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Norman Records' Essential Vinyl

There are some records that, in our humble collective opinion, no vinyl collection should be without. No if’s, no but’s, and no genre-scepticism - these releases are simply too good for you to be trifling with such concerns. We’ve been banging on about some of these since we first launched in 1996, and we’ll be banging on about them until we’re long in the cold, cold ground.

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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'.

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))) .  

Shellac
At Action Park

Shellac At Action Park is Shellac's debut LP following on from the "The Rude Gesture (a pictorial history)", "Uranus" and "The Bird Is The Most Popular Finger" 7" singles. 'At Action Park' was recorded electrically, and features no overdubs, no guest appearances and no tiny cymbals that go "pish". The vinyl format is an audiophile pressing, manufactured to classical standards. Mastering is all analog, direct-to-metal (DMM), and the records are virgin, dye-blackened vinyl, weighing 177 grams (the nice thick ones that don't bend).The LP and CD packaging were printed by Fireproof Press.

Sigur Rós
Ágætis byrjun (20th Anniversary Edition)

Sigur Rós mark the 20th anniversary of their 1999 breakthrough Ágætis Byrjun with an expanded re-issue on vinyl and CD. Rarities, demos and a full 95-minute live concert provide the final word on the spectral majesty of an album that provided the foundations for the Icelandic post-rockers’ acclaimed career. 

Silver Apples
Silver Apples

Pretty much the album which started the sound that is still influencing 77% of the music that comes through our doors. Oscillating synths, proto-kraut rhythms and repetitive grooves that were about a million years ahead of their time and surely influenced everyone from Can to Stereolab to pretty much everyone who has stabbed at a syntheziser. Brilliant stuff and utterly essential vinyl re-issue.   

Sleaford Mods
Austerity Dogs

Austerity Dogs is the 6th album by Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods, but it’s the one that got them noticed. Since its release in 2013, the band have gone from strength to strength, being a necessary mouthpiece and cathartic outlet for many in the these austere times. They mix a punk snarl with pepped-up hip-hop beats and socially aware lyrics to make an original, energetic, angry and often witty statement that has become essential.

Sleater-Kinney
Dig Me Out

This is not the Kinks. As evident in the artwork, Sleater-Kinney's third record, 'Dig Me Out', takes its influence less from the raucous underbelly of punk rock and more from the traditions of rock 'n' roll. That said, it's still what you'd call punk rock: full of the same fury and lyrical bite, but with "woah oh oh!"s and pop hooks. 

Sleep
Dopesmoker

Got to keep the lads in smoking paraphernalia. This must get re-issued at least once a year (around the same number of times the members of Sleep actually get out of bed in fact). This is a stone cold stoner rock classic though. It invented the genre pretty much... full of sludging riffs, grumbling bass, cannabis rhythms.    

Slint
Spiderland

Spiderland by Slint is post-rock ground zero. It was the band’s second and final album, but it’s THE ONE when it comes to defining a sub-genre. The band featured Brian McMahan who went on to play with Will Oldham and then form The For Carnation, and David Pajo who has done many good things since such as Ariel M, Papa M as well as being in Tortoise for a bit. He was also a member of Billy Corgan’s Zwan. If you buy this on CD, be prepared to be told off. It clearly states on the back that this is meant to be listened to on vinyl. However, both are available.

Slint
Spiderland (Remastered)

2014 remaster of Slint's beautiful second and final album. It comes with various outtakes and demos, as well as Breadcrumb Trail, the documentary about the album’s creation directed by Lance Bangs. The band's use of dynamics gave them an uncanny ability to bottle emotions; the words "he decided to piss", have never sounded so tragic.

Slowdive
Souvlaki

A much needed reissue of Slowdive’s second album, Souvlaki from 1993. Hailed as their best album, it doesn’t take long to see why; the classics are on here and they’re ready to make your eyes glaze over, your shoulders slump and your whole body just sink under the bed covers as their blissed, reverbing hot air balloon of sound gently takes you away. Played early in the morning, in the dark, after some booze for best effects.     CD comes as a 2 disk pack with extra tunes and two remixes.

Songs: Ohia
Didn't It Rain

Alt-country songwriter Jason Molina is best known for his crowning work with Songs: Ohia, 'Magnolia Electric Co.', a cosmic alt-country record inspired by the ferocity of Steve Albini, its producer. 'Didn't It Rain', though, is a different kind of masterpiece, reflecting Molina's more commonly utilised slow-burning folk rock, always focused around quiet strumming and the vocal exchanges of him and singing partner Jennie Benford. Named after a classic folk gospel standard, 'Didn't It Rain' is proof of a plaintive songwriter in thrall of music's old lexicon.

Sonic Youth
Daydream Nation

Is there a finer stamp of approval than your album appearing in a pre-millennium episode of the Simpsons? Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation, is one of the American indie underground’s epics, and was their last before signing to a major label (take from that what you will). LP box set comes with live versions, covers, and a booklet with previously unpublished photos.

Sonic Youth
Sister

Goofin’ records repress Sonic Youth’s art-rock masterwork Sister, and they’ve even included a download with the vinyl LP. On their fifth album the band’s dissonant no-wave drones are as heavy as ever, but they’re tied to sharper songwriting and thoughtful band dynamics.

Spacemen 3
The Perfect Prescription

Reissue of Spacemen 3's second album, which was a wide eyed clash of droning guitar fuzz, psychedelic avant-garage propulsion and heady atmosphere. The line up shift had given rise to an evolved sound, allowing for more space to breathe, casting those shimmering tremolos further out into the stratosphere.

Stars Of The Lid
And Their Refinement Of The Decline

Stars of the Lid's seventh studio album saw a slight hesitation in what appeared to be a progression further into orchestrated ambience. The previous LP's rich, stately tone does make up a lot of the character, but a return to the exploration of non-musical, abstract sonic nuance is where the magic is here, still wonderful in repress.

Stars Of The Lid
The Tired Sounds of

Repress of Stars of the Lid’s 2001 neo-classical drone album, The Tired Sounds of. The way this album ebbs and flows is unlike much you’ll hear from music. It has far more in common with waves beating against a shore. The glacial pace of its changes suggest a timelessness. It sounds massive, and I feel.. small.

Stereolab
Emperor Tomato Ketchup (Expanded Edition)

'Emperor Tomato Ketchup' is often held up as the crowning achievement of post-rock/psychedelic outfit Stereloab, fronted by the bizarre, left-field songwriting of Laetitia Sadier and Tim Gane. On 'Emperor Tomato Ketchup', the band's affection for pop music and for newer strands of experimental rock intersect, making for a record both accessible and ambitious than the three noise pop records that preceded it. 

Steve Hauschildt
Where All Is Fled

Former glittering Emeralds member Steve Hauschildt’s new solo LP is a typically expansive suite of pieces, pulling in synthesis, field recordings and acoustic instrumentation to form some heady trips. Where All Is Fled wavers between abstraction and melodies, mostly hitting that sweet spot where neither dominates. On Kranky.

Sufjan Stevens
Greetings From Michigan

The time Sufjan first came to some kind of international prominence was with this wonderful sprawl of a record that was the first of his supposed 50 albums about US states. That didn't happen but this and Illinois were more than enough. Intricate, literate song craft, beautiful folk melodies and my favourite lyric of all time "and I've seen my wife, at the K-Mart, in strange ideas, we live apart". 

Sufjan Stevens
Carrie & Lowell

Sufjan Stevens left behind the folk game a long time ago, declaring his plan to write fifty records for fifty states a mere joke -- a sentiment that failed to wash away the beauty of the ornately composed Michigan and the pantomimic Illinoise. In the years since, he's been writing song cycles dedicated to the solar system, conducting orchestras in tributes to American highways, making fun of people on his blog and releasing records that betray deep existential crises -- All Delighted People and the synth-mad Age of Adz. He returns now with Carrie & Lowell, a record which promises a retracing of footsteps, back to the days when Stevens was about acoustic guitars, banjos and soft sadness. It's dedicated to his mum and step-dad. Argh. Crying.

Sun Kil Moon
Ghosts Of The Great Highway

Out of print for far too long, Ghosts of the Great Highway is a timely reminder of the power and emotion Mark Kozelek's music once had. This was his first 'group' record post Red House Painters and is seen as one of his best. With a band featuring Anthony Koutsos (Red House Painters), Tim Mooney (American Music Club), the album fine tunes Kozelek's previous poetic sadcore with a healthy dose of Americana. Vinyl reissue contains original bonus track 'Gentle Moon'. 

SWANS
The Seer

As the current incarnation of Swans draws to a close, here’s the second studio album by that version of the band, from 2012. Michael Gira assembled a lineup of veterans like Norman Westberg and new blood including Thor Harris, guest spots from the likes of Karen O and Ben Frost, with even Jarboe making an appearance. They managed to combine the monolithic heaviness of the past with a new sensibility that saw the lengthy tracks evolve over the course of touring. Massive epics like The Apostate and the 32-minute title track are balanced by gentle miniatures such as The Daughter Brings the Water and Song for a Warrior. This is a huge, sprawling album, and only the first of three such two-hour, 2CD or 3LP monsters. Some of the most ambitious and visionary rock music of recent years. 

Syd Barrett
The Madcap Laughs

‘The Madcap Laughs’ is the debut solo album by the English singer-songwriter recorded after Barrett had left Pink Floyd. That appears to be the pree release we were given. It is, intermittently, one of the finest albums of its era. Not slick by any stretch of the imagination but full of left field ideas.  
  • Vinyl LP (0825646310791)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Talk Talk
Laughing Stock

The final album from a band who evolved from synth-pop into intricate, unbelievably delicate avant-jazz compostion. This reissue comes 26 years after the original release but the music hasn't aged a bit. 'Ascension Day' churns and whirrs whilst 'New Grass' tugs the heart strings just as strongly as before. Absolutely essential.

Talking Heads
Remain in Light

Relentlessly innovative classic from new-wave legends Talking Heads. ‘Remain In Light’ is the peak of their Brian Eno produced era, with spliced up lyrics pared against extensive experimentation with loops and polyrhythms. These experiments have stood up remarkably well over the passage of time, the songs here remaining as jerky and unpredictable as ever.

Tame Impala
Innerspeaker

Tame Impala have proved themselves champions of psychedelic rock over the past few years, ascending to the top of the pecking order with 'Lonerism', their tightly-knit collection of fluorescent pop tunes. Their debut 'Innerspeaker' is a worthy record in its own right, deftly navigating their heavy stoner influence with serene and inviting pop hooks. 

Tame Impala
Lonerism

Come on now, we know the score with this one! Lonerism, Tame Impala's second LP, has undoubtedly become a modern classic. It catapulted the Aussie group from psych stone-rockers to a global phenomenon who sell out stadiums world-wide. 'Elephant', 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards', 'Apocalypse Dreams' - need we say more? 

Teenage Fanclub
Grand Prix

Grand Prix is the album on which Teenage Fanclub perfected their chiming and charming indie rock-cum-power pop sound. Originally released in 1995 on the legendary and now defunct Creation label, the Glaswegian band stepped it up in terms of songwriting and production. Includes Sparky’s Dream and Mellow Doubt. Initial pressings come with a bonus 7” single.

Television
Marquee Moon

Television were integral to the New York punk scene of the 1970s that centred around the CBGBs club situated in Manhattan’s dingy Lower East Side. Whilst the music was more complex, with longer songs than the punk movement was known for, it is said that front man Tom Verlaine was the person who started wearing safety pins on his clothes, but simply to hold them together, rather than as a fashion statement. Their debut album from 1977, Marquee Moon, is absolutely essential.

The Beta Band
The Three EPs (20th Anniversary Remaster) [Deluxe Edition]

Noted for *that* moment in High Fidelity when the guy in the store says "let's sell some records" and puts a Beta Band track on and people start wandering up to the counter to find out what it is. It's a reminder that the early the Beta Band was a good thing - their reputation is based on these three early EPs. The fact that they subsequently disappeared down a rabbit warren of their own making is, in time, starting to be forgotten.  

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Revelation

Led by the infamous Anton Newcombe, Brian Jonestown Massacre recorded their 14th album, Revelation in Newcombe’s Berlin studio over 18 months between 2012 and 2014. Eastern influences had started to make their way into the band’s psychedelic groove. The band are a swirling collective helmed by Newcombe, and this time the musicians were Joachim Ahlund of Les Big Byrds, Constantine Karlis from Dimmer and Asteroid #4’s Ryan Van Kriedt.

The Bug
London Zoo

Kevin Martin has been involved in a few projects in his time. Let's see...there's Techno Animal, God and King Midas Sound to name but three. But perhaps when the dust settles he'll be best remembered for The Bug  - his schizoid bass bin ruining distorto dancehall project. London Zoo is a menacing triple album which will make you dance like an idiot whilst fearing for your ears at the same time.    

The Congos
Heart Of The Congos

Heart Of The Congos is one of the all-time classics, and surely one of the most highly regarded roots reggae records around. This right here is a reissue of a reissue, putting the fullest and best version of the album back into circulation. Over three CDs or three LPs, the rare Lee Perry original mix is bolstered with edits, dubs and remixed versions, including one previously unreleased! Reissued by VP.
  • Vinyl Triple LP (0054645421218)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

The Durutti Column
The Return Of The Durutti Column

Factory Benelux presents a new vinyl edition of landmark album The Return of the Durutti Column, housed in a revised version of the iconic sandpaper sleeve first issued by Factory Records in January 1980. A collaboration between virtuoso guitarist Vini Reilly and legendary Manchester producer Martin Hannett,The Return of the Durutti Columnpaired Reilly’s non-rock sketches with Hannett’s electronic textures to produce “perfectly realised, correctly ambient and inventive music” (NME). The infamous sandpaper sleeve was somewhat less user friendly. Inspired by a 1959 Situationist publication by Guy Debord and Asger Jorn, the relentless iconoclasts at Factory hoped that the abrasive packaging would destroy existing record collections. This new 2013 edition on Factory Benelux develops rather than replicates the original packaging. On the front cover, an 11-inch square sheet of coarse sandpaper is seated in a recessed deboss, while the back cover and inner sleeve feature period Durutti images by noted photographer Daniel Meadows. The bonus Hannett ‘test card’ flexidisc is now a hard vinyl 7” (with improved sound quality), while the album itself features two extra tracks, Madeleine and Lips That Would Kiss (previously issued as a separate 7-inch single on Factory Benelux in October 1980). The inner bag also features extensive liner notes with quotes from Vini Reilly, Martin Hannett, Tony Wilson, Peter Saville, Daniel Meadows, John Brierley, Bruce Mitchell and members of Joy Division, who assembled most of the sandpaper originals. The new package is sealed in a heavy duty polythene wallet, thus ensuring that adjacent records in your collection remain intact.

The Fall
This Nation's Saving Grace

Beggar’s Banquet are launching the next phase of their Fall reissue campaign, hooray hooray! This Nation’s Saving Grace, an album by The Fall that almost everyone seems to agree is a classic slice of Fall: impressive, given how hard it is to get that fanbase to agree. Major level Fall, get involved.

The Flaming Lips
The Soft Bulletin

Iiiiiiit’s the best album by The Flaming Lips. Well, that’s the general consensus on The Soft Bulletin anyway. This 1999 LP both represents a sea change in The Flaming Lips’ writing style and also stands the most effective marriage of the band’s prog and pop sides. At its best, The Soft Bulletin is baroque and masterful in a manner that makes it more than worthy of all the Pet Sounds comparisons it’s had down the years.
  • Vinyl Double LP (0093624952183)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

The Magnetic Fields
69 Love Songs

If you wanted to make an incredibly long album and you figured 100 songs would be too many what would be the next number you'd pick? Anyway, Stephen Merritt did a ridiculous thing and wrote 69 indie pop songs about love and actually managed to pull it off. These are songs that had to be eccentric and endearing, which they are.

The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main Street

The Rolling Stones took themselves off to the French Riviera to record their classic double LP Exile On Main Street. This could well be the album from which all the stories of excess associated with rock stars stem from. But let’s not let that overshadow the music. Since it’s release in 1972, Exile On Main Street has been a bona fide rock ‘n’ roll classic.

The Shins
Oh, Inverted World

Exactly what you never knew you always needed: a fifteen-year-old album reissued on cassette. Maybe you need an extra copy for your car. Maybe you want to give it to somebody who can’t afford a record player. What do we know? Either way, The Shins’ 2001 classic Oh, Inverted World is finally stepping into the world of high fidelity cassette tapes!

The Smiths
The Queen is Dead

'The Queen Is Dead' is thought by many to be the Smiths greatest achievement. Not for me, nothing with 'Vicar In A Tutu' on it should ever be considered a classic. However it does contain many of their greatest moments, the title track, 'There is a Light....' and 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' to name but three. The Smiths at their confident best just before things started to go slightly wrong.   

The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses

The Stones Roses eponymous debut is widely regarded as essential by many fans. it was originally released in 1989 and was central to the Madchester movement of the late 80s and early 90s. The vinyl reissue is an exact replica of the original, released for its 25th anniversary. It is also available on CD in a slimline digipak.

This Heat
Deceit

This Heat remain one of the most unique and remarkable bands in existence, and it is a joy to see their catalogue being reissued on vinyl for the first time! Deceit is a paranoid, blast of Cold War, post-punk creativity, moving from eerie creep to the ecstatic flare of ‘SPQR’ and the howl of ‘Makeshift Swahili’. Remastered audio, 180g vinyl, and a booklet of notes and photos, on Modern Classics.

This Heat
This Heat

This Heat remain one of the most unique and remarkable bands in existence, and it is a joy to see their catalogue being reissued on vinyl for the first time! This Heat, their debut, is full of post-punk churn, dissonant ambience, and even proto-drum & bass (‘24 Track Loop’). Remastered audio, 180g vinyl, and a booklet of notes and photos, on Modern Classics.

Throbbing Gristle
20 Jazz Funk Greats

For all their reputation as “wreckers of civilisation”, by 1979 the original industrial quartet had gotten some of the confrontation out of their system and were exploring a wider range of expression. Chris and Cosey were getting more into their electronics, evident on the pure electropop of Hot on the Heels of Love and Walkabout’s jolly sequenced synth. Of course, it wouldn’t be TG if it was all “very friendly”, so Persuasion and Six Six Sixties see Genesis P-Orridge letting in various shades of creepiness. Peter Christopherson must be responsible for some of the sleaziness too, of course. Double CD reissue, with a disc’s worth of live tracks from 1979.

Throbbing Gristle
The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle (40th Anniversary Edition)

Not in fact their second anything, The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle, is the band’s now four decade old debut. Though their impact on electronic and industrial music is undeniable, listening to these tracks I’m relieved their needlessly “transgressive” lyrics and imagery have not been so influential.

Throbbing Gristle
D.O.A. The Third And Final Report Of Throbbing Gristle

The music of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle is back on their own Industrial Records after 30 years of knocking around other labels, so it is only right that you can get your favourite eerie durge music from the source. D.O.A. The Third And Final Report Of Throbbing Gristle is the second LP from the group, originally released in 1978.

Tim Hecker
Ravedeath 1972

This isn’t the brutal sensory blast that the amazing title might suggest. It’s creepy pipe organ/piano/synth drone music, recorded in a church in Reykjavik. Super unnerving, but equally beautiful and engaging. It’s one of Hecker’s best works for sure, and is released on double LP and CD on Kranky.

Tom Waits
Swordfishtrombones

Released originally in 1983, Swordfishtrombones saw Tom Waits undergo a new lease of creative life. Now free from his record deal with Asylum, Waits produced the record himself, veering away from the piano / string orchestra arrangements that characterised the first decade or so of his career and towards more abstract, eclectic arrangements. It was instantly hailed as a masterpiece. 

Tom Waits
Bad As Me

Bad As Me by Tom Waits was his seventeenth album and was released in 2011. It was lauded by critics and fans alike. It brings together all the styles Waits has used throughout his career, from his early, more straight-forward songwriting to his later avant-garde approach. It also features a wide range of guest musicians from Keith Richards and Charlie Musselwhite to Flea and Les Claypool.

Tortoise
Millions Now Living Will Never Die

To overlap with the forthcoming new record, Thrill Jockey are getting classic Tortoise albums back out into the world on lovely wax. Millions Now Living Will Never Die is maybe Tortoise’s most highly regarded work, containing the remarkable side-long excursion ‘Djed’. On translucent blue vinyl.

Vashti Bunyan
Just Another Diamond Day

Just Another Diamond Day by Vashti Bunyan, released in 1970, is notable for being a gentle folk classic, but also for being her only album until 2005’s Lookaftering. The album tells the tell of the time she left civilisation to join Donovan’s community of creative hippy types in the Hebrides. It was produced by Joe Boyd and features the musical talents of Robin Williamson of The Incredible String Band, and Simon Nicol and Dave Swarbrick of Fairport Convention. 180g reissue LP in replica gatefold sleeve, limited to 1000 copies.

William Onyeabor
World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?

'Who is William Onyeabor' indeed? This vast collection from Luaka Bop should clear the question up. Rising from obscurity to fame, Onyeabor's deliriously danceable Afro-funk marries hot grooves with lo-fi electronics, awarding him the status of one of the continent's visionary producers. Need convincing? Listen to 'Good Name' and don't look back.

Wire
Chairs Missing

Wire's second album has now, belatedly, got the re-issue treatment. 'Chairs Missing' expanded the short, sharp art-rock of their debut 'Pink Flag' into something more rounded and experimental, particularly in terms of their song structure. The CD editions come with bonus discs of so many demos that you won't know what to do with them.

Women
Public Strain

'Public Strain' was the second and sadly last album from Canadian art-fuzz-pop-rock band Women. Taking cues from softly psychedelic 60s rock and dialling the reverb a long way up, the album is somehow immediate and distant and the same time, concluding in the lovely, yearning repeated riffs of 'Eyesore'.

Wu-Tang Clan
Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers)

Do you want me to introduce this record to you? Really? Because if you don’t yet know what happens when you Enter The Wu Tang, you should probably just buy this on sight. For existing Wu-Tang Clan fans, this is the classic debut reissued, pretty crucial for your collection.

Yo La Tengo
Extra Painful

'Painful' was something of an early blueprint for another of Yo La Tengo's more beloved records, 'And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out'. Beyond their sickly blue covers, both are full of mumbled vocals, twilit riffs that slide seamlessly through the night, and romantic shoegaze outbursts. 'Extra Painful' compiles this old, understated effort from one of indie rock's subtlest acts with a second disc of original and unheard material -- plus lots of photos and an endless amount of goodies.

Young Marble Giants
Colossal Youth

Young Marble Giants made just one album but it was a solid gold classic. Colossal Youth pretty much invented the fact that you could play songs slow and quietly with minimal instrumentation. It's a brilliant patchwork on clicking drum machines, ticking guitars and comical organs. Topped off of course by Alison Statton's remarkable voice. 

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