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December's Best Records

For those who griped at the fact that our Albums of the Year were published at the beginning of December then here is a round up of December's best records, one or two of which might have made it had we published in January. 
Please note that this promotion officially ended on Monday January 1st 2018. 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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Annabel (lee)
The Cleansing

Annabel (lee) is Richard and Sheila Ellis digging into their shared musical loves, from the mystical piano music of Debussy to the jazzy chanteuse vocalist tradition, via both abstract songcraft and cinema-style orchestral sweep. Second album The Cleansing is yet more accomplished in blending all these wonderful things satisfactorily than the previous album. Its out via the Youngbloods label.

Björk
Utopia

Utopia is Bjork’s ninth album, still with One Little Indian, still pushing boundaries artistically and sonically. The album’s artwork reflects the album’s themes and sound, apparently, but you have to be a better art critic than me to figure that out. Musically, Bjork worked with Venezuelan DJ Arca and a thirteen-piece flute orchestra. Lyrically, she is in an optimistic mood, pushing for some kind of Utopia as a necessity to escape the world we currently live in.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Wolf of the Cosmos

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy has always been of particular interest to me - not because of his music - but because of his name. Why exactly does he need to claim to the 'Prince' status? Is he actually a prince? Or is he actually an unnecessary ego? Who knows. Either (or neither) way, Wolf of the Cosmos is available on vinyl LP and CD on Domino. 
  • Vinyl LP (WIGLP420)
  • £22.99 £18.39 (saving: £4.60)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Colin Potter
The Abominable Slowman

Some puns are funny, others aren’t, and some are rooted in reality. Coming together a glacial pace, The Abominable Slowman was recorded over the past twenty years and is a dense concoction of noise, rhythm, and patience. Colin Potter’s second full-length album boils down to a mix of ambient soundscapes and haunting (some might argue 'pleasant') fantasies.

Damiano von Erckert
In Case You Don't Know What To Play

Your indecisiveness is now Damiano Von Erckert’s problem, and he’s determined to solve it. In Case You Don’t Know What to Play (the album) accompanies In Case You Don’t Know What to Watch (the film) and In Case You Don’t Know What to Look At (the art installation). Eminently danceable, the style of the album traces various scenes from around the world between house, techno and even Avalanches-esque sample romance.

DJ Spider & Franklin De Costa
F Planet

Spacious and claustrophobic at the same time, DJ Spider & Franklin De Costa's 'F Planet' gives us grumbling, percussive techno, rising and dipping in sonic height. The free manipulations lend the tracks a unique sense of life, patches of noise here, wild frequency and filter shifts there, evolving in two directions at once. Includes a killer remix by the mighty Shifted (Avian, Mote-Evolver, Hospital Productions).
  • Vinyl 12" (BH042)
  • £9.99 £5.99 (saving: £4.00)
  • In stock and ready to ship

Engine
Cucumber Water

Leeds-based primal screamers Engine finally get their act together to release their debut vinyl of homebrewed psych-tinged electronic pop odysseys. Clocking in at over 30 minutes over only 4 tracks, these multi-segmented song behemoths explore the distresses of love via house beats, wailing guitars and a shameless use of sampling. Mastered at Ten Eight Seven.
  • Vinyl LP
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Jung Body
Real Eternal Bliss

An 8-song 10” mini-album by this German-based singer-songwriter. Before you run screaming from the latter characterisation, this is engaging, wordy stuff, with a free-flowing delivery over backing that incorporates jazzy and ambient twists and turns. In the same ballpark as Brigid Mae Power or Peter Broderick, who Mr. Body shared a compilation with.

Terekke
Plant Age

After numerous releases on L.I.E.S. and operating in various projects (X, Entro & Terri,  Escape Force, Wabi Sabi) Terekke finally releases his debut full length. An eight track collection of tracks he’s made over the last five years using his minimal equipment spanning ambient electronica to deep house and techno. LP on L.I.E.S..

The Chi Factory
Red Lantern at the Kallikatsou

'Red Lantern at the Kallikatsou' is the wondrous result of audio unearthing, processing and augmenting, building on a mysterious cassette tape from 1986. Coming into existence under The Chi Factory, this release is a heady ambient brew, evoking Thomas Köner and FSOL's slowest and calmest moments.

Thor & Friends
The Subversive Nature of Kindness

Thor Harris: Swans’ former charismatic percussionist, and potential future governor of Texas. Chief friends are marimba player Peggy Ghorbani and multi-instrumentalist Sarah “Goat” Gautier. Their music is rooted in tonal percussion and often recalls minimalists who wrote for such instrumentation, like Reich and Riley, but also hinting at more contemporary influences, from Aphex Twin to The Necks. The many guests on this second LP include throat singer Enrique Soriah, Michael Gira. and Norwegian extended-technique vocalist Stine Janvin Motland.

Total Control
Laughing At The System

Laughing At The System is the first music from Melbourne’s Total Control since their second LP, Typical System in 2014. The band are essentially a post-punk band influenced by the likes of Joy Division, but throw a bit of ‘80s electro in the mix too. The band don’t necessarily always tour with the full line-up, and they like the fact that this makes them a bit enigmatic, however, they are happy to point out that the full five-piece contributed to this. 12” EP on Alter.
  • Vinyl 12" (ALT38)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Turtle
Human

Turtle aka Jon Cooper has drawn comparisons to Jon Hopkins, SOHN and Thom Yorke after releasing two EPs of his expansive and dynamic electronica in 2014 and 2015. A host of admirers in the shape of various 6music and Radio 1 DJs means the Glasgow-based musician is now able to stick his head up from the parapet and present his album, Human, to the world. Mint green vinyl on Beatnik Creative.

Various
The Acceptable Presence Pt. 2

The Light Sounds Dark label present a new stack of unknown treats from the back corridors of slightly weird record production. Part 2 of The Acceptable Presence presents some really amazing stuff, all rustled up from god knows where to wow us with other-worldly grooves and underground action. Double LP compilation.

Virginia Wing / XAM Duo
Tomorrow’s Gift

London indie band Virginia Wing and electronic experimentalists XAM Duo, who are comprised from members of Hookworms and Deadwall, got together in Bradford on freezing January day and did a little bit of improvising. Tomorrow’s Gift is the exciting, tweaked and refined result of those sessions.