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2018's Best New Albums (so far)

We'll be unveiling our official Albums of the Year 2018 on Friday 28th December, but here - in completely random order - are the records we've been eyeing up. Sign up for our emails and we'll ping you when our final Top 50 is announced. And remember that from now until Friday 21st December we're offering double NormanPoints on all orders.
Please note that this promotion officially ended on Monday December 3rd 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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Hairband
Hairband

Very good Scottish shop Monorail put their money where their mouth is by releasing the debut LP from this Glasgow collective. Hairband (good that isn't it?) contain members of Spinning Coin and Breakfast Muff and play the sort of joyful, elastic music that you can imagine coming out of Glasgow particularly when you throw in influences such as Orange Juice, Television and Life Without Buildings. 

Sarah Davachi
Let Night Come On Bells End The Day

A match made in heaven is tone drone genius Sarah Davachi and weirdo label Recital Program. Having previously appeared on compilations put out by Sean McCann's imprint, Davachi now goes full-length with Let Night Come On Bells End the Day, here retreating from her instrumentally expansive All My Circles Run with a return to compositions on Mellotron and electronic organ. These glacial hymns will be well-known to fans; newcomers should come bliss out inside of them.

Arve Henriksen
The Height Of The Reeds

In a work specially commissioned for Hull City of Culture 2017, Arve Henriksen relates to the love-affair-on-the-waves between Scandinavia and the hitherto unheralded Yorkshire port-town on The Height Of The Reeds. Composed alongside Elvind Aarset and Jan Bang, the music accompanied a sound walk last year, to be listened to crossing the Humber; all 15,000 tickets sold out. Jez Riley French's field recordings taken from the site provide added local detail and context and the voices and orchestra of Opera North with Norwegian poetry from Nils Christian Moe-Repstad feature. Available on CD, or LP plus CD from Rune Grammophon.

Ian William Craig
Thresholder

Ian William Craig is always very welcome round these parts, and Thresholder, the man’s first album in eighteen months, demonstrates why. Those tape machines of his are put to work in the construction of an eleven-track, forty-minute sound environment. Deep and gorgeous smeared ambience, on FatCat sub-label 130701.

The Internet
Hive Mind

You know all the kids who get onto the ‘Jazz & Pop’ course at music college and end up in naff neo-soul ensembles? The Internet is the band they all think they're in. Hive Mind, the fourth LP from Syd The Kyd et al, is as cool as a cloud of smoke being blown by someone in silhouette. The prominent vocals and ultra-swung grooves place it in the newer school of Fatima, Zara McFarlane et al, but the flex of the thing rivals D’Angelo’s best years. Some people should be taking notes.

Julia Holter
Aviary

It may well be difficult to think of a record more expansive than Julia Holter's 2015 opus 'Have You In My Wilderness' but it seems like 'Aviary' might just do it. This 15 song record explores the feeling of cacophony we feel on living in the modern world and a search for solitude and sweetness. Holter's theatrical vocals and cinematic synth work will hopefully find us all a solution.   

Ryley Walker
Deafman Glance

New from Ryley Walker  - a musician always willing to step outside himself to find new sounds and the one snippet we heard sounds like he's been heavily pounding the Jim O'Rourke/Gastr Del Sol axis.  Sweet bucolic folk with flutes galore and some unexpected harshness. Looking forward to this one.  

Autechre
NTS Sessions

In April 2018 electronic wizards Autechre went into online radio station NTS and broadcast a series of sessions of unheard music which were then released digitally to critical acclaim. Now you can buy them physically either as separate LPs or here an an enormous 12 LP box set or 8CD set. A vast an extensive collection which has been described as being some of the best music they have released to date.   

Alison Statton & Spike
Bimini Twist

After Young Marble Giants and Weekend, Alison Statton's third major contribution to proto indie were her collaborations with Spike. In fact the duo had already worked together in Weekend but this collaboration is somewhat lesser known. After a few years of doing normal family type stuff the duo have reconvened for further recordings. Anyone who has heard Statton's voice knows that it's a beautiful unique thing so it will be lovely to hear it again after all these years.  

Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog

Blessed are the emo at heart as Hop Along, royalty of woe and heart-wrench, returns with another record of skewed songwriting. Painted Shut progressed her sound further from its entrenched sparsity and its follow-up doubles down on the dynamism: Bark Your Head off, Dog, is a record that collects older and more nostalgic pop influences into the usual broth of grunge, folk and open source feelings.

Carla Bozulich
Quieter

One of Constellation Record's secret weapons, Carla Bozulich returns with Quieter an album of fleshed out unreleased tracks. The press release only compares her to other female musicians (rightly including the likes of Jenny Hval, Grouper, Noveller), but I've always thought of her as part of the male-dominated twisted-blues rules by the likes of Nick Cave and Tom Waits. If she were a man she'd be massive. 

Cult Party
And Then There Was This Sound

Sad hits for all the family (lest there are happy members of it), it's the brand new record by not-at-all-super stars Cult Party! This wonderful band may have been a solitary, self-preserving bedroom band once upon a time, but on And Then There Was This Sound songwriter Leo Robinson opens up his sounds with the help of pals including weirdo rocker Kiran Leonard. Creative and wayward without sacrificing the delicate and skeletal sound of old, this record is bound to be special.

The Body
I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer

Portland duo The Body push their sound to yet more extremes on their latest LP. I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer sees the pair bringing in a few collaborators - Assembly of Light Choir’s Chrissy Wolpert, Sandworm’s Ben Eberie to name but two - to beef up their already mighty sound. The resulting record is a brooding, abrasive song-cycle, like The Bug & Earth teaming up with Zola Jesus. Out via Thrill Jockey.

Dog Chocolate
Moody Balloon Baby

Never mind the bollocks… it’s Dog Chocolate. And if you’re into Lahndahn punk what is abrasively facetious and that, it’s also very much the dog’s. Following on from 2014’s Snack Fans, the trio pack a surprising amount of nonsense into fewer than 25 minutes for their latest opus, Moody Balloon Baby. True to the punker roots though, there’s social commentary leaking out through the cacophony.

Heather Leigh
Throne

Editions Mego (Shit & Shine, Oren Ambarchi) drop the latest LP from Heather Leigh (once known as Heather Leigh Murray). Throne is a record of singer-songwriter noir full of dark energy. Leigh commands her tracks with a smouldering intensity that is reminiscent of Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe. The instrumentals also have something of that group about them, though it’s less ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants’ and more the Grouper-ish murk of Present Tense’s ‘New Life’ or Two Dancers’ ‘Underbelly’.

David August
DCXXXIX A.C.

David August lets the drums drop away for this latest LP. DCXXXIX is made up of twenty-four tracks that investigate all things ambient. Droning synths, nuggets of found sound, idly hit percussion, some ivory-tinkling, that sort of thing. A nice record to get lost in for an hour. Will appeal to fans of the Icelandic school and some of the more hissing fauna-type stuff that Posh Isolation have been putting out recently.

Bridget Hayden
Pure Touch Only From Now On, They Said So.

Bridget Hayden is a Yorkshire based artist and musician whose musical output is as beautiful as it is moving. There is a starkness to how she composes her folk songs that gives them a frailty more powerful than most. Mostly though, there's her moving and ghostly vocals that give Pure Touch Only From Now On, They Said So. its power.

Ashley Paul
Lost In Shadows

Lost In Shadows, devised and created shortly after Ashley Paul became a mother, is an album of great collaborative intimacy. Paul built up a small ensemble (including cello and tuba) to elaborate on her ideas, though the material remains remarkably sparse thanks to the careful compositional choices made. A very particular atmosphere on this one. On Slip.

serpentwithfeet
soil

Josiah Wise enlists a raft of sound innovators for the debut serpentwithfeet LP. Clams Casino, Paul Epworth, Katie Gately and mmph are some of the minds behind the gorgeous vistas of soil. Wise’s extraordinary voice, reminiscent of Nina Simone, remains centre-stage. He is a true innovator and we should treasure his talent. If you never listened to blisters, get to know now

Daughters
You Won't Get What You Want

The first Daughters LP for Ipecac Records (Mike Patton, Faith No More) finds the grindcore-turned-noise-punk band in good nick. You Won’t Get What You Want is a ten-song set that, while heavy as ever, sees Daughters expand their palette to good effect. ‘Satan In The Wait’, for instance, is a seven-minute vaudeville punk number that is both ghoulish and caustic. More straightforward rockers like ‘The Reason They Hate Me’ have something of the Pissed Jeans about them.

Ekin Fil
Maps

When Ekin Fil moved from the centre of Istanbul to an island in the Sea of Marmara she found herself experiencing a very different kind of isolation. You get a sense of this on Maps, her whispered vocals find themselves alone in midst of a gentle whirl of ambient piano, organs and guitars. 

Kristin Hersh
Possible Dust Clouds

Possible Dust Clouds is the tenth solo studio album from Throwing Muses leader Kristin Hersh. It’s an album of contrasts, dark and light, loud and quiet, chaos and calm. It’s her first for Fire Records and is being ‘bigged up’ as return to form, and we know the heights that form has reached in the past. LP and CD on Fire.

Laura Veirs
The Lookout

When she’s not teaching kids to play the guitar, Laura Veirs is a singer/songwriter. A good one too. The Lookout is her tenth album and first since her collaboration with like-minds Neko Case and K.D. Lang. The Lookout is inspired by wanting to take care, be aware and look after each other. This need was fired in Veirs, like so many things these days, by the aftermath of Donald Trump becoming president. The velvet voices of Jim James and Sufjan Stevens feature. Gold coloured vinyl LP and CD on Bella Union.
  • Vinyl LP (BELLA744V)
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NYZ
XNOTNL

NYZ aka Noyzelab mastermind and Aphex Twin pal David Burraston with another dose of head-scratching, logic-defying synthesis. Past releases from the mad scientist have seen him delve deep into forgotten gear and arcane processes, emerging with sonic oddities that inspire baffled cries of “how?” and sometimes “why?”. This Tapeworm cassette promises more puzzling thrills, limited to 100 copies that won’t hang around for long.

The Amazing
In Transit

The fifth LP from The Amazing features more of the heartfelt, slightly shoegazey indie-rock that has served the band well up to this point. Tracks like ‘Rewind’ and ‘Pull’, with their delicate grooves and singer Christoffer Gunrup’s dreamy vocal, come off as pitched somewhere between The Antlers and The National. Out via Partisan Records.

Palm
Rock Island

The nervously invigorating Palm have impressed us plenty already and return with an obnoxiously captivating record in Rock Island. It swerves away from their common, jangly lexicon and then points back towards it, offering a noisy, danceable, jubilant and melancholic record of stutter pop. They make loops sound like they're being played over and over, one at a time.

Joyfultalk
Plurality Trip

Do bands still get 'signed' to labels in our year of the lord 2018? If so, Joyfultalk is the newest contract artist for the unimpeachable Constellation Records, the experimental Montreal imprint that seem to be deep-diving into electronic music of late. A project of electronic artist Jay Crocker, Pluraity Trip is a honing of kosmische music, sublimating dance and glitch into a new, cerebral whole.

Laurel Halo
Raw Silk Uncut Wood

Following several EPs on Hippos In Tanks and Honest Jon’s and three albums and two EPs on Hyperdub, Laurel Halo releases her new LP, Raw Silk Uncut Wood on Latency. The Berlin-based American electronic musician was inspired by a score for a Metahaven film and U.S. novelist, Ursula Le Guin’s translation of the 6th-century Chinese text Tao Te Ching. This blurry, contemplative and widescreen soundscape features cello by Oliver Coates and Eli Keszler on percussion.

Eric Bachmann
No Recover

Former Archers Of Loaf/Crooked Fingers mastermind Eric Bachmann drops the third LP under his given name. No Recover isn’t a title that screams positivity, and despite the many gentle acoustic treatments and ringing vocal harmonies that crop up here the overall feeling of the album is bittersweet. It’s not exactly a sad record, but there’s certainly a lacing of melancholia to the tracks here. Imagine Fleet Foxes if they’d been through the ringer a few times.

Jason Sharp
Stand Above The Streams

If you can't get enough of Colin Stetson then try Jason Sharp. He also plays the saxophone and uses it to make immersive and layered electro-acoustic music. Following the phenomenal and Norman-loved A Boat Upon Its Blood, he produces four ten minute pieces which he says is an abstracted survey of organic nature. It's synth elements also fit in nicely with the latest vogue for synth composition influenced by John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream et al.   

The Gentleman Losers
Permanently Midnight

Sentimental Helsinkilaiset The Gentleman Losers (Samu and Ville Kuukka, aka Lessons) return after seven years of attention directed elsewhere. True to the meticulously-produced analogue texture and post-rock lounge style of previous releases, Permanently Midnight sounds like a snug, wintry log cabin recalled from a dingy Route 66 motel. Artfully presented by Grainy Records.

Miss Red
Dagga / One Shot Killer

Pure dancehall fire from MC Miss Red with two cuts from her imminent 'K.O.' album. Both are produced by bass quake riddim master Kevin Martin AKA The Bug. Miss Red's fierce chattin' style and Martin's production are a match made in heaven. This limited edition, hand-stamped red wax sampler is hard evidence and will set the dance alight no messin'.

Hieroglyphic Being
The Red Notes

Prolific producer and DJ Jamal Moss puts out another record under his primary Hieroglyphic Being alias. He expanded his horizons with a collaborative album We Are Not the First in 2015, learning from and working directly with Marshall Allen and JITU Ahn-Sahm-Buhl. He follows it up with a record orbiting the same world: The Red Notes plugs in to the legend and legacy of Blue Note, in particular its hardest shredders Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane, marrying their innovations with Chicago house.

Minami Deutsch
With Dim Light

Here’s some spirited post-punkish, 60s psych-rock from Japan. Kyotaro Muila spearheaded Minami Deutsch in Tokyo in 2014, drawing together a bunch of minimal techno enthusiasts for the remaining instruments. This keenness for repetitive beats clearly informs the indulgent sections of these billowing tunes, but the songwriting is more elaborate and composed. The knitter’s nightmare of ‘Tangled Yarn’ is, unlike its title may suggest, deliriously relaxed and happy.

Makaya McCraven
Universal Beings

Get ready for some more Epic Jazz -- 2018 has been another good year for it, what with Kamasi and all -- it's hot jazz drummer and producer Makaya McCraven with his latest LP 'Universal Beings'. The record was cut at two intimate live sessions and two impromptu studio sessions, in four cities: New York, Chicago, London and L.A. A total of 15 musicians worked with McCraven -- stellar improvisers all -- with Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia and Jeff Parker being but three of them. Double LP or double CD, on International Anthem Recording Co.

Half Man Half Biscuit
No-one cares about your creative hub so get your fuckin’ hedge cut

Well that wins album title of the year already. Now that the Fall are no longer around I'd hazard a guess that Half Man Half Biscuit are one of the few Northern English indie cults we can hang onto in these grim days. As always we just have song titles to go on at this stage but it's pretty much worth the admission price alone for examples such as 'Swerving The Checkatrade.' 

The Field
Infinite Moment

Hope is something we could do with in 2018. Axel Willner AKA The Field had been toying with various new ideas for his sixth full length album before realising perhaps that we could do with an album that is warm and comforting. Therefore 'Infinite Moment' is hued with a rich gauze of straight to the heart electronics to soothe your mind in troubled times.  

Kamaal Williams
The Return

Yussef Kamaal may have disbanded, but Henry Wu continues to fly the flag as Kamaal Williams. For the first LP released under his given name we see Williams behind the keys in a jazz fusion trio that brings together the visionary aesthetic of the YK output with the sounds of new London jazz and the shuffling grooves of the Wu project. Out via the new Black Focus records, a label named after YK’s sole full-length.

NYZ
RLD GLD ET AL

NYZ is veritable polymath David Burraston who is an artist, musician, synthesist AND someone who's interviewed Aphex Twin. RLD GLD ET AL  is a selection of previously unheard generative music made using systems built by Burraston. Experimental music as John Cage intended.

My Home, Sinking
King of Corns

This white vinyl release of Enrico Coniglio's, aka My Home, Sinking, 'King of Corns' is as special as the music itself, a bucolic, meditative rumination on melancholia, assembled from the building blocks of gentle folk guitar, lilting harmonica and illuminating, dramatic vocals. Sometimes sweet, sometimes frenzied, this is a gorgeous album.

Dan Mangan
More or Less

With his new album, More Or Less, Canadian songsmith, Dan Mangan has made music that is both more sparse and more direct than on previous albums. He was inspired to take this path by listening to classic albums such as Pink Moon by Nick Drake and Astral Weeks by Van Morrison during the recording process. He also took less time over whole process in an attempt to capture the ultimate performance for the record. LP and CD on City Slang.

LWW
3PE

LWW is none other than Portland, Oregon's Luke Wyland with a three-lettered moniker describing his explorations in joyous repetition and softly-stated minimalism. Harsh vowels need not apply, but some rounded ones may accidentally appear. The project has already acquired the Nils Frahm / Piano Day seal of approval for the track 'PNO' (told you) which made the Frahm official PD playlist this year. A record on which Wyland has allowed unadorned, unembellished single takes to form and evolve naturally. Which is cool. LP on the always reliable Leaf Label.

Skullflower
Werecats Powers Of The Crossroads At Midnight

Skullflower take many shapes, be it gruelling noise rock or their own (slightly more tasteful) take on power electronics. The frostbitten harsh noise of Draconis injected new life into their sound, and they continue to do weird things on this here record Werecats Powers of the Crossroads at Midnight, their latest entry into "the audio trilogy concerning the Darkness of Aegypt". 

Dustin Wong + Takako Minekawa + Good Willsmith
Exit Future Heart

I for one am extremely excited about this. Dustin Wong is the guitar knotter and looper known, in addition to his past service in noise rock band Ponytail, for making majestic records out of simple, riffed ideas. The ecstasy of his music will here be paired with noise pranksters Good Willsmith, who made an incredible, euphorically harsh record for Umor in Things Our Bodies Used to Have, along with the Casio tones of Takako Minekawa. An instant purchase for all the leftfields amongst you.
  • Vinyl LP (UR110LP)
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  • Limited edition
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Thou
Magus

Thou claim greater influence from 90s proto-grunge groups like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden than contemporaries like EYEHATEGOD, a band to whom the Baton Rouge outfit are frequently compared. Magus - Thou’s first LP since 2014’s Heathen - lands squarely between the two camps, but is also much more than that. Sludgy, abrasive and loud as heck, there's more than a little Converge in here. That is to say that Magus is modern metal par excellence. The vocalist’s screech is the first sound you hear in hell. Out via Sacred Bones.

Sons Of Kemet
Your Queen Is A Reptile

Sons Of Kemet return with their third LP of iconoclastic jazz takes. Your Queen Is A Reptile has Shabaka Hutchings and company using sax, tuba and dual-drums to conjure music that sees traditional jazz modes cusping on several sounds of the Caribbean diaspora. Soca, calypso, merengue and more all rumble in the lines of the drum work here, and Hutchings masterfully uses his horn to conduct the proceedings.

Stuart A. Staples
Arrhythmia

Now resembling a kind of cross between Tosh Lines and Frank Burnside (both formerly of the Bill), Stuart Staples takes a break from Tindersticks to make his first solo LP in 13 years. The album has an unusual structure consisting of four songs but with one clocking in at thirty minutes in length, Staples has created a unique and experimental piece of work.    

Joseph Shabason
Anne

Yeah this is a good one. Anne was composed for Joseph Shabason’s mother in honour of her struggles with degenerative illness. The personal and familial turmoil of this experience crinkles the edges of these milky instrumentals. There is a feeling of tender, quiet sadness to the likes of ‘Forest Run’ that is extremely moving. Musically Shabason's second LP is pitched somewhere between Freetown Sound-era Blood Orange and Loke Rahbek/Frederik Valentin’s Buy Corals Online.

Pieter Nooten
Stem

Fourth album from Dutch ambient neo-classicist Pieter Nooten. Made in collaboration with Stephen W Tayler (who has worked with the likes of Kate Bush and Underworld) this is Nooten's most intriguing work in three decades. Subtle but still incredibly moving, Stem's 60 minutes are well earned. 

Olden Yolk
Olden Yolk

New York duo Olden Yolk, perhaps named after what you’d find in the egg of an olden oose, are joined by a cast of additional musicians for their debut LP. Contemporary unease and urban experience inform these canny numbers, but the band renders them in a gentle and disarming Woodstock-psych sixties style.

Peter Brötzmann Octet
Machine Gun

Machine Gun is pretty much ground zero for a certain strain of European free improvisation: the explosion that sparked a thousand future fires. Peter Brötzmann is of course the headline figure here, but his Octet also contains such fantastic players as Han Bennink, Fred Van Hove and Evan Parker, all playing their hearts out. High energy reissue on vinyl from Cien Fuegos.

Elephant Micah
Genericana

Generica is Elephant Micah’s new album: the title mashes together ‘generation’ / ‘genre’ and ‘America’ / ‘Americana’, resulting in a jumbled-up suite of sounds, made with an array of second-hand idiosyncratic gear, including a tape deck, some Hindustani synths, and a digital synth made with Elephant Micah’s brother. Intuitive feels throughout.

Cavern Of Anti-Matter
Hormone Lemonade

Tim Gane's Cavern Of Anti-Matter return with their third studio album continuing their journey into the bowels of kraut rock by way of modular synths and homemade drum machines. Hormone Lemonade still has the loose improvised feel that will be familiar to those in awe of their previous offerings. 

Daniel Brandt
Channels

Daniel Brandt (of arpeggio-techno krafters Brandt Brauer Frick) is back for another round of restless, jittery rhythms with Erased Tapes. Channels seems to follow on from last year’s Eternal Something, being of an acoustic-electronic hybrid tapestry of instruments (pianos, brass, bass, strings), synthesisers and prepared objects resulting in animated, melodically rich leftfield dance tunes.

The Ex
27 Passports

The Ex have made about a billion albums starting in 1979 and still going strong. On each album they start with a blank canvas so you are never sure what you are going to get. This time it seems that that have created a trance-like opus that has been influenced by trips to Africa creating an infectious groove laden sound. 

Map165
Of Adam Sleeping in the Lap of God

Having mastered the kind of ambient drone that seeps into you so that the serenity saturates your very bones, Martin A Smith & Tim Hooper return as Map165 to reorganise entangled sounds and atonalities to make more of the same beautiful evocations. Of Adam Sleeping in the Lap of God is their latest work: a suite in four sections -- 'Of Heaven and Earth'; 'Of the Firmament'; 'Of the Sun and the Moon' and 'Of Eden' -- taking Chartres cathedral's north portico as inspiration. Comprehensive, spiritual sounds eked from elegant stone structures, field recordings and guitars.

Siavash Amini & Matt Finney
Gospel

This album carries a content note for CSA.  On Gospel, Savish Amini and Matt Finney work together to explore and process Finney's experiences of being abused as a child. Finney's vocals are unflinching and raw, supported by Amini's harsh and ominous drones. The album is also a testament to friendship, Finney credits Amini with helping him get to where he is now.

Tess Roby
Beacon

Tess Roby’s debut LP Beacon, out via Italians Do It Better (Chromatics, Glass Candy), is a well-wrought collection of electronic ballads. Bringing to mind a more considered and nuanced version of Zola Jesus, Roby’s poised vocals dovetail with gently purring synthesisers, keening organs and little curls of electric guitar.

John Coltrane
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album

It's somewhat of a holy grail of jazz, this. Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is just that, an until-very-recently unknown and unheard studio album by the great John Coltrane. The sessions for the LP were laid down at the legendary Van Gelder Studios, with 'Trane at the peak of his powers and his classic Quartet in tow. So, here we have a document from one of the most important and influential groups in the history of music-kind having scaled the pinnacles and subsequently veering in exploratory tangents the world couldn't have anticipated. LP, Double Deluxe Edition LP with CD and 2-CD deluxe editions available, on Impulse!

Ty Segall & White Fence
Joy

The Second Coming Of Marc Bolan aka Ty Segall releases his umpteenth album, and this one’s a collaboration with fellow retromaniacs White Fence. Joy - the pair’s first LP together since 2012’s Hair - sees the duo sticking to their guns and cranking out fifteen tunes of melodious, Aladdin Sane-aping niceness. Out via Drag City.
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Jlin
Autobiography (Music from Wayne McGregor's Autobiography)

Jlin continues her ascension into the pantheon of all-time greats with her score for Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography. It’s typically fervid work from the Gary, Indiana producer. The poise of her high-art, post-footwork style is even sharper than usual here. One can only imagine how riveting these pieces would be when wed to McGregor’s choreography, but the music alone will do just fine.

Tigue
Strange Paradise

On Strange Paradise, Tigue, who are loosely described as a percussion trio, utilise drums, vibraphones, gongs, synths and other found items that make interesting sounds to create a soundscape that changes subtly in tone and rhythm as each musician reacts to one another’s actions. LP on NNA Tapes.

Grouper
Grid Of Points

Portland's Liz Harris AKA Grouper is one of only a few artists who consistently melts our collective hearts. Her 'Grid Of Points' album (like her previous record on Kranky, 'Ruins') is more stripped-back than her earlier work, with a greater emphasis on songwriting and delicate piano compositions. What was previously submerged in effects resonates with a newfound clarity; what was previously obscured is foregrounded, offering a clearer window into the heart and mind of the artist and revealing previously unheard details within her meticulously crafted, gorgeous compositions. And yet, there's still enough mystique surrounding her songs and fragile, ghostly, ambient soundscapes to make her work as intriguing as ever.

BEAK>
>>>

Beak’s third album, >>>, follows on from > and >>. Does this show a lot or very little imagination when it comes to naming albums? Anyway, the classy electronic three-piece who are led by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow have taken another step forward and their sound grows along with the stages they’re invited to play on. LP and CD on Invada.

Spotlights
Hanging By Faith

Hanging By Faith contains four remixes from Seismic, the 2017 album by ethereal goth metalers, Spotlights.The 5-track EP features remixes by Kris Dirksen, Mario Quintero, Aaron Harris, Void Manes and is rounded off with a cover of The Cure’s Faith. The Brooklyn-based three-piece balance dark, powerful, light and delicate with aplomb. Limited edition white vinyl LP on Ipecac.

Cornelius
Mellow Waves

Been awhile since we heard from Cornelius but this album of his smooth, exploratory pop has been knocking about the office for some time and we can confirm that it's pretty good. His part cover here of Prefab Sprout's 'Appetite' points the way on an an album of intricate, soft and masterful compositions  

Dalham
Janus

Dalham's debut 'Waves' was a word-of-mouth hit here at Norman Records. You all went a bit crazy for its slo-mo, sci-fi, electronic doom and its pressing of 250 sold out pretty damn quick. So it's great news that the mysterious bod behind Dalham has returned with a brand new opus of blurry electronics and eerie soundscapes. 'Janus' is available in a micro edition of 250 copies, in reverse board sleeve as a one-time pressing. No re-press, ever.
  • Vinyl LP (The Swan 18)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

Surgeon
Luminosity Device

Accomplished techno man Surgeon aka Anthony Child returns with Luminosity Device, a title that sounds like a verbose homage to lightbulbs until you learn it really refers to the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Might be a bit more spiritual, then. These are intense modular techno tunes with excellent sequencing and the sensitive (and sensible) live editing of a disciplined DJ, not a tedious bedroom eurorack jammer. This Surgeon fellow seems to know what he’s doing.

Jim O'Rourke
Sleep Like It's Winter

A forty-five minute ambient composition from everyone's favourite left-field indie rock dude Jim O'Rourke. Sleep Like It's Winter is piece of music of uncommon warmth, wrought from synths, pedal steel and a short wave radio. It will slowly envelope you, and before you know it, you'll be hibernating in its warm embrace.

Resina
Traces

Polish cellist Resina resurfaces on FatCat offshoot 130701 with more of her assured and poised neoclassical narratives, on Traces. The release marks somewhat of a career curve with an increased jaggedness and vitality, and in a bold move she employs her stark vocal to dramatic effect. Drums and percussion add extra dynamism and body to the work. 

Domiziano Maselli
Ashes

One of the most compelling things music can do is tell a story, and it's a story you'll find among Domiziano Maselli's Ashes. Noise and static gives way to throbbing bass which is joined by momentous drums. It's difficult not to imagine a journey when listening to this. And like any good journey, the joy at its end is overwhelming.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
An Angel Fell

The well travelled and long-enduring Pyramids, led by sax man Idris Ackamoor, ready a new record of fantasy-filtered allegory. An Angel Fell is a jazz record in protest of our environmental complacency. Recorded in a week, it's another intense marvel from a group who still managed to release one of our favourite records of its year in We Be All Africans.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Hope Downs

Summer’s coming, which means that we must brace ourselves once more for a deluge of new records featuring pretty guitar riffs and nice singing. Getting in there early are Melbourne group Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. Their debut LP Hope Downs features more of the sunny jangle-grunge that characterised their buzz-building 2017 EP The French Press. Hit play if you find it uncomfortable to listen to Surfer Blood or Real Estate but want similar kicks. Out via Sub Pop.

Kode9 & Burial
FABRICLIVE 100

Here endeth the lesson. The 100th and final edition of Fabric’s Fabriclive CD mix series comes courtesy of two artists who, perhaps above all others, have defined the sound of the London club since the turn of the millenium. Burial’s South London bleakscapes and Kode9’s Hyperdub label have spread their tentacles into nearly every facet of UK club music, and you’d be hard-pressed to argue that any of the other 99 Fabriclive mixes don’t bear their influence in one way or another. Now, as the series rounds out, the pair drop a 37-track mix that shows love to footwork, gqom, jungle, grime and everything in between. Not to be missed.

Shinichi Atobe
Heat

Mysterious Japanese producer Shinichi Atobe surprise-drops a new LP via Demdike Stare’s DDS (Micachu, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe). Heat is a bit more welcoming than the austere techno sound Atobe has previously exhibited, with tracks like ‘So Good, So Right’ and ‘Heat 1’ displaying a stronger house influence than any of his other work. However, there is still a sense of woozy minimalism here that traces a line to records like Butterfly Effect. Fans of Juniper and Detroit Swindle step this way.

Suicideyear
Color The Weather

Color The Weather and colour us interested, because we’ve finally got an LP from Suicideyear. Though Baton Rouge’s number 1 Sadboy dropped the Japan odds-and-sods full-length back in 2015, this LuckyMe drop is the first time that Suicideyear has set out to create an album's-worth of tracks in one sitting. The vision is realised well here, with his classic Gothic trap style balanced out by excursions into digital noise and mournful ambient interludes. Think How To Dress Well meets Ziur.

µ-Ziq
D Funk EP

The new µ-Ziq EP is in fact full of old µ-Ziq, sourced from the deep dark archives kept by Mike Paradinas. Apparently this D-Funk material is from the good old days, never before heard on any stereo but Mike’s. Accordingly the energy and beat count is extremely high. You already know you need this right? Four tracks on 12” wax, from Analogical Force.

Mount Eerie
Now Only

The creative process for Mount Eerie's Now Only took place just after the release of the lavishly praised A Crow Looked At Me (winner of our own Album of the Year 2017, of course). Here, Phil Elverum continues his candidly lyrical and artistic exploration of the loss of his wife Geneviève. The record follows his powerful, affecting memories and the minutiae of their lives together.

Blawan
Wet Will Always Dry

It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have a full-length from Blawan. Techno’s Prince of Darkness delivers Wet Will Always Dry, an eight-track LP, via his own TERNESC imprint. Probably the most noteworthy artistic development here is that Blawan has started singing, with his eerie vocals cropping up on ‘Stell’ and ‘Careless’. But don’t fret, he’s not abandoning his principles - many of the tracks here still sound like they have been designed to be dropped at Cthulhu’s birthday party.
  • Vinyl Double LP (TESC005)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Young Fathers
Cocoa Sugar

Cocoa Sugar is the third album by Edinburgh hip-hop threesome Young Fathers. It follows on from the critically acclaimed second album White Men Are Black Men Too and the single Only God Knows which featured on the soundtrack to Trainspotting 2. It’s available on CD and two vinyl versions - coloured, indies only limited edition (for which you will have to be quick!) and black vinyl. 

Thembi Soddell
Love Songs

Before we go any further you should know, Thembi Soddell has a dark sense of humour. Love Songs is certainly an album about love, but rather than the highs, it's the toxicity and harm that can lie beneath which Soddell takes as her subject. This is bleak, dense and intense music that is deeply personal and viscerally horrifying. On Room40. 

The Breeders
All Nerve

Taking a break from their knitting for awhile, the Patti and Selma Bouvier of indie rock re-unite with the 'classic' era line up of the Breeders for their much anticipated first new album in a decade. Expect taut and lop-sided avant rock full of unusual melodies and that golden throated voice. How much better will it be than the last Pixies album? 

Kathryn Joseph
From When I Wake The Want Is

Kathryn Joseph's debut Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled was a bit of a sad corker winning all kinds of Scottish awards. This is her second record and first for Mogwai's Rock Action imprint. Expect windswept bleak confessionals with a warm heart and quivering delivery that soothe rather than haunt. 

Sarah Davachi
Gave In Rest

Proving it's both a marathon and a sprint, drone artist Sarah Davachi puts out yet another record. Hot off the heels of the impressive baroque tone poem Let Night Come On Bells End the Day, Davachi makes the hop to Ba Da Bing! for a record of lonely, isolationist ambient music that reflects the upheaval in her life. Principally a master and architect of synthesizers, Davachi's output has expanded into scores for a wide range of instrumentation, so we'll just wait and see how this likely-to-be opus turns out.

Shackleton
Furnace of Guts

Lancashire born electronic producer Sam Shackleton has tried his hand at various musical styles in his time. He ranged from school punk bands to dancehall duos before settling on becoming an electronic whizz and label owner. Furnace of Guts is Shackleton’s latest 12” slice of spacey dance music on his own Woe To The Septic Heart label.

Saturn and the Sun
In Love With The Extreme

Now that The Skull Defekts no longer exists, Joachim Nordwall and Henrik Rylander have had to find other ways to fill their days and satisfy their creative impulses. In Love With The Extreme is by the pair's Saturn And The Sun project on which they take a visceral approach to minimal electronic music.

epic45
Through Broken Summer

It's only a new record from Epic45, my favourite Staffordshire-based post-indie rock band. I can only imagine how beautiful Through Broken Summer will be if their other albums are to go by. You can already hear the calming, yet oddly satisfying sound permeating through your brain, melting your very core. Available on vinyl LP and CD and released on Wayside & Woodland Recordings. 

Taylor Deupree
Fallen

Fireplace soundartist Taylor Deupree offers more of his bitty but warm experiments on Fallen. With principle photography for the artwork taken in Iceland, land the record sees him restrict his pool of equipment, using primarily piano and then falling into a Moog-shaped hole with smatterings of guitar. It took him a long time to write; please listen to it.  

Courtney Barnett
Tell Me How You Really Feel

This here offering is Courtney's second album following up {long title}, but also that thing she did with Kurt Vile. Here her witty observations are matched with a more serious tone capturing more obviously the beauty and warmth in her delivery. She's becoming increasingly popular so this will be a big 'un.

YOB
Our Raw Heart

Innovative and immense, YOB like to release long, thrashing sprawls, disseminating doom with zero compromise. Our Raw Heart speaks plain of the near-death experience of frontman Mike Schiedt, who praise the stars is still with us, bleeding the metal blood. Over seven very good tracks they play seventy-five minutes of heart-on-sleeve riffage. I honestly cannot wait. 

Vainio & Vigroux
Ignis


Ben Vince
Assimilation

Very obviously a saxophonist, Ben Vince readies a new record on the wonderful Where To Now? label. Uh. Hell yeah? Assimilation he treads further afield than the usual minimalist focus, collaborating with a bunch of artists who love him to give his sax wild different hues and contexts. Playing solo is one thing; playing with Micachu, Rupert Clervaux and Valentina Magaletti is another. Vince is making a name for himself and he already has a pretty good one and it's Ben.

Rezzett
Rezzett

Rezzett’s long-running relationship with The Trilogy Tapes culminates in the release of the pair’s debut LP. This eponymous record is largely comprised of lo-fi, sombre techno tracks that recall Actress and other TTT artists like Samo DJ. When the beats are stripped out, as they are on cuts like ‘Yunus In Ekstasi’, there is a wintry frailty to Rezzett’s synth tones that is reminiscent of Forest Swords.
  • Vinyl Double LP (TTT070)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Fucked Up
Dose Your Dreams

Fucked Up have pulled out all the stops to make, arguably, the album of their career with Dose Your Dreams. Whilst it kicks off in a familiar punk fashion, they then take unexpected turns into psychedelia, groove work-outs and even doo-wop before is brought to a close with a Krautrock epic. LP and CD on Merge.

Hiro Kone
Pure Expenditure

On Pure Expenditure, Hiro Kone, real name Nicky Mao, approaches electronic music with a brutal intent not heard since the earliest Factory Floor recordings. This all comes from Pure Expenditure's core theme, the non-utilitarian use of surplus energy. The album features the likes of group A and Little Annie, and was mixed by Teflon Tel Aviv's Josh Eustis.

Arctic Monkeys
Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

The long-awaited return of those indie rock archetypes Arctic Monkeys. Five years after 2013’s AM, Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino is the next chapter in their journey from dishevelled Sheffield boys of the noughties to slick and swaggering Americanised rock gang. Or, how Alex Turner went from scruffy to professional. Available on transparent vinyl LP, on Domino.

Rival Consoles
Persona

Erased Tapes' cool dance guy Ryan Lee West drops down his newest Rival Consoles record! Making serene IDM with a pounding heart to guide it, Persona sees him do a Jam City by exploring the possibilities of shoegaze. Expect pedals and a heightened sense of drama as he experiments with melody, beats and sometimes beatlessness.

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