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2014's 'Should Be Bigger Hitters'

Here's a list of stuff that caught our attention in 2014 but that doesn't seem to have caught your attention in the same way. We can only shake our head in bemusement and wonder why it is that the likes of Warm Widow, Stephen Steinbrink and Subtle Turnhips are still not gracing the front pages of the NME or whatever.
Please note that this promotion officially ended on Tuesday October 21st 2014. 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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Alex G

Right, people. We've been listening to this in the office for what seems like the last 6 months and we think it's going to take you by storm. Think of all the '90's lo-fi greats (but particularly Pavement) rolled up into a one man slacker-pop songwriting machine and you are in the ballpark.  Get in on the ground floor. 

Town Planning

A spooky little record with little information offered up about who left it lying about, 'Town Planning' lives up to its mystery, collating archived audio from the Cold War era with more traditional but still expressively experimental sounds -- synths, loops and all that good obscuring stuff. The sound is detached and disengaged, as if the Cold War had washed over Britain and sucked out its soul.

Dorcha Aigeann

Here's something that will sell out quickly. Chris Douglas's Dalglish project has long been a go to for visionary future thinking electronics and as our Ant says in a previous review "Just reading the words Dalglish and vinyl in the same sentence is enough to make hardcore electronic music fans salivate". The label describes this release as  "a web of splintering percussive patterns, arrhythmic textures and amorphous forms, titled in an asymmetrical variant of Scots Gaelic". Run of 300 copies. -On clear vinyl with white label. Enclosed in silkscreened PVC cover containing thumb cut slit.-Includes transparent film insert. -Contains two locked grooves at the conclusion of Side A and Side B. 
  • Vinyl 12" (Ge-stell 01)
  • In stock and ready to ship

Death Blues

'Ensemble' offers up a suffocating collection of percussive, cacophonous compositions from art rock crew Death Blues. Jon Mueller is at the forefront, so of course this thing is fronted by an intense drum performance, while the violins and strings swell and tremble around him in fear. The record comes with supplementary essays about "presence and experience". Recommended for fans of A Silver Mt Zion and the Dirty Three, if they could terrify you just that little bit extra.

Gareth Dickson
Invisible String

Gareth Dickson makes slow-moving acoustic songs and releases them as homespun records. He's performed guitar duties for Vashti Bunyan's live band now and then, suggesting a modest songwriter with a patient mind. There are also hints of an ambient influence in Dickson's work, as he brings in synthwork and manipulates his guitar notes. 'Invisible String' collects together the finest moments in Dickson's tour of Europe from two years ago.


Written over the space of a year, but recorded in a fortnight, straight to tape, in Ryan's central Manchester flat, 'Horsebeach' is a gorgeous journey through Northern, jangly, dreamy guitar pop. From as far back as The Wake, through the now de rigeur C86, and of course via The Smiths, this is bedroom introspection gone widescreen. Gorgeous songs of love and longing, this music has a lilting, drifting quality, sometimes reminiscent of Felt, or of a meandering, jangletastic Real Estate, of whom Ryan is clearly a fan. Chiming guitars, brooding melodies, thoughtful words. 'Horsebeach' is a very lovely record indeed.

Ian William Craig
A Turn Of Breath

Ian William Craig makes choral drone music on this stunning ambient record with the most fitting title of the year: 'A Turn Of Breath'. Craig performs warm vocal harmonies and stretches them to their breaking point, backing them with crackling drones that feel both part of nature and decidedly bedroom pop. 'A Turn Of Breath' is the perfect record for fans of experimental vocalists and ambient musicians like Julianna Barwick, Christina Carter and those beautiful segments of Colin Stetson records. 

Jo Johnson

Once a member of the iconic feminist queercore act Huggy Bear, Jo Johnson has readied a solo record under her own name: 'Weaving' finds her opting for a completely different musical environment. Johnson trades in ferocious punk for equally thought-provoking electronic and ambient compositions, made with flourishes that tribute her more experimental and less punk influences, such as jazz harpist Alice Coltrane. 'Weaving' is minimalism in the last place you'd expect it.

Vapor City Archives

In a move that's way, way sadder than the Hobbit trilogy finishing up, Machinedrum has announced 'Vapor City Archives' will be the last of his 'Vapor City' endeavours, bringing his smooth, intricate tunes to a close in this particular universe. This is some of the most creative, propulsive and frankly beautiful work he's made, so grab it before the city gets quarantined forever.

Wooden Aquarium

It's been a year since 2013's triumphant 'Ores & Minerals' and London based trio Mazes hone in on the best of their craft with 'Wooden Aquarium'; here, the hypnotic motorik rhythms and infectious pop melodies remain firmly intact. Though defying tradition and recording the album completely live in a studio, Mazes have not compromised their lo-fi sensibility as evidenced on their previous two efforts. With the help of Parquet Courts' producer Jonathan Schenke, 'Wooden Aquarium' is probably their most accomplished record to date. 

Hold It In

Their first full-length as a quartet since 2010’s 'The Bride Screams Murder', ‘Hold It In’ marks yet another return for Washington’s ever-prolific Melvins, this time with the addition of guitar-proficient Paul Leary and JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), joining originals and sole constants Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover. Recorded between Washington and Austin earlier this year, ‘Hold It In’ promises to be a “refreshing piece of fiction in a boring world of fact and bullshit” according to Osborne. Sounds about right! 

Memory Drawings
There Is No Perfect Place

The first 200 copies of the album comes with a bonus CD containing excellent remixes by The Sly and Unseen, Benoit Pioulard, William Ryan Fritch, Pausal, A New Line (Related), and Talvihorros. Memory Drawings consist of American hammered dulcimer player Joel Hanson who alongside Hood's Richard Adams and Lanterns on the Lake's Sarah Kemp to create beguiling instrumental chamber folk music. 'There is No Perfect Place" is their second full length album following the well-received and long sold out 'Music for Another Loss' on Second Language. It continues their infatuation with cinematic textures and 'Straight Story' soundtrack like instrumental vignettes but widens their pallete with kraut-driven opuses like 'The Island of the Day Before' and the gorgeous Talk Talk/Sakamoto piece 'There is a World Without You'. 

Lamnè Gastama

Mohammad make chamber drone, taking cellos and other traditional acoustic instruments and sustaining them, as if they're being sharpened like a knife. The result is a sound that's both unsettling and unprecedented. They've already released one record this year, 'Zo Rél Do', which they claim is part of a trilogy that "explores the sounds of the geographical area between 34°N - 42°N &  19° E - 29° E". Of course. The next record in the project is 'Lamnè Gastama', and it promises the same dark, unwavering sound. 

Nick Nicely
Space Of A Second

One of the few people on earth who kinda deserves the tag ‘Legendary’, Nick Nicely burst onto the scene in 1982 with a remarkable sound which married Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd with synth-pop and the electronic pulse of Neu, Kraftwerk and Suicide. A sound that any baked psych band of note today would consider de rigeur but just imagine what it sounded like then. His single 'Hilly Fields' was and is one of the most remarkable and sinister pieces of music ever comitted to tape. Believe me  - check it.  But things didn't quite work out in the music biz for Mr Nicely and its only recently with the advent of re-issue culture has his music been rediscovered with the likes of Burger records and Captured Tracks have re-issues his stuff bringing it to a whole new audience.  I can't tell from the press notes whether this is a 'new' album or an album of unreleased tracks. Whatever it is its bound to be interesting. It contains 14 tracks ranging from shoegaze bliss to lo-fi baroque psychedelia and even contains a reworking of 'Hilly Fields'.    


  • Vinyl LP (LOT012 / AUD028)
  • In stock and ready to ship

The Young Sinclairs
This is The Young Sinclairs

We all like a bit of The Young Sinclairs here at the towers. Like Allah Las they have echewed the hard rockin' sounds of a lot of modern day garage bands for the jangly West Coast blueprint as purveyed by The Byrds, Love and assorted 60's folk-rock types. They form part of the Magic Twig Community, a group of like-minded musicians operating their own studio in the woods where they have produced and engineered their records. Sounds idyllic and certainly you can't argue that their output is both prolific and of high quality. Not much further info on what this actually is except for it being a collection of compositions that demonstrate the spectrum of their sound. Look forward to giving it a spin.  

Tom Carter and Pat Murano
Four Infernal Rivers

This is a second collaboration between Charalambides man Tom Carter and No Neck Blues Band feller Pat Murano. The pair had already made an eponymous LP back in 2012 but have now colklaborated again, this time at Carter's place, passing musical ideas back and forth, forth and back. There are four lengthy improvisations using Carter's piercing, acid-lead guitars against Murano’s sympathetic synthesizer lines, the sounds of guitar, synthesizer and drum machine to dissolve into one another, often to the point where they seem to come from the same source. 

Ultimate Painting
Ultimate Painting

A collaboration between Jack Cooper & James Hoare of Mazes & Veronica Falls fame, respectively. Sharing the songwriting evenly between the pair, they craft some fine, Velvet Underground-esque indie rock ranging from the chilled to the pumping. A great combination of the lads intertwining vocals and jangling guitars.

Virginia Wing
Measures Of Joy

South London four piece Virginia Wing's debut album promises some slinky and dream-like electronic pop which owes debts to early Krautrock, revered Brum legends Broadcast and the Radiophonic pioneers of wibbly otherworldly electronics. Also see the trance-like post-punk rhythmic drive of, say, This Heat. 'Measures of Joy' is certainly a hazy montage of moody electronics, dreamily sung and sometimes spoken vocals, with subtle musique concrete influences. Indespensible, one of the best 43 minutes of the year. Proper full review to follow shortly but this crystalline beauty could creep onto a couple of end-of-year lists.

Warm Widow

  • CD (FHCD0301)
  • £8.99 £5.39 (saving: £3.60)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

An office favourite and the promo has only been in the place a week. It has since disappeared into various homes for night listening which is as good a recommendation as you can get. Therefore I'm the wrong person to write the press blurb as I was the only one to spit the words "experimental Winehouse" in it's direction. It certainly sounds like the career defining record that the press release talks about, based around the primal rhythms and soulful vocals of the Swedish husband and wife team it hold no punches whatsoever. Certainly fans of Neneh Cherry's last album, or the 80's pounding of Pigbag or ESG are going to find much to enjoy.