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Norman Records' Essential Vinyl

A big bunch of the things we've been trying to sell to you since 1996. Records that no collection should be without, in our humble collective opinion.

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A Certain Ratio
To Each

To Each captures A Certain Ratio in their post punk roots just before they got a little too interested in jazz and wearing shorts. Here they combines Ian Curtis style vocals with funky dance-pop sensibilities, and proto Happy Mondays guitar sounds. A brilliant blend. Dance and be miserable at the same time.  

American Football
American Football (debut)

American Football made indie rock and emo one in the same. The Kinsella bros switched from their hxc pranks as Cap'n Jazz into a band of open-book feelings, delicately drifting guitars and quietly fanfaring horns. Their debut LP is an absolute darling of its genre, beloved by many for whining out in the open. Perfect for adults who still feel like teens.

Amy Winehouse
Back To Black (Half-Speed Master)

Half-speed mastering is an incredibly clever and powerful tool in improving sound quality and clarity. When the record is cut everything is done at half the speed enabling the machine to cut at what will be perceived as much higher and lower frequencies when played at full speed. Therefore Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is more clear and deeper than ever before.

Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion

One of the Animals discovered that it sounds pretty darned rad if you play two or three Beach Boys songs at once. He told the rest of the Collective and, lo, t’was the birth of Merriweather Post Pavilion, and yea, it did dominate anno 2009 most ruthlessly. Precisely like the little green things on the front cover, the contents of Animal Collective’s eighth album are continuously lurching to and fro no matter what you do. Hang on tight!

Aphex Twin
Richard D James

In a career full of brilliant music, this could possibly be one Aphex Twin's high-water marks, widely popular at the time of release. It introduced his pulverising 'drill and bass' techniques, moving him away from his acid 'n' ambience beginnings. Contains several classics such as 'Cornish Acid', 'Girl/Boy Song' etc. 

Aphex Twin
Windowlicker

What is left to say about 'Windowlicker' that hasn't already been said? The most perfect piece of electronic music ever produced? It's sexy, it's slinky, it's odd, it's the sort of thing that if things worked properly would have been a worldwide smash. No-one has quite come up with anything since that blends the out there with the streamlined. Oh and that video. 

Aphex Twin
Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Not sure that you need us to introduce this one to you. The album that broke Aphex Twin to the masses (relatively speaking), Selected Ambient Works 85-92 starts with two genuinely sublime pieces of music, ‘Xtal’ and ‘Tha’, which your collection literally cannot be without. The whole thing is great though, whether for solo listening late at night or for esoteric dancefloors. An absolute classic.

Arthur Russell
The World Of Arthur Russell

The World of Arthur Russell is the 2004 compilation which captures the breadth of Russell’s musical capabilities. From the banging New York disco cuts, to his more introspective and experimental cello-centric songs, Soul Jazz have created something for both long-time fans and interested beginners.

Autechre
Amber

Warp's Autechre re-issue series continues with this their first proper full length album (the earlier Incunabula was in fact a compilation of demos). This one contains some of their most ambient moments as well as forging forward the cut and paste beats and deep acid and techno hinted at on Incunabula. Essential re-press. 

Autechre
Tri Repetae

Tri Repetae is the third album by legendary British electronic duo Autechre.  The album is considered one of the best and most influential electronic albums of the '90s and first showcases the way in which the duo combined totally different elements of dance music such as jungle and industrial and blended them into a unique whole.

Bark Psychosis
Hex

'Hex' formed part of the first wave of post-rock made whilst the likes of Mogwai were in short trousers but it has more in common with the splintered atmospheres of late period Talk Talk, a meticulously conceived masterpiece of mood and emotion. Now expertly re-mastered and re-pressed, this is an essential purchase for fans of exploratory, forward thinking music.     

Beach House
Teen Dream

Silky dream pop duo Beach House combine subliminal guitar melodies with flickering programmed drums into closely knotted pop songs that wrap up around the listener. Teen Dream is a high watermark of their career, a quietly massive record that feels at once widescreen and whispered.

Beck
Odelay

Beck's famed record of folk pop, hip-hop and gleeful harmonica turntablism gets a reissue through its original label Bong Load! This alternative gem crossed a lot of paths, each united under the boy's smirky vocal, blending the mainstreams of rock and electronic into one neat package. A now old-school classic from the guy who will be a head-in-a-jar come the year 3000.
  • Vinyl LP (UMC3378)
  • £21.49 £11.99 (saving: £9.50)
  • In stock and ready to ship

Belong
Common Era

Vinyl and CD reissue of Belong's Common Era, the first long player to be released since the celebrated but underexposed October Language. This album retains the fuzzed out ambience but augments the gorgeous, Hecker-esque wooziness with a more song based, shoegaze approach, replete with drums and vocals.

Big Black
Songs About Fucking

You already know it, but Big Black are Steve Albini's old band of pisstakey punk-churners, offering transgressions at a super-fast rate as they squirm and snarl their way through the classic Songs About Fucking. This was the band's second and last record, offering industrial noise bluster like never before and even propping up a cover of Kraftwerk's "Model".

Big Black
Atomizer

Atomizer was the very first full-length album released by Steve Albini’s original group, Big Black. The band arrived fully formed, with trademark violent lyrics and violent production, grinding and growling vigorously along. Contains their particularly classic track ‘Kerosene’. The reissue LP is only available through independent record stores like ours!

Björk
Vespertine

At the time, just after the turn of a new century, Vespertine felt like a logical progression from Homogenic, released four years previously. The increased orchestral presence is rich and lush, backed with more considered, detailed beats and songs which travel from the dark and folkloric to movingly romantic. 

Boards of Canada
Geogaddi

“Geogaddi Boards Cruise?”, “Yeah sweet”. Aaaaah the Boards Cruise… those were the days: spontaneous late night road trips through deep countryside with great pals, blasting Boards of Canada at uncomfortable volumes. Geogaddi is pretty dark and weirdo, so we often ended up lost and a bit scared after choosing this record. 3 X 140gm LP, gatefold, on Warp Records. Beautiful Place!

Boards of Canada
Music Has The Right To Children

Boards of Canada’s legendary debut LP tapped charmingly into its generation’s nostalgia for dodgy TV reception, public service announcements and unforgettable classroom mnemonics. It did so within a contemporary framework of analogue synthesisers and hip-hop rhythms, with a great ear for groove and melody. Today, the mutant, hybrid descendent of BoC’s yearning style is vaporwave, innit. Oh well.

Boards of Canada
In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country

As you know, In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country first materialised ‘twixt Boards of Canada’s two bumper-length Warp classics Music Has the Right to Children and Geogaddi, and is, rightly, just as acclaimed. For my money, ol’ IaBPOitC is better produced than either album, the first three of its four tracks an impeccable trio of gentle haunters. BoC really nailed their shtick with this one.

Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago

For Emma, Forever Ago is the 2007 debut album by Bon Iver, who at the time consisted solely of Justin Vernon. After his band DeYarmond Edison split, and he’d suffered a bout of serious illness, he set off for a cabin in the woods to write and record the album. The resulting recording is now a firmly established classic and appeared at the top of many critics ‘best of’ lists at the end of 2007.

Brian Eno
Ambient 1: Music For Airports

Groundbreaking stuff here from Brian Eno. Ambient 1: Music For Airports was released in 1978 and marks the first time when the word ‘ambient’ was used in connection with this kind of music. Eno made the album by layering tape loops. His intention was to make a soundscape that would cut through anxieties and tension in an airport. Half-speed master. Cut at 45 rpm on heavyweight vinyl.

Broadcast
The Noise Made By People

The wonderful wonderful sound of Broadcast, brought back onto vinyl again at last by Warp Records. The Noise Made By People slides into existence with ‘Long Was The Year’, a perfect example of their slinking mysterious sound. A clear melody, and Trish Keenan’s beautiful voice, but with an undertow of unclear samples and droning tones. Something magical for sure.

Broadcast
Work & Non Work

The wonderful wonderful sound of Broadcast, brought back onto vinyl again at last by Warp Records. Work & Non Work compiles the singles released by the band prior to their Warp signing, and there are plenty of excellent slices of their alternate universe pop sound here: a universe that is at once shiny future and eerie past. Includes download code.

Broadcast
Tender Buttons

Broadcast released their third album to critical acclaim, presenting a refined sound that pushed the psychedelic elements out of the Pram-esque noir of previous outings. The core of stripped back rhythms, synths and robotic vocals remained, brought into fuller colour with a new approach to songwriting and production.

Burial
Untrue

By the time Burial's second album surfaced, his reputation had grown to underground stardom, even if his identity was still a secret. 'Untrue' continued the story of the twilit inner city, loneliness and distant threats informing a melancholic rhythmic atmosphere, and is now seen as a landmark in electronic music.

Burial
Burial

When the debut Burial album popped onto radars over the world, divided opinion soon gave way to cult status. An unlikely pairing of screwed up garage beats, moody bass and morose ambience heralded an era of genuinely emotive but strange dance music, cementing the album as a contemporary electronic classic. 

Butthole Surfers
Locust Abortion Technician

Pretty scary people back in the day this lot. Locust Abortion Technician was their third studio album and continued their blend of acid fried psychedelia, garage rock and experimentalism. Kuty Cobain cited this as one of his top 50 records of all time and it was a unique, terrifying insight into these strange people's world.  

Can
Future days

Damo Suzuki's last album with Can is a definite highpoint from the band's incredible ouvre. All the elements that make the band so timelss and radical sounding even now are here in abundance: experimentation with all manner of electronic and organic sound textures and atmospherics pinned down by Jaki Liebezeit's jawdropping rhythms and augmented by an advanced melodic sensibility. As with all the recent Can reissues on Mute, all the stops have been pulled out in remastering this for vinyl to ensure optimum sound quality.

Can
Tago Mago

Can’s most sprawling and untethered work. The first side goes from the plaintive Paperhouse to the apocalyptic groove of Mushroom, to the uptempo masterpiece Oh Yeah, making for as great a side of vinyl as ever there was. Side two is taken up by the funk monster Halleluhwah. Side three brings us Aumgn’s occult channelling. The last side has the manic Peking O and the mournful closer Bring Me Coffee or Tea. Damo, Jaki, Holger, Irmin and Michael are all at the peak of their powers and in perfect cosmic harmony. Sacred stuff to be sure and never more so than on double vinyl.

Can
Monster Movie

The debut album by The Can (as they were called at the time) still doesn’t seem like it should have come from 1969. 69 BC or 2169 AD maybe? The repetition-monster Yoo Doo Right is the most famous and singular track here. But for me the angular Father Cannot Yell and the manic Outside Your Door are the peaks of the Malcolm Mooney era.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
Trout Mask Replica

Well, what can be said about this masterpiece of a record that hasn't been uttered a hundred times before? A timely reissue then of Captain Beefheart's absurdist, Dadaist epic romp through art-blues, 'Trout Mask Replica'. None other than Jack White himself has seen fit to re-re-vinyl-ise this at his Third Man record plant. Complete with original cover art tracked down from its 1969 source. On 180-gram black double LP.

Cardiacs
Sing To God

Some people rate Sing To God as one of Cardiacs’ very greatest albums, and who are we to disagree? It is certainly a potent proposition, being a nearly 90 minute long double album, crammed with eclectic material: really it feels like the band is throwing everything into the mix, and yet almost all of it sticks! Big and lovely double LP reissue from the Alphabet Business Concern.

Cat Power
Moon Pix

Cat Power’s fourth LP Moon Pix, which was released originally in 1998. It was the product of a hallucinatory nightmare, but listening to is far more pleasant than such an experience. A contemplative, nuanced achievement from the singer/songwriter.

Cavern of Anti-Matter
Blood Drums

When Tim Gane of Stereolab makes a new album and only issues 500 vinyl copies of it on a small Berlin-based label you can imagine that there would be a fair few unhappy people that missed out. Worry no more. Blood Drums, the debut album by Tim Gane’s post-Stereolab band Cavern Of Anti-Matter is now reissued his own Duophonic label. As with Stereolab, Gane showcases his love of vintage analogue instruments to create a one-off experiment that was so good it turned into a full time band.

Cocteau Twins
Heaven Or Las Vegas

‘Heaven Or Las Vegas’ was originally released in 1990 and was to become the bands most commercially successful release, reaching Number 7 in the UK Album Charts. Numerous publications have since declared it one of the best albums of the 90s, with Pitchfork calling it “a core of ungodly gorgeous songs that is every bit as moving and relevant today as it ever was.”

Cocteau Twins
Blue Bell Knoll

Released in 1988, ‘Blue Bell Knoll’ is the Cocteau Twins’ fifth studio album.  A beautiful record that showed the band’s continued maturity, it also included one of their most enduring songs, ‘Carolyn’s Fingers’. Now re-issued on heavyweight black vinyl and are being cut from brand-new HD 96/24 masters.

Cocteau Twins
Stars and Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990)

Liz Fraser’s ethereal vocals, often lyrical gobbledegook, coupled with the sparse backing from Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde (who replaced Will Heggie in 1983) made The Cocteau Twins one of the ‘80s most unique and special artists. The label had a knack back then for signing such acts. Along with Pixies, The Cocteau Twins top the list of their greatest finds. Stars And Topsoil - A Collection (1982-1990) is the ideal place to start if you want to get an overview of the band's work. It’s Likely that you will then move quickly to buy Heaven Or Las Vegas.

Deerhunter
Cryptograms & Flourescent Grey

The early days of Deerhunter were spent sinking deep into the psychedelic void, with distorted guitars swirling around Broadcast-inspired rhythmic curiosities. Cryptograms is a mix of cerebral ambient wallpaper and visceral trance dream pop, with the supplementary Fluorescent Grey EP working as arguably their best and most concise work, a perfect marriage of their melodic inclinations and their self-sabotaging fuzz. The messy and crucial band they used to be.

Disco Inferno
In Debt

A reissue of the debut album of Disco Inferno is something to be celebrated: Disco Inferno remain one of the most original and impressive post-rock bands to have ever been active. In Debt introduces their mixture of radical sampling processes and smart songcraft. These CD and 2LP reissues on Rocket Girl come with a bonus track, new artwork, and Neil Kulkarni sleevenotes.

DJ Shadow
Endtroducing.....

DJ Shadow’s sample-built 1996 debut album Entroducing….. has all the drama you’d expect from a title with ellipses two-thirds longer than the standard. As tense as it slaps, this is truly one of the the best instrumental trip/hip-hop albums ever made. The deluxe edition comes with expanded liner notes, photos, alternate versions, and remixes from the likes of Kuedo and Teklife.

Elliott Smith
Either/Or

Elliott’s third solo record, and his first after the break up of Heatmiser. An essential release in his back catalogue, Either/Or maintains the lo-fi intimacy of previous efforts Roman Candle and Elliott Smith, whilst upping the complexity and ambition of his arrangements. Miss Misery was even nominated for a bloomin' Oscar! Reissued on a 180gm LP, on Universal. Sad!

Felt
The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories

Before he hit paydirt producing the Stone Roses, John Leckie worked on one of Felt's best and most realised albums. The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories is another meanderingly titled album from this band's whose clipped arty indie pop is anything but flabby. Mixing the Velvet Underground with classical flourishes seemed to be the mindset here and it's a wonderful combination. 

Four Tet (Fourtet)
Rounds

Ten years since the original release, Domino reissue Four Tet's Rounds on CD and vinyl. This masterwork of leftfield beats, sampling and melodic sound construction came at a pivotal point in Four Tet's journey to fame. On the reissue the album comes with a bonus live recording of a performance in Copenhagen.

Fugazi
Repeater

Their second record and first studio proper, Repeater continued the life of post-hardcore giants Fugazi, taking the hallmarks of hardcore bands such as Gang of Four and, you know, Minor Threat, and updating them into a new bizarre style. Still more punk than poetics, Repeater speaks to that early time in Fugazi's career when anger dictated all.

Galaxie 500
This is Our Music

Extremely classic and crucial album here from Galaxie 500, the dream-pop slow-indie band with one of the most particular sounds around. 1990’s This Is Our Music is the last album they released before splitting up, and contains songs as special as ‘Fourth of July’ and their Yoko Ono cover ‘Listen, the Snow Is Falling’.

Galaxie 500
Today

Debut album of the short-lived dream pop band. Galaxie 500 are the kind of band whose mastery of texture and unrepentant slowness makes them an ideal salve for the mind. I don't know how hectic life is on a Tugboat, but if I was on one, I'd be content knowing this calming trio were at the helm. 

Goat
World Music

The debut record by insane Swedish rockers Goat, highly recommended for everybody who loves squealing guitars, screaming ladies, and catchy afrobeat grooves. Combining psychedelic rock with lots of ethnic rhythms, World Music scored highly in many of 2012’s end-of-the-year lists. Great volumes of tribal distortion on this one.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s excellent second album, first released back in 2000. Awing in its scope and ambition, and uniquely optimistic and joyful within the band’s discography. I’ll never forget when I first heard the trumpets creeping in during ‘Storm’, or on ‘Sleep’ where a New Yorker fondly remembers Coney Island at its peak. Truly special.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
F♯ A♯ ∞

Oooh, now this is a special one… F#A#∞ is the first ever album released by formative post-rock legends Godspeed You! Black Emperor, dating from 1997. The vinyl comes packaged with a coin flattened by being left on a Montreal train track (yes really) and various other trinkets, which adds to the mystery and inscrutable beauty of the music.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Yanqui U.X.O.

Canada’s post-rock heroes Godspeed You! Black Emperor have long been Norman favourites so the chances are that you already know everything there is to know about them. For the uninitiated who find themselves here, Yanqui U.X.O. was their third album from 2002. It was recorded by Steve Albini, who has a habit of doing these things well. It was also the point when the band decided to move the exclamation mark from the end to the middle of their name. Classic stuff. Double LP on Constellation.
  • Vinyl Double LP (CST024LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Grandaddy
Under The Western Freeway (20th Anniversary Edition)

Under The Western Freeway was the debut album by Grandaddy. Now, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of its release it gets a double LP reboot featuring some extra tracks in the form of previously unreleased demos that fans of the band will relish. It is arguably the band’s finest work and features such classics as AM 180, Summer Here Kids and Everything Beautiful Is Far Away.

Grouper
Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill

Liz Harris’ 2008 album proved irresistible to many and is generally considered her defining release. A woozy fog of guitar and vocal, it’s simultaneously intoxicatingly beautiful, yet dark and unsettling. It’s been in and out of print over the years and often frustratingly unavailable, so here it is again on CD.

Grouper
Ruins

'Ruins' is the newest record by drone folk artist Grouper. Recorded in a house near a lost, deserted village in Portugal, under the usual reclusive conditions that Liz Harris writes music, the record is the closest her project has gotten to capturing actual songs, each performed on a piano and recorded immediately to a 4-track. 'Ruins' finds Harris either performing spectral ballads, fashioned after her ambient leanings, or thrumming on the piano like it's just another part of the natural environment. It's arguably her sparsest record yet -- right down to the incidental recordings of rain and animals chirping -- and the closest the listener will get to hearing Harris' voice upfront.

Grouper
The Man Who Died In His Boat

Originally released in 2013, this album was recorded by Liz Harris alongside her best-known work, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. It’s in the same stylistic ballpark - ethereal, heavily reverbed electric guitar and vocals with dark and mysterious undercurrents, sometimes swimming into clearer focus when Harris switches to acoustic. Out of print for a while and now back on CD.

Guided By Voices
Bee Thousand

Not only is Bee Thousand widely regarded as one of the best Guided By Voices albums, but it is also widely regarded as one of the best indie rock albums ever made. Reissued for its 20th anniversary, the album has been remastered, is housed in a hefty gatefold sleeve and is pressed on high-quality vinyl. This album is so good, it even had a beer made in its honour - Beer Thousand.

Hood
Rustic Houses, Forlorn Valleys

'Rustic Houses, Forlorn Valleys' was Hood's first album for Domino following on from their two earlier lo-fi albums for Slumberland. It announced a drastic departure in their sound from the previous inventive indie to a less noisy, more tranquil approach that haunted the edges of post-rock. These six lengthy songs spread over 40+ minutes are full of bucolic beauty and draw comparisons to Bark Psychosis, Talk Talk, Mogwai and Pygmalion-era Slowdive.  
  • Vinyl LP (WIGLP042)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

Hood
The Cycle of Days and Seasons

Hood's fourth full-length album and their second for Domino Records. This one sees them deconstructing their songwriting with a dub-inflected sound incorporating decaying tape loops, found samples and half-speed beats alongside their usual gentle guitars and hushed vocals. Co-produced by Matt Elliott (Third Eye Foundation) and Richard Formby (Ghostpoet, Wild Beasts), 'The Cycle of Days and Seasons' is a sonic collage of late-night post-rock and dub atmospheres.  
  • Vinyl LP (WIGLP61)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

J Dilla
Donuts (picture sleeve edition)

Donuts is a true modern classic, one of the crowning moments of J Dilla’s all-too-short career. For creative, super-fresh beat-making, Dilla just can’t be beat, especially here, where he is at the peak of his powers. For its tenth anniversary, Donuts is reissued with that gorgeous sleeve design, on 2 LPs. On Stones Throw.

Jeff Buckley
Grace

Despite a number of archival and live albums, Grace was the only full studio album released by Jeff Buckley. Still, high points of the singer-songwriter's celebrated but tragically short career - 'Last Goodbye', 'Hallelujah', 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over' - were part of the collection, and deservedly so.

Joanna Newsom
Have One On Me

It had been three years since Joanna Newsom’s previous album, Ys. To make up for this gap, she made a triple album, Have One On Me, essentially one single album for each year that she missed. Despite its lengthy sprawl, it was more accessible than its predecessor, drawing comparisons to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush, albeit with Joanna's indelible stamp. It should definitely be thought of as an essential addition to any record collection.

Jose Gonzalez
Veneer

Swedish singer/songwriter Jose Gonzalez’s debut, released in his homeland in 2003 but not until 2005 for the rest of us. Hushed and tender, and including ~that~ emotional cover of The Knife’s electro-pop number Heartbeats. Deft acoustic guitar and sweet double-tracked vocals - it’s pretty hard for this man to escape Nick Drake comparisons. Limited LP repress on Peacefrog.

Joy Division
Closer

Second and final LP by doomed Salford post-punk band Joy Division, this is perhaps most often cited their greatest moment. Recorded shortly before the untimely death of singer Ian Curtis, whose health deteriorated rapidly during the making of this album, and produced by Martin Hannet. Limited edition vinyl reissue. 

Julia Holter
Have You In My Wilderness

‘Have You In My Wilderness’ is a collection of dreamy, atmospheric, intimate ballads textured with the imagery inspired by various literary references, exploring familiar themes such as love and human relationships in a way that is enigmatic and slightly unnerving. The record seems to be drawn from a more personal source than her first two releases.

Kate Bush
The Dreaming

New editions of Catherine Bush’s fourth LP here courtesy of Parlophone. People weren’t sure what to make of The Dreaming when it came out - too uncommercial, they said. However, time has been kind to the record. The Dreaming is now regarded as an unsung gem of Bush’s catalogue and regularly appears in those 'Best Albums Of The 1980s' lists. Both Big Boi and Björk are fans, dontcha know.

Lambchop
Nixon

Ah Nixon. The highpoint in the varied career of this Nashville million piece led by Kurt Wagner. Nixon was a glorious romp through the back roads of neon soul with surprising nods to Al Green and Curtis Mayfield -  a beautiful lamp lit album, moving at slow pace with Wagner's idiosyncratic wordplay front and centre. 

Love
Forever Changes

Forever Changes by Love was one of a number of classic and highly original albums that were released in 1967. Led by Arthur Lee, the band were hampered by drugs and failing relationships, but the difficult atmosphere seems to have been the right one in which to make a classic. Apparently Neil Young was penciled in to produce the album, but the job fell to Bruce Botnik instead, turns out he did a decent job.  

Low
Things We Lost In The Fire

On Low albums, the heart flutters and then stops altogether, the hushed harmonies of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker slowing into nothingness -- whether over delicate strums or ascendent and doomy rock fanfare. Things We Lost In the Fire is arguably the band's opus, offering each iteration of their sound at its most emotional devastating.

Madvillain
Madvillainy

Madlib and MF DOOM present an experimental hiphop tour de force that was beset by internet leaks before completion, and initially abandoned midway by its creators before seeing the light of day in 2004 and becoming a crossover hit. Brimming with unlikely samples (Mothers of Invention, Gentle Giant, Bill Evans, Steve Reich, Egg) and DOOM’s characteristically dazzling and dense rhymes. Double LP reissue.

Marvin Gaye
What's Going On

Immediately recognisable from the cover alone, What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye feels like an album that was never not there. The soothing and enthralling tracks like Mercy Mercy Me and What’s Happening Brother, feel like they have always existed somewhere, a testament to Gaye’s effortless craftsmanship and one of the myriad of reasons why this has become a classic LP and one that deserves to be in any respectable collection.  

Massive Attack
Mezzanine

Mezzanine is a dark masterpiece, as black, as glossy and as intimidating as the beetle creature on its cover. Angel and Teardrop turn up on TV often enough (and rightly so), but the whole album is worth digging into for its uneasy moods. This hasn’t been available on record for a while, so Universal are bringing it back on suitably heavyweight vinyl.

Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks

Max Richter stands at the forefront of the modern classical movement that has enjoyed prominence for most of this century. The delicate, emotionally arresting compositions on his second album confirmed his status, and are here re-released with updated artwork on LP and CD, sounding just as wonderful as before.

Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks (15th Anniversary Edition)

Written in 2003 as a response to the invasion of Iraq, Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks has become a seminal piece of classical protest music, in part due to its use in films such as Shutter Island and Waltz With Bashir. It’s a stirring work that hovers between electroacoustic music, Neo-Classical composition and electronica. The overall effect is beautiful, angry and sad. Deutsche Grammophon have repackaged the album for its fifteenth anniversary. It now comes with a second disc of bonus tracks, re-arrangements, and remixes from Jlin and Konx-Om-Pax.

Mazzy Star
So Tonight That I Might See

This is a much needed re-issue of the second album from David Roback and Hope Sandoval's dream pop/slowcore band. Originally released in 1993 this contained their superhit 'Fade Into You' which peaked at no 44 in the hot 100. One of those albums that gained momentum this is a fine addition to their small but perfectly formed set of records,    
  • Vinyl LP (5753757)
  • £17.99 £11.99 (saving: £6.00)
  • In stock and ready to ship

Melvins
Houdini

American noise (then) trio Melvins were named after a grocery store supervisor who was despised by the band member who worked under him. Houdini was their fifth studio album, and the first on major label Atlantic (who dropped them 2 albums later). Championed by grunge Gods Nirvana, 'Houdini' was essentially the band's break-through album. Reissued for your pleasure on lovely gatefold vinyl.

Miles Davis
Bitches Brew

'Bitches Brew' is a jazz standard living outside of jazz standards, believed to be one of the best ever made. Miles Davis originally recorded the record of long jazz fusion tracks in 1970; here, the original master tapes have been used to reissue the music as a double LP via Mobile Fidelity. 'Bitches Brew' is recommended for fans of improvisation and weird compositional stories (Davis "arranged his band in a semi-circle" and conducted them vaguely - sounds like he might have heard 'Trout Mask Replica' once or twice). Perhaps the most experimental of Davis' works.    Tracks: Pharaoh’s Dance Bitches Brew Spanish Key John McLaughlin Miles Runs the Voodoo Down Sanctuary

Minor Threat
Minor Threat

That familiar bald head can only mean one thing... Minor Threat! It's a repress of a compilation which unites the influential punk group's self-titled debut EP and its follow-up ‘In My Eyes’. Unbelievably succinct and vicious hardcore punk, though the whole thing is only 17 minutes it has the weight of something far larger. It even accidentally created a whole lifestyle with ‘Straight Edge’, the band’s clean-livin’ masterpiece.

Moondog
Viking of Sixth Avenue

It may be super old, but this Moondog record is getting on for over half a century old yet it really doesn't sound like it at all. It sounds like something some 'indiephile' musician would composer to transcend time and return to the 40's and 50's. Viking of Sixth Avenue is a Double LP on Honest Jon's.

Moondog
Moondog

Reissue of avant-garde pioneer Moondog’s self-titled album from 1969, It hasn’t been available on vinyl since 2003. Moondog’s unique approach to composition was revered by Phillip Glass and Steve Reich and is heavily sampled across multiple genres Including Mr Scruff and covered by Antony and the Johnsons.

My Bloody Valentine
Isn't Anything

Remastered version of My Bloody Valentine's groundbreaking, genre-defining, genre-defying 1988 album. As every MBV fan agrees, this is by far their best album - literally no-one on the planet of sane mind believes 'Loveless' is better.

My Bloody Valentine
Loveless

Fully remastered version of My Bloody Valentine's 1991 classic, Loveless. Done by the man himself it is, as ever with MBV, difficult to work out where the myth ends and the truth begins. Kevin Shields claimed that listening to these new versions would "definitely" produce a different emotional effect from the originals. Listen through headphones on decent equipment and the subtle changes are apparent. But does 'different' mean its any better than the original?

Neu!
Neu! 2

Neu! 2, the second LP from German Krautrock maestros, Neu!, is continually hailed as a classic of both the Krautrock genre and frankly, of the album format. The group honed the sound they had cultivated on their debut LP through 11-minute crunchers like 'Für Immer'. With the band having run out of recording money, the B-side is a few different manipulations of their previous single - a shoestring budget but turned out quite well.  

Neutral Milk Hotel
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

The damn near-mythologised second album from Neutral Milk Hotel. Idiosyncratic stuff from 1998. Whether you’re die-hard for this one or rediscovering, let Jeff Mangum sing to you about semen-stained mountaintops and Jesus Christ between those stellar brass sections. Reissued on Domino on LP or CD.

New Order
Power, Corruption & Lies

New Order’s second full-length achieves a fine balance between electronic and guitar-based music. While the preceding Movement LP was the work of a band who couldn’t quite shake off the weight of their past as Joy Division, Power, Corruption and Lies and the contemporary Blue Monday 12” saw them define a singular identity. We All Stand and Leave Me Alone still have the guitar-driven angst of old, but the Blue Monday variation 5 8 6 and Ecstasy were ground-breaking forays into a Hi-NRG-influenced sequencer-driven style, enhanced by the unmistakable lead basslines of Peter Hook. Also Barney got over his reticence and became a proper lead singer. Housed in a high-concept, die-cut Peter Saville sleeve, it’s still an utter joy today. 
  • Vinyl LP (0825646888054)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Nick Drake
Five Leaves Left

Five Leaves Left was Nick Drake's debut LP on Island and probably counts as one of the most autumnal records ever made. It's understated and hushed take on folk music was not a hit at the time but slowly over the years it found an audience of like minded sensitive souls. Notable for Robert Kirby's brilliant string arrangements, this is a gorgeous work not to be missed.     

Nils Frahm
Spaces

Nils Frahm executes beautifully moving piano based compositions with marked ease, though the live experience is somewhat informed by the environment. This reissued collection of tracks presents the perceived value Frahm bestows upon these, celebrating his collaboration with chance, space and philosophies of the present.

Ought
Sun Coming Down

Sun Coming Down is the much anticipated second full length from the Montreal quartet who have found love across the globe with their debut album which topped many end of year lists with it's twitchy economical sound and yelped David Byrne-like vocal delivery. This new album continues in that angular manner, an unpolished charge of politicised avant-rock.  

Pavement
Slanted & Enchanted

This was the Pavement I liked. A sloppy sprawling lo-fi charm fest taking heavy influence from the Velvet Underground and the Fall but stumbling blinking in the sun with classic melodies glinting through the fuzzy production and madcap drumming. On top of that add Malkmus wordplay and you get an eternal classic.   

Pere Ubu
Dub Housing

Too many Pere Ubu records have been allowed to slip out of print, so here, to coincide with some shows, the group are reissuing a few early records on Fire. Dub Housing is their second album, and represents the group at their wild, harsh best. Newly remastered from the original tapes and available on CD or LP.

Pixies
Doolittle

Second album from alternative rock stalwarts, Pixies. Doolittle is like when you see something disgusting, and you’re brain can’t quite decide if you want to keep looking at it and show it to everyone you know, or shut your eyes and hope it goes away. Surreal, catchy, dirty, noisy and really, really good. 

Public Enemy
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

No hiphop collection should be without the 1989 breakthrough LP from PE. Chuck D’s lyrics and delivery matched with The Bomb Squad’s confrontational production represented a new high-water mark as to what rap could be capable of. The track listing is jaw-dropping - Bring the Noise, Don’t Believe the Hype, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, Rebel Without a Pause.... She Watch Channel Zero?! samples Def Jam labelmates Slayer, though it’s ironic to hear Flavor Flav being judgmental about viewing habits, having since been responsible for one of the worst sitcoms in TV history. Still, no questionable late career choices can overshadow this explosive statement of righteous black rage and defiance, that’s utterly uncompromising and iconic from the title down. Almost an hour’s worth crammed onto this LP but it sounds phenomenal.

Quasi
Featuring "Birds"

Featuring “Birds” was the second studio album by Portland, Oregon duo Quasi. They were made up of organist and vocalist Sam Coomes who played in Heatmiser  and has since gone on to a solo career, and drummer Janet Weiss also of Slater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and Wild Flag. Around the time of this release in 1998 Quasi were Elliott Smith’s tour support and also played as his backing band. Featuring “Birds” is a lesser-known indie classic.

Radiohead
Kid A

Kid A is still Radiohead's most challenging album and the furthest they've headed into electronic textures but it's all the better for it. The band channelled the sounds they were hearing on records by the likes of Autechre and applied them to their own sound. Such a different beast from OK Computer but a very innovative and important record.  

Radiohead
OK Computer

OK Computer is Radiohead's third album. Originally released in 1997, following on from their second LP, The Bends, was always going to be a tall order, but they did it all right! A '90s classic that is still recognised by millennials for songs such as 'Paranoid Android', 'Karma Police' and 'Airbag'.

Real Estate
Days

Real Estate have jangled far and wide, at this point, but Martin Courtney's band of dulcet soft rockers were in their early osmosis on Days, where they started honing their craft with close and co-dependent guitars playing out gorgeously anonymous songs of summer. Listening to Days is something like walking down an empty cul-de-sac under a late night sun.

Red House Painters
Down Colourful Hill

It was the best of times, way back when Mark Kozelek was not awful to his audience and offensive to journalists; back when there was a forlorn band called Red House Painters weaving devastating lyrics in and out of slowcore threnodies. Down Colorful Hill was the very first entry into the band's canon and sees Kozelek slowly wrangle with gorgeous guitar tones and talk about that first initial feeling that you're getting old. The band at their sparsest and sometimes their most uncompromisingly ugly.

Red House Painters
Red House Painters / Rollercoaster

The high watermark of Mark Kozelek's career was both reminiscent of his earlier, more dour slowcore and indicative of the sombre guitar sage he'd become on early Sun Kil Moon records (before he became The Worst). Rollercoaster is a classic, a singer-songwriter record that languishes with the form in favour of sprawling, introspective tunes -- plus the odd bout of shoegaze bloodletting.
  • Vinyl Double LP (CAD3409)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Red House Painters
Red House Painters / Bridge

Of the two sorta untitled Red House Painters records, Bridge is the perennial underachiever, a record that's more subtle in places and less focused in tone. It makes for something of RHP rock record: a strangely joyous cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "I Am A Rock" appears, as does a gloomy, pantomimic cover of the Star Spangled Banner. There's also some of Kozelek's own songs, which were pretty good back in the day.

Saint Etienne
Foxbase Alpha

Perfect synthesis of bric-a-brac pop and post-rave beat-making, featuring era touchstone ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’, a sublime take on the Neil Young track. Heavenly celebrated the 25th anniversary of Saint Etienne’s 1991 classic ‘Foxbase Alpha’ with an extensive set of reissues. Three versions are available for purchase; a double CD (with 14 extra tracks and a 28-page booklet), a standard LP version, and a triple LP box set (featuring a bonus one-sided 7”, a 32-page booklet, and assorted inserts).     

Scott Walker
Tilt

Contrary to what it may seem, ‘Tilt’ was not a complete shift in trajectory for the former pop star Scott Walker. Prior to its release in 1995, Walker had spent years finding ever more oblique methods to communicate his ideas, however, is undoubtedly true that ‘Tilt’ was his most daringly realised attempt yet. Desolate, ardently experimental, but also beautiful, a pathway which would lead to later opuses such ‘The Drift’, ‘Bish Bosch’, and ‘Soused’ - his collaborative LP with drone metal legends Sunn o))) .  

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