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Latest hand-picked pre-orders (Monday 4th February 2019)

With only 28 days to its name February is mercifully short but we still need to get through it somehow and so let's try to liven it up by looking at the best upcoming records we can look forward to until those damn nights get lighter. 

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A Certain Ratio
acr:box

Legends of the otherwise non-existent Manchester punk/dance/funk/industrial scene (yes, they’re out there on their own), A Certain Ratio have been reissuing a lot of stuff recently. acr:box gathers together everything that hasn’t been reissued. Singles, B-sides, alternate versions, their cover of Talking Head’s classic Houses in Motion and so on. Plenty to get stuck into for the hardcore fan or even a very inviting introduction to these Factory Records stalwarts. Deluxe 7LP or 4CD box set on Mute.
  • Vinyl Deluxe LP box set (ACRBOX1)
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  • CD box set (ACRBOX1CD)
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Apparat
LP5

As a break from his very successful work with Moderat, German synthesizer-tamer Apparat is finally treating the world to some more of his solo work. We haven’t heard the whole aptly-named LP5 yet, but first single DAWAN feels like somebody’s gently scratching your earlobe, and sounds like a crossover between Mount Kimbie's Break Well and Caribou's Can't Do Without You, in the best way.
  • Vinyl LP (STUMM436)
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  • Vinyl LP (LSTUMM436)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • CD (CDSTUMM436)

Band of Skulls
Love Is All You Love

It what seem like an unusual move for a traditional rock band, Band Of Skulls hired producer Richard X for their latest album Love Is All You Love. He has encouraged the band to experiment and add some electronic elements to their sound. It is still a rock album, but with an extra pop punch. Various LP and CD versions available, also available on cassette on So Recordings.
  • Vinyl LP (SOAKLP182)
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  • Vinyl LP (SOAKLP182D)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • CD (SOAKCD182)
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  • CD (SOAK182)
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  • Tape (SOAKMC182)
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Bernard Herrmann
Taxi Driver

Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver is of course an essential cinematic classic, and Bernard Herrmann’s incredibly atmospheric soundtrack plays an important part. Take a seat in the back of Robert De Niro's cab and cruise the streets, witness the sleaze and scumbags that walk the streets. 
  • Vinyl LP (MOVLP492C)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition

Better Oblivion Community Center (Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst)
Better Oblivion Community Center

Better Oblivion Community Center might be a brand new name but the betting is that you'll know the people involved. Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst are both well known solo artists in their own right but here they work together on an album conceived and recorded in the hot L.A summer of 2018. Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) is on it, John Congleton co-produces. 
  • Vinyl LP (DOC188LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy
  • CD (DOC188CD)

Catfish and The Bottlemen
The Balance

Catfish & The Bottlemen are back after five whole years with their third album The Balance. The Welsh stadium-filling and festival-headlining indie rockers are hugely popular with the kids. To be fair to them though, they are an incredibly hard working bunch. They’ve been touring pretty much constantly in the last few years. 180g black vinyl LP and CD on Island.
  • Vinyl LP (7732644)
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  • CD (7732668)
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Coldharbourstores
Vesta

Coldharbourstores have succeeded in making an album in a shorter time than fourteen years! Hot on the heels of 2017’s Wilderness is 2019’s Vesta, which was produced by Graham Sutton. Vesta has that classic gorgeous bright sound, somehow ambient and exciting all at once. Coldharbourstores’ third album is released on the Enraptured label.
  • Vinyl LP (RAPTLP78)
  • CD (RAPTCD78)

Elbow and the BBC Concert Orchestra
The Seldom Seen Kid (Live At Abbey Road)

Surely one of Elbow’s finest achievements, the Seldom Seen Kid album is now more than ten years old! To celebrate, here is Elbow plus the BBC Concert Orchestra, performing the album in full with lots of lush extra string bits at the prestigious Abbey Road studios. It's a beautiful performance of a wonderful album, recorded in perfect clarity from a band loved by the BBC even more than they love the Conservative party. 
  • Vinyl Double LP (ARHSDLP002)
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Fennesz
Agora

Can you believe it’s been nearly five years since the sumptuously singed guitar and synths of Christian Fennesz graced a solo album? It’s amazing but true. And his return to the format is a little unusual, in that it was put together away from the studio in his bedroom using only minimal equipment. Touch continues to touch.
  • Vinyl LP (TO115V)
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  • CD (TO115)
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Flight of The Conchords
Live in London

The Flight Of The Conchords TV series finished its run way back in 2009 - that was 10 whole years ago. Since then Brett McKenzie has become an Oscar-winning songwriter and Jermaine Clement has been adding his voice to films such as Despicable Me, Moana, and The Lego Batman Movie.  The duo reunited to tour the UK in 2018. Their London show was recorded for an HBO TV special, and now it’s available on LP, CD and Cassette via Sub Pop. Includes two bonus tracks that were not included on the TV special.
  • Vinyl Triple LP (SP1275X)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl Triple LP (SP1275)
  • CD (SPCD1275)

  • Tape (SPCS1275)

Heather Woods Broderick
Invitation

Heather Woods Broderick played in Sharon Van Etten’s band. Now she’s going solo. Her new LP, Invitation, was recorded on the Oregon coast. It would seem that the huge rock formations and towering pine trees tempered by the miles of desolate beaches, and the silvering driftwood have informed the ebb and flow of this album. If you’re a fan of Sharon Van Etten, Weyes Blood, Julia Holter, Julianna Barwick or Marissa Nadler, then you should check this out. LP and CD on Western Vinyl.
  • Vinyl LP (WV190LPC1)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl LP (WV190LP)
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  • CD (WV190CD)
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Housewives
Twilight Splendour

Housewives have made the classic move for their second album, moving from a guitar-dominated sound to a more electronic presentation. With this change has come an increased interest in What Technology Means These Days, which makes for some strong lyrical-sonic juxtapositions. Twilight Splendour is out on Blank Editions.
  • Vinyl LP (BETBC016)
  • Vinyl LP (BETBC016COL)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • CD (BETBC016CD)

Jenny Lewis
On The Line

Where has Jenny Lewis been for the last five years? Her 2014 Ryan Adams-produced album, The Voyager, seemed to be setting her on track to a successful solo career, it’s almost like she stepped back from the limelight. Anyway, the good news is that the former Riley Kilo singer has this new album where she is backed by a cast of quite legendary musicians including Ringo Starr, Ryan Adams, Beck and Don Was. There's always one or two good things in a Jenny Lewis LP so it may well be worth the wait. 
  • Vinyl LP (0093624901181)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl LP (0093624901464)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy
  • CD (093624901457)
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Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation
Sacred Dreams

Psychedelic stalwarts Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation used to call beautiful Stockholm their home but now they've relocated to stinking London and developed round them a gang of London hotshots. It will be interesting to hear how this has affected their sound  - Josefin herself goes rambling all over the place trying to explain what is at the hub of the record. I'm still no clearer - safe to say though that we'll hear plenty of deep space rock vibes and vintage electronic pulses.  
  • Vinyl LP (LAUNCH162LP)
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  • Vinyl LP (LAUNCH162SLP)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • CD (LAUNCH162)
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Lamb
The Secret of Letting Go

Manchester trip-hop/electronic duo Lamb come back into life on Cooking Vinyl. The Secret Of Letting Go is their new album. It was, weirdly, conceived as the band decided to split. The recording took them from their South Downs studio to India and Ibiza. Oh, I get it now, a new album meant a holiday! Anyway, you can get this on LP and CD.
  • Vinyl LP (COOKLP728)
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  • CD (COOKCD728)
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Luke Abbott
Music From The Edge Of An Island

Luke Abbott puts away his modular synth and electronics collection for a little while in order to create something for Piano Day 2019. Using VST software to simulate a piano, Abbott’s work here still retains a slight MIDI-ish computer tinge to it, which actually lends an interesting extra flavour. Music From The Edge Of An Island is released by FLOAT.
  • Vinyl LP (FLOAT3LP)
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Marry Waterson & Emily Barker
A Window To Other Ways

Marry Waterson is an English folk singer and member of the famous folk music family The Watersons. She is the daughter of Lal Waterson. Emily Barker is an Australian singer/songwriter whose music you may have heard on the UK version of crime drama Wallander. The pair met at a songwriting retreat run by Kathryn Williams. Their first album together, A Window To Other Ways, has thrown up a mixture of stiles from the obvious folk, with country, soul, blues and indie. LP and CD on One Little Indian.
  • Vinyl LP (TPLP1482)
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  • CD (TPLP1482CD)
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Martha
Love Keeps Kicking

Pity Me, County Durham’s DIY punks and melodic racket-makers, Martha, are back with their third album, Love Keeps Kicking. On this album, they want to fight back against the increased visibility of fascism, racism whilst our world spirals down the plughole. The album also deals with heartbreak and the bit afterwards where you get over it. A big dose of noisy positivity. 
  • Vinyl LP (BSM249V1)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl LP (BSM249V)
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  • CD (BSM249CD)
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Metronomy
Nights Out

Way before they became a curly-haired pop phenomena, Metronomy were a weird little electro band. This is the first album where they started to write 'proper' songs and have a man sing them. "Heartbreaker' particularly foreshadows their increasingly endearing rinky-dink pop. 10th anniversary re-issue 2LP on Because.
  • Vinyl Double LP (BEC5543830)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Last copy
  • Vinyl LP (BEC5772370)
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  • Last copy

Neil Young
Dead Man: A Film By Jim Jarmusch (Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture)

Dead Man is Jim Jarmusch’s self-proclaimed ‘psychedelic western’. Neil young improvised most of the soundtrack as he watched and played along it in his studio. This way he was able to give a raw response to the drama and emotion. It mixes his acoustic and electric meanderings and is interspersed with Johnny Depp reading the poetry of William Blake.  
  • Vinyl Double LP (0093624617112)
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  • CD (0093624902706)
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Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres
Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres

Pete Doherty is still out here doing his thing, with another new band behind him, The Puta Madres. This self-titled pseudo-debut features all your favourite Doherty stylings, with love and loss and darkness all expressed through Pete’s cheeky-chappy doomed-romantic persona. Available via Strap Originals, in a whole bevy of formats.
  • Vinyl LP (SOLP1X)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl LP (SOLP1)
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  • CD (SOCD1X)
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  • CD (SOCD1)
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  • Tape (SOCASS1)
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Pip Blom
Boat

Pip Blom are an indie band from Amsterdam. They are fronted by 20-year old Pip Blom.  Boat is their debut album following a successful year of EPs and singles that have enjoyed airtime on BBC 6 Music. Their influences seem to come from bands such as The Breeders, which is no bad thing. It looks like Pip’s star is on the rise. LP and CD on Heavenly.
  • Vinyl LP (HVNLP168)
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  • CD (HVNLP168CD)
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Plastic Mermaids
Suddenly Everyone Explodes

Like my grandma, Plastic Mermaids hail from Isle Of Wight. They were formed by members of the bands Neon Fetus and Magic Octagon. Their debut LP, Suddenly Everyone Explodes, was recorded in their own self-built analogue studio. It mines the same seams as Mercury Rev and Animal Collective circa Post Merriweather Pavillion. CD and LP on Sunday Best.
  • Vinyl LP (SBESTLP83T)
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  • CD (SBESTCD83)
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Pye Corner Audio
Hollow Earth

Not to be confused with 2017 EP Where Things Are Hollow (which is really good, by the way), here we have another new LP from Pye Corner Audio entitled Hollow Earth. The third album Martin Jenkins has done for Ghost Box as PCA sees him updating the sound of some of the label’s classic artists. The quixotic electronica of The Focus Group and The Advisory Circle is beefed up with a little bit of techno edge by Pye Corner Audio here.
  • Vinyl LP (GBX032LPBAG)
  • CD (GBX032CDBAG)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Vinyl LP (GBX032LP)
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  • CD (GBX032CD)
  • Record bag
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Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack)

I’m probably right in thinking that Norman’s stance on Queen is that they’re crap [editorial note; it's not!].....[Actual Editor's Note: It is!] . Love ‘em or hate ‘em, though, it is undeniable that Freddie Mercury was a one-off and they don’t make music like anyone else. Here we have the soundtrack to the massively successful Bohemian Rhapsody, the film about Freddie Mercury and Queen. It’s a mix of previously released Queen songs and previously unreleased songs from their legendary Live Aid performance. You also get the bonus of the 20th Century Fox fanfare being played in Brian May’s signature guitar style. The press release bangs on about sales achieved in Q4 - when did it stop being about the music, man? Double Heavyweight Vinyl LP on Virgin EMI.
  • Vinyl Double LP (6798872)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Rev Magnetic
Gloaming

Luke Sutherland, a man who will be known to big Mogwai fans as a key collaborator, here puts his solo material as Rev Magnetic out on Mogwai’s Rock Action label. Gloaming is a single in advance of a debut album, and it sets the stage beautifully, with an incongruous but effective mix of harmonised vocals and bitcrushed guitar noise. 7” single.
  • Vinyl 7" (ROCKACT124S)
  • In stock and ready to ship

Snow Palms
Everything Ascending

Everything Ascending is the new 12” from Snow Palms. The usual electronic sparkles and icy glockenspiels are backed-up by modular synths, tapes experiments, pianos and vocal lines that may give this record its name. If you like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Steve Reich or Midori Takada, then the pair of epic tracks may be for you. 12” on Village Green.
  • Vinyl 12" (VGEP053)

Sole
Destituent

Another round of rhyme-spittin’ polemics from Anticon co-founder Sole. Focused on the lyrical theme of anarchism, this one for Fake Four Inc is a bit unusual as it draws in a gritty, self-produced No Wave environment for the MC’s disgruntled lines. Recorded half in central Denver, half in the Maine hinterlands.
  • Vinyl LP (LPBBT15)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Stephen Malkmus
Groove Denied

We've all had mid-life crisis moments. For example, my dad sold the family car and bought himself a motorbike. This album is most likely Stephen Malkmus's mid-life crisis moment. For many musicians a mid-life crisis moment sees them embracing electronica and IDM after years of chugging along with guitars. So this could be as good/bad as Bob Mould's 'Modulate' album.   
  • Vinyl LP (WIGLP452X)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl LP (WIGLP452)
  • CD (WIGCD452)

The Comet Is Coming
Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

On their latest LP the futuro-jazz trio The Comet Is Coming encourage us to Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery. Whether or not you think such a sentiment is sound advice is up to you, but one thing that we can all agree on is that this is another incendiary set of electrified saxophonic fare from Shabaka Hutchings et al (he's the one from Sons Of Kemet, by the way). Kate Tempest guests on ‘Blood Of The Past’.
  • Vinyl LP (7734537)
  • CD (7737755)

The Drums
Brutalism

Now where have we heard that title before? What they lack in originality though they make up in....um.....um....ah I know... explanations for band member departures. This is their second album since founding member Jacob Graham left to 'concentrate on his puppetry' and sees Jonny Pierce draft in a drummer for the first time. The press release bleats that this is their best collection of songs yet.   
  • Vinyl LP (8714092764932)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl LP (8714092764918)
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  • CD (8714092764925)
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The Mountain Goats
In League With Dragons

In League With Dragons is the seventeenth album by The Mountain Goats. This one sees John Darnielle and co. continuing their 28-year quest to convince us that monsters are okay, really. It comes in a number of increasingly fancy vinyl versions (some of which are limited editions, so be quick) and CD on Merge.
  • Vinyl Double LP (MRG679LPXX)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl Double LP (MRG679LPC1)
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  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition
  • Indies-only
  • Vinyl Double LP (MRG679LP)
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  • CD (MRG679CD)
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The Stroppies
Whoosh

Melbourne band The Stroppies are comprised of members of bands such as Twerps, Tyrannamen and Boomgates. Their sound recalls bands from the classic mid-’80s to mid-’90s era of the Flying Nun label such as The Clean and The Bats. Their new album is Whoosh. They are fronted by Gus Lord, a name with a certain je ne se quoi worth mentioning.  LP and CD on Tough Love.
  • Vinyl LP (TLV119LPX)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy
  • Vinyl LP (TLV119LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy
  • CD (TLV119CD)

Thighpaulsandra
Practical Electronics With

Practical Electronics With is the eighth album by Thighpaulsandra, and it's a stripped back number, with the broader group pushed aside in favour of Thighpaulsandra’s voice and electronics, nothing else. Not to say that this is a minimal listen: no, this is out-there synth-pop with a very loud personality. On Editions Mego.
  • Vinyl LP (EMEGO258)
  • CD (EMEGO258CD)

Various (The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade)
3 x 4

3 x 4 is a compilation album featuring The Bangles (yes, they were cool), Rain Parade, The Three O’Clock and Dream Syndicate covering each other’s songs. The bands were all part of the Paisley Underground scene of the early-mid ‘80s. All songs were recorded in 2018. Double LP and CD on Yep Roc.
  • Vinyl Double LP (LPYEP2596)
  • CD (CDYEP2596)

Vital Idles
EP

Glasgow’s Vital Idles follow up 2018’s debut LP, Left Hand, with a new EP simply titled, EP. Their music recalls The Velvet Underground, Young Marble Giants and The Raincoats in a kinda post-punk-meets-indie-pop way. So, this is a good thing, we are sure of it. 4-track 7” EP on Upset The Rhythm.
  • Vinyl 7" (UTR118)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition
  • Last copy

Watine
Géometries sous-cutanées (Subcutaneous Layers)

Apparently hailing from Paris, Watine hold forth their tantalisingly-titled new album Geometries sous-cutanees, or Subcutaneous Layers. The Watine house style is a sort of highly-atmospheric melancholy instrumental folk, but with plenty of electronic treatments and layers, as well as unidentified sounds creeping around the edges of the mix. Rather engaging stuff. Double LP on Catgang.
  • Vinyl Double LP
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Last copy
  • CD
  • In stock and ready to ship

XXXtentacion
17

While you pour one out for the recently departed XXXtentacion, it would be good to listen along to his debut album, now fully available again. 17, recorded and released at a remarkable young age, is here pressed up in CD and vinyl editions (for the very first time: this used to be digital only material) by Bad Vibes Forever / Empire.
  • Vinyl LP (ERE436)
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  • CD (ERE442)
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