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Albums of December

Every year. Every single year when we announce our Albums of the Year someone pipes up "what about the albums released in December".  So to try to re-dress the balance and let you catch up with what was happening while all the Christmas furore was going on here are what in our opinion were the best albums to come out in December. How many would have ended up in our Album of the Year list? None/one ish maybe.  
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Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Black Earth

Vintage dark-ambient-noir-jazz-doom from the German masters of the field, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. Black Earth, dating from 2002, is a particularly strong example of their pitch-black sound: the background vibes of the jazz club at the end of the universe. This moody work is reissued on CD and on double vinyl LP by Play It Again Sam.

Gideon Wolf
Year Zero

A new album of rich, melodic drone music, in which Gideon Wolf enlists a multi-instrumentalist ensemble to assist him. Year Zero is packaged in ludicrously lush ensemble of materials: a CD nestled inside letter-pressed cotton covers, with incense, an old vintage map, an even older vintage religious insert and a download code, all in a sealed bag. That whole ensemble is put together by Fluid Audio.

Lomond Campbell
Black River Promise

Lomond Campbell put together his debut album Black River Promise in the manner of several lonely-eyed young men before him: by decamping to somewhere remote (in this case, an abandoned school in the Scottish Highlands) to be alone with his thoughts and his music. The pop-folk results are deep and remarkable, augmented with a ten-piece string ensemble. Clear LP on Triassic Tusk.

Matt Christensen

The lungs + strums behind Chicago's Zelienople focuses his songwriting inward for a new LP on Miasmah. This time he focuses intently on foggy, sunken songs that make heavy use of reverbed, slow guitar jangles, dripping drum machines, his soft vocal tones and silence. A nice, airy treat for battered eardrums.

Maurizio Abate & Matteo Uggeri
Beyond Time

Guitars, field recordings and electronic fragments are brought together by Maurizio Abate and Matteo Uggeri for their latest release, a pleasing melodic sound-drift. Beyond Time is available either as a straightforward digipack CD edition, or as a super-fancy elaborate CD edition housed in a vintage wallpaper sleeve with old photographs, old book pages and dried leaves as part of the ensemble. My my.
  • CD (TRS067)
  • £58.99 £35.39 (saving: £23.60)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition
  • Last copy


Mei is Caroline Masson, a singer and producer and songwriter and sound inventor from Dijon, France. In terms of both the album’s bold scope and the inventive pop-glitch sounds it is full of, Partura recalls no less than the mighty Bjork. This is a new talent to pay attention to, no doubt. Vinyl release on the UOVOOO label.

Relay For Death
Natural Incapacity

  • CD (HMS039)
  • £20.99 £12.59 (saving: £8.40)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

Discover the Lost

While it’s unclear whether or not London-based four piece Rothko ever actually split up, it’s been a while since they actually recorded anything. Their last studio recordings ended up on 2010’s Sunset To Sunrise EP. Following an appearance at the Half Die festival in Rome they decided to record new material. Severed Tense EP appeared last year and now we have their first long-player in 9 years, Discover the Lost. Typically, the musical interplay between the band creates soundscapes that are haunting just as much as they are melodic.

Sean McCann
Music for Public Ensemble

Sean McCann (he of Great Big Sea fame), has assembled a great number of friends and associates (including Ian William Craig, Graham Lambkin, Cameron Stallones, Spencer Grady…) to perform his piece Music for Public Ensemble. The work is a fairly beautiful and gently experimental thing, giving off an air of friendly co-operation. Double LP release with a pamphlet of program notes, on Recital.

Telefon Tel Aviv
Fahrenheit Fair Enough

Telefon Tel Aviv, a New Orleans act, put out their IDM-flavoured Fahrenheit Fair Enough in 2001, where it sat looking enviously at the (comparatively) busy IDM scene across the pond in the UK. But the American source gave the group access to the house and techno traditions of Chicago and Detroit, making this an exciting hybrid record that can still excite today. Reissue by Ghostly International.

Thee Oh Sees
An Odd Entrances

Thee Oh Sees take a slight break from their constant forward motion by adding something to a previous release: An Odd Entrances is to be considered as a sister album to A Weird Exits. Dwyer and co here explore the flipside to their usual frantic garage thrashings, with a set of calmer tracks full of cellos and flutes. Gorgeous as ever of course. On Castle Face, naturally.
  • Vinyl LP (CF085)
  • £21.99 £17.59 (saving: £4.40)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet

The first release on Lobster Theremin offshoot Lobster Sleep Sequence is the record that apparently kickstarted the new venture in the first place. Legend has it LT head Jimmy Asquith was so moved by Catalina after finding it on a Soundcloud binge that he decided to press it onto 180g vinyl, hand-stamp the LSS logo in the centre, screen-print the sleeve, produce an A6 matte postcard insert, and launch a label to bring this droning, waxing and waning slab of ambience to the world’s turntables.