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Weekly Update Xeno & Oaklander, Stagnant Pools, Mamman Sani, Nautic, Straight Arrows, and more...

As the week grinds to a predictable halt, we are here to provide some information on the brightest and best of the week's releases - plus weather reports and the odd brilliant, inspired joke (if you are lucky).

By the time you get this you'll probably already be out, watching the football or out in the sun frolicking. Therefore we can say what we like and it won’t make a hapeth of difference.

But just in case you are bored and want to check out the best of the under-the-radar releases from the past few weeks check out our 50 Things To Check Out While The World Cup Is On promotion....or alternatively read below for some words on this week's fabulous offerings.

We’ll start off with RE-ISSUES for a change and Slint’s ‘Spiderland’ is now out on vinyl and CD and comes with a DVD of the ‘Breadcrumb Trail’ documentary plus a download code giving you 14 bonus tracks. We had a Norman Records Can-only day on Thursday, to celebrate the re-mastered edition of ‘Tago Mago’ which has come into stock and sounds as brilliant as ever. Other wonderful Can vinyl re-issues to follow and ‘Soundtracks’ is already here. There is a whole host of Cleaners From Venus re-issues out on vinyl, all of which are essential if you want a bit of XTC meets GBV English lo-fi pop in your life , there’s a re-press of Eels ‘Beautiful Freak’ in on wax, The Auteurs back catalogue has been re-issued on vinyl and there’s two great re-issues from Italo Disco star Savage.

Onto NEW stuff and we have two new releases on the ever-popular Cardinal Fuzz label. They brought them to us on thursday using their BARE HANDS. You can choose between The Oscillation with their psych-kraut clatter or the snappily titled You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons with their riffy stoner fuzz. Or get both. Why not?

Bonobo has a wonderfully nice 12” of new tracks to give your ears a cuddle; the Bruno Coulais ‘Coraline’ soundtrack is in on lovely vinyl; Donovan Blanc make lovely shimmering Real Estate-style laid back pop; the B side of Nautic’s ‘Navy Blue’ 12” is killer yacht pop; Jad Fair and Danielson team up for an album of typically see-saw oddball indie rock; Zig Zags get top marks for a great album of grade-A obnoxious garage fuzz-pop; there’s some fantastic Apples in Stereo meets Tame Impala psych-pop on Olivia Tremor Control folks Circulatory System's brand new album; shimmering walls of ethereally layered guitar noise from Stagnant Pools; Andrew Bird covers the Handsome Family nicely on his new album; and Straight Arrows play hook-laden 60s-style garage-pop fuzz.

Phew. Deep breath.

Fruits de Mer are really spoiling us this week with two LPs - Tor Peders prog/surf guitar workouts and Craig Padilla’s slow-drifting space-synth voyages; Royal Trux people are treating us too, Jennifer Herrema’s Black Bananas unleash an album of brash sleaze-rock whilst Neil Hegarty & The Howling Hex give us a 10” of lo-fi primitive rock. Brooklyn’s Slavve mix up dream pop and Sugar-ish post grunge noise; Finnish synth rock quartet Siinai are inspired by supermarkets; there's grungy power pop from Peace Creep and post-trip-hop chill-scapes and dark ambience from Mai Mai Mai; there's even dark and dingy tribalistic noise from the puntastic Sly and the Family Drone.

Got your dancing shoes on? Well you could try to dance to Driftmachines' twinkly late night dub techno or Niger's Mamman Sani (ancient Saharan folk ballads via analogue synth). Xeno and Oaklander dish up another album of icy, Euro-electro, or you could attempt a foxtrot to Luke Abbott’s absorbing, textural electronica. There’s a cool Floating Points 12” of late night techno and releases by Wen and Parris and Hrdvision still awaiting a listen.

TIDDLERS. Palm Springs celebrate their 10th anniversary with a lovely 7” of Go-Betweensy pop; acid folksters Tira Na Nog do an amazing version of Silver Apples “I Have Known Love’; Canadian jazz-sters Badbadnotgood team up with Ghostface Killer on great 10”; this week's maddest name Gui Gui Sui Sui (which means "sneaky" in Mandarin believe it or not) play raucous country-blues.

Despite Christmas happening seemingly yesterday, we are almost in the middle of the year so we will be unveiling our Mid Year Review next week including our top 50 Albums of the Year and Staff Top 5s. The nights will soon be drawing in. With that thought we will leave you. Enjoy the weekend!

Clint and Team Norm
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Zig Zags

Zig Zags

10/10 from Mike

So far Zig Zags have done everything right. Their debut 7" was a stellar blast of stoner garage swagger that got their name instantly bookmarked in my mental filing system, th...read on »

Can

Monster Movie

10/10 from Phil

I’ve been asked to write about a bunch of Can albums because apparently I’m the man in the know. So all of those years of unemployment I spent getting high listeni...read on »

Can

Tago Mago

10/10 from Brian

Why, I nearly bought the freakin' boxed set at Crimbo! Then I came to my senses. Surprised I have any senses left to return to after the last 15 years of my life. Do you want ...read on »

Can

Tago Mago (40th Anniversary Edition)

10/10 from Brian

Why, I nearly bought the freakin' boxed set at Crimbo! Then I came to my senses. Surprised I have any senses left to return to after the last 15 years of my life. Do you want ...read on »

Lone

Reality Testing

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Matt Cutler (a.k.a Lone) is back with his fifth full length LP. 2012’s ‘Galaxy Garden’ seriously blew me away with it’s technicolour production and lus...read on »

Nope

Walker

9/10 from Brian

One of the most thrilling and intense bands residing in our fair, bustling city of Leeds is NOPE. I can claim to have watched these lads progressing from their early ragged lo...read on »

Tor Peders

Brev Fran Ederstorp

9/10 from Mike

Fruits De Mer are really treating us this week, with two excellent releases from two of their sub-labels - I just wrote about Craig Padilla's kosmische 2LP that continues thei...read on »

Can

Soundtracks

9/10 from Phil

It’s just another excuse to listen to my Can albums again. Like I needed one..... ‘Soundtracks’ was released in 1970 and it’s a bunch of err... soundtr...read on »

The Mars Volta

Amputechture

9/10 from Mike

I'm starting my day with a little trip down memory lane courtesy of The Mars Volta, who've had some of their albums posthumously reissued by Music On Vinyl (and don't seem too...read on »

Stagnant Pools

Geist

9/10 from Mike

Here's the second offering from noise-poppers Stagnant Pools, whose coolly searing tones find a perfect match in engineer Matt Talbot, whose own band Hum are never too far awa...read on »

Black Bananas

Electric Brick Wall

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Oh cool, Jennifer Herrema's Black Bananas are back this week. Their 'Rad Times Express IV' debut got plenty of spins from me so I'm happy to announce that they've not really f...read on »

You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons

Contact High

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Psych rock specialists Cardinal Fuzz have this week finally pressed You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons' 2009 stoner fuzz opus 'Contact High' onto vinyl in this ...read on »

Luke Abbott

Wysing Forest

9/10 from Brian

Border Community is a proper survivor of a label. To survive you need to adapt. Epic tech-house club bangers are all very well and good but you gotta keep things fresh and cri...read on »

Xeno & Oaklander

Par Avion

9/10 from Brian

One of my favourite electro-pop acts of the past few years have been this New Yorker M/F duo comprising French/Norwegian derived beauty Liz Wendelbo and her beau Sean McBride....read on »

Jacaszek & Kwartludium

Catalogue des Arbres

9/10 from Brian

I have some great stuff on this week. Last week was a little underwhelming but a new Touch release is always gonna to have this old pooch wagging his eager tail. I won't harp...read on »

Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex

Fool's Watch / Lord Gloves

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I've already reviewed one album by a Royal Truck this morning, the newie from Jennifer Herrema's Black Bananas, and now I have the other Truck, Hagerty, with his Howling Hex. ...read on »

Circulatory System

Mosaics Within Mosaics

9/10 from ReviewBot300

New album here from Circulatory System, who are led by Olivia Tremor Control's W. Cullen Hart. It's a beautifully realised collection of delicate psychedelic pop numbers with ...read on »

Mike Cooper & Steve Gunn

Frkwys Vol. 11 : Cantos De Lisboa

9/10 from ReviewBot300

RVNG's FRKWYS series is back to team someone youngish I like with someone oldish I like again. This time the youngish Steve Gunn rubs shoulders with the oldish (but still youn...read on »

Nightmares On Wax

N.O.W Is The Time

8/10 from Ian

Here’s Leeds own George Evelyn with a long overdue best-of compilation from the 20 plus years strong Nightmares On Wax history. This is sure to bring back memories of t...read on »

M.E.S.H.

Scythians EP

8/10 from Ant

Here we have a white wax 5 track EP from Berlin’s M.E.S.H. kicking off with the abstracted breaks, glacial atmospherics, strings, manic scratching and submerged ghostly ...read on »

Greg Gives Peter Space

Greg Gives Peter Space

8/10 from Ian

Erased Tapes releases this collaboration between two already well known composers Greg Haines and Peter Broderick. At first I put this on the wrong speed and I wonder what the...read on »

Black Pus / Oozing Wound

Split

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Thrill Jockey are keeping it wild and reckless with split between kindred spirits; Lightning Bolt drummer and Picturebox superstar Brian Chippendale and noise punk upstarts Oo...read on »

Mike Weis

Don't Know, Just Walk

8/10 from Ian

Mike Weis is better known for his work with Chicago three-piece Zelienople and Mind Over Mirrors, essentially a percussionist but here showcases his talent as an all round com...read on »

Mai Mai Mai

Δέλτα

8/10 from Mike

Rome's Mai Mai Mai impressed me last year with his 'Theta' LP, and he's back this week with a newie, 'Delta', which Phil informs me has already been receiving glowing praise f...read on »

Craig Padilla

Sonar

8/10 from Mike

"Planetariums were meant for music like this," gushes the press release for Craig Padilla's 'Sonar' - a full double LP exploration of classic kosmische vibes which is out on F...read on »

WANDA GROUP

A Slab About Being Held Captive

8/10 from Mike

The shadowy Louis Johnstone is back with a new LP under his Wanda Group alter-ego. This is soft but dark ambient sound collage business from the Nurse With Wound school of pos...read on »

Straight Arrows

Rising

8/10 from Mike

When Phil handed me this LP saying it'd be "noisy" I was picturing some scratchy late '80s Chicago sounding scuzz-rock, but actually Straight Arrows are dealing in '60s style ...read on »

Palm Springs

Seal My Fate / The Ebb Tide

8/10 from Clinton

Oh cheers. Another thing to make me feel old. Its 10 years since Palm Springs first ever release.... and there I was having them down as a new band. This is a lovely way to ce...read on »

Tir na nOg

I Have Known Love

8/10 from Clinton

I was listening to this yesterday whilst ‘working’ from home and lo and behold this morning it was the first song that drifted into my brain when I scraped myself ...read on »

Cleaners From Venus

Vol. 3

8/10 from Clinton

Ok, loads of Cleaners From Venus stuff in this week. We won’t have time to write about all of it save to say, the band are rather like Guided By Voices in that once you ...read on »

Cleaners From Venus

Living With Victoria Grey

8/10 from Clinton

Ok, loads of Cleaners From Venus stuff in this week. We won’t have time to write about all of it save to say, the band are rather like Guided By Voices in that...read on »

Cleaners From Venus

Number Thirteen

8/10 from Clinton

The next installment of the Cleaners re-issue project is 'Number 13'. Like all of these albums there are tracks you'll want to skip but also contain songwriting so fine you si...read on »

Cleaners From Venus

My Back Wages

8/10 from Clinton

This is probably the finest of the recent Cleaners reissues. Following on from 'Number 13',  this album (as with all of these originally released on cassette) shows a mor...read on »

Peace Creep

Peace Creep

8/10 from Mike

Here's an EP of early-'90s style guitar rock from Christian Beaulieu of Triclops!, who also plays in Anywhere with Minuteman M-Watt and Mars the Drive-Through's C-Bix. This is...read on »

Siinai

Supermarket

8/10 from Mike

Finnish synth-rock quartet Siinai have found an unlikely source of inspiration in the supermarket aisles on their latest album, 'Supermarket'. This is, broadly speaking, a con...read on »

SLAVVE

Slavve

8/10 from Mike

Here's the debut mini-album of Slavve, from Brooklyn via Florida, who feature members of Surfer Blood and Weird Wives among their number. It's nice big-sounding indie-grunge s...read on »

BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah

Six Degrees (feat. Danny Brown)

8/10 from Clinton

I fancy listening to some street hop . This is actually a collab between Canadian Jazzers BADBADNOTGOOD and the Wu Tang chap. The music is eerie reverbed jazzy loops, minimili...read on »

Bonobo

Ten Tigers

8/10 from Clinton

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m in a severe need of a soothe this afternoon. Having spilt yoghurt all down my front at lunchtime I’ve been in a rather...read on »

Mamman Sani

Taaritt


8/10 from Mike

The reliable Sahel Sounds have unearthed another bizarre African gem this week in this never-before-released collection of cosmic synth twiddling from Niger's Mamman Sani, in ...read on »

Frantix

My Dad’s a Fuckin’ Alcoholic

8/10 from Mike

This week Alternative Tentacles compile everything Frantix ever recorded onto a single easy to digest LP. Not too hard, you'd think, since these proto-grungers only got a coup...read on »

Rita Abatzi

I'm Burning, I'm Burning: Urban Greek Songs, 1933​-​37

8/10 from Mike

The latest record you didn't know you needed to be unearthed by the mighty Mississippi is this collection of Greek urban songs from Rita Abatzi. Although they were recorded in...read on »

Andrew Bird

Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of...

8/10 from Mike

On this album, Andrew Bird plays the songs of the Handsome Family, expanding them to a five-piece ensemble with great taste and restraint. It's pretty much as you'd expect it ...read on »

Sly & The Family Drone

Unnecessary Woe

8/10 from Brian

I've got two vinyl records this week to stab plastic keys tunelessly, arhythmically and angrily along to. This is the first one. Its "punny name time" with these portentous pe...read on »

Driftmachine

Nocturnes

8/10 from Jim

Driftmachine are a Berlin-based electronic duo comprised of Andreas Gerth (Tied & Tickled Trio) and Florian Zimmer (Saroos). This, their debut album, offers up seven weigh...read on »

Thought Broadcast

Votive Zero

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The mysterious Thought Broadcast have a new one out this week on Editions Mego. This lot make a chilly brand of minimal electronics based on repetition and drones and filthy, ...read on »

The Oscillation

Cable Street Sessions

8/10 from ReviewBot300

As well as the epic You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons 2LP, Cardinal Fuzz have this more bite-sized offering from the ever-reliable The Oscillation. A four-song...read on »

Fhloston Paradigm

The Phoenix

8/10 from Brian

As with most modern electronic stables, Hyperdub has spread out its graceful wings from the embryonic murky groans of Kode9 and Spaceape's sparse, murderous dubstep to encompa...read on »

Gui Gui Sui Sui

Black Books

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's a fascinating EP from Beijing's Gui Gui Sui Sui, a mysterious punk blues singer playing dirty primitive lo-fi stomps with a gleeful violence. The four songs here have t...read on »

clipping.

CLPPNG

8/10 from Brian

Fucking weird one this. It got missed last week, possibly because it's a slightly abrasive, startling and forward thinking hip-hop album. On perusal at home rather than the of...read on »

Cambodian Space Project

Whiskey Cambodia

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's the latest album from Phnom Penh's Cambodian Space Project, Cambodia's finest psych-pop export. They've taken the cultural fusion to a new level this time round by trav...read on »

Nurse With Wound

Terms And Conditions Apply

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's an epic 2CD thing from Nurse With Wound that mops up a load of bits and pieces you might not have heard from the era 2008-2011, opening with the head scratching concret...read on »

Featured albums

Driftmachine
Palm Springs
Mai Mai Mai
Floating Points
Straight Arrows
Andrew Bird
Zig Zags
Eels
Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex
Bonobo
Donovan Blanc
Black Bananas
Xeno & Oaklander
Wen & Parris
Hrdvsion
The Oscillation
Jad Fair & Danielson
Circulatory System
SLAVVE
You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons
Bruno Coulais
Siinai
Gui Gui Sui Sui
Slint
Mamman Sani
Peace Creep
Stagnant Pools
Luke Abbott
Tir na nOg
Craig Padilla
Tor Peders
Nautic
Can
Can