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Staff reviews this month

Good or bad, here's what we think of this month's crop of new releases.

Cremation Lily
In England Now, Underwater

‘In England Now, Underwater’ is an incredibly intimate record that finds beauty in the mundane. The coastal wind blowing into his microphone, the sound of the ocean, the seagulls etc. are all captured with a raw quality that takes you right there with the artist - Zen Zsigo. It’s as though we were in his pocket as he trudges al...view item »

Ekin Fil
Maps

‘Maps’ marks Istanbul artist Ekin Fil’s fifth album for The Helen Scarsdale Agency and is quite possibly her most forlorn work to date. Her presence on this album haunts each track so delicately it's as though she were almost translucent. Her hushed words as if they were written on disintegrating parchment and barely distinguis...view item »

Telectu
Belzebu

Fledgeling label Holuzam have reissued this little gem originally released back in 1983 on Cliché Musica before pretty much slipping into obscurity. OG copies of this record change hands for £130+ so this affordable reissue is most welcome. It includes a copy of the original xeroxed technical insert and an English translation, plus ...view item »

Helena Hauff
Qualm

A couple of bars into the opening cut on Helena Hauff’s second album and I’m wondering what exactly she’s been doing with her 808? ‘Barrow Boot Boys’ is electro so utterly filthy it could have crawled from out of the sewers. Sounds like that 808 has been exhumed from some ancient tomb and been infested with mold and...view item »

Roland Kayn
Simultan

“Cybernetic Music” sounds like something from Terminator 2 right? No shit. This stuff is from 1977 too. Just look at all those cables he was using. Enough to make your average Eurorack junkie soil themselves with inadequacy. Roland Kayn’s incredible Cybernetic Music is a startling physical presence like no other. I devoured tha...view item »

Domiziano Maselli
Ashes

It’s not all handshakes and pats on the back here at Norman Records. This is actually a sometimes hostile and potentially life-threatening working environment - the type of place you could get suplexed for as much as implying that Pavement were better than Pixies, or chinned and elbow dropped for suggesting ‘Music Has the Right to Ch...view item »

Jim O'Rourke
Sleep Like It's Winter

Startling long-form ambient work from Jim O'Rourke that seems to dissolve time as it elegantly unravels across forty-four minutes which feel like hibernating through the cold season. An air of melancholy is slowly revealed through rich layers of tender drones, delicate keys, electronics etc. The overall effect like dwelling inside some...view item »

Shawty Pimp
Still Comin' Real

If you weren't part of the mid 90’s Memphis, Tennessee DIY rap tape scene then getting hold of tapes that were circulating amongst that community would have been fairly impossible. I think it's fair to say that memphisraptapes.blogspot really brought that stuff to the world at large. Certainly, that’s how I got to hear amazing stuff ...view item »

Lårry
sys_001

Uncertainty Principle is off to a flying start, following a cracker from FFT to kick off the label, and now a real smasher in the form of this remarkably strong debut 4-track EP from Berlin-based producer Lårry. It’s difficult to say how things will fully pan out for this label, but there’s certainly a common aesthetic ...view item »

Papa M
A Broke Moon Rises

We can perhaps forgive David Pajo for 'Highway Songs' the hit and miss effort that preceded this album. Lad had been through a bad time and was just throwing it all out there. I'm sort of seeing 'A Broke Moon Roses' then as the first 'proper' Papa M album since his recovery. It has a proper narrative and sounds, looks and smells like a record ma...view item »

The Beths
Future Me Hates Me

More retro indie pop here from this Kiwi quartet who make a bright and bouncy and peppy form of college rock. They burst out of the traps with 'Great No One' which is as tightly wound coil of melodious punk pop with an infectious radio-friendly chorus that sticks in the ears long after the track has faded from view.  The Beths strad...view item »

Still Corners
Slow Air

Still Corners baffle me as every album by them sounds like a different band.  Their earlier work was ahead of it's time in that it sounded lots like Broadcast (see everyone's doing it now) but their last album was rubbish synth pop a bit like Ladytron. Following a move to America they've changed tack again but this time they may be on to so...view item »

Our Girl
Stranger Today

As I watch my 90s listening tastes flash before my ears on a daily basis here are another band who take the grunge pop template of the likes of the Breeders, Liz Phair and Hole and create new things in a rather assured manner.  'Stranger Today' is basically my listening circa 1993, full of brash melodic twisty songs that utilise a s...view item »

Why?
Alopecia (10 Year Anniversary Edition)

It's always interesting to see which albums in hindsight are seen as the classics. Alopecia is indeed a great album yet it's predecessor Elephant Eyelash was the one which led me hook line and sinker into Why?'s unique world. That album is more indie rock, more subtle, less. hmmm. brash. Then as now I never quite got on with lines like "blowing ...view item »

Average Sex
Melodie EP

Tim Burgess's attempts to take over the entire music industry continue with these young pups. “They have the pop sensibilities and the hooks and melodies that never leave your head”, he claims. Well, yes I suppose. It's pretty perky with something of the early vibrant the Strokes in lead track 'Melodie' which is the pick of the ...view item »

Death Cab For Cutie
Thank You For Today

Well what would you do if you were in Death Cab For Cutie? You haven't made a good record in years, your creative force, producer and guitarist has gone off on to work on other projects, your last video was basically a rerun of the Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony'. Yet there's good news to be had. Your singer still has a great indie rock ...view item »

Kathryn Joseph
From When I Wake The Want Is

Kathryn Joseph announced herself with her debut Bones You Have Thrown Me, And Blood I've Spilled, a late developer and already in her forties, the singer has a unique and studied take on the singer songwriter oeuvre. I'm having a hard time working out whether you can even describe the opener 'Ill' as being 'a singer songwriter' piece. Consisting...view item »

The Wolfhounds
Hands In The Till: The Complete John Peel Sessions

The Wolfhounds were always one of my favourite C86 bands mainly because they were pretty angry. Singer Dave Callahan always sounded like he was a furious commuter who had accidentally wandered into the studio trying to get home from work. Like all bands of the era (except Felt) they were regularly invited to do sessions for the John Peel program...view item »

Teenage Fanclub
Songs From Northern Britain

My absolute favourite Teenage Fanclub album and to these ears knocks the socks off Grand Prix which always seems to get the plaudits. Throughout, the album has an autumnal sepia tinge.... as if it was recorded in late August/early September just as the leaves were beginning to turn.  It has songs for everyone - classy Byrds-esque jangle pop...view item »

Tirzah
Devotion

Proper.  It's been awhile since I heard an R&B album I actually like. Autotune and over emoting does for most of the stuff I hear these days but this is something different entirely. It's dark, it's murky and Tirzah often sings as if her mouth has been stuck shut with gaffer tape. She mumbles. She mumbles like Martina Topley Bir...view item »

The Twelve Hour Foundation
tree little milk egg book and other non sequiturs

They are all at it. Retro synth I mean  - even former members of indie-rockers Beatnik Filmstars as Jez Butler is. Here, the man who also made 'The Lighter Side of Concrete' teams up with Polly Hulse for an album of soundalike 70s BBC Schools theme tunes which dig deep into the naive early day synth tunes of the era. It definitely edges tow...view item »

Alessio Ballerini
Wiwanana

In utterly prepost-a-packaging that must have taken 50 years to put together, this is the latest release on Fluid Audio. For those who like collecting bespoke packaged records and CDs this is for you but also we should pay some attention to the music that is contained somewhere within the package. It's a series of short instrumental vignettes ma...view item »

Gulp
All Good Wishes

Just currently trying to get the CD to play. It's pretty tough job but eventually I'm pretty sure it will happen. In the meantime I can pretty much recall my thoughts about this album because we played it about a hundred fucking times last week and what I'd say is that it starts excellently. Opener 'Search For Your Love' is brilliantly catchy sy...view item »

Cucumber Concubine / Wingdisk
Bu bu bu bu / The Message in Mint

The biggest surprise last week was to get offered this beautiful 7" of songs by Ian Masters (Pale Saints) and Mark Tranmer (Montgolfier Brothers/Gnac). Both are artists that haunted the early days of Norman Records and we always have time for them here. It's delightful to hear Ian's voice again. It was really one of the more unique voices in sho...view item »

Table Sugar
Introductory Material

Room for one more post-punk, post-Slits guitar tanglers, honey? Well if there is then Table Sugar fit the bill. They make an extremely lo-fi garage racket full of vim and vigour. It appears to have been recorded live, comically the recording on 'Marry Me' keeps overloading  - I'm all for lo-fi but this is sub bootleg quality.  ...view item »

Yawning Chasm
Songs from Blue House

Always nice to see a potted plant on the sleeve to a tape. See inlay and you'll spot it  - some kind of palm I think. Yawning Chasm is the project of Aaron Coyne who, despite recording these tracks in a shed in a storm, sounds alarmingly perky. He rattles through a series of songs which all sound like he was trying not to wake anyone u...view item »

The Smittens
City Rock Dove

Who else found the great Indie Tracks floods of 2018 pretty funny? Hairclips lost in puddles, anoraks gone completely inside out, sodden bowlcuts. Though really, from the pictures I saw everyone was well over the age of 55.  Though it's right at the top of it's game at the moment in terms of popularity, indie-pop always has the powe...view item »

Ross From Friends
Family Portrait

A few weeks ago I spent an evening writing addresses on envelopes. Fun. But what made it more fun was that I put Youtube on and listened through bits of the Ross From Friends back cat. If there's any music that is suitable for a late evening manual task whilst sun streams in a bedroom window it is this. Some superb tracks in there but when not l...view item »

Tony Molina
Kill The Lights

Got a spare ten minutes? Then you'll have more than enough time to digest this new 'album' by Tony Molina. He spends this time writing brilliant miniature pop gems that more often than not stop before they have started which literally gives you seconds of thrills. The fact that he's spent time constructing these things would make you think that ...view item »

Derek Carr
Contact

No matter what it sounds like, Derek Carr is not from Detroit, he’s not even American. Sure his music sounds like it’s from the Motor City. Sure his name is basically Derrick Carter. Sure he’s asked Abdul Haqq, who’s worked with Juan Atkins, ...view item »

RAMZi
Phobiza

One of the most universal ways people experience music is when they’re walking somewhere alone. A good album can give the journey a sense of narrative it might not have otherwise, a sense of purpose beyond the mindless drudgery of getting from A to B. Because of this, music is better than any other medium to capture the feeling of wanderin...view item »

Djrum
Portrait With Firewood

I’m sure the art historians among you will have already noticed that Djrum’s new album takes its name from a self-portrait by Marina Abramovic. If you did, well done! I had to get that from the press release. However you found that out,  that choice tells us Djrum’s ambitions for ‘Por...view item »

Third Reel
The Hidden One

One thing I really like about music is that in can simultaneously sound incidental and intentional. Yes that may be a contradiction but I think we’ve all done something “accidentally on purpose”. For me, it’s this that justifies The Hidden One by Third Reel’s two hour length. ...view item »

Broken English Club
White Rats

A trilogy eh? I’ve always admired ambition when it comes to releases so good on you Broken English Club. As this isn’t a Star Wars like situation where the unexpected success of a release leads to it becoming a franchise I can’t help but think of White Rats as the start of something, pa...view item »

Nathan Micay
Whities 017

This artwork, hoo boy, this artwork. Yes, this is a “music review” and we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but wringing out a full review of a 12” single is tricky enough at the best of times so please excuse me. A release couldn’t have a better introduction that ...view item »

Sons Of Kemet
Your Queen Is A Reptile

Whatever you think of their music, you’ve really got to hand it to Sons of Kemet. That album title is delightfully treasonous and just thinking about the reaction it’d elicit from our awful right wing press if they were to say, win the Mercury Prize, brings a smile to my face. So yeah, ...view item »

Neotropic
The Absolute Elsewhere

Riz Maslen has had a career thus far that has both threaded a path through the broken beat wizardry of 4hero and journeyed with cosmic ambienteers Future Sound of London. Yes, that was Maslen’s haunting vocal on tech-chillout classic ‘Papua New Guinea’ (al...view item »

Aaron Martin
Touch Dissolves

The haunting presence of a cello lurks ominously, barely noticeable; not even an outline… its presence grows slowly, imperceptibly… the strings are zooming out at the listener by stealth, where once they were concealed amongst warm swells of keys and other drone miasma. The sounds creep up on you and steal your heart, and mind and ...view item »

Gabe Gurnsey
Physical

Who is Gabe Gurnsey? Well, he “makes dislocating hypno-gloom on Factory Floor records, having ground out cold grooves for a long season of his life… Solo, he's making warmer and prettier music…” © our Robin. So far, so proven (I’d have to ...view item »

Celer
Nacreous Clouds

Oh, excellent: just in, from Japan is this, the latest CD by Will Long as Celer. Nacreous Clouds is here as a remastered, now finally reissued version of an album Long made with his wife the late Danielle Baquet, exactly a decade ago. Please feel free to make yourselves comfortable and get set to be droned in...view item »

Ssaliva
Unplugged Vol. 1

Ssaliva is the performing alias of François Boulanger from Liège, and here he is with the first in a new series called (for reasons I’ll get to) Unplugged. Volume 1 opens with with ‘Backfire’: Boulanger has gone straight in with some very pretty but fragile little melodies to...view item »

LWW
3PE

This is nice. Portland, Oregon’s Luke Wyland is here with a newie and it’s a full-length of gorgeousness. The guy who used to sing and do lots of other stuff with the rock band AU that he formed a decade or so ago, is singing and doing more stuff on his own, under the ...view item »

White Ring
Gate Of Grief

Witch House: It Lives! So ought the strapline to this album have read, may I be so bold as to suggest. A genre which was born on the internet, then kind of petered out (quite dramatically, appropriately enough) some 5 years or so ago; on the internet. But coming back with the doomy-gloomy synthscapes, pummeling industrial beats and impossible-to...view item »

Astronauts, etc.
Living In Symbol

Well, it’s still Summer isn’t it -- amazingly enough -- as if you needed reminding, and here hammering the point home (albeit with a very smooth and soulful hammer) it’s a solo Anthony Ferraro as Astronauts, Etc. Very breezy and refreshing 'Living In Symbol' is too; as welcoming and rare ...view item »

My Autumn Empire
Oh, Leaking Universe

Making this Monday infinitely more spectacular (tolerable) is the latest release from those fine folk at Wayside & Woodland Recordings. The sounds adorning this CD are those made by My Autumn Empire -- aka Benjamin Holton, one half of epic45 and guitarist with ...view item »

Slaves
Acts of Fear and Love

The best VEVO punks to have ever kept it real for DIY imprint Virgin EMI continue to just make music like plain old chuggers. I’m from Tunbridge Wells so I know what their favourite pub is but I can’t tell you in case I ever go back there. I'm kinda scratching my head at how they've managed to make it to a third LP since my time work...view item »

Remote Viewing
Blood Loss

When Mr. Burns said “their flower power is no match for my glower power”, Hominid Sounds felt that. In abundance. The label’s latest offering of disdain comes from Remote Viewing, who u...view item »

Mitski
Be The Cowboy

On Mitski’s new record, all the world is a stage, and nobody’s getting up on the stage with you, so you’re all alone in the world, when you think about it. Also, the stage sucks. In fourteen uncomfortably solo-ified tunes, Mitski sings alone and lonely, to nobody -- or maybe everybody, but definitely just the wallpaper equivale...view item »

The Necks
Body

I’m just going to spitball here, if that’s okay, because we all know what a Necks album sounds like, or if we don’t who cares, improv is for nerds. Here’s my idea: the Necks perform ‘Body’ on Soccer AM. You know, they’re chatting, stuff happens, a few cheap and mid-level laughs are had -- all before the ...view item »

Table Sugar
Collected Acknowledgements

My favourite sitcom is the one where the noise rock band Ponytail share a studio space with post-punkers Shopping and they accidentally melt into one band, except it’s not a sitcom, it never happened, but conveniently and analogously that is the sound of Table Sugar. On a brilliant and playful record that’s not afraid to unwind from ...view item »

Suicideyear
Color The Weather

How the hell is there a Suicideyear album out in August. In our long summer, in our backyard, you do this to us? Suicideyear is clearly and objectively an autumn jam and they stick us with this. ‘Color the Weather’ is the Baton Rouge producer’s first LP after two massively impressive EPs; saying that omits false start ‘Ja...view item »

Anne Garner
Lost Play

Anne Garner’s gentle baroque rumination treads through fog. Without trepidation. A commanding vocalist who never needs to gesticulate, to further express beyond a quiet sing-song whisper, Garner navigates a mystery of her own making, crafting midst out of strings, field recordings and low-flying ambience. ‘Lost Play’ sounds lik...view item »

LFZ
Name Plus Focus

This is extremely retro. I think. I don’t know. These days a synthesizer has only to squelch and I’ll think it came from an era when space travel was in its advent and TVs were really quite round. All I know is that LFZ sounds like it’s really late to the whole laser-beamed electronic thing, coming in too late for season two bu...view item »

Oh Sees
Smote Reverser

John Dwyer’s endless pursuit for some sort of commonly held psychedelic truth continues on ‘Smote Reverser’, as the maverick offers his sixth record in half as many years. As you may be able to tell by the balrog-worshipping cover, Dwyer is now a proghead, or more of one, anyway. This record is goofy even by OCS beguiling stand...view item »

Primitive Man / Unearthly Trance
Split

You gotta appreciate a record that tells you what RPM to spin it at and of course a doom split is a 33er. If they had it their way, and if player switches were a little more versatile, I’m pretty sure you’d be able to dial it down to 1 or 2, but I guess listening to Primitive Man and Unearthly Trance at their standard, laborious spee...view item »

Uniform
The Long Walk

Isn’t this just what we all want: a band that starts promising, gets big ideas and grows into what they were supposed to be. This avant-hardcore two piece called Uniform, this little band that loudly could: after the success of breakout record ‘Wake In Fright’, whose war-torn punk songs graced David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, th...view item »

Steve Hauschildt
Dissolvi

Uhh. Hmm. Steve Hauschildt returns, and while I was absolutely expecting the usual kosmische synth panorama, I’m finding myself welcoming something altogether different: a pop record, of sorts. This is Hauschildt, of course, so it still largely feels like an ambient rumination -- the twinkling stars still blaze green in the neon sky. But a...view item »

Futuropaco
Futuropaco

Futuropaco have done it. They’ve made an album Ian has described as “good”. A record deal with El Paraiso (their manager: “got you a contract with the biggest prog label in the world so what were you worried about?”) and praise from a record store clerk. It’s all lining up for them. Justin Pinkerton’s ne...view item »

Mikaela Davis
Delivery

I recommend this record to myself. It is the good Sunday music that I live for, the kind of music I have to look forward to through my good-to-subpar weekdays. Warm basslines and lounging gospel rock melodies join pristine production and the brilliant vocal performances of Mikaela Davis for the most AM rock record of your life. Listen to it in t...view item »

Drug Cult
Drug Cult

I was passed this with the promise that it’s heavy but honestly it just reminds me of all the times people screencap tweets that have 4 retweets and 20 likes. A Drug Cult indeed, these pals make the kind of stoner rock where the riffs really whine and the vox really howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwl. In terms of taking the lineage of Electric Wizard and ...view item »

RDTK (Ricardo Donoso & Thiago Kochenborger)
Human Resources

Brazilian duo RDTK return for another smash hit on wise man-of-the-mountain label Denovali. For an imprint obsessed with the foreboding shadows of experimental pop music, they couldn’t have picked a better band; on ‘Human Resources’, Ricardo Donoso and Thiago Kochenborger make a nervy, twitchy record from fragments of electro, ...view item »

Little Ugly Girls
Little Ugly Girls

The usual release cycle is, you know, put something out every two years and hope to carry favour in the press. Some bands will only release records every three years; occasionally there’s an asshole like Radiohead who seemingly release an album every millionth year. Vashti Bunyan usually takes a couple decades. Little Ugly Girls, however, ...view item »

Salvia Palth
Melanchole

Every time I read that band name I read it another way. It is an absolutely maddening way to spend your Wednesday and I simply cannot cope with it. If you didn’t hear it the first time ‘round, ‘Melanchole’ is a record perfectly summative of the 2013 bedroom emo thing, a shambolic mess of feelings hiding underneath blanket...view item »

Giant Sand
Returns To Valley Of Rain

So it’s come to this: a band called Giant Sand. Lord have mercy on us all. I am of course being facetious as these discordant cowpunks have been around since the mid-80s, so they have dibs on impossibly bad names. Largely the recording project of Howe Gelb, this celebratory remake of their ‘85 record ‘Returns to Valley of Rain&...view item »

Dwart
Taipei Disco

The folks behind Príncipe -- Lisbon’s finest and most unimpeachable dance label, and one of our greatest current music resources -- have started a new label. This is our relief bulletin of the week. Only two releases in, it appears Holuzam is going to be playing host to weirder, less formally danceable strands of music, shedding lig...view item »

The Love Language
Baby Grand

Big music season! This is actually some of the biggest music I’ve heard in a while, the Love Language breaching previously known decibel records for anthemic indie rock. As they pulverise their way towards utopia I’m endeared by their endless commitment to glistening, their never-stopping oscillations and their shout-sung vox. And hi...view item »

Ekuka Morris Sirikiti
Ekuka

Kampala’s Nyege Nyege Tapes continues to shed light on the myriad sounds of Uganda with this startling release. The music on ‘Ekuka’ is an anachronistic collection of tunes made by Lira’s Ekuka Morris Sirkiti, who recorded on homemade drums and a personal thumb piano over a period of roughly thirty years. As the label not...view item »

Elephant Micah
Genericana

This immediately sounds like the most interesting work of Joe O’Connell’s career. A record that considers the wide-open compass possibilities of Americana, ‘Genericana’ is the most experimental Elephant Micah record made, a strange, haunting, plaintive, harrowing, spited record that of course serves as a chaotic indictmen...view item »

Jake Muir
Lady’s Mantle

Friends, please start off your day right. It’d be such a shame if you didn’t. Sometimes a weekday workday morning needs a jingle-jangle solution, and Jake Muir’s ‘Lady’s Mantle’ is it, a lovely, warm record that takes me to pebble beaches with deck chairs and market squares with house plants. It’s ambien...view item »

The Black Delta Movement
Preservation

Hull City of Culture 2017 has really done so much for our lives. My favourite Northern Powerhouse of all time, they’ve even started to produce their own psych rock bands, giving us such sunglassed delights as the Black Delta Movement, whose emotively chugged distortion speaks to the fact we will never, ever, give up this particular strand ...view item »

Spider Bags
Someday Everything Will Be Fine

Once again nobody’s trying and I love it. House fans complain about people lazily naming themselves things like Ross From Friends and DJ Seinfeld but, for real, have you ever even started with rock music? If it wasn’t bad enough already there’s now a band called Spider Bags and I’m fully here for their inability to put tw...view item »

Bitchin Bajas / DSR Lines
The Encyclopedia Of Civilizations: Atlantis

The Encyclopedia of Civilisations is a fanciful project in which a couple artists come together to do a split of quasi-archaeology on an ancient civilization shrouded in mythos. For their second edition they’ve invited Bitchin Bajas -- the band of weirdos it seems that everyone has on speed dial -- and DSR Lines, moog and modular student t...view item »

The Internet
Hive Mind

This is the fourth Internet record. The forth. Wild. Count, between that, a brilliant solo record from member Syd (tha Kid), and you’ve got a pretty wild ride, a band that seemingly know eachother’s whims inside out and are capable of creating intuitive, on-the-fly R&B that need not emphasise itself, it’s already emphasised...view item »

Khotin
New Tab

I currently have five tabs up and they’re all related to Khotin’s record, so shame on me. As a hoarder of background digital info I can tell that they’re using this record to reduce my intake and sooth my online stress, crafting a record of lo-fi bliss that hides things like train commutes and work deadlines behind an environme...view item »

Zu93
Mirror Emperor

Neo-folk’s got portmanteaus now. Check it out: Zu93, a word-melding that joins bands Current 93 and Zu in an irreversible unison. A collaboration for only the darkest recesses of the mind, ‘Mirror Emperor’ is an expansive and distinct set, keen to point out it is “Not Zu & David Tibet (Current 93)”, but a new pr...view item »

Todd Baker
Monument Valley II

Here’s the thing those cowards who write Black Mirror didn’t tell you about phones: you can play Monument Valley on them. The cult classic that got lots of people trying to figure out what the word isometric meant, this minimalist opus offered gorgeous little puzzle words for the player to involve themselves in, treating them to the ...view item »

Negative Scanner
Nose Picker

Clint told me that Negative Scanner were getting curiously good reviews, with a glint in his eye that I inferred to mean “we need to whiff this out and tell everyone it’s actually bad, like all music”. Unfortunately that glint lived and died in that moment, as ‘Nose Picker’ is the indubitably fun record people have ...view item »

Phantastic Ferniture
Phantastic Ferniture

Here’s the latest side-project from songwriting virtuoso Julia Jacklin. A garage band that doubles up as a pun outlet, the ludicrously named Phantastic Ferniture allow her more rockist inclinations to shine, offering songs breezier than we usually get ‘em. Joined by a band comprising Elizabeth Hughes, Ryan K Brennan and Tom Stephens,...view item »

Warp Transmission
Process Ultra

This record is part of a scene I call The New Wah Wah Wah Roawwww Naaow. I just invented it and it focuses on very bait psychedelic solos funnelled through a whole bunch of distortion. It is effectively a light homage to bands that did it heavier and more blown out, a la the Heads -- but Warp Transmission might be more fun. With a good bit of se...view item »

Innumerable Forms
Punishment In Flesh

It’s throwback, thank you very much. Innumerable Forms made this record with a very particular era of death metal in mind, eschewing new genre fusions and modern recording techniques for the raw, unabated sound of the ‘90s, where everything hurt and nothing was ok. It’s a piece of filth, basically, the growls untethered and the...view item »

Tohru Aizawa Quartet
Tachibana

How the hell did this stay hush for so long? The privately pressed Tachibana has barely existed until this moment, but a track was unearthed on ‘Deep Modern Jazz from Japan’, a compilation of the country’s best efforts in the genre from the late 60s into early 80s -- a key era for forging a singular jazz identity in a country l...view item »

Cult Party
And Then There Was This Sound

I hate to be that guy who uses the words ‘headphones record’, but is this ever one; we just listened to it in the office and it was fine, but confine it to an airless vacuum around your ears and the damn thing gains and gains. Stuffier, it gets sadder, and lonelier, it gets more engaging. In your cans, it’s a mini-masterpiece....view item »

Lumerians
Call Of The Void

A psychedelic smorgasbord! That’s what our description writer Fred called it and I’m way into plagiarising so I’m repeating him. Considering they’re a psych crew releasing on Fuzz Club, you’d expect them to be a serious bunch contemplating the very stars that shape our universe, using music to turn those shiny speck...view item »

Tomorrow Syndicate
Future Tense

Polytechnic Youth serve up the psych pop because if they didn’t, who would, right? Whom will take the call of heroism? On their latest micro-smash, they introduce Glasgow’s Tomorrow Syndicate, a band lost in time, space, and indeed, Europe: the hallmarks of this record are old school German rock bands with dinky keyboards and uncompr...view item »

Israel Nash
Lifted

Hey pal, have you ever daydreamed the following monologue: “Gee, I really like Neil Young, and I also very much enjoy those Bon Iver records… I wish there was some way I could experience an approximation of both of their voices at the same time”. If so, I have a record for you, and it’s by Israel Nash, and it’s thi...view item »

Deaf Wish
Lithium Zion

Deaf Wish are churny types quite separate from that hardcore label Converge’s Jacob Bannon runs. A misnomer, but try to ignore it: rather than make blistering skramz Deaf Wish create a discordant, often nauseating kinda noise rock that trades in the angularity of Metz and listless spoken snarl. On ‘Lithium Zone’ they do quite a...view item »

Talons
We All Know

It’s big music season! The folks in Talons love to hammer it home, attempting to refashion the derelict cliches of post-rock as a newly made force of nature. Just listen to how this thing starts: screeching and chugging, their first track flails at the listener, eventually finding a sweet spot between distorted metal gravel and that crysta...view item »