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100 of the Best

Sometimes you can scroll and scroll and scroll. To make life easier our bods have picked 100 of the best titles we currently have in stock. A veritable mixed bag of good things from across the musical time and spectrum. 
Please note that this promotion officially ended on Tuesday August 9th 2016. Any discounted items may now have returned to full price, and other items may no longer be available at all. If you missed out on this promotion then sign up for our email alerts so that you stand a better chance of not missing out on the next one.
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Alasdair Roberts and James Green
Plaint of Lapwing

Scottish folk genius Alasdair Roberts and Sheffield’s instrument inventor / performer James Green have been brewing on this release for a few years: now it is ready! Roberts provides his very special voice (singing originals as well as older pieces like a Britten arrangement of Thomas Moore), and Green mostly plays his ‘harmoniflute’, a special harmonium / accordion he has created. The resulting Plaint of Lapwing is an intimate and fantastic record.

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.

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!

Anohni
Hopelessness

Anohni of Antony And The Johnsons presents her solo project. Production assistance from big-guns Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never make this a kaleidoscopic electronic experience, her ever-soaring vocals above a busy dance-swirl. Ecstatic and experimental. Hopelessness is released by Rough Trade.

Aphex Twin
Syro

Well we'll be blowed. The threats have actually finally come true. Aphex Twin's first proper new studio album for Warp since the divisive confused bulk of 2001's 'Drukqs' is due towards the end of September 2014. The artwork is quasi-cryptic and minimal as you can see. What the material will sound like is the stuff of many an "IDM" fanboy/girl's social networking dreams. What we do know is that this is the most exciting news in electronic music we've heard since the deluge of Analord material for his own Rephlex that seems like many, many moons ago. Yes, he could have written it on his laptop in the bog last month or yes, it could be archive stuff more than a decade old. Will there be a "Windowlicker" on there? Whatever, we can surmise all we like but this is literally amazing news for his countless fanatical devotees around the globe and is bound to hold some surprises. 

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.

Ash Koosha
I AKA I

The consistently reliable Ninja Tune label unveil the debut from Ash Koosha. The Iranian born and London based artist makes a dense, and purposefully inhuman electronica that is rooted in sound design, as well as drone and widescreen techno. The unique compositions on | AKA | are striking in their complexity, but emotionally powerful too.

BEAK>
Couple In A Hole Soundtrack

Invada have built up a strong reputation for issuing film soundtracks over the last few years, and their latest release finds label-owner (and Portishead co-founder) Geoff Barrow firing up his kraut-pulse trio BEAK> to accompany Tom Geen’s Couple In A Hole. Their uneasy vibe fits the cave setting of the film very nicely.

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.

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve
The Soft Bounce

Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve, the pairing of Richard Norris and Erol Alkan, are best known for their space-psychedelic remixes of indie and dance tunes, but The Soft Bounce has them producing a full suite of original material that swims through synth-pop and acid drops. Guests include Holly Miranda and Hannah Peel. On Phantasy Sound.

Bracken
High Passes

Excitement alert. Brand new album from Chris Adams (Hood/Downpour/On Fell etc) under his Bracken moniker. Now you will all remember that his previous album 'Exist/Resist' won our coveted Album of the Year award in 2014, previous to that he released his debut 'We Know About the Need' on Anticon and go even further back in time you'll remember his group Hood with albums such as 'Cold House' (2001). This new opus is an incredibly diverse and ambitious work spread over 2LPs showcasing his distinctive brand of hip-hop influenced electronic production skills and heartfelt song craft. 

C Duncan
The Midnight Sun

Last year Glaswegian C Duncan released his debut album, Architect which was a Norman favourite (#30 in the Albums of the Year list). On his new LP The Midnight Sun he has taken a more experimental approach with sweeping synths and electronics undercutting his layered harmonies and gorgeous instrumentation. LP and CD on Fat Cat.

Car Seat Headrest
Teens of Denial

Car Seat Headrest is the project of a man (Will Toledo) who is only 23; and yet this is his thirteenth album under the name. With a production ethic like that you know Toledo isn’t messing around, and indeed Teens Of Denial goes straight for the jugular with slacker-punk swagger. And, as the first Car Seat Headrest album to be recorded in proper studio, it sounds great. On Matador.

case/lang/veirs
case/lang/veirs

The low-key name case/lang/viers and the subtle promotion around this album shields the fact that this is Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Viers we are dealing with here, 3 top-of-the-line singer-songwriters. The star quality shines through this smooth collection of grown-up pop music, released by Anti.

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
The Rarity of Experience Pts. I & II

Chris Forsyth is a guitar virtuoso, but one who decides to use his powers for good, not evil. Which is to say that he avoids tedious technical showcases in favour of expansive, classic-feeling jams with his excellent Solar Motel Band. The Rarity of Experience Pts. I & II is released as a double CD and double LP on the No Quarter label.

Colin Stetson And Sarah Neufeld
Never Were The Way She Was

Available on 12” vinyl LP or CD from Constellation. Colin Stetson’s is renowned for his unique style with tenor and bass sax. Melding polyrhythmic blasts and clanks with prolonged and evolving drones as well as simultaneously vocalising through the mouthpiece. Joining forces with violinist Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire) is not new to them, having collaborated live many times over the years, but now it’s on record.

Concretism
Electricity

Following up the hugely successful 'Town Planning' Concretism delves deep into his archives to collect together several tracks only previously available as download only. Very popular with our customers, Concretism makes vintage synth tunes for fans of Boards of Canada, the Advisory Circle, Kraftwerk and anything synthy from the '70s. On utilitarian grey vinyl and limited to 300. 

Dälek
Asphalt For Eden

Welcome to the first new Dälek release since Gutter Tactics, released a whole 7 years ago! Asphalt For Eden reawakens their mission to meld hip-hop with experimental sonics, with  a line-up that now includes DJ rEk and Mike Swarmbots in addition to MC Dälek himself. Released on the Profound Lore label.

Daniel Thomas Freeman
The Infinite and the Unknowable

Right, this will be of interest to a lot of you out there. It's a painstakingly produced album of monolithic sounds from Mr Freeman which evokes the likes of Tim Hecker, Swans, Laurie Spiegel, Jon Mueller and so on. Do you see what I'm getting at? A very, very serious work that includes a 48 page book of poems and photography.  

Death And Vanilla
Death And Vanilla

The year was 2012 when we first got offered copies of this, the first album from Death and Vanilla. It was a Normans favourite but like all good things disappeared very quickly. Fire Records have since helped take the band to new levels of popularity by unleashing the band's second album 'Where the Wild Things Are' and now that they are playing enormo-dromes have kindly re-issued their earlier hard-to-find work including this album that according to his review seemed to cause Phil immense personal hygiene problems on first listening.  

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.

DIIV
Is The Is Are

DIIV have produced a whole 17 songs for their hard-to-say-out-loud second album Is The Is Are. Zachary Cole Smith (formerly a Darwin Deez associate) has led his band into the fruitful territory of melodic shoegaze-tinged dream pop, which they perform with aplomb. CD or double LP on the Captured Tracks label.

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.

eagle/deer
The Summer Of Sepia

A dense, sad and strange neo-folk record from Eagle/Deer. Summer of Sepia is a collection of American folk music driven by Sara Charles solo banjo and guitar playing and delicate vocals. Her haunting mountain tales and multi-instrumentalism bring to mind Sufjan Stevens, and this vinyl LP is available on Blast First Petite.

Floorplan (Robert Hood)
Victorious

Floorplan is a fantastic name for a house music project, immediately focussing the mind on the only place that matters: the dance floor. It is, of course, the name under which the legendary Robert Hood makes his houseiest tracks, and Victorious finds him co-producing with his own daughter(!). Awesome. This full-length is available as a CD or as a DJ-friendly triple LP.

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.

Heron Oblivion
Heron Oblivion

Heron Oblivion are a new group, assembled from members of a remarkable selection of bands: Comets On Fire, Howlin’ Rain and Six Organs Of Admittance are all represented, and Meg Baird leads the proceedings. This self-titled debut has a classic 60’s psychedelic sound, Baird’s voice setting the tone. 

Hood
Cold House

One of the best albums of the early 2000's. The hitherto lo-fi ish Leeds collective had been already straying into more drifty pastoral areas when out of the blue came this album in which modernist electronics collided with melancholic song craft and leftfield hip-hop courtesy of cLOUDDEAD who appear on three tracks.    

Ian William Craig
Meaning Turns To Whispers

Norman fave Ian William Craig is back again with a reissue of his earliest, piano-based album: not in a straightforward way though. While the improvised melodies he plays have that pristine neo-classical Frahm-esque beauty to them, Craig has tweaked, looped and manipulated the source piano via tape, creating some totally different textures. Mmmmmm. Meaning Turns To Whispers is limited to 500 LP copies, on Aguirre.

Iggy Pop
Lust For Life

Iggy’s second solo album came hot on the heels of the similarly Bowie-produced, but stylistically very different The Idiot (both 1977). With the Sales brothers on bass and drums and Carlos Alomar and Ricky Gardiner on guitars, this is much more of a rock album, but one that doesn’t at all resemble the Stooges. The title track and The Passenger are now almost omnipresent, but the record is full of delights - sleazy (Sixteen), daft (Success), or somewhere between comical and emotionally devastating (Turn Blue).

Jamal Moss
4 This Is Living That Gherkin Life: Gherkin Tracks

For those not clued in to Chicago’s scene, who might be feeling a little curious about why Jamal Moss (aka Hieroglyphic Being) seems to like gherkins so much, Gherkin Jerks is the name of a highly regarded Chicago label. 4 This Is Living That Gherkin Life: Gherkin Tracks is thus a set of tribute jams that jack it hard and direct to the dancefloor. Double LP, no label, no nonsense.

Jamie Isaac
Couch Baby

Understated electronic songcraft from Jamie Isaac here, with contemporary textures building on solid structures (Isaac apparently always grounds his tracks in piano). Both the CD and the vinyl editions of Couch Baby come with a nice little fanzine thrown in, which also contains a download for a mixtape (Loose Grip), which gives a deeper insight into the Isaac vibe.

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.

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
A Year With 13 Moons

Maker of the abstract and turner of the world's axis, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma is one of musique concrète's rocks, using reel to reel tapes and field recordings of the area around his hometown to make half-compositions. He's pretty much always recording the sounds of his life, kind of like if WANDA GROUP was in The Truman Show. A Year With 13 Moons consists of sounds recorded to a stereo tape to create a record that's less fragmented and more sustainably gorgeous -- New Age coming from happy accidents.

Jenny Hval
Apocalypse, Girl

Since the release of her debut album in 2006, Jenny Hval has evolved an intimate sound that it uniquely hers. Her latest release ‘Apocalypse, Girl’ is a dreamy concoction of personal soundscapes, unspoken desires and memories inspired by classic science fiction films in which the world is run by auto-erotic choir girls who happen to be punks told through the medium of unimaginable pop.

Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures

Debut album by Salford post-punkers Joy Division. Recorded in April 1979, Martin Hannet's unique production techniques and Ian Curtis's doomed lyrics and monotone vocal lend the album a downbeat greatness that has been often emulated yet rarely surpassed. One of only two albums recorded by the band before Curtis's tragic suicide in 1980. 

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.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
EARS

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s EARS is a dense, swirling explosion of samples, synthesizers and chanted vocals that reminds us of Panda Bear’s Person Pitch at its most playful and ecstatic. Since her previous album Euclid, Smith’s songs have become looser, but also more confident, making more prominent use of her lovely vocals.

Kamasi Washington
The Epic

If you enjoyed the corners of Flying Lotus’ music where he flirts with psychedelic jazz, now is a chance to get more, much more… The Epic, released on FlyLo’s own Brainfeeder label, is a three disc super-album orchestrated by Kamsai Washington and utilising orchestra, choir, and a band that includes bassist Thundercat. Hell of a thing.

Kaytranada
99.9%

Kaytranada’s has smashed out EPs on Bromance Records, Jakarta, and HW&W Recordings. Now, his muchly anticipated debut album on XL features many guest artists including AlunaGeorge, Craig David, Little Dragon, Vic Mensa, GoldLink and BADBADNOTGOOD. Expect smooth J.Dilla esque beats and MPC grooves galore.

Kendrick Lamar
To Pimp a Butterfly

I'm not sure about pimping a butterfly but Kendrick Lamar certainly knows the smooth. Sampling and influenced by the '70s greats of Parliament, Clinton (George not me) and Marvin Gaye, he twists black anger into new and danceable shapes. Challenging at times but sounds like it's going to be a decent follow up.   

Konx-om-Pax
Caramel

Tangibly thick, mostly beatless, electronic tracks from Konx-om-Pax. A lot of this record feels like peak-hour rave tracks but with most of the rhythm stripped out, leaving the bright melodies and the textures of the synths to do the ecstasy-generating work. No problem there: Caramel is as sweet as it claims to be. On Planet Mu.

Less Win
Trust

Danish trio Less Win boast boldly about lots of elaborate non-rock influences (John Coltrane and King Tubby for example), and then try and graft what they’ve learned back onto a rock framework. Trust doesn’t sound like a dubbed-out free jazz party, but it does have some fine textures and a good bit of drive. It’s out on The Big Oil Recording Company.

Lou Rhodes
theyesandeye

Listening to Lou Rhodes’ solo work (she also makes up half of Lamb) immediately pulls the listener right back to the 1970’s, living in a treehouse somewhere during a long, attractive summer. She has captured some essential essence of that era’s classic folk-rock: partly voice, partly songwriting, partly production, partly just feel. Fourth album theyesandeye is out on the Nude label

Low
Ones and Sixes

A bloke called Alan who’s a member of Low says of One and Sixes; “I'm not going to tell you what this record is about because I have too much respect for that moment when you come to know it for yourself”. He goes on to talk about “the moment” and all that. All I know is that they continue with their slow sleuthing indie rock, which also has hints of traditional folk. They're singing well known tunes and just giving you a generally good time. Don't let up on the harmonies, y'all. Available on 2LP or CD.  

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.

Marissa Nadler
Strangers

Marissa Nadler’s music tends to be smooth, dark and dramatic: like an image reflected in the shiny black surface of a grand piano. Strangers finds Nadler writing characters, characters who often find themselves in surreal scenarios evoked by rich instrumentation. Strangers is a joint release between Sacred Bones and Bella Union, available as CD or LP.

Matt Elliott
The Calm Before

Matt Elliott launched his career with ferocious albums of experimental drum and bass under his The Third Eye Foundation alias, but on his subsequent solo work he’s focused that energy on inventive folk and acoustic music. The Calm Before continues this approach with six pieces of delicate and rich songwriting.  

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.

Melanie de Biasio
No Deal

Originally from Charleroi and currently based in Brussels, De Biasio is a classically trained flautist and the possessor of an extraordinary voice - she has been called the Belgian Billie Holiday. The minimalist, semi-improvised 'No Deal' should appeal to fans of late-period Talk Talk: Mark Hollis is a huge figure for De Biasio. She also cites Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd as formative influences, plus Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln, two icons of the civic rights fight and spokeswomen of an aggressive jazz stripped of any affectation. 'No Deal' comes in at 33 and a third minutes and contains just seven songs, through which De Biasio’s voice drifts gracefully, at times disappearing altogether. With Pascal Paulus on keyboards, Pascal Mohy on piano, and Dre Pallemaerts on drums, De Biasio has streamlined everything to give more space to her extraordinary vocals. 

Michael Head and The Strands
The Magical World of The Strands

Michael Head and The Strands produced The Magical World Of The Strands during the early 90s, first releasing the collection of work-in-progress material in 1997. Everybody loved it, so now it returns, on CD or 180g gatefold LP on Megaphone. Brand new liner notes from Mr Head himself round out the package.

Michel Banabila
Early Works : Things Popping Up From The Past

Michel Banabila is a busy musician, contributing to theatrical plays, documentaries and all sorts over the years. It can be hard to keep track of such an artist, which makes Early Works: Things Popping Up From The Past a valuable release. True to the title, it picks up an array of tasty, subtle and hard-to-find material from the 1980’s. Out on Bureau B.

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 Victories
Minor Victories

Minor Victories is a new group, perhaps even a supergroup: it comprises members of Editors, Slowdive and Mogwai. Although the original intention was all-out noise, what seems to have arisen is an album of dramatic, vocal-led songcraft. This self-titled debut album is out on Play It Again Sam: white vinyl only available from indie stores!

Mitski
Puberty 2

New Yorker Mitski makes weird-indie music with a defiant angle: as a Japanese-American woman in a scene dominated by white males, she has plenty of fun mocking and undermining traditions with songs like ‘Your Best American Girl’. Puberty 2 is a sharp and confident songs, released by Dead Oceans.

MJ Guider
Precious Systems

Influenced by the landscape around her New Orleans home, Melissa Guion has made a record of pastoral drifting electronic haze that coupled with her dream like, affected voice makes the whole thing sit somewhere between Grouper and early Cocteau Twins. Therefore she is almost the perfect artist for Kranky. On initial listen this has something to suggest that it could have lasting appeal to fans of rural psychedelics.  

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. This Rhino vinyl reissue includes a download code.

Nick Drake
Family Tree

Nick Drake has always been an intimate listen, but never more so than on this collection of rarities and lo-fi home recordings. Family Tree includes a number of treats, from a gorgeous cover of Jackson C. Frank’s ‘Blues Run The Game’ to some songs by Nick’s mother, Molly Drake. Double LP reissue.

Nico
Marble Index

Singer, baroque artist and folk anti-realist Nico is most famous for her work with the Velvet Underground, but released a variety of diversely constructed records under her own name. Where later Nico records were often accessible works with soft, traditionally influenced folk songs, 'Marble Index' is a shop of horrors, Nico wrestling lethargic, formless noise compositions and sparse violin compositions with her firm vocal. Weird shit presented beautifully.

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.  

Piano Magic
Son De Mar

First time on vinyl for Piano Magic's wonderful, evocative soundtrack for the Bigas Luna film 'Son de Mar' (which translates as 'Sound of the Sea'). Mixing Godspeed like string arrangements with beautiful Max Richter like neo-classical compositions and rustic field recordings, Piano Magic made a soundtrack that stands completely alone as an inspiring piece of work and one of the high water marks of their varied career. This re-issue is officially licensed from 4AD and is exclusive to us!     

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. 

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
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

Ryley Walker
Primrose Green

Harking back to an era of technically proficient folk guitar, Ryley Walker brings a high level of craftsmanship to his work. Hailing from the Chicago scene that brought an exquisitely understated fusion of jazz and prog (Tortoise et al), Primrose Green brings a pastoral flavour to an area of rich musical heritage. Out on CD and vinyl LP from Dead Oceans.

Scott Walker
Scott 4

From way back in 1969, Scott 4 is a classic of intense and majestic songcraft; the first set of entirely Walker penned songs combining sophisticated, easy-listening pop with lyrical complexity touching on the darkest of subject matter. Seen as a something of a commercial flop at the time of its release compared to his four previous albums, Scott Walker connoiseurs now consider this to be amongst his best work.

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.

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.

Sonic Youth
Spinhead Sessions

Here is the sound of Sonic Youth when they were still a very young band (check out the group photo on the sleeve!), rehearsing in 1986. Spinhead Sessions has the band breaking away from the rock and post-punk parts of their early sound, instead pressing into semi-abstract guitar-haze… Never previously released, Spinhead Sessions is now out in the world, courtesy of Goofin’.

Sophia
As We Make Our Way (Unknown Harbours)

Sophia are back after a seven year hiatus and their droning shoegaze is as razor sharp as ever. As We Make Our Way (Unknown Harbours) is an epic collection of indie-rock with plenty of post-rock guitars and some neoclassical touches added for good measure. Released by The Flower Shop Recordings on vinyl LP and CD.

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
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.

Talk Talk
Spirit Of Eden

Fashioned from innumerable improv sessions, 1988’s Spirit of Eden is where Talk Talk took an experimental turn and, in so doing, secured the legacy that lives on in bands such as Zelienople. Sprawled-out and unhurried song structures, a smattering of strange sound design, a wide instrumental palette, plenty of dynamics and space, Mark Hollis’ soulful and plaintive moans… come on, it’s a masterpiece.

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. 

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.
  • Vinyl Double LP (0603497857944)
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  • Vinyl LP (0081227971588)
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The Amazing
Ambulance

The Amazing have personnel from the psych, jazz and indie-folk parts of the Scandinavian music scene (Dungen and the bands of Erik Söderlind and Jose Gonzalez respectively), so they are plenty versatile. On Ambulance they turn their talents to the melancholic songs of Chris Gunrup, carrying the melodies with dense instrumentals. Out on Partisan Records.

The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds

Recorded music doesn’t get more iconic than this. Influential as it is, there’s nothing quite like Brian Wilson’s masterpiece, with its magical harmonies and arrangements. It’s hard to get jaded about or tired of. If you’ve somehow managed to avoid this album, no matter what you’re into, you owe it to yourself to dive in. You have the choice of remastered stereo or mono versions on vinyl (if in doubt, mono is the one to go for), or a double CD edition which features both mixes, plus instrumentals and live tracks.

The Chills
Silver Bullets

Silver Bullets is The Chills first new record since Sunburnt in 1996. Their distinctive, complicated and smart guitar pop mixes lyrics of desolation with memorable, bright melodies. The Chills, along with bands such as The Clean and The Verlaines were part of The Dunedin Sound - a style of indie-pop from New Zealand with a jangly guitar sound.
  • Vinyl LP (FIRELP382X)
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The Doozer
Flying Bird

The Doozer’s songcraft is very direct, clearly not mediated by any concerns other than clear self-expression. Flying Bird is quietly special: not much stands out from these pretty tunes on first listen, but you’ll soon fall into its great depth and string-draped beauty. Released by Golden Lab as a 180g vinyl LP, limited to just 300 copies.

The Human League
Reproduction

Album the first from The Human League, the Sheffield synth-pop heroes. Released in 1979, it wasn’t (initially) a hit, but it does present the fully-formed sound of the band who would soon dominate the charts and play a part in defining the sound of the 80’s. LP reissue on Universal, complete with the original, bizarrely disturbing sleeve art.

The Third Eye Foundation
Semtex

The Third Eye Foundation’s legendary slice of shoegaze-inspired drum ‘n' bass is finally reissued by Ici d'Ailleurs. Semtex’s brutal, dense and anti-establishment music blends harsh breakbeat rhythms and melancholy samples to create something that still sounds unique 20 years later. It feels a little strange to have something so perfectly rough and anti-social so beautifully presented. Available on CD and double vinyl LP.

Tony Conrad with Faust
Outside The Dream Syndicate

This collaboration between minimalist composer and violinist Tony Conrad and krautrock collective Faust was first released in 1972 and, if you hadn’t already guessed from the people involved, the main focus of Outside The Dream Syndicate is drones. There’s harsh drones, beautiful drones, minimal drones, rock ‘n roll drones and percussive drones and they don’t really sound like anything else.

Ulrika Spacek
The Album Paranoia

Ulrika Spacek (the name may or may not be a conscious echo of John Weise’ Sissy Spacek project) are a rock band who tilt towards the experimental: lots of fuzz hypnosis. The Album Paranoia is their debut record, bursting with excitement and promise. CD or (white) vinyl LP on the Tough Love label.

Ultimate Painting
Green Lanes

Ultimate Painting is a bit of a side project, taking up the personal time of Jack Cooper of Mazes and James Hoare of Veronica Falls. Here on Green Lanes they get to kick back a little from the driving indie-rock formula, making low-key lyrically-focused tracks until the cows come home. Out on Trouble In Mind.

Van Morrison
Astral Weeks

Astral Weeks was the second album by Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. It was originally released in 1968. Morrison assembled a band of jazz musicians to create an album that was more expansive and meandering than his previous work. It’s highly regarded among fans and its influence has even shown on recent albums such as Primrose Green by Ryley Walker. Highly recommended!

Viet Cong
Viet Cong

Some men from the band Women get together and put out a full length record. Viet Cong have previously released one tape and a single. They sound like Women in some parts, but Women after quite a few more drinks inside them. Lovely off kilter guitar parts wrap around tight drums (think fried out Nuggets punk), while the vocals bleed over the top. Out on limited colour LP, LP and CD.

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.

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'.

WOO
Awaawaa

Brothers Mark and Clive Ives have been making strange improv experiments for almost four decades now, and this CD and vinyl LP on Palto Flats and New General Catalogue collects unheard WOO  recordings from 1975-82. On Awaawaa they blend electronic gurgles and modular experiments with luscious jazz instrumentation and eccentric arrangements. They really don’t sound quite like anyone else.

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. 
  • Vinyl LP (REWIGLP32)
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