: that wasn’t good). That’s now out of my system and out of the way, early on. Great. The guitars s…view full details.
7/10 according to our Robin
Uh oh: Supersilent just turned teens. They celebrate their thirteenth release with the same old improvisational growing pains and some grumpy drones that may or may not suggest that parents just don’t understand, I don’t know. Having released a slew of detaching band swirl for Rune Grammofon, their newest for Smalltown Supersound has that same mix of silence and disorganised sound, …view full details.
Soft Candy get strong comparisons to the likes of The Byrds, White Fence, and The Zombies, but I would definitely chuck The Beatles in there as well. Delicately crafted, and deeply psychedelic baroque pop, warbling vocal leads and group chanting over a bed of the hypnotic trance of the everlasting youth of the late 60s. Where are my kaleidoscope glasses?…view full details.
VHF have just launched a crucial series of reissues of the music of Jack Rose, a major voice in experimental acoustic guitar music, both on his own and as a member of Pelt. 2003’s Opium Musick features Rose holding forth on 12-string and 6-string guitar, as well as a lap guitar. As with all his work, there is a deep engagement with ragtime and blues history at work here. LP reissue.…view full details.
Review this item for us? Best review each week wins a £10 voucher!180g vinyl reissue LP on Beat Generation. Edition of 500 copies
Tex Perkins writes moody down turned and deep melancholic ballads, like a slowed and streamlined Mark Lanegan Band. Together with The Dark Horses, made up of a soundtrack score writer and members of Beasts of Bourbon and The Ape these tracks are minimal and tonally foreboding, and now see a release on vinyl after it’s release in 2015.…view full details.
Originally released in 2007 and now on limited vinyl, We Must Obey came in at the heavier end of the mainstream stoner rock spectrum. Take Queens of the Stone age and force feed them Black Sabbath for 20 years and throw in some of Nirvana’s angst and humour (yes, humour). Big riffs, huge guitar licks, but with catchy chorus vocals.…view full details.
Mathieu Vandekerckhove plays in the group Amenra, but he also has a lonely and intimate solo project: Syndrome. Forever And A Day is like post-rock music with the grand climaxes taken out and replaced with an uneasy droning ambient aesthetic. It feels bleak, but deep down it could be somewhat comforting. Out on Consouling Sounds.…view full details.
Micha Archer of The Notwist (along with drummer Andreas Harberl) set up Alien Ensemble to explore instrumental arrangement, to take it down a gear, and strip things back. Their second album is further stripped back with it sounding like a backing band to jazz pieces without the soloing madman upfront. Sometimes krauty sometimes lounge-appropriate, but really quite serene.…view full details.
Big bold club killers from Kölsch, following on from the high-grade 1983 album. As ever with Kompakt releases, pleasing warmth and gorgeous repetition are a big part of the sound on Speicher 93’s two tracks: we also have big emotionally bold synth lines ruling the roost. A good time 12” on Kompakt Extra.…view full details.
2/10 according to our Robin
Here’s the worst band ever and also they’re from my hometown, a place so desperate for a taste of good music that it converted a public toilet into a venue. Slaves are just not good at all, but they’re on Virgin EMI and they’ve been on Jools Holland, so they’ve lived punk rock as purely as the earth has achieved its autumnal equinox. “Spit It Out” has o…view full details.
7/10 according to our Jamie
So… you liked ‘Stranger Things’, right? We did. Well, those of us that watched it enjoyed it. That soundtrack was great. You might have bought it from us. Turns out the guys that made the music to the early-80s-set TV series are one half of this group, S U R V I V E. Yes, four people got together and removed the dust-sheets from their vintage synths one more time. There&rsquo…view full details.
8/10 according to our Robin
Some use prolificacy for evil. You know what I’m talking about. Buckethead will make thirty records in October in the build-up to Halloween; Robert Pollard can make ten awful songs in ten awful minutes; Mark Kozelek exists. Thank god Jenny Hval does too. Her steady artistic approach has led to four albums in as many years, each a fascinating rumination on a different imposition of politic…view full details.
Wojciech Golczewski is a score composer for TV and film, known for We Are Still Here and 400 Days. In true form Death Waltz have got him down for his debut solo album. Huge 80s inspired synths, arpeggiators and drums that sound like a slowed, and broken world of a platform game such as Space Harrier or Metroid.…view full details.
9/10 according to our Robin
There is, I’ll admit, enough warm drone in the world. There’s such an abundance of it, in fact, that there’s now a label named Warm Drone Label, as if accepting the endless coat of wallpaper being painted over old walls. I know we don’t need more, I accept we’re at ambient capacity, but can we please squeeze Danny Clay’s ‘Stills’ into the…view full details.
9/10 according to our Jamie
There’s gritty and then there’s New York’s Blonde Redhead gritty. These early recordings from the band have been let loose from the ‘90s dungeon and are fair bursting with barely pent-up energy. This vital set brings together their first two albums for Smells Like records, plus singles, demos and radio spots from the era. So we have tracks from their self-titled debut al…view full details.
House producer and Coldplay helper Jon Hopkins has done a lot since Opalescent, but his debut record now gets a reissue after fifteen years in the game. It was released to Just Label who largely dealt in beautified ambient music, and Hopkins sentimental sound was well suited to their whims -- that said, his music introduced different extremities, with his thunderous rhythmic ideas coupled with a more pastoral sound.…view full details.
The latest cool-swinging New York indie band present their debut full-length, Never Enough. Public Access TV have the classic stance and sunglass-wearing vocals of a Television, delivered with aplomb. The independent stores’ editions of Never Enough also throw in the exclusive four-track Japan EP on CD. Out on Cinematic Music Group.…view full details.
Rehydrated FatCat imprint 130701 continue to rain down new classical treats with the debut record from Resina, alias of cellist and general sound artist Karolina Rec. Resina emerged from an impressive demo tape and suggests an interpretation of the Polish underground scene -- as with most 130701 releases, it's a medley of both gorgeous and intense sounds.…view full details.
Spearmint are the sort of '90s survivors that could have had Pulp - like success if the planets had arranged themselves a tad differently. Instead they soldier on into 2016 with a new album which re-unites them with producer John Etkin-Bell for an album of sunny side up pop tunes that are reminiscent of the more intelligent end of Brit pop. …view full details.
After gaining a Mercury prize nomination and a boat load more production skills with his debut album, C Duncan, returns with a new single. It’s a huge washy and glorious synth-ballad. Straight shooting drums and walking bass line with almost orchestral synth arrangements, and his layered voice floating around somewhere in the middle.…view full details.
Suppose is the debut album from London outfit Blue House, who play DIY guitar pop with wistful lyrics about relationships and loss over plenty of indie guitar jangle. They sound pretty fully formed given that it’s only been a year since the band was formed. Suppose is released in a limited edition of 500 LPs via the Whipped Cream label.…view full details.
Vanishing Twin is a project led by Cathy Lucas (of The Oscillation), named for the phantom twin sister she absorbed in the womb(!). That should tip you off to the odd edge that Choose Your Own Adventure has: appealing pop music, but made strange and obscure. Also features personnel from Tomaga, Broadcast and Floating Points. Debut album, out on Soundway.…view full details.
Furious man Dominick Fernow flips a coin between techno act Vatican Shadow and his noise origin story Prurient, this time coming up heads for a record of doom influenced-dissonance under the latter moniker. Initially released in 2006 on Load, Pleasure Ground is one of the pinnacles of Prurient's attempts at mixing fragility and harsh, unforgiving noise into the same pallette -- anyone who came to know him through the dou…view full details.
Yves Tumor presents a grand, strange, epic pop-soul album with thick streaks of experimentalism running through it: a record that sounds like little else. Serpent Music can move like the sleekest plastic soul in town, but it also feels comfortable confronting the listener with noise, ambience, broken electronics and surprise spoken-word. Impressive work from Tumor. Released by PAN.…view full details.
Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza are legendary, at least within the tight circles of electro-acoustic improvisation fans and the deeper fans of Ennio Morricone (who was part of the group. This record is way, way ahead of its 1960s era, sounding alien and fascinating even today! Reissued by Schema.…view full details.
This isn't even the greatest Game Theory album but is still one of the finest most energetic bursts of oddball future thinking power pop seen in the '80s. Scott Miller and pals had the route to my heart back then and this record contains some of his most direct pop bursts such as 'Erica's Word' and blitzkrieg opener 'Here It Is Tomorrow'. If you like early R.E.M, Sparks and Let's Active then this is for you. C…view full details.
Taman Shud, who are of course named for a mysterious deadly incident, boast that this new record is the product of elaborate rituals. They reckon that Oracle War managed to commune with aquatic beings: I guess you’ll have to be the judge of that. In the meantime, these tracks make for strong unhinged rock listening. LP release on Trashmouth Records.…view full details.
Victims is a new collaboration between Timothy Fife and Chris Livengood, who compose music for films and used to be in Video Nasties respectively. Both plainly know their way around a schlocky movie synth-soundtrack, and their debut release Form Hell is a dramatic set of electronics that should probably be backing up some gruesome screen murders. 10” on Death Waltz Originals.…view full details.
Repress of Kavinsky’s 2007 EP. Take all your favourite 80s synth wave sound tracks, we all have those, give em a shake and bring em into the gleaming future. Think John Carpenter on speed making friends with Gatekeeper but retaining the Teenwolf soundtrack kind of cheeky schoolboy charm. Vinyl on Record Makers.…view full details.
Stunning collection of Ghanaian Big Band music covering Pat Thomas’ huge body of work from 1961 to 1984. Coming Home includes some highlights from his collaborations with The Black Berets and Ebo Taylor, who he formed The Sweet Beans with, and they would then reform as Marijata. The collection tracks his moves around the world bringing the Ghanaian “Highlife” sound with him.…view full details.
Premium is the debut album of Sam Evian, who makes classic-sounding soulful pop music through a shiny contemporary dream-electronic filter. It’s an effective (and affecting) approach! Personnel include Shahzad Ismaily, two members of Here We Go Magic and the saxophonist from the Colbert show. Premium is out on Saddle Creek.…view full details.
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