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Weekly Update FKA Twigs, Peter Jefferies, Aphex Twin, Willits + Sakamoto, Purling Hiss, and more...

I know we always start with "it's been a big week here at Norman Towers...blah blah" but really, seriously, we’re telling the truth this time.

First up: APHEX TWIN's new album ‘Syro’ has landed. Read Brian’s lengthily considered thoughts here.

Secondly: GOAT - Commune’. In any other (sane) week, the biggest thing to hit our shelves is now here and is flying out. Remember, it comes with bonus 7” featuring two non-album tracks on swirling psychedelic vinyl.

Yet there are EVEN MORE releases out this week, here’s a brief resume:

  • Funny-voiced Leeds experimental rockers Alt-J have unleashed their oddball second album.
  • Stereolab front lady Laetitia Sadier has an album of orchestrated Marxist pop out.
  • Leeds’ Broken Arm have an album of snotty An-Rep/SST influenced noise-punk available to purchase.
  • Ex-Heads longhair Paul Allen has made an album of heavy, heavy psych wibbliness as Anthroprophh.
  • Sad lad Perfume Genius is a bit happier these days and has made a sweet album of bruised, languid pop.
  • Love Inks try to single-handedly re-create Young Marble Giants ‘Colossal Youth’.
  • We Need Secrets are influenced by My Bloody Valentine, My Bloody Valentine and My Bloody Valentine in that order.
  • Perky lads The Drums surf ‘n’ twang takes on darker hues on potentially fanbase-upsetting new album.
  • Molly Nilsson makes lo-fi pop gems and blissfully nostalgic jams on ‘Solo Paraiso’.
  • Purling Hiss hurl some catchy '90s inspired alt-rock in our fat faces.
  • There’s some space rock bong riffing wah abuse from White Manna.
  • Delightful Magnetic Fields-ish pop from The Smittens. Ahh... they are just like little puppies!
  • A lad from The Fall and one from New Order team up for the ‘Manchester pop’ of Rubberbear.
  • Australian eccentric Peter Escott has a ramshackle album of bedroom piano pop for you to listen to.
  • She Keeps Bees's moody and tense Sharon Van Etten-style dark spindly rock gets Reviewbot’s robot thumb moving upwards.
  • Experimental noise supergroup Dan’l Boone make intense and schizophrenic racket .
  • Wold’s noise from the bowels of hell gets a vinyl pressing on The Death of Rave.
  • BACK IN is FKA Twigs ‘EP2’ which has been out of print for a while.

Onto the murky world of electronica and of course the Aphex Twin album towers over everything this week but there are other slithers of genius to get the party started such as...

  • A re-issue of Joey Beltram’s ‘Energy Flash’ on a one-sided 12” on R&S.
  • A nice album of crystalline electronica from the EOD guy under the name CN called ‘NU’ (likes his initials this lad).
  • Part 1 of the 6-EP SRX Surgeon reissues series has turned up.
  • Enigmatic producer Ekman makes a 12” of slightly terrifying techno.
  • There’s an album of dynamic electronic ambient music from big hitters Function and Vatican Shadow who have joined forces to be even better!
  • There’s a 12” of mid paced Jon Hopkins-like techno from Rival Consoles.
  • Ueno Masaaki makes a 12” of unpredictable, brutal and mind melting techno.
  • Wanna get the party stopped? Then you need to call Christopher Willits and Ryuichi Sakamoto who have got together to make a lovely album of drifty ambience inspired by the ocean.
  • Or dial the number for Chihei Hakakeyama who has made an album so graceful and relaxing that our Ian reckons it should be doled out on the NHS to calm everyone down.

We have children’s sized records (7”s to you and me) from The Vaselines, Dralms, Lamagaia, Dolomite Minor and more…

A few re-issues now and we were sad to hear about the passing of New Zealand free spirit Peter Gutteridge but heartened by a re-issue of fellow countryman Peter Jefferies ‘Electricity’ album on double vinyl with 4 extra tracks. Mike was delighted that The Intelligence have re-issued their ‘Boredom and Terror’ album complete with ‘Let’s Toil’ which was issued as a bonus disc at the time. Li’l Biz meanwhile was cheered that we’ve got the re-issue of John Dwyer’s pre Thee Oh Sees scuzzy rockers Coachwhips and me (Clint) was happy that Factory Benelux have put out a best of by indie-pop trailblazers The Wake and Mike enjoyed the musical journey Boris and Merzbow made in in 2005. Back on wax.

Finally some reading matter for you. In readiness for Cassette Store Day, I (Clint, again) have written an article on why we have fallen back in love with the humble tape.

Aaaaaaaaaaand relax. That’s it from us for the week. Well, not quite: some of us will be DJing at the Wharf Chambers Beer Festival in Leeds over t’weekend so might see some of you there.

Whatever you do, have a good one.

Clint and the exhausted few
x


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Joey Beltram

Energy Flash

10/10 from Brian

There is SOOO little that needs saying about this track. It's been re-pressed/issued/compiled countless times. It still sounds astonishing over a sound system and will re...read on »

Os Noctambulos

Corsica Garden

9/10 from Mike

I'm very much enjoying this debut LP by Anglo-French psych-rock newcomers Os Noctambulos, who are obviously well schooled in the sounds of '60s garage, psych and surf rock, ca...read on »

English Heretic

The Underworld Service

9/10 from Mike

The mysterious English Heretic return this week with a baffling new sonic journey, which comes complete with a colour printed 48 page book containing essays and pictures to he...read on »

Rival Consoles

Sonne

9/10 from Laurie

The sun's gone out in Leeds, but for Ryan Lee West, the man behind Rival Consoles, that's not a real problem. Sure, this may be because he's based in London, but mostly becaus...read on »

Chihei Hatakeyama

Winter Storm

9/10 from Ian

The sublime talents of Mr Chihei Hatakeyama will grace your hi-fi once again with his latest album on White Paddy Mountain, ‘Winter Storm’ is four tracks of his tr...read on »

Willits + Sakamoto

Ocean Fire

9/10 from Ian

‘Ocean Fire’ is a re-issue of the first collaboration between Ghostly International’s Christopher Willits and legendary pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto...read on »

Broken Arm

Life Is Short

9/10 from ReviewBot300

The debut LP from Leeds DIY stalwarts Broken Arm finally sees the light of day this week after being shelved for some time. With ex-members of the likes of Sailors, Woman, Lik...read on »

The Intelligence

Boredom and Terror / Let's Toil

9/10 from Mike

The Intelligence's near-perfect 'Everybody's Got It Easy But Me' was my joint-favourite record of 2012, and the sometimes-prolific band have been quiet since, so when I heard ...read on »

PC Worship

Social Rust

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Brooklyn's DIY avant-rock weirdos PC Worship have a new album out this week on the consistent Northern Spy imprint. 'Social Rust' is described in the press release as "the clo...read on »

CN

NU

9/10 from Brian

The enigma that is Norwegian electronic artist Stian Gjevik (and his analogue machines) continues to deepen further with this stunning new full length outing under his CN...read on »

Various

Temporary: Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Underground 2011-2014

9/10 from Brian

I would like to dedicate this review to a "Dunedin Sound" founding father Peter Gutteridge, who sadly died a couple of days ago. RIP Peter, may your music and influence outliv...read on »

Aphex Twin

Syro

9/10 from Brian

Well to say this has been on the cards for a wee while is an understatement. Landing right bang on the knife edge of the most bizarre time in British politics anybody alive to...read on »

Wold

Postsocial

9/10 from Ant

Originally released on CD earlier in 2014 by Profound Lore, Wold's eighth album gets a welcome vinyl release via The Death Of Rave. However this edition raises the question; d...read on »

Sun Ra

Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra And His Arkestra: In Orbit Of Ra

9/10 from ReviewBot300

One of the questions that has plagued music fans for many years is "Where do I start with Sun Ra"? With more than a hundred albums under his belt and no official introductory ...read on »

My Brightest Diamond

This Is My Hand

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Shana Holden has several albums out already under her My Brightest Diamond moniker but I'm only now hearing her for the first time. Amazing how much music you can listen to on...read on »

Pinkcourtesyphone

Description of Problem

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Minimal big hitter Richard Chartier is back this week with another of his pinkcourtesyphone albums on his own L-NE imprint. I guess this could broadly be described as his "fun...read on »

Nightfell

The Living Ever Mourn

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Todd Burdette is a bona fide crust punk legend, having played in a whole rash of amazing bands, most notably His Hero Is Gone, Tragedy, Severed Head of State and Warcry, so se...read on »

Ekman

Entropy

8/10 from Laurie

'Dutch producer' - this, from the Discogs page, is the only information that seems to be available for the entity that is Ekman and is also the only way that I can refer ...read on »

Black Walls

Communion

8/10 from Ian

Another great release for the Little Crackd Rabbit label again, for your enjoyment here is Black Walls aka Ken Reaume better known for his more folky leanings, ‘Communio...read on »

Coachwhips

Get Ya Body Next To Mine

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Crap Coachwhips anecdote - my old band Brown Owl once played a show/gig with Coachwhips at the Fenton in Leeds (once home to the most hilarious John Peel tribute mural I've ev...read on »

Molly Nilsson

Solo Paraiso - The Summer Songs EP

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Don't know much about Swedish born/Berlin based synth pop singer songwriter Molly Nilsson but I consider Night School to be trusted source of under the radar/publicity shy art...read on »

Laetitia Sadier

Something Shines

8/10 from Robin

Stereolab frontwoman Laetitia Sadier claims to have been inspired by Marxist philosopher Guy Debord on 'Something Shines', particularly his book, 'The Society of the Spec...read on »

Germ House

Showing Symptoms

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's some very enjoyable lo-fi post-punk action courtesy of the good people at Trouble In Mind. Germ House is the brainchild of former Turpentine Brother Justin Hubbard, who...read on »

Purling Hiss

Weirdon

8/10 from ReviewBot300

After their noisy beginnings making fuzzy blown-out psych-noise scuzz, Purling Hiss have spent their last couple of albums retreating into a more accessible grunge/college roc...read on »

Lydia Lunch / Rowland S. Howard

Shotgun Wedding

8/10 from ReviewBot300

A welcome reissue this week for this 1991 collaboration between vocalist/poet/motivational speaker Lydia Lunch of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks/Lydia Lunch fame and the late gre...read on »

NeoTantrik

Blue Amiga

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's a second bit of unsettling surrealist sound tapestry from super-duo NeoTantrik, who feature Demdike Stare chap Sean Canty and crate-digging polymath Andy Votel. There a...read on »

Ueno Masaaki

Ununseptium / Vortices

8/10 from Laurie

The latest monstrosity from Raster Noton is courtesy of Japanese artist Ueno Masaaki, his debut release. I'd be well chuffed if my debut was the sonic equivalent of stepping o...read on »

Perfume Genius

Too Bright

8/10 from Mike

Perfume Genius's last effort, the misleadingly-motivationally-monikered 'Put Your Back N 2 It', was a hit amongst critics and real people alike, a gorgeous mixture of pure pop...read on »

Buffalo Daughter

Konjac-Tion

8/10 from Mike

Tokyo's Buffalo Daughter return this week with their seventh album. This lot are veterans of the city's Shibuya-kei scene which most famously spawned the likes of Pizzicato Fi...read on »

Peter Jefferies

Electricity

8/10 from Clinton

Sad news this week on the passing of Peter Gutteridge, the maverick New Zealand musician who produced one of the finest albums ever to come out of the island with Snapper&rsqu...read on »

The Smittens

Love Record Breaker

8/10 from Clinton

Open hearted pop revolutionaries The Smittens return with this, their last record before singer & guitarist Dana Kaplan transitions to a lad and therefore gets a new huski...read on »

Martyr Privates

Martyr Privates

8/10 from ReviewBot300

From the look of this record I thought it was going to be some sort of noise-punk business but it's actually something much more mid-paced than that. Just goes to show you can...read on »

White Manna

Come Down Safari

8/10 from Mike

I have been a little critical of Californian psych troupe White Manna in the past for a certain lack of originality in their always-enjoyable space rock bong-riffing and wah a...read on »

She Keeps Bees

Eight Houses

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Blues-rock duo She Keeps Bees are back in business this week with album number four, 'Eight Houses'. Here again they present a moody mixture of their sparse, tense rock songs ...read on »

Radio-Logg

Sports / Tools

8/10 from Brian

Very indebted to some of the stranger, frostier European electro from back in the day and of course prime Kraftwerk and early Dopplereffekt, this mysterious album is an assort...read on »

Oliver Cherer

Sir Ollife Leigh & Other Ghosts

8/10 from Brian

Old ambient neo-folkster Dollboy here, now trading under his own moniker. Beginning with a piece of faintly dissonant drone-laced forest folk; bewitching and becalming in equa...read on »

Takako Minekawa & Dustin Wong

Savage Imagination

8/10 from Mike

It's a strangely Shibuya-kei-heavy week for me. Yesterday I had a new album from Buffalo Daughter to write about, and today another legend of the genre, Takako Minekawa, turns...read on »

Boris with Merzbow

Sun Baked Snow Cave

8/10 from Mike

Here's a lush vinyl reissue of Boris and Merzbow's second collaboration, 2005's 'Sun Baked Snow Cave', a single 62-minute piece which followed their 2002 head-to-head 'Megaton...read on »

Have A Nice Life

Deathconsciousness

8/10 from Mike

We've got another album of ambitious gothy synth-indie type business from Have A Nice Life, who nobody in the office seems to know anything about but whose records fly off our...read on »

Chantal Acda

Live In Dresden

8/10 from Mike

I've had a few cerebral, difficult or otherwise disappointing records to write about this week but I'm soothing my poor aching bonce right now with this latest offering from B...read on »

Gazelle Twin

Unflesh

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Following on from 2011's understated darkpop debut 'The Entire City', Elizabeth "Gazelle Twin" Bernholz (I'm sure she was called Elizabeth Walling last time round...I'm not su...read on »

The Juan Maclean

In A Dream

8/10 from ReviewBot300

John "The Juan" MacLean returns this week with album number five on DFA. This guy used to play guitar in Six Finger Satellite so him and James Murphy go way back. These days T...read on »

Holy Sons

The Fact Facer

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Emil Amos is a busy lad. Most famous as the drummer in Grails, he's also lent his stick skills to the likes of Om, Lilacs & Champagne and Jandek, as well as flexing his si...read on »

Lamagaia

Space Normal Speed / Seabass

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I haven't heard of Lamagaia before but when Clint handed me this 7" for review I said "That looks like Swedish prog to me", and in a rare bit of proof that sometimes you reall...read on »

Featured albums

CN
The Intelligence
White Manna
Ekman
Willits + Sakamoto
Chihei Hatakeyama
Dolomite Minor
Perfume Genius
Dan'l Boone
Laetitia Sadier
Purling Hiss
Dralms
Lamagaia
The Vaselines
Broken Arm
Function & Vatican Shadow
Aphex Twin
Ueno Masaaki
The Smittens
Rubberbear
The Wake
Rival Consoles
Anthroprophh
Surgeon
We Need Secrets
Molly Nilsson
Peter Jefferies
Coachwhips
The Drums
She Keeps Bees
Joey Beltram
Peter Escott
Love Inks
Goat
alt-J
Wold
FKA Twigs
Boris with Merzbow