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Staff reviews this month

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

Garrett
Private Life II

When Private Life appeared on Music From Memory there was a brief period of 'where has this come from?' However the secret didn't last long - Garrett was promptly revealed to be Dâm-Funk, which whilst dispelling the air of mystery largely served to create more excitement about the project. D&a...view item »


Northerner
End Of The Holiday

Martin Cummings (AKA Northerner) debuted in 2008 with ‘There’ll Be Other Holidays’ and returns with his third album for Home Assembly ‘End Of The Holiday’. Influenced by travels in Spain, the album delivers a Balearic soundscape full of beauty - reflective and even melancholy. Gentle guitar layered over soft beats a...view item »


Black Replica
Black Replica

Finally, this ultra-mysterious project from Heinrich Mueller aka Gerald Donald (Dopplereffekt, Drexciya, Arpanet, XOR Gate, Japanese Telecom, Der Zyklus etc.) is available for all to hear. The project first emerged over ten years ago on MySpace along with some super creepy videos on YouTube and a handful of live performances. In the decade that ...view item »


Bloody Head
Freedom​ / ​Mobility ​/ ​Speed

Immense album of pure raw power from this Nottingham band, reminding us of everything from Flipper, Black Flag, very early Melvins, The Birthday Party, The Jesus Lizard, Drunk In hell, Divorce etc. Their sound is truly feral, gruelling, damaged, alienated punk/noise rock. We scored copies from the band at a recent show - the drummer was wearing ...view item »
LP (£11.49) is now sold out, sorry.
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LP (£11.49) is now sold out, sorry.
Email me if it comes back into stock »


Elecktroids
Elektroworld

The collective prayers of fiends of all things Drexciyan have finally been answered, as Clone Classic Cuts reissue this 1995 album, originally released on Warp. Now finally available with an affordable price tag, it’s one that’s been high on many wants lists, and used copies have changed hands for silly money. I think it’s safe...view item »


Soft Issues
Soft Issues EP

Ok, so this cassette EP isn’t new, but we just scored some at a show and wanted to share it. It’s a brutal assault of jackhammering, skull-splitting beats, power electronics and disgusted vocal berating/ranting. Think Whitehouse/Consumer Electronics schooled explosive racket on demolishing opener ‘BDC’. ‘Radiator Pa...view item »


Vymethoxy Redspiders
Perspectives from the Silverspore Expanse

Under the handle of Vymethoxy Redspiders, Uroceras Gigas offers a brilliant counter to the frenzied, agitated sounds of her role in duo Guttersnipe. In many ways totally inverse, as the isolationist ambient synth sounds of ‘Perspectives from the Silverspore Expanse’ take us out of a whiteout and wandering through the ice caves of som...view item »


Bone Head
Soft Power

It was only a matter of time before the Oasis guitar player started making grime and dubstep inspired beats for warp sister label Arcola. Oh, hang on, this is another Bone Head - namely L.A. artist Joe Cocherell who is half of excellent post-punk/new wave/dark wave duo Dva Damas who released a few fine records on Downwards. He’s also had a...view item »


The Doubtful Guest
Voyage To Blacklantis

It's been like ten years since we last heard from Elizabeth Floyd as The Doubtful Guest. Erase any preconceptions about her music and previous work on Planet Mu as she's operating in an entirely different mode for this four-track EP on Warp sister label Arcola. Reading the EPs title and track names, you can imagine this could be a lost D...view item »


O/V/R
The World Remade

Karl O'Connor AKA Regis & James Ruskin are back at it as O/V/R with their first outing under the handle since 2016’s ‘Easy Prey’ 12” on Ruskin’s Blueprint label. ‘The World Remade’ is aimed straight at the ‘floor with pure menace and has something of classic Regis in its springing bassline. It&...view item »


Various (Caterina Barbieri, Space Afrika, Nkisi, Mannerfelt, Mumdance & Logos)
Shared Meanings

If you’ve at least half a rave damaged brain cell remaining in your scone, you must have clocked Mumdance’s ‘Shared Meanings’ mix. Here’s an opportunity to score some of the highlights on wax. We get five cuts, beginning with Mumdance & Logos 'Teachers' which is basically their version of Daft Punk’s track...view item »


Acronym w Korridor
Untitled EP

Berlin label VAAGNER are doing magnificent work in making difficult to obtain cassette releases more widely available and pressing them onto vinyl. The first couple of releases from the label were OAKE’s ‘Live In Marseille’ and Zen Zsigo’s (Cremation Lily) ‘Winter Orbit’ EP. For their third release, fans of th...view item »


NHK yx Koyxen / Kohei Matsunaga & Masayuki Imanishi
Self Split EP

Fresh from records for DFA, Kohei Matsunaga returns to Diagonal, somewhat confusingly splitting a record with two tracks by himself under his own name alongside Masayuki Imanishi (member of Japanese noise fiends Eartaker alongside Goth-Trad) and under his NHK yx Koyxen handle. The two whip up a frenzy of bleeps, zaps, slithery glitchy textures a...view item »


Peder Mannerfelt
Daily Routine

Ace new album from Peder Mannerfelt who has produced Fever Ray and is also half of duo Roll The Dice alongside Malcolm Pardon. But there’s no real need for name dropping when it comes to this fellows music - he’s proved time again with records on Numbers, Digitalis, Hinge Finger, Stockholm LTD, Avian and now mostly releasing on his o...view item »
LP (£13.99) is now sold out, sorry.
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Bloom Offering
Episodes

Killer album of bleak synth-wave from Seattle's Nicole Carr, who has released a whole bunch of cassettes as Bloom Offering, but this is the first of her recordings to make its way onto vinyl. Opening cut ‘Swallow Me Whole’ feels like a genuine paradox. The lyrics feel kinda vulnerable and submissive, yet she exudes pure attit...view item »
LP (£17.49) is now sold out, sorry.
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KTL
The Pyre: Versions Distilled To Stereo

It's been something like six years since we last got an album from KTL -- Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O)))) and Editions Mego bossman Peter Rehberg (Pita). Their sound has evolved from their early drone metal meets computer music work into something that sounds like it could have been inspired by the early electronic music Rehberg has been re...view item »
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Fossil Aerosol Mining Project
The Recounting Of Night Time

Fossil Aerosol Mining Project are an enigmatic entity to say the least - their sound equally as mysterious as its creators. In many ways, they are sonic archaeologists, but where the conventional role of the archaeologist is to reassemble elements of the past to confirm facts or achieve historical clarity, Fossil Aerosol Mining Project smudge, s...view item »


Drew McDowall
The Third Helix

Drew McDowall as I’m sure many of you well know, was at one point a member of Coil and a big part of some of their greatest achievements; particularly their incarnations as Time Machines, and Black Light District. He also did stuff with Psychic TV and is half of Compound Eye alongside Psychic Ills fellow Tres Warren -- seek out their Journ...view item »


Vessel
Queen of Golden Dogs

It’s been four years since we last got an album from Vessel. Sebastian Gainsborough could quite easily have worked in a similar mode to previous albums ‘Order Of Noise’ and ‘Punish, Honey’, and I’m pretty sure he’d still have made a great album. If you’re familiar with his work, then erase what you...view item »


NYZ
SHFTR FRQ

We’ve been relentlessly championing David Burraston’s singular electronic music on these pages for over ten years - since those very early CDrs on Cataclyst, cassettes on .meds, and more recently discs for Entr'acte, Ge-stell and tapes for Computer Club, Feral Tapes, The Tapeworm, Conditional, Gamma Mine, Fractal Meat Cuts and ongoin...view item »


Alone In The Woods
Alone In The Woods

You should see the colour of the vinyl on this one. What is described as 'forest burst' looks more like and explosion in the lime and cream bon bon factory. The music is a strange marriage of arpeggios and strings.  It's a very synthetic sounding thing with synths and drum machines playing out a kind of prog tronica. My favourite track 'Tor...view item »


Francis M. Gri
Decays

Another thing on Time Released Sound that is uniquely packaged with love and care and guaranteed not to fit snugly into your CD collection. Musically it almost seems like a parallel piece to the Yellow 6 album also from this week as it paints a bleak wintery picture perfect for this time of year. Like much of the Yellow6 albums the haunted atmos...view item »


Husbands
Karlstad EP

I've probably said it before but I like these Box Bedroom Rebels singles. You get 7 tracks on the 7", 3 bonus tracks on the digital and luxury packaging with added bits and bats. This latest one by Husbands is unabashed fun and thrashy indie pop which will appeal to fans of the mid 90s glory era of things. Their uplifting summery pop brings to m...view item »


yellow6
merry6mas2018

There can't be much left in the bowels of the Yellow6 archives following on from their enormous Reflect box set from earlier this year but I'm sure Jon Atwood would know how devastated we'd all be if he didn't deliver his annual Christmas CD. Just imagine our sad faces around the fire if this hadn't arrived in time for the big day. As us...view item »


Fall Therapy
You Look Different

Why have we ignored this then? Benn reviewed it earlier but with a name like Fall Therapy I was imagining it to be one of his metal type things. How wrong I was. Benn's comparison to the parent soothing music of Minecraft is apt but there's also nods to Boards of Canada, Jon Hopkins and Plaid in this series of squiggly electronic productions.&nb...view item »


Olan Mill
Sounds of a New Father

Apparently having a new child is dead important. Being childless at near 50 I'll never quite understand but people tell me that it's way better than when say My Bloody Valentine release a new album. I'll take their word for it but chatting to a few people who have done it, it means you get very tired. I can't imagine being any more tired than I ...view item »
CD (£12.49) is now sold out, sorry.
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The 1975
A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

There's a moment in a person's life where you just have to admit that you are past it. It's nothing to be ashamed of. There's little worse than the hoards of middle aged people about trying to pretend they are still relevant. I miss the point of most music that is played in these offices by the under 25s  - it all just sounds like a differe...view item »


The Sand Pebbles
Ghost Transmissions

Flowery psychedelia it says here which makes my ear prick up as I don't particularly go in for all the heavy drone stuff that seems to still be popular these days. Nice to hear a tune but I think the band have enough of a psych pulse that won't entirely alienate those who like a psych slog. A classic example is 'Speed and Intensity' a raucous bl...view item »


The Sight Below
Glider 10

You wouldn't believe it but I just had the idea of blending shoegaze and dub techno but it turns out the Sight Below AKA Rafael Anton Irisarri had the same idea ten years ago with their Glider album now re-issued on Ghostly. The opening track 'At First Touch' is perfect. A dreamy 4/4 thump with ethereal smoke like whispers above subtle, minimal ...view item »


AMOR
Sinking Into A Miracle

For those of us who love Richard Youngs voice but are sometimes alienated by his..um..challenging career swerves then his being part of this Glasgow based supergroup is quite the bonus. The quartet use double bass, piano, synth and drums (played by Franz Ferdinand's Paul Thompson) to produce a melancholic but uplifting form of discotheque that i...view item »


Stefano Leproto
Dance & Mood Music 1981 - 1983

Looks like Castles In Space are really starting to make a name for themselves releasing new and archival music of a retro-synth nature. There's some kind of huge backstory here about this being found in a car boot sale in Preston which would be impressive if it weren't for the fact that Stefano Leproto is the alter ego of Stephen James Buckley w...view item »


Jacco Gardner
Somnium

Hands up who enjoys the human voice in music? Not many. It seems that many times the criticism of why we don't like music is along the lines of 'I don't like his/her voice'. Well, swirling psychedelic guy Jacco Gardner makes it easier for you by taking his voice out of his new album altogether. Unlike some other instrumental albums of la...view item »


The Fernweh
The Fernweh

Lots of Twitter love for this lot over the last few weeks which makes us prick up our ears to find out what all the fuss is about and...yes  -my goodness this is good. Just take a listen to Next Time Around  - a superbly produced piece of whimsical pop which brings to mind all the hazy late 60s bands such as the Move, Pink Floyd and th...view item »
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Boygenius
Boygenius EP

Oh thank God it's just an EP. I'm trawling through a bunch of titles we've not reviewed in the last few weeks in the post Robin reviews lull. This is the sort of record Robin would have known exactly what to say about. It's a collaborative album between Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus who you may know from their solo work and vario...view item »


Ed Harcourt
Beyond The End

It was the word 'Ed' that panicked me a bit. Putting that word near the term 'singer-songwriter' generally has a bad effect on everything but you must not worry. Ed Harcourt is generally one of the good guys what with his songwriter for hire status and low key solo career and anyway 'Beyond the End' is as far away from what you might expect as i...view item »


Perfect Body / Zac White
Fields / Spent On You

A split LP from Wales here where austerity no doubt has ensured that the best way to get music out is club together. First up is Perfect Body  - aI don't know why they've named themselves after my esteemed torso but I'm thankful for the compliment. Aaaanyway it's great indie rock  - driving, infectious a bit shoegazy, a bit discordant&...view item »


Bauhaus
The Bela Session

It still rankles with me now. In 1981/82 I heard the best song I've ever heard. It was dark, scary and gothy and the DJ didn't say what it was and I still think about it. Part of me wonders whether it was a Bauhaus track though skipping through their history nothing has been found so far. Still, Bela Lugosi's Dead is a great track  - it's b...view item »


Kate Bush
The Dreaming

If Phil were alive (actually don't worry he is alive he's just not on this side of the room) he'd say don't waste your time writing about a Kate Bush album from 1981 that everyone already knows about. He'd also say though that the Dreaming and Hounds of Love are Kate's best work. Phil likes the latter best but I plump for the Dreaming every time...view item »


Gregor
Silver Drop

Every time I hear 'reggae vibes' I just hear David Brent but the chilled out grooves of opener This Heat actually work and I don't know why. Perhaps it's the unusual vocal stylings of this Aussie youngster or the guitar break that somewhat reminds me of Mac DeMarco but whatever it's a great and unique start to the LP.   Gregor ...view item »


Rivulets
In Our Circle

Oh God I'm frustrated. You see Rivulets (aka Nathan Edmundson) previous album You Are My Home was the moment his fragile wintery folk music finally fully hit me square in the jaw after a decade or so of his music hinting at greatness. With Songs Ohia gone and Low being all weird on our asses we could do with a mid-western album that would really...view item »


Ryley Walker
The Lillywhite Sessions

Back in 2005 the driver of the Dave Matthews tour bus emptied his septic tank over the Chicago River, drenching passengers on an architectural boat tour with 800 pounds of what was described as 'liquid human waste'.  Really, this is all the Dave Matthews Band should be remembered for but Ryley Walker has decided it's high time to gi...view item »


The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Merrie Land

Look, I don't hate Damon Albarn ok? I just find it sickening that he's so obviously talented and relentless. Surely at some points in his life he wants a break from things? I have to admit I adored the first the Good, the Bad and the Queen album. It was so wonderfully dreary and perfectly soundtracked the England I remember from 2007  - dul...view item »


Senyawa
Sujud

Metal is one of the most aggressively pigeonholed genres out there. There is a degree of specificity that makes getting into the genre feel like learning about one of the drier corners of the animal kingdom. So it’s always exciting to find releases that are definitely still metal, but don’t quite fit in that fraught family tree. Acti...view item »


Clouds
Heavy The Eclipse

Of all the qualities that might endear me to an album, ambition is one of the hardest to resist. Ordinarily I’m not that fussed about dance music albums, but Scotland’s Clouds have managed to ensnare me with Heavy the Eclipse. Over six sides of vinyl the pair attemp...view item »


Oneohtrix Point Never
Love In The Time Of Lexapro

Do you remember Eccojams? Daniel Lopatin remembers. I mean, he would, he made them. That highly sought after cassette full of distorted loops was released under the name Chuck Person back in 2010, long before he was signed to ...view item »


Free Love
Luxury Hits

In the age of the Digital Audio Workstation it should perhaps be refreshing to come across a band who bill themselves as being ONE HUNDRED PERCENT HARDWARE. But it’s not. In the past two years I’ve felt wholly overwhelmed by the number of artists who seem more concerned with their machines than their music. And because of this, that ...view item »
12" (£14.49) is now sold out, sorry.
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Shit & Shine
Bad Vibes

You’ve been at a party all night and ‘Sunrise Sam’s getting excited because yes, the sun’s coming up. You’re sat by the ‘Northwest Pool’ thinking back on hedonism, the debauchery, and all those other stand ins for fun. ‘Yeah I’m on Acid!’ you think to yourself, or at least I was on acid...view item »


Powell Tillmans
Spoken By The Other

Wolfgang Tillmans is primarily a photographer, and quite a good one at that. His greatest asset his ability in seeing the abstract in the everyday, the minimal in the maximal. Through his lens flotsam and jetsam draw you in as much as any work but his painterly peers. For ...view item »


Cearley & Dwinell
Fake Time

Today's second new Polytechnic Youth record is a slight departure for the label, in that its grooves are subsumed under yer 'Actual Techno' and -- whisper it, in case Eno is listening -- 'Ambient'. Nathan Cearley (Long Distance Poison...view item »


Adderall Canyonly
Museum of Fire

So, Polytechnic Youth then: what else can be said about the label and their “stubbornly DIY” ethos? Not much really. But I’ll give it my best, anyway (“What a trooper!”, you say). The latest LP in their admirably stubborn series of analogue-synth craftings comes in the...view item »


Endless Melancholy
Fragments of Scattered Whispers

Oh look -- new Endless Melancholy. Oleksiy Sakevych’s latest CD arrives via Dronarivm -- ‘Fragments of Scattered Whispers’ comes in beautiful, tasteful packaging with blurry artwork echoing the hazy ambience and rain-spattered window feels in the elegant m...view item »


Richard Neale
Growth + Decay

Following last year’s excellent ‘Eves’ release, it’s the return of Richard Neale unto the Norman bosom with another new EP on Rain Bear records. First I have to mention the beautifully made, custom die cut card packaging which once more underscores Neale’s middle name -- ‘He...view item »


Bjarni Gunnarsson
Lueur

Electroacoustic composition that “uses every inch of the speakers”. Well, our description writer didn’t lie and I’m not gonna lie either -- this is not going to be the most easy of listens for you, (for what remains of) this year. Using every conceivable space between my ears -- that’s a lot of space, so kudos to th...view item »


Axel Rigaud
Transformation

Aaah, ambient music… Today’s blissful slice of (mostly) ambient comes from that reliable source in Oakland, California: n5MD (long since no-longer MiniDiscs; CD and vinyl only -- a shame, but necessary of course). For his debut full-length ‘Transformation’, Paris-based musician Axel Rigaud...view item »


Styrofoam
We Can Never Go Home

Bit of a treat, this -- if you like pretty, very pretty, twinkling electronica that is (and might I be so presumptuous as to say you probably do) -- it’s a new Styrofoam album, for Athens-based Sound In Silence, a CD-r in a limited hand-numbered run in typically light a...view item »
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