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The Leaf Label - REDUCED!

Who remembers all the good things Leaf put out over the years? We do! So we teamed up with them to offer their back catalogue cheap. So many good records here that we don't actually know where to start.

Polar Bear with Jyager
Common Ground

Polar Bear have taken samples from a vinyl copy of their Peepers LP (in true hip-hop style!!) to build new tracks with the addition of London MC Jyager. An unexpected move but a most welcome one. Jyager straddles the hip-hop grime bridge with slick flow and well decent lyrics. Polar Bear's new compositions really shine and the pair gel brilliant...view item »

Melt Yourself Down
Last Evenings On Earth

Hello. It is the return of party fusion contingent Melt Yourself Down and that is good. I am RSVPing to them with this review. We’ve already had hints of their return this year with a side-project by way of the Comet Is Coming, a more cerebral and often more psychedelic workout. ‘Last Evening...view item »

Oh No Ono
Eggs

Right then, one thing I can say about this new Oh No Ono record 'Eggs' is that its my favourite album of the year so far. It was my official 'waking up' music this morning and after a madcap dash through the snow to assist in hyperactive world of Norman Records I find its the first record on my pile to review. Strangely for such a super album the f...view item »

Vladislav Delay
Tummaa

Vladislav Delay has brought a new one out and its called "Tumma". Strangely enough if I hadn't got out of my seat to change the CD over (yes we are still old school) then I would have thought the first track was a continuation of the Mount Eerie record as it has lots of lovely ambient sounds and banging noises. Phil, bless him, did think ...view item »

Nancy Elizabeth
Wrought Iron

Nancy Elizabeth is back on the Leaf label with a long player entitled 'Wrought Iron' and fans of this talented singer songwriter will not be disappointed as this latest album is as nice sounding as I've heard from her. She sounds as honest and impassioned as ever and her songwriting here is of the usual high quality. It was recorded in my old stomp...view item »

310
Opposite Corners

As part of our Leaf Label discount bonanza, here is a nice little transparent 7” single from 310, available for a staggeringly affordable price. Opposite Corners is a...view item »

310
Prague Rock

As part of our Leaf Label discount bonanza, here is a fully-fledged 12” EP from 310, made available for a staggeringly affordable price. The Frosty Bardum Affair feat...view item »

Jherek Bischoff
Scores

Scores is an instrumental version of Jherek Bischoff’s 2012 album Composed. While that record featured a bunch of guests providing vocals, Scores takes it back to just the music, revealing these busy little pieces in their full exquisite detail! Featuring what sounds like a decent-sized string en...view item »

Franck Vigroux & Matthew Bourne
Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited

Wow. This album is a covers album, in that it covers one album, Kraftwerk’s 1975 release Radio-Activity. You may be wondering what the point of that is, but don’t worry, I am too. I mean, they’ve even gone to the trouble of assembling vintage analog synths and enlisting the same engineer...view item »

Volcano!
Pinata

Loud drums these lot. Very loud drums with vocals that border on caterwauling, and guitars which have your regulation trebly Vampire Weekend sound and a general vibe of  David Byrne goofed up on too many E numbers. I wouldn...view item »

Jherek Bischoff
Composed

Leaf have scooped up a nice li'l record here from Jherek Bischoff - a Seattle based composer and arranger who has collaborated and performed in groups as diverse as ...view item »

Roll The Dice meets Pole
In Dubs

I met Pole once - he could be described in one word - cuddly. Never met Roll the Dice though but I’m sure they are cuddly in their own way. Here they’ve hooked up with Pole who has re-worked their composit...view item »

Melt Yourself Down
Dot To Dot

It’s the pre-party for the afterparty! It’s been a minute since we were graced with Melt Yourself Down’s first tight jazz-funk party, but they now return with the first single from their new (as of yet speculative) album. Peter Wareham sounds like he’s in a good mood, bursting into a sax jam as and when. So does ...view item »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums
Rhythm

This promo's been causing waves all around the office, to the point where I'm already being hassled to return the promo I'm reviewing so that other people can listen to it. It's been four years since Wildbirds & Peacedrums have released an album so you can be forgiven for not knowing who they are - which is the husband-and-wife duo of percus...view item »

Roll The Dice
Until Silence

I've tried with these Swedes before and I still haven't got 'em figured out on their third album so maybe I should just give up. It's not that I actively dislike them as I don't, There is just something a little laboured, authoritarian and pompous about their music, especially at its most dramatic and symphonic. That's not to say it isn't all RE...view item »

Polar Bear
In Each And Every One

The Mercury Music Prize nominated jazz combo Polar Bear are back with their fifth album ‘In Each And Every One’, it’s business as usual with their amazing mix of free jazz, hip-hop beats and avant garde noise scronk. This album though takes this sound further into more progressive territories with ...view item »

Melt Yourself Down
Release

Tuning into ‘Later with Jools Holland’ this week propensibly to watch the mesmerising Low, I sat through some hit and miss stuff but was struck by this group who resembled Pigbag. I couldn’t decide if it was a brilliant post-punk take on afro beat or a load of self indulgent twaddle. They f...view item »

Au
Both Lights

We played this in the office the other day and there was moaning. There often is but there was extra moaning. I've blocked it all out now but I wanted to hear these guys properly so I chucked it in my bag to give it a spin at home. It's only been on for a couple of minutes and I don't rem...view item »

Matthew Bourne
Montauk Variations

Undoubtedly a superior tinkler of the ivories, I'm finding this album just a little sophisticated for my tastes. Bourne's up and down that keyboard, showing the flair and dexterity that would come from someone who won the 'innovation' gong at the BBC Jazz awards in 2002. It plays a jazzy ...view item »

Roll The Dice
In Dust

The Swedish duo of Malcolm Pardon and Peder Mannerfelt dropped an amazing record for Digitalis a wee while ago and then a limited edition 12" for the Leaf label. Both records had got me quite excited to hear another and here it is. A brilliant full album for Leaf. Let's face it, Leaf have acquired some top artist...view item »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw
Delivrance

I'm utterly obsessed by this new A Hawk And A Hacksaw album. I've quite liked bits by 'em before but nothing has really grabbed by them as much as Delivrance, their brand new album on Leaf. I think it probably helped seeing them live the other week.... it was like being at a jewish wedding on crack. The music was so fast and furious I've no idea ho...view item »

Murcof
The Versailles Sessions

Murcof has a brand new album out. The mexican wonder is back with a stunning opus called 'The Versailles Sessions'. Here you have 6 brand new Murcof tracks composed for Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes which is a festival of light,sound and water at the Chateau De Versailles in France. Hence the title.... Yup everything has a reason and a place and if yo...view item »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums
Iris

This is the second of two mini 12" EP's from Wildbirds & Peacedrums. The first passed me by but this one is all up in my face so i'll get on and tell you something about it. Wildbirds...specialise in high concept pop music much like Sade, Bjork, Kate Bush and those types so they've got a great front lady thing going on and they enlist the he...view item »

Phelan Sheppard
Harps Old Master

Here I have the second album by PHELAN SHEPPARD of State River Widening fame, entitled 'Harps Old Master', proudly released on the Leaf label. This is a very beautiful and hypnotic album which would make a lovely film montage to stroke the head of a loved one to. This is a great study of the relationship between the heav...view item »

Nancy Elizabeth
I Used To Try

A 7" is available by the lady once known to her schoolmates as Cunliffe. I'm sure it got twisted a little into an unpleasant bastardisation at some point by some horrid reprobates. So she's now just known as Nancy Elizabeth. 'I Used to Try' is raggedy, slightly psychedelic tribalistic folk somewhere between Beth Orton & Sandy Denny. It's q...view item »

Adrian Klumpes
Be Still

ADRIAN KLUMPES is some dude from Triosk. He plays keyboard in said band in fact. His solo album on LEAF is here and it's a purdy sounding thing indeed...Piano is the key word here.... loads of the frickin' thing.  It's mixing classical and electronics (there's a lot of that this week) which I can't get enough of at the...view item »

Oh No Ono
Remixes

I can't remember a great deal about the Oh No Ono album except for the fact that Clinton was pretty keen on it. Not much of a frame of references for this set of remixes but I'll give it a shot.. Man of the moment Caribou contributes a surprisingly straight-up techno banger that's undoubtedly the main draw with its waves of satisfyingly batterin...view item »

Caribou
Jacknuggeted

Manitoba with back with Jacknuggeted on CD single and 12" courtesy of those nice folks at Leaf records. Crikey this is good. More like Fourtet than previous releases. Yr folktronica (I believe it's called) and he does it rather well. Up there on a par with the Fourtet chap is ...view item »

Polar Bear
Peepers

Yuk, the press release for this is a bit dodge.. Banging about how the nippers are stepping away from their crunky wonkstep and spraypainting "Hey, jazz is kewl!" all over your dad's Mondeo. Whatever Trevor. In any case is does mention sterling local heroes TrioVD who Polar Bear do share a vague similarity with in some senses, albeit with...view item »

Murcof, Colleen, Psapp, Caribou, Various
Check The Water

Leaf Records is ten years old and to celebrate this remarkable phenomenon they have branched out and released a cheap as chips double CD of selected music from their 10 years of being. So spread over the 2 discs you have Boymerang, Susumu Yokota, Four Tet, Caribou, Murcof, Colleen, Psapp, Efterklang, Boom Bip, 310, Icarus, Bill Wells...view item »

Efterklang & The Danish National Chamber Orchestra
Performing Parades

'Performing Parades' is the latest release from Efterklang performing their 2007 album 'Parades' accompanied by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. I'm not familiar with the original record nor am I familiar with the previous works of the band but on first listen this sounds like an intriging record. I'll assume that the band play some form of d...view item »

Wildbirds & Peacedrums
The Snake

Wildbirds & Peacedrums seem to have totally polarised the office with The Snake which can't be a bad thing now, can it? Getting a reaction's always a good thing. Phil and Business Lady aren't fans at all but Brian and I like it, the neurotic lady vocals and percussion heavy arrangements no doubt appealing to our post-punk sensibilities. Imagine...view item »

Volcano!
Paperwork

So the new Volcano! album has come in and reading the reviews down the bottom of the page here I've got to say I'm completely baffled.. 'Will appeal to fans of Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof, Why?, Liars, Battles and even Sparks!' it says, 'Will appeal to fans of OK Computer and Muse' I say. There seems to be quite a big disparity between wha...view item »

Volcano!
Africa Just Wants To Have Fun

Anything's going to be an improvement after The Fratellis so Volcano! have got it pretty lucky this week, in this context it sounds like the greatest artistic work produced by mankind since Commando. The peculiarly titled 'Africa Just Wants To Have Fun' is apparently a dig at goons like Bono which is always nice to hear, not that you'd be able to...view item »

Icy Demons
Miami Ice

Icy Demons are an strange bunch. They've never really entered my conscience before so i've opted to say a few words about new erm...old album 'Miami Ice' which has just been picked up by Leaf in the UK. They play an eccentric yet melodic brand of quirky percussive dream pop with 70's FM harmonising & strange whirring proggy synths. If you can i...view item »

Essie Jain
We Made This Ourselves

Essie Jain: 'We Made This Ourselves' (Leaf) A very mellow, melancholic, down tempo singer-songwriter offering from the new signing on the UK's Leaf label. Not exactly new, this collection was formerly released in America by the Ba Da Bing label. At times fragile and moving, the voice is clear and pure with a sparse backing of guitars and ...view item »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw
The Way The Wind Blows

My own personal album of the week would be the new A HAWK & A HACKSAW album (I do like The Nightingales but this speaks to me in special ways...). 'The Way The Wind Blows' is a tremendous thing of a thing. Apparently there's a new phenomenon called 'Gypsy folk'. Wow! Actually it's just a phrase coined by journalists in a vain ...view item »

Volcano!
Apple Or A Gun

And finally from me is a 7" by Volcano! called Apple or A Gun on Leaf which is the first time I've properly sat down and listened to them. I wasn't prepared for the noise on offer...... This is a great little 7"! Think somewhere between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Deerhoof, The Paper Chase and The Mars Volta.... tha...view item »

Volcano!
Beautiful Seizure

Just in on Leaf is the latest from Volcano! which starts off all pretty twinkly and acoustic then erupts into a massive mess of strangulated vocals and guitar cacophony. Dramatic stuff indeed, lots of volume changes, shards of noise, tough sounding drums and smatterings of melody. CD only....view item »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw
Darkness At Noon

Now onto A Horse And A Hacksaw. New LP/CD 'Darkness At Noon' brilliantly blends Eastern European folk , klezmer, mariachi, American folk and modern composition to construct a fantastic wall of sonic wonderment & blissed out psychedelic meditation. a right old breathtaking cavalcade of sound! I wrote that, I did. Didn't nick half of i...view item »

Sofa Surfers
Encounters

Everyone was shocked by recent events in London, and those involved in independent music were even more shocked to hear about the. ...view item »

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