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Weekly Update Ortolan, Black Narcissus, Malayeen, No Babies, Officer!, and more...

In a week where Phil broke out the shorts, looking like a sinister scout leader in the process, our skulls have been mashed with the sheer weight of music that has been brought through our hallowed doors by the men who bring the boxes.

Dear old Mike, locked in his West Leeds enclave, has been listening to hours of squeaks, rattles and scratches as he delves through the more esoteric of this week's releases...driving himself slowly mad in the process. But never fear! To increase the breadth of knowledge we have two new reviewers on board: Jim will assist with the more avant garde/out there/weird electronic field whilst Kate will mop up some of your alt country/scuzzy blues type releases. A big welcome on board to both.

Anyway enough yakkin’. What do you want to buy? Well first up there’s sound sorcerer Ben Frost and his new intoxicating head-mash of an album ‘Aurora’ which lots of you have bought on the special indies-only yellow vinyl version. Surprise of the week was an album by krauty London collective The Projects which knocked Clint’s socks clean off and is really worth a listen if you like Can, Quickspace, Broadcast, et al.

Not only do we have the latest instalment of Leyland Kirby’s ‘Intrigue and Stuff’ but we have taken delivery of the represses of the previous albums in the series should you have missed it first time round. Sharon Van Etten gets plaudits from every quarter it seems, her new album is a little more...um...sophisticated...than before but Mike liked it enough to give it a hi-scoring 9. If you're after something a little more out-there try the Datashock album of heat-hazed desert drone, or the top quality stoned psych of Lay Llamas. Those veterans of all things cosmic, Acid Mothers Temple, release a new album of lengthy jams whilst that other veteran of noise Thurston Moore teams up with Margarida Garcia for an album of exploratory experimentation. In more out-there but life-affirming shenanigans Brian adored the joyous new effort from Lebanese trio Malayeen. There’s some fantastic instrumental hip hop from Napolian on Software Record Co (any orders on this label gets a FREE CD sampler - double the incentive to buy), and there’s more classic instrumental hip-hop this time an issue of GZA/Genius unsurpassable ‘Liquid Swords’ in instrumental form.

More? Ok then. Ortolan’s lovely 50s and 60s inspired lush folk appears on Danielson leader Daniel Smith’s Sounds Familyre imprint and is a worthy listen; professional oddball Luke Haines releases a new album called ‘New York in the ‘70s’ which does exactly what it says on the tin; Fist City make a marvellous album of melodic Les Savy Fav-style punk. Whilst you may need to buy Wild Beasts’ pretty but inconsequential ‘A Simple Beautiful Truth’ 12” for the great Djrum remix (alongside efforts from Lone and East India Youth), you’ll definitely need the superb Actress remix of Kelis now out on a very limited 12” and you might want to add the Harold Budd remix 12” featuring Patten, Odd Nosdam and Personable mixes to your collection.

Plenty of good electronic/out there releases this week, highlights include Jodey Kendrick’s electro project Black Narcissus, VHS Head’s cut and paste electronic collages on Skam, the creepy bunker-techno spook out of Wendy Gondeln’s ‘Fracking’ 12” and Bok Bok’s innovative 80’s r&b cut up/dubstep concoction.

Re-issues. We have five Scott Walker albums (his debut, ‘Til the Band Comes In’ and the 1, 2, 3, 4 series), an interesting almost unclassifiable album from Officer! on Blackest Ever black aptly called ‘Dead Unique’, there’s another one of those ace Cherry Red budget CD re-issues this time from lunatic Beefheartian oddballs Stump, soundtrack fans may want to invest in Eduard Artemiev’s ‘The Mirror/Stalker’ now available on lovely gatefold vinyl. We have several re-issues from early ‘80s Austin punkers Big Boys and a nice LP re-issue from poppy garage rockers Cheater Slicks.

Small things? Yeah there’s lots. Vying for best single are Tape Waves with a gorgeous shimmering concoction of lady fronted Real Estate jangle and wild art/punk/noisters No Babies. The worst single is by Courtney Love...absolutely laugh-out-loud dreadful.

Two big pre-orders this week firstly the Original Score to Godzilla on Death Waltz on 180g Green vinyl secondly a limited blood red coloured vinyl 2LP + poster of the new Death and Vanilla album ‘Vampyr’.

That's it folks. Enjoy your long weekends if you are in the UK. It's going to rain so at least everything is back to normal again.


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Napolian

Incursio

10/10 from Li'l Biz

LA based youth genius Napolian (a.k.a Ian Evans) follows his killer debut EP ‘Rejoice’ (still in stock slow lads) with an epic full length LP for Daniel Lopatin&rs...read on »

The Clientele

Suburban Light

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Merge reissue The Clientele’s debut LP on 180g LP complete with a bonus discs worth of covers, b-sides and demos. I’m new to the album but it’s a Clinton fav...read on »

Traxman

Da Mind Of Traxman Vol. 2

9/10 from Li'l Biz

The (I’m mean ‘Da’) mind of Traxman is littered with little audio snippets and broken samples all filed away in an ad hoc fashion within the confines of the ...read on »

Kate Tempest

Everybody Down

9/10 from Brian

“English rapper - Brian to review” said the post-it. I could not correlate the picture of the sad Dickensian person on the sleeve with those ominous words. I thoug...read on »

Function / Inland

Odeon / Rhyl EP

9/10 from Brian

I'm not familiar with Infrastructure, a label that has been dormant for 8 years. I know of Function and its sole pilot David Sumner. I wrote a silly, irreverent review of a re...read on »

The Soundcarriers

Entropicalia

9/10 from Phil

I miss Broadcast. I miss Broadcast a lot! Fortunately The Soundcarriers are (sound) carrying their torch and keeping that sound alive. It's only been on for 10 minutes before ...read on »

Chad VanGaalen

Shrink Dust

9/10 from Li'l Biz

I’ve got a lot of love for Chad Vangaalen. His last album ‘Diaper Island’ was spinning on my turntable for the longer than most. The video for 'Peace On The ...read on »

Brian Reitzell

Auto Music

9/10 from Nathon

Just before I knobbed off home early yesterday I switched my brain off from 'oblivious code monkey' mode for long enough to catch the closing song ('Auto Music 2') from t...read on »

Torn Hawk

Quadrifolio

9/10 from Brian

This is an enigmatic double 7" set from a man known to his Ma as Luke Wyatt. He produced an album under his own name last year that went by the clever title of 'Teen Hawk' whi...read on »

Malayeen

Malayeen

9/10 from Brian

Nice to have a spot of Lebanese this morning. No, not coffee or drugs. This is some real music, don't push me over the edge y' hear. What I know about traditional music from t...read on »

Leyland Kirby

Intrigue & Stuff Vol. 4

9/10 from Brian

He turned 40 around last week I think. I saw a picture of him cutting his cake on the interweb which had been decorated to resemble a dartboard. Almost as cool as the Warp rec...read on »

Immigrant

Creatureland

9/10 from ReviewBot300

This week we're very privileged to be the exclusive stockists of this rather beautiful rarity, the low price of which really doesn't do justice to the time and effort which mu...read on »

Heroin In Tahiti

Peplum

9/10 from ReviewBot300

The split LP between Ensemble Economique and Rome's Heroin in Tahini was one of my surprise hits of last year, earning a fair few rotations at Chez ReviewBot, so it's nice to ...read on »

Fist City

It's 1983 Grow Up!

9/10 from Mike

A punk band on Transgressive! I didn't see this one coming. Fist City deal in a snotty and melodic '70s-punk-influenced indie rock style which is one part Buzzcocks and one pa...read on »

A Made Up Sound

Night Owl

9/10 from Brian

I’m mostly familiar with Dave Huismans’ work through his 2562 moniker from a few years ago. My mate Talbot played me a track called ‘Techno Dread’ whic...read on »

Tape Waves

Tape Waves

9/10 from Clinton

I liked this before I put the needle on the record. I like tapes, I like waves and I like sun bleached shots of roofs of suburban houses. All good. Things got even better when...read on »

The Projects

Elektrichka's Favourite Party Record

9/10 from Clinton

I’m absolutely sure I saw The Projects live back in the midsts of time, thinking they were superb, then losing all track of their progress. This, their fourth album, is ...read on »

Lay Llamas

Ostro

9/10 from Mike

We've got an album of top quality stoned kraut-psych business here from Rome-based duo Lay Llamas on the mighty Rocket Recordings this week. As so very often happens nowadays,...read on »

Gavin Clark

Beautiful Skeletons

9/10 from Ian

Some may know Gavin Clark as collaborator and friend of Shane Meadows, his music has featured in most of Meadows’ films even as far back as his first big film Twenty Fou...read on »

Datashock

Keine Oase In Sicht

9/10 from Mike

Fresh from a stint at the Death Metal School of Logo Legibility, space-headed German DIY psych collective Datashock are back this week with a follow-up to 2010's superb 'Pyram...read on »

Derek Piotr / Mikah Meyer

Weather Patterns

9/10 from Brian

It's worth glancing at the passionate little press release for this set to glean just what you are getting for your money. The box alone is a cracking, sturdy piece of graphic...read on »

Ben Frost

A U R O R A

9/10 from Brian

No wolves on this. 'By The Throat' scared the bejesus out of myself and many others but I totally, utterly loved it. This long awaited follow-up proper (after his relatively s...read on »

Sharon Van Etten

Are We There

9/10 from Mike

Sharon Van Etten's last album 'Tramp' turned a lot of heads, and the live shows shortly thereafter confirmed that this lady is the real deal, so the expectations are high for ...read on »

Genius / GZA

Liquid Swords Instrumentals

9/10 from Li'l Biz

I won’t bang on about this for long as we’re all familiar with GZAs masterpiece ‘Liquid Swords’. Infact, it’s been reissued in a number of guises...read on »

Cheater Slicks

Destination Lonely

9/10 from Mike

Influential garage rockers Cheater Slicks have been going for years now, with over a dozen albums behind them, and I'm very happy to see this gem from 1991 back in print. &nb...read on »

Tame Impala

Live Versions

8/10 from Clinton

As wonderful as they are, there is an argument as to whether a Tame Impala live album is strictly necessary, especially one which has already come out twice, the only differen...read on »

Jerry Goldsmith

The Omen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

8/10 from Ant

I used to play this to my first unborn child while still in the womb to see if he/ she would become evil. It didn't work....read on »

Ex-Cult

Midnight Passenger

8/10 from Mike

Grimy psych-garage post-punks Ex-Cult are back this week with the follow up to 2012's self-titled, Ty Segall-produced debut. The garage rock wunderkind isn't twiddling the kno...read on »

Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses

Maelstrom

8/10 from Mike

Imagine if Jeff Buckley had lived, and got into prog. That's the timeline I'm finding myself in today as I investigate the new album from Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses, wh...read on »

Dolly Dolly

Antimacassar

8/10 from Mike

Berkshire based artist and poet David Yates, here using the alias Dolly Dolly, has a head-scratching album of cut and splice oddness for us on Exotic Pylon this week. His spok...read on »

Tobacco

Ultima II Massage

8/10 from Mike

Oddball Pennsylvania producer Tobacco is back with his third album this week. Much like the substance he's named after, 'Ultima II Massage' isn't for everybody. For every pers...read on »

Inga Copeland

Because I’m Worth It

8/10 from Clinton

Just arrived so its a mini review til we can get one of our lads/lasses on it. Starts out with some dark, brooding atmospherics and the highest of high pitches whistles. The s...read on »

Old Smokey

Wester Easter

8/10 from Mike

Here's a really unusual and very American-sounding record from Old Smokey, a kind of modern day country rock ensemble with quite an unique style. The sticker on the front info...read on »

Quirke

Acid Beth

8/10 from Mike

Hey, you know what would be a good idea? Printing the speeds of records somewhere on the artwork so that hapless reviewers like me might not have to go into their 32nd review ...read on »

Sun Ra & His Band From Outer Space

Space Aura

8/10 from Mike

Closing up my review marathon for this week is this delightful 10" from late, great jazz magician Sun Ra. It's totally enjoyable stuff, classic Ra if you will. These seem to b...read on »

Blueprint Blue

Undertoad

8/10 from Mike

Got a lovely EP of Neil Young-ish Americana-rock business this week from those fabulous people at Italian Beach Babes. There are four song on here, all fairly long and slow, w...read on »

Satan's Satyrs

Die Screaming

8/10 from Mike

In the world of Satan's Satyrs, the riff is king. They don't even give us a whiff of vocals until we've banged our heads through a five-minute barrage of non-stop pummelling r...read on »

Climbing Boys

Conjoining Rite

8/10 from Clinton

Climbing Boys. Thats an interesting name. Boys climbing what? I'm quite enjoying the noise they make. Its all very swirly early 80's with echoes of Echo and The Bunnymen, Psyc...read on »

The Thanes

Dishin’ The Dirt / I Don’t Want You

8/10 from Clinton

On sunday I lost my spectacles in Valley Gardens, Harrogate. I've been in a slump for days but as we discovered in the earlier Trwbador review,  I am a diagnosed melancho...read on »

Ma Turner

ZOZ

8/10 from Mike

For my money Louisville's Sophomore Lounge surprise and delight more consistently with their weirdo indie rock discoveries than any comparable DIY label active today. If you d...read on »

Bestial Mouths

Remixes

8/10 from Mike

Bestial Mouths' self-titled album from last year was a gritty and confrontational bit of electronic post-punk, and it's up for the remix treatment on this LP here, with the li...read on »

Lifers

Living With Damp

8/10 from Clinton

On the sleeve there are three arses but no its not the new Manic Street Preachers album, its a great little 7" from a Male Bonding dude, helped out by a Dum Dum Girl on one tr...read on »

Taiga Remains

Works For Cassette

8/10 from Jim

Apart from running the Students of Decay label, Alex Cobb has been releasing recordings of mysterious, guitar based minimalism under the Taiga Remains alias for nearly a decad...read on »

Ryan Russell

Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham

8/10 from Clinton

Can't review it as such as its a book of photos .....and its sealed but it looks like a beautiful thick package, 176 pages  and it comes with a bonus 7" featuring Manches...read on »

Harold Budd

Remixes

8/10 from Clinton

Nice 12" of remixes of Harold Budd stuff. Patten is always good for an inventive mix and here he is warming things up with some flowing trails of electronica and dubstep beats...read on »

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

Astrorgasm From The Inner Space

8/10 from Mike

Everyone's favourite Japanese cosmic rock oddballs Acid Mothers Temple are back again this week with a new one on Important. 'Astrorgasm from the Inner Space' it's called. The...read on »

Hedvig Mollestad Trio

Enfant Terrible

8/10 from Mike

There's a post-it on this record that simply has my name on it, since I'm the office's known Rune Grammofon expert. This is of course album number three from those crunchy min...read on »

VHS Head

Persistence Of Vision

8/10 from Mike

Sampletronic madhead VHS Head is back with a new album on Skam this week. If you don't know this guy's schtick by now, he makes amazing electronic cut-and-paste collages out o...read on »

Kelis

Rumble (Actress Sixinium Bootleg Mix)

8/10 from Clinton

The worlds of food and avant garde music collide with this remix of Kelis by electronic mad man Actress. This is the sort of thing that excites me. A relatively mainstream art...read on »

Various

Of Factory New York

8/10 from Ian

Here we have a great collection of Factory classics, the profits of which are going to a good cause to help Michael Shamberg, Michael helped run the New York Factory office in...read on »

Muuy Biien

D.Y.I. (Do Yourself In)

8/10 from Ian

Second album from Athens, Georgia street punks Muuy Biien, with the Raymond Pettibon-esque cover artwork you’d be pretty spot on in thinking that these young lads are do...read on »

Edward Artemiev

The Mirror / Stalker

8/10 from Clinton

Right,  more of that soundtrack gear. Artemiev's eerie soundtracks to Tarkovsky's 1976 and 1979 films 'The Mirror' and 'The Stalker' are presented here respectively on a ...read on »

Officer!

Dead Unique

8/10 from Mike

Blackest Ever Black have this week unearthed this gem of oddball indie pop which has languished unreleased for a staggering 19 years, having been shelved at the time for reaso...read on »

Wendy Gondeln

Fracking

8/10 from Mike

Everyone's worried about fracking, the technique of fracturing subterranean rocks with high-pressure hydraulic blasts of toxic, non-biodegradable chemicals in order to loosen ...read on »

Bruno Nicolai

The Case Of The Bloody Iris

8/10 from Clinton

Everyone knows that the best 'incidental' music was performed by Ronnie Hazlehust; the theme tune from 'Sorry' is a career highlight sharing its DNA with both Boards of Canada...read on »

The Revellions

Give It Time

8/10 from Mike

The Revellions are back this week with their first album in five years on Dirty Water! These Irish garage-popsters are peddling a very authentically '60s sound full of Hammond...read on »

Brötzmann / Miller / Moholo

Opened, But Hardly Touched

8/10 from Mike

Here's an album recorded in 1980 and originally released in '81 from the groundbreaking free jazz mavericks Peter Brotzmann, Harry Miller and Louis Moholo. It's a raucous and ...read on »

Cleared

Drown

8/10 from Mike

Tone-worshipping Chicago duo Cleared are back this week with another LP of their distorto-drone compositions, mixing electronics, guitars, and lots of sounds whose original so...read on »

Damien Dubrovnik

Patterns of Penetration

8/10 from Ant

A friend and I recently witnessed this Copenhagen based duo perform in an art space in Bradford where over a backdrop of crude power electronics, one of the pair was dunking h...read on »

Bok Bok

Your Charizmatic Self

8/10 from Clinton

Careful not to confuse this with the Bok Bok that featured The Fall drummer Karl Burns which we were selling on Record Store Day. This is a different proposition altogether. A...read on »

Black Narcissus

Varla

8/10 from Mike

"Jodey Kendrick, Drexciya type stuff" says the post-it on the front of this new Black Narcissus double LP, on which all of the tracks are named after Faster Pussycat Kill Kill...read on »

Mordecai

Neil's Generator

8/10 from Mike

Here's an LP of nicely clattery slacker indie business from Montana's Mordecai, and apparently this album was recorded in a YMCA bathroom complete with "unique aroma". It's ve...read on »

Joe Mansfield & 7L & Esoteric

The Drumulator

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Joe Mansfield’s ‘Beat Box: A Drum Machine Obsession’ coffee table book is a tasteful little affair that once perused will give you ultimate drum machine jeal...read on »

No Babies

Yo No Soy Como Tu

8/10 from Li'l Biz

No babies are a wild bunch. I bumped into them a few years back promoting their Upset The Rhythm self-titled debut. The show lasted about 13 mins tops and they totally killed ...read on »

Various

The Brown Bunny

8/10 from Li'l Biz

I’ve not seen ‘The Brown Bunny’ and it’s unlikely I ever will as I can’t deal with Vincent Gallo. I know he means well and obviously watching The...read on »

Big Boys

Lullabies Help The Brain Grow

8/10 from Mike

Early '80s Austin punk legends Big Boys had their 'Where's My Towel/Industry Standard' debut reissued last year on Modern Classics, and this week their other two albums have t...read on »

Experimental Audio Research

All Things Being Equal

8/10 from Mike

I'm finally putting this interminable week to sleep with this gorgeous one-sided 12" of cosmic synth bliss from Experimental Audio Research, aka Pete "Sonic Boom" Kember. &nb...read on »

Featured albums

Death and Vanilla
Akira Ifukube
Edward Artemiev
Leyland Kirby
Tape Waves
Black Narcissus
Fist City
Bok Bok
Harold Budd
Datashock
Stump
Napolian
Wild Beasts
Courtney Love
Lay Llamas
Genius / GZA
Officer!
Luke Haines
The Projects
Malayeen
VHS Head
Big Boys
Wendy Gondeln
No Babies
Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Ortolan
Cheater Slicks
Ben Frost
Sharon Van Etten
Leyland Kirby